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IMC 2016: Sessions

Session 1507: Dividing and Collecting Bodily Relics in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages, I: The Cultural Value of Bones

Thursday 7 July 2016, 09.00-10.30

Sponsor:European Research Council Project ‘The Cult of Saints’, University of Oxford
Organisers:Julia M. H. Smith, School of Humanities (History), University of Glasgow
Bryan Ward-Perkins, Faculty of History, University of Oxford
Moderator/Chair:Bryan Ward-Perkins, Faculty of History, University of Oxford
Paper 1507-aThe Real and Imaginary Distribution of the Relics of St Stephen in Late Antiquity
(Language: English)
Robert Wiśniewski, Instytut Historyczny, Uniwersytet Warszawski
Index terms: Hagiography, Religious Life
Paper 1507-b'And they took away from them the bones of their own kings that the Persians were carrying away into captivity': The Significance of Bones in Armenian, Zoroastrian, and Early Christian Beliefs
(Language: English)
Ani Honarchiansaky, Department of Near Eastern Languages & Cultures, University of California, Los Angeles
Index terms: Hagiography, Religious Life
Paper 1507-cRelics of the Ancestors?: Links between Saints' Relics and Objects from Reopened Graves
(Language: English)
Martine van Haperen, Faculteit Archeologie, Universiteit Leiden
Index terms: Archaeology - General, Religious Life

The practice of dividing and collecting the bones of saints developed in late antiquity, but not without resistance and variation across different cultures. This session will examine possible parallel practices in the secular world, and the origins of Christian practice, both around the bones of the first martyr, Stephen, and those of the saints of Mesopotamia.