and the Graduate Center,
Preliminary Outline for this Section:
: a brief introduction: essays by Tom Head.
- Primary Sources--Literature,
chronicles, other texts
- Secondary Sources
-- Guides, Reviews
- An Introductory Guide to Scholarship on Hagiography,
compiled by Tom Head (note: this essay is temporarily
unavailable as it is being updated).
- The most important
guide to the works of medieval western hagiography remains
the Bibliotheca hagiographica latina
antiquae et mediae aetatis, 3 vols. (Subsidia hagiographica,
6 and 70; Brussels, 1898-1901 and 1986), preapared by
the Société des Bollandistes (see below under medieval
centers). The standard abbreviation for this work is BHL.
This work is still not available on-line, although plans
are underway to make it so. Several valuable supplemental
guides to the BHL have been made available on-line; for
information on them, see below under medieval centers.
- On-Line Calendar
of Saints' Days, edited by Glenn Gunhouse. A hypertext
guide to the feast days of Christian saints. It is based
on several different dictionaries of saints (but primarily
on Hermann Grotefend's Taschenbuch der Zeitrechnung).
Unlike many of those other dictionaries, however, this
one is organized by date, rather than by the name of the
saint. When you look up a day, you will find the names
of the saints celebrated on that day, together with the
names of some of the places in which the feast is (or
was) especially important. As of 2006, note the
new address: http://www.medievalist.net/calendar/home.htm.
- For a guide to
saints' feasts of the eastern, or Orthodox, churches,
one may consult Saint of the Day Calendar
and Feastdays and Lives of the Saints Search.
- One of the studies
which pioneered a modern or "scientifically"
historical approach to hagiography is Hippolyte Delehaye,
Les legendes hagiographiques, fourth edition (Subsidia
hagiographica, 18; Brussels, 1955). The English
translation of this work as The
Legends of the Saints, trans. V. M. Crawford (from
second edition; London,
1907 and reprint, Notre Dame University Press, 1961) is
now available on-line.
- Another piece of
older scholarship which contains much still of value about
saints, in this case female, is Lina Eckenstein's Women Under Monasticism:
Chapters on Saint-Lore and Monastic Life A. D. 500 and
A. D. 1500 (Cambridge, 1896).
- The 1913 edition of the Catholic
Encyclopedia (as opposed to the newer, revised New
Catholic Encyclopedia published in 1967) is being
slowly made available on-line at traditionalist Roman
Catholic site called New Advent. The entries include
many on the lives of the saints and other topics relevant
to the study of hagiography and the cult of the saints.
- Another site called
Theology Library provides direct access via an alphabetized
list to the entries on the lives of saints from the
1913 edition of the Catholic Encyclopedia.
This site also includes other material of relevance
to the study of hagiography and the cult of the saints,
including a number of official Catholic conciliar decrees
on relics and sanctity.
- Catholic On-line
is another site which provides a large, alphabetized
guide to saints, with links to abbreviated lives (largely
based, it seems, on The Catholic Encyclopedia).
- The Journal of Early Christian Studies
6.3 (summer 1998) to papers, originating in a conference
held at Berkeley, on the legacy of Peter Brown's concept
of the "holy man" in the study of late antique
hagiography. (Note: this may only be accessible to subscribers
to the online journal service JStor.)
and Dissent: The Practice of Christianity in Roman Africa.
Papers from a scholarly working group which in large part
concern the cult of the martyrs in late antique North
- A number of useful
websites give access to material on specific individual
saints or groups of saints.
- The Military Martyrs treats
soldiers of the Roman empire
who suffered martyrdom for their faith.
- Professor James
O'Donnell of the University
tends a superb website dedicated to the life and works
of Augustine of
- The Order of St.
Benedict provides access to materials concerning Benedict of Nursia.
- The Order of Preachers
maintains a website with much information about Dominican saints of
that order, including the full text of several works
of medieval Dominican hagiography in English translation.
- This is the best
of several sites devoted to Hildegard
compiled by Tom Head
(Note: revised versions of these bibliographies will beging
to appear in 2002. A * before the title indicates
that it is a revised version.)
- Resources for
- Other Online Resources
- Works of art
- The Bibliothèque
Nationale de France maintains an on-line exhibit entitled
The Age of King
Charles V (1338-1380). It contains over one thousand
images of illuminations from manuscripts of the period.
One directly accessible category of illumination is
- The illuminations
from a Life
of King Edward the Confessor are available from
Cambridge University: "Cambridge University Library
MS. Ee.3.59 contains the only copy of an illustrated
Anglo-Norman verse Life of St Edward the Confessor,
written in England probably in the later 1230s or early
1240s, and preserved in this manuscript, executed c.
- An extraordinarily
useful resource for scholars doing research in hagiography
is the Index of Christian Art. This
collection of images, many of which relate to saints
and their cults, has its home at Princeton
several satellite copies now exist, and on-line access
is possible, although only by subscription.
Saints of the City of Angels, illus. J. Michael Walker
This site explores the cultural and spiritual heritage of Los Angeles,
California, seeking connections between the lives of the saints and the
histories surrounding the 85 streets that bear their names. ORB readers are
invited to visit the site and to contribute
related information within their areas of expertise.
- Centers for
- The most important
scholarly center devoted to the study of hagiography is that of the Société des Bollandistes, a
group of Jesuits formed in the seventeenth century. Based in Brussels,
they maintain a superb library, several important publishing ventures
including the journal Analecta Bollandiana, and a marvelous website which has guides to
their many activities and other useful links.
- An important new
venture of the Bollandists is the edition and maintenance of an
on-line index of hagiographic manuscripts, entitled BHLms. It is based on the
Bollandist catalogues of many important manuscript collections and is
keyed to the cataloguing of hagiographic texts in the Bibliotheca
- The Centre de
located at the Facultés Universitaires Notre-Dame de la Paix in Namur,
This center, directed by Professor Guy Philippart, is responsible for
the ongoing publication of an extremely important overview of
hagiographic studies: Hagiographies: Sociologie et
histoire de la littérature hagiographique en Occident des origines à
1550. A description of this project and the contents of the
volumes already published is available at
- This center
maintains another important on-line adjunct to the Bibliotheca
(see above) is a list of dates of composition for many of the works
listed in the BHL called the Chronology
of Latin Hagiography.
- Links to museums
- The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New
York contains several collections of
medieval objects with much to interest the scholar of sanctity,
particularly at the wonderful collection in northern Manhattan
known as The
- The Musée de Cluny is the
specific French national collection of medieval art, and likewise has
many objects connected to the cult of saints.
- The Vatican
Museums are another collection rich in objects associated with the
heritage of various saints.