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Brother-Making in Late Antiquity and Byzantium – Monks, Laymen, and Christian Ritual - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Brother-Making in Late Antiquity and Byzantium: Monks, Laymen, and Christian Ritual

Claudia Rapp


Among medieval Christian societies, Byzantium is unique in preserving an ecclesiastical ritual of adelphopoiesis, which pronounces two men as brothers. It has its origin as a spiritual blessing in the monastic world of Late Antiquity, becomes a popular social networking strategy among laypeople from the ninth century onwards, and still finds application in recent times. Located at the intersection of religious and social history, brother-making exemplifies how social practice can become ritualized and subsequently subjected to attempts of ecclesiastical and legal control. The purpose and appli ... More

Keywords: Byzantium, social history, church history, monasticism, male-male relations, adelphopoiesis, Late Antiquity

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2016 Print ISBN-13: 9780195389333
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2016 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195389333.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Claudia Rapp, author
Institute for Medieval Studies, Austrian Academy of Sciences