Medieval Studies Saints’ Lives
by
Natalie M. Van Deusen
  • LAST REVIEWED: 25 September 2023
  • LAST MODIFIED: 25 September 2023
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780195396584-0328

Introduction

Saints’ lives (Latin vitae, sg. vita), also referred to as hagiographies (from the Greek hagios ‘holy’ and graphia ‘writing’), formed one of the most important literary genres in the European Middle Ages, and constitute a substantive portion of those texts composed in medieval Scandinavia. Medieval Scandinavian saints’ lives can be categorized as East Norse (that is, Danish and Swedish) and West Norse (that is, Norwegian and Icelandic). In both East and West Norse, these works comprise translations from imported foreign (primarily Latin) sources, as well as works produced within Scandinavia in both Latin and the vernacular, which refers to the language spoken by people living in a particular region. The composition of saints’ lives began shortly after the Christianization of the Scandinavian countries, which began during the 8th century and was completed by the 12th century. Indeed, saints’ lives were among the very first works composed in the vernacular in Scandinavia. The majority of the surviving manuscripts containing saints’ lives written in the Scandinavian vernaculars of the Middle Ages come from medieval Iceland and, to a lesser extent, Norway. In Iceland, the lives of saints played a key role in the development of vernacular saga literature, on which hagiographic texts had an ongoing influence throughout the Middle Ages. Saints’ lives from Denmark and Sweden were generally composed in Latin, though there existed translations of select lives as well as larger legendaries—that is to say, collections of saints’ lives—in both the Old Danish and Old Swedish vernaculars. Within the East Norse tradition, by far the largest number of natively produced saints’ lives are associated with St. Birgitta of Sweden (d. 1373), and can be connected to canonization efforts. Also of particular interest throughout the Nordic region were the lives of saintly bishops, dukes, kings, and other noblemen and noblewomen, which comprise the majority of the lives of Scandinavian saints and saintly individuals. The production of Latin and vernacular saints’ lives continued throughout the Scandinavian region and up until the Protestant Reformation, which took place during the first half of the 16th century and was completed by 1550, when Lutheranism officially took hold in Iceland.

General Overviews

There are several key works that provide general overviews to the vernacular lives of the saints in medieval Scandinavia. Gad 1961 is an important guide to the legends of saints from medieval Denmark. Kristjánsson 1988 devotes a chapter of a survey of Old Norse-Icelandic literature to hagiography, and provides an introduction to the Old Norse-Icelandic sagas of saints and apostles, with a focus on stages of writing and key stylistic features. Cormack 2000 and Cormack 2005 are both important and useful introductions to and surveys of the sagas of saints from medieval Iceland.

  • Cormack, Margaret. “Sagas of Saints.” In Old Icelandic Literature and Society. Edited by Margaret Clunies Ross, 302–325. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2000.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This chapter traces the development of hagiographic literature in medieval Iceland, from translations from Latin to the production of sagas of saintly Icelandic bishops. Miracle accounts are also treated.

    Find this resource:

  • Cormack, Margaret. “Christian Biography.” In A Companion to Old Norse-Icelandic Literature and Culture. Edited by Rory McTurk, 27–42. Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2005.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This chapter provides an overview of Old Norse-Icelandic saints’ lives, that is to say, saints’ lives from medieval Iceland and Norway. The primary focus is on the development of translated and natively composed saints’ sagas from Iceland.

    Find this resource:

  • Gad, Tue. Legenden i dansk middelalder. Copenhagen: Dansk videnskabs forlag, 1961.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    A work in two parts, treating both legends of the saints in the broader medieval Christian tradition and in medieval Denmark more specifically. Both Latin and vernacular legends of saints from Denmark are discussed.

    Find this resource:

  • Kristjánsson, Jónas. Eddas and Sagas: Iceland’s Medieval Literature. Translated by Peter Foote. Reykjavík: Hið íslenska bókmenntafélag, 1988.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This important and comprehensive survey of literature from medieval Iceland, composed originally in Icelandic. It contains a chapter entitled “Hagiography. Saints’ Lives,” which traces the genre’s development in Iceland, and situates sagas of saints within their larger literary context.

    Find this resource:

Reference Works

In addition to general overviews of the genre, there are important reference works that are critical guides to research on medieval Scandinavian saints’ lives. Cormack 1994 presents a guide to the cult of the saints in medieval Iceland, and lists the sagas associated with individual saints. Wolf 2013 is a comprehensive guide to saints’ lives in Old Norse-Icelandic prose, and its companion volume is Wolf and Van Deusen 2017, which examines the Old Norse and early modern Icelandic poetic tradition of saints’ lives. Kupferschmied 2017 surveys the Marian miracle tradition in medieval Iceland and Norway and contains an extremely helpful concordance of Old Norse-Icelandic Marian miracles. The twenty-two-volume Kulturhistorisk Leksikon and Pulsiano and Wolf 1993, an encyclopedia of medieval Scandinavia, are important resources that include overviews of and resources for both East and West Norse saints’ lives—collectively as a genre and as individual vitae. Also in this section is the Ordbog over det norrøne prosasprog/Dictionary of Old Norse Prose, which is an invaluable and continuously updated online resource.

  • Arnamagnæan Commission, eds. Ordbog over det norrøne prosasprog / Dictionary of Old Norse Prose. Copenhagen: Arnamagnæan Commission, 1989–.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    The dictionary, which was originally published partially in print volume and whose publication is now ongoing online, contains indices that provide information on manuscripts and editions, as well as a detailed bibliography of relevant literature.

    Find this resource:

  • Cormack, Margaret. The Saints in Iceland: Their Veneration from the Conversion to 1400. Brussels: Société des Bollandistes, 1994.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    A comprehensive guide to the cult of the saints in medieval Iceland up until 1400, which outlines for each individual saint such evidence as church dedications, images, baptismal names, law codes, and hagiographic texts.

    Find this resource:

  • Kulturhistorisk Leksikon for nordisk middelalder fra vikingetid til reformationstid. 22 vols. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger, 1956–1978.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This twenty-two-volume encyclopedia of cultural history in the Nordic Middle Ages is an important resource for the lives of the saints in both East and West Norse traditions. In addition to an entry on saints’ lives in Volume 6 (“Helgensoger”), there are entries throughout the other volumes pertaining to individual saints, which provide information on their cults and hagiographic traditions in medieval Scandinavia.

