New York 2014

Property and Power in Late Antiquity
New York, June 11-14, 2014

For most of the 20th century, the distribution of land and other wealth has been central to scholarly discussion of late antique societies, not least in assessing the causes of the fall of the Roman Empire. While the pace of scholarly discussion slowed down towards the end of the century, in recent years a new interest in the economic history of Late Antiquity has emerged. Much of this renewed interest has focussed on assessing the wealth and the power of secular elites, such as the influential contributions of Jairus Banaji on the social impact of the gold currency (2001) or the relevant sections in Chris Wickham’s Framing the Early Middle Ages(2005), among others. Renewed interest has also emerged in related areas such as the history of the household, with work such as Kyle Harper’s 2011 study of slavery, and the history of Christianity, with, for example, Peter Brown’s monumental study of the issue of wealth in the rise of ecclesiastical institutions (2012).

In light of these developments, ILAN met from 11-14 June 2014 to discuss the theme of Property and Power in Late Antiquity at a conference at New York University’s Institute for the Study of the Ancient World (ISAW), hosted by Professor Roger Bagnall.

  • Wednesday, June 11

    Welcome: 2:30 pm
    Michael Kulikowski (Pennsylvania State University)
    Roger Bagnall (ISAW)

    Session 1: 2:50 - 4:00 pm, Chair: Noel Lenski (Boulder)
    Gilles Bransbourg (ISAW/ANS): Taxation and the Clash of Powers: War and Peace Among the Late Roman Elites

    Thibaut Boulay (Tours): Posséder un vignoble: un habitus du pouvoir?

    Alexander Skinner (Birmingham): Honorati and Landownership in the Fourth and Fifth Centuries

    Session 2: 4:30 - 6:00 pm, Chair: Sebastian Schmidt-Hofner (Universität Tübingen)
    Paolo Tedesco (Vienna/Princeton): Why Taxes Differ: A Comparative Study of Tributary Organization in the Late Antique World (400-700 AD)

    John Weisweiler (Basel): The Death of the Vampire-Bat: Property, Fiscality, and Senatorial Power in the Later Roman Empire

    Keynote Lecture: 6:30 pm
    Noel Lenski (Boulder): Slaves, Paroikoi and Labor Regimes in the Late Antique Greek Census Inscriptions

  • Thursday, June 12

    Session 3: 9:30 - 11:00 am, Chair: Sarah Bond (University of Iowa)
    Laurent Cases (Penn State): The Rebellion of L. Domitius Alexander in 308-309 AD

    Luke Gardiner (Chicago): 'To Banish Greed from the Marketplace'? (Misopogon 365): Shortage, Redistribution, and Dependency at Antioch, 361-2 CE

    Uiran Gebara da Silva (Sao Paulo): Back in Black: Property, Power, and Rural Rebellions in Late Antiquity

    Session 4: 11:30 am - 1:00 pm, Chair: Mischa Meier (Universität Tübingen)
    Christoph Begass (Mainz): Eastern Senatorial Aristocracy, 5th-6th Cent.

    Muriel Moser (Frankfurt): Property and Power in the Senate of Constantinople

    Meaghan McEvoy (Frankfurt): Power, Property, and Fl. Ardabur Aspar

    Session 5: 2:30 - 4:00 pm, Chair: Michael Kulikowski (Penn State)
    Eddie Owens (Swansea): Water as a Symbol of Wealth and Prestige in the Cities of Late Roman Asia Minor

    Markus Löx (Munich): Who "Owns" Public Space in Late Roman Spain

    Ann-Valérie Pont (Paris-Sorbonne): Cities and Landowners in Anatolia from the Middle of the 3rd Century to Constantine

    Sarah Bond (University of Iowa): Ad Pistrinum: Property, Pistores, and Prisons in Late Antiquity

    Session 6: 4:30 - 6:00 pm, Chair: Marianne Sághy (CEU Budapest)
    Nicholas Baker-Brian (Cardiff): Manichaean Letters for Fourth-century Kellis

    Hannah Probert (Sheffield): Property and Family Dynamics in Gaul, 400-700

    Irene San Pietro (Columbia/American Academy in Rome): Church, State and Family in Late Antiquity: Social Problems and Legal Solutions

    Shlomo Edmond Zuckier (Yale): Ecclesiastical Opulence and the Rabbinic Imagination

  • Friday, June 13

    Session 7: 9:30 - 11:00 am, Chair: Elizabeth Clark (Duke)
    Maria Doerfler (Duke): Strangers in the Gates: Economies of Exile in Late Ancient Christian Discourse

    Jakub Urbanik (Warsaw): Property and Power: A Case of Nunneries

    Christine Radtki (Tübingen): Wealth and Poverty in John Malalas' Chronicle, or: When God Punishes and the Emperor Heals

    Michelle Berenfeld (Pitzer College, Claremont, CA): Getting Out of the House: Late Roman Domestic Space and Urban Experience

    Session 8: 11:30 am - 1:00 pm, Chair: Alexander Evers (Loyola University)
    Silviu Anghel (Göttingen): Cura Deorum in Custodiam Civium: Landowning, Privatization and Late Antique Paganism

    Marianne Sághy (CEU Budapest): The Property of the Saints in Late Antiquity

    Julie Less (Chicago): When the Map is a Territory

    Troels Myrup Kristensen (Aarhus, DK): The Sacred Economy of the Cult of St. Thecla at Meryemlik

    Session 9: 2:30 - 4:00 pm, Chair: Bonnie Effros (University of Florida)
    Monika Schuol (Berlin/Chemnitz): Gregory I and the Patrimonium Petri: The Church's Property as a Major Instrument of Papal Power?

    Damián Fernández (Northern Illinois University): `Church Building and Social Status in Visigothic Iberia

    Till Stüber (Berlin): Bishops, Kings, and the Appropriation of Chruch Property: Some Thoughts on the Role of precariae verbo regis during the Merovingian Age

    Session 10: 4:30 - 6:00 pm, Chair: Sebastian Schmidt-Hofner (Universität Tübingen)
    Fabio Guidetti (Scuola Normale Pisa): The Senator and the Saint: Melania the Elder and the Display of Wealth and Poverty

    Philip Polcar (Vienna): Begging for Power: Jerome's Quest for Ecclesiastical Influence through the Pocketbook of Rich Benefactors

    Seraina Ruprecht (Bern): Non-material Property: The Value of Friendship in Late Antiquity

  • Saturday, June 15

    Session 11: 9:30 - 11:00 am, Chair: Hartmut Leppin (Goethe Universität Frankfurt)
    Katharina Meinecke (Vienna): Umayyad Art and the Kosmos of Power

    Barbara Schellewald/Sophie Schweinsfurth (Basel/Zurich): The Emperor in his Church: The Hagia Sophia as Stage of Justinian's Concept of Imperial Power

    Fabian Stroth (Heidelberg): The Monogrammed Capitals of Hagia Sophia: The Church as Material-map of the Empire

    Session 12: 11:30 am - 1:00 pm
    Final Roundtable