The Lives of the Ninth-Century Popes (Liber Pontificalis). the Ancient Biographies of Ten Popes from A.D. 817-891

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DAVIS, RAYMOND (Trans.). The Lives of the Ninth-Century Popes (Liber Pontifcalis). The Ancient Biographies of Ten Popes from A.D. 817-891. [Translated Texts for Historians, Volume 20.] (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press. Distributed by the University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia. 1996. Pp. xvi, 334. $20.95 paperback.)

This third volume treating the lives of the ten popes who reigned between 817 and 891 completes Raymond Davis' translation of the Liber Pontificalis (LP), that precious chronicle recording the lives of successive popes from Peter down to the end of the ninth century (see ante, LXXVII [July, 1991], 546, and XXIX [July, 1993], 514-515, for reviews of the first two volumes). After a brief general introduction, Davis provides a separate introduction for each life, usually informing readers of the events affecting the Roman see that are passed over in silence in LP. Then comes the translation, based on the Latin text estabfished by Louis Duchesne; extensive footnotes reflecting a thorough grasp of modern scholarship are supplied to elucidate the text. The volume also includes a glossary of terms and a useful bibliography.

The student audience for which this translation is intended may be severely challenged. …


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