Welsh Saints’ Lives as Legendary Propaganda

Abstract

Although some medieval legends may have naturally evolved from folklore, others, including the legend of St. David of Wales, are known to have been deliberately constructed as propaganda. This article describes the political situation in Wales in the late eleventh century, and presents the composition of the Life of St David by Rhigyfarch in the light of the western Church’s view of penance and almsgiving. Glimpses are afforded of details from the legend to illustrate its style.

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