Hagiography and National Consciousness: The case of Sant Beuno of Wales

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Stöber, KarenStöber, Karen - ORCID ID
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cc-by-nc-nd (c) Edicions de la Universitat de Lleida, 2019
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This article looks at ways in which the political situation in medieval Wales was reflected in the writings of native authors, and in particular in the medieval Welsh hagiography. It discusses how native Welsh saints were used, on the one hand, as tools of propaganda and portrayed as defenders and protectors of their land in the face of the foreign, English adversary, and on the other, how they served to promote and justify the native Welsh church and emphasise its antiquity and its primacy vis-à-vis the advancing Anglo-Norman church. Focusing on one popular figure among the multitude of Welsh saints, the case of Saint Beuno, who is little-known outside Wales, the article then explores the ways in which this holy man’s vita was constructed and used as a ‘nationalist’ device, tying it in with other examples of ‘nationalist’ Welsh literature composed during times of political crises.
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Imago temporis: medium Aevum, 2019, núm. 13, p. 41-54