Chapter 1 Writing Miracle Collections

In: A Companion to Medieval Miracle Collections

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The chapter explores the process of writing miracle narratives through a study of fifteen 12th- and 13th-century miracle collections, tracing their development from the initial gathering of oral reports about miracles to their formulation into written accounts. Though the authors of these collections worked within an established genre, the different production methods, and intended function of their works influenced the content, structure, and style of each composition. Furthermore, each writer was compelled to authenticate his accounts, adopting strategies designed to convince an audience that miracles were truly occurring. These strategies, notably an appeal to witness evidence, gradually integrated the more stringent legal requirements associated with the canonization process into the hagiographical genre itself.