Biographical Sketches of Memorable Christians of the Past is a collection of almost 300 brief biographies of saints, martyrs, theologians, and other notable figures in Christian history from apostolic times until the 20th century. Where applicable, information is also given about the person's key writings. The full list can be viewed alphabetically, chronologically, or by the date on which each figure is traditionally commemorated, and the relevant Anglican collects (brief prayers appropriate to a particular day) are also included. Although the individual biographies are quite short, and hence are chiefly suitable as a brief introduction to the figures covered, the number of biographies offered makes this a useful resource for those seeking an overview of church history. Most of the biographies were written by James Kiefer, and have been assembled and made available by the Society of Archbishop Justus. The material is also available in a slightly different format via the home page of Darren Provine.
Cynthia's Medieval Section is a Web page which makes available the research of Cynthia Whiddon Green on 6th century bishop and apostle St Kentigern (also known as St Mungo). Two resources are offered: Whiddon Green's MA thesis (including footnotes) on the life of St Kentigern, presented to the University of Houston in 1998, and her modern English translation, from the Latin, of the prologue and 45 chapters of 'The life of Kentigern', written by a 12th century monk named Jocelyn. Whiddon Green now combines teaching at Houston Community College and Lee College in Baytown with a singing career, and this Web page is hosted on the site of the group to which she belongs. The design of the site is basic, but functional, and the material may be of interest to those researching the life of this saint, or hagiography more generally.
The Hagiography Society's website provides information on the Society and its activities. The Society, founded in 1900, is based at the University of Wisconsin--Madison and aims to promote interdisciplinary communication between scholars whose work involves the study of early Christian and medieval saints' lives. Although the majority of the Society's members are based in north America, a significant proportion are from the UK and other European countries, and the Society sponsors sessions at conferences on both sides of the Atlantic. The website provides: an introduction to the Society; the latest edition of the Society's newsletter (in PDF format); a selection of relevant Web links; details on how to join and pay dues; and a questionnaire for any scholar (including non-members) working in the field who would like their details to be included in the Society's directory. This site would be of use to academics already researching in this area, and also students wishing to undertake further study in this field.
'Holy Women of Byzantium' is the electronic version of the first volume of a series of Byzantine saints' lives in English translation. The resource begins with an introduction on the genre of the 'vita' (the life of a saint) in general, and on the lives of female Byzantine saints in particular. Chapters on the lives on ten saints then follow. The saints chosen are from a variety of backgrounds and ways of life: there are sections on nuns disguised as monks, on solitaries, cenobitics (members of religious communities), married women saints, and one on Empress Theodora. This solid and scholarly resource, edited by Alice-Mary Talbot, provides full reference details.
One of the better quick reference websites available for Christian and church history is the Index of Saints. Created by Katherine Rabenstein for St Patrick's Catholic Church, Washington DC, the index presently contains over 11,000 entries on Christian saints or 'beati' from Patristic to modern times. Many of the entries offer brief historical and biographical sketches, and on occasion users may also find excerpts from some of the more literary of these blessed figures. Navigation of the site is not difficult, but may take a little getting used to: because the content is designed to be viewed as part of the site's 'Saint of the Day' feature, clicking on a name in the index takes the user to a list of those saints who share the same feast day, so it may be necessary to scroll down to find the relevant entry. Obviously, the material contained within these pages will be of use to anyone who needs brief introductory information on a particular Christian figure. However, those embarking on further research may wish to consult the rather extensive bibliography on saints and saints' lives contained in the source references section, accessible via a link at the bottom of the page.
The Life of King Edward the Confessor website gives access to a digitised version of the only copy of an illustrated Anglo-Norman verse life of St Edward the Confessor, probably originally written in the later 1230s or early 1240s. The manuscript is held by Cambridge University Library (Cambridge University Library MS.Ee.3.59), and consists of thirty-seven folios, with a total of sixty-four pictures. The images are of good quality, allowing the user to zoom in to areas closely, and each folio is accompanied by a brief description. Folios can be browsed from start to finish, or via a summary page showing thumbnails of the images, with their descriptions. The website provides a brief introduction to the manuscript, and suggestions for additional reading. This site would be of interest to scholars studying: art history; manuscript history; religious texts or medieval history.
The primary aim of the Military Martyrs website is to provide information about a selection of saints who were martyred whilst in military service during late antiquity and the early medieval period. The site offers entries for over 20 martyrs from Italy, Asia Minor, and North Africa. The entries include: English translations of martyrdom accounts; select bibliographies; links to related Web resources; information about the origin of the cults; and images (although not all of these are available for every martyr listed). The site also provides access to a selection of martyrologies and calendars, including the Calendar of Carthage; the Sinaite Calendar; and the Oxyrhynchite Calendar. A general bibliography on the history of Christian participation within the Roman army and the growth of the cult of the military martyrs is also available. The site is the work of David Woods of University College Cork.
The Old English Martyrology website contains an extensive annotated bibliography for use in the study of the 9th-century text of the same name. The site includes: indices for saints, feasts, and persons named in the manuscript; criticism on the dating and sources of composition for the text; and research on its language, style and historical importance in terms of earlier Anglo-Saxon hagiography. It was originally compiled as a guide to the extensive work on the sources of the Old English Martyrology by the late James E. Cross, of the University of Liverpool, but the bibliography now supersedes his work, covering publications on all aspects of the text. It should be noted however that the compiler of the bibliography suggests that it be used in conjunction with the 'Fontes Anglo-Saxonici' database, which gives more detail on specific saints. This resource would be of interest to students and scholars in the fields of Old English, manuscript studies and the history of religion.
