The Israelites were a confederation of Iron Age Semitic-speaking tribes of the ancient Near East, who inhabited a part of Canaan during the tribal and monarchic periods. According to the religious narrative of the Hebrew Bible, the Israelites' origin is traced back to the Biblical patriarchs and matriarchs Abraham and his wife Sarah, through their son Isaac and his wife Rebecca, their son Jacob, called Israel, whence they derive their name, with his wives Leah and Rachel and the handmaids Zilpa and Bilhah. Modern archaeology has discarded the historicity of the religious narrative, with it being reframed as constituting an inspiring national myth narrative; the Israelites and their culture, according to the modern archaeological account, did not overtake the region by force, but instead branched out of the indigenous Canaanite peoples that long inhabited the Southern Levant, ancient Israel, the Transjordan region through the development of a distinct monolatristic—later cementing as monotheistic—religion centered on Yahweh, one of the Ancient Canaanite deities.
The outgrowth of Yahweh-centric belief, along with a number of cultic practices gave rise to a distinct Israelite ethnic group, setting them apart from other Canaanites. In the Hebrew Bible the term Israelites is used interchangeably with the term Twelve Tribes of Israel. Although related, the terms Hebrews and Jews are not interchangeable in all instances. "Israelites" refers to the direct descendants of any of the sons of the patriarch Jacob, his descendants as a people are collectively called "Israel", including converts to their faith in worship of the god of Israel, Yahweh. "Hebrews", on the contrary, is used to denote the Israelites' immediate forebears who dwelt in the land of Canaan, the Israelites themselves, the Israelites' ancient and modern descendants. "Jews" is used to denote the descendants of the Israelites who coalesced when the Tribe of Judah absorbed the remnants of various other Israelite tribes. Thus, for instance, Abraham was a Hebrew but he was not technically an Israelite nor a Jew, Jacob was both a Hebrew and the first Israelite but not a Jew, while David was all three, a Hebrew, an Israelite, a Judahite.
A Samaritan, on the contrary, while being both a Hebrew and an Israelite, is not a Jew. During the period of the divided monarchy "Israelites" was only used to refer to the inhabitants of the northern Kingdom of Israel, it is only extended to cover the people of the southern Kingdom of Judah in post-exilic usage; the Israelites are the ethnic stock from which modern Jews and Samaritans trace their ancestry. Modern Jews are named after and descended from the southern Israelite Kingdom of Judah the tribes of Judah, Benjamin and Levi. Many Israelites took refuge in the Kingdom of Judah following the collapse of the Kingdom of Israel. In Judaism, the term "Israelite" is, broadly speaking, used to refer to a lay member of the Jewish ethnoreligious group, as opposed to the priestly orders of Kohanim and Levites. In texts of Jewish law such as the Mishnah and Gemara, the term יהודי, meaning Jew, is used, instead the ethnonym ישראלי, or Israelite, is used to refer to Jews. Samaritans refer to themselves and to Jews collectively as Israelites, they describe themselves as the Israelite Samaritans.
The term Israelite is the English name for the descendants of the biblical patriarch Jacob in ancient times, derived from the Greek Ισραηλίτες, used to translate the Biblical Hebrew term b'nei yisrael, יִשְׂרָאֵל as either "sons of Israel" or "children of Israel". The name Israel first appears in the Hebrew Bible in Genesis 32:29, it refers to the renaming of Jacob, according to the Bible, wrestled with an angel, who gave him a blessing and renamed him Israel because he had "striven with God and with men, have prevailed". The Hebrew Bible etymologizes the name as from yisra "to prevail over" or "to struggle/wrestle with", el, "God, the divine"; the name Israel first appears in non-biblical sources c. 1209 BCE, in an inscription of the Egyptian pharaoh Merneptah. The inscription is brief and says simply: "Israel is laid waste and his seed is not"; the inscription refers to a people, not to a nation-state. In modern Hebrew, b'nei yisrael can denote the Jewish people at any time in history. From the period of the Mishna the term Yisrael acquired an additional narrower meaning of Jews of legitimate birth other than Levites and Aaronite priests.
