Zoltán Magyar, Motif-Index of Legends of Early Hungarian Saints


Zoltán Magyar, Motif-Index of Legends of Early Hungarian Saints

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The work of ethnologist Zoltán Magyar throws light on a relatively little-known segment of the dynastic cult of saints in Central European cultural history. The hagiographies and legends written on different members of the Árpádian dynasty, ruling in Hungary between the 11th and 13th centuries, and their contemporaries endowed with the aura of sanctity, occur not only in their medieval Hungarian legendry but have also become part of the liturgical tradition and the cult of saints on German, Polish and Byzantine soil. The thematic and generic variety of this legendry and its many folkloric implications show close parallels with another major work of medieval European hagiography: the legends of early Irish saints. The motif-index and generic catalogue compiled by Zoltán Magyar orders the epic traditions, based on 11th-16th century written sources, of twelve Hungarian royal saints who have become the subject of legends shortly after their death. Beside classification according to the type of legend heroes and themes, the book also contains an analysis of the biographical data, of the historical sources and of the primary motifs of hagiographies.   
Zoltán Magyar was born in 1967 and graduated in History, Literature and Ethnology from Debrecen University in 1993. He received his PhD from the same university, with a dissertation entitled 'Immortal and Returning Heroes: Variants of an international legend type in the Carpathian Basin'. Between 1993 and 1997 he worked as research fellow at  the University of Pécs and at the Hungarian National Museum; since 1997 he has been a senior member of the Institute of Ethnology, the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. So far he has published 36 books and nearly one hundred articles and has done extensive field work in Hungary as well as in Slovakia, Romania, Slovenia, Poland, Austria and Ireland.  His main fields of research include the historical legends, Hungarian folk beliefs, the cult of saints and the repertory of storytellers. 
Studien zur Literaturwissenschaft, Bd. 5

ISBN 9783933337658, Englisch-Broschur, 13x20 cm, 168 Seiten

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