This is a short book on a big topic. It seeks to challenge the standard narrative of European political thought, by offering a sharply revisionist account of its foundations.
This rich volume, Byzantium and the Other: Relations and Exchanges, is one of three collections of essays designed to bear testament to the legacy of the late Byzantine scholar Angeliki Laiou. The other two volumes are entitled: Women, Family and Society in Byzantium and Economic Thought and Economic Life in Byzantium.
As its title implies, Peter Bell’s monograph applies structures derived from sociology, specifically those focusing on conflict theory and resolution, to the Eastern Roman Empire in the sixth century.
This is a very welcome addition to the study of dress in antiquity. While studies of clothing, bodily adornment and the body language of antiquity are becoming more frequent, a volume that considers the role of religious dress and the religious meanings of dress among Jews and Christians takes this research in new directions.
This book is concerned with the paradoxes and oxymora (p. 80) inherent in a longue-durée of Western thought, rooted in Christian theology, about political and religious violence: liberty and coercion; violence and peace; cruelty and mercy; shedding blood to achieve peace; violence and martyrdom, election and universalism, old and new, and even, in a sense, the state and the church.