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Edited by Madalina Toca and Dan Batovici

Ancient translations of late antique Christian literature serve to spread the body of knowledge to wider audiences in often radically new cultural contexts. For the texts which are translated, their versions are not only sometimes crucial textual witnesses, but also important testimonies of independent strands of reception, cast in the cultural context of the new language. This volume gathers ten contributions that deal with translations into Latin, Syriac, Armenian, Georgian, Coptic, Old Nubian, Old Slavonic, Sogdian, Arabic and Ethiopic, set in dialog in order to highlight the range of problems and approaches involved in dealing with the reception of Christian literature across the various languages in which it was transmitted.

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Elizabeth Agaiby

In The Arabic Life of Antony Attributed to Serapion of Thmuis, Elizabeth Agaiby demonstrates how the redacted Life of Antony, the “Father of all monks and star of the wilderness”, gained widespread acceptance within Egypt shortly after its composition in the 13th century and dominated Coptic liturgical texts on Antony for over 600 years – the influence of which is still felt up to the present day. By providing a first edition and translation, Agaiby demonstrates how the Arabic Life bears witness to the reinterpretation of the religious memory of Antony in the Coptic Orthodox Church.

The Life of Antony by Serapion the Bishop

Based on MS St Paul (History) 53: ff. 3r–66r

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Elizabeth Agaiby