Polyphony of Late Antique Christianity

This project is devoted to the diversity of Christianity with regard to exchanges and interactions between various forms of Christianity not merely within the Roman Empire but also on its periphery and beyond its borders. The emphasis is on processes of entanglement both within and outside the Roman Empire and on revealing their multilingual nature. Several subprojects are closely liked to the research question of the Leibniz ScienceCampus Byzantium between Orient and Occident (BOO), particularly to Thematic Area 1.

Hartmut Leppin is working on a book concerning the paradoxes of parrhesia, based on lectures given in the Tria Corda-Vorlesungen series in Jena ( https://www.altertum.uni-jena.de/ifamedia/Dateien/Programm+Tria+Corda+2018.pdf). This research will examine the development of the idea of candid, truth-oriented speech, i.e. parrhesia, from classical Athens to Late Antiquity, both in Greek and other ancient languages.

Alexander Graumann is researching the significance of relationships on theological controversies by considering the letters of Augustine of Hippo during the Pelagian Controversy (411 – 430).

In addition, the research team is examining decentralisation during Late Antiquity through both theoretical and empirical approaches; this will include amongst other things a themed session during the Historikertag 2020, which will discuss the influence of Roman cities on the periphery on areas outside the Roman Empire.

The project is currently being financed with funds from the Leibnitz-Prize of the German Research Foundation.


Univ.-Prof. Dr. Hartmut Leppin


Alexander Graumann-Kardan M.A.