Holy Treasure and Sacred Song

Holy Treasure and Sacred Song
Relics Cults and their Liturgies in Medieval 
Benjamin Brand
Oxford University Press
USA, New York, 2014
Hardback. xxii+296pp. ISBN 978-0-19-935135-0

Holy Treasure and Sacred SongThe medieval cult of saintly relics has left us with some glorious examples of art, architecture, literature and music. But the studies of historians generally focus on one of first three of these aspects in isolation. This book aims to redress the balance by focussing on the musical aspects but within the context of the rich story of politics, power and influence, the complex history of monasticism and liturgy, and the artistic outpouring that the devotion to relics generated. It covers the period from around the mid-eighth century to the thirteenth in Tuscany. It is an extension of a Yale PhD thesis by musicologist Benjamin Brand.

The first three chapters reveal the world of the medieval bishops as ‘lords and builders’, later to become defenders of the holy treasures that their predecessors had amassed in their cathedrals against Scandinavian and Magyar invasions Continue reading