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Category: Publications

Early Christian-Muslim Debate on the Unity of God

Sara Leila Husseini. Early Christian-Muslim Debate on the Unity of God: Three Christian Scholars and Their Engagement with Islamic Thought (9th Century C.E.). Brill, 2014.

From Brill

Early Christian-Muslim Debate on the Unity of God examines the writings of three of the earliest known Christian theologians to write comprehensive theological works in Arabic. Theodore Abū Qurra, Abū Rā’iṭa and ‘Ammār al-Baṣrī provide valuable insight into early Christian-Muslim debate shortly after the rise of the Islamic empire.

Through close examination of their writings on the doctrine of the Trinity, Sara Husseini demonstrates the creativity of these theologians, who make use of language, style and argumentation characteristic of Islamic theological thought (kalām), in order to help articulate their long-established religious truths. Husseini offers close analysis of the authors individually and comparatively, exploring their engagement with Islamic theology and their role in this fascinating period.

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Liturgical Subjects

Derek Krueger. Liturgical Subjects: Christian Ritual, Biblical Narrative, and the Formation of the Self in Byzantium. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014.

From University of Pennsylvania Press

Liturgical Subjects examines the history of the self in the Byzantine Empire, challenging narratives of Christian subjectivity that focus only on classical antiquity and the Western Middle Ages. As Derek Krueger demonstrates, Orthodox Christian interior life was profoundly shaped by patterns of worship introduced and disseminated by Byzantine clergy. Hymns, prayers, and sermons transmitted complex emotional responses to biblical stories, particularly during Lent. Religious services and religious art taught congregants who they were in relation to God and each other.

Focusing on Christian practice in Constantinople from the sixth to eleventh centuries, Krueger charts the impact of the liturgical calendar, the eucharistic rite, hymns for vigils and festivals, and scenes from the life of Christ on the making of Christian selves. He explores the verse of great Byzantine liturgical poets, including Romanos the Melodist, Andrew of Crete, Theodore the Stoudite, and Symeon the New Theologian. Their compositions offered templates for Christian self-regard and self-criticism, defining the Christian "I." Cantors, choirs, and congregations sang in the first person singular expressing guilt and repentence, while prayers and sermons defined the collective identity of the Christian community as sinners in need of salvation. By examining the way models of selfhood were formed, performed, and transmitted in the Byzantine Empire, Liturgical Subjects adds a vital dimension to the history of the self in Western culture.

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New Issue of Journal of Late Antiquity

Journal of Late Antiquity, volume 7, no. 1 (Spring 2014)

CONTENTS

Gregory of Tours and the Paternity of Chlothar II: Strategies of Legitimation in the Merovingian Kingdoms
E. T. Dailey
A Two-Sided Mold and the Entrepreneurial Spirit of Pilgrimage Souvenir Production in Late Antique Syria–Palestine
Rangar H. Cline
Julian, Arles, and the Eagle
David Woods
The Crucifixion as Theophany: Divine Visions in a Sermon by Anastasius Sinaita and on the Apse Wall of Santa Maria Antiqua
Armin F. Bergmeier
The Severitas of Constantine: Imperial Virtues in Panegyrici Latini 7(6) and 6(7)
Catherine Ware
Greek Glory, Constantinian Legend: Praxagoras’ Athenian Agenda in Zosimos New History?
Dimitris Krallis
Modeling a Martyrial Worldview: Prudentius’ Pedagogical Ekphrasis and Christianization
Diane Fruchtman
Antony’s Vision of Death?: Athanasius of Alexandria, Palladius of Helenopolis, and Egyptian Mortuary Religion
Jonathan L. Zecher

BOOK REVIEWS

From Rome to Byzantium, AD 363 to 565: The Transformation of Ancient Rome by A. D. Lee
Shane Bjornlie
From Shame to Sin: The Christian Transformation of Sexual Morality in Late Antiquity by Kyle Harper
Virginia Burrus
Disciplining Christians: Correction and Community in Augustine’s Letters by Jennifer Ebbeler
Catherine Conybeare 
Staying Roman: Conquest and Identity in Africa and the Mediterranean, 439–700 by Jonathan Conant
Chris Doyle
Slandering the Jew: Sexuality and Difference in Early Christian Texts by Susanna Drake
Andrew S. Jacobs
Angels in Late Ancient Christianity by Ellen Muehlberger
Heidi Marx-Wolf
The Throne of Adulis: Red Sea Wars on the Eve of Islam by G.W. Bowersock
Fergus Millar
The Petra Papyri IV ed. by Antti Arjava et al., and: The Petra Papyri II eds. by Ludwig Koenen, Jorma Kaimio, Robert W. Daniel
Hagith Sivan
Repentance in Late Antiquity: Eastern Asceticism and the Framing of the Christian Life c. 400–650 CE by Alexis Torrance
Kevin Uhalde

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New Issue of Journal of Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology & Heritage Studies

Journal of Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology & Heritage Studies, volume 2, no. 3 (2014)

CONTENTS INCLUDE

The Byzantine Church of Khirbet et-Tireh
Salah H. Al-Houdalieh

Khirbet et-Tireh was inhabited from the Hellenistic to Early Islamic periods and was later used for agriculture through the Ottoman period to the modern times. It suffered severe damage due to urban development and looting over the past two centuries, resulting in the irretrievable loss of at least three-quarters of its archaeological remains. The surviving ruins include a Byzantine-era church, villa, and monastery, fortifications, a rock-cut reservoir, burial caves, a rock-cut olive press, a wine press, and several dry-stone terrace walls. The following article describes the site’s current state, the efforts to uncover and preserve what remains, and an assessment of the recent destruction, particularly on the church, which is the focus here.

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Karanis Revealed: Discovering the Past and Present of a Michigan Excavation in Egypt

T.G. Wilfong and Andrew W.S. Ferrara, eds. Karanis Revealed: Discovering the Past and Present of a Michigan Excavation in Egypt. Kelsey Museum Publications, 2014.

The 1924-1935 University of Michigan excavations at the Graeco-Roman period Egyptian village of Karanis yielded thousands of artifacts and extensive archival records of their context. The Karanis material in the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology and the University of Michigan Library Papyrology Collection forms a unique body of information for understanding life in an agricultural village in Ptolemaic and Roman Egypt. In 2011 and 2012, the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology presented the exhibition "Karanis Revealed" in two parts, using artifacts from the excavations and archival material to explore aspects of the site and its excavation in the 1920s and 1930s. As preparation for the exhibition progressed, it became clear that part of the story of the Michigan Karanis expedition lay in the current and ongoing research on the material it yielded by curators, faculty, staff, and students from the University of Michigan. Such projects include new work on known artifacts and papyri, the discovery or rediscovery of important unpublished artifacts and archival sources, new field research at Karanis, and even sonic investigations of the site and its history. The present volume summarizes the recent exhibition and presents some of the new research that helped inspire it.

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Space, Place and Identity in Northern Anatolia

Tonnes Bekker-Nielsen, ed. Space, Place and Identity in Northern Anatolia. Franz Steiner Verlag, 2014.

From Franz Steiner Verlag

Until now, most studies of Roman Anatolia have been focused on the strongly Hellenised and urbanised regions of western and southern Asia Minor. In this volume, the first on its subject, thirteen contributors from nine different countries address the question of how local identities were created and maintained in northern Anatolia from the fall of Mithradates VI to the middle Byzantine period. In a region that did not possess a Hellenistic polis-tradition, the fledgling inland cities founded by Pompey the Great struggled to develop an urban identity of their own, while the old-established Greek colonies on the Black Sea coast had to come to terms with the reality of Roman domination without abandoning their Hellenic identity. Drawing on the evidence of archaeology, art, epigraphy and numismatics, the authors trace the diverse ways in which provincial cities – that is to say, provincial urban élites – attempted to construct local identities for themselves, and how mythology, religion, language and tradition were all employed to define and project a specific identity for each city and its territory – transforming geographical "space" into mentally and culturally defined "place".

