Overview

St Antony

(251—356)

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abstinence

Overview page. Subjects: Christianity.

The practice of not eating certain foods: see also ASCETICISM; CELIBACY. As a Christian technical term it is distinguished from fasting (eating little or nothing).

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Antonians

Overview page. Subjects: Christianity.

Several communities claiming the patronage of, or descent from, St Antony of Egypt: (1) the original disciples of St Antony; (2) a congregation founded by Gaston de Dauphiné in 1095, known...

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Black Death

Overview page. Subjects: History.

(1347–50)

The most virulent epidemic of bubonic and pneumonic plague ever recorded. It reached Europe from the Tartar armies, fresh from campaigning in the Crimea, who besieged the...

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Coptic Church

Overview page. Subjects: Christianity.

One of the Oriental Orthodox Churches. According to tradition the Church in Egypt was founded by St Mark; Alexandria was one of the chief sees in the early Church. The Egyptian Church...

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demon

Overview page. Subjects: Biblical Studies.

An evil spirit or devil, especially one thought to possess a person or act as a tormentor in hell; the word is recorded from Middle English, and comes partly via medieval Latin and Latin...

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Desert Fathers

Overview page. Subjects: Religion — Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500).

The earliest Christian monks of Egypt, c.3rd–5th cents. Their names and way of life were made famous in the Greek and Latin world through Athanasius' Life of Antony, the writings ...

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Ethiopic Literature

Overview page. Subjects: Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500).

The literature written in Geʿez, the southern Semitic language of successive Christian kingdoms of the region that is now Ethiopia. Of three main periods, only the first, the Axumite period...

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Fourteen Holy Helpers

Overview page. Subjects: Christianity.

A group of saints who enjoyed a collective cult in the Rhineland from the 14th century. It became popular in response to the Black Death and political and economic crises. From Ratisbon and...

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hagiography

Overview page. Subjects: Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500) — Literature.

The writing of the lives of saints; a biography idealizing its subject. The word comes ultimately from Greek hagios ‘holy, saintly’.

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hermit

Overview page. Subjects: Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500).

A person living in solitude as a religious discipline; the word is recorded from Middle English, and comes via Old French and late Latin, from Greek erēmitēs, from erēmos ‘solitary’.

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