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Carter, R. The third edition covers recent developments in literary and cultural theory, and features: a new chapter on novels, drama and poetry in the 21 st century; examples of analysis of key texts drawn from across the history of British and Irish literature, including material from Chaucer, Shakespeare, John Keats and Virginia Woolf; an extensive companion website including extra language notes and key text analysis; lists of Booker, Costa and Nobel literature prize winners; and an A-Z of authors and topics. View abstract. Many sorts of Christians could still encounter this violence: missionaries such as Boniface, killed during the eighth century by polytheists resisting conversion; kings such as Edmund of East Anglia, slain in the ninth century by marauding Vikings; common laypeople who lived under non-Christian rule such as Pelagius, executed in the tenth century by the Muslim caliph who ruled the Iberian peninsula.
During the late eighth and early ninth centuries, Charlemagne created an empire based on the old Frankish kingdoms and revived the use of the Roman imperial title in the West. Marcellinus and Peter.
In The Miracles of St. And in The Book of Ely Chapter 22 the monks discuss how the miraculous powers of their long-dead patron help them in the acquisition and defense of property. These are but a few examples of what was an enormous monastic literature composed about the miraculous powers of saintly patrons over the course of these four centuries.
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The cults of long-dead saints enshrined in monastic churches provided a continuity with the past. And new saints continued to be recognized in accord with traditional paradigms of sanctity. A second form of new saints were those associated with the many new forms of reform monasticism which began during these centuries. One important development within this movement was a revival of eremitic monasticism, whose practitioners intended to return to the ascetic practice of the earliest monks in the eastern deserts.
Peter Damian described one of the most influential of these hermits in the Life of St. Romuald of Ravenna Chapter Works in many genres, including hagiography, depicted the spiritual practice and thus the lives of such abbots as Bernard of Clairvaux d.
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Latin had by this time become a learned language, used throughout western Christendom by priests and monks, scholars and bureaucrats, but spoken nowhere as a native tongue. Alexis Chapter 15 , one of the earliest surviving and most important pieces of vernacular hagiography, details the story of the conversion of a nobleman who gives up wealth and marriage for a life of voluntary poverty and severe asceticism.
The attempt to control, indeed eradicate, certain alternative forms of Christianity at times amounted to a campaign of persecution directed by the Church. The stories of heretics, preserved in trial transcripts as well as narrative works, were in an almost literal way the very anti-type of the stories of the saints.
In the Life of St. Anti-semitism was also dramatically on the rise, linked at least in part to the development of the Crusades. William of Norwich Chapter The accusation of Jews with the murder of Christian infants or other trumped-up charges often led to the execution of numbers of Jews. The saints who are the subject of these works, the only examples of non-Christian hagiography included in this collection, were the victims of Christian executioners. New religious movements developed in the thirteenth century which transformed the practice of the religious life, and with it the face of sanctity.
The primary ideal of these movements was voluntary poverty. The elevation of the ideal of poverty helped to break down some of the distinctions between the religious and the lay life. One important lay leader, a merchant from Lyon named Peter Waldes, was moved in part by hearing a performance of the Life of St. Alexis Chapter 15 to use his wealth for the alleviation of famine and poverty. Many of the leading figures of these movements came to be celebrated as saints.
Few figures of the Middle Ages were to produce such a large and complex hagiographic tradition as Francis of Assisi d. In championing this novel approach to the religious life, which combined traditional asceticism with charitable works and teaching, these hagiographers provided a model for late medieval female sanctity whose characteristics included strenuous fasting, ecstatic visions, devotion to the Eucharist, and service to the urban poor.
Once again much of this remarkable literature has been made available in English translation.
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The tombs of some new saints, such as Bernard of Tiron d. This does not mean that the physical remains of these holy men and women were not prized.
The Dominican confessor of Margaret of Ypres d. The proliferation of such contemporary saints caused clerics to become anxious about their control over the legends and the cults of the new saints. The records of these inquiries, conducted by clerics who interviewed witnesses, represent a new form of hagiography and one of the most precious sources for information about religious practice in the later Middle Ages.
The cults of these new saints did not by any means supplant the cults of traditional saints. New fragments of saintly bodies were eagerly sought and placed in ornate reliquaries. Many relics were brought to Western Christendom as spoils from the East during the course of the crusades. In , for example, that vigorous crusader King Louis IX of France who was later considered to be a saint had the beautiful Sainte Chapelle in Paris built as a form of relic treasury: the building even imitated a reliquary in its very shape.
Other forms of church ornamentation also celebrated the cult of saints, as hagiographic legends were prominently displayed in stained-glass windows and painted tryptychs. Another means of inculcating the correct practice of Christianity, and one which particularly developed in association with the mendicant orders, was preaching.
