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Centre for Mediaeval Studies Leonard Boyle

AUTHORS: S.J. Barnish, L. Cracco Ruggini, L. Cuppo, R. Marchese and M. Breu

TITLE: Vivarium in Context

PUBLISHER: Centre for Mediaeval Studies Leonard Boyle

PRICE: Euros 22,00

SIZE: 16x24 cm

WEIGHT: 330g

ISBN 13: 9788890203527
ISBN: 8890203528

How to order

In this book:

Barnish, Samuel, Roman Responses to an Unstable World: Cassiodorus' Variae in Context
Cracco Ruggini, Lellia, Cassiodorus and the Practical Sciences
Cuppo, Luciana, The Other Book of Pontiffs: A View from Lombard Italy
Marchese, Ronald and Breu, Marlene, Images of the Divine: Sacred Embroideries from the Armenian Patriarchate in Istanbul

The focus of most papers in this volume is the historical context for the work of Cassiodorus Senator. Sam Barnish analyzes the Variae of Cassiodorus in the light of contemporary Byzantine production and some biblical texts. Lellia Cracco Ruggini presents a comprehensive study on medicine and science in Late Antiquity and examines the positions of (respectively) Boethius and Cassiodorus in regard to sixth-century models of scientific knowledge. Luciana Cuppo draws from the MS Vat.lat. 1348 of the Vatican Library a hitherto unpublished catalogue of popes and discusses its orientation, quite unlike that of the Roman Book of Pontiffs.

In particular:

On Samuel Barnish: Even today research on Cassiodorus remains focused on that scholar's relations with the Ostrogothic kings and his role as preserver of Roman culture. In his essay Samuel Barnish - to whom we owe an excellent partial translation of the Variae and who is now working on a full translation - analyzes the relations between the Ostrogothic-Roman world of Cassiodorus and the Byzantine empire, highlighting the biblical and theological references present in the Variae.

They said about him...

"Barnish continues the work of the last generation in 'naturalizing' Cassiodorus and the culture of the late Latin west in general to the evolution of the empire as a whole by showing how the letters Cassiodorus wrote for the Gothic kings instructed their audience (as well as perhaps the nominal royal writers) in kingship and Christianity and the appropriate deployment of both." (James O'Donnell, Bryn Mawr Classical Review).

"Barnish dedica importanti considerazioni a quella [lettera delle Variae] che chiude la raccolta, la XII, 28, del 538 [...]. Cassiodoro paragona il proprio ufficio di prefetto del pretorio alla funzione svolta dal patriarca Giuseppe come visir presso il faraone egiziano. è notevole la riproposizione in chiave politica del racconto biblico rispetto all'esegesi cristiana antica, per la quale Giuseppe è in genere considerato un modello di castità e, quindi, figura di Cristo." (Arnaldo Marcone, Rivista di Storia e Letteratura Religiosa).

On Lellia Cracco Ruggini: This essay may well be considered an important summa of the author's many contributions and studies on Late Antiquity. It is also a summa on medicine and science, and an analysis of the respective positions of Boethius and Cassiodorus on the matter, compared with sixth-century models of scientific knowledge.

They said about her...

"Lellia Cracco Ruggini captures well Cassiodorus' interest in the practical sciences - water clocks and engineering works - by contrast to his contemporary Boethius. Cassiodorus may be the highest ranking Roman senator we know to take such a low interest and give it literary representation." (James O'Donnell, BMCR)

"Il saggio di Lellia Cracco Ruggini rappresenta un notevole contributo alla storia ulturale tardoantica ed una riflessione originale e innovativa sulla sopravvivenza delle conoscenze scientifiche classiche all'inizio del Medioevo. Anche sotto quest'aspetto Cassiodoro si rivela una personalità di estremo interesse che acquisisce l'acuta consapevolezza della crescente distanza che separa la propria epoca da quella classica, al punto che sembra aver coniato un aggettivo, modernus." (Arnaldo Marcone, RSLR).

