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REVIEWS 289 religion and gender studies. The essays examine key issues in recent scholarship , including the implications of the phases of construction of Ruthwell, the contested language of “cross” and “obelisk,” and the variant ways contemporaneous audiences might have seen and interpreted this sculpture. If I have any criticism of this volume as a whole it is that the focus is predominantly on the Ruthwell cross, to the neglect of lesser-known monuments. LORI ESHLEMAN, Art History, Arizona State University Time and Eternity: The Medieval Discourse, ed. Gerard Jaritz and Gerson Moreno-Riaño, International Medieval Research 9 (Turnhout: Brepols 2003) 535 pp. This volume is contains thirty-two papers presented at the 7th International Medieval Congress, Leeds 2000. The editors introduce the different scholarly approaches to the complex and difficult subject of time and eternity by emphasizing the “doubt that continues to exist”: the medieval authorities were confronted with questions when dealing with the phenomenon of time and the same questions persist for us. From Augustine’s exclamation, “And I confess to thee, O Lord, that I am still ignorant as to what time is” (Confessions XI. 25) to our own ignorance when dealing with the phenomenon of time, the situation has not really changed. Recognizing that the temporal experience, as an experience of change, is related to human meaning and fulfillment, and that understandings of time are based upon the diverse ways in which human beings experience life and the flow of events, the editors selected essays that attest to the fact that the medieval experience of time and eternity was complex, and that the medieval mind pursued the investigation of temporality and eternity using a variety of approaches and methods. The essays are a learned and intelligent analysis of a variety of medieval concepts of time and the ways in which the flow of time and events affected people. Wesley Stevens’s plenary address, “A Present Sense of Things Past: Quid est enim tempus?”—a title that includes Augustine’s question (Confessions XI.14.17)—addresses the basic questions in conceptualizing the nature of time, the dating of historical events, and the use of calendars for that purpose. Stevens analyzes Augustine’s attempts to explore mind, memory, and time, and how the fall of the great city of Rome to the Visigoths in 410 stimulated him to raise the discussion to the meaning of history. For Augustine, time did not exist before the creation of the world. Mind, memory, and time are not eternal, but God is eternal. And God created the world, which we can know, so that nature and history are real. Thus, human history can be known by the mind in memory. Events in time could be anticipated, experienced and remembered, according to Augustine. The mind is created and thinks in time, which leads Stevens to comment on the importance of the structure of calendars for the historian of the Middle Ages. Starting in 525 with Dionysius Exiguus, who took the birth of Christ as a beginning point for a sequence of years, a new dating system was introduced. It was accepted by Bede, used by bishops and abbots of Latin Europe, and finally came into use in Rome during the tenth century. The subsequent changes create difficulties for historians today, but even then occasional variants within every system were very technical and required systematic training , experience, and understanding. Stevens discusses Alcuin’s (ca. 735–804) REVIEWS 290 contribution to the study of computus and his different tracts that illustrate the purpose and organization of various sets of these calendar formulae. After reviewing the computus in the eighth and ninth centuries, the disagreements among scholars, and the difficulties associated with the tables of data based upon scientific knowledge but not reader friendly, Stevens ends his essay on a hopeful note for historians: Augustine’s logic allowed him to know past, present , and future with a clear mind, and so can we. Following Stevens essay, the volume is divided into seven themes approaching the medieval perception and constructions of time from different angles. The first section, “Time, its Computation and the Use of Calendars,” continues the theme introduced by Stevens, analyzing various methods and practices...