ESR 8 Poetry in the name of God

Eleonora Maiello

The project investigates the self-representation of bishops and other members of the ecclesiastical élite as holders of spiritual authority in the Latin metrical inscriptions of 4th and 5th century Italy. Textual and contextual analysis will be employed to dissect and highlight the characteristics, communicative strategies, and communicative goals that poetical representations of ecclesiastical, and in particular episcopal, spiritual authority had in the epigraphical landscape of late-antique Italy.

The 4th and 5th centuries are of pivotal importance for the systematization, institutionalization, and justification (both theological and rhetorical) of the authority of the Christian Church after the end of the persecutions. By investigating how the Christian clergy created and proposed to its audiences an image of spiritual power for itself in metrical inscriptions, this study means to highlight the struggles, successes, and key ideological and communicative themes that characterised the ecclesiastical history of late-antique Italy.

Expected Results
A doctoral thesis on the objectives mentioned above to highlight the theme of authority and its communication through religious speech and monumentalised poetry, and a general understanding of publishing procedures.

Host Institution

Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz


Prof. Dr. Marietta Horster


Prof. Dr. Sabine Lefebvre (Dijon)


At BRILL publisher, a world-leading publishing house in the Netherlands, in the operation’s department. It will provide working experience in fields of production, desk editing and data managing for employment perspectives on the European job market (April–May 2022).