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Basic Information

A hagiography, (from the Greek ağios, meaning “holy” or “saint” and graphēin, meaning “to write”), is a biography of a saint or holy person.

During the Middle Ages, "Lives of the Saints", telling the miracles and martyrdoms of the Great Heroes of the Church, were popular works amongst those who could read, and used as the basis for teaching those who couldn't.

In modern times, the term "hagiography" is sometimes used to deride biographies which are overly deferential and worshipful of their subjects.

Some Notable Saints

See Also


Game and Story Use

  • Hagiographies might be sources of material for interesting NPCs
    • or imaginative ways for evil NPCs to torture martyrs.
    • a particularly perverse culture might use lurid hagiography as a form of torture-porn (much as certain religious stories were used in the real world as an excuse to paint naked women disguised as "sacred art").
  • If a relatively obscure saint from the past, (or one you made up), is relevant to your game, you can have your player research him in a hagiography.
  • In a campaign where theurgy is a significant feature, a hagiography might also contain crucial details that allow a theurge to invoke the intercession of a given saint. Alternatively, it might include "cleric spells" developed by the saint.
    • For those playing a setting inspired by the classic cRPG Darklands hagiographies are presumably a big part of learning how to call on saintly assistance.
  • A hagiography might also contain useful details about evils that the saint defeated or bound in life or other battles or rituals that he participated in.
  • It might also contain clues to where to find relics of the saint (or other saints) or even treasures.
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