Communicating the Early Medieval Papacy Across the Mediterranean – CONFERENCE

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Date / time: 25 June - 26 June, 9:30 am - 6:00 pm

Freie Universität Berlin

Communicating the Early Medieval Papacy Across the Mediterranean - CONFERENCE


A two-day, international English-language workshop held at FU Berlin on diverse aspects of the late antique and early medieval papacy in its Mediterranean capacity, with a special focus on its connections to North Africa, Egypt, Constantinople, Illyricum, Spain and Southern Italy.

The aim is informal discussion which will generate new questions and insights from the rich source material available, in ways that move beyond the (rather unhelpful) older paradigms of ‘East vs West’, ’emperor vs pope’, ‘Ostpolitik’, ‘papal emancipation’, etc.

Attendance and participation from scholars at all career levels is very welcome! Please contact Prof. Stefan Esders ( or Dr Benjamin Savill ( to register your interest.


Tuesday 25 June

9:30/45 – Assemble at Villa Engler, Altensteinstraße 2

9:45 – Welcome and introduction

10:00 – I. Testing Late Antique Communication: Easter 455

  • Immo Warntjes (Trinity College Dublin): ‘Leo I and Easter’
  • Chair: Benjamin Savill (FU Berlin)

11:00 – Kaffeepause

11:30 – II. Reorientating the Sixth-Century Papacy

  • Sihong Lin (University of Glasgow): ‘Papal History Without Papal Sources: Reconstructing the Pontificate of John III (561-74)’
  • Katy Cubitt (University of East Anglia): ‘How (and Why) Not to Be a Hypocrite: Gregory the Great, John the Faster and the Genesis of the Regula Pastoralis’
  • Chair: Michael Wuk (University of Lincoln / FU Berlin)

13:00 – Lunch

15:00 – III. Collecting Papal Connectivity: The Avellana and Hispana

  • Alexander Evers (Loyola University Chicago, John Felice Rome Centre): ‘Into and Out of Africa – Letters Between the See of Rome and North African Bishops in the Collectio Avellana’
  • Cornelia Scherer (FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg): ‘Decreta … non impar conciliorum extat auctoritas: Papal letters in the Collectio Hispana’
  • Chair: Stefan Esders (FU Berlin)

16:30 – Kaffeepause

17:00 – IV. Spaces, Hierarchies, and the Illyricum Problem

  • Wolfram Brandes (Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main): ‘The Vicariate of Thessalonica after 531’
  • Sebastian Kolditz (Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften): ‘The Definition of Patriarchal Jurisdictional Spheres in Late Antiquity’
  • Chair: Maya Maskarinec (University of Southern California / FU Berlin)

Dinner (Luise, Dahlem Dorf)

Wednesday 26 June

9:30/45 – Assemble at Villa Engler, Altensteinstraße 2

9:45 – V. Rome and the South after 800

  • Clemens Gantner (Universität Wien): ‘‘God Opposed This’: Nicholas I, Louis II and the Frankish Siege of Rome in 864′
  • Caroline Goodson (University of Cambridge): ‘Rome and Ifrīqiya (Ninth to Eleventh Centuries)’
  • Chair: Gerda Heydemann (FU Berlin)

11:15 – Kaffeepause

11:45 – VI. Latin Churches, Alexandrian Norms

  • Andrea Verardi (Pontificia Università Gregoriana, Rome): ‘A Norming Memory: Traces of a Historiographical-Institutional Koine of the Churches of Rome and Alexandria between Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages’
  • Mathew Clear (Trinity College Dublin): ‘Propagating Papal Paschal Practices: Roman Letters to Britain and Ireland in the Seventh Century and the Adoption of the Alexandrian Easter Reckoning in Rome’
  • Chair: Michael Wuk (University of Lincoln / FU Berlin)

13:15 – Lunch

15:00 – VII. Millennial Transformations

  • Benjamin Savill (FU Berlin): ‘The Last Papyri: Egyptian Industry, Chinese Technology, and the Early Medieval Papacy’s ‘Gramscian’ Moment, 1005-1049’
  • Maya Maskarinec (University of Southern California / FU Berlin): ‘Writing the Pope into the History of Southern Italian Monasteries: S. Maria in Tremiti, S. Benedetto in Conversano and S. Clemente a Casauria’
  • Stefan Esders (FU Berlin): Response
  • Chair: Stefan Esders

Finish by 17:00

Dinner (Shoo Loong Kan, K’Damm)