In modern Hebrew this contrasts with the term Yisraeli, a citizen of the modern State of Israel, regardless of religion or ethnicity. The term Hebrew has Eber as an eponymous ancestor, it is used synonymously with "Israelites", or as an ethnolinguistic term for historical speakers of the Hebrew language in general. The Greek term Ioudaioi was an exonym referring to members of the Tribe of Judah, which formed the nucleus of the kingdom of Judah, was adopted as a self-designation by people in the diaspora who identified themselves as loyal to the God of Israel and the Temple in Jerusalem; the Samaritans, who claim descent from the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh, are named after the Israelite Kingdom of Samaria, but until modern times many Jewish authorities contested their claimed lineage, deeming them to have been conquered foreigners w
A ritual is a sequence of activities involving gestures and objects, performed in a sequestered place, performed according to set sequence. Rituals may be prescribed by the traditions including a religious community. Rituals are characterized but not defined by formalism, invariance, rule-governance, sacral symbolism, performance. Rituals are a feature of all known human societies, they include not only the worship rites and sacraments of organized religions and cults, but rites of passage and purification rites, oaths of allegiance, dedication ceremonies, coming of age ceremony or rites and presidential inaugurations and funerals, school "rush" traditions and graduations, club meetings, sporting events, Halloween parties, veterans parades, Christmas shopping and more. Many activities that are ostensibly performed for concrete purposes, such as jury trials, execution of criminals, scientific symposia, are loaded with purely symbolic actions prescribed by regulations or tradition, thus ritualistic in nature.
Common actions like hand-shaking and saying "hello" may be termed rituals. The field of ritual studies has seen a number of conflicting definitions of the term. One given by Kyriakidis is that a ritual is an outsider's or "etic" category for a set activity that, to the outsider, seems irrational, non-contiguous, or illogical; the term can be used by the insider or "emic" performer as an acknowledgement that this activity can be seen as such by the uninitiated onlooker. In psychology, the term ritual is sometimes used in a technical sense for a repetitive behavior systematically used by a person to neutralize or prevent anxiety; the English word ritual derives from the Latin ritualis, "that which pertains to rite". In Roman juridical and religious usage, ritus was the proven way of doing something, or "correct performance, custom"; the original concept of ritus may be related to the Sanskrit ṛtá" in Vedic religion, "the lawful and regular order of the normal, therefore proper and true structure of cosmic, worldly and ritual events".
The word "ritual" is first recorded in English in 1570, came into use in the 1600s to mean "the prescribed order of performing religious services" or more a book of these prescriptions. There are hardly any limits to the kind of actions; the rites of past and present societies have involved special gestures and words, recitation of fixed texts, performance of special music, songs or dances, manipulation of certain objects, use of special dresses, consumption of special food, drink, or drugs, much more. Catherine Bell argues that rituals can be characterized by formalism, invariance, rule-governance, sacral symbolism and performance. Ritual utilizes a limited and rigidly organized set of expressions which anthropologists call a "restricted code". Maurice Bloch argues that ritual obliges participants to use this formal oratorical style, limited in intonation, vocabulary and fixity of order. In adopting this style, ritual leaders' speech becomes more style than content; because this formal speech limits what can be said, it induces "acceptance, compliance, or at least forbearance with regard to any overt challenge".
Bloch argues that this form of ritual communication makes rebellion impossible and revolution the only feasible alternative. Ritual tends to support traditional forms of social hierarchy and authority, maintains the assumptions on which the authority is based from challenge. Rituals appeal to tradition and are continued to repeat historical precedent, religious rite, mores or ceremony accurately. Traditionalism varies from formalism in that the ritual may not be formal yet still makes an appeal to the historical trend. An example is the American Thanksgiving dinner, which may not be formal, yet is ostensibly based on an event from the early Puritan settlement of America. Historians Eric Hobsbawm and Terrence Ranger have argued that many of these are invented traditions, such as the rituals of the British monarchy, which invoke "thousand year-old tradition" but whose actual form originate in the late nineteenth century, to some extent reviving earlier forms, in this case medieval, discontinued in the meantime.
Thus, the appeal to history is important rather than accurate historical transmission. Catherine Bell states that ritual is invariant, implying careful choreography; this is less an appeal to traditionalism than a striving for timeless repetition. The key to invariance is bodily discipline, as in monastic prayer and meditation meant to mold dispositions and moods; this bodily discipline is performed in unison, by groups. Rituals tend to be governed by a feature somewhat like formalism. Rules impose norms on the chaos of behavior, either defining the outer limits of what is acceptable or choreographing each move. Individuals are held to communally approved customs that evoke a legitimate communal authority that can constrain the possible outcomes. War in most societies has been bound by ritualized constraints that limit the legitimate means by which war was waged. Activities appealing to supernatural beings are considered rituals, although the appeal may be quite indirect, expressing only a generalized belief in the existence of the sacred demanding a human response.
