Andreas Rhoby. Byzantinische Epigramme auf Stein nebst Addenda zu den Bänden 1 und 2. Byzantinische Epigramme in inschriftlicher Überlieferung Band 3, Teil 1 und 2. Denkschriften der philosophisch-historischen Klasse, Bd 474; Veröffentlichungen zur Byzanzforschung, Bd 35. Wien: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 2014.
Category: Publication Reviews
While studies of clothing, bodily adornment and the body language of antiquity are becoming more frequent, a volume that considers the role of religious dress and the religious meanings of dress among Jews and Christians takes this research in new directions. The collective nature of this project has produced a series of very stimulating and inter-connected papers which offer much to a number of different audiences: dress historians, ancient historians; historians of religion as well as those interested in cultural studies more generally; philologists and linguists.
Kristi Upson-Saia, Carly Daniel-Hughes, Alicia J. Batten, eds. Dressing Judeans and Christians in Antiquity. Ashgate, 2014.
The present work is a monument of meticulous scholarship.
Karin Metzler, ed. Prokop von Gaza. Eclogarum in libros historicos Veteris Testamenti epitome, Teil 1: Der Genesiskommentar. Die griechischen christlichen Schriftsteller der ersten Jahrhunderte, NF, Bd. 22. Berlin: de Gruyter, 2015.
Hladký's book is a valuable contribution to the study of Plethon that also daringly proposes a re-evaluation of what is commonly seen as Plethon's trademark: his paganism.
Vojtěch Hladký. The Philosophy of Gemistos Plethon: Platonism in Late Byzantium, between Hellenism and Orthodoxy. Farnham; Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2014.
…it is worth reiterating that this book is a valuable resource for the study of late antique diplomacy, and a timely reminder of just how much material has survived relating to this important subject.
Ekaterina Nechaeva. Embassies – Negotiations – Gifts: Systems of East Roman Diplomacy in Late Antiquity. Geographica historica, Bd 30. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, 2014.
This is an excellent book and, more important, it is one that substantially promotes the progress towards what has arguably been for many years the greatest desideratum in Byzantine scholarship, viz. a thorough descriptive grammar of the 'high' language in all its many registers.
Martin Hinterberger, ed. The Language of Byzantine Learned Literature. Byzantios: Studies in Byzantine History and Civilization, 9. Turnhout: Brepols, 2014.
The Afterlife of the Roman City: Architecture and Ceremony in Late Antiquity & the Early Middle Ages
Dey naturally focuses on the kinds of cities associated with rulership—imperial and regional capitals, royal cities, communities connected to political patronage)—as he shuttles from cities of the former western provinces to Byzantium and the Umayyad state. The result is a panoramic study of a discrete—but vibrant and consequential—thread in the lived experience of the urban environment that testifies to the durability of an urban political tradition that persisted in conversation with dramatic changes to that environment.
Hendrik W. Dey. The Afterlife of the Roman City: Architecture and Ceremony in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2015.
From Bryn Mawr Classical Review (BMCR). Review by M. Shane Bjornlie, Claremont McKenna College
Liz James. Constantine of Rhodes, On Constantinople and the Church of the Holy Apostles. With a new edition of the Greek text by Ioannis Vassis. Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2012.
…the English translation of this Life and discussion of recent scholarship in its introduction represents a significant contribution to its study.
Richard P. H. Greenfield, trans. Niketas Stethatos: The Life of Saint Symeon the New Theologian. Dunbarton Oaks Medieval Library, 20. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2013.
This is significant as modern archaeology shifts away from large-scale excavation to more targeted, limited field work: archival studies of this nature will likely become more and more significant in the development of future archaeological research.
Terry G. Wilfong and Andrew W. S. Ferrara, eds. Karanis Revealed: Discovering the Past and Present of a Michigan Excavation in Egypt. Kelsey Museum publications, 7. Ann Arbor, MI: Kelsey Museum of Archaeology, 2014.
Stefanos Efthymiadis, ed. The Ashgate Research Companion to Byzantine Hagiography. Volume II: Genres and Contexts. Farhnam; Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2014.
