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Medieval miracle stories from a major pilgrim destination in 12c France.In the second half of the twelfth century Rocamadour developed an international reputation as a centre of devotion to the Virgin Mary, drawing pilgrims from Spain, Italy, Germany, England and the Latin East as well as France, as witnessed by the 126 miracle stories written there in 1172-3, here translated for the first time. Reflecting and enhancing Rocamadour's status (aristocratic figures feature prominently), they throw light on many of the dangers faced by medieval men and women: illness and injury; imprisonment; warfare; arbitrary justice; and natural disasters.
In his introduction Marcus Bull identifies issues which the collection helps to elucidate, and assesses the value of the text as source material, particularly in view of the lack of other chronicles from southern France for the period. He makes comparisons with other texts, such as the miracle collection compiled at the shrine of Thomas Becket at Canterbury, and argues that the monks of Rocamadour asserted their importance through the miracles, in the face of competition from neighbouring monastic communities.
Dr MARCUS BULL is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Historical Studies at the University of Bristol.
BISAC HIS037010, REL077000
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Elegant and fluent translation of a colourful collection of tales... The value of the text for those interested in monastic religion is obvious... All medieval historians will be united in ackn owledging the considerable debt they owe to Bull for opening up this text. ENGLISH HISTORICAL REVIEW