IMC 2013: Sessions

Session 1310: Texts and Identities, IV: Violence, Legitimacy, and Identity during the Transformation of the Roman World

Wednesday 3 July 2013, 16.30-18.00

Sponsor:Institut für Mittelalterforschung, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien / Utrecht Centre for Medieval Studies, Universiteit Utrecht / Faculty of History, University of Cambridge
Organisers:E. T. Dailey, School of History, University of Leeds
Gerda Heydemann, Institut für Mittelalterforschung, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien / Institut für Geschichte, Universität Wien
Moderator/Chair:E. T. Dailey, School of History, University of Leeds
Paper 1310-aMilitary Violence and Political Legitimacy in the Burgundian Civil War
(Language: English)
Glenn McDorman, Department of History, Princeton University
Index terms: Military History, Political Thought
Paper 1310-bHamstrung Horses?: Timothy Barnes, Constantine's Legendary Flight to His Father, and the Legitimacy of His Proclamation as Emperor in 306
(Language: English)
Adrastos Omissi, St John's College, University of Oxford
Index terms: Military History, Political Thought
Paper 1310-cLower Class Illegitimate Violence in the Late Roman West
(Language: English)
Michael Burrows, School of History, University of Leeds
Index terms: Military History, Political Thought, Social History
Abstract

This session examines the often strained relationship between military violence and political legitimacy in Late Antiquity. Adrastos Omissi questions recent interpretations of Constantine’s claim to the imperial throne, asking whether Constantine’s proclamation was in fact an act of usurpation. Mike Burrows investigates the contravention of legitimate rights to violence by members of lower social orders in the 5th-century West (urban riots, slave resistance, etc.), asking what motivated people to rebel against the imperial order, and what impact such actions had on the transformation of the Roman world and particularly the re-formation of the state(s). Glenn McDorman examines the Burgundian civil war of 500-01 and the interplay of military violence, political legitimacy, and textual rhetoric: was this understood by contemporaries as mere fratricidal barbarian violence, or as political usurpation that was resolved within the late Roman legal tradition?