Christianity

The Cambridge History of Christianity offers a comprehensive chronological account of the development of Christianity in all its aspects - theological, intellectual, social, political, regional, global -from its beginnings to the present day. Each volume makes a substantial contribution in its own right to the scholarship of its period and the complete History constitutes a major work of academic reference. Far from being merely a history of western European Christianity and its offshoots, the...

The Christian communities of the Near East under caliphal rule

The general principles of the treatment of the non-Muslims, on which the Islamic state's legislation later drew, were thus shaped in the course of the first Djihad. The legal convention that regulated relationships between the Islamic power and the subdued Detainers of the Book, dhimma, defined the latter's obligations and the former's guarantee of security Thus it conferred on the Detainers of the Book who recognized the Islamic domination and were disposed to pay the jizya (a progressive...

Rulers in whom it is known that Christ already dwells17

What emerges from this brief tour of the horizons of Christianity in around the year 600 is the crucial importance of what were seen as the imperial heartlands within which Christianity had grown to prominence. Whether it was in the post-Roman kingdoms of the West, in the surviving Roman Empire of Constantinople, or in the Sasanian territories of the Empire of the East, the majority of Christians still moved in a world where grandiose imperial structures seemed the norm. They were a fitting...

The Kingdom and the kingdoms

A little after 680 CE, Julian, bishop of Toledo, the capital of the Visigothic kingdom of Spain, was challenged to answer a constant objection made by the Jews against Christianity. Christians were misguided to think that, in the person of Jesus of Nazareth, the Messiah - the Christ, the Anointed One -had come. The Messiah had not come. The world was only five thousand years old. The sixth age in which the Messiah would arrive had not yet even begun. The recent centuries lacked meaning. They...

Beyond empire II Christianities of the Celtic peoples

CHARLES-EDWARDS The inheritance For this chapter, the Celtic peoples are those which still, in 600 CE, spoke a Celtic language. The continental Celts of antiquity are thus excluded, leaving only the Britons, who inherited their Christianity from Roman Britain, the Irish, who received theirs mainly from the Britons in the fifth and early sixth centuries, and the Picts. By 600 the initial constructive phase of Irish Christianity was over. It was three years since Columba died on Iona...

Non Chalcedonians and Chalcedonians on the eve of the Persian conquest

By the end of the sixth century, in spite of the imperial persecutions, the miaphysites constituted the majority in the Syriac-speaking regions of the Anatolike diocese, which lay to the east of the river Labotes and the Amanus mountains in Euphratensis, Osrhoene, Mesopotamia, in the countryside of Antioch and Apamea, as well as in Arabia. In these areas the Syriac monasteries functioned as intellectual and spiritual epicenters. The influence exercised by the Syriac divines also proved decisive...

The advent of Heraclius and monenergism 61638

When the Emperor Heraclius (610-41)17 undertook to recover the lands lost to the Persians, the support of the Christians of this area appeared to him -as to Chosroes several years before - of the utmost strategic importance. That assistance, however, could be obtained only as the result of doctrinal reconciliation. As in the age of Justinian, Heraclius's eastern politics therefore depended on a Christological settlement. Of all the opponents of imperial orthodoxy living in Persia, the...

Igor Dqrfmannlazarey

This chapter traces the history of the churches of the eastern and southeastern coasts of the Mediterranean sea, northeastern Africa, the Arabian peninsula, Persia, Transcaucasia, and eastern Asia Minor, as well as the development of their theological thought. Particular attention will be dedicated to the Christian cultures of Syriac and Armenian traditions. We must begin by recalling that, towards the end of the sixth century, two chief kinds of ecclesiastical communities could be...

The Arab conquest 63056 and monothelitism

In the same year that Heraclius triumphantly restored the True Cross to Jerusalem, Muslim troops conquered Mecca and, advancing up the Arab peninsula, confronted the troops of the Byzantine and Sasanian Arab client tribes. In several instances they succeeded in gaining the support of the miaphysite and eastern dyophysite Arab populations and in converting them to the new religion. In late 633 Muslim troops began to penetrate into southern Palestine and Nabatea, where the imperial forces,...

