Greek and Latin Narratives about the Ancient Martyrs provides a collection, with facing-page translations, of Greek and Latin Christian martyr narratives dating from the first four centuries CE. While Herbert Musurillo's authoritative collection The Acts of the Martyrs (1972) aimed to gather the most 'authentic' and 'reliable' accounts of early Christian martyrdom, Eric Rebillard argues that modern scholarship instead calls for texts which attest to the contexts in which the memories of the martyrs were constructed. As such, this extensive volume provides a textual basis for the study of martyr narratives without making assumptions about their date of composition or their authenticity. It focuses on the ancient martyrs executed before 260, and examines which of their texts was known to Eusebius or to Augustine. Introductions describe the hagiographical dossier of each martyr with crucial information about the manuscript tradition of the different texts and provide a terminus ante quem for their composition based only on external evidence.
Eric Rebillard is Professor of Classics and History at Cornell University. He received his PhD from the Sorbonne, Paris, in 1993 and is a former member of the Ecole francaise de Rome. His research focuses on the transformations of religious practices in Late Antiquity. Professor Rebillard's publications include Christians and Their Many Identities in Late Antiquity, North Africa, 200-450 CE (2012) and The Care of the Dead in Late Antiquity (2009). He is the co-editor of Group Identity and Religious Individuality in Late Antiquity (2015).