Analysing Visions Experienced by Saints and Supplicants in Coptic Sources: What, How, and Why? (Chloé Agar, University of Oxford)

Start time: 13:00 / End time: 14:00 / Date: 12 Nov 2020

Open to: Students within this Faculty / Staff within this Faculty / Any UOL students / Any UOL staff / Any potential undergraduate students / Any potential postgraduate students / University of Liverpool Alumni / General Public

Type: Webinar

Cost: Please email Rachael Cornwell ( or Daniel Lowes ( for the Zoom link.

Contact: For more information contact Rachael Cornwell at

About the event

It has long been acknowledged that posthumous appearances by martyr saints at their shrines in visions to supplicants were a significant part of Christianity in the Late Antique and Byzantine world. It has also been proven that these visions are a distinctive feature of Eastern Christianity, as saints in Western tradition do not appear posthumously. This paper will explore whether the nature of visions within Eastern Christianity may also differ between regions and languages. The study of visions experienced by supplicants is often limited to sources preserved in Greek. This paper will therefore use sources preserved in Coptic to determine whether visions preserved in that language and those preserved in Greek differ.

Likewise, the study of visions generally focuses on those experienced by supplicants at martyr saints’ shrines. Consequently, this paper will also explore visions experienced by martyr saints during their lifetime in order to generate an overview of the nature of visions experienced by both saints and supplicants in sources preserved in Coptic and ultimately whether there are any features that suggest that contemporary distinctions were made between the nature of visions in different regions and languages, namely those in which Coptic and Greek were used.

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