Fronto, the bishops, and the crowd: Episcopal justice and communal violence in fifth-century Tarraconensis

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Abstract

Augustine's Epistula II* was addressed to the bishop of Hippo by an aristocratic laymen called Consentius. The letter recounts, ostensibly verbatim, the tribulations of the Spanish monk Fronto in his efforts to prosecute what he regards as a heretical conspiracy amongst the clergy of Hispania Tarraconensis. Fronto's narrative is a rare first-person account of the late antique judicial process, in all its complexity of overlapping imperial and ecclesiastical jurisdictions. The present article examines the letter's evidence for judicial strategies and rhetoric, as well as the role of status, power and violence in influencing legal outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)295-320
Number of pages26
JournalEarly Medieval Europe
Volume11
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • History
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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