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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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PRINTED FROM BRITISH ACADEMY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.britishacademy.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright British Academy, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in BASO for personal use.date: 24 May 2022

Iconography of St Margaret

Iconography of St Margaret

(p.173) 12 Iconography of St Margaret
A Maid with a Dragon

Juliana Dresvina

British Academy

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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