"Let books be your dining table, / And you shall be full of delights. / Let them be your
And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).

Monday, June 25, 2018

Neilos of Rossano and His Life

Ines Murzaku recently sent me a copy of her newest publication, which I very gladly draw to your attention. She has graciously agreed to an interview about it in the coming days. (For a previous interview I did with her, see here.)

The first is a translation she worked on along with Raymond Capra and Douglas Milewski and published by Harvard University Press under its prestigious Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library imprint: The Life of Saint Neilos of Rossano (2018), 384pp.

The titular figure occupies a truly liminal place both geographically and historically in East-West relations. As the publisher tells us:
The Life of Saint Neilos of Rossano is a masterpiece of historically accurate Italo-Greek monastic literature. Neilos, who died in 1004, vividly exemplifies the preoccupations of Greek monks in southern Italy under the Byzantine Empire. A restless search for a permanent residence, ascetic mortification of the body, and pursuit by enemies are among the concerns this text shares with biographies of other saints from the region. Like many of his peers, Neilos lived in both hermitages and monasteries, torn between the competing conventions of solitude and community. The Life of Neilos offers a snapshot of a distinctive time when Greek and Latin monasticism coexisted, a world that vanished after the schism between the churches of Rome and Constantinople in 1054. This is the first English translation, with a newly revised Greek text.
The figure under examination here, and some of the themes, have been partly treated in some of her other recent publications as noted here.

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