The Golden Legend (Latin: Legenda Aurea) by Jacobus de Voragine (Jacopo da Varagine) is a collection of fanciful hagiographies, lives of the saints, that became a late medieval bestseller. Blessed Jacobus de Varagine or Voragine (Giacomo da Varazze Jacopo da Varazze (c Hagiography ( is the study of Saints. A hagiography, from Greek (hağios (ἅγιος "holy" or "saint" and graphē (γραφή A saint (from the Latin sanctus) is a human being to whom has been attributed (and who has generally demonstrated a high level of Holiness and Sanctity A bestseller is a Book that is identified as extremely popular by its inclusion on lists of currently top selling titles that are based on publishing industry and book trade It was probably compiled around 1260.
Initially titled simply Legenda Sanctorum, Latin for "Saints' readings", it gained its popularity by the title by which it is best known. Latin ( lingua Latīna, laˈtiːna is an Italic language, historically spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. More than a thousand manuscript copies of the work survive, and when printing was invented in the 1450s, editions appeared quickly, not only in Latin, but also in every major European language. Printing is a process for reproducing text and image typically with ink on Paper using a printing press It was one of the first books William Caxton printed in the English language; Caxton's version appeared in 1483. English is a West Germanic language originating in England and is the First language for most people in the United Kingdom, the United States
The book sought to compile traditional lore about all of the saints venerated at the time of its compilation. In Christianity, veneration ( Latin veneratio, Greek &delta&omicron&upsilon&lambda&iota&alpha dulia) or veneration of saints Jacobus de Voragine typically begins with a (often fanciful) etymology for the saint's name. Etymology is the study of the History of Words &mdash when they entered a language from what source and how their form and meaning have changed over time An example (in Caxton's translation) shows his method:
As a Latin author, Jacobus de Voragine must have known that Silvester, a relatively common Latin name, simply meant "from the forest. " The correct derivation is alluded to in the text, but set out in parallel to fanciful ones that lexicographers would consider quite wide of the mark. The pursuit of lexicography is divided into two related disciplines Practical lexicography is the art or Craft of compiling writing and editing dictionaries Even the "correct" explanations (silvas, "forest", and the mention of green boughs) are used as the basis for an allegorical interpretation. An allegory (from αλλος allos "other" and el αγορευειν agoreuein "to speak in public" is a figurative mode of representation Jacobus de Voragine's etymologies had different goals from modern etymologies, and cannot be judged by the same standards. Jacobus de Voragine's etymologies have parallels in Isidore of Seville's Etymologiae, in which linguistically accurate derivations are set out beside allegorical and figurative explanations. Saint Isidore of Seville ( Spanish: es ''San Isidro'' or es ''San Isidoro de Sevilla'' Latin: latin ''Isidorus Hispalensis'' (c Etymologiae (or Origines, standard abbrev Orig) is an Encyclopedia compiled by Isidore of Seville (died
Jacobus de Voragine then moves on to the saint's life, compiled with reference to the readings from the Roman Catholic Church's liturgy commemorating that saint; then embellishes the biography with supernatural tales of incidents involving the saint's life from less reliable sources. Saint Margaret,also known as Margaret of Antioch (in Pisidia) virgin and Martyr, is celebrated by the Roman Catholic and Anglican Jean Fouquet or Jehan Fouquet (1420 - 1481 was the most important French painter of the 15th century a master of both panel painting and manuscript An illuminated manuscript is a Manuscript in which the text is supplemented by the addition of decoration such as decorated Initials borders and A liturgy is the customary public worship done by a specific religious group according to their particular traditions The term supernatural or supranatural ( Latin: super, supra "above" + natura "nature" pertains to entities events More than 130 sources have been identified for the tales related of the saints in the Golden Legend; in addition to the