IMC 2019: Sessions

Session 150: Amicitia and Beyond: An Elite Culture of Gift-Exchange in the Later and Post-Roman West, 4th-6th Centuries

Monday 1 July 2019, 11.15-12.45

Sponsor:Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Organisers:Tabea Meurer, Historisches Seminar - Alte Geschichte, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Christian Stadermann, Historisches Seminar - Alte Geschichte, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Moderator/Chair:Ralph Mathisen, Department of History, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Paper 150-aA Question of Etiquette: Gift-Exchange and Epistolography as an 'Aristocratic' Art in the 4th-Century West
(Language: English)
Tabea Meurer, Historisches Seminar - Alte Geschichte, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Tabea Meurer, Historisches Seminar - Alte Geschichte, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Index terms: Rhetoric, Social History
Paper 150-bSubversive Gifting in the Monastery: Clandestine Transactions, Hidden Solidarities, and Corporate Surveillance in Early Monasticism
(Language: English)
Tudor Sala, Institut für Religionswissenschaft, Freie Universität Berlin
Tudor Sala, Institut für Religionswissenschaft, Freie Universität Berlin
Index terms: Canon Law, Monasticism, Religious Life
Paper 150-c'Et quando fuerint a stupore conversi, non audebunt se aequales nobis dicere …': Gift and Gift-Exchange in Politics of the Ostrogothic Court of Ravenna
(Language: English)
Christian Stadermann, Historisches Seminar - Alte Geschichte, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Christian Stadermann, Historisches Seminar - Alte Geschichte, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Index terms: Political Thought, Politics and Diplomacy, Rhetoric
Abstract

In Antiquity and the Middle Ages, the term amicitia both marked and shaped social relations as mutual, value-based and binding obligations. Thus, amicitia is multi-layered: It did not only describe personal friendship, but also a symmetrical or pseudo-symmetrical bond between supposedly equal, functional, social, and political elites. Amicitia also provided a foreign policy instrument. Such individual and collective ties were primarily confirmed through the exchange of tangible as well as intangible gifts. This section deals with the socio-political dimension of amicitia and gift-exchange in the later and Post-Roman West. The papers focus on the objects, practices, rhetorics and strategies of gift-exchange as a means of diplomacy, as a phenomenon of in- and exclusion, and as a status symbol. Finally, they touch upon the impact of socio-political transformation on a late antique and early medieval culture of gift exchange.