Hagiography and the History of Latin Christendom, 500–1500


Volume Editor:
Hagiography and the History of Latin Christendom, 500–1500 shows the historical value of texts celebrating saints—both the most abundant medieval source material and among the most difficult to use. Hagiographical sources present many challenges: they are usually anonymous, often hard to date, full of topoi, and unstable. Moreover, they are generally not what we would consider factually accurate. The volume’s twenty-one contributions draw on a range of disciplines and employ a variety of innovative methods to address these challenges and reach new discoveries about the medieval world that extend well beyond the study of sanctity. They show the rich potential of hagiography to enhance our knowledge of that world, and some of the ways to unlock it.

Contributors are Ellen Arnold, Helen Birkett, Edina Bozoky, Emma Campbell, Adrian Cornell du Houx, David Defries, Albrecht Diem, Cynthia Hahn, Samantha Kahn Herrick, J.K. Kitchen, Jamie Kreiner, Klaus Krönert, Mathew Kuefler, Katherine J. Lewis, Giovanni Paolo Maggioni, Charles Mériaux, Paul Oldfield, Sara Ritchey, Catherine Saucier, Laura Ackerman Smoller, and Ineke van ‘t Spijker.

See inside the book.

Prices from (excl. shipping):

Add to Cart
Samantha Kahn Herrick, Ph.D. (2002), Harvard University, is Associate Professor of History at Syracuse University. She has published widely on medieval hagiography, including Imagining the Sacred Past: Hagiography and Power in Early Normandy (Harvard, 2007).
"Bilan bienvenu des avancés de la recherche dans le domaine des textes hagiographiques, souvent anonymes et mal datés, mais qui nous renseignent sur la ville, la violence, l’autre, le monachisme ... et l’évolution de l’idéal de sainteté qui reflète l’évolution de la société.Les chapitres écrits par les spécialistes qui résument leurs travaux s’organisent dans des thématiques: création des textes, développement des pratiques, efforts des hagiographes pour moraliser la politique, place des cités et de l’environnement". Anne Wagner, in Francia Recensio, 2020 | 3.
List of Illustrations
List of Abbreviations
Notes on Contributors

Samantha Kahn Herrick

Part 1
Creating and Transmitting Texts

1 Constructing the Text: a Comparative Study of Two Saints’ Lives Written c.1200
Helen Birkett
2 From “Real Life” to Saint’s Life: Biography and Hagiography in the Vitae of Bernardino of Siena and Vincent Ferrer
Laura Ackerman Smoller
3 Understanding Pictorial Hagiography (with Comments on the Illustrated Life of Wandrille)
Cynthia Hahn
4 Saints’ Lives on the Move: the Circulation of Apostolic Legends
Samantha Kahn Herrick
5 Thirteenth-Century Legendae Novae and the Preaching Orders: a Communication System
Giovanni Paolo Maggioni

Part 2
Constructing Religious Life, History and the Self

6 Vita Vel Regula: Multifunctional Hagiography in the Early Middle Ages
Albrecht Diem
7 Bishops, Monks and Priests: Defining Religious Institutions by Writing and Rewriting Saints’ Lives (Francia, 6th–11th centuries)
Charles Mériaux
8 Singing the Lives of the Saints: Hagiographical-Historical Intersections in Music and Worship
Catherine Saucier
9 “Impressed by Their Stamp”: Hagiography and the Cultivation of the Self
Ineke van ’t Spijker

Part 3
Power and Violence

10 Gaul’s Insiders: Hagiography and Entitlement
Jamie Kreiner
11 St Gerald of Aurillac, Sex and Violence in Medieval Hagiography
Mathew Kuefler
12 The Unconvincing Martyrdom of William Longsword, Norman Count of Rouen (r. 928–42)
David Defries
13 Hagiography, Relics and Secular Politics in Western Europe 6th–13th Centuries
Edina Bozóky

Part 4/b>
Urban Life and the Natural World

14 Hagiography and Inter-Urban Rivalry: the Vita of St Eucharius, First Bishop of Trier, and Its Use in “Political” Quarrels during the Tenth Century
Klaus Krönert
15 Hagiography and Urban Life: Evidence from Southern Italy
Paul Oldfield
16 Hagiography and the Exotic: “Foreign Saints” in High Medieval Lucca
Adrian Cornell du Houx
17 Environmental History and Hagiography
Ellen Arnold

Part 5/b>
Gender, Health and Beauty

18 Hagiography, Gender, and the Power of Social Norms
Emma Campbell
19 A King, Not a Servant: the Prose Life of St Katherine of Alexandria and Ideologies of Masculinity in Late Medieval England
Katherine J. Lewis
20 Health, Healing, and Salvation: Hagiography as a Source for Medieval Healthcare
Sara Ritchey
21 The Beautiful Dead: Materiality, Resurrection and the Aesthetics of Holy Corpses
J.K. Kitchen

Hagiography Index
Medievalists and others interested in knowing what hagiographical sources may be used to investigate and how to overcome the challenges they pose.
  • Collapse
  • Expand