Authorised Lives in Early Christian Biography: Between Eusebius and Augustine

Authorised Lives in Early Christian Biography: Between Eusebius and Augustine

by Michael Williams
Authorised Lives in Early Christian Biography: Between Eusebius and Augustine

Authorised Lives in Early Christian Biography: Between Eusebius and Augustine

by Michael Williams

Paperback(Reissue)

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Overview

What was distinctive about Christian biography in late antiquity? In this book, Dr Williams examines a range of biographies of prominent Christians written in the fourth and fifth centuries, and suggests that they share a purpose and function which sets them apart from their non-Christian equivalents. This was an age in which the lives of saints first emerged as a literary phenomenon, and a broad perspective on this developing genre is complemented by close readings of more problematic works such as Eusebius of Caesarea's Life of Constantine and the Confessions of Augustine of Hippo. In including such idiosyncratic examples, the aim is to provide a definition of Christian biography which extends beyond mere hagiography, and which expresses an understanding of the world and the place of individuals within it. It was a world in which lives might be authored by Christians, but could be authorised only by God.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780521349529
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 07/14/2011
Series: Cambridge Classical Studies
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 276
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Michael Stuart Williams lectures in Ancient History at the University of Cambridge.

Table of Contents

Introduction: biography and typology; 1. Constantine: the authorised life; 2. Gregory and Basil: a double life; 3. Antony and Jerome: life on the edge; 4. Augustine: the life of the mind; 5. The end of sacred history; Conclusion: authorised lives.
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