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Encyclopedia > Anthony of Egypt
Saint Anthony the Great

Father of Christian Monasticism
Born 251, Herakleopolis Magna, Egypt
Died 356, Mount Colzim, Egypt
Venerated in Roman Catholic Church
Eastern Orthodox Churches
Eastern Catholic Churches
Oriental Orthodox Churches
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod
Major shrine Monastery of Saint Anthony, Egypt
Vienna, Austria
Feast January 17 (West)
January 30 = Tobi 22
Attributes bell; pig (in the west); book; crutch; hermit; Saint Anthony's cross; tau cross with a bell on the end
Patronage amputees; animals; basket makers; brushmakers; Burgio, Sicily; butchers; domestic animals; eczema; epilepsy, ergotism; erysipelas; graveyards; hermits; Hospitallers; monks; pigs; relief from pestilence; Saint Anthony's fire; skin diseases; skin rashes; swineherds
Saints Portal

Saint Anthony the Great (251 - 356), also known as Saint Anthony Abbot, Saint Anthony of Egypt, Saint Anthony of the Desert, Saint Anthony the Anchorite, and The Father of All Monks, was an Egyptian Christian saint and the outstanding leader among the Desert Fathers, who were Christian monks in the Egyptian desert in the 3rd and 4th centuries. He was located in Alexandria, Egypt for some of his life. His feast day is celebrated on January 17th in some churches, but celebrated on Tobi 22 (January 30) in the Coptic Orthodox Church and the Coptic Catholic Church, which have the closest cultural and geographical ties to him. Saint Anthony is appealed to against infectious diseases, in particular herpes zoster, hence shingles are known as Saint Anthony's fire in Italy and Malta. Image File history File links St Anthony the Great Source: St Anthony File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Events July 1 – In the Battle of Abrittus, the Goths defeat the Romans; emperors Decius and Herennius Etruscus are killed. ... Herakleopolis Magna is the Greek name of the capital of the Twentieth nome of ancient Egypt. ... Events February 8 - Roman authorities make an attempt to arrest Athanasius on the accusation of supporting the usurper Magnentius. ... The Roman Catholic Church or Catholic Church (see terminology below) is the Christian church in full communion with the Bishop of Rome, currently Pope Benedict XVI. It traces its origins to the original Christian community founded by Jesus Christ and led by the Twelve Apostles, in particular Saint Peter. ... Eastern Orthodoxy (also called Greek Orthodoxy and Russian Orthodoxy) is a Christian tradition which represents the majority of Eastern Christianity. ... The Eastern Catholic Churches are autonomous particular Churches in full communion with the Pope of Rome. ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... LCMS redirects here. ... Eastern Orthodox shrine Buddhist shrine just outside Wat Phnom. ... Vienna (German: , see also other names) is the capital of Austria, and also one of the nine States of Austria. ... The calendar of saints is a traditional Christian method of organising a liturgical year on the level of days by associating each day with one or more saints, and referring to the day as that saints day. ... January 17 is the 17th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... January 30 is the 30th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Tobi also known as Touba is the fifth month of the Coptic calendar. ... Saint symbology was important to people who couldnt read because they can figure out what symbols mean. ... The Tau cross The Cross of Tau; also called the Tau Cross, St. ... Saint Quentin is the patron saint of locksmiths and is also invoked against coughs and sneezes. ... Image File history File links Gloriole. ... Events July 1 – In the Battle of Abrittus, the Goths defeat the Romans; emperors Decius and Herennius Etruscus are killed. ... Events February 8 - Roman authorities make an attempt to arrest Athanasius on the accusation of supporting the usurper Magnentius. ... Christianity is a monotheistic[1] religion centered on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as presented in the New Testament. ... In traditional Christian iconography, Saints are often depicted as having halos. ... The Desert Fathers were Christian Hermits who lived in the Sahara desert of Egypt, beginning in about the third century. ... Monasticism (from Greek: monachos — a solitary person) is the religious practice in which one renounces worldly pursuits in order to devote ones life fully to spiritual work. ... The calendar of saints is a traditional Christian method of organising a liturgical year on the level of days by associating each day with a saint, and referring to the day as the saints day of that saint. ... January 17 is the 17th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Tobi also known as Touba is the fifth month of the Coptic calendar. ... January 30 is the 30th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Christ - Coptic Art Coptic Orthodox Christianity is the indigenous form of Christianity that, according to tradition, the apostle Mark established in Egypt in the middle of the 1st century AD (approximately AD 60). ... The Coptic Catholic Church is an Alexandrian Rite church sui juris particular Church in full communion with the Pope of Rome. ... Herpes zoster, colloquially known as shingles, is the reactivation of varicella zoster virus (VZV, primary infection of which leads to chicken pox), one of the Herpesviridae group, leading to a crop of painful blisters over the area of a dermatome. ... Herpes zoster, colloquially known as shingles, is the reactivation of varicella zoster virus, leading to a crop of painful blisters over the area of a dermatome. ...

