The focus of this Ph.D. project was the concept of dominion with reference to the dominated and its space. The letter Apostel Paul wrote to the Romans in the first century AD was being approached with a historical critical method, i.e. every word was analysed with the methods of traditional historical philology, focusing on lexical units and looking at syntactical links. Also, the Metaphor Identification Procedure was applied.


Paul’s letter to the Romans, particularly Romans 5–8, is permeated with metaphors of dominion, as words such as, rule (βασιλεύω, κυριεύω), enslave (δουλεύω) and liberate (ἐλευθερόω) continually surfaces. Paul lived in a world where the perception prevailed that people where constantly under the dominion of someone, whether that be a conqueror, a lord, heavenly powers or gods. Paul draws on imagery from his time and situation in order to persuade his audience that there is no force or power that can separate believers from the love of God. Throughout the argument of Rom 5–8, there is a specific focus on the change of lordship with the lordship specifically located in the human body. A myriad of images are particularly employed to convince the auditors that Jesus Christ “our” Lord should be the ruler of believers’ bodies. A change in hegemony results in the change of the status of the dominated space and object. Believer’s positioning within the frame of hegemony is important, as it contributes to our understanding of how the first Christians related to dominion and space as the completed dissertation has indicated.

This Ph.D. thesis was written within the program “Ancient Languages and Texts” (ALT) of the Berlin Graduate School of Ancient Studies (BerGSAS).