This is the first book to focus on Latin epic verse saints' lives in their medieval historical contexts. Anna Taylor examines how these works promoted bonds of friendship and expressed rivalries among writers, monasteries, saints, earthly patrons, teachers and students in Western Europe in the central Middle Ages. Using philological, codicological and microhistorical approaches, Professor Taylor reveals new insights that will reshape our understanding of monasticism, patronage and education. These texts give historians an unprecedented glimpse inside the early medieval classroom, provide a nuanced view of the complicated synthesis of the Christian and Classical heritages, and show the cultural importance and varied functions of poetic composition in the ninth, tenth and eleventh centuries.
Anna Lisa Taylor is Assistant Professor in the History Department at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Introduction: saints, teachers, princes, and students; 1. Forging sanctity: Hilduin of Saint-Denis and the epic Passio Dionysii; 2. Glossing the imaginary: epic vitae in the classroom; 3. Classical nightmares: Christian poets and the pagan past; 4. Bishops, monks, and mother bees: an epic vita at the millennium; 5. Mothers and daughters, affiliation and conflict in the lives of Rictrude and Euseba; Conclusions: 'black seeds on a white field'; Appendix 1. St Gallen, Stiftsbibliothek, cod. sang. 265; Appendix 2. Douai Bibliotheque municipale ms 849.