"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).

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Byzantine World

All things Byzantine continue to fascinate people today. A recent Routledge collection brings together a variety of scholarly studies for those who cannot get enough of the life of the East-Roman Empire and its inhabitants: Paul Stephenson, ed., The Byzantine World (Routledge 2010), 640pp.

About this book the publisher tells us:
The Byzantine World presents the latest insights of the leading scholars in the fields of Byzantine studies, history, art and architectural history, literature, and theology. Those who know little of Byzantine history, culture and civilization between AD 700 and 1453 will find overviews and distillations, while those who know much already will be afforded countless new vistas. Each chapter offers an innovative approach to a well-known topic or a diversion from a well-trodden path.
Readers will be introduced to Byzantine women and children, men and eunuchs, emperors, patriarchs, aristocrats and slaves. They will explore churches and fortifications, monasteries and palaces, from Constantinople to Cyprus and Syria in the east, and to Apulia and Venice in the west. Secular and sacred art, profane and spiritual literature will be revealed to the reader, who will be encouraged to read, see, smell and touch. The worlds of Byzantine ceremonial and sanctity, liturgy and letters, Orthodoxy and heresy will be explored, by both leading and innovative international scholars.
Ultimately, readers will find insights into the emergence of modern Byzantine studies and of popular Byzantine history that are informative, novel and unexpected, and that provide a thorough understanding of both.


Part 1: The Byzantines and their World 1. Michael Angold, The Byzantine Political Process at Crisis Point 2. Paul Stephenson, The Rise of the Middle Byzantine Aristocracy and the Decline of the Imperial State 3. Cécile Morrisson, Money, Coins and the Economy 4. John Haldon, The Army and Military Logistics 5. Anthony Kaldellis, The Study of Women and Children: Methodological Challenges and New Directions 6. Leonora Neville, Strong Women and their Husbands in Byzantine Historiography 7. Shaun Tougher, Cherchez l’homme! Byzantine Men: A Eunuch Perspective 8. Günter Prinzing, Slaves and Slavery 9. Christopher Livanos, Monotheists, Dualists and Pagans 10. Tia Kolbaba, The Virtues and Faults of the Latin Christians

Part 2: The Written World 11. Catherine Holmes, Political Literacy 12. Denis Sullivan, Byzantine Military Manuals: Prescriptions, Practice, and Pedagogy 13 J.M. Featherstone, De Cerimoniis and the Great Palace 14. Emmanuel Bourbouhakis, Rhetoric and Performance 15. Stratis Papaioannou, Letter-writing 16. Christopher Livanos, Trends and Developments in the Byzantine Poetic Tradition 17. Anthony Kaldellis, The Corps of Byzantine Historiography: An Interpretative Essay 18. Youval Rotman, Christians, Jews, and Muslims in Byzantine Italy: Medieval Conflicts in Local Perspective 19. Alice-Mary Talbot, The Miracles of Gregory Palamas by Philotheos Kokkinos 20. Joseph Munitiz, Writing for the Heart: the Spiritual Literature of Byzantium

Part 3: Heaven and Earth: Byzantine Art and Architecture 21. Bissera Pentcheva, What is a Byzantine icon? Constantinople versus Sinai 22. Vasileios Marinis, Defining Liturgical Space 23. Warren T. Woodfin, Celestial Hierarchies and Earthly Hierarchies in the Art of the Byzantine Church 24. Henry Maguire, Unofficial Art and the Resistance to Orthodoxy 25. Robert Ousterhout, Constantinople and the Construction of Medieval urban Identity 26. Nikolas Bakirtzis, The Practice, Perception and Experience of Byzantine Fortification 27. Jonathan Shepard, Imperial Outliers: Building and Decorative Works in the Borderlands and Beyond 28. Tassos Papacostas, The Medieval Progeny of the Holy Apostles: Trails of Architectural Imitation across the Mediterranean 29. Thomas Dale, Sacred Space from Constantinople to Venice

Part 4: The World of Byzantine Studies 30. D. Roderich Reinsch, The History of Editing Byzantine Historiographical Texts 31. Despina Christodoulou, Byzantium in Nineteenth-century Greek Historiography 32. Paul Stephenson, Pioneers of Popular Byzantine history: Freeman, Gregorovius, Schlumberger 33. Srđan Pirivatrić, A Case Study in the Emergence of Byzantine Studies: Serbia in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries 34. Johann P. Arnason, Byzantium and Historical Sociology 35. Paul Stephenson, Byzantium's European Future

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