    Find this resource:

  • Kupferschmied, Irene R. Die altisländischen und altnorwegischen Marienmirakel. 2 vols. Münchner Nordistische Studien 17. Munich: Herbert Utz Verlang, 2017.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    A study on the Old Norse-Icelandic Marian miracle tradition containing a concordance that lists, summarizes, and indexes the 237 individual miracles extant in Old Norse-Icelandic tradition and the manuscripts in which they occur.

    Find this resource:

  • Pulsiano, Philip, and Kirsten Wolf, eds. Medieval Scandinavia: An Encyclopedia. New York: Garland, 1993.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This indispensable work contains concise entries on both saints’ lives generally within Scandinavia and on individual saints, and provides references to important editions, translations, and studies of East and West Norse hagiographic texts.

    Find this resource:

  • Wolf, Kirsten. The Legends of the Saints in Old Norse-Icelandic Prose. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2013.

    DOI: 10.3138/9781442665156Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    An invaluable reference work and guide to the legends of the saints in Old Norse-Icelandic prose tradition. Individual legends are organized by saint, and each entry provides information on manuscripts, editions, translations, and literature on the text in question.

    Find this resource:

  • Wolf, Kirsten, and Natalie M. Van Deusen. The Saints in Old Norse and Early Modern Icelandic Poetry. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2017.

    DOI: 10.3138/9781487511722Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    A companion volume to Wolf 2013, this work provides a bibliography of the lives of the saints as represented in Old Norse and early modern Icelandic poetic tradition. As with Wolf 2013, entries on individual legends are listed alphabetically by saint.

    Find this resource:

Editions of East Norse Saints’ Lives (Collections)

Collections of editions of East Norse saints’ lives comprise collections of both Latin and vernacular texts which take the form of legendaries and other related works that relate the lives of the saints, both domestic and foreign. Brandt 1859 is an edition of an Old Danish legendary containing legends of holy women, and Knudsen 1917–1930 is an edition of a late-15th--century collection containing saints’ lives translated to Old Danish. Fant, et al. 1818–1876 includes the Latin lives of a number of Scandinavian saints within a larger, three-volume compilation. Gertz 1908–1912 presents an edition of Latin lives of nine Danish saints, and Hultman 1895 is an edition of Jöns Budde of Nådendal’s (b. 1435–d. 1491) Old Swedish translation of select native and foreign saints’ lives. An important recent contribution to works within this category is Wiktorsson 2020, a four-volume edition of the Old Swedish Legendary; the legendary was also edited by Jansson 1966.

  • Brandt, C. J., ed. De hellige Kvinder, en Legende-Samling. Copenhagen: Gad, 1859.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    An edition of an Old Danish legendary preserved in a mid-15th-century manuscript. There are fourteen items in the legendary, all of which are translations from Latin, and the majority of which concern female saints.

    Find this resource:

  • Fant, Erik Mikael, et al., eds. Scriptores rerum svecicarum medii ævi. 3 vols. Uppsala, Sweden: Zeipel & Palmblad, 1818–1876.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Includes the Latin lives of a number of Scandinavian saints, including Sts. Ansgar (b. 801–d. 865), Erik of Sweden (d. 1160), Henrik (d. 1156), Sigfrid (d. c. 1045–1050), Botvid (d. 1120), Eskil (b. 1120–d. 1169), Birgitta, Brynolf of Skara (d. 1317), Katarina of Vadstena (d. 1381), and Elin of Skövde (d. 1160).

    Find this resource:

  • Gertz, M. Cl., ed. Vitae Sanctorum Danorum. Copenhagen: Gad, 1908–1912.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    A collection containing editions of Latin lives of the Danish saints Theodgar (d. c. 1065), King Knud (b. 994–d. 1035), Knud Lavard (b. 1096–d. 1131), Kjeld (c. 1100–1150), Wilhelm of Æbelholt (b. 1125–d. 1203), Margaret of Roskilde (d. 1176), Niels (d. 1180), Anders (d. 1205), and King Eric Plovpenning (b. 1216–d. 1250).

    Find this resource:

  • Hultman, Oskar Fredrik. Jöns Buddes bok. En handskrift från Nådendals kloster. Skrifter utgivna av Svenska litteratursällskapet i Finland 31. Helsinki: Tidnings- & Tryckeri-aktiebolagets Tryckeri, 1895.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    A 15th-century text written by Brigittine monk Jöns Budde of Nådendal monastery in Finland. It contains Old Swedish translations pertaining to Sts. Julian and Basilissa (d. c. 304), Justina (d. 304), Albert (c. 1200–1260), and Katarina of Vadstena.

    Find this resource:

  • Jansson, Valter, ed. Legendarium Suecanum (‘Fornsvenska legendariet’): E codice membr. bibl. Univ. Upsal. C 528 (Codice Bildsteniano). Copenhagen: Munksgaard, 1966.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    An edition of the Old Swedish legendary, an anonymous late work written between 1276 and 1307 that was based on the lives recounted in Jacobus of Voragine’s (b. 1230–d. 1298) Legenda aurea (compiled c. 1259–1266).

    Find this resource:

  • Knudsen, Gunnar, ed. Mariager legende-haandskrift. Gl. kgl. saml. 1586 4to. Samfund til udgivelse af gammel nordisk litteratur 44. Copenhagen: Møller, 1917–1930.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    An edition of a legendary copied by Niels Mogensen in 1488 for the nun Elisabeth Hermansdatter at the Brigittine convent at Mariager. The legendary contains translations of the lives of St. Jerome (d. 420) and of St. Catherine of Siena (c. 1347–1380).

    Find this resource:

  • Wiktorsson, Per-Axel. Fornsvenska legendariet. 4 vols. Skara, Sweden: Skara Stiftshistoriska Sällskap, 2020.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    The most recent edition of the Old Swedish legendary, an anonymous late work written between 1276 and 1307 that was based on the lives recounted in Jacobus of Voragine’s Legenda aurea.