Michel Balard, Laura Balletto, and Christopher Schabel. Gênes et l'outre-mer: Actes notariés de Famagouste et d'autres localités du Proche-Orient (XIVe-XVe s.). Sources et études de l'histoire de Chypre, 72. Nicosia, Cyprus: Centre de Recherche Scientifique de Chypre, 2013.
This is an intricately argued book that challenges and offers alternative interpretations for various central issues regarding the vita icon.
Paroma Chatterjee. The Living Icon in Byzantium and Italy: The Vita Image, Eleventh to Thirteenth Centuries. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014.
Kaldellis' introduction and explanations are gracefully written. In his translation, he has taken difficult Greek and made it readable, regularizing punctuation for the sake of coherence, giving helpful names where Chalkokondyles had left more than one ruler or king, specifying 'sultan' instead of using the all-purpose 'ruler.'
…it is a beautiful book with solid scholarship on a theme that is often elusive but always a moving reminder of the preeminence of the Passion in medieval and early modern art history and religion.
Catherine R. Puglisi and William L. Barcham, eds. New Perspectives on the Man of Sorrows. Studies in Iconography: Themes and Variations. Kalamazoo, MI: Medieval Institute Publications, 2013.
The scholarly world is indebted to Simpson for producing an informative, authoritative, and complete study of a notable and interesting Byzantine historian.
Alicia Simpson. Niketas Choniates: A Historiographical Study. Oxford Studies in Byzantium. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013.
Bernard Mulholland. The Early Byzantine Christian Church: An Archaeological Re-assessment of Forty-Seven Early Byzantine Basilical Church Excavations Primarily in Israel and Jordan, and their Historical and Liturgical Context. Byzantine and Neohellenic studies, 9. Bern; Berlin; Bruxelles; Frankfurt am Main; New York; Oxford; Wien: Peter Lang, 2014.
James Howard-Johnston. Historical Writing in Byzantium. Verlag Antike, 2014.
Muehlberger’s study focuses upon the rhetorical usefulness of angels — the way in which they became part of late ancient Christian discourse. Thus she rightly focuses on their ancient and continuing appeal as helpers and intermediaries.
Ellen Muehlberger. Angels in Late Ancient Christianity. Oxford University Press, 2013.
…this is an interesting collection of papers on dreams that discuss texts or passages which deserve to be noticed, not least for their engagement with the irrational.
Christina Angelidi and George T. Calofonos, eds. Dreaming in Byzantium and Beyond. Farnham; Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2014.
There are a number of other papers in this collection which I am in no position to criticize, but which I am very happy to have read. This book demonstrates splendidly that Proclus' legacy has been most profound among those whose religion he detested and among those whose religion he could not have known.
Stephen Gersh, ed. Interpreting Proclus. From Antiquity to the Renaissance. Cambridge, New York: Cambridge University Press, 2014.
There is no doubt that anybody interested in the overall question of exchange in the ancient world – be it in the context of the monetary system or that of symbolic gift- giving only – should consult this anthology.
Filippo Carlà and Maja Gori, eds. Gift Giving and the 'Embedded' Economy in the Ancient World. Akademiekonferenzen, 17. Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter, 2014.
Few rulers have set in motion developments of such momentous consequence as the emperor Constantine, with his conversion to Christianity in 312 and subsequent halting of the persecution of Christians, ratified a year later in the Edict of Milan. Over the 17 centuries since then, theologians, historians and even novelists, including Dan Brown in The Da Vinci Code, have claimed that a change for the worse in the quality of Christianity (the kind of change an earlier age would have ascribed to supra-natural agents like the Devil or the Antichrist) can be personified in this rather flashy Roman emperor. Even those of less apocalyptic temperament, faced by almost any legacy of the late antique world of which they disapprove – anti-Semitism, the secular power of the church, the rise of intolerance, the spirit of the Crusades – blame it on Constantine.
David Potter. Constantine the Emperor. Oxford University Press, 2013.
Peter Brown reviews Constantine the Emperor in London Review of Books, volume 37, no. 8 (23 April 2015).
This book will be required reading for anyone interested in Byzantine Christianity and is an important addition to the broader conversation about the self in Christian Studies.
Derek Krueger. Liturgical Subjects: Christian Ritual, Biblical Narrative, and the Formation of the Self in Byzantium. Divinations: rereading late ancient religion. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014.
