Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online

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From antiquity to the present, this mythical, long-lived bird has been a widely recognized symbol of rebirth and renewal. Although classical texts, Christian commentaries, and medieval bestiaries often link the Phoenix with the sacred benu bird, Egyptian worship of the sun god (Ra), and the Egyptian city of Heliopolis, other literary and iconographic evidence connect it also to India, Arabia, Syria, or China. Versions differ widely in their details but generally repo…

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Jensen, Robin M., “Phoenix”, in: Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online, General Editor David G. Hunter, Paul J.J. van Geest, Bert Jan Lietaert Peerbolte. Consulted online on 18 May 2021 <>
First published online: 2020

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