"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, December 31, 2018

Justinian: Architect and Emperor

For those following the on-going struggle in Ukraine for an Orthodox church free from neo-imperial control and aggression, and for those interested in on-going ecclesiological and ecumenical searches for greater decentralization in the Church both East and West, a recently published book sheds light on the fact that these issues go back a long way: Stanislaw Turlej, Justiniana Prima: An Underestimated Aspect of Justinian's Church Policy (Jagiellonian University Press, 2018), 272pp.

About this book the publisher tells us this:
The book explores the history of Justiniana Prima, a city built by Emperor Justinian I (527-565) in his birthplace near Niš in present-day Serbia. Previous studies focused on determining the city's location, underestimating the significance of analyzing written sources for the reconstruction of this city's genesis and importance. Using information from Emperor Justinian's Novels XI and CXXXI, as well as Book IV of Procopius of Caesarea's De aedificiis, Stanislaw Turlej endeavors to show that Justiniana Prima's historic significance resulted from granting its Church the status of an archbishopric with its own province in 535, which was independent of Rome. Justinian wanted to introduce profound changes to the ecclesiastical organization based on state law.

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