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‘We have no king but Christ’Christian Political Thought in Greater Syria on the Eve of the Arab Conquest (c.400-585)$
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Philip Wood

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199588497

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199588497.001.0001

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Controlling the Barbarians. The First Syrian Hagiographic Collection

Controlling the Barbarians. The First Syrian Hagiographic Collection

(p.38) 2 Controlling the Barbarians. The First Syrian Hagiographic Collection
‘We have no king but Christ’

Philip Wood (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the hagiography of Theodoret of Cyrrhus as a specific example of the observation of self‐control amongst barbarian peoples and the ‘improvement’ of the provinces of the Roman world. Theodoret observes the self‐control of Syrian holy men, in spite of their barbaric behaviour, and follows earlier apologists in emphasising Christianity's barbarian origins and the unimportance of Greek. Theodoret engaged with a world where charismatic saints of the previouscentury had inspired contemporary ascetic behaviour. His hagiography is an attemptto appropriate and control the reputations of these holy men and to present himself as the perceptive guide to the dangerous frontier of Syriac‐speakers, able to exclude the heretical and praise the holy.

Keywords:   Theodoret, Self‐control, Holy man, Greek, Syriac, Hagiography, Fronntier, Improvement

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