Introduction

The period from 600 to 1095 CE was a period of enormous change for the Byzantine Empire, the most significant cause of this change being the rise of Islam in the first part of the seventh century and the continuing presence in the east thereafter of an Arab empire. Islam administered a massive shock to the Byzantine world, from which it took the empire almost two centuries to recover. This recovery was nevertheless partly due to changes in the Arab empire itself, which, with the shift ofits...

Conclusion

The Byzantine Orthodoxy that emerged in this period, with roots that went a long way back, is highly ambivalent. For such Orthodoxy became, and was established as, imperial policy, and the Byzantine state was, in aspiration at least, absolutist. It had little time for those who questioned that Orthodoxy indeed, Christian heretics had fewer rights than the Jews, who had some small protection as a standing witness to the truth of the faith they rejected. However, in the first part of our period,...

Contents

List of Maps xii List ofContributors xiii Preface xv Acknowledgments xix Abbreviations xxi Introduction Christendom, c. 600 1 PEtER brown FOUNDATIONS PEOPLES, PLACES, AND TRADITIONS 2 The emergence of Byzantine Orthodoxy, 600-1095 46 Andrew louth 3 Beyond empire I Eastern Christianities from the Persian to the Turkish conquest, 604-1071 65 igor dorfmann-lazarev 4 Beyond empire II Christianities of the Celtic peoples 86 thomas m. charles-edwards 6 Slav Christianities, 800-1100 13 0

Fractured church fractured empire

So much for the theological narrative. As soon as we construct it, however, we stumble upon other developments that had an equally deep effect on Christian self-understanding. Our concern has to be, therefore, not with what lay behind religious controversy but with what accompanied it. Everything said so far draws us into a web of other developments - barbarian settlement in the West, for example, and associated challenges and opportunities (not least for bishops of Rome) the spectacular growth...

Aspects of Byzantine Orthodoxy 8501095 The patriarchate

One might have expected that the ease with which, in the period 600 to 850, emperors found compliant patriarchs of Constantinople to support religious policies eventually declared to be heretical - monothelitism and then icono-clasm - would have damaged the standing of the institution of the patriarchate itself. On the contrary, however, the patriarchate emerged in the ninth century as much more powerful than two and a half centuries earlier. There seem to be several reasons for this. In...

A historical survey 600850

At the beginning of our period, the Byzantine Empire was still recognizably the restored Christian Roman Empire ofJustinian I (527-65). It could still make some claim to be a Mediterranean empire, embracing almost everywhere that touched on the Mediterranean coast, though its hold on Spain was quite fragile. Already by 600, however, this vision of the Christian Roman Empire was being fragmented. Slavs had begun to cross the Danube and settle throughout the Balkan peninsula in regions called by...

Contributors

LESLEY ABRAMs, Fellow ofBalliol College and Lecturer in the Faculty of History, University of Oxford BAT-SHEVA albert, Professor of Medieval History, Department of General History, Bar Ilan University Arnold angenendt, Emeritus Professor, Westf lische Wilhelms-Universit t M nster Julia barrow, Reader in Medieval Church History, School of History, University of Nottingham jane baun, Greyfriars Hall and Faculty of Theology, University of Oxford alain boureau, Centre de recherches historiques,...

The Christianity of the future

The correlation between the two processes - doctrinal estrangement and geopolitical instability - remains problematic. The course of Christian history in the seventh century and beyond is certainly unintelligible without attention to both, and each provides a context, if not an explanation, for the other. It remains to describe the characteristics of Christian life that were at once the product of that disruption and the legacy of a more distant past. The disruption undoubtedly affected the...

Christian communities during the last Sasanian conquest 60424

Followingthe deposition and murder of Emperor Maurice in 602, King of Kings Chosroes II (590-628) soon succeeded in regaining Persian territories lost to the Byzantines.13 Between 604 and 611, the Sasanian army directed successful 9 Dorfmann-Lazarev Armeniens et Byzantins, 96-129. 11 Cyril of Alexandria, Commentarii in lohannem 2, 10.15, 232. 12 Xosrovik T'argmaniC, Chapter I, 50, 54. 13 Dagron, L' glise, 13-24. campaigns in Armenia (thence proceeding to Georgia), Upper Mesopotamia, Syria, and...