National flags, for example, may be considered more than signs representing a country. The flag stands for larger symbols such as freedom, free enterprise or national superiority. Anthropologi
Classics or classical studies is the study of classical antiquity. It encompasses the study of the Greco-Roman world of its languages and literature but of Greco-Roman philosophy and archaeology. Traditionally in the West, the study of the Greek and Roman classics was considered one of the cornerstones of the humanities and a fundamental element of a rounded education; the study of classics has therefore traditionally been a cornerstone of a typical elite education. Study encompasses a time-period of history from the mid-2nd millennium BC to the 6th century AD; the word classics is derived from the Latin adjective classicus, meaning "belonging to the highest class of citizens". The word was used to describe the members of the highest class in ancient Rome. By the 2nd century AD the word was used in literary criticism to describe writers of the highest quality. For example, Aulus Gellius, in his Attic Nights, contrasts "classicus" and "proletarius" writers. By the 6th century AD, the word had acquired a second meaning.
Thus the two modern meanings of the word, referring both to literature considered to be of the highest quality, to the standard texts used as part of a curriculum, both derive from Roman use. In the Middle Ages and education were intertwined. Medieval education taught students to imitate earlier classical models, Latin continued to be the language of scholarship and culture, despite the increasing difference between literary Latin and the vernacular languages of Europe during the period. While Latin was hugely influential, Greek was studied, Greek literature survived solely in Latin translation; the works of major Greek authors such as Hesiod, whose names continued to be known by educated Europeans, were unavailable in the Middle Ages. In the thirteenth century, the English philosopher Roger Bacon wrote that "there are not four men in Latin Christendom who are acquainted with the Greek and Arabic grammars."Along with the unavailability of Greek authors, there were other differences between the classical canon known today and the works valued in the Middle Ages.
Catullus, for instance, was entirely unknown in the medieval period. The popularity of different authors waxed and waned throughout the period: Lucretius, popular during the Carolingian period, was read in the twelfth century, while for Quintilian the reverse is true; the Renaissance led to the increasing study of both ancient literature and ancient history, as well as a revival of classical styles of Latin. From the 14th century, first in Italy and increasingly across Europe, Renaissance Humanism, an intellectual movement that "advocated the study and imitation of classical antiquity", developed. Humanism saw a reform in education in Europe, introducing a wider range of Latin authors as well as bringing back the study of Greek language and literature to Western Europe; this reintroduction was initiated by Petrarch and Boccaccio who commissioned a Calabrian scholar to translate the Homeric poems. This humanist educational reform spread from Italy, in Catholic countries as it was adopted by the Jesuits, in countries that became Protestant such as England and the Low Countries, in order to ensure that future clerics were able to study the New Testament in the original language.
The late 17th and 18th centuries are the period in Western European literary history, most associated with the classical tradition, as writers consciously adapted classical models. Classical models were so prized that the plays of William Shakespeare were rewritten along neoclassical lines, these "improved" versions were performed throughout the 18th century. From the beginning of the 18th century, the study of Greek became important relative to that of Latin. In this period Johann Winckelmann's claims for the superiority of the Greek visual arts influenced a shift in aesthetic judgements, while in the literary sphere, G. E. Lessing "returned Homer to the centre of artistic achievement". In the United Kingdom, the study of Greek in schools began in the late 18th century; the poet Walter Savage Landor claimed to have been one of the first English schoolboys to write in Greek during his time at Rugby School. The 19th century saw the influence of the classical world, the value of a classical education, decline in the US, where the subject was criticised for its elitism.
By the 19th century, little new literature was still being written in Latin – a practice which had continued as late as the 18th century – and a command of Latin declined in importance. Correspondingly, classical education from the 19th century onwards began to de-emphasise the importance of the ability to write and speak Latin. In the United Kingdom this process took longer than elsewhere. Composition continued to be the dominant classical skill in England until the 1870s, when new areas within the discipline began to increase in popularity. In the same decade came the first challenges to the requirement of Greek at the universities of Oxford and Cambridge, though it would not be abolished for another 50 years. Though the influence of classics as the dominant mode of education in Europe and North America was in decline in the 19th century, the discipline was evolving in the same period. Classical scholarship was becoming more systematic and scientific with the "new philology" created at the end of the 18th and beginning of the 19th century.
