Edinburgh University Press announces Non-Muslim Contributions to Islamic Civilisation, a new series which explores the understudied yet immense contributions of non-Muslims to the richness of Islamic civilisation and the complex interplay between cultures.
Non-Muslim Contributions to Islamic Civilisation, published by Edinburgh University Press, with series editors Carole Hillenbrand and Myriam Wissa is a new book series which deviates from the traditional focus on interfaith relations, and vividly brings to life the long, complex and varied contributions of non-Muslims in Islamic history and culture from late antiquity to early modernity (500 and 1800 CE.).
The series focuses on the contributions of Jews, Christians (including Armenians, Copts, Ethiopians, Georgians, Mozarabs and Syriacs) Samaritans, Mandeans, Hermetics, Harranians, Zoroastrians and peripheral cultures such as the Hindu, Buddhist, Confucian, Taoist, “Shamanist” and African traditions to the intellectual, ideological, legal, economic and technological development of Islamic civilisation.
The series embraces the wide range of approaches and scholarship, transforming our view of the driving forces behind the formation of Islamic civilisation and how the management of its development has run hand in hand with its political expansion. It will highlight the social and cultural interactions that this expansion produced, while the new interactions with India, China and Central Asia set them in a broader context.
It aims to promote a more holistic approach which provides a new analysis of non-Muslim contributions in order to transcend issues from various disciplinary perspectives: philosophy, methods of theological debate, science, medicine, astronomy, astrology, alchemy, literature, administration, notions of rule, law, techniques such as irrigation and agriculture among other topics. The series also considers the relationships between trade, religion and state practices and documents the work of people in the trading towns connecting the Middle East, the Mediterranean, India, inland Asia, South Asia and beyond. By doing so it offers insights into how this dynamic shaped the contours of the diverse Islamic space.
This series will include monographs, edited volumes, and advanced textbooks written in English from established and younger scholars alike, offering a balance of interests, vertically through the period from 500 to 1800 or horizontally across the Islamic Caliphate and beyond. Proposals are invited from authors with a completed Book Proposal Form. We welcome ambitious writing projects, niche titles and as well as important books requiring translation.
Archaeopress announces the Journal of Greek Archaeology, a new international English-language journal specializing in synthetic articles and in long reviews.
The scope of this journal is Greek archaeology both in the Aegean and throughout the wider Greek-inhabited world, from earliest Prehistory to the Modern Era. Thus we include contributions not just from traditional periods such as Greek Prehistory and the Classical Greek to Hellenistic eras, but also from Roman through Byzantine, Crusader and Ottoman Greece and into the Early Modern period. Outside of the Aegean contributions are welcome covering the Archaeology of the Greeks overseas, likewise from Prehistory into the Modern World. Greek Archaeology for the purposes of the JGA thus includes the Archaeology of the Hellenistic World, Roman Greece, Byzantine Archaeology, Frankish and Ottoman Archaeology, and the Postmedieval Archaeology of Greece and of the Greek Diaspora.
The first issue of the journal will be in October 2016 and thereafter it will appear annually and incorporate original articles, research reviews and book reviews. Subscriptions will be available in print and e-format.
Editor: Prof. J. Bintliff, School of History, Classics & Archaeology, Edinburgh University
Sharon E. J. Gerstel. Rural Lives and Landscapes in Late Byzantium: Art, Archaeology, and Ethnography. Cambridge University Press, 2015.
From Cambridge University Press
This is the first book to examine the late Byzantine peasantry through written, archaeological, ethnographic, and painted sources. Investigations of the infrastructure and setting of the medieval village guide the reader into the consideration of specific populations. The village becomes a micro-society, with its own social and economic hierarchies. In addition to studying agricultural workers, mothers, and priests, lesser-known individuals, such as the miller and witch, are revealed through written and painted sources. Placed at the center of a new scholarly landscape, the study of the medieval villager engages a broad spectrum of theorists, including economic historians creating predictive models for agrarian economies, ethnoarchaeologists addressing historical continuities and disjunctions, and scholars examining power and female agency.
Scot McKendrick, David Parker, Amy Myshrall, and Cillian O’Hogan , eds. Codex Sinaiticus: New Perspectives on the Ancient Biblical Manuscript. British Library, 2015.
From the British Library
Codex Sinaiticus is one of the most important books in the world. Handwritten well over 1600 years ago, the manuscript contains the Christian Bible in Greek, including the oldest complete copy of the New Testament. Its heavily corrected text is of outstanding importance for the history of the Bible and the manuscript – the oldest substantial book to survive antiquity – is of supreme importance for the history of the book.
