Jacobus de Voragine
Author of the Golden Legend, Jacobus de Voragine/ James of Voragine (c. 1228/1229-1298), was archbishop of Genoa, prior of the convent of Asti in 1266, and director of Dominican spiritual life in Lombardy, Italy from 1267-1277 and 1281-1286. He wrote one of the most popular hagiographies in the Middle Ages: The Golden Legend (Legenda aurea). Intended as a quick reference for the clergy, the Golden Legend is a collection of saints’ lives and liturgical and doctrinal instruction. Over 1,000 manuscripts of the Latin version survive today and there are another 500 extant manuscripts of translations into the European vernaculars— testaments to the popularity of the Legend. In addition to the Golden Legend, Jacobus also wrote 159 sermons on the Dominical gospels, 98 sermons for Lent, the Mariale—an encyclopedia of words ascribed to the Virgin, and other liturgical writings based on his time as archbishop of Genoa.
 Alain Boureau, “Jacobus de Voragine,” in Encyclopedia of the Middle Ages, ed. by André Auchez (Cambridge: James Clarke & Co, 2000); Eamon Duffy, “Introduction to the 2012 Edition,” in The Golden Legend: Readings on the Saints, by Jacobus de Voragine, translated by William Granger Ryan, xi-xx (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1993).