The Earliest Dormition Traditions: Their Nature and Shape
The first four Christian centuries are remarkably silent regarding the end of the Virgin Mary's life. Only in the later fifth century do we encounter the earliest Dormition traditions. At this point, there are suddenly several diverse narrative traditions describing the end of Mary's life. They include representatives of three distinct narrative types, the Palm of the Tree of Life narratives, the Bethlehem narratives, and the Coptic narratives, as well as a handful of atypical narratives. The traditions of Ephesus and Constantinople are also briefly considered.
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