    Find this resource:

Editions of West Norse Saints’ Lives (Collections)

There are a number of collections containing editions of West Norse saints’ lives. The Icelandic bishops’ sagas were edited in Sigurðsson and Vigfússon 1858–1878, and more recently in Egilsdóttir 2002 and Steingrímsson, et al. 2003. C.R. Unger undertook the massive task of providing the first printed editions of the saga of the Virgin Mary in Unger 1871, the sagas of the apostles in Unger 1874, and the sagas of saints in Unger 1877. Gering 1882–1884 is an edition of Icelandic legends and tales that was produced shortly thereafter, and contains editions and paraphrases of a number of saints’ lives. Loth 1969–1970 presents a two-volume edition of the late medieval Icelandic legendary Reykjahólabók (Book of Reykjahólar), which was translated from a Low German source, and Wolf 2011 is an edition of Old Norse-Icelandic Kirkjubæjarbók (Book of Kirkjubær), a female legendary composed c. 1500.

  • Egilsdóttir, Ásdís, ed. Biskupa sögur II. Íslenzk fornrit 16. Reykjavík: Hið íslenzka fornritafélag, 2002.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This collection of bishops’ sagas contains editions of the various lives of St. Þorlákr Þórhallsson of Skálholt (b. 1133–d. 1193), as well as both of his miracle books.

    Find this resource:

  • Gering, Hugo, ed. Islendzk æventyri: Isländische Legenden Novellen und Märchen. 2 vols. Halle: Waisenhaus, 1882–1884.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    A two-volume collection of Icelandic legends and tales, which includes editions and paraphrases of a number of saints’ lives.

    Find this resource:

  • Jón Sigurðsson and Guðbrandur Vigfússon, eds. Biskupa sögur. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Møller, 1858–1878.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This two-volume work includes editions of multiple versions of the lives of three of Iceland’s holy bishops: Guðmundr Arason (b. 1161–d. 1237), Jón Ögmundarson of Hólar (d. 1339), and St. Þorlákr Þórhallsson of Skálholt.

    Find this resource:

  • Loth, Agnete, ed. Reykjahólabók: Islandske helgenlegender. 2 vols. Editiones Arnamagnæanæ, Ser. A. Vols. 15–16. Copenhagen: Munksgaard, 1969–1970.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    An edition of a legendary translation from Low German by Björn Þorleifsson at Reykjahólar (d. between 1548 and 1554) during the first half of the 16th century. The legendary contains sagas of saints otherwise not represented in Old Norse-Icelandic translation.

    Find this resource:

  • Steingrímsson, Sigurgeir, Ólafur Halldórsson, and Peter Foote, eds. Biskupa sögur I. Íslenzk fornrit 15. Reykjavík: Hið íslenzka fornritafélag, 2003.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This collection contains an edition of the life of Jón Ögmundarson of Hólar (d. 1121).

    Find this resource:

  • Unger, C. R., ed. Mariu saga: Legender om Jomfru Maria og hendes jertegn. Christiania [Oslo]: Brögger & Christie, 1871.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    The only complete edition of the Old Norse-Icelandic saga of the Virgin Mary and her miracles. The text also includes excerpts relating to a number of other saints not otherwise known in Old Norse-Icelandic tradition.

    Find this resource:

  • Unger, C. R., ed. Postola sögur: Legendariske fortællinger om apostlernes liv, deres kamp for kristendommens udbredelse samt deres martyrdød. Christiania [Oslo]: Bentzen, 1874.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    The most complete collection of editions of the Old Norse-Icelandic sagas of the apostles, which were among the first saints’ lives to be translated to the vernacular from Latin.

    Find this resource:

  • Unger, C. R., ed. Heilagra manna søgur: Fortællinger og legender om hellige mænd og kvinder. 2 vols. Christiania [Oslo]: Bentzen, 1877.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    A two-volume work containing (in alphabetical order) editions of the lives of all saints other than the Virgin Mary and the apostles, whose lives are extant in Old Norse-Icelandic translation.

    Find this resource:

  • Wolf, Kirsten, ed. A Female Legendary from Iceland: “Kirkjubæjarbók” (AM 429 12mo) in The Arnamagnæan Collection, Copenhagen. Manuscripta Nordica: early Nordic Manuscripts in Digital facsimile 3. Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press, 2011.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    A study on and edition of a legendary of female virgin saints’ lives written c. 1500 for the nuns at the Benedictine convent of Kirkjubær convent in south Iceland.

    Find this resource:

Editions of East Norse Saints’ Lives (Individual Saints)

In addition to the collections listed above, there are important editions of the lives of individual saints from the East Norse tradition, the majority of which were composed in Latin, though some were also translated to Old Swedish. Collijn 1924, Collijn 1946, Eklund 1972–1991, Klemming 1857–1884, Morris 1991, and Undhagen 1978–2002 all provide editions of works relating to St. Birgitta of Sweden, and Collijn 1942–1946 is an edition of the life and miracles of her daughter, Katarina. Gertz 1907 is an edition of the life and martyrdom of King Knud, Nelson 1944 presents an edition of the Latin life of St. Erik of Sweden, and Waitz 1884 is an edition of St. Rimbert’s (c. 830–888) life of St. Ansgar, the so-called “Apostle to the North.”

  • Collijn, Isak, ed. Acta et processus canonizacionis beate Birgitte. Samlingar utgivna av Svenska fornskrift-sållskapet 2.1. Uppsala, Sweden: Almqvist & Wiksell, 1924.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Includes an edition of St. Birgitta’s Latin vita, composed by her confessors Master Peter Olofsson of Skänninge (b. 1298–d. 1378) and Prior Peter Olofsson of Alvastra (b. 1307–d. 1390), along with miracles and other materials relevant to the canonization process.

    Find this resource:

  • Collijn, Isak, ed. Processus seu Negocium canonizationis B. Katerine de Vadstenis. Samlingar utvigna av Svenska fornskrift-sällskapet 2.3. Uppsala, Sweden. Almqvist & Wiksell, 1942–1946.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Contains an edition of St. Katarina’s Latin vita, composed by Ulf Birgersson (d. 1433), who was a Brigittine monk at Vadstena, as well as a number of miracles and other materials relevant to the canonization process.

