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The Life of Thaïs and The Life of Abraham and his Niece Mary: An Intertextual Connection

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This article brings to light an intertextual connection between two hagiographical texts that has not been acknowledged in scholarship: the Life of Thaïs (BHG 1695) and the Greek Life of Abraham and his Niece Mary (BHG 5). The first part of the article presents an overview of the different possibilities of interdependence. Next, the textual correspondences and the contextual divergences between the two passages are discussed. In the final part, the intertextual connection between the two stories is understood as the result of a shared narrative purpose, and the divergences are interpreted within the specific narrative context of each text. This discussion considers the two texts against the background of other Lives of so-called ‘holy harlots’.

Affiliations: 1: Ghent UniversityBelgium


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