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Mirage of the Saracen$
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Walter D. Ward

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780520283770

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520283770.001.0001

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Martyrdom in the Sinai

Martyrdom in the Sinai

(p.92) 4 Martyrdom in the Sinai
Mirage of the Saracen

Walter D. Ward

University of California Press

This chapter covers the descriptions of martyrdoms in the Sinai according to the Sinai Martyr Narratives by Ammonius and Pseudo-Nilus. Once Christianity was legalized in 313, the number of martyrs quickly dwindled, except in a few regions of the Roman Empire, such as in the Sinai. Christians there employed previously existing rhetoric about martyrs, such in as the books of the Maccabees, to describe nomadic attacks on the monks. The description of these attacks in the Sinai Martyr Narratives helped create a pejorative image of the nomads by depicting them as a threat to the monks and pilgrims in the region.

Keywords:   martyrdomc, Ammonius, Pseudo-Nilus, nomads, pejorative image, Maccabees

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