The manuscript AM 429 12mo was written c. 1500 for the use of the nuns at the Benedictine monastery KirkjubŠr in southern Iceland, from which it derives its name, KirkjubŠjarbˇk. The book was probably made in the nearby Augustine monastery, ŮykkvibŠr. It comprises ten texts that were translations of Latin legends based on female saints, relating their terrible suffering and later martyrdom. The majority of the female saints were among the most venerated in Iceland. The manuscript is beautifully illustrated, making it unique in an Icelandic context, which may explain why it survived the Reformation. The text is reproduced in a diplomatic version, which on the CD-ROM is accompanied by a normalized version as well as the Latin texts.
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Kirsten Wolf is Professor of Scandinavian Languages at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
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