The Golden Legend
One of the central texts of the Middle Ages, The Golden Legend deeply influenced the imagery of poetry, painting and stained glass with its fascinating descriptions of saints' lives and religious festivals. By creating a single-volume sourcebook of core Christian stories, Jacobus de Voragine (c. 1229-98) attracted a huge audience across Europe. This selection of over seventy biographies ranges from the first Apostles and Roman martyrs to near-contemporaries such as St Dominic, St Francis of Assissi and St Elizabeth of Hungary. Here, witnesses to the true faith endure horrific tortures; reformed prostitutes win divine forgiveness; while other women live disguised as monks or nobly resist lustful tyrants. Lucid and compelling, The Golden Legend offers an enthralling insight into the medieval mind.