Saturday, 11 April 2015

Efthymios Rizos: A New Project and a Study Tool on the Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity

This paper will provide a presentation of the Oxford-based Cult of Saints project and its objectives, especially the creation of an online database which aspires to provide an innovative study tool for scholars and members of the public.
The Cult of Saints is a major ERC-funded research project, based at Oxford University, which will map the cult of saints as a system of beliefs and practices in its earliest and most fluid form, from its origins until around AD 700. Its central objective is the creation of a searchable database containing all the evidence for the cult of the saints across the linguistic and literary traditions of late antique Christianity (Greek, Latin, Syriac, Coptic, Armenian and Georgian), and the different media in which this evidence survives (hagiographic, patristic, liturgical and historiographical texts, epigraphic and papyrological documents, images, architectural and archaeological finds). The material will be organized in records containing summaries of long texts, full quotations of key passages, both in the original language and in English translation, descriptions and pictures of images, objects and sites. Every piece of evidence will be accompanied by a brief discussion, considering its provenance, chronology, context and the details of cult it reveals. The database will, towards the end of the project, be made freely available on-line, and will be fully searchable, making it simple to access the evidence through various combinations of search criteria. These will be briefly presented and explained.

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