Saturday, 11 April 2015

Stanislaw Adamiak: The Presbyters in the Late Antique West

I would like to present (preferably in the "Instruments" section) the research project started this year at the University of Warsaw. The project aims at understanding and describing the role played by the presbyters in the ecclesiastical and social life of the Late Antique West until the end of the 7th century. We feel that this group of clergy has not been sufficiently studied, in opposition to the bishops and deacons.
The strength of the project lies in the wide and systematic research focused on the hundreds of rank-and-file presbyters, most of them known only from a single piece of evidence, and not, as hitherto, on outstanding individuals. This will be done through the use of the whole literary, normative and epigraphic evidence from Africa, Italy, Gaul, Spain, Britain and the Danube provinces. For most of these regions the evidence will be collected for the first time, for others it will be largely complemented. The prosopographical material obtained in this way will be assembled within a searchable on-line database which will allow finding and sorting diverse data, hardly accessible up to now, concerning origin, career, mobility, education, family and social links, property and economic activity of presbyters. We are going to find the postulated image of a "model" presbyter and see how it was realised in the real life of the Church.

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