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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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Done to death: the torture of St Margaret in historical perspective

Done to death: the torture of St Margaret in historical perspective

(p.149) 10 Done to death: the torture of St Margaret in historical perspective
A Maid with a Dragon

Juliana Dresvina

British Academy

Chapter 10 discusses the part played in the martyrdom narrative of torture, redirecting attention from its sexual component and the interplay between violence and desire to examination of the variety of the torture employed in the legend and the way it changes through time and between languages. The chapter suggests that despite the stability of the martyr narrative the types of torture could vary from one version to another depending on the time and place of composition. Even if the change in punitive practices had little direct impact on the development of the legend, it is useful to consider the diverse ways these practices may have been perceived throughout the centuries of the legend’s lively circulation in medieval Europe.

Keywords:   torture, legend, punitive practice, violence, execution, martyr, crime, law, justice, ordeal

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