SAINTS HOME - Saints Index   |   Bestiaria Latina Blog   |   Religious Reading Blog




Margarita

July 20
Ryan 93
Maggioni 89
Caxton (English)
Latin Offices
Breviary
wikipedia
Catholic Encyclopedia
Catholic Forum
Catholic Online
St. Patrick's (DC)

Margaret and the Dragon

Visit the blog to leave questions or comments

After Philip and the dragon, plus Daniel and the dragon, I thought it was time to give the ladies a chance, so here is Margaret and the dragon.

As you will see, the author of the Legenda Aurea is not impressed by the story of Margaret and the dragon, and tells it only very briefly, so I've also included the subsequent dialogue between Margaret and the demon. This dialogue includes an interesting reference to a story about King Solomon trapping demons inside a bottle. Solomon was famous for his magical power to control demons, and this wikipedia article about the "Seal of Solomon" makes reference to Solomon putting demons in a bottle.

For more about Margaret, see wikipedia, Catholic Encyclopedia, Catholic Forum, and Catholic Online. Her feast day was traditionally July 20, but her cult has been suppressed. You can read an English translation of the Golden Legend online. A life of Margaret written in Middle English verse is also available online. Here is how it describes the encounter with the dragon:

Holye mayde Margarete loked her besyde.
There sche sawe a lothelye dragon in a corner glyde,
Brennynge as the blake fyre. His mouthe he gaped wyde.
That mayde wexed alle greene as the gresse in someres tyde.
The lowe fleye oute from his tonge as the fyre of brymeston.
That mayde felle to grounde tylle sche craked everye boone.
He toke her up in his mowthe; he swalowed her anoon;
Thorugh vertue of her he braste, that harme hadde sche noon.
Holye mayde Margarete uppon that dragon stoode;
Blysfulle was her herte and glad was her mode.
"Iblessed be Thou, Jhesu Cryste; Thi myghte is fulle good.
Now slayne is this dragon thorugh vertu of the Roode."

Margaret's legend is #93 in Ryan's English edition, and this Latin text is from #89 in Maggioni's edition. As the story opens, Margaret has just been tortured for her refusal to renounce Christianity and for her rejection of Olibrius, the chief official who is trying to seduce her.

Deinde eam deponi fecit et eam in carcerem recludi iussit et mira ibi claritas fulsit. Ubi dum esset oravit dominum ut inimicum qui secum pugnabat sibi visibiliter demonstraret.

Et ecce, draco immansissimus ibidem apparuit. Qui dum eam devoraturus impeteret, signum crucis edidit et ille evanuit, vel, ut alibi legitur, os super caput eius ponens et linguam super calcaneum porrigens ipsam protinus deglutivit, sed dum eam absorbere vellet, signo crucis se munivit et ideo draco virtute crucis crepuit et virgo illesa exivit.

Book of Hours and Prayer Book. Southern Netherlands; c. 1490-1500. Dutch National Library.

(Istud autem quod dicitur de draconis devoratione et ipsius crepatione, apocryphum et frivolum reputatur.)

Dyabolus iterum ut eam decipere posset in speciem hominis se mutavit. Quem videns in orationem se dedit et dum surrexisset, dyabolus ad eam accessit et manum tenens dixit: "Sufficiat tibi quod fecisti, iam nunc cessa de mea persona!" Illa autem eum per caput apprehendit et sub se ad terram deiecit et super cervicem eius dextrum pedem posuit dicens: "Sternere, superbe demon, sub pedibus femine!" Demon autem clamabat: "O beata Margarita, superatus sum. Si iuvenis me vinceret, non curassem. Ecce, a tenera puella superatus sum et inde plus doleo quia pater et mater mici mei fuerunt."

Illa vero eum coegit ut diceret cur venisset. Qui se venisse ait ut sibi consuleret quod monitis presidis obediret. Coegit quoque ut diceret cur christianos tam multipliciter temptaret. Qui respondit naturale odium sibi esse contra viros virtuosos et quamvis sepe ab eis repellatur, sepe tamen desiderio seducendi infestus existit et quia invidet homini de felicitate quam ipse amisit quamvis eam recuperare non possit ipsam tamen aliis auferre contendit.

Addiditque quod Salomon infinitam demonum multitudinem in quodam vase inclusit, sed post mortem suam cum de illo vase demones ignem mitterent et homines ibidem magnum esse thesaurum putarent, vas confregerunt et demones exeuntes aerem impleverunt.

Hiis dictis virgo pedem sublevavit dicens: "Fuge, miser!" Et demon statim evanuit.

 


© The segmented texts, annotations and audio files at BestLatin.net are copyrighted by Laura Gibbs, 2006. No copyright is claimed for any images.