On and beyond duty: Christian clergy at Oxyrhynchus (c. 250-400)

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This paper presents a case-study of Christian clergy in the middle-Egyptian city of Oxyrhynchus in the transitional period from mid-third to late fourth century, based on literary and documentary (papyrological) sources. Whereas in literary texts members of the clergy, mainly bishops, usually appear in connection with heresiological disputes, documentary papyri frequently show them 'beyond duty', for example engaged in business or travel. The papyri widen our historical understanding by preserving data on lower-ranking religious specialists, such as presbyters, readers, nuns and monks, who would otherwise remain quite unknown. They also provide evidence for the extension of the Christian order into the agrarian hinterland of the city.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationBeyond Priesthood
Subtitle of host publicationReligious Entrepreneurs and Innovators in the Roman Empire
Publisherde Gruyter
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9783110448184
ISBN (Print)9783110447019
StatePublished - Aug 21 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Arts and Humanities


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