Practices, Definitions & Abbreviations


Codex Information

uni- a unitary entity (complete ms as it was originally copied and bound).
compo - a composite entity, two or more separately made mss bound together.
frag- a small fragment of a ms.
def- a ms that is missing some folii or has damage to folii, but that is mostly complete.
unknown - difficult to determine which of the above categories is appropriate.
blank - no information yet collected

Lives & Legends

Lives and legends: stories about saints can be written either as independent biographies or as entries in a dictionary of saints or of other holy people.

Independent biographies (Lives) can be copied and bound together from early in their existence, but their length and internal coherence (often signaled by a prologue & epilogue that contain the author's explanation of how and why she or he wrote the text) continue to indicate their independent status. When they are bound together, it is rarely in comparable numbers to those of the legends contained in works like the Golden Legend.

There are a few examples of small compilations of Lives that were composed as compilations (rather than bound together), which is evident from their general prologues. Although they are not independent texts, we consider each story to be a Life because it is not in an encyclopedic compendium, and it would therefore be more likely to be read as literature rather than as a simple source of information.

Dictionary-form stories (legends) occur in compilations like Jacobus de Voragine's Legenda Aurea (Golden Legend) and its many French translations, and like the Vita Patrum (Lives of the Fathers). The stories are not seen as independent texts, but as parts of the whole compilation. They may have introductory and/or concluding comments, but this material does not indicate that they are separate compositions.

Legends can be copied into groups of biographies (Lives); they are then seen as existing independently from their source, even if still belonging to a (new) collection of stories. They therefore become Lives.
A text on its own, without other Lives/legends, is a Life, no matter what its form.

The Lives of the Saints Project will include:

The Lives of the Saints Project will, at least initially, exclude all legends that are only copied within a translation of the Golden Legend, the Lives of the Fathers, or a similar text (some may be included as "Other Representations"); such a translation may be full or partial. 

Libraries and their abbreviations (contained within the Saints Project)

Avranches, Bfa
Avranches, Bibliothèque du fonds ancien Hôtel de Ville (2ème étage) Place Littré, B.P. 23850302 AVRANCHES Cedex
Brussels, Br
Brussels, Bibliothèque Royale de Belgique
Cambrai, Bm
Cambrai, Bibliothèque municipale
Carlisle, Cath
Carlisle, Cathedral Library
Chantilly, Condé
Chantilly, Musée Condé
New Bruns., Gardner
New Brunswick, New Brunswick Theological Seminary, Gardner A. Sage Library
Hildesheim, St Godehard’s Basilica
Leipzig, KMU
Leipzig, Karl-Marx-Universität
Lille, Bm
Lille, Bibliothèque municipale
London, BL
London, British Library Library
Lyon, Bm
Lyon, Bibliothèque municipale
Manchester, JR
Manchester, John Rylands, French
Oxford, Bodl
Oxford, Bodleian Library
Oxford, CorpChr
Oxford, Corpus Christi Library
Oxford, QC
Oxford, Queen's College Library
Paris, Bnf Paris Bibliothèque nationale de France
Paris, BnF fr.
Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, fonds français
Paris, BnF
Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, nouvelles acquisitions françaises
Paris, Ars
Paris, Arsenal
Paris, Maz
Paris, Mazarine
The Hague, KB
The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek
Vatican, Vat. lat. Vatican Library (Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana), Vaticanus latinus