The twelfth-century vita of Saint Olav, the Norwegian King Olav Haraldsson, is an outstanding example of how the intersection of power and sanctity was politically functionalised in the Middle Ages. Olav’s hagiographic dossier is transmitted in several and in part newly discovered manuscripts. Its contents depend on both the Latin and the vernacular tradition, while the milieus in which it was used range from the clerics of the High Middle Ages to the Hanseatic merchants at the end of the epoch. Fourteen studies on language and style, on codicological as well as cultic and cultural context of individual copies of the Passio Olavi, on the veneration of Olav in Scandinavia, England, Northern France and Northern Germany, on the construction of sanctity, strategies of propagating Olav’s cult and their narrative realisation, and, finally, on changes of the text, its spread and usage are presented alongside the first critical edition of the complete dossier.
About the Author
Lenka Jiroušková, Dr. (1971), is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Medieval Latin (University of Freiburg). Her principal research interests include hagiography and visionary literature, textual and manuscript transmission and its contextualisation, editing medieval texts as well as Latin and Old Czech literature in medieval Bohemia.