Its scope was broadening: it was during the 19th century that ancient history and classical archaeology began to be s
Lavinium was a port city of Latium, 53 km to the south of Rome, midway between the Tiber river at Ostia and Anzio. The coastline as now, was a long strip of beach. Lavinium was on a hill at the southernmost edge of the Silva Laurentina, a dense laurel forest, the northernmost edge of the Pontine Marshes, a vast malarial tract of wetlands; the basis for the port, the only one between Ostia and Anzio, was evidently the mouth of the Numicus river. The location of Lavinium has never been lost to historians nor does there appear to have been any significant break in its habitation. Today's settlement remains a walled village of medieval design, Pratica di Mare, in the comune of Pomezia; the latter is a city constructed in 1939 and settled according to a plan of Benito Mussolini, whose engineers completed the millennia-long task of draining and filling the marsh, now the Pontine fields. A brief strip of field separates the flourishing city from the village. One Roman gate allows entry into the narrow streets of the village past the Castello Borghese a fortification, purchased along with the village in 1617 by Marcantonio Borghese.
The castle and the village were periodically renovated. All that remains of the river that once surrounded the village is a small stream, the Fosso di Pratica. Pratica di Mare is about 6 km from the Tyrrhenian Sea near the top of a slope descending to an alluvial shelf on which the Pratica di Mare Air Force Base has been placed, it has the historical distinction of being the airfield from which Otto Skorzeny flew Mussolini to safety in Germany after his rescue from imprisonment in a mountain villa. Today the base is both a secure airport for the protection of distinguished visitors to the Rome region and a home for air shows of advanced aircraft; the Fosso di Pratica was re-routed around the end of a runway. The sea may well have extended up to the base of the hill, as sites further north, such as Ostia, appear to have retreated one or two miles inland. Ancient Roman seaside villas are no longer on the beach. Pratica di Mare is observably smaller than ancient Lavinium, whose remains crop out in the surrounding fields.
Recent archaeological excavations performed to the south date Lavinium to well before the legendary foundation of Rome. It was fortified in the 7th century BC and flourishing in the 6th. Lavinium was assimilated by Republican Rome, it was connected to Rome in Ardea to the south by the Via Laurentina. Under the empire it was combined with the mysterious Laurentum, where many wealthy Romans maintained a winter villa, to become Laurolavinium; the nature of the union remains ambiguous. A number of kilns have been identified within the perimeter of the city walls. Outside the city was a sanctuary dedicated to Sol Indiges and a vast sanctuary with numerous altars, where the bronze inscribed plaque records that the Dioscuri were being venerated at one of numerous altars. According to Roman mythology, which links Lavinium more securely to Rome, the city was named by Aeneas in honor of Lavinia, daughter of Latinus, king of the Latins, his wife, Amata. Aeneas reached Italy and there fought a war against Turnus, the leader of the local Rutuli people.
Aeneas founded not Rome but rather Lavinium, the main centre of the Latin league, from which the people of Rome sprang. Aeneas thus links the royal house of Troy with the early Roman royal house; the foundation of Lavinium and the Rutulian war are both mentioned prominently in the great Roman epic, the Aeneid by the Mantuan poet Publius Vergilius Maro. In ancient times Lavinium had a close association with the nearby Laurentum. According to Livy, in the eighth century BC, when Romulus and Titus Tatius jointly ruled Rome, the ambassadors of the Laurentes came to Rome, but were beaten by Tatius' relatives; the Laurentes complained, but Tatius accorded more weight to the influence of his relatives than to the injury done the Laurentes. When Tatius afterwards visited Lavinium to celebrate an anniversary sacrifice, he was slain in a tumult. Romulus instead renewed the treaty between Rome and Lavinium. In 509 BC, after the overthrow of the Roman monarchy, one of Rome's first two consuls Lucius Tarquinius Collatinus was convinced to leave Rome because of his relation to the kings.
