Who was the real historical figure behind Santa Claus? In this module, we will read aloud the earliest biographical sources about fourth century bishop, St Nicholas of Myra. Your preceptor will facilitate discussions of Nicholas' historical context and examine the development of his legend. Together, we will examine Byzantine stories of Nicholas' benefaction and miracles, his role as patron saint of seafarers, students and merchants (among others), and how he came to embody the tradition of gift-giving in Christendom. A wonderful end-of-year treat!
The preceptor for this course has been collaborating with Dr Amelia Brown on the first academic translation of the medieval sources and would be delighted to share the translations with the class. Alternatively, many of the translations are available on the web at https://www.stnicholascenter.org/who-is-st-nicholas/stories-legends/classic-sources.
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