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This contribution points to the problem that the term ‘asceticism’ has no proper definition and that it, if used uncritically, glosses over the diversity of radical religious practices in the late antique world and beyond. Asceticus is not a classical or medieval Latin term but the product of early modern attempts to provide monastic life with a convenient past. I provide a short history of the term ‘asceticism’ and a case study: the rendition of the Greek term askesis in the two Latin translations of Athanasius of Alexandria’s Life of Antony.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationRoutledge Resources Online - Medieval Studies
Number of pages8
StatePublished - May 30 2022


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