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Mapping LivesThe Uses of Biography$
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Peter France and William St Clair

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780197263181

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197263181.001.0001

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From Biography to Hagiography: Some Stable Patterns in the Greek and Latin Tradition of Lives, including Lives of the Saints

From Biography to Hagiography: Some Stable Patterns in the Greek and Latin Tradition of Lives, including Lives of the Saints

Chapter:
(p.19) 2 From Biography to Hagiography: Some Stable Patterns in the Greek and Latin Tradition of Lives, including Lives of the Saints
Source:
Mapping Lives
Author(s):

Sergei S. Averintsev

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197263181.003.0003

Biography and hagiography are both Greek words, coined at different periods. Biographica was created in the sixth century AD, while hagiographos or hagiographhia was of frequent use in the early Christian literature, although it has nothing to do with the Lives of the Saints. Rather, it denotes theological assessment. Different as they are, in Greek-speaking and Latin-speaking people, the designation of the two terms pertain to bios or vita or life. This chapter discusses biography and hagiography. It focuses on the implications of the word bios in the oldest biographical and hagiographical literature.

Keywords:   biography, hagiography, Biographica, hagiographos, hagiographhia, Christian literature, bios, vita, biographical literature

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