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Testamentary literature
(568 words)

[German version]

The genre of testamentary literature (TL, derived from διαθήκη/diathḗkē, Lat. testamentum, 'testament' = test., 'last words', legacy') comprises Jewish as well as Christian texts; typically they are words of wisdom, paraenetic and ethical contents in the form of prophecies and speeches (e.g. admonitions for the progeny in the testament of Job to help the poor and not to overlook those in need). The best-known texts of this genre are the 'Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs' (testamenta duodecim patriarcharum = TestXII) transmitted in Greek but Christian in…

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Brock, Ann Graham (Cambridge, MA), “Testamentary literature”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider, English Edition by: Christine F. Salazar, Classical Tradition volumes edited by: Manfred Landfester, English Edition by: Francis G. Gentry. Consulted online on 06 July 2022 <>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510

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