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Prayer Books from Medieval Byzantium: New Evidence for Religion and Society
Byzantine prayer books (euchologia) contain—in addition to the eucharistic and other sacramental liturgies— a vast number of short prayers pronounced by the clergy on particular occasions in the life of a person or in the annual cycle of a community. Although these prayers address the concerns of all levels of society, regardless of social and economic status, they have gone largely unexplored as a source for daily life and social history, in large part because of the challenges posed by their transmission in the medieval manuscripts.This lecture will give an introduction to this rich source material, based on the work of the Vienna Euchologia Project, and illustrate its potential to shed new light on social relations within Byzantine society.
Event made possible by UCLA library.
Claudia Rapp took up her current position as Professor of Byzantine Studies at the University of Vienna in 2011, after 17 years in the History Department at UCLA. She is the Director of the Division of Byzantine Research within the Institute for Medieval Research at the Austrian Academy of Sciences, and was the Scholarly Director of the Sinai Palimpsests Project. Her research focuses on social and cultural history, often from the angle of religious history and manuscript studies. Holy Bishops in Late Antiquity: Christian Leadership in an Age of Transition, published in 2005, was re-issued in paperback in 2013. Her most recent book, Brother-Making in Late Antiquity and Byzantium: Monks, Laymen and Christian Ritual (2016) has led to the formation of the Euchologia Project at the Austrian Academy of Sciences. Funding through the Wittgenstein-Award has enabled her to assemble a team of scholars for the joint investigation of Mobility, Microstructures and Personal Agency.