    Find this resource:

  • Collijn, Isak, ed. Birgerus Gregorii. Legende sancte Birgitte. Samlingar utgivna av Svenska fornskrift-sällskapet 2, Latinska skrifter 4. Uppsala, Sweden: Almqvist & Wiksell, 1946.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    A Latin life of St. Birgitta written in Latin by Birger Gregorsson (d. 1383), who was archbishop at Uppsala from 1366.

    Find this resource:

  • Eklund, Sten. Sancta Birgitta. Opera minora. 3 vols. Stockholm and Uppsala, Sweden: Vitterhets-, historie- och antikvitetsakademien, 1972–1991.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Editions of three of St. Birgitta’s works, Regula salvatoris (Rule of the Saviour; vol. 2), Sermo angelicus (Angelic Discourse; vol. 2), and Quattuor oraciones (Four Prayers; vol. 3).

    Find this resource:

  • Gertz, Martin Clarentius. Knud den helliges martyrhistorie, særlig efter de tre ældste kilder: En filologisk-historisk undersøgelse. Copenhagen: J.H. Schultz, 1907.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    An edition of the life and martyrdom of King Knud based primarily on the three oldest manuscript witnesses. The Latin text is accompanied by a parallel Danish translation.

    Find this resource:

  • Klemming, Gustaf Edvard. Heliga Birgittas Uppenbarelser. 5 vols. Samlingar utgivna av Svenska fornskriftsällskapet 1. Stockholm: Norstedt, 1857–1884.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    A five-volume edition of the Old Swedish translation of St. Birgitta’s divine revelations, which were originally written in Latin.

    Find this resource:

  • Morris, Bridget, ed. Book V of St. Birgitta’s Uppenbarelser. Edited from MS Cod. Ups. C61. Samlingar utgivna av Svenska fornskriftsällskapet 80. Lund, Sweden: Blom, 1991.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    An edition of a Swedish manuscript containing the fifth book of St. Birgitta’s Revelations in Old Swedish translation.

    Find this resource:

  • Nelson, Axel, ed. Vita et miracula Sancti Erici regis Sueciae: Codex Vat. reg. lat. 525: Suecice et Britannice praefatus. Corpus codicum Suecicorum medii aevi 3. Copenhagen: Munksgaard, 1944.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    An edition of the Latin life and miracles of St. Erik of Sweden based on one of the main manuscript witnesses of the text.

    Find this resource:

  • Undhagen, Carl-Gustav, Birger Bergh, Ann-Mari Jönsson, et al., ed. Sancta Birgitta. Revelaciones. 8 vols. Stockholm and Uppsala, Sweden: Kungl. Vitterhets Historie och Antikvitets Akademien, 1978–2002.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    An eight-volume collection of the St. Birgitta’s divine revelations in Latin, which Birgitta dictated in Swedish and which were translated and written down in Latin by her confessors.

    Find this resource:

  • Waitz, G., ed. Vita Anskarii auctore Rimberto. Accedit vita Rimberti. Hannover, Germany: Hahn, 1884.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    An edition of the life of St. Ansgar, Archbishop of Hamburg-Bremen, written by his successor, St. Rimbert, who accompanied Ansgar on his missionary trip to Scandinavia.

    Find this resource:

Editions of West Norse Saints’ Lives (Individual Saints)

Since the initial collections of editions produced during the 19th century, a number of editions of individual West Norse saints’ lives have been published. Halldórsson 2006 and Heinrichs, et al. 1982 present editions of the lives of Norway’s holy kings, Óláfr Tryggvason (b. 963–d. 1000) and St. Óláfr Haraldsson (b. 995–d. 1030), and the former contains an account of St. Sunniva and the saints of Selja (10th century). Unger 1869 is an edition of the life of St. Thomas Becket (b. 1118–d. 1170), Archbishop of Canterbury. Several other editions appear as part of the Arnamagnæan series of editions; these comprise Foote 2003, an edition of the life of Bishop Jón Ögmundarson, the editions of the lives of Bishop Guðmundr Arason and St. Þorlákr Þórhallsson by Karlsson 1983 and jointly by Karlsson and Hauksson 2018, and Tucker 1998, an edition of the Old Norse-Icelandic life of St. Eustace. In addition to these are editions of the lives of St. Matthew the Apostle (1st century) by Halldórsson 1994 and St. Anne by Wolf 2001, and an edition of the 14th-century legend of St. Andrew the Apostle (1st century) by Harty 1977 and of the legend of Sts. Barlaam and Josephat by Rindal 1980. Further editions, which are accompanied by English translations, are listed and detailed below under Translations of West Norse Saints’ Lives.

  • Foote, Peter, ed. Jóns saga Hólabyskups ens helga. Editiones Arnamagnæanæ, Ser. A, vol. 14. Copenhagen: Reitzel, 2003.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    An edition of all three redactions of the life of St. Jón Ögmundarson of Hólar: the Skálholt redaction (S); the Latinate redaction (L); and the Hólar redaction (H).

    Find this resource:

  • Halldórsson, Ólafur, ed. Mattheus saga postula. Stofnun Árna Magnússonar í íslenskum fræðum. Rit 41. Reykjavík: Stofnun Árna Magnússonar, 1994.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    An edition of the Old Norse-Icelandic life of St. Matthew the Apostle, which was based on a Latin original.

    Find this resource:

  • Halldórsson, Ólafur, ed. Færeyinga saga – Ólafs saga Odds. Íslenzk fornrit 25. Reykjavík: Hið íslenzka fornritafélag, 2006.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Contains an edition of the Icelandic translation of a Latin life of Óláfr Tryggvason composed c. 1190 by the Benedictine monk at Þingeyrar monastery Oddr Snorrason (d. 1220). Oddr’s saga of Óláfr also contains an account of St. Sunniva and the saints at Selja.

    Find this resource:

  • Harty, Lenore. “An Edition of a Fourteenth-Century Version of Andreas saga postola and Its Sources.” Mediaeval Studies 39 (1977): 121–159.

