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skaldic

Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to Anon Mey 54VII

[All]: The story of S. Ursula and her 11,000 virgin martyr companions has some similarities to that of Sunniva. It was known in Iceland from Breta sögur (first half of C13th), a translation of Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Historia Regum Britaniae (c. 1136). There is also a brief epitome of the legend in a C14th ms. (Widding, Bekker-Nielsen and Shook 1963, 335). On the cult in Iceland, see Cormack 1994, 29, 34-5, 158. In its elaborated form, the legend of Ursula grew out of a veneration of a small number of unnamed virgins at Cologne in C4th, but, by the C12th, Ursula had become the daughter of a king of Britain. She, together with 11,000 virgins, went on a pilgrimage to Rome and, on their return journey they were murdered by the Huns at Cologne on account of their Christian faith.

References

  1. Bibliography
  2. Cormack, Margaret. 1994. The Saints in Iceland: Their Veneration from the Conversion to 1400. Studia Hagiographica 78. Brussels: Société des Bollandistes.

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