Chapter

A European Prose Tradition

Brian Murdoch

in Gregorius

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199596409
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191745737 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199596409.003.0004
A European Prose Tradition

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Later prose narratives may be found in hagiographic legendaries, or illustrating a specific moral point and attached to Gospel lessons in plenaria. Prose versions vary in length, and the earliest are in Latin, French, and High and Low German. A German prose legend based upon Hartmann is included in Der Heiligen Leben, the lives of the saints, a Swedish translation exists, and it was combined (awkwardly) with a different Low German exemplum in a prose saga in the Icelandic Reykjahólabók, an unusual and late legendary. In prose we sometimes find Gregorius not as pope, but as a bishop. Of great importance is the Latin prose (again from French) in the thirteenth-century moralizing collection the Gesta Romanorum, stressing divine providence. This text (in two variants) was translated into most European languages and is also the probable source of a large range of folktales and other texts.

Keywords: prose; legendaries; plenaria; Latin; Icelandic; Reykjahólabók; Gesta Romanorum; moralizing; providence

Chapter.  23926 words. 

Subjects: History of Christianity

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