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BOOK REVIEWS305 reUgiosity?).There appears to have been a constant temptation on the part of authors, not always resisted, to abandon a European focus in favor of a Frankish focus. But these aU pale beside the greater accompUshment of this volume. It succeeds in making clear how much is known about the period 700 to 900 and provides innumerable clues as to what still needs to be discovered. Professor McKitterick and her coUaborators have created a fitting monument to one of the great scholarly accompUshments that have occurred since the pubUcation three quarters ofa century ago ofthe original volumes ofthe CMHdealing with the early Middle Ages, namely, the successful effort to Uluminate and thus eliminate the last Dark Age. Richard E. Sullivan Michigan State University Faith, Art, and Politics at Saint Riquier. The Symbolic Vision ofAngilbert. By Susan A. Rabe. [Middle Ages Series.] (PhUadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. 1995. Pp. xvii, 220. $36.95.) At Easter in 800 Charlemagne and his court attended the dedication of the Abbey of Saint-Riquier, one of the best-documented of major CaroUngian buUdings .The abbot,AngUbert, was responsible for the rebuUding, and he left an account of the buUdings and their liturgical use. Two seventeenth-century engravings reproduce a lost late eleventh-century drawing of Saint-Riquier, showing the three churches dedicated to Richarius, Benedict, and Mary. The main church had three great towers at each end and eleven major altars. Dr. Rabe's study sees the buUding as a reflection of CaroUngian theological debate, in which "symboUsm based on the number three was present everywhere." She provides superb translations of some ofAngUbert's poems and accounts of his involvement in the debates on Adoptionism and Image worship to sustain her argument, which is an important exploration of how CaroUngian architecture was viewed by its creators. I am not clear how Dr. Rabe selects her evidence for AngUbert's thought, or his patronage. She discusses the theology of the poem De Conversione Saxonum , but I am not persuaded by her arguments for attributing it to AngUbert rather than to Paulinus ofAquUeia, as D. SchaUer has proposed.AngUbert's prefatory poem for a presentation copy of the De Doctrina Christiana is carefuUy analyzed, but its Trinitarian symboUsm relates to its summary of Augustine's thought and need not represent AngUbert's thought. Other poems byAngUbert about Charlemagne's court, which show his command of different genres and his reading ofOvid, are not mentioned here. Dr. Rabe has found parallels for her sense ofthe symbolism ofSaint-Riquier, but she teUs us more aboutAlcuin's theological disputes, which provide the context for that symboUsm, than about Alcuin 's expUcit criticisms ofAngUbert. Could AngUbert's love of the theater also have affected his architectural program? 306BOOK REVIEWS The library ofSaint-Riquier is lost,but we have a CaroUngian catalogue.The Ubrary owned Alcuin on the Trinity, and Alcuin was AngUbert's friend, but there is no discussion of Alcuin's Trinitarian symboUsm. A magnificent Gospel book feG???ß given by Charlemagne) now in AbbevUle and a Psalter (B.N. Lat. 13159) were made duringAngUbert's abbacy, but neither is mentioned here.Yet the Gospel Book has importantTrinitarian symboUsm Ui its initials. Dr. Rabe reproduces plans of the basiUca and the church of the Virgin from the 1959-1989 excavations of Dr. Honoré Bernard, but there is no mention of his 1993 Paris thesis "St-Riquier Archéologie et Historiographie." We should be told if this was unavailable, or if Bernard and Rabe disagree about the reconstruction ofthe abbey. Here again Dr. Rabe leaves her readers regretting that she was not able to write a fuUer study of such an important monument. Bernard has found porphyry and serpentine columns,which may be reused materials reflecting the influence of buUdings we know too Uttle about.The discovery of an atrium at the west end of the church, caUed "paradisus" in AngUbert's description , also suggests such imitation. But what is the symboUsm of "paradisus"? Where so much is lost, the exploration of CaroUngian architectural symboUsm requires speculation. This is a brave attempt at exploration, but whether AngUbert's "visual and sensory mimetic structure" was the "consistent symbolic vision" suggested here...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-0708
Print ISSN
0008-8080
Pages
pp. 305-306
Launched on MUSE
2016-10-05
Open Access
No
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