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Category: Publication Reviews

The Hypotyposis of the Monastery of the Theotokos Evergetis, Constantinople

In this volume, then, one finds not only this finely crafted exposition, but also, with measured voice, a careful unpacking and persuasive analysis of difficult texts concerning the Evergetis.

Richard H Jordan and Rosemary Morris. The Hypotyposis of the Monastery of the Theotokos Evergetis, Constantinople (11th–12th Centuries): Introduction, Translation and Commentary. Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2012.

From The Medieval Review (TMR). Review by Glenn Peers, University of Texas at Austin

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Byzantine Epirus: A Topography of Transformation

The immediate achievement of Byzantine Epirus is to situate this half-millennium of regional history within a longer, more dynamic narrative of geographic and social evolution that continues down to the present; its larger contribution may be to remind us to view the margins of political mainstreams on their own terms rather than through the lens of external control. Theoretically justified, clearly organized, and closely documented, this fresh reconsideration of a remote and beautiful mountainous land will be of lasting value.

Myrto Veikou. Byzantine Epirus: A Topography of Transformation: Settlements of the Seventh-Twelfth Centuries in Southern Epirus and Aetoloacarnania, Greece. The Medieval Mediterranean. Leiden: Brill, 2012.

From The Medieval Review (TMR). Review by Marcus Rautman, University of Missouri

 

Trade and Institutions in the Medieval Mediterranean

This is a magnificent book. Anyone wishing to make any claims regarding the relative strengths and weaknesses of Christian European and Islamic economic systems, and their long-term trajectories, will need to consider carefully Goldberg's findings.

Jessica L Goldberg. Trade and Institutions in the Medieval Mediterranean: The Geniza Merchants and their Business World. Cambridge Studies in Economic History. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012.

From The Medieval Review (TMR). Review by Shami Ghosh, Independent Scholar

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Unrivalled Influence: Women and Empire in Byzantium

Herrin's mastery of her source materials, the breadth and variety of these materials, and the wealth of historical threads that she teases out of them make this far more than a retrospective collection of scholarly articles. This collection of articles draws together many aspects of Herrin's fertile and extensive research. It will become a valuable tool both for historians of women and for historians of the Byzantine state.

Judith Herrin. Unrivalled Influence: Women and Empire in Byzantium. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2013.

From The Medieval Review (TMR). Review by Kathryn M. Ringrose, University of California, San Diego

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Re-reading Gregory of Nazianzus: Essays on History, Theology, and Culture

…[the collection] is perhaps more likely than other recent scholarship to facilitate discourse between theologians, philologists, social historians, and historians of the Church.

Christopher A. Beeley, ed. Re-reading Gregory of Nazianzus: Essays on History, Theology, and Culture. CUA studies in early Christianity. Washington, DC: Catholic University of America Press, 2012.

From Bryn Mawr Classical Review (BMCR). Review by Edward Whitehouse, Bryn Mawr College

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L’ hagiographie syriaque

The series, Études syriaques, published by the Société d'études syriaques has, in the less than ten years of its brief existence, already established itself as one of the most essential reference series in the field of Syriac studies....The present ninth volume, on Syriac hagiography, is no exception.

André Binggeli, ed. L' hagiographie syriaque. Études syriaques, 9. Paris: Geuthner, 2012. 

From Bryn Mawr Classical Review (BMCR). Review by Edward G. Mathews, Jr., Independent Scholar

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Le cheval dans les sociétés antiques et médiévales

...the thematic and cultural range of the contributions offers something of interest to a diverse readership beyond hippomaniacs.

Stavros Lazaris, ed. Le cheval dans les sociétés antiques et médiévales: actes des journées d'étude internationales organisées par l'UMR 7044 (Étude des Civilisations de l'Antiquité), Strasbourg, 6-7 novembre 2009. Bibliothèque de l'antiquité tardive, 22. Turnhout: Brepols Publishers, 2012.

