Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Michele Salzman: Migration and Religious Identity in Rome Before, During and After the Gothic Wars

In the late fifth century, the popes of Rome attacked new religious groups in the city whom they deemed as heretical migrants. So, the late fifth century pope Gelasius, for one, praised the strong stand of his predecessor, pope Hilarius, in dealing with the newly arrived Macedonians and Neoplatonists from Alexandria in opposition to the Emperor Anthemius (465-469) (Gelasius, Ep.26.11,p. 408, ed. Thiele). Attacks on migrant groups deemed heretical continued into the sixth century, although no popes attacked Arians under the rule of Odoacer, Theoderic or Theoderic's successors for obvious reasons. This situation changed after the Gothic Wars. With the victory of Justinian, the popes of Rome were newly empowered by, among other factors, this emperor’s 554 Pragmatic Sanction, to rebuild their religious communities and to suppress migrant groups they deemed heretical. The strategies that the Bishops of Rome undertook - rhetorical and real –in the sixth century and especially in the decades immediately after the end of the Gothic war as numerous groups returned to Rome and Italy, are the focus of this paper.
[1] Gelasius, Ep.26.11 ad Episcopos Dardaniae,p. 408, ed. Thiele.

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