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Maccabees, The Fourth Book of the

A work composed as a festival oration in memory of the martyrs mentioned in (2Macc 6-7). Its theme is the rule of religious reason and the four cardinal virtues—prudence, temperance, courage, and justice—over the emotions, for which theme the priest Eleazar and the seven brothers with their mother become the prime examples. The book is included in the NRSV edition of the Apocrypha because it is considered canonical by Eastern Orthodox churches.