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Seventh-Century Popes and Martyrs: The Political Hagiography of Anastasius Bibliothecarius

This number of Latin texts, released in a brand new variation with an English translation, attracts at the wealthy hagiographical corpus of Anastasius, papal diplomat, secretary and translator in overdue ninth-century Rome. The texts situation arguable figures: Pope Martin I (649-653), whose competition to the imperially-sponsored doctrines of monenergism and monothelitism observed him exiled to Cherson the place he died in 654, and Maximus the Confessor, an jap monk condemned to undergo amputation and exile to Lazica for related purposes in 662.

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We could wish that these pages had been completed by a study of Quarenghi, the Italian architect employed by Catherine, and, indeed, the last of the great architects of Italy. His Palladian manner took advantage of some of the innovations of his predecessor, Rastrelli, in the reign of the Empress Elizabeth, for his buildings were painted. The Manèges, or riding schools of the Guards Regiments, were thus treated. That, for instance, of the Gardes à cheval was painted green, with a portico of eight Doric columns of white Finnish granite.

Her first acts, upon becoming Empress, were to obliterate as many visual traces as possible of that environment. The long line of her lovers now begins. Why is it that Catherine has come down in history less sullied than Charles the Second or Louis Quinze? Must it not be because, apart from Frederick the Great, hers was the most successful reign in eighteenth-century Europe? But Prussia was a small and compact military autocracy, occupying, with regard to the other German states, the situation of Savoy in regard to Italy.

Leningrad, then, is European; Moscow is not. One, cosmopolitan, a child of the eighteenth century; the other, of the thirteenth, remote, aloof and foreign. The distinction holds good today as for ever. The high fur cap, the caftan, the sheepskin hat of the Uzbek and the Bokhariot are not to be seen in Leningrad as they are in Moscow. The Kremlin towers and domes still exert their old religious mystery; but there is no sanctity in the clean gold spires and painted façades of Petersburg and Tsarskoe Selo.

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