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Unrivalled InfluenceWomen and Empire in Byzantium$
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Judith Herrin

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691153216

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691153216.001.0001

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Public and Private Forms of Religious Commitment among Byzantine Women

Public and Private Forms of Religious Commitment among Byzantine Women

Chapter:
(p.133) 6 Public and Private Forms of Religious Commitment among Byzantine Women
Source:
Unrivalled Influence
Author(s):

Judith Herrin

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691153216.003.0006

This chapter examines the development of the different forms of religious commitment expressed by women who lived in the Byzantine Empire between the sixth and eleventh centuries AD—a development predicated on their gradual exclusion from displays of public religiosity. Over this long period, as the church consolidated its organization through an administration grafted on to Roman imperial government, the ecclesiastical hierarchy of male bishops effectively excluded women from prominent public positions. This development can be traced through canonical rulings laid down at ecumenical and local church councils, which defined the Christian practice appropriate for women. It is also documented by women's participation in religious activities as recorded in a variety of sources, especially the lives of female saints.

Keywords:   religious commitment, Byzantium, Byzantine women, public displays, religiosity, women's participation, Byzantine Empire

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