Late Antiquity witnessed a major transformation in the authority and power of the Episcopate within the Church, with the result that bishops came to embody the essence of Christianity and increasingly overshadow the leading Christian laity. The rise of Episcopal power came in a period in which drastic political changes produced long and significant conflicts both within and outside the Church. This book examines these problems in depth, looking at bishops' varied roles in both causing and resolving these disputes, including those internal to the church, those which began within the church but had major effects on wider society, and those of a secular nature.
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