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Carl Dixon

PhD Student, Faculty of Arts

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Research Summary

The primary sources for my research are the Greek polemical sources of the Paulician heresy, a sect which came to prominence in the ninth century in Armenia and Byzantine Asia Minor. My research is… read more

Current Research

The primary sources for my research are the Greek polemical sources of the Paulician heresy, a sect which came to prominence in the ninth century in Armenia and Byzantine Asia Minor. My research is centered principally on Peter of Sicily's History of the Paulicians and in particular the Manichaean polemic which runs throughout the work. I will argue that this text is much more complex than previously understood and its references to Manichaeism are not only due to an existing Manichaean identification, but are also informed by the nature of genuine Paulician sources which underpin the History.

My research has a number of distinct aims. Firstly, I wish to undertake a revision of the accepted source reconstruction of these texts, arguing that they are the result of the development of a polemical tradition rather than being reliable contemporary texts. Secondly, I will investigate these texts as composite heresiological documents, aiming to understand their function and intellectual context, with specific emphasis on what the text can tell us about the culture of Byzantine orthodoxy. Lastly, I will undertake a thorough analysis of the Paulician sources which have been incorporated into the History to investigate whether the Paulicians were dualist heretics, as the History alleges. In doing so I am locating my work within wider bodies of scholarship which are interested in the relationship between orthodoxy and heresy, in the fields of both Byzantine and heresy studies.

Department of History

University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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