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Title: An edition of Owayne Miles and other Middle English texts concerning St. Patrick's Purgatory
Author: Easting, Robert
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 1977
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St. Patrick's Purgatory is today a pilgrimage centre on Station Island in Lough Derg, County Donegal, Ireland. From the late twelfth to fifteenth centuries the site was one of the most famous pilgrimage centres in Western Europe. Its popularity was spread principally through transmission of a late twelfth century Latin work, the Tractatus de Purgatorio Sancti Patricii, by a Cistercian monk usually known as Henry of Saltrey, or Sawtry in Huntingdonshire. This work tells of the founding of the Purgatory by St. Patrick. During his conversion of the pagan Irish, Patrick prayed to Christ for assistance, and the Purgatory was revealed to him as a physical entrance to the otherworld. Pilgrims spending a day and a night in the 'cave' of the Purgatory would pass bodily through purgatory, and if firm of faith, would also enter the Earthly Paradise. Provided that no unshriven mortal sins were subsequently committed, such a sojourn was deemed sufficient penance to exempt the pilgrim from purgatory after death. The Tractatus also tells of the visit to the Purgatory by an Irish knight, Owayne. His experiences were reported to Henry of Saltrey by another Cistercian monk, Gilbert, former abbot of Basingwerk, Flintshire. In various versions this Tractatus was widely copied throughout Europe, and translated into most Western European vernaculars from Dutch and Spanish to Norwegian. Pilgrims from as far afield as Italy and Hungary have, amongst others, left reports of their visits to the Purgatory, nearly all drawing to a greater or lesser degree on Henry of Saltrey's Tractatus. Six Middle English verse versions were made of Owayne's adventures in the Purgatory. [continued in text ...]
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Legends