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25 IV // DOUBLE SEMINAR //Justinian's church of the Holy Apostles (Karydis) AND Beyond Law and Empire? Reframing P. Petra IV.39 (Humfress)

15.00: Nikolaos Karydis, From Ephesos to Constantinople: The architectural model of Justinian's church of the Holy Apostles.

Justinian’s church of Holy Apostles at Constantinople was one of the most influential Byzantine churches. Its use as a model for the church of San Marco in Venice has been well documented. However, we know very little about the origins of the church of the Holy Apostles itself. This is largely due to the fact that this church no longer exists and its form has mainly been studied through Middle Byzantine descriptions. Based on a new interpretation of these records, Karydis’ recent visualisation of the church of the Holy Apostles provides a new base for investigating its origins. The key to establishing these origins lies in the comparison of Justinian ‘Apostoleion’ with the coeval church of St. John at Ephesos. This church has long been considered as a replica of the Holy Apostles. However, our new study of the phases of the Ephesian church and its comparison with the Holy Apostles in the light of written records suggest that the church of St. John at Ephesos was the model for the sixth-century church of the Holy Apostles. Comparing these two monuments, this lecture sheds light on the stream of architectural influences between Constantinople and the provinces. It also helps to gain a better sense of the development of the type of the cruciform domed basilica during the first half of the sixth century.


16.45: Caroline Humfress, Beyond Law and Empire? Reframing P. Petra IV.39.

P. Petra IV.39 (Inv. 83) is a sixth-century CE papyrus document, part of an archive of carbonized texts excavated from a Christian Church complex in the ancient city of Petra (present- day Jordan). It records a dispute settlement agreed between owners of neighbouring properties, stretching back over several decades. The complaints listed in the document are multiple and include accusations of theft, unpaid debts, and arguments over legal rights to water-acquisition, access and use. According to the text, attempts to settle these disputes had also been multiple and included appeals to a Christian bishop, the leader of a (pre-Islamic) Arab tribal federation and a number of Roman-Byzantine state officials. Building on the scholarship of Maarit Kaimio and Marzena Wojtczak, my paper will use the specific case of P. Petra IV.39 as a springboard to explore how (localised?) legal orders were created out of 'multiple normativities’ in Late Antiquity. How might this approach help us to re-think broader ‘Law and Empire’ frameworks of analysis?