Document Type


Date of Degree

Spring 2019

Access Restrictions

Access restricted until 07/29/2021

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In


First Advisor

Moore, Michael E

First Committee Member

Bond, Sarah E

Second Committee Member

Moore, Rosemary

Third Committee Member

Tachau, Katherine H

Fourth Committee Member

Bork, Robert


This dissertation is about the early medieval Roman populus and the ways in which early medieval popes used the concept of the populus to legitimize their activities from the start of the Laurentian Schism of 498 to the election of Formosus as pope in 891. These centuries were a time of great change for the Bishop of Rome and it is significant that textual sources link the papacy and the populus for every important event that occurred in early medieval Rome. The populus and the popes had a symbiotic relationship, as crowds participated in all manner of papal ceremonies and the papacy began to use the populus for their own propaganda and to solidify their own power. As the popes made an ever-increasing use of the symbolic meaning of the crowds to extend their authority at the expense of outside powers, those powers also attempted to harness the power of the Roman crowd for their own ends, demonstrating that the populus was a important source of power in early medieval social, religious, and political life.


Crowd, Medieval, Papacy, Rhetoric, Rome


xiv, 265 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 239-265).


Copyright © 2019 Andrew Steck

Available for download on Thursday, July 29, 2021

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