Saints and Their Miracles in Late Antique Gaul (review)

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A dozen years have passed since the publication of Peter Brown's The Cult of the Saints. Brown's book, of course, has been enormously influential in reviving scholars' interest in saints' cults and relics in late antiquity and the early Middle Ages. And yet Brown called The Cult of the Saints an "essay in interpretation" and noted that he "left many books on the cult of the saints in late antiquity yet to be written." With this in mind, it is enlightening to read Raymond Van Dam's Saints and Their Miracles in Late Antique Gaul with a copy of The Cult of the Saints close at hand. As one would expect, Van Dam readily acknowledges the importance of Brown's work. But what is perhaps more interesting is to consider (and marvel at) just how far the study of saints' cults has advanced in the twelve years since the publication of Brown's book...