Funded by a Leverhulme Trust International Fellowship, this project runs from September 2024 to June 2025.

As labourers, messengers and servants, enslaved individuals played a pivotal, yet largely overlooked, role in the making of the early medieval Church. A key reason for this neglect of the Church’s servile labour is that the sources very rarely mention their names, rendering them near-invisible to researchers. Building on training in slavery studies and social network analysis at the Universities of Bonn and Lisbon and viewing the lack of names as an opportunity rather than a challenge, this project uses Iberia from 400-700 as a case study for examining the social and economic roles of unnamed and enslaved individuals.

A diagram illustrating the network of Braulio of Zaragoza
A diagram illustrating the network of Braulio of Zaragoza

The fellowship will involve working with colleagues at the Bonn Center for Dependency and Slavery Studies and the Centro de Estudos Clássicos (Lisbon). It will feed directly into a new module, Slavery in Late Antiquity, which will be running for the first time in early 2025 and provide the seed for a broader project on slavery and the making of the Church in the Early Middle Ages.


Jamie has already presented preliminary work on this project at the University of Barcelona (January 2024) and the University of Málaga (March 2024), and will be giving further papers over the summer in Kalamazoo, Cambridge, Leeds and Canterbury on various aspects of this research.