Universiteit Leiden

nl en

PhD project

Episcopal social networks and patronage in late antique Egypt: Bishops of the Theban region at work

The proposed research project examines the social role of two monk-bishops in seventh-century Egypt, Abraham of Hermonthis and Pesynthios of Koptos, by reconstructing their social networks on the basis of their archival documents.

Duration
2012  -   2016
Contact
Renate Dekker
Funding
NWO NWO

The proposed research project examines the social role of two monk-bishops in seventh-century Egypt, Abraham of Hermonthis and Pesynthios of Koptos, by reconstructing their social networks on the basis of their archival documents. Both bishops lived in the Theban region (near modern Luxor) and played a historical role in the rise of the anti-Chalcedonian church, the forerunner of the present-day Coptic Orthodox Church, by their strong social involvement on a local level. Through their episcopal networks they interacted with people from different social classes, either along strictly formal lines or on the basis of less formal ties, such as patron-client relationships.

By reconstructing these networks it will be possible to identify and localize the contacts of the bishops, to evaluate the specific nature of their social involvement, and to establish their position within the wider social network of the Theban region. Since Pesynthios is also known from the hagiographic Encomium, we have the unique opportunity to confront the literary image of him with his representation as a social agent based on his own documents.

This website uses cookies. More information