In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

74BOOK REVIEWS contains what appear to be embedded fragments of a Syro-Palestinian monastic typikon (rule). The Life ofTheoktiste of Lesbos, by Angela Hero, contains the only surviving description by a Byzantine author of the Church of the Hundred Gates on Paros, an early Christian basilica rebuilt by Justinian. The Lives of Athanasia of Aegina, translated by Lee Sherry, Theodora of Thessalonike, translated by Alice-Mary Talbot, and the aforementioned Matrona of Perge demonstrate that in Byzantium marriage (or even bearing children) was not an absolute bar to achieving sanctity. Only in the Life ofThomais of Lesbos, however , is a marriage (of the saint's parents) portrayed in a favorable Ught rather than as a burden of or obstruction to sainthood. The Lives of Elisabeth theWonderworker, translated byValerie Karras, and the aforementioned Theodora ofThessalonike are particularly instructive on how family connections assured preferential admissions to private nunneries and succession to their leadership.The Life ofTheodora ofArta, a thirteenth-century empress, translated by Alice-MaryTalbot, is a rare example of a female saint in late Byzantine times, one of just four in some 450 years. The volume is concluded with a general index and separate indices ofpeople and places and of notable Greek words. John Thomas San Francisco, California Medieval Liturgy. A Book ofEssays. Edited by Lizette Larson-Miller. [Garland Medieval Casebooks,Volume 18; Garland Reference Library of the Humanities , Volume 1884.] (New York: Garland Publishing, Inc. 1997. Pp. xviii, 314.) This collection of essays is a study of the history of rites, of their practice in relation to historical context, of treatises on ritual, and of ritual exegesis. With some exceptions, medieval means Merovingian and CaroUngian Gaul, since this is the major orientation of the book. Some ofthe essays are quite specific,with a focus on a particular writer or ritual . Such are the essays ofJan Michael Joncas on Hugh ofAmiens on order and ordination, of Susan A. Rabe on CaroUngian architecture, of Michael S. DriscoU on penitential practices in transition, and of Paul A. Jacobson on early CaroUngian royal anointings. DriscoU's title is somewhat misleading, since despite references to some larger background it is for the most part an interesting presentation of the contribution ofAlcuin ofYork to penitential practice. Other essays in the collection are more in the nature of surveys.Thus Gary Macy lists commentaries on the Mass in the early scholastic period; Joanne M. Pierce gives an overview of the early medieval development of the Mass ordo; Marie Ann Mayeski looks at exegesis in the context of the Eucharist; John K. Leonard surveys the rites of Marriage in different parts of medieval Europe; and BOOK REVIEWS75 Edward Foley reconstructs what we can know of the song of the assembly during Mass. The essays are of good quaUty. They are clearly written, and reveal a good knowledge of source materials, amply documented in the endnotes. In her introductory essay, Lizette Larson-MiUer underlines the relation of Uturgy to culture , and the pertinence of the history of liturgy to the history of the Middle Ages, as weU as to the discipline of theology.The points are weU taken, but are not given much expUcit attention in the essays gathered together.The one essay that truly relates the specific issue to its cultural milieu is that of Rabe on architecture . For the most part, the other authors give useful historical information, but without much of the kind of interpretation suggested by the editor.Their care with sources and historical accuracy is their best contribution to this larger conversation, and that in itself is important. While the volume wiU be of most interest to students of medieval Uturgy, it could be of interest for a more general readership looking for information on the medieval Church. SpeciaUsts may weU find some new points ofinformation, but on a whole the book wiU best serve the student who wishes a fairly broad but concise knowledge of the Uturgies of the period, and of commentaries on them. For these students, it could serve as recommended reading in survey courses, that want to go beneath the surface and beyond the vaguely general. David N. Power, O.M.I. The Catholic University ofAmerica Medieval Death:Ritual...


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 74-75
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.