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Novel Saints. Novel, Hagiography, Romance

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What Congres
When 22-11-2018 10:00 till
24-11-2018 15:00
Where Thagaste Augustijnen op 22/11, Het Pand op 23-24/11
Organized by Flavia Ruani
Contact flavia.ruani@ugent.be
Website https://www.ugent.be/pirenne/en/news-events/events/novelsaintsconference-2018.htm

​The early history of the novel has not been written yet. The oldest representatives of this genre (also called ‘ancient romances’ in scholarship) were written in Latin and Greek in the first few centuries of the Common Era. Often, scholars have observed an interim period between the fourth and twelfth centuries from which no novels are said to have been preserved, and identify a so-called ‘re-emergence’ of the genre in Byzantium. Building on recent research that studies hagiography as literature, this conference of the ERC project Novel Saints (Ghent University) aims to challenge this view by studying hagiography as a continuation of novelistic literature during the so-called ‘dark age’ of the novel. A number of texts from this period have already received attention for their novelistic qualities, such as Ps-Nilus’ Narrationes, Ammonius’ Report on the Slaughter of the Monks of Sinai and Rhaithou, the Historia Monachorum, Palladius’ Historia Lausiaca, The Martyrdom of Galaction & Episteme, Jerome’s Lives of Malchus, Paul and Hilarion, and the Syriac Life of Abraham and his Niece Mary. Moreover, both ancient fiction and some of these (and other) hagiographical narratives are known to have impacted medieval romance (e.g. Metiochus and Parthenope as a source for the Persian love romance Vāmiq & ‘Adhrā and the Life of Saint Eustace/Placidas for chivalric romance in the West).

The conference aims to examine the persistence of ancient novelistic material in hagiography and instances of continuity of novelistic and/or hagiographical strands in medieval romances in the West, Byzantium and Persia.