This collection of scholarly essays constitutes an important reappraisal of the history of the manuscript. Newly discovered archival material sheds light on the complex sequence of events which led to the Codex being dispersed across four libraries. The evidence relating to the production of the manuscript is assessed by several contributors, who pay careful attention to the thousands of corrections which were made to the text by several hands. The significance of Codex Sinaiticus for our understanding of the New Testament text is analysed in detail, with a number of articles showing how the manuscript helps us to understand the formation of the Christian canon in antiquity.
Read more about the publication and the Codex Sinaiticus Project on the Medieval manuscripts blog.
Byzantinische Zeitschrift, volume 108, issue 1 (July 2015)
Karl Krumbacher and the history of Byzantine literature
Panagiotis A. Agapitos
Diving for pearls and Tzetzes’ death
The Soterios Project revisited: status quaestionis and the future edition
Marc De Groote
Der Briefbericht des Frater Simon über den Fall von Konstantinopel 1453
Martina Giese and Karoline D. Döring
Fragmente aus dem „Pandektes“ des Antiochos Monachos in der Palimpsesthandschrift Collegio Greco 2
Rice as food and medication in ancient and Byzantine medical literature
Maciej Kokoszko, Krzysztof Jagusiak, and Zofia Rzeźnicka
The “king of Francia” in De cerimoniis II, 48
A user of the Chronicle of Joel
The propaganda value of imperial patronage: ecclesiastical foundations and charitable establishments in the late twelfth century
Kaukasische Aristokraten auf byzantinischer Karriereleiter
The cultural dynamics of the term Hellanodikes in Palaiologan Byzantium
Anatolian Studies, volume 65 (2015)
A new statue-base for Constantius II and the fourth-century imperial cult at Oinoanda
A long-unpublished statue base for the emperor Constantius II was rediscovered at Oinoanda in 2010. It contains information that Oinoanda was a neokoros city, that is, having a special status in the imperial cult. The article attempts to trace the significance of neokoria and of images in the imperial cult in the fourth century AD, an era of rapid religious change when the Christianity of the emperors and many ordinary people co-existed with deep and widespread pagan traditions that flowed throughout Roman society.
The Institut für Mittelalterforschung der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften announces medieval worlds, a new online, open-access journal.
medieval worlds provides a new forum for interdisciplinary and transcultural studies of the Middle Ages. Specifically it encourages and links comparative research between different regions and fields and promotes methodological innovation in transdisciplinary studies. Focusing on the Middle Ages (c. 400 - 1500 CE, but can be extended whenever thematically fruitful or appropriate), medieval worlds takes a global approach to studying history in a comparative setting.
Building upon studies of transcultural relations and processes of cultural hybridization between cultures, both of which have seen dynamic developments in recent years, the main approach chosen by medieval worlds is comparative. Taking such a comparative approach will not only allow researchers to highlight the global interaction within, or hybrid nature of particular cultural spheres, but also shed new light on more specific fields of interest. Moreover, medieval worlds will encourage a critical debate between the disciplines concerning approaches and methods, and thus will help to enrich the methodological frameworks of comparative history.
As the chosen online, open-access format allows for a flexible, to-the-point collaboration between different fields, medieval worlds proposes an innovative way to achieve a new dynamic of wide-ranging comparative studies. In addition to solliciting articles from leading scholars in their respective fields, we also strive to enable the systematic production of complementary studies across fields and disciplinary boundaries. medieval worlds is a forum, a marketplace where partners for comparison can be found, and articles dealing with a topic from different angles may be published in pairs, small clusters or thematic issues. Thus, it will explore ways to bring together scholars from different disiplines interested in comparable topics, and encourage interdisciplinary groups to publish focused sets of articles.
medieval worlds is open to regular submissions on comparative topics, but also offers the possibility to propose or advertise subjects that lend themselves to comparison. With a view to putting people working on related topics in different academic environments in touch with one another, we will publish calls for matching articles and for contributions to thematic issues, and encourage small interdisciplinary workshops – online or on location – which will address promising topics and yield materials for publication. In short, medieval worlds aims at creating a well-moderated forum for comparative studies, and at organising a process of exchange and debate that should become a dynamic extension of our views of the global past beyond regional and disciplinary boundaries.
Byzantina Symmeikta, volume 24 (2014).
Vered Shalev-Hurvitz. Holy Sites Encircled: The Early Byzantine Concentric Churches of Jerusalem. Oxford University Press, 2015.
From Oxford University Press
The round and octagonal churches of Jerusalem were the earliest of their kind. Powerful, monumental structures, recalling imperial mausolea and temples, they enshrined the holiest sites of Christianity. Constantine himself ordered the building of the first ones immediately after the council of Nicaea (325), his main objective being the authentication of Jesus's existence in Jerusalem in accordance with the council's resolutions, but the sites he chose in Palestine also obliterated reminiscences of Jewish or Pagan domination.
Holy Sites Encircled demonstrates that all four concentric churches of Jerusalem encircled new holy sites exclusively relating to the corporeal existence of Jesus or Mary, and that they were self-contained, and apse-less because the liturgy, including the Mass, was performed from the venerated centre. Offering intimate concentric spaces, as well as perpetual processions around these sites, they promoted the development of new feasts, shaping the city's liturgy and that of the whole Christian world. They were found especially suitable to compete with former religious landmarks and therefore many of their descendants outside Jerusalem were cathedrals.
This volume begins with the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which replaced a pagan temple in Jerusalem city centre, and concludes with the Dome of the Rock, a unique Muslim structure, which was built by the Ummayads on the very site of the ruined Jewish Temple on Mount Moriah, using the concentric architecture of Jerusalem to establish their new authority. Illustrating how architectural form links together culture, politics, and society it explores the perceptions and architectural models that shaped these unusual churches and their impact, in both ideas and design, on future architecture.
Journal of Late Antiquity, volume 8, no. 1 (Spring 2015)
Style and Substance: A Bust of a Sasanian Royal Woman as a Symbol of Late Antique Legitimacy
Vanessa Rousseau, Peter Northover
Augustine and Men of Imperial Power
Brent D. Shaw
Arab Tribesmen and Desert Frontiers in Late Antiquity
J. H. W. G. Liebeschuetz
Taxpayers and Their Money in Sixth-Century Egypt: Currency in the Temseu Skordon Codex
Leslie S. B. MacCoull
The Social Networks of Justinian’s Generals
David Alan Parnell
Knowledge and Virtue in the Regula Pastoralis of Gregory the Great: The Development of Christian Argumentation for the Late Sixth Century
Religious Viewing of Sculptural Images of Gods in the World of Late Antiquity: From Dio Chrysostom to Damaskios
Schism and the Polemic of Heresy: Manichaeism and the Representation of Papal Authority in the Liber Pontificalis
Porphyry in Fragments: Reception of an Anti-Christian Text in Late Antiquity by Ariane Magny
Aaron P. Johnson
Between Pagan and Christian by Christopher P. Jones
Der Kaiser als Sieger. Metamophosen triumphaler Herrschaft unter Constantin I by Johannes Wienand
The Laughter of Sarah: Biblical Exegesis, Feminist Theory, and the Concept of Delight by Catherine Conybeare
Controlling Contested Places: Late Antique Antioch and the Spatial Politics of Religious Controversy by Christine Shepardson
Ambassadeurs et ambassades au coeur des relations diplomatiques. Rome – Occident médiéval – Byzance (VIIIe s. avant J.-C. - XIIe s. après J.-C.) ed. by Audrey Becker and Nicolas Drocourt
Ostia in Late Antiquity by Douglas Boin
Before and After Muḥammad: The First Millennium Refocused by Garth Fowden
Stephen J. Shoemaker
Ignace Antoine II Hayek. Le relazioni della Chiesa Siro-giacobita con la Santa Sede dal 1143 al 1656. Ed. by Pier Giorgio Borbone and Jimmy Daccache. Cahiers d'études syriaques, 3. Paris: Geuthner, 2015.
Cet ouvrage est la publication longtemps différée dans sa langue originale de la thèse du P. Antoine Hayek, futur patriarche de l’Église syro-catholique. Il l’avait soutenue en 1936 au Pontificio Istituto Orientale à Rome. Elle est consacrée aux relations entre l’Église syro-orthodoxe, ou jacobite, et le Saint-Siège depuis le synode de Jérusalem de 1143 au cours duquel, selon Michel le Syrien, l’Église syro-orthodoxe présenta une profession de foi approuvée par les Francs, jusqu’en 1656, date de la consécration d’André Akhidjan comme premier patriarche syro-catholique. Il s’agit donc d’une période cruciale dans l’histoire de l’Église syro-orthodoxe, et l’ouvrage situe en contexte la naissance de l’Église syro-catholique et met en oeuvre une documentation inédite. Même ancien, ce texte garde donc tout son intérêt.
Ignace Antoine II Hayek (né à Alep en Syrie le 14 septembre 1910 - mort à Sharfeh au Liban le 21 février 2007) fut patriarche de l'Église syriaque catholique du 10 mars 1968 au 23 juillet 1998.
Olivier Delouis and Maria Mossakowska-Gaubert, eds. La vie quotidienne des moines en Orient et en Occident. Volume 1: Etat des sources. Institut français d'archéologie orientale, 2015.
