Long Late Antiquity

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This work package studies the transition constituted by the establishment of Christianity in the ancient world.

For the early Christians, the innovative nature of their religion was precisely its main problem. They constantly attempted to downplay its radical innovation by embedding it in existing traditions, using Hebrew, Greek, and Roman traditions as anchors. Because Christianity was anchored differently in different areas of the Roman empire, there were massive differences between the Christian society of the late-antique and early-medieval West, and Byzantine Christian society.

This work package takes an explicitly comparative approach and integrates themes from other work packages. It investigates in particular how Christian innovations in citizenship, leadership and conceptions of law/justice were anchored in earlier periods, analyzing successful and unsuccessful anchoring over a long trajectory,