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Marijana Vuković is a PhD research fellow at Department of Philosophy, Classics, History of Art and Ideas, from January 2013, being part of the larger ongoing project on the traditions and conceptions of children and childhood in antiquity and the Middle Ages, entitled as “Tiny Voices from the Past.” Her project is entitled as “Childhood in Context: Translations of the Infancy Gospel of Thomas in Different Christian Traditions.”

The subject of her study is the Infancy Gospel of Thomas, the 2nd-century apocryphal text about the childhood of Jesus. This apocryphal writing tells about childhood of Jesus Christ through a number of startling miraculous details related to the supernatural actions of young Jesus. In the same way as many other early Christian writings, this text attracted a great deal of attention and has been cross-culturally transmitted and translated into seven different languages from the original Greek. Apart from being rewritten several times in Greek, it has been translated into Syriac, Ethiopic, Latin, Georgian, Irish, Slavonic, and Arabic languages. It is preserved in the large number of manuscripts from the Middle Ages. Such a vast popularity unconstrained by cultural and linguistic boundaries, and easily trans-culturally transmitted needs to be explained further. This is particularly striking, if we take into consideration the apocryphal nature of the text. How did this writing come to be so popular, and through the different cultural contexts? Certainly, it pertains to the most popular literary character in the Middle Ages – Jesus. On the other hand, this writing contains many apocryphal details in description of Jesus’ childhood and its availability puzzles.

My project focuses mainly on the manuscripts in which this text appears, and it seeks to answer several questions. First of all, I am interested to answer the question of the availability of the text – what were the physical settings in which this text was copied? The second question refers to the manuscripts and their contents. What do the contents of the manuscript collections tell us of their use? One of the aims of the project is to see whether the childhood of Jesus in this narrative is transformed through the different languages and in the different Christian traditions. Was childhood (seen through this writing about Jesus and generally) perceived differently in different Christian communities? My research aims to follow up on the proposed questions.


Tags: History of ideas


  • Vukovic, Marijana (2013). Martyrdom of Irenaeus of Sirmium in the 10th-century Codex Suprasliensis. Старобългарска литература.  ISSN 0204-868X.  47

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  • Amadou, Christine; Vukovic, Marijana & Nilsson, Ingela (2017). Organisator av workshop: Hagiography workshop, Oslo, 24 – 25 November 2017 God, the Saint and the text: Hagiographical studies as an interdisciplinary field.
  • Vukovic, Marijana (2017). Children in the Infancy Gospel of Thomas in Latin, Byzantine, and Slavonic manuscripts.
  • Vukovic, Marijana (2017). Family, Community and Anti-Jewish Sentiments in the Infancy Gospel of Thomas of Latin MS Dijon, Bibl. mun. 38 (20).
  • Vukovic, Marijana (2017). Jesus' Childhood in the Middle Ages: Manuscripts and Texts of the Infancy Gospel of Thomas in the Latin West, Byzantium, and Among Slavs.
  • Vukovic, Marijana (2016). New Philology and Editing of Medieval Apocrypha and Martyrdom Literature.
  • Vukovic, Marijana (2015). (dissertation) Martyr Memories: The Afterlife of the Martyrdom of Irenaeus of Sirmium between East and West in Medieval Hagiographical Collections (Eighth – Eleventh Centuries).
  • Vukovic, Marijana (2015). (poster)Late Antique Hagiography and New Philology.
  • Vukovic, Marijana (2015). (presentation) Jesus´ parents in the Infancy Gospel of Thomas: Promotion of the cult of Mary or a gender struggle?​​.
  • Vukovic, Marijana (2015). (presentation) Metaphrased hagiographical literature in the eleventh-century Byzantium.
  • Vukovic, Marijana (2014). (presentation) Childhood in context: The Infancy Gospel of Thomas in Different Christian Traditions.
  • Vukovic, Marijana (2013). (article) “Constantine as ‘just a man:’ Modelling an image of an earthly ruler in eastern Christian hagiographies”.
  • Vukovic, Marijana (2013). (poster) “Studying Pannonian Martyrs: Irenaeus of Sirmium”.
  • Vukovic, Marijana (2013). (presentation) “Childhood in Context: Translations of the Infancy Gospel of Thomas in Different Christian Communities”.
  • Vukovic, Marijana (2013). “The Infancy Gospel of Thomas in the Slavonic Medieval Contexts”.

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Published Feb. 1, 2017 2:48 PM - Last modified Feb. 7, 2017 2:04 PM