    DOI: 10.1484/J.MS.2.306828Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    A study on and edition of one of the redactions Old Norse-Icelandic saga of St. Andrew the Apostle, which was based on two Latin sources.

    Find this resource:

  • Heinrichs, Anne, Doris Janshen, Elke Radicke, and Harmut Röhn, ed. Olafs saga hins helga: Die “Legendarische Saga” über Olaf den Heiligen. Heidelberg, Germany: Winter, 1982.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    An edition of the so-called “legendary saga” of St. Óláfr Haraldsson, which is a Norwegian revision of the “oldest saga” of the saint (Óláfs saga helga en elsta). The edition also includes a German translation of the text.

    Find this resource:

  • Karlsson, Stefán, ed. Guðmundar sögur biskups I, Ævi Guðmundar biskups, Guðmundar saga A. Editiones Arnamagnæanæ, Ser. B. Vol. 6. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger, 1983.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    An edition of the oldest saga of Bishop Guðmundr Arason, the so-called A-version, which was written during the first half of the 14th century and is a compilation of several texts.

    Find this resource:

  • Karlsson, Stefán, and Magnús Hauksson, eds. Guðmundar sögur biskups II. Editiones Arnamagnæanæ, Ser. B. Vol. 17. Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press, 2018.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    An edition of the middle saga of Bishop Guðmundr Arason, the so-called B-version, which dates from the first half of the 14th century and combines several texts.

    Find this resource:

  • Rindal, Magnus, ed. Barlaams ok Josaphats saga. Manuscript no. 6 fol. in the Royal Library, Stockholm and the Norwegian Fragments. CCN, Quarto Series 6. Oslo: Society for the Publication of Old Norwegian Manuscripts, 1980.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    An edition of the Norwegian translation of legends relating to the life of the Buddha. The text includes material relating to Sts. Anthony (b. 251–d. 356), Bishop Gregory Thaumaturgus (b. 213–d. 270), Pelagia of Antioch (4th or 5th century), and Thaïs (4th century).

    Find this resource:

  • Tucker, John, ed. Plácidus saga. With an Edition of Plácitus drápa by Jonna Louis-Jensen. Editiones Arnamagnæanæ, Ser. B. Vol. 31. Copenhagen: Reitzel, 1998.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    An edition of the Old Norse-Icelandic life of St. Eustace (d. 118), which was translated from Latin in the 12th century and survives in four versions. The edition also includes an English translation of the A-version of St. Eustace’s life.

    Find this resource:

  • Unger, C. R., ed. Thomas saga erkibyskups. Fortælling om Thomas Becket erkebiskop af Canterbury. Christiania [Oslo]: Bentzen, 1869.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    An older, but important, edition of the Old Norse-Icelandic saga of St. Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, of which there are several redactions.

    Find this resource:

  • Wolf, Kirsten, ed. Saga heilagrar Önnu. Stofnun Árna Magnússonar í íslenskum fræðum, Rit 52. Reykjavík: Stofnun Árna Magnússonar, 2001.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    A study on and edition of the Old Norse-Icelandic life of St. Anne, mother of the Virgin Mary, which was translated in the 16th century from a Low German source.

    Find this resource:

Translations of East Norse Saints’ Lives

The lives of saints in East Norse tradition have not been widely translated to English, and as was noted above with the individual and collective editions, the vast majority of saints’ lives from medieval Denmark and Sweden were composed in Latin rather than the Old Danish or Old Swedish vernacular. Tjader Harris 1990 presents a translation of the life of St. Birgitta along with selections from her Revelacions (Revelations), and Searby 2006–2015 presents a complete, four-volume English translation of all eight books of revelations. Robinson 1921 translates the Vita Anskarii (Life of Ansgar) from the original Latin, and Cross 1957 is a translation of two versions of legend of St. Erik of Sweden, both composed in Latin.

  • Cross, J. E. “St Eric of Sweden.” Saga-Book of the Viking Society 15 (1957): 298–326.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    An article on the cult and life of St. Erik of Sweden, containing as an appendix English translations of two versions of the legend—both “the standard legend” and “the shortened legend.”

    Find this resource:

  • Robinson, Charles H. Anskar, the Apostle of the North 801–865. Translated from the Vita Anskarii. London: The Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, 1921.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    An English translation of the Latin life of St. Ansgar by Rimbert, including a brief introduction and bibliography.

    Find this resource:

  • Searby, Denis, trans. The Revelations of Saint Birgitta of Sweden. 4 vols. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006–2015.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    A four-volume English translation of all eight books of St. Birgitta’s Revelations, with introductions and notes by Bridget Morris.

    Find this resource:

  • Tjader Harris, Marguerite, ed. Life and Selected Revelations. Tranlated by Albert Ryle Kezel. New York: Paulist Press, 1990.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    A volume including English translations of St. Birgitta’s life by Master Peter and Prior Peter, along with Books 5 and 7 and four prayers from her Revelations. The translation is prefaced by an introduction by Tore Nyberg.

    Find this resource:

Translations of West Norse Saints’ Lives

While not as comprehensively treated as other genres of Old Norse-Icelandic literature, a number of saints’ lives from medieval Norway and, especially, Iceland have been translated to English. These translations represent a variety of works, and many translations accompany editions, allowing students and scholars to simultaneously access West Norse saints’ lives in the original and in translation. A number of Old Norse-Icelandic saints’ lives that were based on Latin originals have been translated to English, alongside the original Old Norse-Icelandic text: Carron 2005 edits and translates the saga of St. Clement of Rome (d. 99); Van Deusen 2019 edits and translates the saga of Sts. Martha and Mary Magdalen; and Wolf 1997 and Wolf 2000, respectively are editions and translations of the sagas of Sts. Dorothy (d. 311) and Barbara (d. 306). Kalinke 2005 and Kalinke and Wolf 2022 present editions and translations of legends from a now-lost Low German source, which are now only known in Old Norse-Icelandic translation. The lives of royal Scandinavian saints are translated by Pálsson and Edwards 1987, Kunin 2001, and Andersson 2003, whose works treat the legends of St. Magnús of Orkney (d. 1116/17), St. Óláfr Haraldsson, and Óláfr Tryggvason, respectively. Jakobsson and Clark 2013 and Cormack 2021 translate the lives of the saintly bishops Þorlákr Þórhallsson and Jón Ögmundarson, respectively.

