Ancient Church History and Medieval History

(Prof. Dr. Heike Grieser/ Prof. Dr. Ludger Körntgen)

Bishops and Saints as Successful Defenders of Their Cities

In order to protect their cities from threats, the inhabitants did not rely only on fortifications: bishops, who were qualified in military matters, as well as venerated saints, offered security in armed disputes as real or heavenly patrons. The sources sometimes provide very specific information, ranging from diplomatic efforts and tactics concerning physical warfare and defensive measures, to supernatural saving incidents. The miracle stories of Demetrius of Thessaloniki, for example, describe several concrete defences of the city, which were also depicted in Thessaloniki. This topic is particularly suited for correlating literary and material evidence.