Novel Saints. Studies in Ancient Fiction and Hagiography

The novel is today the most popular literary genre worldwide. Its early history has not been written yet. The research team Novel Saints aims to enhance our understanding of this history (both conceptually and cross-culturally) by studying both the (Latin and Greek) novel in antiquity and its reception in later periods. Interests of a number of team members currently converge in particular on late antique and early medieval hagiographical narrative traditions. This period constitutes a blind spot on the radar of scholars working on the history of the novel, who conceptualize it, much to the detriment of the study of narrative in subsequent periods, as an ‘empty’ interim period between the latest ancient representatives of the genre (ca. 3rd-4th cent.) and its re-emergence in 11th/12th-century Byzantium and 11th-century Persia. Methodologically, the team combines insights from both ancient and modern rhetorical and literary theories.

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Our research team is generously supported by: