The Miracles and Translatio of Saint James: Books Two and Three of the Liber Sancti Jacobi

The Miracles and Translatio of Saint James: Books Two and Three of the Liber Sancti Jacobi

The Miracles and Translatio of Saint James: Books Two and Three of the Liber Sancti Jacobi

The Miracles and Translatio of Saint James: Books Two and Three of the Liber Sancti Jacobi


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The pilgrimage route to Compostela is graced with an exceptional witness from its early days: the Liber Sancti Jacobi or Book of Saint James. This book is found most famously in a twelfth-century manuscript from the library of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, as well as in various other manuscripts. The text provides an encyclopedia on Saint James the Great and on the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, the traditional site of his burial in Galicia in northwestern Spain.

Of the five books included in the manuscript, Books 2 and 3, published here in English translation, deal directly with the cult surrounding Saint James. In twenty-two chapters, Book 2 recounts twenty-five of the miracles attributed to the saint after his death. These occurred across a wide geographic area between the years 1100 and 1135. Although these represent a limited period, it is a very important one in the development of the cult of Saint James and the establishment of his cult site at Compostela.

Book 3 gathers elements from a variety of sources and weaves them together into a prologue and four chapters describing the transfer of Saint James’s body to Santiago de Compostela from the Holy Land, where legend says he was beheaded by Herod.

Together these two books of the Liber Sancti Jacobi provide a comprehensive description of the power and importance of the saint, reflecting his significance and the significance of Santiago de Compostela as one of the three major Christian pilgrimage sites during the Middle Ages.

230 pages. Preface, introduction, notes, bibliography, index, and illustrations.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781599103235
Publisher: Italica Press
Publication date: 10/01/2018
Series: Italica Press Medieval & Renaissance Texts Series
Pages: 232
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.69(d)

About the Author

Thomas F. Coffey holds a B.A. in French and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Medieval Romance Philology, with German, Greek, and Spanish as support languages. He taught various levels of French, German, and Spanish at Creighton University in Nebraska, and English and French in Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany. He has published in English, French, and Latin and has worked extensively on medieval texts in the areas of rhetoric, French history, and the Inquisition.

Maryjane Dunn is an associate professor of Spanish at Henderson State University, Arkansas. She has followed the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela both personally (first walking the Camino Francés in 1979) and professionally in her scholarly work, focusing on the realities of medieval pilgrimage as well as on its allegorical and literary depictions.

Table of Contents

About the Editors v

Illustrations ix

Preface xi

Acknowledgments xviii

Abbreviations xix

Introduction xxi

Saint James the Greater in the New Testament xxi

Saint James In Early Christian Writings xxiii

Saint James in Spain xxviii

Naming the Liber Sancti Jacobi xxxvii

The Codex Calixtinus and Salamanca MS 2631 xli

Twentieth-century Editions and Translations of the Liber Sancti Jacobi xlii

The Miracles of Saint James: Book II of the Liber Sancti Jacobi xliv

The Authors of the Miracles xlvii

Chronology and Dates of the Miracles xlix

Geographic and Regional Distribution of the Miracles liv

Aspects of Saint James in the Miracles liv

Feast Days and the Miracles lvii

The Translatio of Saint James: Book III of the Liber Sancti Jacobi lix

Notes on the Translation lxvii

The Miracles of Saint James 1

The Translatio of Saint James 69

Appendices 97

1. Pseudo-Abdias: The “Passion of James” 97

2. Song on the Altars of the Twelve Apostles 106

3. O Word of God Revealed by the Mouth of the Father 107

4. Pasionario Hispánico: Saint James, Brother of John 110

5. Pasionario Hispánico: About Torquatus and His Companions 118

6. Agreement of Antealtares 122

7. History of Compostela: Discovery and Translatio 127

8. The “Veneranda dies”: How the Translatio of this Apostle Occurred 132

9. Feast Day of Saint Luparia 135

Bibliography 137

Index 151

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