Bible, these sources include apocryphal texts such as the Gospel of Nicodemus, the histories of Gregory of Tours and John Cassian, and the Speculum historiale by Vincent de Beauvais. Etymology According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, the word bible is from Latin biblia, traced from the same word through Medieval Latin and Late Latin The Acts of Pilate (Latin Acta Pilati Greek Πράξεις Πιλάτου) is a book of the New Testament Pseudepigrapha Saint Gregory of Tours ( November 30, c 538 &ndash November 17, 594) was a Gallo-Roman historian and bishop of Tours Saint John Cassian (ca 360 – 435 ( Latin: Jo(hannes Eremita Cassianus, Joannus Cassianus, or Joannes Massiliensis) John the The Dominican friar Vincent of Beauvais ( Vincentius Bellovacensis) (c The Dominican friar Vincent of Beauvais ( Vincentius Bellovacensis) (c Many of his stories have no other known source. A typical example of the sort of story related, also involving St Silvester, shows the saint receiving miraculous instruction from Saint Peter in a vision that enables him to exorcise a dragon:
Many of the stories also conclude with miracle tales and similar wonderlore from accounts of those who called upon that saint for aid or used the saint's relics. A miracle is an event believed to be caused by interposition of Divine intervention by a Supernatural being in the Universe by which the ordinary operation A relic is an object or a personal item of religious significance carefully preserved with an air of Veneration as a tangible memorial Such a tale is told of Saint Agatha; Jacobus de Voragine has pagans in Catania repairing to the relics of St Agatha to supernaturally repel an eruption of Mount Etna:
Voragine had his limits; he describes the story of Saint Margaret of Antioch surviving being swallowed by a dragon as "apocryphal and not to be taken seriously" (trans. Saint Margaret,also known as Margaret of Antioch (in Pisidia) virgin and Martyr, is celebrated by the Roman Catholic and Anglican Ryan, 1. 369).
Written in simple, readable Latin, the book was read in its day for its stories; any one of which will be well told, but in mass they tend to become monotonous and blur together, with their repetitious accounts of martyrdoms and miracles. The term martyr ( Greek μάρτυς martys "witness" is most commonly used today to describe an individual who sacrifices their life (or personal freedom The book is the closest thing we have to an encyclopaedia of the lore of the saints in the late Middle Ages; as such it is invaluable to art historians and mediaevalists who seek to identify saints depicted in art by their deeds and attributes. Art history is the Academic study of objects of Art in their Historical development and stylistic contexts i Its repetitious nature is probably explained by the fact that Jacobus de Voragine meant to write a compendium of saintly lore for sermons and preaching, not the popular entertainment it became. A sermon is an oration by a Prophet or member of the Clergy. Sermons address a Biblical, theological, or religious topic A sermon is an oration by a Prophet or member of the Clergy. Sermons address a Biblical, theological, or religious topic
In The Reformation: A History (2003), Diarmaid MacCulloch observed that the Golden Legend inadvertently may have helped trigger the Protestant Reformation by arming scepticism about the cult of the saints, such as that exhibited by Erasmus in his Praise of Folly. The Reformation A History (2003 is a history book by English historian Diarmaid MacCulloch. Diarmaid Ninian John MacCulloch (born 31 October 1951, in Kent, England) is Professor of the History of the Church in the University of The Protestant Reformation was a reform movement in Europe that began in 1517 though its roots lie further back in time The Praise of Folly ( Greek title Morias Enkomion (Μωρίας Εγκώμιον, Latin: Stultitiae Laus, sometimes translated as
A modern English translation of the Golden Legend has been published by William Granger Ryan, ISBN 0-691-00153-7 and ISBN 0-691-00154-5 (2 volumes). Piero della Francesca (c 1412 &ndash October 12, 1492) was an Italian artist of the Early Renaissance. The History of the True Cross or The Legend of the True Cross is a sequence of Frescoes painted by Piero della Francesca in the The critical edition of the Latin text has been edited by Giovanni Paolo Maggioni (Florence: SISMEL 1998].