The Old French Verse Life of Saint Eufrosine

Reddit icon
e-mail icon
Twitter icon
Facebook icon
Google icon
LinkedIn icon
Amy V. Ogden
  • New York: 
    Modern Language Association of America
    , January
     192 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.


As a young woman from a wealthy family, Eufrosine was expected to marry a nobleman. Instead, she wanted to serve God. So she cut her hair, dressed as a man, and traveled to a monastery, becoming a monk named Emerald. 

Adapted from a Latin source, this saint’s life dates to about 1200 CE. Devout yet erotic, lyrical yet didactic, it blends hagiography with romance and epic in order to engage and inspire a broad audience. The tale invites readers to rethink preconceived notions of the Middle Ages, the relation between spiritual and secular values, and ideas about the history of sexuality, identity, and family. 

Only fragments of the poem have been previously translated. This edition includes the first full translation alongside the Old French original as well as a glossary and other supporting material.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Amy V. Ogden


Reading Religion welcomes comments from AAR members, and you may leave a comment below by logging in with your AAR Member ID and password. Please read our policy on commenting.