  • Andersson, Theodore M., trans. The Saga of Olaf Tryggvason. Islandica 52. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2003.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    An English translation of Oddr Snorrason’s saga of Óláfr Tryggvason, which also contains accounts of the legend of St. Sunniva and her companions.

    Find this resource:

  • Carron, Helen, ed. and trans. Clemens saga: The Life of St Clement of Rome. London: Viking Society for Northern Research, 2005.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    An edition and English translation of the Old Norse-Icelandic Klements saga (saga of St. Clement) which was based on a Latin original.

    Find this resource:

  • Cormack, Margaret, trans. The Saga of St. Jón of Hólar. Tempe: Arizona Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 2021.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    An English translation of the so-called H version of the saga of St. Jón Ögmundarson, Bishop of Hólar, supplemented with material from the S and L versions. Also included is an introduction by Peter Foote, on whose 2003 edition the translation is based.

    Find this resource:

  • Jakobsson, Ármann, and David Clark, trans. The Saga of Bishop Thorlak. Þorláks saga byskups. London: Viking Society for Northern Research, 2013.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    An English translation of the so-called A-version so of the saga of St. Þorlákr Þorhallsson of Skálholt, which is the oldest saga.

    Find this resource:

  • Kalinke, Marianne E., ed. and trans. St. Oswald of Northumbria: Continental Metamorphoses, with an Edition and Translation of Ósvalds saga and Van sunte Oswaldo deme Konninghe. Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies 297. Tempe: Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 2005.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    An edition and English translation of the legend of St. Oswald of Northumbria (d. 641 or 642), originally written in Low German but surviving solely in Icelandic translation in the 16-century legendary Reykjahólabók.

    Find this resource:

  • Kalinke, Marianne, and Kirsten Wolf, trans. Pious Fictions and Pseudo-Saints in the Late Middle Ages: Selected Legends from an Icelandic Legendary. Mediaeval Sources in Translation 61. Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 2022.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Includes editions and English translations of eight legends from the 16th-century collection known as Reykjahólabók, which preserves Icelandic translations of now-lost Low German legends.

    Find this resource:

  • Kunin, Devra, ed. and trans. A History of Norway and The Passion and Miracles of the Blessed Óláfr. London: Viking Society for Northern Research, 2001.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    In addition to a translation of Historia Norwegiæ (A History of Norway), this work presents English translations of the passion and miracles of St. Óláfr Haraldsson (Passio beati Olavi and Miracula beati Olavi). It contains an introduction and notes by Carl Phelpstead, who also edited the volume.

    Find this resource:

  • Pálsson, Hérmann, and Paul Edwards, trans. Magnus’ Saga: The Life of St Magnus Earl of Orkney 1075–1116. Oxford: Perpetua, 1987.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    An English translation of the Old Norse-Icelandic life, martyrdom, and miracles of St. Magnús, earl of Orkney.

    Find this resource:

  • Van Deusen, Natalie M., ed. and trans. The Saga of the Sister Saints: The Legend of Martha and Mary Magdalen in Old Norse-Icelandic Translation. Studies and Texts 214. Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 2019.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    An edition and English translation of the Old Norse-Icelandic legend of Sts. Martha and Mary Magdalen, which is based on a variety of Latin sources. Evidence suggests that the saga was compiled by Arngrímr Brandsson (d. 1361).

    Find this resource:

  • Wolf, Kirsten, ed. and trans. The Icelandic Legend of Saint Dorothy. Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies. Studies and Texts 130. Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 1997.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    An edition and English translation of the Old Norse-Icelandic legend of St. Dorothy, which was translated from a Latin source and exists in a single medieval Icelandic manuscript.

    Find this resource:

  • Wolf, Kirsten, ed. and trans. The Old Norse-Icelandic Legend of Saint Barbara. Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, Studies and Texts 134. Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies, 2000.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    An edition and English translation of the Old Norse-Icelandic legend of St. Barbara, which was translated from a Latin source and is extant in two medieval Icelandic manuscripts.

    Find this resource:

Studies of East Norse Saints’ Lives

A variety of scholarly works concerning East Norse saints’ lives have emerged within the last two decades, a number of which are available in English. These studies focus on individual saints’ lives and cults, as well as their narrative, liturgical, and socio-historical contexts. They primarily treat the lives and cults of “native” saints from Denmark, Finland, and Sweden.

Book-Length Studies, Dissertations, and Edited Volumes

DuBois 2008 is an edited volume containing chapters concerning the lives of a number of saints from both East and West Norse tradition. The dissertations Ellis Nilsson 2015 and Tyynelä-Haapamäki 2022 are both extremely important contributions to the field, and focus specifically on native saints from medieval Denmark and Sweden. Olrik 1888 is a study on the life and deeds of St. Knud Lavard, and Knibbs 2011 focuses on the 9th-century bishops and missionaries Ansgar and Rimbert, and the historicity of the Vita Anskarii. Oen 2019 is an important recent companion to the life and works of St. Birgitta of Sweden, and Sahlin 2001 is a useful study that examines the religious authority of St. Birgitta and her revelations. Oertel 2016 focuses on the cult and life of St. Erik of Sweden, and presents an edition of his vita.

  • DuBois, Thomas A., ed. Sanctity in the North: Saints, Lives, and Cults in Medieval Scandinavia. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2008.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This volume includes a number of important studies pertaining to the lives of saints from throughout medieval Scandinavia, and includes select primary text editions and translations. This volume also contains material related to West Norse saints’ lives.

    Find this resource:

  • Ellis Nilsson, Sara. “Creating Holy People and Places on the Periphery: A Study of the Emergence of Cults of Native Saints in the Ecclesiastical Provinces of Lund and Uppsala from the Eleventh to the Thirteenth Centuries.” PhD diss., University of Gothenburg, 2015.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    An important study detailing the cults and lives of native saints in the provinces of Lund and Uppsala during the Middle Ages.

