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date: 18 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This essay is a study of the growth of apocryphal traditions concerning the Virgin Mary, focusing primarily on the Protevangelium of James, the Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew, and the De Nativitate Mariae with a comparison of these texts with each other. The influence of these stories on Christian teaching about celibacy, virginity, and the monastic life is also examined. The literary and theological manipulation of Mary as a leading character in these books from her earliest days to a later period in her life is pursued. The development of the stories among the Carolingians and in Jacob of Voragine’s Golden Legend is also referred to.

Keywords: Protevangelium Iacobi, Protevangelium of James, The Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew, De Nativitate Mariae, virginity, celibacy, Virgin Mary

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