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732book reviews structed, rather like a patch-work quilt, from snippets of earlier lives (notably by Andrew of Crete and Cyril of Scythopolis) along with many extracts from the conciliarActa (Nicaea II). For the first time one can study this fascinating Life in all its complexity. The task facing any historian of this period lies in the proper evaluation of the contemporary chronicles: these were written by ecclesiastical authors, partisans ofthe victorious iconophiles.When this Life was commissioned the iconoclasts had suffered a crushing defeat, but the Patriarch, Nikephoros, surely the outstanding personality in the history of the Church at this time,was aware that below the surface simmered a violent dislike of the innovative icon-worship then being imposed, and a nostalgic attachment to the former imperial house of the Isaurians. A reaction must have seemed an imminent danger, and in a few years became a grim reality with the second phase of iconoclasm. This volume is a mine of information for the historian, but also a delight for the philologist. The complicated manuscript tradition is carefully handled, and constantly illuminated with intelligent insights and a wealth of erudition. A minor complaint is that the negative apparatus does not allow one to be sure when all ten manuscripts are testifying (both B and E have serious lacunae): a one-line reference to the witnesses for each page would have been helpful. The main aspect not touched upon is the purely literary. If ever there was a text written to be read aloud it is this. The writer himself frequently appeals to his hearers, and the whole texture of the writing is rhetorical in the extreme—lavish in its scenes of cruelty, with hints of sexual impropriety thrown in for good measure. My own preference would have been for a closer attention to the original Byzantine punctuation, frequently helpful for the clearer understanding of the text. An unavoidable weakness is that the author could not consult the critical edition of the Pseudo-Damascene Letter to Theophilos, published too late for her to use. No matter, this edition is a tour deforce, and the Birmingham Centre for Byzantine Studies deserves to be congratulated on this outstanding addition to their Monographs. Joseph A. Munitiz Campion Hall, Oxford The Formation ofa Medieval Church:Ecclesiastical Change in Verona, 9501150 . By Maureen C. Miller. (Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press. 1993. Pp. xx, 216. $35.00.) This tidy book offers a clear description of the evolution of ecclesiastical institutions in a major diocese of the Véneto in the central Middle Ages. The work grew from a Harvard dissertation, ofwhich it still bears some traces (the definitions on pp. 1, 2, 62, 97 of basic concepts are superfluous for a scholarly audience ). Beyond the introduction, six crisply written chapters and a telegraphic BOOK REVIEWS733 conclusion support the thesis that "profound," "rapid," and "important" change took place in the Veronese church during the two centuries upon which Miller focuses (A.D. 950- 1 150). Veronese archival and published sources enable Miller to show that after about 1000 Verona's bishops increased their control over the diocese, and especially over the many"new" parish churches appearing in these two hundred years (chap. 6). As imperial involvement in diocesan affairs slackened and a comune emerged, new ecclesiastical forms developed: the secular clergy was reorganized and its pastoral duties increased (chap. 2); the cathedral chapter lost authority (chap. 5); and non-Benedictine pious foundations proliferated (but not only because of the patronage of the new classes of people this period produced: chaps. 3-4). Miller identifies the cause of all this ferment: demographic growth. Miller seldom leaves the shadow ofVerona's campanili in her study. Both this narrow geographical focus, and the concern for a famously decisive period of "reform" in western Christendom, make The Formation ofa Medieval Church stolidly traditional. But the institutional history of Verona's church in the Gregorian era is admirably situated by Miller in its social context, which renders this book different from much church history. One example of the results of this choice are the minibiographies (pp. 157-163, 165-174) of Bishop Rather (d. 972) and of the surprisingly human, embattled Bishop...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-0708
Print ISSN
0008-8080
Pages
pp. 732-734
Launched on MUSE
2016-10-05
Open Access
No
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