Saturday, July 19, 2014

Myth-Folklore Unit: Women Saints of the Golden Legend

Overview. This unit contains stories from the Aurea LegendaThe Golden Legend, a monumental collection of lives of the saints from the late Middle Ages. The version you will be reading here is a slightly modernized rendering of the English translation published in 1483, making it one of the earliest books to be printed in the English language. I have focused on legends of women saints, arranged according to their holiday in the calendar of saints, starting with Saint Juliana, who is celebrated on February 16 and ending with Saint Eugenia, whose holiday comes on Christmas Day, December 25. You will find stories of martyrs here, along with miracle-working saints, and even several women who lived their lives disguised as men. There is also an amazing story about Saint Martha, who traveled with her sister Mary Magdalene to France after the death of Jesus and gained fame as a dragon-slayer!

Language. Although the language used here has been modernized from the original 15th-century translation, it is still very archaic in style (even more so than the King James Version of the Bible). So, make sure you take a look at a couple of the stories to see what you think of the language. For any of you who are English majors or if you have studied a foreign language, I think you will find this to be a great language adventure, but you should definitely take a look first to see what you think!

Navigation. You will find the table of contents below, and you can also use this link to see the story posts displayed on two pages total: Women Saints. Click "Older Posts" at the bottom of that page to see the second page.

Notes. This unit has notes from me on each page, but please feel free to ask questions, too! You can leave comments here just like at any other blog. You can also rate each page with the star ratings checkbox at the bottom of each post. Your feedback and questions are much appreciated!

Connecting Units. If you enjoy reading about these Women Saints, you might want to read Dante's Inferno coming up in the European module at the end of the semester; Dante provides yet another profound perspective on Christianity in the Middle Ages.

Read More. In this unit, you read only a tiny part of the Golden Legend. There are many more saints whose lives you can find there, including many men of course, along with yet more women. If you want to read the whole book, you can find it online in various formats: Voragine's Golden Legend.

Additional Resources. You can also find abundant information about the saints at the Wikipedia Saints Portal.



READING A:
  1. Saint Juliana
  2. Saint Mary of Egypt
  3. Saint Pelagien
  4. Saint Juliet
  5. Saint Marine
  6. Saint Margaret
  7. Saint Christine
READING B:
  1. Saint Martha
  2. Saint Theodora
  3. Saint Daria
  4. Saint Cecilia
  5. Saint Barbara
  6. Saint Eugenia

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