The Eastern Mediterranean Frontier of Latin Christendom

Jace Stuckey, ed. The Eastern Mediterranean Frontier of Latin Christendom. The Expansion of Latin Europe, 1000-1500. Ashgate, 2014.

From Ashgate

By the turn of the millennium, the East Mediterranean region had become a place of foreigners to Latin Christians living in Western Europe. Nevertheless, in the eleventh century numerous Latin Christian pilgrims streamed toward the East and Jerusalem in anticipation of the end times. The Apocalypse did not materialize as some had anticipated, but instead over the course of the next few centuries an expansion of Latin Christendom did. This expansion would transform the political, economic, and cultural landscape of both East and West and alter the course of Mediterranean history.

This volume presents 22 critical studies on this crucial period (1000-1500) in the development of the Western expansion into the Eastern Mediterranean. These works deal with economy and trade, migration and colonization, crusade and conquest, military orders, as well as religious diversity and cross-cultural interaction. It includes a bibliography of important works published in Western languages together with an introduction by the editor.

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Villes méditerranéennes au Moyen Âge

Élisabeth Malamut and Mohamed Ouerfelli. Villes méditerranéennes au Moyen Âge. Presses Universitaires de Provence, 2014.

From Presses Universitaires de Provence

Cet ouvrage est consacré aux villes méditerranéennes à l’époque médiévale, de Cordoue jusqu’à Famagouste en passant par Pechina, Aix, Marseille, Avignon, Naples, Palerme, Thessalonique, Constantinople et Fustat. Ces villes, qui ont le plus souvent hérité d’un long passé enraciné dans l’Antiquité, sont parfois des créations de l’époque médiévale. Certaines ont bénéficié de leur situation au croisement des routes maritimes, d’autres se sont hissées au rang de capitale royale ou impériale, d’autres encore se sont épanouies grâce à l’afflux de populations réfugiées, d’autres, enfin, ont eu un rayonnement religieux inégalé – à moins qu’elles aient connu l’ensemble de ces faveurs . Multiples facettes d’un monde méditerranéen urbain souvent troublé mais qui présente des caractères communs au-delà de la diversité : capitales où résident les souverains ; villes qui ébauchent un système communal ou jouissent d’une organisation municipale développée ; cités où le passé gréco-romain s’estompe dans le tracé urbain au fil des constructions médiévales et du développement de l’urbanisation ; ports où les marchands s’affairent, où des populations d’origines diverses se croisent, où l’industrie et la construction se développent au rythme des échanges ; villes en effervescence culturelle et artistique alimentée par le mouvement continu des voyageurs, ambassadeurs et missionnaires entre l’Orient et l’Occident ; villes en devenir ou en passe d’être frappées par les armes ; villes dynamiques parfois secouées par des crises violentes dues à un essor trop rapide, à l’inégalité sociale, l’angoisse des populations à l’aube de l’un des plus grands bouleversements géopolitiques de l’histoire méditerranéenne… Telles sont les villes que nous font découvrir les vingt-deux contributions de cet ouvrage.

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The Canons of Our Fathers: Monastic Rules of Shenoute

Bentley Layton. The Canons of Our Fathers: Monastic Rules of Shenoute. Oxford University Press, 2014.

From Oxford University Press

This book is the first publication of a very early collection of Christian monastic rules from Roman Egypt. Designed for the so-called White Monastery Federation, a community of monks and nuns who banded together about 360 CE, the rules are quoted by the great monastic leader Shenoute of Atripe in his writings of the fourth and fifth century. These rules provide new and intimate access to the earliest phases of Christian communal (cenobitic) monasticism.

In this volume, Bentley Layton presents for the first time the Coptic text of the rules, amounting to five hundred and ninety-five entries, accompanied by a clear and exact English translation. Four preliminary chapters discuss the character of the rules in their historical and social context, and present new evidence for the founding of the monastic federation. From passing remarks in the rules, Layton paints a brilliant picture of monastic daily life and ascetic practice, organized around six general topics: the monastery as a physical plant, the human makeup of the community, the pattern of ascetic observances, the hierarchy of authority, the daily liturgy, and monastic economic life . The Canons of Our Fathers will be a fundamental resource for readers interested in Christian life in late antiquity, ascetic practices, and the history of monasticism in all its forms.

