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Category: Publication Reviews

Liquid & Multiple: Individuals & Identities in the Thirteenth-century Aegean

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 in Marina Koumanoudi, National Hellenic Research Foundation, in Mediterranean Historical Review 29, no. 1 (2014): pp. 94–97.

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Cultural Brokers at Mediterranean Courts in the Middle Ages

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.

From The Medieval Review (TMR). Review by Albrecht Classen, University of Arizona

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Codex Hagiographiques du Louvre sur Papyrus (P.Louvre Hag)

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.

From Bryn Mawr Classical Review (BMCR). Review by Thomas J. Kraus, University of Zurich

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Western Perspectives on the Mediterranean

Collectively, these six essays reveal vividly that the communication routes of the early medieval Mediterranean carried not only commodities, objects of devotion, and travelers themselves, but intangible cultural products as well. While the impact of various objects of cultural transfer could vary significantly, their adoption reveals how the peoples of the early medieval west still recognized themselves as constituents of a wider Mediterranean world.

Andreas Fischer and Ian Wood, eds. Western Perspectives on the Mediterranean: Cultural Transfer in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages, 400–800 AD. London; New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2014.

From Bryn Mawr Classical Review (BMCR). Review by Gregory Halfond, Framingham State University

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Travellers, Merchants and Settlers in the Eastern Mediterranean, 11th–14th Centuries

…he author’s layered categorisations explore Westerners’ interactions with the local social, cultural, economic, and political environment(s). Such a framework helps to open up room for more nuanced understandings of the Eastern Mediterranean between the 11th century and the 14th century.

David Jacoby. Travellers, Merchants and Settlers in the Eastern Mediterranean, 11th–14th Centuries. Ashgate, 2014.

From Reviews in History. Review by Wei-sheng Lin, University of Birmingham

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The Economics of the Roman Stone Trade

The approach taken is archaeological, with Russell offering a reassessment of old data and careful examination of new data. This allows him to skilfully marshal an impressive range of evidence to make his case, resulting in a useful and important book, with a clear and consistent, yet nuanced, argument throughout.

Ben Russell. The Economics of the Roman Stone Trade. Oxford studies on the Roman economy. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2013.

From the Bryn Mawr Classical Review (BMRC). Review by Claire Holleran, The University of Exeter

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Accounts of Medieval Constantinople: The Patria

Thus the Patria, which do not stint on commentary, are fleshed out, offering a much more expansive account at a much later date. Berger's translation now makes both this city and its interpretation available to a new audience.

Albrecht Berger. Accounts of Medieval Constantinople: The Patria. Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library, 24. Cambridge, MA; London: Harvard University Press, 2013.

From the Bryn Mawr Classical Review (BMCR). Review by Sarah Bassett, Indiana University

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Antiche stelle a Bisanzio: il codice Vaticano greco 1087

This handsomely and carefully produced paperback volume contributes significantly to the study of Vat. gr. 1087 and shows how much information and knowledge the analysis of all aspects of a manuscript can supply to different fields of study.

Fabio Guidetti and Anna Santoni, eds. Antiche stelle a Bisanzio: il codice Vaticano greco 1087. Seminari e convegni, 32. Pisa: Edizioni della Normale, 2013.

From the Bryn Mawr Classical Review (BMCR). Review by Renate Burri, University of Berne

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Constantine Porphyrogennetos, The Book of Ceremonies

The complexities of the Book of Ceremonies notwithstanding, there can be no doubt that Moffatt and Tall have filled a major gap in the resources available to English-speaking scholars who may wish to consult this important compilation.

Ann Moffatt and Maxeme Tall. Constantine Porphyrogennetos, The Book of Ceremonies. 2 vols. Byzantina Australiensia 18. Canberra: Australian Association for Byzantine Studies, 2012. 

From The Medieval Review (TMR). Review by Ian Mladjov, Bowling Green State University

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The Christian Topography of Kosmas Indikopleustes: Firenze, Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, plut. 9.

This publication provides a broad and thorough introduction to an unusual and interesting work. The quality of the essays, descriptions, and reproductions is high….The editor and his team are to be congratulated for providing such a comprehensive and reasonable introduction to this manuscript.

Jeffrey C. Anderson, ed. The Christian Topography of Kosmas Indikopleustes: Firenze, Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, plut. 9.28. The Map of the Universe Redrawn in the Sixth Century. Folia picta: manoscritti miniati medievali, 3. Rome: Edizioni di Storia e Letteratura, 2013.

From the Bryn Mawr Classical Review (BMCR). Review by Charles Barber, Princeton University

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Eusebius

The last ten or fifteen years have seen a surge in new work on Eusebius that has enriched and complicated the inherited picture, as scholars have renewed focus on writings, such as the apologetic and biblical works, that traditionally received less attention and reformulated and revised some of the conventional readings….A common methodological thread in these re-readings of Eusebius is a more informed attention to the properly literary character of each of his many books, and to his unique contribution to the creation of a new and distinctively Christian literary culture. Among the younger generation of scholars who have most thoroughly incorporated this line of approach is Aaron Johnson. His new book, Eusebius, is a most valuable summation of the work of the past couple of decades. Its virtues are many.

Aaron P. Johnson. Eusebius. I.B. Tauris, 2014.

From Marginalia. Review by Michael Hollerich, University of St. Thomas

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Asinou across Time: Studies in the Architecture and Murals of the Panagia Phorbiotissa, Cyprus

As a whole, Asinou across Time provides a perfect parallel for the monument it examines. Both are multi-layered, beautifully decorated with high-quality images, and collaborative, well-funded works whose complex wholes comprise equally interesting individual parts.

Annemarie Weyl Carr and Andréas Nicolaïdès, eds. Asinou across Time: Studies in the Architecture and Murals of the Panagia Phorbiotissa, Cyprus. Dumbarton Oaks studies, 43. Washington, DC: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, 2012.

From Bryn Mawr Classical Review (BMCR). Review by James G. Schryver, University of Minnesota, Morris


The Bible in Arabic

Sidney Griffith’s latest work provides an accessible and comprehensive overview of the textual evidence for the genesis of the Arabic Bible, as well as its historic and contemporary importance — liturgically, theologically, and academically. This historian of Christianity in the Middle East has not only met but far exceeded his aim of “call[ing] attention to the story of how the Bible came into Arabic at the hands of Jews and Christians, and how it fared among Muslims from early Islamic times into the Middle Ages.”

Sidney H. Griffith. The Bible in Arabic: The Scriptures of the ‘People of the Book’ in the Language of Islam. Jews, Christians and Muslims from the Ancient to the Modern World. Princeton University Press, 2013.

From Marginalia. Review by Clare Wilde, The University of Auckland 

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Theodosius II: Rethinking the Roman Empire in Late Antiquity

This volume presents a diverse and fascinating collection of papers dealing with different subjects and themes concerning Theodosius' reign. In spite of the variety of contributions, they all present a clear and revisionist impression of the first half of the fifth century. What becomes most evident is that Theodosius' reign is still firmly established in the tradition of the past, but at the same time is an era in which considerable transformations took place.

Christopher Kelly, ed. Theodosius II: Rethinking the Roman Empire in Late Antiquity. Cambridge classical studies. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013.

From Bryn Mawr Classical Review (BMCR). Review by Jan Willem Drijvers, University of Groningen

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