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68BOOK REVIEWS ish legislation. Buck's treatment unfolds along two interconnected tracks. The first part of his fifth chapter treats selected texts as examples: a capitulary as an order to pray (MGH, Capit. Nr. 21); a capitulary as an admonitio (MGH, Capit. Nr. 23); a capitulary as a sermon (MGH, Capit. Nr. 121). Each text is addressed in terms of manuscript remains, decisions made by previous editors, dating, the situation surrounding the promulgation of the text, authorship, intended audience , form and structure of the text, language, sources from which the content of the text is derived—all complex matters having major implications for textual interpretation. Buck then turns from an exemplarish to a systematisch methodology in which he examines in chronological order a series of enactments dating from the reign of Clovis to the death of Charlemagne in quest of information Üluminating the intrusion of religious elements into legislative texts. His inquiry, stressing a methodological approach focused on clusters of interconnected texts rather than individual capitularies, reveals the progressive inclusion in capitulary texts of provisions positing knowledge of the true faith and its proper practice both liturgically and ethically as the foundation stones of an earthly order pleasing to God. These programmatic concepts in turn led to pragmatic directions cast in pastoral terms aimed at the correctio of those who did not know or had strayed from right belief and practice. Programmatically , religious-pastoral concepts found their most mature expression in Charlemagne 's reign, especially in the Admonitio generalis of 789 and the Capitulare missorum generale of 802—and perhaps in a non-capitulary entitled by Boretius Missi cuiusdam admonitio (MGH, Cap. Nr. 121), to which Buck devotes unusual attention in an attempt to figure out what this enigmatic text represents as an expression of the religious-pastoral dimension of Frankish legislation . This truncated description ofBuck's book could easily lead to the conclusion that his study rehashes well worn themes related to religion and law in Frankish governance. Quite the opposite: This study marks an important step forward not only in establishing the religious-pastoral dimension of Frankish legislation on a solid basis substantively and chronologically but also in providing valuable methodological lessons pointing to a more fruitful reading of the enigmatic array of texts that share the designation "capitularies." And it leaves no doubt that a new edition of the capitularies is needed. This work will long remain an indispensable tool for the study of Frankish legislation and its import. Richard E. Sullivan Michigan State University Anglo-Saxon Church Councils, c. 650-c. 850. By Catherine Cubitt. [Studies in the Early History of Britain.] (Leicester University Press. Distributed in the United States by St. Martin's Press, NewYork. 1995. Pp. x, 363. $59-00.) An excellent contribution to the history of the early English church, this book offers both a specific focus on ecclesiastical councils and an encompassing assessment of the growth and development of religious culture in the early BOOK REVIEWS69 Anglo-Saxon period.Anglo-Saxon Church Councils is organized into two parts. Three succinct essays in Part One explain the organization of synods, their frequency , location, and other matters; the actual business of the synods, which ranged from questions of doctrine to the adjudication of disputes concerning church property; and diplomatic (or textual) matters and procedure. Five chapters in Part Two analyze major councils—"Clofesho" (held in 747), Chelsea (816), and councils convened by papal legates visiting York and Canterbury (786)—and charter evidence of synods held during the late eighth and early ninth centuries, a period when Mercian kings exercised political ascendancy over the Church in regions south of the Humber. Two appendices (together over seventy pages) summarize the evidence for each synod discussed and supply maps showing the location (or probable location) of the synods and other useful data. Eighth-century councils brought about fundamental organizational changes that reflected the Church's need to consolidate its position. Early in the ninth century, Cubitt argues, the political significance of the synods diminished as bishops became more concerned with protecting their privileges and less concerned with reforming ecclesiastical practices. The bishops' authority in judicial matters (including disputes about property) waned as West Saxon kings undid the...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-0708
Print ISSN
0008-8080
Pages
pp. 68-70
Launched on MUSE
2016-10-05
Open Access
No
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