Contesting the saints’ miracles

Matthew Dal Santo

in Debating the Saints’ Cult in the Age of Gregory the Great

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780199646791
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199949939 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in Byzantium

Contesting the saints’ miracles

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This chapter argues that the defence of the saints and their miracles visible in Gregory and Eustratius’s texts can also be found in other contemporary texts. For in both saints’ Lives and collections of saints’ miracles from this period, proponents of the saints had to defend their subjects against rationalistic counter-explanations for the miracles and wonders they ascribed to the saints. The chapter thus brings together a number of Greek hagiographical texts drawn from all over the eastern Mediterranean to establish the existence of a persistent and widespread questioning of the saints’ cult from the end of the sixth to the middle of the seventh centuries. These texts include: the Miracles of Cosmas and Damian; the Miracles of Cyrus and John; the Miracles of Demetrius; the Life of Symeon the Younger; the Life of Theodore of Sykeon; the Life of John the Almsgiver; and the Miracles of Artemius. The chapter also explores the role played by images of the saints in the defence of the saints’ post-mortem miracles.

Keywords: saints; miracles; Lives; miracle collections; Cosmas and Damian; Cyrus and John; Demetrius; Symeon; Theodore; John the Almsgiver; Artemius; images

Chapter.  36593 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Religion in the Ancient World

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