Book Reviews
Byzantine Defenders of Images: Eight
Saints' Lives in English Translation.

A.M. Talbot (Editor) - (9th century)  Dumbarton Oaks, 1998.
Mark Merlino - Home page

"Byzantine Defenders of Images" is an excellent publication of the lives of ten Byzantine saints who lived during the
iconoclastic period, in the eighth and ninth centuries. In this book, English translations of each of the lives of ten saints
are presented along with detailed commentary on each text. The authors and translators explain how each saint's life
fits into the history of the period. These saints were all defenders of icons who suffered greatly during period of
persecution in the iconoclastic era.

This book is an enjoyable read and certainly is ideal for those interested in reading about the achievements and
actions of remarkable saints, learning more about the theology of iconography and about hagiography, and is essential
for anyone interested in Byzantine history for the eight and ninth centuries.

An excellent book based on high quality scholarship.

The ten saints are as follows:

* Saint Theodosia of Constantinople, the first martyr of the iconoclastic period who was killed trying to stop the
destruction of an icon of Christ.
* Saint Stephen the Younger, a monk and iconodule martyr.
* Saint Anthousia of Mantineon, an abbess of a monastery and iconodule confessor.
* Saint Anthousia Daughter of Constantine V, and a Byzantine princess who lived during the latter part of the eighth
* Saint Nikephoros I, Patriarch of Constantinople, whose career and struggle against iconoclasm is described in great
* Saints David, Symeon and George, brothers from Lesbos who lived ascetic lives during the long period of the
iconoclastic controversy.
* Saint Ioannikios, an ascetic whose struggles during the second period of iconoclasm are described in great detail.
* Saint Theodora the Empress, who led the Byzantine Empire when iconoclasm was finally ended and orthodoxy
restored. Her life combines a saint's life with the typical description for the achievements of an empress.
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