From Bryn Mawr Classical Review (BMCR). Review by Philip Rance, Koç University

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Politics, Monasticism, and Miracles in Sixth Century Upper Egypt

In addition to his model critical texts and translations and his perceptive literary and historical analysis, Goehring provides detailed codicological analysis of the relevant Coptic manuscripts, as well as plates and helpful indices. Impeccable philology, clear writing and sound historical judgment characterise this work, which will interest historians of early monasticism and of Christianity in late antique and early Byzantine Egypt.

James E. Goehring. Politics, Monasticism, and Miracles in Sixth Century Upper Egypt. Studien und Texte zu Antike und Christentum, 69. Tübingen, 2012.

Review by David Brakke, Ohio State Univeristy, in The Journal of Ecclesiastical History, volume 65, issue 02 (April 2014): p. 387.

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Averil Cameron on Band of Angels

Band of Angels (the title recalling, and by implication subverting, the Victorian image of the “angel in the house”) is personal, fresh and timely. It reclaims the subject of early Christian women from the narrower field of gender studies and asks readers to think beyond the “star” female figures of the first Christian centuries to the practical details of real life and relationships.

Read Averil Cameron on Kate Cooper’s Band of Angels: The Forgotten World of Early Christian Women (Overlook Press, 2013) in The Tablet

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A Review of the Greek and Other Inscriptions and Papyri Published between 1988 and 1992

The volume thus provides material for scholars of both fields to make deeper inquiry into the intersection of ritual, political, social and economic practices and to understand how people within Jewish and Christian circles engaged with or reconfigured these practices, notably those of euergetism and divination.

S. R. Llewelyn, James R. Harrison, and E. J. Bridge, eds. A Review of the Greek and Other Inscriptions and Papyri Published between 1988 and 1992. New documents illustrating early Christianity, 10. Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2012. 

From Bryn Mawr Classical Review (BMCR). Review by Kevin Funderburk, Baylor University.

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Peter Brown Reviews From Shame to Sin

Only in the last generation have we realized the sheer, tingling drop of the canyon that lies between us and a world that we had previously tended to take for granted as directly available to our own categories of understanding.

Kyle Harper. From Shame to Sin: The Christian Transformation of Sexual Morality in Late Antiquity. Revealing Antiquity 20. Harvard University Press, 2013.

Read the Peter Brown’s review in the December 19, 2013 issue of The New York Review of Books.

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The Life of Saint Symeon the New Theologian

This volume is, then, to be warmly welcomed. It provides access to a work of manifold importance for eleventh-century Byzantium and the Byzantine ascetical tradition, improves on the earlier published versions, and is embellished by immensely helpful, and discreet, notes.

Richard P. H. Greenfield. trans. Niketas Stethatos: The Life of Saint Symeon the New Theologian. Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library, 20. Cambridge, MA; London: Harvard University Press, 2013.

From Bryn Mawr Classical Review (BMCR). Review by Andrew Louth, Durham University, UK

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Religion and Identity in Porphyry of Tyre

…it is a pleasure to read because it is well argued, well organized, and original. Johnson has an intimate knowledge of all the relevant ancient sources and his mastery of the scholarly literature is superb.

Aaron P. Johnson. Religion and Identity in Porphyry of Tyre: The Limits of Hellenism in Late Antiquity. Greek culture in the Roman world. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013.

From Bryn Mawr Classical Review (BMCR). Review by Pieter W. van der Hors

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Christ Circumcised: A Study in Early Christian History and Difference

This is a book about Christian identity (and boundary) formation, primarily vis-à-vis its relationship with Judaism, and the locus of reflection and contention is the circumcised body of Christ.

Andrew S. Jacobs. Christ Circumcised: A Study in Early Christian History and Difference. Divinations: rereading late ancient religion. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012.

From the Bryn Mawr Classical Review (BMCR). Review by Young Richard Kim, Calvin College

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for Byzantine Arts and Culture

Founded in 2010 through a generous gift from the Jaharis Family Foundation, the Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture is dedicated to the promotion and advancement of knowledge about the rich heritage of Byzantine art and culture.