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8. The Ambivalent Landscape of Christian Corinth: The Archaeology of Place, Theology, and Politics in a Late Antique City

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Chapter Summary

This chapter argues that the textual and archaeological evidence for imperial involvement in the Corinthia provides faint traces of what Elsner has called "internal friction" in the manifestation of imperial and Corinthian authority in the region. The author's efforts to excavate evidence for power relations and inequality in the Corinthia focuses on three relationships which capture the ambivalent nature of imperial authority in 6th-century Greece. The chapter first considers the relationship between ecclesiastical architecture and authority in the Corinthia. It then shows how imperial efforts to project authority in the Corinthia shaped production, settlement, and fortification in the 6th century. Finally, the chapter argues that the expression of imperial policy manifested itself in a pair of theologically ambivalent texts and ritually-encoded architecture that manifest traces of internal friction between the goals of an imperial state and the understanding of power on the local level.

Keywords: 6th-century Greece; ambivalent landscape; archaeological evidence; Corinthian authority; ecclesiastical architecture; power relations; ritually-encoded architecture; social inequality; theologically ambivalent texts

10.1163/9789004261310_009
/content/books/b9789004261310_009
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