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Clerical Exile in Late Antiquity


Edited By Julia Hillner, Jörg Ulrich and Jakob Engberg

This volume results from the international research project ‘The Migration of Faith: Clerical Exile in Late Antiquity (325‒c.600)’. The project is a collaboration between the Department of History at the University of Sheffield, the Seminar für Kirchengeschichte at the University of Halle, and the Department of Culture and Society at Aarhus University. Ten chapters of the volume are revised versions of papers delivered at the XVII International Conference on Patristic Studies held in Oxford in 2015. The three chapters of the first part of the volume discuss the question of "Clerical Exile and Social Control". The second part offers five selected case studies from the 3rd to the 6th centuries. The final part deals with discourses, memories, and legacies of clerical exile in late antiquity.

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Mapping Clerical Exile in the Vandal Kingdom (435–484)



Abstract: In Vandal North Africa, hundreds, if not thousands, of Nicene clerics were exiled from their dioceses over the course of the fifth and early sixth centuries. Though previous studies have focused on the experiences of individual exiles, this article explores the geographical dimensions of banishment through a systematic analysis of all documented cases of clerical exile under the first two Vandal Kings, Geiseric and Huneric.

The geographical dimensions of late antique exile have, until relatively recently, attracted little sustained attention from scholars. This is somewhat surprising given that the effectiveness of exile as a legal sanction must have depended in part on the unpleasantness of physical displacement. Judges – magistrates, emperors and, in the post-Roman period, kings – decided the precise terms of exile on a case-by-case basis.2 If the crime was relatively minor, an offender might simply be disbarred from a certain region or city. In many documented cases, however, exiles were assigned specific places of banishment, where they were expected to remain for the duration of their sentence. A number of historians have shown how the choice of location, whilst not devoid of practical considerations, typically reflected wider political concerns and penal strategies.3 The same historians have used quantitative analysis of the distribution of exile locations to speculate on the motivations behind the penalty. ← 67 | 68 → At present, this methodology has only been applied to the Roman evidence. But the penalty of exile continued to be imposed long after the collapse of the Empire,...

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