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Byzantium and the Turks in the Thirteenth Century

Dimitri Korobeinikov. Byzantium and the Turks in the Thirteenth Century. Oxford University Press, 2014.

From Oxford University Press

At the beginning of the thirteenth century Byzantium was still one of the most influential states in the eastern Mediterranean, possessing two-thirds of the Balkans and almost half of Asia Minor. After the capture of Constantinople in 1204 during the Fourth Crusade, the most prominent and successful of the Greek rump states was the Empire of Nicaea, which managed to re-capture the city in 1261 and restore Byzantium. The Nicaean Empire, like Byzantium of the Komnenoi and Angeloi of the twelfth century, went on to gain dominant influence over the Seljukid Sultanate of Rum in the 1250s. However, the decline of the Seljuk power, the continuing migration of Turks from the east, and what effectively amounted to a lack of Mongol interest in western Anatolia, allowed the creation of powerful Turkish nomadic confederations in the frontier regions facing Byzantium. By 1304, the nomadic Turks had broken Byzantium's eastern defences; the Empire lost its Asian territories forever, and Constantinople became the most eastern outpost of Byzantium. At the beginning of the fourteenth century the Empire was a tiny, second-ranking Balkan state, whose lands were often disputed between the Bulgarians, the Serbs, and the Franks.

Using Greek, Arabic, Persian, and Ottoman sources, Byzantium and the Turks in the Thirteenth Century presents a new interpretation of the Nicaean Empire and highlights the evidence for its wealth and power. It explains the importance of the relations between the Byzantines and the Seljuks and the Mongols, revealing how the Byzantines adapted to the new and complex situation that emerged in the second half of the thirteenth century. Finally, it turns to the Empire's Anatolian frontiers and the emergence of the Turkish confederations, the biggest challenge that the Byzantines faced in the thirteenth century.

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The Emperor Theophilos and the East, 829–842

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. Ashgate, 2014.

From Ashgate

Modern historiography has become accustomed to portraying the emperor Theophilos of Byzantium (829-842) in a favourable light, taking at face value the legendary account that makes of him a righteous and learned ruler, and excusing as ill fortune his apparent military failures against the Muslims. The present book considers events of the period that are crucial to our understanding of the reign and argues for a more balanced assessment of it.

The focus lies on the impact of Oriental politics on the reign of Theophilos, the last iconoclast emperor. After introductory chapters, setting out the context in which he came to power, separate sections are devoted to the influence of Armenians at the court, the enrolment of Persian rebels against the caliphate in the Byzantine army, the continuous warfare with the Arabs and the cultural exchange with Baghdad, the Khazar problem, and the attitude of the Christian Melkites towards the iconoclast emperor. The final chapter reassesses the image of the emperor as a good ruler, building on the conclusions of the previous sections.

The book reinterprets major events of the period and their chronology, and sets in a new light the role played by figures like Thomas the Slav, Manuel the Armenian or the Persian Theophobos, whose identity is established from a better understanding of the sources.

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The Life and Works of Severus of Antioch in the Coptic and Copto-Arabic Tradition

Youhanna Youssef. The Life and Works of Severus of Antioch in the Coptic and Copto-Arabic Tradition. Gorgias Eastern Christian Studies 28. Gorgias Press, 2014.

From Gorgias Press

Severus of Antioch is by far the most prolific and well known theologian of the non-Chalcedonian churches. Although his life and writings came to our knowledge in Syriac, gaining him the title “Crown of the Syriac Literature,” many texts relating to his life and works survived in the Coptic and Copto-Arabic tradition, as well as a number of other texts that were traditionally attributed to him. This book provides an analysis of the remaining texts in Coptic and in Copto-Arabic, as well as the texts ascribed to Severus. The last part of the book deals with the veneration of Severus of Antioch in the Coptic Church.

