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Restless Peasants And Scornful Lords: Lay Hostility To Holy Men And The Church In Late Antiquity And The Early Middle Ages

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Chapter Summary

The Russian analogy that Carr draws is a highly appropriate one, especially for the Byzantinist, for in many respects the myth of Holy Russia drew upon the ideal of a Holy Byzantium to which Moscow was heir. It has long been noted how, in the aftermath of the Constantinian institutionalisation of the Christian Church and clergy, and as bishops in particular came to play an ever more significant role in public life, the representatives of the Church found themselves increasingly caught up in political struggles and machinations. From the perspective of the peasantry and agricultural labourers who worked such estates, however, this concentration of landownership in the hands of the Church is likely to have carried few tangible consequences. Resistance or hostility to the Church, its teachings, and representatives in late antiquity and the early middle ages was not limited, therefore, to the ranks of dissident theologians or conservative intellectuals.

Keywords: Byzantium; Carr; Christian Church; Holy Russia; Moscow; Russian analogy



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