The pilgrimage route to Compostela is graced with an exceptional witness from its early days: the Liber Sancti Jacobi or Book of Saint James. This book is found most famously in a twelfth-century manuscript from the library of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, as well as in various other manuscripts. The text provides an encyclopedia on Saint James the Great and on the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, the traditional site of his burial in Galicia in northwestern Spain.
Of the five books included in the manuscript, Books II and III, published here in English translation, deal directly with the cult surrounding Saint James. In twenty-two chapters, Book II recounts twenty-five of the miracles attributed to the saint after his death. These occurred across a wide geographic area between the years 1100 and 1135. Although these represent a limited period, it is a very important one in the development of the cult of Saint James and the establishment of his cult site at Compostela.
Book III gathers elements from a variety of sources and weaves them together into a prologue and four chapters describing the transfer of Saint James’s body to Santiago de Compostela from the Holy Land, where legend says he was beheaded by Herod.
Together these two books of the Liber Sancti Jacobi provide a comprehensive description of the power and importance of the saint, reflecting his significance and the significance of Santiago de Compostela as one of the three major Christian pilgrimage sites during the Middle Ages.
230 pages. Preface, introduction, notes, bibliography, index, and illustrations.
This volume is part of the Italica Press Compostela Project.