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      Telling the Story: Reshaping Saint Christopher for an Anglo-Saxon Lay Audience

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          Abstract

          The Old English Saint Christopher has, like much anonymous vernacular hagiography, gone under-studied. This is partly because its manuscript context results in it being mentioned dismissively alongside more famous texts, and partly because no source has been identified or published. Based on a survey of the fifteen extant pre-thirteenth-century versions across about fifty of their manuscript forms, it is possible to show numerous and significant additions and alterations unique to this vernacular retelling. These changes ameliorate Christopher’s extreme passivity with some active attributes, make the king he opposes more deranged and cruel, and in particular tighten and clarify the story. The Old English Christopher is no masterpiece, but it is a skilful and creative reimagining of a very widespread text, developed by an authorial translator to meet the interests and needs of an Anglo-Saxon audience.

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          Most cited references 17

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          Passio Sancti Christophori martyris ex cod. Paris. signato num. 2179 inter noviter acquisitos

           J Bollandus (1891)
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            Bruchstück einer altenglischen Legende

             G Herzfeld (1888)
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              Matronianus, “Comes Isauriae”: An Inscription From an Early Byzantine Basilica at Yanıkhan, Rough Cilicia

               S. HILL,  S. Hill (1986)
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                2056-6700
                Open Library of Humanities
                Open Library of Humanities
                2056-6700
                16 October 2018
                2018
                : 4
                : 2
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Heinrich Heine Universität, DE
                Article
                10.16995/olh.306
                Copyright: © 2018 The Author(s)

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC-BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

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                Self URI (journal-page): https://olh.openlibhums.org/
                Categories
                Authors, narratives, and audiences in medieval saints’ lives

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