Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online

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Lent is a distinct fasting season in the liturgical year, comprised (nominally) of 40 days, prior to the feast of Easter/Pascha. Despite its widespread observance, the origins of Lent are unclear. The earliest unambiguous references to a 40-day fast before Easter date from the second quarter of the 4th century CE and these sources mention it as an already…

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Russo, Nicholas V., “Lent”, in: Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online, General Editor David G. Hunter, Paul J.J. van Geest, Bert Jan Lietaert Peerbolte. Consulted online on 24 July 2024 <>
First published online: 2018

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