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Use of the Apocryphal Theme of diuisioapostolorum in the Development of the Christian Representations of Time and Space (1st-9th Century AD)


Diuisioapostolorum (« Apostles’ dispersion ») is a recurrent apocryphal theme throughout ancient and medieval Christian humanities and arts. In the widest sense, it refers to everything concerning the division of the world between the Apostles (reunions, draws), the evangelization of the world (sending and mission), and the foundation of sanctuaries, as well as the death and tombs of these prestigious figures: amici Dei. With a focus on Christian representations of time and space, our analysis of 1st-9th Century Greek and Latin Textual documentation – in particular, lists of Apostles and disciples – has enabled us to show that the use of this theme is a testimony to both the universal dissemination of the Christian vision of society, and a dual process of spatialization and temporalization of the sacred, as it promotes a number of loci linked to the memory of a community. Paralleling the lists with other types of written works (acta, historia, gestaepiscoporum), we have highlighted the fact that this process, by benefiting in the first place the authority under which the locus is placed, was potentially supported by said authority. For this reason, we have also dealt with the question of the monopolizing of civil identity by the bishops.

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