If and when you receive good off-list answers to this question, I hope
you'll share them with the rest of us. There's a lot of amazing material
in the Golden Legend that's either attributed to the wrong sources or not
attributed at all, and you're certainly not the only medieval-religionist
who'd love to know where some of it actually came from.
At 11:55 AM 12/20/2000 -0500, you wrote:
>Megan, I've forwarded your query to the Med-Gay listserv, asking its members
>to respond to you directly.
>Dr. Thomas L. Long, Ph.D.
>Thomas Nelson Community College
>PO Box 9407
>Hampton, Virginia 23670 USA
>Chairperson, VCCS Regional Centers for Teaching Excellence/Tidewater
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Megan McLaughlin [SMTP:[log in to unmask]]
>> Sent: Tuesday, December 19, 2000 11:52 AM
>> To: [log in to unmask]
>> Subject: Non-Festive Holiday Query
>> Greetings, listmates. Yesterday, while I was looking around for
>> something to read while consuming my lunch, my eyes fell on my copy
>> of the Golden Legend, and I thought I would read what James of
>> Voragine had to say about the Nativity. As he discusses the ways in
>> which all creatures bore witness to the birth of Christ, he throws
>> in the following:
>> "And even the sodomites gave witness by being exterminated wherever
>> they were in the world on that night, as Jerome says: 'A light rose
>> over them so bright that all who practiced this vice were wiped out;
>> and Christ did this in order that no such uncleanness might be found
>> in the nature he had assumed.' For, as Augustine says, God, seeing
>> that a vice contrary to nature was rife in human nature, hesitated to
>> become incarnate." (Ryan translation, pg. 41)
>> Now, reading this did not exactly lift my holiday spirits--in fact I
>> was left quite depressed by the savagery of the sentiment. But the
>> passage also left me puzzled. Based on what I've read about the
>> evolution of attitudes towards homosexuality, it seems unlikely that
>> Jerome actually thought all "sodomites" died at the first Christmas.
>> Does anyone have a clue, then, about when and where this nasty legend
>> Megan McLaughlin
>> Associate Professor of History and Women's Studies
>> University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
>> 309 Gregory Hall, 810 S. Wright St.
>> Urbana, IL 61801 U.S.A.
>> Phone: 217-244-2084
>> Fax: 217-333-2297
>> E-mail: [log in to unmask]