The Legend of St Eustace

The latest medieval manuscript to go online is B.11.5, a 13th-century French Psalter once owned by Goring Priory. It includes illustrations of the legend of the 2nd-century saint, Eustace, as follows:

A Roman military officer called Placida was hunting near Tivoli and saw a vision of Christ between the antlers of a stag.

B.11.5, f.15v
B.11.5, f.15v

Taking the name Eustace, he immediately converted to Christianity and was baptised with his wife and sons. His faith was soon tested by separation from his family after his wife was taken during a sea voyage

B.11.5, f.16r
B.11.5, f.16r

and his sons were carried away by beasts while they were crossing a river together.

B.11.5, f.17v
B.11.5, f.17v

His family was restored to him. However, when Eustace refused to take part in a pagan ceremony

B.11.5, f.18r
B.11.5, f.18r

they were all sentenced to be roasted to death inside the statue of a bull.

B.11.5, f.19v
B.11.5, f.19v

Other medieval depictions of the legend can be found in a painting by Pisanello (c. 1438-42) in the National Gallery, in stained glass in Chartres Cathedral and in a wall painting in Canterbury Cathedral.

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