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2. Hagiography and Historiography

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Chapter Summary

Antonio Gallonio devoted a large part of his life to the collection and reworking of hagiographical texts. This chapter deals with the most obvious aspect of Gallonio's work: saints belonging to the past; texts about saints were by definition historical texts. Members of the Oratory of Rome wrote texts about saints on a daily basis, and lectured about them to an audience, much as they did with ecclesiastical history and Christian ethics. In his hagiographical texts and lectures, Gallonio presented ancient models of Christian glory and martyrdom for the instruction and edification of his contemporaries. The distance in time between the martyrs of the Roman Empire and Gallonio's Counter-Reformation readership became irrelevant in view of the endless repetition of virtues and actions denoting the true Church of Christ.

Keywords: Antonio Gallonio; Christian ethics; hagiography; historiography; Oratory of Rome; saints



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