Jennifer Barry, “Receptions of Exile: Athanasius of Alexandria’s legacy,” in Clerical Exile in Late Antiquity edited by Julia Hillner, Joerg Ulrich, and Jakob Engberg (Peter Lang Publishing, 2016)


This chapter examines how the stories of Athanasius of Alexandria’s many exiles became a popular literary schema that circulated within pro-Nicene Christian literature during the late fourth and early fifth centuries. I argue that Athanasius’s identity as a triumphant exile quickly became the standard by which subsequent episcopal exiles were measured. Indeed, by the time the Johanite controversy of the 5th century takes shape in and around Constantinople, Athanasius the exile is invoked to bolster support for John Chrysostom’s tarnished reputation as a failed exile. John’s earliest biographers, Ps.-Martyrius and Palladius of Helenopolis, insist that those who question their hero’s orthodoxy are no better than those heretical enemies of the great Athanasius.

Jennifer Barry, “Diagnosing Heresy: Ps.-Martyrius’s Funerary Speech for John Chrysostom” Journal of Early Christian Studies 24.3 (Fall 2016): 395-418.


John Chrysostom died ignominiously as an exiled and condemned heretic. Yet, early biographers worked to reverse his reputation and transformed Johninto a symbol of Christian orthodoxy. In this essay, I examine how one such biographer, Ps.-Martyrius, managed this task through the language of proper diagnosis. In his Funerary Speech for John Chrysostom, Ps.-Martyrius differentiates the symptoms of the disease of heresy from the symptoms of righteous suffering. To make his case, Ps.-Martyrius compares John’s symptoms, through reference to the lesioned bodies of the Constantinopolitan leper community, to the fecund and cursed body of the Empress Eudoxia. Ps.-Martyrius’s diagnosis concludes that John’s suffering through conspicuous exile conveyed honorand orthodoxy, while Eudoxia’s embedded and hidden maladies reflected her culpability as the bearer of lies.

Jennifer Barry, “Heroic Bishops: Hilary of Poitiers’s exilic discourse” Vigiliae Christianae 70.2 (2016): 155-174.


In this article, I examine the progressive development of Hilary of Poitiers’s exilic discourse in two key texts: To Constantius and Against Constantius. Hilary’s exilic identity is intimately tied to the emperor and spaces of imperial power. In the first text, To Constantius, Constantius II plays a sympathetic role in Hilary’s explanation of his exile. Hilary imagines himself in the presence of the emperor as he guides him to the truth. In Against Constantius, we find quite a different role relationship: the emperor is the chief antagonist and Hilary the champion of truth. In this second text, Hilary’s exile again confirms his orthodoxy and his overt condemnation of the emperor affirms his episcopal authority. As Hilary imagines it, his posture as an exile is enough to dethrone an emperor.