Gregorius An Incestuous Saint in Medieval Europe and Beyond

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2012-11-25
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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The striking (and shocking) story of Gregorius, a child born of incest who later marries his mother, undertakes a massive penance, and eventually becomes both pope and saint, is a European theme. The apocryphal story probably came from medieval England or France, but is found in most European languages in all kinds of forms, from major literary works down to short folktales. In modern times the best known (but not the only) version is that by Thomas Mann, TheHoly Sinner. It is emphatically not a variation on the Oedipus-legend; instead it uses the strange and paradoxical tale of the good sinner to demonstrate the effects of original sin, and to show how the human propensity to sin in general can be coped with, just as long as the sinner does not despair.This book traces the story in its variations from Iceland to Egypt and from the twelfth to the twenty-first century.

Table of Contents

Hystoria rara et graciosa
France and England: Saint Gregoire and Seynt Gregory
Germany: Hartmann's Gregorius and the Latin Poems
A European Prose Tradition: Hagiography, Exempla, and the Gesta Romanorum
Degenerations: Chapbooks, Plays, Late Legends and Folktales
From the Romantics to Thomas Mann and Beyond
Invisible Sin
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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