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10 XII (4.45 Warsaw time): Joanna Wegner (UW), Looking (not only) to heaven: the Aphrodito clergy in the 6th c.


The chapter devoted to churches and monasteries of Aphrodito by Giovanni Ruffini in his recent book (Life in an Egyptian Village in Late Antiquity: Aphrodito Before and After the Islamic Conquest, Cambridge University Press 2018) is entitled 'Looking to Heaven'. The title, however, is slightly misleading, since the sixth-century papyrus documents on which the chapter is based deal primarily with earthly concerns such as business deals, legal actions, and conflicts in which clergy and monks took part alongside laypersons. Taking Ruffini's argument as a point of departure and shifting his perspective, I will present a reflection on the social and economic role of the clergy in late antique Egypt.