Curious Myths of the Middle Ages Paperback
by Sabine Baring-Gould. Edition Date:: 09/12/2013
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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can usually download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1889 edition. Excerpt: ... A MORE interesting task for the comparative mythologist can hardly be found, than the analysis of the legends attaching to this celebrated soldier-martyr; -- interesting, because these legends contain almost unaltered representative myths of the Semitic and Aryan peoples, and myths which may be traced with certainty to their respective roots. The popular traditions current relating to the Cappadocian martyr are distinct in the East and the West, and are alike sacred myths of faded creeds, absorbed into the newer faith, and recolored. On dealing with these myths, we are necessarily drawn into the discussion as to whether such a person as St. George existed, and if he did exist, whether he were a Catholic or a heretic. Eusebius says (Eccl. Hist. B. viii. c. 5), "Immediately on the first promulgation of the edict (of Diocletian), a certain man of no mean origin, but highly esteemed for his temporal dignities, as soon as the decree was published against the Churches in Nicomedia, stimulated by a divine zeal, and excited by an ardent faith, took it as it was openly placed and posted up for public inspection, and tore it to pieces as a most profane and wicked act. This, too, was done when two of the Caesars were in the city, the first of whom was the eldest and chief of all, and the other held the fourth grade of the imperial dignity after him. But this man, as the first that was distinguished there in this manner, after enduring what was likely to follow an act so daring, preserved his mind calm and serene until the moment when his spirit fled." This martyr, whose name Eusebius does not give, has been generally supposed to be St. George, and if so, this is nearly all we know authentic concerning him. But popular as a saint he unquestionably...