He voluntarily went into exile in Lavinium. In around 488 BC, Lavinium was captured by an invading army of the Volsci, led by Gaius Marcius Coriolanus and Attius Tullus Aufidius. More the city is the setting of the modern epic poem, The Laviniad by Claudio R. Salvucci. Richard Stillwell, ed. Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites, 1976: "Lavinium, Italy" Archaeological Museum of Lavinium
The Hellenistic period covers the period of Mediterranean history between the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC and the emergence of the Roman Empire as signified by the Battle of Actium in 31 BC and the subsequent conquest of Ptolemaic Egypt the following year. The Ancient Greek word Hellas is the original word for Greece, from which the word Hellenistic was derived. At this time, Greek cultural influence and power was at its peak in Europe, North Africa and Western Asia, experiencing prosperity and progress in the arts, literature, architecture, mathematics and science, it is considered a period of transition, sometimes of decadence or degeneration, compared to the enlightenment of the Greek Classical era. The Hellenistic period saw the rise of New Comedy, Alexandrian poetry, the Septuagint and the philosophies of Stoicism and Epicureanism. Greek science was advanced by the works of the polymath Archimedes; the religious sphere expanded to include new gods such as the Greco-Egyptian Serapis, eastern deities such as Attis and Cybele and a syncretism between Hellenistic culture and Buddhism in Bactria and Northwest India.
After Alexander the Great's invasion of the Achaemenid Empire in 330 BC and its disintegration shortly after, the Hellenistic kingdoms were established throughout south-west Asia, north-east Africa and South Asia. The Hellenistic period was characterized by a new wave of Greek colonization which established Greek cities and kingdoms in Asia and Africa; this resulted in the export of Greek culture and language to these new realms, spanning as far as modern-day India. However, these new kingdoms were influenced by the indigenous cultures, adopting local practices where beneficial, necessary, or convenient. Hellenistic culture thus represents a fusion of the Ancient Greek world with that of the Near East, Middle East, Southwest Asia; this mixture gave rise to a common Attic-based Greek dialect, known as Koine Greek, which became the lingua franca through the Hellenistic world. Scholars and historians are divided as to; the Hellenistic period may be seen to end either with the final conquest of the Greek heartlands by Rome in 146 BC following the Achean War, with the final defeat of the Ptolemaic Kingdom at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC, or the move by Roman emperor Constantine the Great of the capital of the Roman Empire to Constantinople in 330 AD.
"Hellenistic" is distinguished from "Hellenic" in that the first encompasses the entire sphere of direct ancient Greek influence, while the latter refers to Greece itself. The word originated from the German term hellenistisch, from Ancient Greek Ἑλληνιστής, from Ἑλλάς. "Hellenistic" is a 19th-century concept. Although words related in form or meaning, e.g. Hellenist, have been attested since ancient times, it was Johann Gustav Droysen in the mid-19th century, who in his classic work Geschichte des Hellenismus, coined the term Hellenistic to refer to and define the period when Greek culture spread in the non-Greek world after Alexander's conquest. Following Droysen and related terms, e.g. Hellenism, have been used in various contexts; the major issue with the term Hellenistic lies in its convenience, as the spread of Greek culture was not the generalized phenomenon that the term implies. Some areas of the conquered world were more affected by Greek influences than others; the term Hellenistic implies that the Greek populations were of majority in the areas in which they settled, but in many cases, the Greek settlers were the minority among the native populations.
The Greek population and the native population did not always mix. While a few fragments exist, there is no complete surviving historical work which dates to the hundred years following Alexander's death; the works of the major Hellenistic historians Hieronymus of Cardia, Duris of Samos and Phylarchus which were used by surviving sources are all lost. The earliest and most credible surviving source for the Hellenistic period is Polybius of Megalopolis, a statesman of the Achaean League until 168 BC when he was forced to go to Rome as a hostage, his Histories grew to a length of forty books, covering the years 220 to 167 BC. The most important source after Polybius is Diodorus Siculus who wrote his Bibliotheca historica between 60 and 30 BC and reproduced some important earlier sources such as Hieronymus, but his account of the Hellenistic period breaks off after the battle of Ipsus. Another important source, Plutarch's Parallel Lives although more preoccupied with issues of personal character and morality, outlines the history of important Hellenistic figures.
