Lives of the Saints

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Lives of the Saints


biographies of clerical and lay persons canonized by the Christian church. Such works began to be written in the Roman Empire as stories about Christian martyrs (martyrology).

Beginning with the fourth century, the three basic types of collections of lives began to appear: minei, lives arranged in a calendar fashion, of an extended length suitable for reading in religious services; sinaksari, shorter lives, also arranged in calendar fashion; andpateriki, collections of lives selected by their compilers. The Byzantine writer Simeon Metaphrastes reworked many of the lives in the tenth century, giving them a didactic and panegyric character. His collection served as a model for both eastern and western hagiographers. Creating idealized saints, they moved farther and farther away from the real circumstances of their lives and wrote stylized biographies. At the same time, the works absorbed a number of literary subjects and poetic images, many of them preChristian (myths about battles against dragons, for example), as well as medieval parables, short stories, and anecdotes.

The lives of the saints first came to Old Rus’ after the introduction of writing and were transmitted by way of the South Slavs or in translations from Greek. However, in the llth century, the lives of the first Russian saints, Boris and Gleb and Feodosii Pecherskii, were written down firsthand. In the 16th century, Metropolitan Makarii greatly expanded the number of Russian saints and directed the compilation of their biographies, which were collected in the so-called Velikie Chet’ i-Minei (12 vols.).

The lives of,the saints served, and in some cases, continue to serve, the purposes of religious and political propaganda. To a degree this type of literature has value as a historical source. It is particularly suited for the study of the history of culture, reflecting as it does the various social ideas and aesthetic standards of its day. The subjects of some lives have been reworked by later writers—for example, A. I. Herzen’s Legend, written in 1835, is based on the Life of St. Theodore.


Kliuchevskii, V. O. Drevnerusskie zhitiia sviatykh kak istoricheskii istochnik. Moscow, 1871.
Serebrianskii, N. Drevnerusskie kniazheskie zhitiia. (Obzor redaktsii i teksty.) Moscow, 1915.
Likhachev, D. S. Chelovek v literature drevneiRusi. Moscow, 1970.
Ranovich, A. Kak sozdavalis’ zhitiia sviatykh. Moscow, 1961.


References in classic literature ?
Haphazard among the sermons and homilies, the travels, the lives of the Saints, the Fathers, the histories of the church, were old-fashioned novels; and these Philip at last discovered.
Alpatych, having sent his family away, was alone at Bald Hills and was sitting indoors reading the Lives of the Saints.
An officer who saw me, with a jealous eye, reading the LIVES OF THE SAINTS to the mistress of the house, entered suddenly and without being announced.
I am,' said I, 'the little abbe who reads LIVES OF THE SAINTS, and translates Judith into verse.
Assenting, on probable evidence, to so many of the judgments of the religious sense, he failed to see the equally probable evidence there is for the beliefs, the peculiar direction of men's hopes, which complete those judgments harmoniously, and bring them into connection with the facts, the venerable institutions of the past--with the lives of the saints.
Can it be true, as I have read in the Lives of the Saints, that the devil takes on the form of a woman?
The Coptic cathedral or heavenly cathedral as it is known for, was perched on a hilltop, it conjoins a painted ceiling and walls that illustrate stories from Bible and lives of the saints.
Dr Janina Ramirez is giving two lectures at the Anglo-Saxon site, one based around her bestselling book The Private Lives of the Saints, and the other around her top-charting podcast Art Detective.
He then deftly traces the long history of religious art, architecture, lives of the saints, and music that expresses this devotion to Mary.
The kind of magazine we will publish will seek to creatively teach the faith in ways that grab our attention with historical background, practical applications, the lives of the saints and other inspiring Catholic figures," Sartain said.
That is why the lives of the saints are so exciting.
In The History of the Church through 100 Masterpieces and the similarly titled The Lives of the Saints thorough 100 Masterpieces, Jacques Duquesne and Francois Lebrette focus on but a single dialect of the langue religieuse: Christian paintings and illuminations from Europe dating from the 14th to the 20th centuries.