Oxford Dictionary of Saints

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9780198691204: Oxford Dictionary of Saints

Praised as "splendid" (The Economist) and "the kind of book that gives hagiography a good name" (The Times), this entertaining and authoritative dictionary breathes life into its subjects and is as browsable as it is informative. First published in 1978, the Oxford Dictionary of Saints offers more than 1,700 fascinating and informative entries covering the lives, cults, and artistic associations of saints from around the world. Ranging from the famous to the obscure, the rich to the poor, and the academic to the uneducated, the saints profiled here come from all walks of life, from all periods of history, and from around the world, reflecting a wide variety of personalities and achievements. This revised fifth edition includes appendices containing maps of pilgrimage sites, a list of saints' patronages and iconographical emblems, and a calendar of principal feasts.

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Review:

More than 1,300 saints are profiled in this most readable, extensive, and enlightening of references. Curious about the saint you're named after? Attending a feast day for a saint you never heard of? Want an obscure saint to include in your historical novel? Or merely desirous of the kind of feet-up-by-the-fire perusal that only a well-written reference text can provide? David Farmer's compilation of saints includes all English saints; all saints of whom there is or was a notable cult; important saints from Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and the rest of Europe; and recently canonized saints. Arranged alphabetically, the dictionary starts with Abbo of Fleury, ends with Zosimus of Syracuse, and includes Pelagia of Antioch, Crispina of Tagora, Cunegund the empress, and a wide assortment of other martyrs, popes, spiritual seers, and those, such as Crispin of Viterbo, who were canonized simply for their humble lives and Christian faith. There's also a wonderful appendix of the principal patronages of saints--telling, for example, who's the patron saint of healthy dogs (Hubert) and mad dogs (Sithney), plus an index of the main iconographical emblems of saints, another of places, and a calendar of feast days. --Stephanie Gold

About the Author:


David Hugh Farmer, formerly Reader in History at Reading University, is the author or editor of nine books.

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