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One of the reasons for the success of those orders was the vigorous attempts being made on the part of the ecclesiastical hierarchy to reach the urban laity. Many such collections which made use of hagiographic traditions were gathered for preaching purposes. Although written in Latin, for example, the Golden Legend became available in virtually every vernacular language of western Christendom by the fifteenth century. Often the authors of these vernacular legends followed the style of contemporary epics and romances, although they also self-consciously attempted to produce a morally uplifting rival to such secular works.
The author of a Life of St. In the process of adaptation, the legends often changed, and it is often important to study what authors of vernacular hagiography omitted from or changed in their traditional sources. The legends of the early Christian martyrs were also differentiated by the linguistic and national context within which they appeared in the vernacular.
An excellent example is provided by the Old Czech version of the Life of St. Catherine of Alexandria Chapter 34 , who was, like Margaret, purported to be a martyr on slim historical evidence. Through texts like these, saints from the ancient past continued to be present and active for pious Christians of the late medieval West. Preachers used exemplary stories gleaned from the lives of the saints to spice up their sermons.
Glass-fronted reliquaries made bits of holy bodies visible to the faithful. Roch for the plague and St. Margaret of Antioch for difficult childbirths. Relic collections were destroyed and the statues of the saints in many churches still bear the scars of attack. In the mid-sixteenth century, the Council of Trent took many steps to reorganize the practice of the cult of saints and the means by which saints were canonized within early modern Catholicism. The final texts in this collection come from just such a case in the fifteenth century. Joan of Arc was a visionary who used her prophetic powers as a means of brilliantly, if evanescently, rallying the military fortunes of the kingdom of France against the English forces which occupied much of its territory.
Virtually from that moment she was treated by the French as a saint and national patron.
In this guide, I seek to provide information about some important reference works and general studies in the field of hagiography. Much in the way of more specific references may be found in the guides which accompany each chapter. I will emphasize works available in English. Unfortunately no adequate general guide to the history, study, and use of hagiography exists in English. When complete, it will be the most comprehensive guide to hagiographic scholarship: Hagiographies.
Turnhout, present. The individual articles are in English, French, German, and Italian. It is they who have edited the single most important collection of hagiographic sources, that is the Acta Sanctorum [Acts of the saints], the first of whose sixty-eight immense folio volumes appeared in Members of this group have compiled and regularly updated the standard guides to the primary sources of hagiography written in the clerical languages of Latin and Greek, as well as those of the Christian East: Bibliotheca hagiographica latina antiquae et mediae aetatis, 3 vols.
In these reference works, each hagiographic source is provided a distinct number, and all extant editions of it as well as important manuscripts in some cases are listed. Few equivalent standard references yet exist for hagiography written in the vernacular languages, although several important projects to catalog such vernacular literature are currently in process. The problems faced in one such project are well described by E. Paul Szarmach Albany, NY, , pp. Unfortunately the well- known work by Alban Butler entitled The Lives of the Saints revised edition by Herbert Thurston and Donald Attwater [London, ; reprint, New York, ] is largely based on secondary sources and is often unreliable.
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Paris, Gaston Duchet-Suchaux and Michel Pastoureau, trans. David Howell Paris, In the decades around , a Bollandist named Hippolyte Delehaye laid the foundations for modern hagiographic scholarship. Although Delehaye wrote in French, his seminal essay on hagiographic method has appeared in two separate English translations, see Legends of the Saints, trans.
Donald Attwater from the fourth French edition; New York, In essence Graus challenged historians to use the then relatively neglected genres of hagiography to serve as sources for the social history of Western Christianity. That challenge has been taken up explicitly or implicitly by a wide variety of scholars of medieval religion, society, literature, and art over the course of the last three decades.
The chapters of this collection bear eloquent witness to the fruits of that scholarship. Peter Brown investigated the function of sanctity as a form of social or political power in the later Roman Empire. John Hawley Berkeley, , pp. Jean Birrell Cambridge, She has further explored and deepened her analysis in the articles collected in Fragmentation and Redemption: Essays on Gender and the Human Body in Medieval Religion Boston, Continuity or Change in Public and Aims? Also see the articles collected in The Church and Healing, ed. Ann Matter and John Coakley Philadelphia, Finally, two catalogs of art exhibits which have made particularly interesting use of objects connected to the cult of saints are: The Art of Devotion in the Late Middle Ages in Europe, , ed.
Indeed it is in itself a ready path to virtue to know what [Wilfrid] was. Hagiography provides some of the most valuable records for the reconstruction and study of the practice of premodern Christianity.