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The Crusades, Christianity, and Islam

The Crusades, Christianity, and Islam 122 Book Reviews antique legacies, without having a much stronger sense of exactly how those legacies were manipulated by the Byzantines themselves. Finding out more about this manipulation is demanding. Important clues may lie in picking up the tiny changes that individual copyists made to their inherited texts, an approach that has been employed with some success in art historical contexts by scholars such as John Lowden. Nonetheless, answers may still be elusive. As the De Administrando Imperio (a handbook about client relations produced in the tenth century) reveals, handling the resources of the past for the purposes of the present meant disclosing and concealing at the same time. For this handbook’s author the very survival of the Empire hinged on getting this balance right – the use of the past to contain the insatiable lust of barbarians who ringed the Empire was a vital tool, but one that required careful handling. Historians of Byzantium need to be alive to that culture of deftness. Byzantium was, as the provocative sub-title to this volume suggests, a medieval empire with a surprising life. Herrin’s study should inspire many readers, both novice and experienced, to ponder further Byzantium’s capacity to surprise, whether http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Al-Masaq: Journal of the Medieval Mediterranean Taylor & Francis

The Crusades, Christianity, and Islam

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Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
Copyright Taylor & Francis Group, LLC
ISSN
1473-348X
eISSN
0950-3110
DOI
10.1080/09503110.2012.655591
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

122 Book Reviews antique legacies, without having a much stronger sense of exactly how those legacies were manipulated by the Byzantines themselves. Finding out more about this manipulation is demanding. Important clues may lie in picking up the tiny changes that individual copyists made to their inherited texts, an approach that has been employed with some success in art historical contexts by scholars such as John Lowden. Nonetheless, answers may still be elusive. As the De Administrando Imperio (a handbook about client relations produced in the tenth century) reveals, handling the resources of the past for the purposes of the present meant disclosing and concealing at the same time. For this handbook’s author the very survival of the Empire hinged on getting this balance right – the use of the past to contain the insatiable lust of barbarians who ringed the Empire was a vital tool, but one that required careful handling. Historians of Byzantium need to be alive to that culture of deftness. Byzantium was, as the provocative sub-title to this volume suggests, a medieval empire with a surprising life. Herrin’s study should inspire many readers, both novice and experienced, to ponder further Byzantium’s capacity to surprise, whether

Journal

Al-Masaq: Journal of the Medieval MediterraneanTaylor & Francis

Published: Apr 1, 2012

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