The Panoplia Dogmatike by Euthymios Zygadenos

Nadia Miladinova. The Panoplia Dogmatike by Euthymios Zygadenos: A study on the first edition published in Greek in 1710. Brill, 2014.

From Brill

Created in the twelfth century, the Panoplia Dogmatike is one of the Byzantine anthologies that became a key source for Orthodox theology. The anthology is known in more than 140 Greek manuscripts. In the fourteenth century it was translated into Old Church Slavonic. The Latin translation, prepared by the Italian humanist Pietro Francesco Zini, was published in Venice in 1555 during the years of the Council of Trent.
The first printed edition of the Greek text came relatively late – in 1710 in the Romanian Principality of Wallachia. By examining the reasons for this publication, the book gives snapshots of the history of this authoritative anthology in the early modern period and uses sources until now not related to the Panoplia.

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Cities, Citadels, and Sights of the Near East

Sophie Gordon and Badr El Hage. Cities, Citadels, and Sights of the Near East: Francis Bedford’s Nineteenth-Century Photographs of Egypt, the Levant, and Constantinople. The American University in Cairo Press, 2014.

From The American University in Cairo Press

Haunting images of the great cities and historic sites of the Near East from a bygone era through the eyes of an English photographer in royal company

In 1862, the Prince of Wales, eldest son of Britain’s Queen Victoria, embarked on a grand tour of the Middle East, for his education and enlightenment. Accompanying the royal party was Francis Bedford, an accomplished practitioner of the still young art of photography, charged with taking views of the cities and historic places visited on the tour for the royal album. The result is an extraordinary collection of some of the best early photographs of Cairo and the temples of Upper Egypt, Jerusalem and the Holy Land, Lebanon and Damascus, Izmir and Constantinople. From timeless views of the Pyramids, the Dome of the Rock, Baalbek, and Hagia Sophia to scenes from another age of the streets of Cairo or tall ships on the Bosphorus, 120 of Bedford’s most outstanding photographs are showcased here in this fascinating visual tour of ancient lands in royal company.

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Religious Conversion: History, Experience and Meaning

Ira Katznelson and Miri Rubin, eds. Religious Conversion: History, Experience and Meaning. Ashgate, 2014.

From Ashgate

Religious conversion - a shift in membership from one community of faith to another - can take diverse forms in radically different circumstances. As the essays in this volume demonstrate, conversion can be protracted or sudden, voluntary or coerced, small-scale or large. It may be the result of active missionary efforts, instrumental decisions, or intellectual or spiritual attraction to a different doctrine and practices. In order to investigate these multiple meanings, and how they may differ across time and space, this collection ranges far and wide across medieval and early modern Europe and beyond. From early Christian pilgrims to fifteenth-century Ethiopia; from the Islamisation of the eastern Mediterranean to Reformation Germany, the volume highlights salient features and key concepts that define religious conversion, particular the Jewish, Muslim and Christian experiences.

By probing similarities and variations, continuities and fissures, the volume also extends the range of conversion to focus on matters less commonly examined, such as competition for the meaning of sacred space, changes to bodies, patterns of gender, and the ways conversion has been understood and narrated by actors and observers. In so doing, it promotes a layered approach that deepens inquiry by identifying and suggesting constellations of elements that both compose particular instances of conversion and help make systematic comparisons possible by indicating how to ask comparable questions of often vastly different situations.

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Religion and Trade: Cross-Cultural Exchanges in World History, 1000–1900

Francesca Trivellato, Leor Halevi, and Catia Antunes, eds. Religion and Trade: Cross-Cultural Exchanges in World History, 1000–1900. Oxford University Press, 2014.

From Oxford University Press

Although trade connects distant people and regions, bringing cultures closer together through the exchange of material goods and ideas, it has not always led to unity and harmony. From the era of the Crusades to the dawn of colonialism, exploitation and violence characterized many trading ventures, which required vessels and convoys to overcome tremendous technological obstacles and merchants to grapple with strange customs and manners in a foreign environment. Yet despite all odds, experienced traders and licensed brokers, as well as ordinary people, travelers, pilgrims, missionaries, and interlopers across the globe, concocted ways of bartering, securing credit, and establishing relationships with people who did not speak their language, wore different garb, and worshipped other gods.