On Luciana Cuppo: Research on Liber Pontificalis, even in very valuable recent studies, still moves in the wake of Mommsen and Duchesne. Many questions remain unsettled: chronology (that proposed by Duchesne should not be taken for granted) and the context in which LP came to be. Specifically, the relationship between the catalogues of popes published by Mommsen and Duchesne, and before them by the editors of PL, still awaits examination. MS Vat.lat. 1348, wrongly considered a summary of LP, should be viewed as expressing the sentiments of circles close to the supporters of the Three Chapters and to Columbanus of Bobbio: the popes were not considered in their functions as bishops of Rome, but primarily as witnesses to the Faith.

They said about her...

"The Other Book of Pontiffs: A view from Lombard Italy (MS. BAV, Vat.lat. 1348) (S. 55-75), erweist in anschaulicher Analyse die im Vat.lat. 1348 überlieferte Chronica pontificum als vom stadtrömischen Liber Pontificalis unabhängigen, den Dreikapitelanhängern ebenso wie Columban von Bobbio nahestehenden norditalienischen Traditionsstrang aus der zweiten Hälfte des 7.Jh. und ediert den Text unkommentiert." (Bettina Pferschy-Maleczek, Deutsches Archiv für Erforschung des Mittelalters).

"Considerato in genere un riassunto dagli editori del Liber Pontificalis, è stato di solito trascurato. In realtà questa Cronica fornisce un'immagine dei pontefici romani differente da quella del Liber. La Cuppo vi vede l'opera di un autore molto impegnato per l'ortodossia, vicino intellettualisticamente oltre che linguisticamente a Colombano di Bobbio e a questo centro monastico dell'Appennino emiliano." (Arnaldo Marcone, RSLR).


Four essays in early medieval history and Armenian art by S. Barnish, L. Cracco Ruggini, L. Cuppo, R. Marchese and M. Breu. Particularly suited for upper undergraduate and graduate students of Late Antiquity and early medieval history, these studies focus on the period between the Roman civilization and the flourishing of the Middle Ages and open up new avenues to Armenian culture. Send for your desk copy or write to at: info@centreleonardboyle.com. Some details:

BARNISH, Samuel, 'Roman Responses to an Unstable World: Cassiodorus' Variae in Context.' Moving from a vision of the Variae as an expression of 'adjustment to change' in the political and cultural situation at the end of the Ostrogothic reign in Italy, the author illustrates Eastern parallels to the Variae. He then discusses Biblical allusions in the Variae, particularly the assimilation of the Roman praetorian prefect to Joseph son of Jacob seen as a provider: an innovative trait on Cassiodorus' part as well as a link between his Ostrogothic and his Vivarian period.

CRACCO RUGGINI, Lellia, 'Cassiodorus and the Practical Sciences'A vivid picture of the development of science in Late Antiquity. The author analyzes both Greek and Roman models of scientific knowledge and their interpretation and application to practical purposes by Boethius and Cassiodorus.

CUPPO CSAKI, Luciana, 'The Other Book of Pontiffs: A View from Lombard Italy (MS BAV, Vat. lat. 1348)' A catalogue of Roman bishops annotated in Lombard Italy during the Three Chapters controversy. Quite unlike the Roman Liber Pontificalis in inspiration, the Chronica pontificum in Vat. lat. 1348 was transmitted in northern Italy with the chronicle of Mellitus (a work strongly influenced by Vivarian culture) and theological works copied at Vivarium.

MARCHESE, Ronald, and BREU, Marlene, 'Images of the Divine: Sacred Embroideries from the Armenian Patriarchate in Istanbul.' 'The things people make are more than physical objects in a comprehensive and interconnected material culture. They are complex markers that amplify and enrich personal devotion to a specific community, social group or religious belief. Often overlooked as examples of high Church art, the religious textiles possess an extraordinary level of sophisticated composition, iconography, and technical skill that form an unique and valuable corpus of sacred art of significant merit.' (R. Marchese)

The Centre for Mediaeval Studies 'Leonard Boyle' offers academic and professional books on hagiography and history of Late Antiquity. Specifically, and as opposed to a parochial vision of the monk and scholar, the Centre proposes a study of Cassiodorus in the context of contemporary church controversies and Byzantine history.