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Prophets, "magicians" and martyrs in the context of the Second Sophistic: revealed knowledge and its staging

Subproject by Dorothee Elm von der Osten

In her project, Dr. Dorothee Elm von der Osten deals with texts dedicated to the (self-) fashioning of prophets, cult founders, "magicians" and martyrs in the second and early third century A.D. The texts under consideration reveal controversies about the legitimacy and authority of such religious figures and can be placed in the broader (also institutional) context of the Second Sophistic. They belong to the genres of martyr literature, biography and forensic rhetoric. The study focuses on the respective literary staging of the religious experts and of such forms of knowledge that are presented as the object of a divine revelation and could therefore also be called apocalyptic (based on the definition of the genre by J. J. Collins).