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Abstract

This dissertation investigates the patriarchate of Constantinople’s construction and cultivation of authority for its office. The men who occupied the office needed to undertake such a process because of two factors. First, the see lacked the traditional basis of authority that other metropolitan bishops could claim, which was succession from an apostle. Second, the patriarchate relied upon the emperor for power due to its physical position in the imperial city. Both of these factors placed the patriarchs—especially in the early decades of the institution—in an unsecure position. Lacking a clear of basis of authority beyond being bishop of the imperial city, patriarchs weathered numerous challenges from Christians inside and outside of Constantinople. These ranged in scale from the organization of separate religious activities to serious acts of dissidence, including the physical assault of the patriarch and the arson of the patriarch’s home. , Much of the challenges stemmed from the broader matter of authority itself. An office-holder’s authority constitutes a discursive relationship between the wielder and the people over whom they wield it. However, there are several elements of authority that derive from the expectations and needs of the subordinate body. In the case here, Constantinopolitans expected that the patriarch be orthodox. This expectation presented a problem because the definition of orthodoxy could differ between the patriarch and Constantinopolitans. The authority of the institution thus came as a result of a discourse situated between the formation of a faith-based community identity and ecclesiology.

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