Episcopal crisis management in late antique Gaul : The example of exsuperius of Toulouse
Dunn, Geoffrey David. (2014) Episcopal crisis management in late antique Gaul : The example of exsuperius of Toulouse. Antichthon. 48, pp. 126 - 143.
|Authors||Dunn, Geoffrey David|
In the first quarter of the fifth century the provinces of Gaul experienced their most dramatic shakeup since Julius Caesar, with the Rhine crossing of Vandals, Suebi and Alans, the retaliation from Roman forces in Britain under the usurper Constantine III, and the establishment of the Visigothic kingdom of Toulouse under Wallia in 418. Exsuperius was bishop in Toulouse throughout much of this time. Most of what we know about him comes from the challenges that confronted him. Not only did he face the crisis of hostile forces besieging his city, but he faced internal ones as well, with famine resulting from the siege and, at an earlier time, dissent being expressed to the asceticism and Christian discipline he promoted. While famine and theological dissent were regular features of what bishops had to deal with, responding to a siege was not something most bishops in previous generations had experienced. This article investigates how Exsuperius responded to these crises of varying magnitudes and argues that, although he is reported by Jerome as being solely responsible for averting the external threat, he was probably part of a team of negotiators, and that, with regard to the internal threat, he allied himself with Innocent I, the Roman bishop. The literary encounter between Toulouse and Rome in Innocent's 'Epistula 6' reinforced Innocent's position as the leading Western bishop, as well as offered support to Exsuperius in dealing with the crisis he faced.
|Journal citation||48, pp. 126 - 143|
|Publisher||Cambridge University Press|
|Web address (URL)||https://search.informit.com.au/documentSummary;dn=732825942753952;res=IELAPA|
|Page range||126 - 143|
|Research Group||School of Theology|
|Place of publication||United Kingdom|
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