Petrification and Portability Monks as Statues in Late Antique Egypt

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Georgia Frank



This essay considers how ascetics in Late Antiquity were perceived to be statue-like and how they functioned as statues in the ritual lives of the communities that surrounded them. Saints’ lives from Egypt, Asia Minor, and Syria describe ascetics whose statue-like immobility played a role in the Christianization of the landscape, at a time when some monks committed violence against statues. I focus on examples from Late Antique Egypt, with comparisons drawn from Syriac and Greek hagiography.


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