This chapter demonstrates how Jacopo de Varagine drew upon a complex collection of sources in compiling and writing his book of saints' lives and other feasts of the liturgical calendar. In learning about how Jacopo's mind worked, the chapter extracts what he reprocessed from the writings of others, such as Giovanni Paolo Maggioni, Bartholomew of Trent, and Alain Boureau, as well as what was truly original about his book. It focuses on the themes—feasts and sanctity, suicide and martyrdom, Jews and pagans—Jacopo chose to emphasize in the entries, giving him the widest scope for originality. This conception of human and sacred history informed his thinking about topics as diverse as the cult of the saints, natural disasters, ancient Rome and the end of pagan rites, and family life.
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