Contents

Life of St. Anthony

Most of what we know about the life of St Anthony is in the Greek vita (Life of Antony) by Athanasius, circulated in Latin. Several surviving homilies and epistles of varying authenticity provide scant autobiographical detail. Vita or VITA can refer to any of a number of things: Vita (Latin for life) can also refer to a brief biography, often that of a saint (i. ... Athanasius of Alexandria (also spelled Athanasios) was a Christian bishop of Alexandria in the fourth century. ... Latin is an ancient Indo-European language originally spoken in Latium, the region immediately surrounding Rome. ...


Anthony was born near Herakleopolis Magna in Upper Egypt in 251 to wealthy parents. When he was eighteen years old, his parents died and left him with the care of his unmarried sister. In 285, he decided to follow the words of Jesus who had said: "If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasures in heaven; and come, follow Me." (Matthew 19:21). Anthony gave his wealth to the poor and needy, and placed his sister with a group of Christian virgins, a sort of proto-nunnery at the time. Herakleopolis Magna is the Greek name of the capital of the Twentieth nome of ancient Egypt. ... Map of Upper and Lower Egypt Ancient Egypt was divided into two kingdoms, known as Upper and Lower Egypt. ... Events July 1 – In the Battle of Abrittus, the Goths defeat the Romans; emperors Decius and Herennius Etruscus are killed. ... This article is about the year. ... This article is about Jesus of Nazareth. ... The Gospel of Matthew (literally, according to Matthew; Greek, Κατά Μαθθαίον or Κατά Ματθαίον) is one of the four Gospel accounts of the New Testament. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ...


The moniker "Father of Monasticism" is misleading, as Christian monasticism was already being practiced in the deserts of Egypt. Ascetics commonly retired to isolated locations on the outskirts of cities. Anthony is notable for being one of the first ascetics to attempt living in the desert proper, completely cut off from civilization. His anchoritic (isolated) lifestyle was remarkably harsher than his predecessors. By the 2nd century there were also famous Christian ascetics, such as Saint Thecla. Saint Anthony decided to follow this tradition and headed out into the alkaline desert region called the Nitra in Latin (Wadi El Natrun today), about 95 km west of Alexandria, some of the most rugged terrain of the Western Desert. Monasticism (from Greek: monachos — a solitary person) is the religious practice in which one renounces worldly pursuits in order to devote ones life fully to spiritual work. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... Monasticism (from Greek: monachos — a solitary person) is the religious practice in which one renounces worldly pursuits in order to devote ones life fully to spiritual work. ... An ascetic is one who practices a renunciation of worldly pursuits to achieve spiritual attainment. ... The Acts of Paul and Thecla (Acta Pauli et Theclae) is an apocryphal story of St Pauls influence on the young virgin, Thecla. ... Wadi El Natrun is a town in Al Buhayrah Governorate, Egypt. ... Latin is an ancient Indo-European language originally spoken in Latium, the region immediately surrounding Rome. ... Wadi El Natrun is a town in Al Buhayrah Governorate, Egypt. ... Alexandria (Greek: , Coptic: , Arabic: , Egyptian Arabic: Iskindireyya), (population of 3. ... The Western Desert is a desert region West of the Nile in Egypt, extending to Libya. ...


