Legendier A or Collection of Saints’ Lives in French

Copied in Italy in the early part of the fourteenth century, this collection of saints lives contains thirteen stories of the apostles followed by four martyrs’ stories. It was originally composed in northern France, perhaps Picardy, in the middle of the thirteenth century. The lives often include a narrative of each saint’s martyrdom, as well as extensive descriptions of the miracles performed by each saint. This collection of saint’s lives seem to follow Latin hagiographic models generally.

The text also exists in two other northern Italian manuscripts which contain additions from the Golden Legend.

The manuscript copyist explains that he made the copy while in prison, and the iconography is distinctly Italian. Scholars believe the work was done somewhere in northern Italy, in either Genoa or Pisa.

Manuscripts

Lyon, Bibliotheque Municipale, MS 866 14th century

Click here for full description of ms

Edition

Perrot, Jean Pierre, ed. Livre della vie des sainz apostres et de leur paission et d’autres sainz et de leur vie et de maintes leur belles miraclez que Dieu Jhesu Crist fist por eus [Livre] : légendier d’apôtres en scripta franco-italienne (Ms. Lyon, Bibliothèque municipale, 866) : avec reproduction en couleur des enluminures. Chambery: Université de Savoie, UFR lettres, langues, sciences humaines, laboratoire languages, littératures, sociétés, 2006.

Secondary Literature

M. P. Meyer, Bulletin de la Société des anciens textes, 14 (1888), 72-94.

Cigni, Fabrizio. “Manuscrits en Francais, Italien, et Latin entre la Toscane et la Ligurie a la fin du XIIIe siecle: Implications Codicologiques, Linguistiques, et Evolution des Genres Narratifs.” In Medieval Multilingualism: The Francophone World and its Neighbors, edited by C. Kleinhenz and K. Busby, 187-217. Tunhout: Brepols, 2011.