From Institut français d'archéologie orientale
Christian monasticism emerged in Egypt at the close of the 3rd century and spread rapidly to the whole Eastern Mediterranean area and beyond. The choice of a monastic life was more than a spiritual decision; it implied acceptance of a way of life that conformed to more or less formal rules.
Originating from a colloquium that was organized in Athens in 2009 within the framework of a collective program, Everyday Life in Eastern and Western Monasticisms (4th-10th century AD), this book brings twenty articles illustrating an interdisciplinary approach to an important question: the state of the sources available for the study of various aspects of monks’ daily life.
Both archaeological and written evidence—normative, literary and documentary—is presented according to six geographic zones, from northern Mesopotamia to Ireland. This approach yields a better understanding of the dissemination of monasticism, an essential and yet varied form of Christian life, which had a lasting impact on the societies in late Antiquity and the early Middle Ages.
Robert G. Hoyland. The Late Antique World of Early Islam: Muslims among Christians and Jews in the East Mediterranean. Studies in Late Antiquity and Early Islam (SLAEI) #25. Darwin Press, 2015.
From Darwin Press
This book offers a number of innovative studies on the three main communities of the East Mediterranean lands—Muslims, Jews and Christians—in the aftermath of the seventh-century Arab conquests. It focuses principally on how the Christian majority were affected by and adapted to their loss of political power in such arenas as language use, identity construction, church building, pilgrimage, and the role of women. Attention is also paid to how the Muslim community defined itself, administered justice, and regulated relations with non-Muslims. This book will be important for anyone interested in the ways in which the cultures and traditions of the late antique Mediterranean world were transformed in the course of the seventh to tenth centuries by the establishment of the new Muslim political elite and the gradual emergence of an Islamic Empire.
As one of the most magnificent ancient cities in the Mediterranean world under Roman domination, Palmyra has survived until now with its imposing temples, colonnades, sculptures, reliefs, and mosaics to awe every visitor to the site since its dramatic expansion in the first century AD. It rises in splendor in the middle of the Syrian Desert, at an important oasis that was doubtless the reason for its existence in the first place. Among the great cities of antiquity Palmyra is comparable only to Petra in Jordan, Angkor Wat in Cambodia, and the Athenian Acropolis in Greece.
Glen Bowersock discusses Palmyra in The New York Review of Books Blog.
Adam J. Goldwyn and Dimitra Kokkini. John Tzetzes, Allegories of the Iliad. Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library, 37. Harvard University Press, 2015.
From Harvard University Press
In the early 1140s, the Bavarian princess Bertha von Sulzbach arrived in Constantinople to marry the Byzantine emperor Manuel Komnenos. Wanting to learn more about her new homeland, the future empress Eirene commissioned the grammarian Ioannes Tzetzes to compose a version of the Iliad as an introduction to Greek literature and culture. He drafted a lengthy dodecasyllable poem in twenty-four books, reflecting the divisions of the Iliad, that combined summaries of the events of the siege of Troy with allegorical interpretations. To make the Iliad relevant to his Christian audience, Tzetzes reinterpreted the pagan gods from various allegorical perspectives. As historical allegory (or euhemerism), the gods are simply ancient kings erroneously deified by the pagan poet; as astrological allegory, they become planets whose position and movement affect human life; as moral allegory Athena represents wisdom, Aphrodite desire.
As a didactic explanation of pagan ancient Greek culture to Orthodox Christians, the work is deeply rooted in the mid-twelfth-century circumstances of the cosmopolitan Comnenian court. As a critical reworking of the Iliad, it must also be seen as part of the millennia-long and increasingly global tradition of Homeric adaptation.
Mark Schrope’s article “Medicine’s Hidden Roots in an Ancient Manuscript” in The New York Times (June 1, 2015) recounts the history of a Syriac translation of Galen’s “On the Mixtures and Powers of Simple Drugs.” An Arabic colophon indicates that the eleventh-century manuscript once belonged to St. Catherine’s Monastery, where one of seven missing leaves from the manuscript was discovered.
Anthony Kaldellis. Byzantine Readings of Ancient Historians: Texts in Translation, with Introductions and Notes. Routledge, 2015.
The survival of ancient Greek historiography is largely due to its preservation by Byzantine copyists and scholars. This process entailed selection, adaptation, and commentary, which shaped the corpus of Greek historiography in its transmission. By investigating those choices, Kaldellis enables a better understanding of the reception and survival of Greek historical writing.
