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commentaries. Perrin’s essay on silence seems to lack any clear focus while Mariaux’s article on the Gero cross simply fails to convince. These are minor flaws in an otherwise extremely valuable collection. If much of this review has been spent presenting the content of the essays, it is in hopes that the individual essays reach the specialists to whom they are directed and not be lost in what might appear as an overwhelming opus. Anyone whose interest is the eucharist will still want to read both volumes carefully, however. They will not be disappointed and 1,200 pages will seem a very quick and enjoyable read.



Heilige Berge und Wu¨sten. Byzanz und sein Umfeld. Referate auf dem 21. Internationalen Kongress fu¨r Byzantinistik London 21.–26. August 2006. Edited by Peter Soustal. (Philosophisch-Historische Klasse Denkschriften, 379. Vero¨ffentlichungen zur Byzanzforschung, 16.) Pp. 111 incl. 6 maps and 36 plates. Vienna: Verlag


der O sterreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 2009. E 52 ( paper). 978 3 7001 6561 3 JEH (61) 2010; doi:10.1017/S0022046910000928 This is a useful and wide-ranging collection of papers, originally the subject of a panel entitled ‘Monastic mountains and deserts’ at the 21st International Congress of Byzantine Studies held in London in August 2006. Holy mountains and deserts were not uncommon phenomena in the Byzantine world. They were not necessarily particularly high or particularly arid, but they were isolated from the everyday world and offered opportunity for ascetic practices. A few survive to this day, notably Sinai, Athos, Meteora, Mar Saba and the Coptic monasteries of the Egyptian deserts. This book is devoted to a selection of those that do not. It comprises seven papers. James Goehring (‘Constructing and enforcing orthodoxy: evidence from the Coptic panegyrics on Abraham of Farshut’) examines three texts that concern Abraham of Farshut, the last Coptic abbot of the Pachomian monastic federation, which was dissolved in the sixth century in the wake of the Council of Chalcedon. Klaus Belke (‘Heilige Berge Bithyniens’) focuses on the monastic mountains of Auxentios, Olympos and Kyminas in Bithynia. These mountains did not form a unit; and the differences between them, in terms of density of population, type of monasticism practised and durability of the foundation, can be attributed, at least in part, to geographical factors. Richard Greenfield (‘Shaky foundations: opposition, conflict and subterfuge in the creation of the holy mountain of Galesion’) examines three strands in the narrative of this mountain’s early years: the opposition to its creation from the local ‘orthodox’ ecclesiastical authorities, the development of conflicting factions within the community itself, and the defensive strategies employed by its founder in the face of hostility. Andreas Ku¨lzer (‘Das Ganos-Gebirge in Ostthrakien’) provides an overview of the many churches, monasteries and holy sites in the Ganos mountain range, supported by an interesting selection of photographs illustrating the landscape and the fragmentary architectural remains. Danica Popovic (‘The deserts and holy mountains of medieval Serbia’) tackles a neglected topic for which the sources are few and the monuments largely devastated. The idea of the holy mountain came to Serbia from Athos, and from Hilandar in particular, but the many illustrations (of variable quality) that accompany the paper show the


scale and spectacular settings of some of Serbia’s own monastic deserts and mountains. Angeliki Delikari (‘Ein Beitrag zu historisch-geographischen Fragen auf dem Balkan: ‘‘Paroria’’’) offers a useful contribution to the long-running debate on the location of Paroria, the monastic area on the borders of Byzantium and Bulgaria to which St Gregory of Sinai resorted on leaving Athos. David Khoshtaria (‘Past and present of the Georgian Sinai’) also undertakes a little-known topic in his survey of the neglected monuments of Klarjeti. He too has a rich field to explore but his piece is frankly a disappointment. He does not trouble to explain the term ‘Georgian Sinai’, he fails to make the connection between Klarjeti and Athos and his text would have benefitted from the attentions of a good copy-editor.




The Christian parthenon. Classicism and pilgrimage in Byzantine Athens. By Anthony Kaldellis. Pp. xvi + 252 incl. frontispiece and 36 figs. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009. £55. 978 0 521 88228 6 JEH (61) 2010; doi:10.1017/S0022046910000540 The second-century AD Greek traveller Pausanias, himself extremely interested in matters of religion, praised the Athenians for their piety (Description of Greece 1.17.1). The special piety of the Athenians has long been thought to be a pagan phenomenon – the obsession of a world possessed of trinkets ‘like unto gold or silver or stone, graven by art or man’s device’ (Acts xvii.29) which appealed to a populace deaf even to the preaching of Paul (Acts xvii.15–34). No one, in short, has been much bothered with the religion of medieval Athens. In his major new book, Anthony Kaldellis has radically reversed the traditional picture of post-ancient Athens – assiduously ferreting out and adducing a pile of evidence (some of it very tenuous and fragmentary, some perhaps a touch hopeful, some very well documented) which, as a consolidated whole, amounts to a fundamental revisionist argument. His case – and I think he must be right, although some may be able to tweak his position here and there – is that Athens, resting on its ancient laurels and adapting its prime ancient temples to churches, was a major centre of Christian pilgrimage in the Byzantine era, attracting emperors, saints and a series of miraculous narratives. The progression of chapters give us a slew of distinguished pilgrims from the emperors Constans II (in 662–3) and Basil the Bulgar-slayer (in 1018) as well as Henry (Latin emperor of Constantinople, in 1209) via a string of saints such as Luke of Stiris (the hermit who founded Hosios Loukas), western pilgrims like Saewulf the Anglo-Saxon in about 1102, to medieval bishops and their surviving sermons (of whom Michael Choniates, bishop 1182–1205, is the most distinguished). Within the history of the adaptation of temples to churches, Athens – and in particular the Parthenon – strikes a note of quite exceptional con- tinuity and care. The classical temple was turned into a church with the minimum of defacement, nobody knows when, by whom or why – but let us assume before AD 600. Its pagan home of the Virgin goddess, the Parthenos, was transformed into a Christian dedication to the Virgin Mother of God, the Atheniotissa, whose festivals and specific connections across the Mediterranean world echo, albeit on a smaller scale, those of her pagan predecessor. The famous Phidian statue of Athena had

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