Nouvelles représentations de la Légende de Saint Ladislas à Crăciunel et Chilieni
An introduction to the current Byzantine hagiographical studies and projects
In recent years Byzantine hagiography has attracted renewed interest of the international community of Byzantine scholars and not only thanks to studies dedicated to this subject and critical editions of individual texts, but also because hagiography has been the main focus of numerous major research projects: databases, new repertories, a new version of the Bibliotheca Hagiographica Graeca and some very useful handbooks dedicated to this literary genre during the Byzantine Empire. These researches have analysed Byzantine hagiography in relation to the hagiographic writings composed in neighbouring areas, the West, the Syriac and Arabic Middle East, the Southern Slavs, etc. but also the relations between the hagiographical texts and other literary genres.
This volume introduces the current developments of hagiographical studies and on-going projects on the subject, and investigates a variety of texts and authors from the Patristic period to the end of Byzantium.
Antonio Rigo is Professor of Byzantine Philology and Christianity at Ca' Foscari - University of Venice. His research focuses on religious life in Byzantium, with special emphasis on ascetical and mystical literature, heresiology, and theology during the Paleologan period.
Memorial to Sevir Chernetsov, outstandinf africcan and Ethiopic scholar
Cosmas and Damianos, encyclopedia enty. Description of the hagiographic dossier
The Martyrdom of St Philotheus of Antioch has come down to us in two main versions – Coptic and Georgian – of which the Coptic is much longer due to the addition of some extra episodes mainly dedicated to different miraculous events in the martyr’s story: there are magi, dragons, demons and even walking statues, and the account, relatively sober in Georgian, has a much more fantastic character in Coptic. One of the most interesting parts of the narrative is the episode which relates the events that led to the repentance and conversion of Philotheus’ parents, Antiochian pagans of noble birth and great wealth. The following chain of events can be derived from all different versions of the Martyrdom: the boy is brought to offer a sacrifice to the mysterious calf which his parents worship; the calf has a conversation with Philotheus and then receives permission from Philotheus to kill his parents; it attacks them and gores them to death; the parents are left to lie dead and unburied for three days until Philotheus finally revives them. They repent of their previous idolatry and receive baptism from a Christian priest. Since this episode appears to be one of the focal points of the Coptic liturgical hymns in honour of St Philotheus and is clearly very important for the construction of the Martyrdom of St Philotheus and further development of his cult in the Coptic Church, it deserves a closer attention, as it provides yet another opportunity for dating and placing the Martyrdom of St Philotheus in a broader context of contemporary Coptic literature.
Onomastic of the Life of Gäbrä Krestos, famous champion of the Ethiopic hagiography. He was Syriabn and his name turns to be most enigmatic in the Syro-Ethiopic hagiography.
This article discusses depictions of magic and magical rituals in Coptic hagiography and their literary and historical context. In these texts narrating the stories of the martyrs of the so-called Great Persecution, pagan rulers usually accuse them of sorcery. In order to defeat Christian magic the Emperor or Roman officials summon their own court magicians who try to harm or kill the martyrs using poisonous potions and demonic powers. But Christian martyrs always passionately deny accusations of sorcery and any possibility of a connection between their miracles and magic. They destroy and defeat all plots of the magicians and in certain cases even convert them to Christianity, using as a weapon only the name of Jesus and the sign of the cross. Although there exists historical evidence that Christians were indeed accused of sorcery, the texts under discussion here demonstrate that they do not reflect a real historical situation at the time of the persecutions, but a literary topos which emerged at a later point, when the cyclic texts were being produced. Certain features of these standard narratives show that Coptic hagiographers used them not only with the purpose of entertaining their audience, but with some didactic goals as well. Such narratives are employed in order to inform on the distinction between ‘good and ‘bad’ miracles, to incite a negative attitude towards magic, and to provide the believers with positive examples of protection against the demonic attacks.
The Second Evangelisation of the Axumite kingdom was operated by Syrian monks coming from Roman Empire. They brought to Axum some important practices from their original places. These ensured their missionary success but they also introduced some novelties into social practices of local Christians. One of these practices was the name change as a consequence of ascetic behavior. Syriac ascetics either rejected their names of took upon themselves new Christian names like Man of God, Man of Christб Minister of Christ. Some of these rejection cases are well known from the Syriac monastic tradition (e. g. Alexius), other did not reject the name but showed themselves reluctant to accept old names (like Archelides). In Axum Za-Mikael Arägawi and НуMata Libanos were good examples of the implementation of these practices. In doing that Ethiopic ascetic of Syriac background tried to re-establish the society they were living in on new evangelical cornerstone — the new world should reject the old one.