Byzantine Readings of Ancient Historians includes translations of texts written by Byzantines on specific ancient historians. Each translated text is accompanied by an introduction and notes to highlight the specific context and purpose of its composition. In order to present a rounded picture of the reception of Greek historiography in Byzantium, a wide range of genres have been considered, such as poems and epigrams, essays, personalized scholia, and commentaries. Byzantine Readings of Ancient Historians is therefore an important resource for scholars and students of ancient history.
Jeanne-Nicole Mellon Saint-Laurent. Missionary Stories and the Formation of the Syriac Churches. University of California Press, 2015.
From University of California Press
Missionary Stories and the Formation of the Syriac Churches analyzes the hagiographic traditions of seven missionary saints in the Syriac heritage during late antiquity: Thomas, Addai, Mari, John of Ephesus, Simeon of Beth Arsham, Jacob Baradaeus, and Ahudemmeh. Jeanne-Nicole Mellon Saint-Laurent studies a body of legends about the missionaries’ voyages in the Syrian Orient to illustrate their shared symbols and motifs. Revealing how these texts encapsulated the concerns of the communities that produced them, she draws attention to the role of hagiography as a malleable genre that was well-suited for the idealized presentation of the beginnings of Christian communities. Hagiographers, through their reworking of missionary themes, asserted autonomy, orthodoxy, and apostolicity for their individual civic and monastic communities, positioning themselves in relationship to the rulers of their empires and to competing forms of Christianity. Saint-Laurent argues that missionary hagiography is an important and neglected source for understanding the development of the East and West Syriac ecclesiastical bodies: the Syrian Orthodox Church and the Church of the East. Given that many of these Syriac-speaking churches remain today in the Middle East and India, with diaspora communities in Europe and North America, this work opens the door for further study of the role of saints and stories as symbolic links between ancient and modern traditions.
Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Studies, 55, no. 2 (2015)
The Geometric Mosaics at Qusayr Amra in Context
Comparative study of the Umayyad castle’s geometric pavements shows that their creators drew on deep knowledge of Greek artistic traditions in their work for the new Muslim rulers.
Galen’s Reception in Byzantium: Symeon Seth and his Refutation of Galenic Theories on Human Physiology
In contrast to the usual respect for Galen in the Byzantine medical tradition, Symeon Seth’s Refutation (s. XI), edited and translated here, is a sustained effort to discredit his authority.
The Mongols’ Approach to Anatolia and the Last Campaign of Emperor John III Vatatzes
Vatatzes’ Balkan expedition should be assigned to 1251/2 rather than the following year, on the basis of the internal structure of Akropolites’ account and the geopolitical context of the Nicene Empire’s relations with the Mongols.
The Thessaloniki Epitaphios: Notes on Use and Context
The reverse arrangement of the Communion scene can be explained if this large textile was wrapped around the shoulders of its bearer, a practice attested in artistic and literary portraits of the liturgy’s Great Entrance.
Demetrius Triclinius and Responsion between Non-consecutive Strophes in Greek Drama
Triclinius’ understanding of metrical responsion can be seen to evolve and improve over time, owing especially to his study of the Aristophanes scholia, which then aided his work on the text of Sophocles.
Ewa Wipszycka. The Alexandrian Church. People and Institutions. Journal of Juristic Papyrology Supplement 25. Warsaw, 2015.
A new post from the Medieval manuscripts blog highlights Harley MS 5768, a twelfth-century trilingual psalter written at the court of Roger II of Sicily.
Tom Papademetriou. Render unto the Sultan: Power, Authority, and the Greek Orthodox Church in the Early Ottoman Centuries. Oxford University Press, 2015.
From Oxford University Press
The received wisdom about the nature of the Greek Orthodox Church in the Ottoman Empire is that Sultan Mehmed II reestablished the Patriarchate of Constantinople as both a political and a religious authority to govern the post-Byzantine Greek community. However, relations between the Church hierarchy and Turkish masters extend further back in history, and closer scrutiny of these relations reveals that the Church hierarchy in Anatolia had long experience dealing with Turkish emirs by focusing on economic arrangements. Decried as scandalous, these arrangements became the modus vivendi for bishops in the Turkish emirates.
Primarily concerned with the economic arrangements between the Ottoman state and the institution of the Greek Orthodox Church from the mid-fifteenth to the sixteenth century, Render Unto the Sultan argues that the Ottoman state considered the Greek Orthodox ecclesiastical hierarchy primarily as tax farmers (mültezim) for cash income derived from the church's widespread holdings. The Ottoman state granted individuals the right to take their positions as hierarchs in return for yearly payments to the state. Relying on members of the Greek economic elite (archons) to purchase the ecclesiastical tax farm (iltizam), hierarchical positions became subject to the same forces of competition that other Ottoman administrative offices faced. This led to colorful episodes and multiple challenges to ecclesiastical authority throughout Ottoman lands.
