Authority Beyond the Law

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The TORCH Oxford Medieval Studies programme is supporting this workshop on 'Authority Beyond the Law: Charismatic and Traditional Authority in Antiquity and the Middle Ages'.



Registration (9:00-9:15)

Introduction (9:15-9:45): David Barritt (University of Oxford, UK), Authority beyond the law in theory and in practice

Session 1 (9:45-11:15): Chair: Pan Christoforou

Max Lau (Tokyo, Japan), From usurpers to unquestioned autokrators: the construction of Komnenian authority under emperor John II Komnenos

Daniel Unruh (University of Cambridge, UK), Controlling the source: Dionysius I of Syracuse and the spring of Arethusa

Stefano Bernardinello (Florence, Italy), The construction of authority works through an ecclesiastical connection: de Raude family and the church of Milan during the eleventh and twelfth century

Coffee Break (11:15-11:30)

Session 2 (11:30-1:00): Chair: Chris de L’isle

Martin Krijgsman (University of Oxford, UK), ‘He was robed in the fearsome radiance of kingship’: charismatic and traditional authority in Babylon between god and king

Graham Andrews (Oxford, UK), A Crisis of Tradition: The Roman Senate in the Early Third Century CE

Antoine Chabod (Paris, France), Music and wisdom beyond Spartan law

Lunch (1:00-2:00)

Session 3 (2:00-3:30): Chair: David Barritt

Chris de L’isle (University of Oxford, UK), Charismatic failures: the collapse of ancient Greek tyrannies

Pan Christororou (University of Oxford, UK), The curious case of the Caesars: Roman emperors as Weberian shape-shifters

Adam Howe (University Oxford, UK), The substitute king ritual: killing the king to deter the killing of the king

Coffee Break (3:30-3:45)

Session 4 (3:45-5:15): Chair: TBC

Darja Šterbenc Erker (Berlin, Germany), Augustus’ charisma as reflected in Ovid’s Fasti

Agata Paluch (Berlin, Germany), Authority and new interpretations: some remarks on authorising strategies in Jewish mystical texts

Monika Belucz (Budapest, Hungary), The authority of a hidden monk-bishop

Coffee Break (5:15-5:30)

Keynote address (5:30-6:30): Kate Cooper (Manchester, UK), Conflict, charisma and institution-building: Rethinking authority beyond the law

Pub trip


This workshop has been generously funded by a grant from Oxford Medieval Studies at TORCH Humanities, University of Oxford


Oxford Medieval Studies

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Audience: Open to all