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Village Institutions in Egypt in the Roman to Early Arab Periods$
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Micaela Langellotti and D. W. Rathbone

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780197266779

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197266779.001.0001

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‘Great Men’, Churchmen, and the Others

‘Great Men’, Churchmen, and the Others

Forms of Authority in the Villages of the Umayyad Period

(p.178) 12 ‘Great Men’, Churchmen, and the Others
Village Institutions in Egypt in the Roman to Early Arab Periods

Arietta Papaconstantinou

British Academy

This article argues that in the early period after the Arab conquest, the primary communal self-ascription of the rural Christian population was to their village communities, and that authority was still firmly in the hands of secular elites. Based on evidence from papyri, this contradicts the later narrative sources which give the church a preponderant position in communal leadership – a reality they retroject from the ninth century and later, when they were composed.

Keywords:   communal identity, village elites, village solidarities, early Islam, Nessana

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