Book Chapter Details
Mandatory Fields
Máirín MacCarron; Julia Hillner
2021 January
Relations of Power: Women's Networks in the Middle Ages
Female Networks and Exiled Bishops between Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages: the cases of Liberius of Rome and Wilfrid of York
Bonn University Press
Optional Fields
Networks, Women, Bishops, Early Middle Ages, Late Antiquity
This essay brings together results from two research projects based at the University of Sheffield, The Migration of Faith: Clerical Exile in Late Antiquity (325–c. 600), and Women, Conflict and Peace: Gendered Networks in Early Medieval Narratives. The Migration of Faith uses quantitative approaches, such as social network analysis, to illuminate the role of late antique exiled clerics in disseminating ideas and practices through their personal and ecclesiastical networks. One outcome of this approach has been the identification of a far more prominent role for women, especially elite women, in these clerical networks than has heretofore been acknowledged. While this is an important observation, new approaches championed by the Gendered Networks project, in particular analysis of narrative networks created by literary texts, help to refine our understanding of this phenomenon further and to identify its rhetorical potential for late antique and early medieval authors. This essay examines how and why different stories about two high profile exile cases, Liberius, a fourthcentury bishop of Rome, and Wilfrid, bishop of York (c. 634–709/10), highlight and change the roles of female characters in the networks they describe.
Emma O. Bérat, Rebecca Hardie, Irina Dumitrescu
Grant Details
Leverhulme Trust RPG-2018–014