Also note that pagan ascetic hermits and loosely organized cenobitic communities that the Hellenized Jewish philosopher Philo of Alexandria described as the Therapeutae in the first century, were long established in the harsh environments by the Lake Mareotis close to Alexandria, and in other less-accessible regions. Philo understood: for "this class of persons may be met with in many places, for both Greece and barbarian countries want to enjoy whatever is perfectly good." (Philo,De vita contemplativa written c. 10) The cenobitic tradition is a monastic tradition that stresses community life. ... Philo (20 BCE - 40 CE) was an Alexandrian Jewish philosopher born in Alexandria, Egypt. ... The Therapeutae (Worshipers in Greek) were an early pre-Christian monastic order established near Lake Mareotis close to Alexandria, the capital of Ptolemaic Egypt. ... Lake Mariout (also spelled Maryut or Mariut) is a salt lake of about 250 square km in northern Egypt. ... Alexandria (Greek: , Coptic: , Arabic: , Egyptian Arabic: Iskindireyya), (population of 3. ... Philo (20 BCE - 40 CE) was an Alexandrian Jewish philosopher born in Alexandria, Egypt. ...


According to Athanasius, the devil fought St Anthony by afflicting him with boredom, laziness, and the phantoms of women, which he overcame by the power of prayer, providing a theme for Christian art. After that, he moved to a tomb, where he resided and closed the door on himself, depending on some local villagers who brought him food. When the devil perceived his ascetic life and his intense worship, he was envious and beat him mercilessly, leaving him unconscious. When his friends from the local village came to visit him and found him in this condition, they carried him to a church. Athanasius of Alexandria (also spelled Athanasios) was a Christian bishop of Alexandria in the fourth century. ... Christian art is art that spans many segments of Christianity. ...


After he recovered, he made a second effort and went back to the desert, further out, to a mountain by the Nile, called Pispir, now Der el Memun, opposite Arsinoë in the Fayyum. There he lived strictly enclosed in an old abandoned Roman fort for some twenty years. According to Athanasius, the devil again resumed his war against Saint Anthony, only this time the phantoms were in the form of wild beasts, wolves, lions, snakes and scorpions. They appeared as if they were about to attack him or cut him into pieces. But the Saint would laugh at them scornfully and say, "If any of you have any authority over me, only one would have been sufficient to fight me." At his saying this, they disappeared as though in smoke, and God gave him the victory over the devil. While in the fort he only communicated with the outside world by a crevice through which food would be passed and he would say a few words. Saint Anthony would prepare a quantity of bread that would sustain him for six months. He did not allow anyone to enter his cell: whoever came to him, stood outside and listened to his advice. The Nile (Arabic: , transliteration: , Ancient Egyptian iteru, Coptic piaro or phiaro) is a major north-flowing river in Africa, generally regarded as the longest river in the world. ... Crocodilopolis or Krokodilopolis (Greek: ) or Ptolemais Euergetis or Arsinoe (Greek: ) was an ancient city in the Heptanomis, Egypt, the capital of Arsinoites nome, on the western bank of the Nile, between the river and the Lake Moeris, southwest of Memphis, in lat. ... Ancient Rome was a civilization that grew from a small agricultural community founded on the Italian Peninsula circa the 9th century BC to a massive empire straddling the Mediterranean Sea. ... Athanasius of Alexandria (also spelled Athanasios) was a Christian bishop of Alexandria in the fourth century. ...

The main altar of the hermitage church in Warfhuizen in the Netherlands with a mural of Anthony Abbot and a reliquary with some of his relics.

