Browse all Reviews
Interest in the late-medieval community of Bridgettine sisters at Syon Abbey, Middlesex, has developed fast over the last 25 years, arguably as a result of Roger Ellis’ Viderunt eam filie syon.(1) In the volume under review, Vincent Gillespie rightly describes Ellis’ writings on Syon as ‘masterly discussions’ (p. 106, fn.
Shortly before he left them, Christ told his disciples that the end of the world was imminent, and would be heralded by a time of tribulation. There would be wars, plagues, famines and false prophets. It would also be a time of evangelical enterprise, during which the word of God would be carried to the ends of the earth.
'Suggestive’, ‘methodical’ and ‘witty’ are words rarely applied to the same book, but Steffen Patzold’s study of Carolingian ideas about bishops demonstrates all three qualities. Granted, Patzold’s tome cannot hide its origins as a Habilitationsschrift: it is a 660-page brick of a book, of a size and weight that might see it confiscated at airports alongside liquids and sharp objects.
Most medievalists would be able to cite an example of the close parallels in symbolic thinking about the city and world in the Middle Ages, whether along the lines of ideas of Rome as caput mundi or Augustine’s Two cities.
In March 1208 Pope Innocent III proclaimed a crusade against Raimon VI, count of Toulouse, and the ‘Provençal heretics’ supposedly infesting the comital lands between the Garonne and Rhöne Rivers. All those ‘signed with the cross’ were offered the same rights and privileges as crusaders journeying to the Holy Land.
The publisher’s blurb for Marilyn Dunn’s new book claims that it is ‘the first work on the subject to combine a historical approach with insights provided by ethnography and anthropology’. As is often the case with publisher’s statements, this is something of an exaggeration.
St George is enjoying something of a scholarly and popular renaissance at present – not that he ever really went away as a figure of interest in the many countries and cities beyond England which associate themselves with him.
Two books on druids in two years, and by the same author! If I were either of Ronald Hutton’s publishers I’d be biting my nails over this, but let me reassure them both right at the start that Hutton pulls it off, and in style. The two really do complement each other. So what does Blood and Mistletoe have that The Druids: A History (1) does not?
During the medieval period the Benedictine abbeys of Westminster and Saint-Denis were major centres of religion, politics and power, while serving as the site of royal shrines and burials.
At the conclusion of her history of Marian devotion, Mother of God, Miri Rubin states, ‘For in woman’s capacity to act as a generous host, to contain a body in her body, there is an act of tremendous hospitality’ (p. 424).