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A Tale Of Two Dioceses: Prologues As Letters In The Vitae Authored By Jacques De Vitry And Thomas De Cantimpré

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Chapter Summary

Jacques de Vitry opened the vita with a description of Lige as a holy female wonderland, a place where saintly women levitated, jumped for joy, and performed a variety of saintly acts. The dynamics of the prologue raise a host of questions about Jacquess own fundamental motivations for writing the vita, as well as broader questions about the roles of prologues in hagiographical materials. Thomas De Cantimpr and Jacques were both important clerics of the thirteenth century, active in crusading and reform efforts. For scholars of Europes Central Middle Ages, hagiographical materials have proved vital not only for reconstructing a female-inclusive picture of the medieval era but also for examining the broader, dramatic, and even contradictory changes that defined Europe in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. The Vita Margarete, by contrast, is a relatively staid and prosaic work but one that was grounded firmly within a regional network.

Keywords: Jacques de Vitry; Thomas De Cantimpr; Vita Margarete



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