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162 Reviews practical outlets in the form of public oratory had almost ceased to exist. Sophists were, however, much sought after and, according to Cavafy, bitchily competitive. If their spiritual descendants are today to be found in the research seminars and teaching posts of university arts faculties, surely Cavafy, for one, would have approved. Roderick Beaton King's College London University of London Theofanis G. Stavrou, ed., Modern Greek Studies Yearbook, Vol. 1, no. 1, 1985. Pp. xii + 253 $20.00. It is unusual as well as difficult to review a learned journal because of the disparity of contents any given issue contains. The fact that the issue under review is a new venture, under the sponsorship of the Modern Greek Studies Program at the University of Minnesota , and that its very existence ought to interest readers of this Journal , makes reviewing reasonable, but does not make it easier. As explained in the prefatory Editor's Note, this enterprise was conceived in 1982 when two older journals in the field were in difficulties -- Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies, edited in England, and Neo-Hellenica, edited in Texas. As the Journal of the Modern Greek Studies is an heir and successor of the former English journal, so the Modern Greek Studies Yearbook is at least the indirect successor to Neo-Hellenica. The editor proposes to interpret his journal's concern with the Greek world broadly. He will seek articles dealing with the Greeks abroad as well as within Greece and with ancient and Byzantine as well as more modern times. The Yearbook seeks to be international in its scholarship, with contributions from Greece and from the United States alongside every other land in which Greek studies on a scholarly level exist. Finally, the editor intends to combine historical and literary scholarship and will publish translations of significant Greek texts into English with whatever critical apparatus they require . Book reviews and a list of "Books Received" completes the scheme of the Yearbook. In general, then, the new Yearbook covers nearly the same ground as the JMGS, and the two editors are bound to find themselves competing for contributions from the same stable of authors. Whether the number of good articles will be sufficient to sustain high Reviews 163 scholarly quality for both periodicals is a question for the future. In the present case, Th. Stavrou has indeed succeeded in gathering an impressive group of articles for his initial issue; and the format of publication and editorial accuracy are entirely admirable. The lead article "The Orthodox Elders (Startsy) of Imperial Russia" by Robert L. Nichols is by all odds the most impressive contribution in this issue. It traces, with easy mastery, the origins and diffusion of a new style of holiness in Russian monasteries from the 18th to the 20th centuries. This is new stuff, at least for me. Our Russian studies have been so hypnotized by the Revolutions of 1917 that little attention has been given to so very different a pattern of response to modernity as that embodied by the Russian monastic "elders," with their perpetual "Jesus prayer" and habit of giving advice to lay persons who came to seek what we might call psychiatric help. Yet, as Nichols makes clear, this monastic movement was also in opposition (of a sort) to official Tsarism and constituted as complex a reaction to the cross currents of modernity within Russia as anything found within the more familiar revolutionary sects. This, and a second article on Russian fund-raising efforts within the framework of the Orthodox Church on behalf of the Greeks during the revolutionary struggle, deal with Russian rather than Greek history in any exact sense. Yet as the editor explains in his prefatory note, even Nichol's article does relate to the Greek world, since the techniques of holiness that distinguished the Russian elders of the 19th and 20th centuries had, in fact, been pioneered at Mt. Athos in the 14th and reached Russia anew in the 18th century from Balkan sources. The late bloom of Hesychast piety in the north is therefore an episode in the history of the extended "Byzantine Commonwealth " that Dimitry Obolensky sketched so elegantly some years ago...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-3265
Print ISSN
0738-1727
Pages
pp. 162-164
Launched on MUSE
2010-06-24
Open Access
No
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