    Find this resource:

  • Knibbs, Eric. Ansgar, Rimbert and the Forged Foundations of Hamburg-Bremen. Surrey, UK: Ashgate, 2011.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This important study considers the construction of the Vita Anskarii and challenges longstanding assumptions regarding its reliability, and of Ansgar’s role in the foundation of the archbishopric of Hamburg-Bremen.

    Find this resource:

  • Oen, Maria. A Companion to Birgitta of Sweden and Her Legacy in Medieval Sweden. Brill’s Companions to the Christian Tradition 89. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 2019.

    DOI: 10.1163/9789004399877Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    A volume containing a number of essays which, collectively, serve as a comprehensive introduction to the life, works, and legacy of St. Birgitta.

    Find this resource:

  • Oertel, Christian. The Cult of St. Erik in Medieval Sweden: Veneration of a Royal Saint, Twelfth–Sixteenth Centuries. Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols, 2016.

    DOI: 10.1484/M.AS-EB.5.107423Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    A study of the cult of St. Erik of Sweden, which includes as an appendix the Latin vita of the saint and miracles of both Sts. Erik and Óláfr Haraldsson.

    Find this resource:

  • Olrik, Hans. Knud Lavards Liv og Gærning. Copenhagen: Wroblewski, 1888.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    An older, but important book about the life, martyrdom, and cult of the Danish St. Knud Lavard, the Duke of Sleswig who was murdered by his cousin, the eventual King Magnus I of Sweden (d. 1134).

    Find this resource:

  • Sahlin, Claire L. Birgitta of Sweden and the Voice of Prophecy. Woodbridge, UK: Boydell & Brewer, 2001.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    An examination of the St. Birgitta’s divine revelations, with particular focus on her religious authority and the place of her voice in relation to her male confessors and associates.

    Find this resource:

  • Thordeman, Bengt, ed. Erik den helige: Historia—Kult—Reliker. Stockholm: Nordisk rotogravyr, 1954.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    A collection of ten chapters dealing with the legend, cult, liturgy, and iconography surrounding St. Erik of Sweden.

    Find this resource:

  • Tyynelä-Haapamäki, Johanna. “Constructing Episcopal Sainthood in Late Medieval Sweden: The Cases of Brynolphus Algoti and Nicolaus Hermanni.” PhD diss., University of Helsinki, 2022.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    A dissertation concerning the hagiographic traditions surrounding the bishop-saints Brynolf of Skara and Nils Hermansson (d. 1391), specifically in relation to their respective canonization processes.

    Find this resource:

Articles and Book Chapters

Ellis Nilsson 2019 explores the construction Scandinavian sainthood within its narrative context, and Ellis Nilsson 2020 looks at the representation of non-saintly bishops in medieval Scandinavian hagiography. Palmer 2004 examines the function of the life of St. Ansgar, while Heikkilä 2009 covers the legend of the Bishop Henrik of Finland and St. Erik of Sweden is treated in the chapters in Thordeman 1954 (cited under Book-Length Studies, Dissertations, and Edited Volumes). Fröjmark 2012 and Fröjmark 2018 look specifically at Swedish miracle collections.

  • Ellis Nilsson, Sara. “Forming and Fashioning Early Scandinavian Sanctity: Liturgy and Its Narrative Context.” In Heiligkeiten: Konstruktionen, Funtionen und Transfer von Heiligkeitskonzepten im europäischen Früh- und Hochmittelalter. Edited by Andreas Bihrer and Fiona Fritz, 73–87. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, 2019.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    An article exploring the construction of sanctity in early medieval Scandinavia, with a focus on four female saints and their place within the larger Christian narrative tradition.

    Find this resource:

  • Ellis Nilsson, Sara. “Promoting or Rejecting the Saints: The Representation of Non-Saintly Bishops in Medieval Scandinavian Hagiography.” In Episcopal Power and Personality in Medieval Europe, 900–1480. Edited by Peter Cross, et al., 181–199. Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols, 2020.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    A chapter examining the representation and perception of bishops in hagiographical literature composed in medieval Scandinavia.

    Find this resource:

  • Fröjmark, Anders. “Childbirth Miracles in Swedish Medieval Miracle Collections.” Journal of the History of Sexuality 21.2 (2012): 297–312.

    DOI: 10.1353/sex.2012.0028Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    An article concerning medieval Swedish miracles relating to childbirth as evidence for one aspect of everyday life in medieval Sweden.

    Find this resource:

  • Fröjmark, Anders. “Telling the Miracle: The Meeting between Pilgrim and Scribe as Reflected in Swedish Miracle Collections.” In Miracles in Medieval Canonization Processes: Structures, Functions, and Methodologies. Edited by Christian Krötzl and Sari Katajala-Peltomaa, 131–155. Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols, 2018.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    A discussion of the miracles surrounding four medieval Swedish saints, which focuses specifically on how they reflect a meeting point between the oral culture of the laypeople and the literary culture of the laity.

    Find this resource:

  • Heikkilä, Tuomas. Sankt Henrikslegenden. Skrifter utgivna av Svenska litteratursällskapet i Finland 720. Helsinki: Svenska litteratursällskapet i Finland, 2009.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    An examination of the legend of St. Henrik of Finland based on the extant medieval sources, which include all known manuscripts preserving the text.

    Find this resource:

  • Palmer, James T. “Rimbert’s Vita Anskarii and the Scandinavian Mission in the Ninth Century.” Journal of Ecclesiastical History 55.2 (2004): 235–256.

    DOI: 10.1017/S0022046904009935Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    An article concerning the function of St. Rimbert’s Vita Anskarii (Life of Ansgar), which the author argues served to bolster the Christian mission to Scandinavia.

    Find this resource:

Studies of West Norse Saints’ Lives

The last several decades have witnessed the production of a number of important scholarly works relating to West Norse saints’ lives, and appear in both book-length and article-length format. A number of studies focus their attention on other female saints whose lives were translated to Old Norse-Icelandic. In contrast to studies of East Norse saints’ lives, which concentrate predominantly on “native” saints from the region, in scholarship on the West Norse tradition there is a fairly equal focus on the lives of foreign and “native” saints.