Religion and Trade: Cross-Cultural Exchanges in World History, 1000-1900 focuses on trade across religious boundaries around the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic and Indian Oceans during the second millennium. Written by an international team of scholars, the essays in this volume examine a wide range of commercial exchanges, from first encounters between strangers from different continents to everyday transactions between merchants who lived in the same city yet belonged to diverse groups. In order to broach the intriguing yet surprisingly neglected subject of how the relationship between trade and religion developed historically, the authors consider a number of interrelated questions: When and where was religion invoked explicitly as part of commercial policies? How did religious norms affect the everyday conduct of trade? Why did economic imperatives, political goals, and legal institutions help sustain commercial exchanges across religious barriers in different times and places? When did trade between religious groups give way to more tolerant views of "the other" and when, by contrast, did it coexist with hostile images of those decried as "infidels"?

Exploring captivating examples from across the world and spanning the course of the second millennium, this groundbreaking volume sheds light on the political, economic, and juridical underpinnings of cross-cultural trade as it emerged or developed at various times and places, and reflects on the cultural and religious significance of the passage of strange persons and exotic objects across the many frontiers that separated humankind in medieval and early modern times.

Past in the Present: A Living Heritage Approach - Meteora, Greece

Ioannis Poulios. Past in the Present: A Living Heritage Approach - Meteora, Greece. London: Ubiquity Press, 2014.

From Ubiquity Press

The Past in the Present deals with the complexities in the operation and management of living heritage sites. It presents a new interpretation of such sites based on the concept of continuity, and its evolution to the present. It is demonstrated that the current theoretical framework and practice of conservation, as best epitomised in a values-based approach and the World Heritageconcept, is based on discontinuity created between the monuments(considered to belong to the past) and the people of the present, thus seemingly unable to embrace living heritage sites. From this position, the study suggests an innovative approach that views communities and sites as an inseparable entity: a Living Heritage Approach. This approach brings a new insight into key concepts such as authenticity and sustainable development. Through the use of the monastic site of Meteora, Greece, as a case study, the discussion generated aims to shift the focus of conservation from ‘preservation’ towards a continual process of ‘creation’ in an ongoing present, attempting to change the way heritage is perceived, protected and, more importantly, further created.

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Cyprus and the Balance of Empires: Art and Archaeology from Justinian I to the Coeur de Lion

Charles Anthony Stewart, Thomas W. Davis and Annemarie Weyl Carr, eds. Cyprus and the Balance of Empires: Art and Archaeology from Justinian I to the Coeur de Lion. American Schools of Oriental Research, 2014.

From ASOR

Between 491 and 1191 AD, Cyprus was influenced by various political and cultural centers that vied for dominance in the Eastern Mediterranean. This collection of essays primarily focuses on the island's archaeology when it was governed by the Byzantine capital of Constantinople. Greek and Orthodox Christian identity was cultivated during this period, which provided a sense of unity among the various provinces; and yet, the surviving historical and archaeological data concerning Cyprus is unique in that it expresses both local and regional characteristics. By investigating the various threads, whether textual, numismatic, architectural, or artistic, narrative has emerged that challenges our past assumptions.

The themes covered in this volume developed from a conference held in Nicosia, organized by the Cyprus American Archaeological Research Institute [CAARI] celebrating the 50th year anniversary of the Republic of Cyprus. An international group of experts explored several themes such as: the impact of recent archaeological discoveries; the shift from studying Late Antique urbanism to rural development; indicators of Cypriot identity; shifts in population settlement, production, and trade; cultural interaction between Islam and Christianity; the significance of ceramic and numismatic evidence; monumental figural arts and their iconographical interpretation. The resulting chapters provide new and previously unpublished data, and should be considered a major contribution to Late Antique and Medieval studies.

