The Golden Legend: Readings on the Saints, Volume II / Edition 1

Paperback (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $2.03
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 94%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (17) from $2.03   
  • New (7) from $15.90   
  • Used (10) from $2.03   

More About This Textbook

Overview

Depicting the lives of the saints in an array of both factual and fictional stories--some preposterous, some profound, and some shocking--The Golden Legend was perhaps the most widely read book, after the Bible, during the late Middle Ages. It was compiled around 1260 by Jacobus de Voragine, a scholarly friar and eventual archbishop of Genoa, whose purpose was to captivate, encourage, and edify the faithful, while preserving a vast store of information pertaining to the legends and traditions of the church. In his new translation, the first in English of the complete text, William Granger Ryan captures the immediacy of this rich, image-filled work, and offers an important guide for readers interested in medieval art and literature and, more generally, in popular religious culture.

These stories have the effect of bringing the saints to life as real people, in the context of late thirteenth-century living, but in them the saints do things that ordinary people can only wonder at. There is St. Juliana, who, fed up with the propositions of a dull-witted demon, gives him a sound thrashing and tosses him in the sewer; St. Hilary, who challenges the authority of a corrupt pope and foresees the prelate's death; and St. James the Dismembered, who, with the chopping off of each body part by the Roman executioner, joyfully proclaims yet another reason for loving God.

In the course of reading these stories, which are arranged according to the order of saints' feast days throughout the liturgical year, we happen upon many fascinating cultural and historical topics, such as the Christianization of Roman holidays, the symbolism behind the monk's tonsure, Nero's "pregnancy," and the reason why chaste but hot-blooded women can grow beards. At the same time these stories draw abundantly on Holy Scripture to shed light on the mysteries of the Christian faith. The chapters devoted to Christ and to the Blessed Virgin are particularly moving examples of the mingling of doctrine and narrative to give life to dogma.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Sunday Telegraph
Art historians depend on it. Medievalists should know it inside-out.... [F]or the rest of us it remains a treasure-house of European culture, crammed full of the things which everyone, once upon a time, used to know.
— Noel Malcolm
Literary Review
To the labor of Father Ryan, whose stylish translation now affords us the means [to eye Voragine's purpose and method], we owe an enormous debt.
— Brian Masters
The Times Literary Supplement
[The Golden Legend] came to serve as the literary equivalent of wall-paintings and stained glass. . . . For the translation of the work in its entirety into English we have had to wait 700 years for the energy and learning of a distinguished American academic, William Granger Ryan.
— Gerard Irvine
The Catholic Historical Review
A labor of love, as well as a product of great erudition. The translation is a complete, thoughtful, and judicious one.
— Thomas Head
The New Criterion
An unequaled source book for the study of the art and literature of the high Middle Ages.... [de Voragine] showed himself to be a narrative artist of the first rank, and in Ryan's fine English version we have a splendid volume that can take its place somewhere between Butler's Lives of the Saints and Aesop's Fables.
— George Sim Johnston
The Times Literary Supplement - Gerard Irvine
[The Golden Legend] came to serve as the literary equivalent of wall-paintings and stained glass. . . . For the translation of the work in its entirety into English we have had to wait 700 years for the energy and learning of a distinguished American academic, William Granger Ryan.
Sunday Telegraph - Noel Malcolm
Art historians depend on it. Medievalists should know it inside-out.... [F]or the rest of us it remains a treasure-house of European culture, crammed full of the things which everyone, once upon a time, used to know.
The Catholic Historical Review - Thomas Head
A labor of love, as well as a product of great erudition. The translation is a complete, thoughtful, and judicious one.
The New Criterion - George Sim Johnston
An unequaled source book for the study of the art and literature of the high Middle Ages.... [de Voragine] showed himself to be a narrative artist of the first rank, and in Ryan's fine English version we have a splendid volume that can take its place somewhere between Butler's Lives of the Saints and Aesop's Fables.
Literary Review - Brian Masters
To the labor of Father Ryan, whose stylish translation now affords us the means [to eye Voragine's purpose and method], we owe an enormous debt.
From the Publisher

"[The Golden Legend] came to serve as the literary equivalent of wall-paintings and stained glass. . . . For the translation of the work in its entirety into English we have had to wait 700 years for the energy and learning of a distinguished American academic, William Granger Ryan."--Gerard Irvine, The Times Literary Supplement

"Art historians depend on it. Medievalists should know it inside-out.... [F]or the rest of us it remains a treasure-house of European culture, crammed full of the things which everyone, once upon a time, used to know."--Noel Malcolm, Sunday Telegraph

"A labor of love, as well as a product of great erudition. The translation is a complete, thoughtful, and judicious one."--Thomas Head, The Catholic Historical Review

"An unequaled source book for the study of the art and literature of the high Middle Ages.... [de Voragine] showed himself to be a narrative artist of the first rank, and in Ryan's fine English version we have a splendid volume that can take its place somewhere between Butler's Lives of the Saints and Aesop's Fables."--George Sim Johnston, The New Criterion

"To the labor of Father Ryan, whose stylish translation now affords us the means [to eye Voragine's purpose and method], we owe an enormous debt."--Brian Masters, Literary Review

The Times Literary Supplement
[The Golden Legend] came to serve as the literary equivalent of wall-paintings and stained glass.... [F]or the translation of the work in its entirety into English we have had to wait 700 years for the energy and learning of a distinguished American academic, William Granger Ryan.
— Gerard Irvine
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691001548
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 3/20/1995
  • Series: Golden Legend Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 410
  • Product dimensions: 6.06 (w) x 9.19 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)