Agnellus of Ravenna and Iconoclasm: Theology and Politics in a Ninth-Century Historical Text

Speculum 71 (3):559-576 (1996)
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The iconoclastic controversy of the eighth and ninth centuries was of fundamental importance for the history of Europe. The Byzantine aspects of iconoclasm have been extensively studied; however, with the exception of the Libri Carolini, its manifestations in western Europe are not fully understood. Yet western authors of many types of texts were interested in iconoclasm, both for its political consequences and for its theological aspects, and mentions of iconoclastic issues in these texts have often gone unnoticed. In this essay I will discuss the curiously oblique references to iconoclasm in one text, the Liber pontificalis ecclesiae Ravennatis by Andreas Agnellus, and will consider the implications of these discoveries both for the meaning of Agnellus's text and for our understanding of iconoclasm's impact in the West



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