Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Saga Heilagrar Onnu

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Saga Heilagrar Onnu

Article excerpt

Saga heilagrar Onnu, ed. Kirsten Wolf, Stofnun Arna Magnussonar a Islandi (Reykjavik: University of Iceland Press, 2001). cliii + 166 pp. ISBN 9979-819-78-2. £29.95.

Kirsten Wolf has clone Iceland's literature an enormous service with this erudite and fascinating volume of Saga heilagrar Onnu, which she divides into a contextual introduction and an edition, each taking up half of the book. The edition comprises a diplomatic transcript of the unique manuscripts AM 82 8vo, consisting of 112 leaves, containing the vita, the prayers, and approximately two-thirds of the miracle section, and AM 238 fol. iii, a fragment consisting of only two leaves which contain the remainder of a miracle about a hermit, the beginning of which appears at the end of AM 82 8vo, and part of a miracle about a student. Wolf provides a facing-page Low German text, St. Annen Buchlein, reprinted from Hans Dorn's 1507 Braunschweig imprint (copy in the Herzog August Bibliothek, Wolfcnbuttcl); the chapters printed are those that have been translated into Icelandic in Saga heilagrar Onnu. WoIPs exemplary edition represents the second edition of St Anne's legend, the first being an edition of the manuscript Stock. Perg. FoI. No. 3 (Reykjaholabok: ed. Loth (1969-70), lines 305-468), a legendary consisting of twenty-five saints' lives altogether. The legend of St Anne, found on fols 135'-i68v, is edited under the title Emmerenda, Anna og Maria.

Wolfs contextual introduction starts with a thorough researched account of the history and development of St Anne's cult and vita from the Protevangelium Jacob), written originally in Greek around the middle of the second century, and its Latin reworking known as the Pseudo Gospel According to Matthew, dated to between 5 50 and 700, which was the primary source for the adoption of the cult of St Anne in the West, to the trinubium, the idea of St Anne's three marriages, leading the reader into the controversy the idea gradually spurred. …

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