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Document Details :
Title: The Imperial Policy of Otherness
Subtitle: Justinian and the Arianism of Barbarians as a Motive for the Recovery of the West
Author(s): MÎRŞANU, Dragoş
Journal: Ephemerides Theologicae Lovanienses
Volume: 84 Issue: 4 Date: 2008
This paper asks whether Justinian's attempt to recover the West during the sixth century was, and to what extent, an orthodox “holy war”. It is beyond a doubt that the decision to go to war with the Arian Vandals in Africa placed high value on the “otherness of faith” as diplomatic currency. While we cannot credit, in the strictest sense, the Arianism of the barbarians as the (main) motive for the launch of the Roman Reconquista, I will argue that it was certainly a motivating factor in a holy war. The paper explores Justinian's legislative measures and their application in the re-conquered areas, the attitude of the barbarians and, respectively, Roman provincials, and also a few instances where we can see how the otherness of faith was employed as diplomatic currency.