Book-Length Studies, Dissertations, and Edited Volumes

Bullitta and Wolf 2021, Bullitta and Van Deusen 2021, and Bø and Sigurðsson 2022 present collections of essays written by leading scholars in the field of medieval Scandinavian hagiography. A particularly important recent contribution to the field is Grønlie 2017, which discusses the important interrelationship of Old Norse-Icelandic hagiographic literature and vernacular saga literature. Collings 1969 treats the sagas of the apostles in the so-called Codex Scardensis, and is an extremely valuable study, as is Kalinke 1996, which is a study of the late medieval legendary Reykjahólabók (the Book of Reykjahólar). Antonsson 2007 presents a detailed study of the life and cult of St. Magnús of Orkney, and Ekrem, et al. 2000 examines the legendary tradition surrounding St. Óláfr Haraldsson. Phelpstead 2007 concerns legends of holy Norwegian kings, Skórzewska 2011 treats the life and cult of the Icelandic Bishop Guðmundr Arason, and Najork 2021 examines the saga of the Virgin Mary in its manuscript contexts.

Articles and Book Chapters

Steffensen 1965 treats the saga of St. Margaret of Antioch and its history and function in Iceland, and Parsons 2016 examines accounts of the life of St. Ursula and her companions in Iceland. Fairise 2014 compares the Old Norse-Icelandic life of the Virgin Mary with its continental counterparts, and Orchard 1996 examines the saga of St. Mary of Egypt (344–421). Piebenga 1988 and Widding and Bekker-Nielsen 1961 cover the Old Norse-Icelandic accounts of Sts. Marie of Oignies (b. 1177–d. 1213) and Elisabeth of Schönau (b. 1129–d. 1164), respectively, both of which are part of larger works. Battista 2005 is an important study of the role of the compilator in the later stages of production of Old Norse-Icelandic hagiography, while Roughton 2005 treats the early Old Norse-Icelandic sagas of the apostles as preserved in two collections. Phelpstead 2000 examines the legends of holy Norwegian kings, while O’Hara 2009 looks at the legend of St. Sunniva in medieval Norway.

  • Battista, Simonetta. “The Compilator and Contemporary Literary Culture in Old Norse Hagiography.” Viking and Medieval Scandinavia 1 (2005): 1–13.

    DOI: 10.1484/J.VMS.2.3017462Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    An important article on the process of translation and compilation in Old Norse-Icelandic hagiographic literature, with examples from the sagas of the apostles at two stages of writing.

    Find this resource:

  • Fairise, Christelle R. “Relating Mary’s Life in Medieval Iceland.” Arkiv för Nordisk Filologi 129 (2014): 165–196.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    A consideration of main features of Maríu saga through a comparison of it with continental lives of the Virgin Mary that are contemporary with the Old Norse-Icelandic text.

    Find this resource:

  • O’Hara, Alexander. “Constructing a Saint: The Legend of St Sunniva in Twelfth-Century Norway.” Viking and Medieval Scandinavia 5 (2009): 105–121.

    DOI: 10.1484/J.VMS.1.100675Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    A discussion of the life of the Irish virgin martyr St. Sunniva and her companions at Selja in medieval Norway. The article focuses on the original Latin source and places the legend within its larger hagiographical, ecclesiastical, and political context.

    Find this resource:

  • Orchard, Andy. “Hot Lust in a Cold Climate: Comparison and Contrast in the Old Norse Version of the Life of Mary of Egypt.” In The Legend of Mary of Egypt in Medieval Insular Hagiography. Edited by Erich Poppe and Bianca Ross, 175–204. Dublin: Four Courts Press, 1996.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    A discussion of the life of St. Mary of Egypt, in Old Norse-Icelandic translation, Maríu saga egipzku, with a focus on the redactions of the saga, its Latin sources, and its literary parallels.

    Find this resource:

  • Parsons, Katelin. “Radiant Maidens and Butchered Brides: Finding St Ursula in Icelandic Literature.” In The Cult of St Ursula and the 11,000 Virgins. Edited by Jane Cartwright, 227–243. Cardiff, UK: University of Wales Press, 2016.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    A discussion of the accounts of the life of St. Ursula and the 11,000 Virgins in Old Norse and early modern Icelandic prose and poetry.

    Find this resource:

  • Phelpstead, Carl. “In Honour of St Óláfr: The Miracle Stories in Snorri Sturluson’s Óláfs saga helga.” Saga-Book 25 (2000): 292–306.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    An article concerning the miracles attributed to St. Óláfr Haraldsson as recounted in Snorri Sturluson’s (b. 1179–d. 1242) saga of the saintly Norwegian king, which the author argues support the reading of the saga as a hagiography.

    Find this resource:

  • Piebenga, Gryt Anne. “Om den norrøne oversettelsen av noen fragmenter av Vita Mariae Oigniacensis.” Maal og Minne (1988): 174–184.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    An article on the Old Norse-Icelandic translation of sections of the legend of the St. Marie of Oignies, which is included in Maríu saga (the saga of the Virgin Mary).

    Find this resource:

  • Roughton, Philip. “Stylistics and Sources of the Postula sögur in AM 645 4to and AM 653/630 4to.” Gripla 16 (2005): 7–50.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    An important study that builds on the author’s doctoral dissertation, and is an invaluable resource on the early sagas of the apostles.

    Find this resource:

  • Jón Steffensen. “Margrétar saga and Its History in Iceland.” Saga-Book 16 (1965): 273–282.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    An article on the Old Norse-Icelandic legend of St. Margaret of Antioch and its enduring popularity in Iceland beyond the Middle Ages.

    Find this resource:

  • Widding, Ole, and Hans Bekker-Nielsen. “Elisabeth of Schönau’s Visions in an Old Icelandic Manuscript, AM 764, 4o.” Opuscula 2.1. Bibliotheca Arnamagnæana 25.1. Copenhagen: Munksgaard, (1961): 93–96.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    A brief article concerning the visions of St. Elisabeth of Schönau that were included in the manuscript AM 764 4to (1376–1387), a universal history produced for the nuns at the Benedictine convent at Reynistaðr.

    Find this resource:

back to top

Article

Up

Down