This book presents the two Old English versions of the colourful legend of the virgin martyr, St Margaret of Antioch, who became one of the most widely celebrated of medieval saints and the patron saint of childbirth. The two extant vernacular lives are published together, edited with a facing translation and commentary and introduced by extensive coverage of background sources, the state of the manuscripts, their language and the growth of the cult of St Margaret in Anglo-Saxon England. In addition there are printed fragments of a third version of the life and a Latin text from an Anglo-Saxon manuscript. The approach allows the reader to trace the early reception history of the texts and the way they developed over time, showing their significance as products of late Anglo-Saxon culture.
Table of ContentsList of plates; Acknowledgements; List of abbreviations (including sigla used in referring to versions of the legend of St Margaret); Introduction; 1. The legend of St Margaret of Antioch; 2. The Latin versions of the legend; 3. The treatment of the legend in the Mombritius and pre-Mombritius tradition; 4. The legend of St Margaret in Anglo-Saxon England; 5. The cult of St Margaret in Anglo-Saxon England; 6. Manuscripts; 7. The language of the Old English texts; The Old English Life of St Margaret in Cotton Tiberius A. iii (composite text); The Old English Life of St Margaret in Cambridge, Corpus Christi College 303; Appendix 1: the A text of Cotton Tiberius A. iii; Appendix 2: the Latin Passio S. Margaretae in Paris, BN, lat. 5574; Appendix 3: the Latin 'Casinensis' version of the legend; Bibliography.