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'Vie et miracles de saint Josse' de Jean Miélot

pISBN: 978-2-503-51769-8
eISBN: 978-2-503-57410-3
doi: 10.1484/M.TVMA-EB.5.112554
Download: PDF(9.69MB)


Vie et Miracles de saint Josse was written in 1449. Jean Miélot was a translator and writer in the service of the Dukes of Burgundy. The manuscript, which was written by the author himself, is preserved in the Royal Library of Brussels, no. 10958. The greater part of the text is a translation, but a few pages of the manuscript have been copied by Miélot from other sources, and some parts have been composed by Miélot himself. Another manuscript, which is a copy of the original, is preserved in the Municipal Library of Valenciennes. Only a few pages of the manuscript have been published before.

Saint Josse (Jodocus, Judocus) was born in Brittany about 600, son to a local king. He left his home for Picardy, where he met Duke Haymon. He was ordained and served Haymon for seven years. Afterwards he withdrew to the solitude along the river Canche, where he built a hermitage, which was transformed into a church by the Duke. After his death on the 13th of December c. 668, his body was buried in his church. Saint Josse has been venerated in large parts of Europe, not only in France, Belgium and Great Britain, but also in the countries along the Rhine; in the south as far as Slovenia and in the north as far as Scandinavia. Even in the fourteenth century, he was well-known in England - Chaucer's Wife of Bath swears by God and by Seint Joce.

His life was written in latin in several versions, the first from about 800. Pierre de Beauvais wrote the first Life of Saint Josse in French, in octosyllabic verses, in the beginning of the thirteenth century. In the introduction to this edition the relationship of the latin lives and Miélot's translation is discussed. There is also an investigation of the author's language and style. Miélot's vocabulary is large and contains several words which have not been attested before. The text is followed by explanatory notes, an index of proper names and a glossary. The illustrations at the end of the edition consist of thirteen of the miniatures of the Brussels manuscript and three drawings representing Miélot and his workroom, taken from another Miélot manuscript, preserved in the Royal Library of Copenhagen.

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