Tom Papademetriou demonstrates that minority communities and institutions in the Ottoman Empire, up to now, have been considered either from within the community, or from outside, from the Ottoman perspective. This new approach allows us to consider internal Greek Orthodox communal concerns, but from within the larger Ottoman social and economic context.
Render Unto the Sultan challenges the long established concept of the 'Millet System', the historical model in which the religious leader served both a civil as well as a religious authority. From the Ottoman state's perspective, the hierarchy was there to serve the religious and economic function rather than the political one.
Maciej Kokoszka, Zofia Rzeznicka. and Krzysztof Jagusiak, eds. Cereals of Antiquity and Early Byzantine Times: Wheat and Barley in Medical Sources (Second to Seventh Centuries). Jagiellonian University Press, 2015.
From Jagiellonian University Press
The present book entitled Cereals of antiquity and early Byzantine times. Wheat and barley in medical sources (second to seventh centuries AD), penned by Maciej Kokoszko, Krzysztof Jagusiak and Zofia Rzeznicka, aims at a detailed analysis of the evolution of dietetic doctrines and an assessment of the value of medical sources for historians of food. In order to achieve the goal, the authors have analysed select medical sources composed between the 2nd and the 7th centuries AD, i.e., treatises published from the moment of canonizing dietetic doctrine by Galen up to the composition of the medical encyclopaedia compiled by Paul of Aegina and the publication of the anonymous work entitled De cibis. Within this timeframe, there appeared a number of works which, following the assumptions of the Hippocratic school, contain a cohesive discourse devoted to the role of food in maintaining and restoring human health, thus allowing us to trace the development of diets during the period in question.In order to conduct their research, the authors have selected a food group, namely cereals and cereal products, starting with common and durum wheat (and including in the research hulled wheats, i.e. einkorn, emmer and spelt) and finishing with barley, since all the above-mentioned crops constituted the basis of diet of the majority of peoples inhabiting the Mediterranean. The researches have shown the history of the said cereals in the area around the Mediterranean Sea, singled out the most important products obtained therefrom, demonstrated their dietetic evaluations as presented in the sources, determined the place of cereals in cuisine and outlined their role in medical procedures.The final result of the analyses proves stability of the dietetic doctrines throughout the researched period, explains intricacies of the conceptual system developed by the medical doctors to describe cereal and other foodstuffs, defines recipes, methods and technologies profited from in food processing and outlines the place of cereal substances (both as independent medicinal agents or as ingredients included in composed medicaments) in popular medical treatment methods.
Two recent Medieval Manuscripts blog posts (March 10 and March 28) provide a complete list of Greek manuscripts from the collection of Robert Curzon (1810–1873) now in The British Library. Curzon was traveler, diplomat, author, and manuscript collector. His manuscripts often contain personal notes about the acquisition and a number retain early bindings.
Arc-Medieval Press announces a new series The Medieval Islamicate World.
During the medieval period, the Islamicate world encompassed a great arc stretching from al-Andalus to China. Within this arc, Muslims, Jews, and Christians, along with other diverse cultures and belief systems, established sophisticated and cosmopolitan communities, creating an environment that fostered intellectual, political and social interaction and cultural exchanges. Such connections were key to the vibrancy, achievements, and innovations of this period, resulting in a social reality that was as complex as it was subtle.
This series seeks to explore the intersections among the cultures that comprised the medieval Islamicate world, as well as the impact of specific communities, texts, and events on the development of Islamicate cultures. By considering these relationships and exchanges, we seek to trace the connections that gave rise to the variety and sophistication so characteristic of this era.
Topics and themes that the series intends to consider include
Identity, Religion, and Law; Dress and Social Discourse; Gender and Social Roles; Trade and Cultural Exchange; Art and Architecture; Patrons, Clients, and Slaves; Social Networks and hierarchies; Spaces and Borders; European Encounters with the Islamicate world; Islamicate encounters with the Occidental world; Material cultures; Music, Music Theory and Philosophies of Music; Literature and Poetry; Translation and Linguistics; Sexualities.
From al-Andalus, across the Mediterranean and Middle East, to the Punjab and beyond into China and Mongolia
7th-15th centuries CE (1st-9th centuries AH)
Call for Contributions
The Medieval Islamicate World is currently seeking academic monographs, including those based on doctoral research, and contributions for forthcoming edited volumes gender, sexuality, and identity as produced in various genres of medieval Islamicate texts.
E. T. Dailey
The latest edition of the British Library’s Ancient Medieval and Early Modern Digitized Manuscript Hyperlinks is available on the Medieval manuscripts blog. This list includes all of the Greek manuscripts that have been digitized.