The website of the Roman Martyrs Project describes a research project based at the University of Manchester, which investigated the 'gesta martyrum', over a hundred anonymous martyr romances from 5th and 6th century Rome. The site is of interest to those studying or researching theology, the history of Rome, the medieval church, martyrology, or Latin literature. The website offers an annotated handlist of 150 martyr saints, in which material from modern and ancient sources is cross-referenced. For a selection of saints there is a 'hagiographical dossier' with more detailed profiles of the myths, legends, and sources connected with them: these are provided as samples of the dossiers compiled by the Roman Martyr Project, which are available to researchers on request. An online database offers an index to the texts examined (free registration is necessary to search the database). The project received funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Board (AHRB) and the Leverhulme Trust.
Saints.SQPN.com is primarily an extensive database of information about saints. Profiles of over 5,000 saints, beati (that is, those who have been beatified or declared blessed, often as a preliminary to canonisation) and venerables (those declared 'heroic in virtue') are given: each includes brief biographical information, plus further details such as alternative or variant names, saint's day, and patronages (that is, the people or things of which the saint is patron). Many entries are accompanied by images, and there is is also a separate image galleries section. The site can be searched, or the list of saints can be viewed alphabetically, via a calendar, or by patronage. This website also offers several additional resources, including an online version of the New Catholic Dictionary, a substantial collection of papal documents (with information about the popes responsible for them), and a selection of downloadable ebooks by or about saints.
Sancti Epiphanii ad Physiologum is an online digital facsimile, with commentary, of a 16th century book containing a works attributed to and biography of Saint Epiphanius. The most substantial of these works is the Physiologus, a precursor to the medieval bestiary - a set of allegorical animal tales used as a means of teaching Christian values and doctrine. The book was published by Christopher Plantin in Antwerp in 1588, and is now in (and made available online by) the Special Collections department of the McPherson Library, University of Victoria, Canada. The commentary section of the site describes both the book itself (the binding, paper, and typefaces, for example) and its contents, giving an overview of each of the works included. Accompanying the facsimile is a transcription of selections of the Latin text (although no English translation is given). For those wishing to engage in further research, a bibliography is provided.
Sankt-Peterburgskii korpus agiograficheskikh tekstov [Saint Petersburg corpus of hagiographical texts] is a searchable database of medieval Slavic saints lives, constructed by the department of mathematical linguistics at the University of St Petersburg. It contains more than 50 manuscripts, with around 500,000 catalogued word usages. The word index may be searched in Old Slavic using an online keyboard, and results show the desired word (and lexical derivatives) in context. Unfortunately it is difficult to indentify the manuscript from which the results have been selected, and it is not possible to search only within selected manuscripts. The site is easy to navigate but requires a font download and works in Internet Explorer but not Firefox. A particularly pleasing feature is that the transcribed saints lives (dating from the fifteenth to the seventeenth century) can be downloaded in PDF or XML format. There are also several pages explaining: manuscript transcription, construction of the word index (accounting for multiple spelling variants; omission of superscript marks etc.); morphosyntactic mark-up; XML mark-up. This is a wonderful resource for researchers in the field of Slavic linguistics, palaeoslavistics and medieval Slavic culture.
The website of the Survey of Dedications to Saints in Medieval Scotland presents the results of a three-year Arts and Humanities Research Council funded research project based at the University of Edinburgh. The chief aim of the project was the creation of a searchable database of Scottish dedications to saints, in churches and elsewhere, dating from before 1560. This database, which consists of almost 12,000 records, is freely available via the website. The search interface offers a broad range of options, permitting users to find dedications by name or type of saint, name or type of devotee, date, or location. An interactive map showing the distribution of dedications across the country is also available. Alternatively, the entire database may be downloaded for further analysis. However, the more advanced features of site (particularly the interactive map) are not always particularly intuitive, so users need to be prepared to spend a little time experimenting to get the most out of this resource.
This is a Web page detailing the context, range, and availability of the dataset 'Trans-national Database and Atlas of Saints' Cults, c. 700-2000', hosted by the Economic and Social Data Service (ESDS), based at the UK Data Archive University of Essex (formerly part of the Arts and Humanities Data Service - AHDS). From this Web page you may download PDF and HTML files giving introductory information about the study. The data itself is available to order from the HDS as a set of tab delimited text files, though to make use of this dataset you must first register with the HDS: further information is supplied giving instructions. The Trans-national Database and Atlas of Saints' Cults aims to establish a parish-by-parish, commune-by-commune inventory of religious devotion in Europe and beyond. Evidence of cults saintly, angelic, and divine is built up from documentation and other sources, and centres on the dedications of churches and chapels and of subsidiary foci of devotion such as side altars, images, and lights. The datasets form an inventory of evidence for both official and popular devotion to and commemoration of religious figures and concepts ('cults') at the most local level at all periods.
The Vitae Patrum website provides an English translation of a collection of early Saints' Lives of the Desert Fathers which was compiled in the 17th century by Heribert Rosweyde. The translation of the text from Latin and the creation of the website was a personal retirement project of the Reverend Benedict Baker. This website would be of most value to readers who are not predominantly concerned with the nuancing of the original work because the introduction from the translator indicates that this project was undertaken without scholarly apparatus. The outcome is a useful and openly accessible Web resource which provides sections from all ten books of the Vitae Patrum, including: various Saints' Lives from the 3rd, 4th and 5th centuries; Sayings of the Fathers; extracts from the Dialogues of Severus Sulpicius and the Institutes and Conferences of John Cassian; Palladius' Lausiac History; and the Spiritual Meadow by John Moschus.