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New issue of Archiv für Papyrusforschung und verwandte Gebiete

Archiv für Papyrusforschung und verwandte Gebiete 60, issue 1 (September 2014).

CONTENTS INCLUDE

Frustula Beineckiana
Amin Benaissa

Publication of six papyrus fragments in the Beinecke Library dating from late antiquity: an administrative letter probably relating to the transport of the grain tax to Alexandria (1); a work contract from Oxyrhynchus (2); a loan of three artabas of wheat (3); an Arsinoite loan or sale on delivery of 17 kouri of wine mentioning an ‘estate of Epiphanius’( 4); scribal practice with peculiar invocation and dating formula from the reign of Phocas (5); a receipt between monks of the Apa Apollo and Apa Anuphius monasteries in Bawit (6).

Patched and Peeled in London: A Memorandum for a Trip to Constantinople (P.Lond. inv. 2237)
Michael W. Zellmann-Rohrer

Edition of a Byzantine memorandum in the form of a short letter. The text gives instructions for a private individual who is traveling to Constantinople, including the delivery of correspondence. There is evidence that the papyrus was repaired both in antiquity and by a modern antiquities dealer.

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From Byzantine to Islamic Egypt: Religion, Identity and Politics After the Arab Conquest

Maged S. A. Mikhail. From Byzantine to Islamic Egypt: Religion, Identity and Politics After the Arab Conquest. I.B. Tauris, 2014.

From I.B. Tauris

The conquest of Egypt by Islamic armies under the command of Amr ibn al-As in the seventh century transformed medieval Egyptian society. Seeking to uncover the broader cultural changes of the period by drawing on a wide array of literary and documentary sources, Maged Mikhail stresses the cultural and institutional developments that punctuated the histories of Christians and Muslims in the province under early Islamic rule. From Byzantine to Islamic Egypt traces how the largely agrarian Egyptian society responded to the influx of Arabic and Islam, the means by which the Coptic Church constructed its sectarian identity, the Islamisation of the administrative classes and how these factors converged to create a new medieval society. The result is a fascinating and essential study for scholars of Byzantine and early Islamic Egypt.

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Catalogue of Greek Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts in the Collections of the USA, Part VIII

Nadezhda Kavrus-Hoffmann. “Catalogue of Greek Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Collections of the United States of America. Part VIII: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, The Library Company of Philadelphia.” Manuscripta 58, no 1 (2014): pp. 38–73.

Abstract

This article, part eight of the “Catalogue of Greek Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Collections of the United States of America,” analyzes and describes the Greek manuscripts held in the Library Company of Philadelphia in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

New Issue of Le Muséon

Le Muséon, volume 127, no. 1–2 (2014)

CONTENTS

 À propos de l'origine du cunéiforme tel que pratiqué par les Hourrites
Arnaud Fournet

An Early Monastic Rule Fragment from the Monastery of Shenoute
Caroline T. Schroeder

Narrating History Through the Bible in Late Antiquity: A Reading Community for the Syriac Peshitta Old Testament Manuscript in Milan (Ambrosian Library, B. 21 inf.)
Philip Michael Forness

Édesse, un creuset de traditions sur les mages évangéliques
Florence Jullien

Historia Zosimi de Vita Beatorum Rechabitarum: Édition de la version syriaque brève
Jean-Claude Haelewyck

A Lost Chapter in the History of Wadi al-Natrun (Scetis): The Coptic Lives and Monastery of Abba John Khame
Maged S.A. Mikhail

Fragments d'«éthique aristotélicienne» entre arabe, latin et langues romanes: Un exercice de lecture comparée
Lorenzo Mainini

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The City in the Classical and Post-Classical World

Claudia Rapp and H. A. Drake, eds. The City in the Classical and Post-Classical World: Changing Contexts of Power and Identity. Cambridge University Press, 2014.

