Clothes Make the Man: The Legend of Gold (Excerpt)

3 Apr

Legenda aurea; sep siecles de diffusion

Quae non credit muilier est et adhuc corporei sexus appellatione signatur; nam quae credit occurrit in virum perfectum.

[She who does not believe is a woman and should be called by the name of her corporeal sex; but she who believes comes closer to the perfect male.]

“In the thirteenth through the fifteenth centuries, translations of legendaries containing accounts of disguised saints circulated throughout Europe. Stories of Euphrosyne, Marina and Pelagia occur in French, German, Low German, and Italian versions, in both poetic and prose renditions. The numerous translations and adaptations of Voragine’s Legenda aurea which includes the lives of Eugenia, Margareta, Marina, Natalia, Pelagia, Thecla and Theodora of Alexandria, firmly established the disguished saint in western hagiography.”

The Legenda aurea was printed at least one hundred and fifty-six times before 1500, more often than the Bible.

Valerie R. Hotchkiss, Clothes Make the Man, Female Cross Dressing in Medieval Europe (New York and London, Garland publishing, Inc.,1996).


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