Description : The essays in this volume investigate themes related to the place of law in Byzantine ideology and society. Although the Byzantines had a formal legal system, deriving from Justinian's codification, this does not solve the problem but rather poses important questions. Was this a society which was meant to be governed by law? For answers, one must look at the intent of the legislators (to address specific problems, or to order society according to an ideal pattern?); the attitudes toward the law; the relationship between law, religion, literature, and art. What were the spheres--political, economic, private--that the laws and the lawgivers sought to regulate? The concepts of law and justice are quite different from each other, and the relationship between them is investigated here. Of importance also, in this medieval society, are the connections between law and religion. There is the problem of the provenance of the law--whether the Emperor or God himself is the source of law--and the broad implications of the answer. At another level, ecclesiastical law was very important for everyday life, and the question arises of how much knowledge people had of it and how profound was their knowledge. Both people's perceptions and their practices were shaped by their views of human justice and divine justice: whether these coincided, and whether they were administered through the same means, for the intervention of saints or icons might be seen as an alternative to human justice. As for human justice, there are questions that involve both society's view of it and the education, knowledge, and interests of those who administered it. Such issues are present in all medieval societies; the case of Byzantium is of particular interest because of the interplay between formal law and the conceptualizations and practicesâe"some quite divergent from the ostensible purpose of legislationâe"which affected the legislators, the practitioners, and all of society.
Description : Perceptions of the Body and Sacred Space in Late Antiquity and Byzantium seeks to reveal Christian understanding of the body and sacred space in the medieval Mediterranean. Case studies examine encounters with the holy through the perspective of the human body and sensory dimensions of sacred space, and discuss the dynamics of perception when experiencing what was constructed, represented, and understood as sacred. The comparative analysis investigates viewers’ recognitions of the sacred in specific locations or segments of space with an emphasis on the experiential and conceptual relationships between sacred spaces and human bodies. This volume thus reassesses the empowering aspects of space, time, and human agency in religious contexts. By focusing on investigations of human endeavors towards experiential and visual expressions that shape perceptions of holiness, this study ultimately aims to present a better understanding of the corporeality of sacred art and architecture. The research?points to how early Christians and Byzantines teleologically viewed the divine source of the sacred in terms of its ability to bring together – but never fully dissolve – the distinctions between the human and divine realms. The revealed mechanisms of iconic perception and noetic contemplation have the potential to shape knowledge of the meanings of the sacred as well as to improve our understanding of the liminality of the profane and the sacred.
Description : In the world of early Byzantine Christianity, monastic rules acknowledged but discouraged the homosexual impulses of adult males. What most disturbed monastic leaders was adolescent males being accepted as novices; adult men were considered unable to control their sexual desires for these “beautiful boys.” John Chrysostom, the Archbishop of Constantinople (397–407), virulently denounced homosexuality, but was virtually the only Byzantine cleric to do so. Penances traditionally attached to heterosexual sins—including remarriage after divorce or widowhood—have always been much more severe than those for a variety of homosexual acts or relationships. Just as Byzantine churches have found ways to accommodate sequential marriages and other behavior once stridently condemned, this book argues, it is possible for Byzantine Christianity to make pastoral accommodations for gay relationships and same-sex marriage.
Description : "Recently, progress seemed to imply that the Prochiron had been issued by Leo the Wise in the year 907. This book sets out to show that the Prochiron was promulgated by Basil the Macedonian in the years 870-879, thus confirming the view of Karl Eduard Zachariea von Lingenthal ... "--P. 4 of cover.
Description : "The land legislation issued by the emperors of the Macedonian dynasty is the most important source for the internal history of tenth-century Byzantium. This volume offers the first full translation of the land legislation into English. To make the work accessible to non-specialists and specialists alike, the introduction covers the background and content of the legislation, and reviews the principal institutions of Byzantine rural society: the village communes, the military lands, and the monasteries. The translations aim to strike a balance between adherence to the technical nature of the documents and presentation of clear, readable texts. Where necessary, technical terms and specific details are explained in the notes to the translations; the notes also direct the reader to the relevant scholarly literature concerning the legal, social, and agrarian aspects of the land legislation. Maps and a glossary are also included as aids to the reader."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Description : Constantinople originated in 330 A.D. as the last great urban foundation of the ancient world. When it was sacked by the Fourth Crusade in 1204 it was the greatest city of the European Middle Ages. The studies in the present volume examine aspects of this long and complex history as reflected in the topography, monuments, self-image and political status of medieval Constantinople. They include a revised English version of a monograph published in French ten years ago, nine reprinted articles, and two published here for the first time
Description : This book is a collection of original essays on gift in the early Middle Ages, from Anglo-Saxon England to the Islamic world. Focusing on the languages of gift, the essays reveal how early medieval people visualized and thought about gift, and how they distinguished between the giving of gifts and other forms of social, economic, political and religious exchange. The same team, largely, that produced the widely cited The Settlement of Disputes in Early Medieval Europe (Cambridge University Press, 1986) has again collaborated in a collective effort that harnesses individual expertise in order to draw from the sources a deeper understanding of the early Middle Ages by looking at real cases, that is at real people, whether peasant or emperor. The culture of medieval gift has often been treated as archaic and exotic; in this book, by contrast, we see people going about their lives in individual, down-to-earth and sometimes familiar ways.