From Cambridge University Press

This volume examines the evolving role of the city and citizenship from classical Athens through fifth-century Rome and medieval Byzantium. Beginning in the first century CE, the universal claims of Hellenistic and Roman imperialism began to be challenged by the growing role of Christianity in shaping the primary allegiances and identities of citizens. An international team of scholars considers the extent of urban transformation, and with it, of cultural and civic identity, as practices and institutions associated with the city-state came to be replaced by those of the Christian community. The twelve essays gathered here develop an innovative research agenda by asking new questions: What was the effect on political ideology and civic identity of the transition from the city culture of the ancient world to the ruralized systems of the middle ages? How did perceptions of empire and oikoumene respond to changed political circumstances? How did Christianity redefine the context of citizenship?

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New Issue of Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Studies

Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Studies 54, no. 3 (2014)

CONTENTS

Hippokleides, the ‘Dance’, and the Panathenaia
Brian M. Lavelle
The Bond of Consanguinity between Mother and Daughter: Agamemnon 1417–1418 and 1525
Giulia Maria Chesi
Losing Confidence in Sparta: The Creation of the Mantinean Symmachy
James Capreedy
Political Parties in Democratic Athens?
Mogens Herman Hansen
Misthos for Magistrates in Fourth-Century Athens?
Mogens Herman Hansen
Chrysippus of Cnidus: Medical Doxography and Hellenistic Monarchies
Marquis Berrey
Ptolemy and Plutarch’s On the Generation of the Soul in the Timaeus: Three Parallels
Cristian Tolsa
Encomium and Thesis in Galen’s De parvae pilae exercitio
Craig A. Gibson
Is the Letter Credebamus post from Boniface I or Leo I?
Geoffrey D. Dunn
Two Epithets of Mark the Evangelist: Coptic theorimos and Byzantine Greek θεόπτης
Sameh Farouk Soliman

A Scandal at the C.I.A. Maybe

Thomas Whittemore was a dashing and colorful archaeologist and preservationist, a mash-up of Indiana Jones, Oscar Wilde and Tom Wolfe. A prized dinner guest and an excellent fund-raiser, he was the founder of the deliciously named “Byzantine Institute, Inc.” (offices in Boston, Paris and Istanbul). He is remembered primarily as the man who convinced Mustafa Kemal Ataturk to let him preserve the mosaics of the Hagia Sophia.

Author David Schafer tells the story of how a collection of personal letters and papers belonging to his grandfather revealed his grandfather’s relationship with Thomas Whittemore and led Schafer to speculate that Whittemore was a C.I.A. agent.

Read the full post on The New York Times Opinionator blog.

The Journey of a Greek Manuscript

Yet there’s one more twist to the tale of this manuscript. At the beginning of the Gospel of Matthew, there is a miniature not of Matthew, but of the Annunciation. At some point, an owner must have noticed this and inserted a picture of Matthew to make up the loss, as f 292r consists of a woodcut on paper, inserted at a late stage. Where, when, and why this happened, however, remains unknown.

A short history of The British Library’s Add MS 24376, Four Gospels in Greek.

Read the post at the Medieval Manuscripts blog.

Dressing Judeans and Christians in Antiquity

Kristi Upson-Saia, Carly Daniel-Hughes, and Alicia J. Batten. Dressing Judeans and Christians in Antiquity. Ashgate, 2014.

From Ashgate

The past two decades have witnessed a proliferation of scholarship on dress in the ancient world. These recent studies have established the extent to which Greece and Rome were vestimentary cultures, and they have demonstrated the critical role dress played in communicating individuals’ identities, status, and authority. Despite this emerging interest in ancient dress, little work has been done to understand religious aspects and uses of dress. This volume aims to fill this gap by examining a diverse range of religious sources, including literature, art, performance, coinage, economic markets, and memories. Employing theoretical frames from a range of disciplines, contributors to the volume demonstrate how dress developed as a topos within Judean and Christian rhetoric, symbolism, and performance from the first century BCE to the fifth century CE. Specifically, they demonstrate how religious meanings were entangled with other social logics, revealing the many layers of meaning attached to ancient dress, as well as the extent to which dress was implicated in numerous domains of ancient religious life.

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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.

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