Upon completion of this course, students will be able to give an overview of the origins and development of early Byzantine hagiography. They will be able to explain some basic characteristics of this genre, as well as its relationship with ancient biography and the contemporary Lives of sophists. Finally, they will understand the problems related to this genre and form their own views, especially through the essays they will have to submit.
Course Content (Syllabus)
The genesis and development of Byzantine hagiography, as it is depicted in representative texts of the early period. Students will study the Vita Antonii of Athanasius of Alexandria and the Historia Religiosa by Theodoret of Cyrus.
Additional bibliography for study
P. Brown, "The rise and function of the holy man in late antiquity", Journal of Roman Studies 61 (1971) 80-101.
M.S. Williams, Authorised lives in early Christian biography : between Eusebius and Augustine. Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Pr., 2008
E.J. Watts, "Three generations of Christian philosophical biography", Yale Classical Studies 34 (2010) 117-133.