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A Commentary on Nigel of Canterbury’s Miracles of the Virgin

A Commentary on Nigel of Canterbury’s Miracles of the Virgin

Jan M. Ziolkowski

ISBN 9780884024941

Publication date: 01/03/2023

Nigel of Canterbury, also known as Longchamp and Whiteacre, wrote toward the end of the so-called Twelfth-Century Renaissance. He was a Benedictine monk of Christ Church when Thomas Becket was martyred, and a star of Anglo-Latin literature while the Angevin kings held sway over a vast empire that encompassed not only the British Isles but also western France.

The Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library volume features, alongside the Latin, the first-ever English translation of Nigel’s second-longest poem, Miracles of the Virgin. The Miracles is the oldest extant collection of versified miracles of Mary in Latin and indeed in any language. The seventeen narratives, telling a gamut of tales from diabolic pacts to pregnant abbesses, gave scope for Nigel to display skills as a storyteller and stylist, while recounting the miraculous mercy of the Virgin. This supplement offers an extensive commentary to facilitate appreciation of the Miracles as poetry by a medieval writer deeply imbued in the long tradition of Latin literature.


  • Ziolkowsi’s commentary is unquestionably thorough, penetrating and erudite.

    —Robert Nixon, O.S.B., American Benedictine Review


  • Jan M. Ziolkowski is Arthur Kingsley Porter Professor of Medieval Latin in the Department of the Classics at Harvard University.

Book Details

  • 280 pages
  • 5-1/4 x 8 inches
  • Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection

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