Jacobus de Voragine
(c. 1230 - 1298)
Born near Genoa around 1229, Jacobus entered the Dominican order in 1244, was twice appointed head of ecclesiastical affairs in Lombardy, and served as the archbishop of his birthplace from 1292 until his death in 1298. He completed his book on the lives of saints, the Golden Legend, around 1265, intending to provide preachers with a resource from which to draw instructive anecdotes. The book abounds with implausible stories of miracle and wonder and was popular throughout medieval Europe and widely translated, being one of the first books to be printed in English.