The thesis deals with questions of methodology in authority and knowledge research within various disciplines, particularly Ancient Mediterranean Studies and History, as well as Sociology.


This dissertation examines ancient and historical studies on authority and on the authorization of knowledge regarding their references to sociological concepts and theories and discusses them from the perspective of a sociology of (scientific) knowledge. In doing so, not only is previous research reflected upon, but also a sociologically informed framework for the investigation of ancient authority figures is developed. This is done in three parts: Part I describes how, in selected studies of the scientific disciplines mentioned, authority is interpreted by means of sources and data and described by following disciplinary methods and epistemological interests. Here, the interconnection of ancient and modern, historical and present concepts for and descriptions of authority are analysed since in contemporary research more recent terms and theories are used regularly to describe historical configurations of authority, as well as present understandings of authority are derived from the etymological origin in the Latin auctoritas. Part II examines the sociological concepts and theories found in part I and explores their implications and usefulness for the application in ancient studies. Against the backdrop of these connections – the analysis of scientific representations of authority (I) and sociological theories related to authority (II) – Part III uses selected examples to determine what a perspective of a sociology of knowledge can contribute to the representation of ancient authority figures.