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A Maid with a DragonThe Cult of St Margaret of Antioch in Medieval England$
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Juliana Dresvina

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780197265963

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197265963.001.0001

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Iconography of St Margaret

Iconography of St Margaret

Chapter:
(p.173) 12 Iconography of St Margaret
Source:
A Maid with a Dragon
Author(s):

Juliana Dresvina

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197265963.003.0012

Chapter 12 addresses various aspects of the iconography of St Margaret’s legend. It traces the traditional depiction of the saint on top of the dragon to the ancient tradition of trampling down one’s enemy. It looks into the changes the morphology of Margaret’s dragon underwent in medieval images from the ninth to the sixteenth century and compares them with the dragon’s description in the written legends. It then discusses the cycles depicting several scenes of the saint’s life, as well as some recurring elements of her iconography such as daisies, pearls, crosses, girdles or belts, and even herons. Finally, it links the legend of St Margaret with a folk tale known as a Cinderella-cycle, illustrating how elements of Margaret’s iconography were recycled for the use of later saints such as St Dympna and even for Disney’s princesses.

Keywords:   iconography, dragon, trampling down, heron, pearl, daisy, St Dympna, Cinderella, Disney, nurse

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