Ed. by Berger, Albrecht
CiteScore 2018: 0.13
SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.111
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.425
The three Nubian kingdoms that eventually emerged after the disintegration of Meroe, Noubadia, Makuria and Alodia (Alwa), first enter Byzantine historiography with the dramatic story of their conversion into Christianity told by John of Ephesus in the third part of his Church History, composed about AD 578–588 in Syriac. To be more exact, what John tells us is that, through the initiative of Empress Theodora, the Noubades and Alodians were converted into the Monophysite or (more specifically) Miaphysite creed, while the Makurians remained hostile to the missionaries (later, apparently, to emerge as Dyophysites). RICHTER (R.) takes John's account as his point of departure, devoting half the book to a translation of the relevant chapters (IV.6–10 and 49–53) and a thorough discussion of their historical contents. It is the particular merit of his book, however, that he also comes to grips with the archaeological, especially architectural and epigraphic evidence on the Christianization process that surveys and excavations brought forth in the last century. The other half of the book brings together and systematizes such material from a great variety of secondary sources. The intense archaeological activities prompted by the flooding of vital parts of Lower Nubia have tended to give material remains precedence over literary witnesses in the current rewriting of Nubian history; R. endeavours to redress the balance, with regard to the sixth and seventh centuries, by juxtaposing the textual and archaeological sources.