This collection of essays has its origin in a conference held at Oxford in 2006 to mark the publication of the first English edition of the Acts of Chalcedon. Its aim is to place Chalcedon in a broader context, and bring out the importance of the acts of the early general councils from the fifth to the seventh century, documents that because of their bulk and relative inaccessibility have received only limited attention till recently. This volume is evidence that this situation is now rapidly changing, as historians of late antiquity as well as specialists in the history of the Christian Church discover the richness of this material for the exploration of common concerns and tensions across the provinces of the Later Roman Empire, language use, networks of influence and cultural exchange, and political manipulation at many different levels of society. The extent to which the acts were instruments of propaganda and should not be read as a pure verbatim record of proceedings is brought out in a number of the essays, which illustrate the fascinating literary problems raised by these texts.
Chalcedon in context is a fine companion to the recently translated Acts, a careful exploration of the complexity of council records as historical sources, and a fitting beginning for a well-conceived new series.
Medium Ævum, Vol. LXXVIII
This volume is obviously for the specialist, yet a requirement for every library. With regard to thoroughness and overall attention, there is no equivalent to this collection available in English: each essay, followed by a comprehensive bibliography, offers yet one more illustration of how Chalcedon continues to speak to all of Christ's Church.
This first volume sets a high standard for subsequent instalments in the Translated Texts in Context series, and it will find a wide and enthusiastic readership among all students of the late antique church councils.
The Classical Review
Reprint in paperback of an important collection of essays first published in 2009.
Vigiliae Christianae 65/4