There are many signs on the horizon that Byzantine history and archaeology are moving speedily in novel and fascinating directions, opening room for new and essential debates in a field not always characterized by innovation. The book at hand certainly holds a place as one of these exciting signs.
Adam Izdebski. A Rural Economy in Transition: Asia Minor from Late Antiquity into the Early Middle Ages. Journal of Juristic Papyrology supplement, 18. Warszawa: Raphael Taubenschlag Foundation, 2013.
The volume is a tour de force in its integrated provision of a vast amount of relevant source material and detailed analysis of it.
Juan Signes Codoñer. The Emperor Theophilos and the East, 829–842: Court and Frontier in Byzantium during the Last Phase of Iconoclasm. Birmingham Byzantine and Ottoman Studies, 13. Farnham; Burlington, VT: Ashgate Variorum, 2014.
Without doubt, an excellent and important acquisition for any library, or university course dealing in Late Antiquity or Early Christianity.
Angelo Di Berardino, ed. Historical Atlas of Ancient Christianity. St. Davids, PA: ICCS Press, 2013.
From Bryn Mawr Classical Review (BMCR). Review by Daniel King, Cardiff University
…amongst these pieces of 'everyday writing' there is something for almost every Egyptian historian, philologist, papyrologist, and indeed scholar of the ancient Mediterranean world.
Rodney Ast, Hélène Cuvigny, Todd M. Hickey, Julia Lougovaya (ed.), Papyrological Texts in Honor of Roger S. Bagnall. American Studies in Papyrology, 53. Durham, NC: American Society of Papyrologists, 2013.
...all of the essays are marked by a laudable clarity of purpose and expression...
Stine Birk, Troels Myrup Kristensen, and Birte Poulsen, eds. Using Images in Late Antiquity. Oxford; Philadelphia: Oxbow Books, 2014.
Timothy S. Miller and John W. Nesbitt. Walking Corpses: Leprosy in Byzantium and the Medieval West. Cornell University Press, 2014.
From Bryn Mawr Classical Review (BMCR). Review by Petros Bouras-Vallianatos, King's College London
Peter Brown discusses Dario Del Bufalo’s Porphyry: Red Imperial Porphyry: Power and Religion, Philippe Malgouyres and Clément Blanc-Riehl’s Porphyre: La Pierre Pourpre des Ptolémées à Bonaparte, and Averil Cameron’s Byzantine Matters and Dialoguing in Late Antiquity in the latest issue of The New York Review of Books (December 18, 2014).
Guillaume Saint-Guillain and Dionysios Ch Stathakopoulos, eds. Liquid & Multiple: Individuals & Identities in the Thirteenth-century Aegean. Monographies (Centre de recherche d'histoire et civilisation de Byzance), 35. Paris: Association des amis du Centre d'histoire et civilisation de Byzance, 2012.
Review by Marina Koumanoudi, National Hellenic Research Foundation, in Mediterranean Historical Review 29, no. 1 (2014): pp. 94–97.
These few remarks have certainly not done justice to the rich spectrum presented here. The term 'cultural broker' proves to be highly productive, forcing us to revisit many of our traditional perspectives toward the ordinary relations among representatives of many different cultures, religions, languages, and political systems in the wider world of the Mediterranean.
Marc Von der Höh, Nikolas Jaspert, and Jenny Rahel Oesterle, eds. Cultural Brokers at Mediterranean Courts in the Middle Ages. Mittelmeerstudien, 1. Paderborn and Munich: Wilhelm Fink / Ferdinand Schöningh, 2013.
Capronʼs meticulous descriptions, cautious conclusions, masterly reconstructions, and methodologically superb treatment of P.Louvre Hag. are a fine paradigm for others to follow.
Laurent Capron. Codex Hagiographiques du Louvre sur Papyrus (P.Louvre Hag). Papyrologica Parisina 2. Paris: Presses de lʼuniversité Paris-Sorbonne, 2013.
It is…a significant contribution to Late Antique and early Islamic studies alike.
Petra M. Sijpesteijn. Shaping a Muslim State: The World of a Mid-Eighth-Century Egyptian Official. Oxford Studies in Byzantium. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013.
From Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, volume 77, no. 3 (October 2014). Review by Matthew S. Gordon, Miami University