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This collection of essays engages with a variety of aspects of early modern book culture in the 16th-17th centuries, considered in the Catholic context. The contributions reflect on the engagement of institutions and authorities in the process of book production, bringing to the fore the role of networks in this process; show the book as a tool of resistance to the Protestant Reformation; give insight into the content and design of book collections; showcase textual production in the context of cultural appropriation and shed light on the role of the image in the propagation of Catholicism. Together the sixteen contributions demonstrate the diversity of the Catholic book in its forms and functions, in various social and national contexts.
Ecclesiastical Organization and Monasticism (4th to 7th Centuries)
At present, there is no scholarly consensus on the ecclesiastical organization in the Roman province of Scythia (4th-7th centuries). This volume proposes a new interpretation of some of the historical evidence concerning the evolution of the see of Tomi: a great metropolis, first with suffragan bishoprics outside Roman Scythia and then inside it, and later an autocephalous archbishopric.
Though there are also many unclear aspects regarding the evolution of monastic life in the province, this book reveals that, in contrast with the development of the monastic infrastructure in Roman Scythia, a spiritual decline began in the mid-5th century.
Editor / Translator:
Nahj al-Balāghah, the celebrated compendium of orations, letters, and sayings of ʿAlī ibn Abī Ṭālib (d. 40/661) compiled by al-Sharīf al-Raḍī (d. 406/1016), is a masterpiece of Arabic literature and Islamic wisdom studied and memorized avidly and continually for over a thousand years. Showcasing ʿAlī’s life and travails in his own words, it also transcribes his profound reflections on piety and virtue, and on just and compassionate governance. Tahera Qutbuddin’s meticulously researched critical edition based on the earliest 5th/11th-century manuscripts, with a lucid, annotated facing-page translation, brings to the modern reader the power and beauty of this influential text, and confirms the aptness of Raḍī’s title, “The Way of Eloquence.”