The Golden Legend: Readings on the Saints

Feast of the Ecclesiastical New Year and St Symeon the Stylite
The Golden Legend: Readings on the Saints by Jacobus de Voragine; translated by William Granger Ryan; introduction by Eamon Duffy

Golden_Legend_Square.jpgTHE FIRST complete English rendering of the most widely read medieval collection of saints’ lives, originally compiled in about 1260, and without peer until replaced by Butler’s Lives of the Saints four hundred years later. The 182 readings on the saints and on feast days are arranged according to the liturgical calendar, and were originally written with an eye toward edification and piety rather than Enlightenment standards of historical accuracy. Not to say that Jacobus was uninterested in history; over 130 sources dating from the second to the thirteenth centuries were incorporated into his work, and he was aware of and tried to reconcile discrepancies between them. But his primary concern was to illustrate the awareness of God present and active in human history, an activity which in the medieval mind presupposed the miraculous as commonplace. The Golden Legend is an incomparable source for the study of medieval art history, popular culture, literature, and piety.

788 pp. paper $46.95

 Abridged Penguin Classic Edition selected and translated by Christopher Stace

382 pp. paper $18.00

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