Chapter

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

Sergei S. Averintsev

in Mapping Lives

Published by British Academy

Published in print September 2004 | ISBN: 9780197263181
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734595 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5871/bacad/9780197263181.003.0003

Series: British Academy Centenary Monographs

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

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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

Chapter.  8189 words. 

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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