Then one day he emerged from the fort with the help of villagers to break down the door. By this time most had expected him to have wasted away, or gone insane in his solitary confinement, but he emerged healthy, serene, and enlightened. Everyone was amazed he had been through these trials and emerged spiritually rejuvenated. He was hailed as a hero and from this time forth the legend of Anthony began to spread and grow. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (1500x1446, 365 KB) Licensing I, the creator of this work, hereby release it into the public domain. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (1500x1446, 365 KB) Licensing I, the creator of this work, hereby release it into the public domain. ... Warfhuizen (Gronings: Waarfhoezen) is a village in Groningen, a province in the extreme North of the Netherlands. ... For the band Reliquary, click here. ... A relic is an object, especially a piece of the body or a personal item of someone of religious significance, carefully preserved with an air of veneration as a tangible memorial, Relics are an important aspect of Buddhism, some denominations of Christianity, Hinduism, shamanism, and many other personal belief systems. ...


Then he went to the Fayyum and confirmed the brethren there in the Christian faith, then returned to his old Roman fort. Anthony wished to become a martyr and went to Alexandria. He visited those who were imprisoned for the sake of Christ and comforted them. When the Governor saw that he was confessing his Christianity publicly, not caring what might happen to him, he ordered him not to show up in the city. However, the Saint did not heed his threats. He faced him and argued with him in order that he might arouse his anger so that he might be tortured and martyred, but it did not happen. Al Fayyum or El Faiyûm (Arabic: الفيوم ) is the capital of Al Fayyum Governorate, Egypt. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... Alexandria (Greek: , Coptic: , Arabic: , Egyptian Arabic: Iskindireyya), (population of 3. ... Christ is the English of the Greek word (Christós), which literally means The Anointed One. ... Christianity is a monotheistic[1] religion centered on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as presented in the New Testament. ...


When he went back to the old Roman fort, many came to visit him and to hear his teachings. He saw that these visits kept him away from his worship. As a result, he went further into the Eastern Desert of Egypt. He travelled to the inner wilderness for three days, until he found a spring of water and some palm trees, and then he chose to settle there. On this spot now stands the monastery of Saint Anthony the Great. On occasions, he would go to the monastery on the outskirts of the desert by the Nile to visit the brethren, then return to his inner monastery. The template of this page is being worked at Wikipedia:WikiProject Ecoregions/Template. ... The Nile (Arabic: , transliteration: , Ancient Egyptian iteru, Coptic piaro or phiaro) is a major north-flowing river in Africa, generally regarded as the longest river in the world. ... Monastery of St. ...


The backstory of one of the surviving epistles, directed to Constantine I recounts how the fame of Saint Anthony spread abroad and reached Emperor Constantine. The Emperor wrote to him, offering him praise and asked him to pray for him. The brethren were pleased with the Emperor's letter, but Anthony did not pay any attention to it, and he said to them, "The books of God, the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, commands us everyday, but we do not heed what they tell us, and we turn our backs on them." Under the persistence of the brethren who told him, "Emperor Constantine loves the church," he accepted to write him a letter blessing him, and praying for the peace and safety of the empire and the church. Head of Constantines colossal statue at Musei Capitolini Gaius Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus[1] (February 27, 272–May 22, 337), commonly known as Constantine I, Constantine the Great, or (among Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic[2] Christians) Saint Constantine, was a Roman Emperor, proclaimed Augustus by his troops on...

