Monk and State at the Margins:

Modeling Agricultural Monasticism on the Late Roman Frontier

Dr. Walter Beers / The Haifa Center for Mediterranean History (HCMH)

Dr. Beers will present the results of a research project carried out at the Center examining the role of Christian monasticism in the economic transformation of Palestine in the late Roman/Byzantine period. The work of Israeli scholars over the past half century has generated an exceptional body of data from survey and excavation for the monastery as an institution with economic function—from rural monastic farms in western Galilee and Samaria, to the famous communities of the Judean desert margin, to village monasteries in the Negev settlements. By bringing this data into conversation with literary sources from elsewhere in the Roman world and comparative evidence from the Nile Valley, Dr. Beers will offer a new model of monasticism as a key ally of the late Roman state in its increasing penetration of rural and marginal zones within imperial territory, and their incorporation into the state’s fiscal regime.

Monday, 8 May 2023, 12:15

Room #5006, Rabin Building,

University of Haifa