Religion Past and Present

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Infancy Narratives
(408 words)

[German Version]

In the literature of antiquity, the grandeur of important persons is already announced in the miraculous circumstances of their birth and childhood. These are not understood as personal proofs of divine favor for the child and the parents, but as signs for the benefit of the people or realm in question. The content of the mostly legendary sources includes: the child's noble or even divine origin (sometimes attested by a genealogy), his extraordinary conception, the announcement, p…

Cite this page
Radl, Walter, “Infancy Narratives”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 27 March 2023 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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