Ashgate Publishings announces a new series Maritime Humanities, 1400–1800: Cultures of the Sea.
Early modern oceans not only provided temperate climates, resources, and opportunities for commercial exchange, they also played a central role in cultural life. This period of history was marked by increased exploration, travel, and trade, and early modern seascapes were cultural spaces and contact zones, where connections and circulations occurred outside established centres of control and the dictates of individual national histories. Likewise coastlines, rivers, and ports were all key sites for commercial and cultural exchange.
Interdisciplinary in its approach, Maritime Humanities 1400-1800: Cultures of the Sea welcomes books from across the full range of humanities subjects, and invites submissions that conceptually engage with issues of globalization, post-colonialism, eco-criticism, environmentalism, and the histories of science and technology. The series puts maritime humanities at the centre of a transnational historiographical scholarship that seeks to transform traditional land-based histories of states and nations by focusing on the cultural meanings of the early modern ocean.
Series editors: Claire Jowitt, University of Southampton, UK, and John McAleer, University of Southampton, UK
Antony Eastmond, ed. Viewing Inscriptions in the Late Antique and Medieval World. Cambridge University Press, 2015
From Cambridge University Press
Inscriptions convey meaning not just by their contents but also by other means, such as choice of script, location, scale, spatial organisation, letterform, legibility and clarity. The essays in this book consider these visual qualities of inscriptions, ranging across the Mediterranean and the Near East from Spain to Iran and beyond, including Norman Sicily, Islamic North Africa, Byzantium, medieval Italy, Georgia and Armenia. While most essays focus on Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, they also look back at Achaemenid Iran and forward to Mughal India. Topics discussed include real and pseudo-writing, multilingual inscriptions, graffiti, writing disguised as images and images disguised as words. From public texts set up on mountainsides or on church and madrasa walls to intimate craftsmen's signatures, barely visible on the undersides of precious objects, the inscriptions discussed in this volume reveal their meanings as textual and visual devices.
Introduction: viewing inscriptions
Text, image, memory, and performance: epigraphic practices in Persia and the ancient Iranian world
Matthew P. Canepa
Prayers on site: the materiality of devotional graffiti and the production of early Christian sacred space
Ann Marie Yasin
Erasure and memory: Aghlabid and Fatimid inscriptions in North Africa
Textual icons: viewing inscriptions in medieval Georgia
Pseudo-Arabic 'inscriptions' and the pilgrim's path at Hosios Loukas
Arabic inscriptions in the Cappella Palatina: performativity, audience, legibility, and illegibility
Intercession and succession, enlightenment and reflection: the inscriptional and decorative program of the Qaratay Madrasa, Konya
Remembering Fernando: multilingualism in medieval Iberia
Displaying the word: words as visual signs in the Armenian architectural decoration of the monastery of Noravank (fourteenth century)
Written in stone: civic memory and monumental writing in the Cathedral of San Lorenzo in Genoa
Place, space, and style: craftsmen's signatures in medieval Islamic art
Sheila S. Blair
Afterword: re-viewing inscriptions
Michael Philip Penn. When Christians First Met Muslims: A Sourcebook of the Earliest Syriac Writings on Islam. University of California Press, 2015.
From University of California Press
The first Christians to meet Muslims were not Latin-speaking Christians from the western Mediterranean or Greek-speaking Christians from Constantinople but rather Christians from northern Mesopotamia who spoke the Aramaic dialect of Syriac. Living under Muslim rule from the seventh century to the present, Syriac Christians wrote the first and most extensive accounts of Islam, describing a complicated set of religious and cultural exchanges not reducible to the solely antagonistic.
Through its critical introductions and new translations of this invaluable historical material, When Christians First Met Muslims allows scholars, students, and the general public to explore the earliest interactions between what eventually became the world’s two largest religions, shedding new light on Islamic history and Christian-Muslim relations.
Diana G. Wright and John R. Melville-Jones. The Greek Correspondence of Bartolomeo Minio Volume II: Dispacci from Candia (1500-1502). Unipress, 2015.
From Diana Wright via BYZANS-L
This volume contains 61 letters Minio wrote as Captain of Crete, responsible for the defense of the island, and for supplying food and materiel for the Venetian fleet. These letters begin with the fall of Methoni, give information about the Venetian-Ottoman war, shipping, falcons, spies, Cretan fortifications, the French & Spanish fleets, Ottoman pirates, and problems of famine and ship supplies. Minio is 20 years older than he was in Nauplion with a great many life-&-death experiences behind him, and is increasingly intolerant of Venetian bureaucracy. In Nauplion he was the sole administrator: in Candia he has to work in concert with a Doge and others. This does not always go well.
