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Property and Power in Late Antiquity

International Late Antiquity Network, International Conference 2014

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Property and Power in Late Antiquity
11 June 2014, 02:30 PM
2nd Floor Lecture Hall
General Event

June 11-14, 2014

The conference is now full and registration is closed. To inquire about the waitlist, please email

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, a cross-disciplinary stock-taking seems more than welcome. ILAN 2014, Property and Power in Late Antiquity, will offer an opportunity to exchange ideas with colleagues from numerous disciplines and as many countries.

For more information on the International Late Antiquity Network visit


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

WELCOME: 2:30pm
Michael Kulikowski (Pennsylvania State University)

Roger Bagnall (ISAW)

SESSION 1: 2:50 - 4:00 pm
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 Land-ownership in the Fourth and Fifth Centuries

Tea Break

SESSION 2: 4:30 - 6:00 pm
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
Hans-Ulrich Wiemer (Erlangen) - Landed Property and Social Power in Ostrogothic Italy


Noel Lenski (Boulder) - Slaves, paroikoi and labor regimes in the Late Antique Greek Census Inscriptions

Reception to follow

Thursday, June 12, 2014

SESSION 3: 9:30 - 11:00 am
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
Sander Evers (Loyola University) - Religious Resistance or Power to the Poor - the Significance of the Circumcelliones within the Church in Roman Africa

Coffee Break

SESSION 4: 11:30 am - 1:00 pm
Christoph Begass (Mainz) - Eastern Senatorial Aristocracy, 5th-6th Cent.
Muriel Moser (Frankfurt) - Property and Power in the Senate of CP
Meaghan McEvoy (Frankfurt) - Power, Property, and Fl. Ardabur Aspar

Lunch Break

SESSION 5: 2:30 - 4:00 pm
Eddie Owen (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

Tea Break

SESSION 6: 4:30 - 6:00 pm
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, 2014

SESSION 7: 9:30 - 11:00 am
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

Coffee Break

SESSION 8: 11:30 am -1:00 pm
Silviu Anghel (Göttingen) - Cura deorum in custodiam civiam. 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

Lunch Break

SESSION 9: 2:30 - 4:00 pm
Monika Schuol (Berlin/Chemnitz) - Gregory I and the patrimonium Petri: The church's property as a major instrument of papal power?
Damian Fernandez (Northern Illinois University) - Church building and social status in Visigothic Iberia
Till Stüber (Berlin) - Bishops, Kings, and the Appropriation of Church Property. Some Thoughts on the Role of precariae verbo regis during the Merovingian Age

Tea Break

SESSION 10: 4:30 - 6:00 pm
Philipp von Rummel (DAI Berlin) - It's all about Women? An Archaeological Perspective on Property, Prestige and Barbarians in the Fifth-Century West
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 pocketbooks of rich benefactors
Seraina Ruprecht (Bern) - Non-material Property: The Value of Friendship in Late Antiquity

Dinner to follow (advanced registration required by June 9 and payment due on June 11)

Saturday, June 14, 2014

SESSION 11: 9:30 - 11:00am
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

Coffee Break

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