Det humanistiske fakultet (kart)
Niels Henrik Abels vei 36
Open Guest Lecture by Dr Caroline Goodson
Early medieval Rome was like no other medieval city. It was the largest city in Europe at the time, famous worldwide for its inheritance of imperial splendour and magnificent ancient monuments. It was also famous for the wealth of martyrs: the apostles Peter and Paul, as well as hundreds of others whose relics were venerated at shrines surrounding the city. These two legacies made the city especially attractive to early medieval rulers. Indeed, in the late eighth and early ninth century, a connection to Rome was a key element for the construction of empire. The bishops of Rome capitalised on the appeal of the city to transform the papacy from an ecclesiastical authority to the head of an independent republic. This lecture will identify the means by which Rome’s rulers cultivated key aspects of the city’s past for political promotion regionally and throughout the medieval world. Their strategies reached far beyond theological claims to episcopal authority, and involved control of the built environment, negotiation of military intervention, and provisioning food for the city and its visitors. The papacy’s role in these secular aspects of governance was coloured by a number of ritual and rhetorical conventions related to its spiritual authority. The lecture will identify some of the success and failures in the early medieval papal assertion of political power.