Painting of Saint Anthony by Piero di Cosimo ca. 1480

According to Athanasius, Saint Anthony heard a voice telling him, "Go out and see." He went out and saw an angel who wore a girdle with a cross, one resembling the holy Eskiem (Tonsure or Schema), and on his head was a head cover (Kolansowa). He was sitting while braiding palm leaves, then he stood up to pray, and again he sat to weave. A voice came to him saying, "Anthony, do this and you will rest." Henceforth, he started to wear this tunic that he saw, and began to weave palm leaves, and never got bored again. Saint Anthony prophesied about the persecution that was about to happen to the church and the control of the heretics over it, the church victory and its return to its formal glory, and the end of the age. When Saint Macarius visited Saint Anthony, Saint Anthony clothed him with the monk's garb, and foretold him what would be of him. When the day drew near of the departure of Saint Paul the First Hermit in the desert, Saint Anthony went to him and buried him, after clothing him in a tunic which was a present from St Athanasius the Apostolic, the 20th Patriarch of Alexandria. Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (2024x2476, 264 KB) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Pig ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (2024x2476, 264 KB) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Pig ... Portrait of Simonetta Vespucci (c. ... Athanasius of Alexandria (also spelled Athanasios) was a Christian bishop of Alexandria in the fourth century. ... Tonsure is the practice of some Christian churches of cutting the hair from the scalp of clerics as a symbol of their renunciation of worldly fashion and esteem. ... The word schema comes from the Greek word σχήμα (skhēma) that means shape or more generally plan. ... Saint Macarius of Jerusalem was bishop of Jerusalem from 311/312 to shortly before 335, according to Sozomen. ... Coptic icon of St. ... Athanasius of Alexandria (Greek: Αθανάσιος, Athanásios; c 293 – May 2, 373) was a Christian bishop, the Bishop of Alexandria, in the fourth century. ... Mark the Evangelist (43-63) Anianus (61-82) Avilius (83-95) Kedron (96-106) Primus (106-118) Justus (118-129) Eumenes (131-141) Mark II (142-152) Celadion (152-166) Agrippinus (167-178) Julian (178-189) Demetrius (189-232) Heraclas (232-248) Dionysius (248-264) Maximus (265-282) Theonas (282...


When Saint Anthony felt that the day of his departure had approached, he commanded his disciples to give his staff to Saint Macarius, and to give one sheepskin cloak to Saint Athanasius and the other sheepskin cloak to Saint Serapion, his disciple. He further instructed his disciples to bury his body in an unmarked, secret grave, lest his body become an object of veneration. He stretched himself on the ground and gave up his spirit. Saint Anthony the Great lived for 105 years and departed on the year 356. He probably spoke only his native language, Coptic, but his sayings were spread in a Greek translation. He himself left no writings. His biography was written by Saint Athanasius and titled Life of Saint Anthony the Great. Many stories are also told about him in various collections of sayings of the Desert Fathers. Saint Macarius of Jerusalem was bishop of Jerusalem from 311/312 to shortly before 335, according to Sozomen. ... Sheepskin is the hide of a sheep, sometimes also called lambswool. ... Athanasius of Alexandria (also spelled Athanasios) (298–May 2, 373) was a Christian bishop of Alexandria in the fourth century. ... Serapion was Patriarch of Antioch (191 - 211). ... Ancient unreadable gravestones mark the position of graves in the parish churchyard at Bourton-on-the-Water, Gloucestershire, England A grave is a place where the body of a dead animal, generally human, is buried, often after a funeral. ... Veneration is a religious symbolic act giving honor to someone by honoring an image of that person, particularly applied to saints. ... Events February 8 - Roman authorities make an attempt to arrest Athanasius on the accusation of supporting the usurper Magnentius. ... This article or section is not written in the formal tone expected of an encyclopedia article. ... Athanasius of Alexandria (also spelled Athanasios) (298–May 2, 373) was a Christian bishop of Alexandria in the fourth century. ... The Desert Fathers were Christian Hermits who lived in the Sahara desert of Egypt, beginning in about the third century. ...


Some of the stories included in Saint Anthony's biography are perpetuated now mostly in paintings, where they give an opportunity for artists to depict their more lurid or bizarre fantasies. Many pictorial artists, from Hieronymus Bosch to Salvador Dalí, have depicted these incidents from the life of Anthony; in prose, the tale was retold and embellished by Gustave Flaubert. Hieronymus Bosch, (latinized; also Jeroen Bosch or his real name Jeroen van Aken) (c. ... Salvador Felipe Jacinto Dalí Domènech Marquis of Pubol (May 11, 1904 – January 23, 1989), popularly known as Salvador Dalí, was a Spanish (Catalan) artist and one of the most important painters of the 20th century. ... Gustave Flaubert Gustave Flaubert (December 12, 1821 – May 8, 1880) [] was a French novelist who is counted among the greatest Western novelists. ...