Division and reconciliation

The Gregorian mission to the English made a huge difference to the position of the British Church. The latter had been successful in maintaining a Christian tradition across the violent centuries following the end of direct central Roman authority in Britain. Although the British Church was later condemnedby Bede because it had failed to preach to the English, its role in the conversion of the Irish demonstrates that it was not a church unconcerned with the salvation of neighboring peoples and...

Non Chalcedonian churches and the Church of the East two Christologies in synopsis

Divergent conceptions ofthe Incarnation, which were articulatedin opposition to the theology adopted by the empire, stood at the core of the distinctive doctrinal and cultural identities of the churches of Syria, Egypt, Persia, and Armenia and were to play a decisive role in their history during the seventh century. Christology of the Church of the East The Christology of the Church ofthe East derived from the Antiochene exeget-ical tradition. It had as its supporting structure the historical...

The rise of Islam and the status of Christians in Islamic society

As in the case of the Sasanian conquest a quarter of a century before, the persecutions of dissenters on the part of imperial authorities facilitated the swift Islamic takeover of the Byzantine East. In 634 the miaphysites were not inclined to resist the monotheist Arabs any more than the pagan, fire-worshiping Persians. In the earliest stage of Islam the affiliation of the new religious teaching to the texts of the Bible and Apocrypha was manifest to Christians, and some even placed their hope...

Theological identities regional differences

Under the heading identities, we must ask what gave late Roman Christian communities their specific characters. We are dealing with a plural Christianities. The late Roman period was, in religion as in much else, a fractured age. What lay at the root of the resulting variety Leaders of government and church pleaded for universal loyalty - to empire and orthodoxy above all. By 600 CE, Christians found themselves nevertheless divided geographically into four main blocs. The Latin West was...

Transcending space and time

Christians in this liminal age displayed a striking ability to stretch their imaginations beyond the limits not only of their late Roman world, but also of their individual lives and the temporal order. Their classical forebears had shown an interest, either scornful or intrigued, in the religions ofother peoples, and had some sense of an afterlife and an immaterial realm. Christianity, in its earliest centuries, developed more precise notions of salvation as a divine gift for the whole of...

Religion and literature

The Law of Adomnan was, as we have seen, in Irish, and thus exemplifies the extent to which a literacy which came to Ireland with Latin now embraced the native language of the Irish. Similarly among the Britons, although there is much less surviving evidence, the same transition from Latin to the vernacular occurred by the seventh century. Vernacular written literature first flourished in the British Isles for the understandable reason that Latin was, except vestigially among the Britons, a...

From the Byzantine reconquests to the battle of Mantzikert 9261071

The Byzantine army crossed the Euphrates between 873 and 883, and early in the tenth century the political influence of the empire was extended over the greater part of Armenia. Between the years 926 and 944, under the command of General John Courcouas Armenian Gurgen , the Byzantine army, which included an important number of Armenians, seized Melitene 934 and advanced northward beyond Lake Van and southward to Syria. In 949 it 31 Martin-Hisard, Christianisme et glise, 561. 32 Mah , L' glise...

Although it may not have a preacher it cannot but know of Christ from what it has heard from other nations26

In 578, the monks of a monastery perched in the Pharaonic ruins of Thebes in Upper Egypt wrote up a prayer for the empire sent to them, from Alexandria, by their patriarch, Damianus. They should pray for the prosperous life of the kings . . . and that every barbarian nation, unto the ends of the earth, may be in subjection under their hands, and that the whole world may become one body.27 It is revealing that the patriarch to whom the monks owed obedience was not even the patriarch recognized...

Illustrations

The orders of clergy, from the Sacramentary of Marmoutier Autun, Biblioth que municipale, ms. 19 bis, fol. ir. page 480 Fig. 2. Exultet roll Rome, Biblioteca apostolica vaticana, ms. Barberini Lat. 592, Fig. 3. Adoration of the Magi Massacre of the Innocents Presentation of Christ in the Temple Paris, Bibliotheque nationale de France, ms. Gr. 510, fol. i37r. 565 Fig. 4. Gregory of Nazianzus holds his pen and opens his book to the text Paris, Bibliotheque nationale de France, ms. Gr....