The Bishop as a New Urban Functionary

Claudia Rapp

in Holy Bishops in Late Antiquity

Published by University of California Press

Published in print September 2005 | ISBN: 9780520242968
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520931411 | DOI:
The Bishop as a New Urban Functionary

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  • Religion in the Ancient World


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This chapter provides a comparison of the treatment of bishops in the Theodosian Code and in the Justinianic Code and Novellae shows that in the interval between these two codifications, bishops who had in the fourth century been regarded and revered as model Christians were in the sixth century treated as dependable model citizens. It then argues that the bishop was never absorbed into the curia but instead joined the new ruling group of leading citizens that was crystallizing at the time, forming a new urban and Christian elite. Imperial legislation focused on the curia, the city council, and the decuriones, the city councilors. The bishops did not simply replace the curia and its functions, nor were they absorbed into it.

Keywords: bishops; Theodosian Code; Justinianic Code; Novellae; curia; decuriones; codifications; Christian

Chapter.  7957 words. 

Subjects: Religion in the Ancient World

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