As a part of the HERA-project “After Empire. Using and Not Using the Past in the Post-Carolingian World” I am working on ideas of hierarchy and equality in the tenth century. Tenth-century authors did not only support social hierarchies, but also in some instances contested them. In doing this, they were building on a rich variety of ideas and debates going back to early Christianity. These included patristic texts on equality and hierarchy, Carolingian reflections on the position of “the poor” in society, as well as many concepts of belonging that could transcend social divisions, such as that of a universal Christian Church. By exploring the way in which these texts were used by tenth-century elite authors, I hope to explain how, and in what contexts, they both supported and contested social hierarchy.