Appian of Alexandria wrote a history of the Roman empire that includes information of some Hellenistic kingdoms. Other sources include Justin's epitome of Pompeius Trogus' Historiae Philipicae and a summary of Arrian's Events after Alexander, by Photios I of Constantinople. Lesser supplementary sources include Curtius Rufus, Pausanias and the Byzantine encyclopedia the Suda. In the field of philosophy, Diogenes Laër
Legend is a genre of folklore that consists of a narrative featuring human actions perceived or believed both by teller and listeners to have taken place within human history. Narratives in this genre may demonstrate human values, possess certain qualities that give the tale verisimilitude. Legend, for its active and passive participants, includes no happenings that are outside the realm of "possibility," but may include miracles. Legends may be transformed over time, in order to keep them fresh and realistic. Many legends operate within the realm of uncertainty, never being believed by the participants, but never being resolutely doubted; the Brothers Grimm defined legend as folktale grounded. A modern folklorist's professional definition of legend was proposed by Timothy R. Tangherlini in 1990: Legend is a short episodic, traditional ecotypified historicized narrative performed in a conversational mode, reflecting on a psychological level a symbolic representation of folk belief and collective experiences and serving as a reaffirmation of held values of the group to whose tradition it belongs.
Legend is a loanword from Old French that entered English usage circa 1340. The Old French noun legende derives from the Medieval Latin legenda. In its early English-language usage, the word indicated a narrative of an event; the word legendary was a noun meaning a collection or corpus of legends. This word changed to legendry, legendary became the adjectival form. By 1613, English-speaking Protestants began to use the word when they wished to imply that an event was fictitious. Thus, legend gained its modern connotations of "undocumented" and "spurious", which distinguish it from the meaning of chronicle. In 1866, Jacob Grimm described the fairy tale as "poetic, legend historic." Early scholars such as Karl Wehrhan Friedrich Ranke and Will Erich Peuckert followed Grimm's example in focussing on the literary narrative, an approach, enriched after the 1960s, by addressing questions of performance and the anthropological and psychological insights provided in considering legends' social context.
Questions of categorising legends, in hopes of compiling a content-based series of categories on the line of the Aarne–Thompson folktale index, provoked a search for a broader new synthesis. In an early attempt at defining some basic questions operative in examining folk tales, Friedrich Ranke in 1925 characterised the folk legend as "a popular narrative with an objectively untrue imaginary content" a dismissive position, subsequently abandoned. Compared to the structured folktale, legend is comparatively amorphous, Helmut de Boor noted in 1928; the narrative content of legend is in realistic mode, rather than the wry irony of folktale. In Einleitung in der Geschichtswissenschaft, Ernst Bernheim asserted that a legend is a longstanding rumour. Gordon Allport credited the staying-power of some rumours to the persistent cultural state-of-mind that they embody and capsulise; when Willian Jansen suggested that legends that disappear were "short-term legends" and the persistent ones be termed "long-term legends", the distinction between legend and rumour was obliterated, Tangherlini concluded.
In the narrow Christian sense, legenda were hagiographical accounts collected in a legendary. Because saints' lives are included in many miracle stories, legend, in a wider sense, came to refer to any story, set in a historical context but that contains supernatural, divine or fantastic elements. Hippolyte Delehaye distinguished legend from myth: "The legend, on the other hand, has, of necessity, some historical or topographical connection, it refers imaginary events to some real personage, or it localizes romantic stories in some definite spot."From the moment a legend is retold as fiction, its authentic legendary qualities begin to fade and recede: in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Washington Irving transformed a local Hudson River Valley legend into a literary anecdote with "Gothic" overtones, which tended to diminish its character as genuine legend. Stories that exceed the boundaries of "realism" are called "fables". For example, the talking animal formula of Aesop identifies his brief stories as fables, not legends.
The parable of the Prodigal Son would be a legend if it were told as having happened to a specific son of a historical father. If it included a donkey that gave sage advice to the Prodigal Son it would be a fable. Legend may be transmitted orally, passed on person-to-person, or, in the original sense, through written text. Jacob de Voragine's Legenda Aurea or "The Golden Legend" comprises a series of vitae or instructive biographical narratives, tied to the liturgical calendar of the Roman Catholic Church, they are presented as lives of the saints, but the profusion of miraculous happenings and above all their uncritical context are characteristics of hagiography. The Legenda was intended to inspire extemporized homilies and sermons appropriate to the saint of the day; the vanishing hitchhiker is the best-known urban legend in America, traceable as far back as 1870, but it is found around the world including in Korea and Russia. In the legend, a young girl in a white dress picked up alongside of the road by a passerby.
The unknown girl in white remains silent for the duration of her ride, thanks the driver, gets