Founder of monasticism

Saint Anthony and Saint Paul the Hermit are seen as the founders of Christian monasticism. Saint Paul the Hermit is lauded by Saint Anthony as the first hermit. The monastery of Saint Paul the Hermit exists to this day in Egypt. Saint Anthony himself provided the example that others would follow (see Saint Pachomius). Anthony himself did not organize or create a monastery, but a community grew up around him based on his example of living an ascetic and isolated life. Those who wished to follow him needed the company of others to survive the harsh conditions. Coptic icon of St. ... The Order of Friars Minor is a major mendicant movement founded by Saint Francis of Assisi. ... Pachomius, who died around AD 345 in Tabennisi, Egypt, was one of the founders of Christian monasticism. ...


See also

References

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
Anthony the Great
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Saint Anthony the Great
  • The Greek Vita of Athanasius. Ed. by G.J.M. Bartelink ('Vie d'Antoine'). Paris 2000. Sources Chretiennes 400.
  • The almost contemporary Latin translation: in Heribert Rosweyd, Vitae Patrum (Migne, Patrologia Latina. lxxiii.). New critical edition and study of this Latin translation: P.H.E. Bertrand, Die Evagriusübersetzung der Vita Antonii: Rezeption - Überlieferung - Edition. Unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der Vitas Patrum-Tradition. Utrecht 2005 (dissertation) [free available: [1]
  • An English translation: in Philip Schaff and Henry Wace, editors Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Series II, vol. IV Full text on-line, with criticisms pro and con of the attribution of this vita to Athanasius.
  • Accounts of St Anthony are given by Cardinal Newman ("Church of the Fathers" in Historical Sketches) and Alban Butler, Lives of the Saints (under Jan. 17).
  • A Hagiographic Account of the life of St. Anthony from the Coptic Church

Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Wikiquote is a sister project of Wikipedia, using the same MediaWiki software. ... Image File history File links Commons-logo. ... The Wikimedia Commons (also called Wikicommons) is a repository of free content images, sound and other multimedia files. ... Jacques Paul Migne (25 October 1800 - 25 October 1875) was a French priest who published inexpensive and widely-distributed editions of theological works, encyclopedias and the texts of the Church Fathers. ... John Henry Newman John Henry Newman (February 21, 1801—August 11, 1890), English cardinal, was born in London, the eldest son of John Newman, banker, of the firm of Ramsbottom, Newman and Co. ... Alban Butler (October 24 NS, 1710 - St-Omer, France May 15, 1773), English Roman Catholic priest and hagiographer, was born at Appletree Northamptonshire. ...

Historical and critical

  • E. C. Butler, (1898, 1904). Lausiac History of Palladius, Part I. pp. 197, 215-228; Part II. pp. ix.-xii. (See Palladius).
  • S. Rubenson, 1995. The Letters of St. Antony : monasticism and the making of a saint (Minneapolis) An analysis of the letters, including authenticity and theological content.
  • P.H.E. Bertrand, Die Evagriusübersetzung der Vita Antonii: Rezeption - Überlieferung - Edition. Unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der Vitas Patrum-Tradition. Utercht 2005. [dissertation] [free available: [2]
  • Catholic Encyclopedia 1908: "St. Anthony the Great"
  • Coptic Monastery of St Anthony the Great website
  • This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain.

Palladius (fl. ... Encyclopædia Britannica, the 11th edition The Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition (1910–1911) is perhaps the most famous edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica. ... The public domain comprises the body of all creative works and other knowledge—writing, artwork, music, science, inventions, and others—in which no person or organization has any proprietary interest. ...

Texts attributed to St Anthony

External links

Saints Portal

  Results from FactBites:
 
Domestic-Church.Com: Saint Profile: Saint Anthony (1301 words)
Saint Anthony is known as the patron saint of Grave-Diggers.
Anthony was born in the village Koman, south of Memphis in upper Eygpt, in the year 251.
Anthony told the sage to not to fret over his lack of sight, with eyes common even to insects, but rejoice over the sight shown by the light of Christ that dwells within him.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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