2019 Student Research Conference:
32nd Annual Student Research Conference

"Crowned by His almighty hand with victory..." Views towards warfare in the Eastern Roman Empire


Conor Robison
Dr. William M. Ashcraft, Faculty Mentor

This paper explores the nature of warfare as practiced by the Eastern Roman Empire between the sixth and tenth centuries. The discussion revolves around the notion of just war and whether or not the Eastern Romans conducted warfare in a manner that can be described as such. Canon law openly forbade clergymen from taking up arms, yet it is known that priests followed armies so as to administer the liturgical pre-battle rights called for in the numerous military manuals of the time. With the Church restricted to a supporting role in military affairs, it remained for the Imperial authorities - centered upon the Emperors themselves - to establish the doctrine by which Roman warfare was justified and executed. Exercising their authority through a Caesaropapist system of rule, successive Emperors built upon the foundations of their predecessors in establishing the criteria by which Roman armies entered the field.

Keywords: War, Eastern Romans, Caesaropapism, Emperors, just war, church, Canon law, battle

Topic(s):Philosophy & Religion
History
Medieval Studies

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 204-1
Location: BH 219
Time: 10:15

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