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IMC 2023: Sessions

Session 1522: Christian Entanglements of the Supernatural in Late Antiquity, I: Demons and Their Contexts

Thursday 6 July 2023, 09.00-10.30

Organiser:Ryan Denson, Department of Classics & Ancient History University of Exeter
Moderator/Chair:Charlotte Spence, Department of Classics, Ancient History, Religion & Theology, University of Exeter
Paper 1522-aThe Demonic Body: Changing Conceptions of the Demon's Body in Medical Discourse in Late Antiquity
(Language: English)
Tiana Blazevic, Department of History & Archaeology, Macquarie University, Sydney
Index terms: Folk Studies, Medicine, Philosophy, Social History
Paper 1522-bThe Vestigial Echoes of Greco-Roman Daimones in Christian Demonology
(Language: English)
Ryan Denson, Department of Classics & Ancient History University of Exeter
Index terms: Biblical Studies, Mentalities, Religious Life
Paper 1522-cDemonology and Kaiserkritik in Procopius' Secret History
(Language: English)
Gioia Soldi, Dipartimento di Filologia Classica e Italianistica, Università di Bologna
Index terms: Byzantine Studies, Language and Literature - Greek, Pagan Religions, Political Thought

Demons are a ubiquitous feature of the Christian faith from the New Testament to late antique and medieval hagiographies. Yet, demons have often been considered as merely generic manifestations of evil that emerge wholly with the advent of Christianity. They were, however, in many ways defined by and entangled with other supernatural conceptualizations and earlier contexts. This session, then, endeavors to explore the larger supernatural entanglements and within Christian references to demons. Blazevic examines the Neoplatonic influences on the connection between demons and disease, while Denson similarly explores the influence of the Greco-Roman daimon on the Christian demon. Finally, Soldi focuses on the creative deployment of demons being suffused with classical invective tropes in the anti-imperial rhetoric of Procopius.