Languages of Power and Authority in Byzantium and Beyond
Social power and authority are deeply intertwined with language, today as in the past. As a basic tool of human communication, language not only expresses power relations; it is also shaped by existing structures of power. However, language can be powerful itself, co-constructing and reinterpreting social realities and inciting certain behaviour. Language as we understand it here is not limited to verbal - spoken or written - expression, but ratherincludes also visual communication and performative acts.
In our second Young Academics Networkroundtable we ask how power and authority were constructed through language, and how language was influenced by the prevailing power structures in Byzantium. Which discourses were used to legitimize and promote power, which media employed to wield social or spiritual authority? Which communication strategies did emperors, patriarchs, saints, scholars, soldiers and generals apply when they competed for political, spiritual, economic and social power?