Ville Vuolanto. Children and Asceticism in Late Antiquity: Continuity, Family Dynamics and the Rise of Christianity. Ashgate, 2015.
In Late Antiquity the emergence of Christian asceticism challenged the traditional Greco-Roman views and practices of family life. The resulting discussions on the right way to live a good Christian life provide us with a variety of information on both ideological statements and living experiences of late Roman childhood. This is the first book to scrutinise the interplay between family, children and asceticism in the rise of Christianity. Drawing on texts of Christian authors of the late fourth and early fifth centuries the volume approaches the study of family dynamics and childhood from both ideological and social historical perspectives. It examines the place of children in the family in Christian ideology and explores how families in the late Roman world adapted these ideals in practice.
Offering fresh viewpoints to current scholarship Ville Vuolanto demonstrates that there were many continuities in Roman ways of thinking about children and, despite the rise of Christianity, the old traditions remained deeply embedded in the culture. Moreover, the discussions about family and children are shown to have been intimately linked to worries about the continuity of family lineage and of the self, and to the changing understanding of what constituted a meaningful life.
Andreas Rhoby. Inscriptions in Byzantium and Beyond. Methods – Projects – Case Studies. Vienna, Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 2015.
From Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften
The present book, the first collective volume entirely devoted to aspects of Byzantine epigraphy, mainly comprises papers delivered at two international meetings (Vienna 2010, Sofia 2011). The book is divided into four sections and includes among others the following contributions: after an introductory article about the “history” of the discipline of Byzantine epigraphy Cyril Mango tries to define the term “Byzantine inscription” and its limits. Vincent Debiais offers some interesting observations by comparing medieval Latin inscriptions from the West with Byzantine epigraphic traditions. The second section of the book bears the title “Methods of Editing Byzantine Inscriptions”: while the paper of Peter Schreiner discusses the urgent necessity of creating a new epigraphic initiative within Byzantine Studies, Walter Koch describes the Western medieval inscription projects in detail. Both Guglielmo Cavallo and Erkki Sironen discuss editorial guidelines while Charlotte Roueché stresses the advantages of creating online-corpora, and Joel Kalvesmaki describes his recently published epigraphic font “Athena Ruby”. The third section covers articles which report current epigraphic projects: two projects from Greece presented will be published within databases. Maria Xenaki discusses the epigraphic wealth of Cappadocia and its hardly studied graffiti. The last section is devoted to case studies articles. Their content ranges from Late Antiquity (Sencer Şahin, Mustafa Sayar) until the middle and the late Byzantine period (Ida Toth, Linda Safran).
Gesta, volume 54, no. 1 (2015).
Encounter: Otto Demus
Herbert L. Kessler
“He Who Is at the Point of Death”: The Fate of the Soul in Byzantine Art and Liturgy
Vassa Kontouma. John of Damascus: New Studies on his Life and Works. Variorum Collected Studies Series: CS1053. Ashgate, 2015.
For more than five hundred years the life and work of John of Damascus (c. 655–c.745) have been the subject of a very extensive literature, scholarly and popular, in which it is often difficult to get one’s bearings. Through the studies included here (of which 6 appear in a translation into English made specially for this volume), Vassa Kontouma provides a critical review of this literature and attempts to answer several open questions: the author and date of composition of the official Life of John, the philosophical significance of the Dialectica (a study which has its first publication here), the original structure of the Exposition of the Orthodox faith, the identity of ps.-Cyril, the authenticity of the Letter on Great Lent, and questions of Mariology. She also opens new vistas for research along four main lines: the life of John of Damascus and its sources, Neochalcedonian philosophy, systematic theology in Byzantium, and Christian practices under the Umayyads.
Christian Gastgeber and Falko Daim, eds. Byzantium as Bridge between West and East. Proceedings of the International Confernce, Vienna, 3rd -5th May, 2012. Vienna, Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 2015.
From Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften
The international conference “Byzantium as Bridge between West and East” (3rd–5th May 2012) at the Austrian Academy of Sciences underlined the mediation role of Byzantium between the cultures in the West and East as well as of its own culture to the neighboring nations. This mediation was discussed not only in terms of influence, but also of receptive function, symbolized in its bridging role. Such a bridge was built also within Byzantium, in the transition from pagan to Christian culture. The proceedings which were supplemented by additional contributions of specialists underpin the importance of Byzantine culture and politics for an overall understanding of late Roman, medieval and early modern history and once again restore Byzantium from a romanticized oriental, distant, mysterious kingdom into European history and its cultural landscape. Thus, the focus is particularly on its huge boost, its reception and its mediation between Europe and the East, in a never-ending process of mobility between Europe, Africa and Asia.