Vida de Santa Eufrosina




Uida de euffrossina ffilha de panuncio

Vida de Santa Eufrosina

Vida de Eufrosina de Alexandria

Original Latin source

Vita Sanctae Euphrosinae (lt.011)

Textual localization  

It belongs to a manuscript with about twenty different texts entitled Colecção Mystica de Fr. Hylario da Lourinhãa, Monge Cisterciense de Alcobaça, o qual transcreveo o seguinte no idioma Portuguez (Códice Alcobacense 266, ALC. 462).


Old Portuguese



At the beginning of the Códice Alcobacense 266 it is stated that the translator of the texts  was Frei Hilário (of which almost nothing is known, except that he came from Lourinhã and was a monk at the Monastery of Alcobaça - Castro et alii, 1982-83: 5), but this information does not seem reliable.  In fact, although paleographically the manuscript is dated to the fifteenth century, some of its texts have an older language and there are signs of at least three different scribes. According to Castro et alii (1982/83: 6), it is possible that the three have worked in the scriptorium of Alcobaça during the time D. Estêvão de Aguiar was the abbot of the Monastery (between 1431 and 1446) and that Frei Hilário had the responsibility to compile the texts and copy or translate some.

Translation’s contextualization  

The Códice Alcobacense 266, a manuscript from the fifteenth century, is a collection of lives of saints known by its eighteenth century title: Colecção Mystica de Fr. Hylario da Lourinhãa, Monge Cisterciense de Alcobaça, o qual transcreveo o seguinte no idioma Portuguez.

The life of St. Euphrosyne will have been translated from the Latin between the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, but it is uncertain if the original text was one of the existing Latin manuscripts in Portugal.

In addition to several versions in Latin, there are translations into other languages, like French, Italian, Catalan or German (see Hill 1919: 163-168).


The dating of the Códice Alcobacense 266 is controversial, because there are significant differences in terms of the dates for which the researchers point out. Recent studies indicate that the dating of the codex is between 1431 and 1446. This does not mean, however, that this specific text has been produced at that time (in fact, it was probably produced between the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries), although some researchers argue that the codex was the result of a unitary project and that, therefore, all texts were produced on the same period (see Sobral 1993: 673).


The text has been translated/copied probably in the scriptorium of the Monastery of Alcobaça, where the codex was made.

Changes to the original work


Hagiographic text about the life of St. Euphrosyne and her in the monastery, disguised as a man to avoid marriage. Her father, heartbroken, seeks comfort in that convent and turns out to be his daughter’s confident. Only 38 years later, near her death, she reveals to him her true identity.

Women disguised as a man to pursue a monastic life was a commonplace in medieval hagiography, so this text presents similarities with other holy narratives, as St. Pelagia or St. Theodora of Alexandria. According to Delehaye (1906: 230; Machado, 1993: 672), there are also  many similarities between this text and the Life of St. Pelagia: maternal sterility, birth as a reward for parental devotion, wisdom at a young age, beauty, marriage refusal. This does not mean, however, that the text is a copy based on another hagiography.

List of manuscript witnesses


There is one witness of the text, in the National Library of Portugal, inserted between folios 42v and 50v of the manuscript with the reference ALC. 462 that comes from the Monastery of Alcobaça (Códice Alcobacense 266). There is a microfilm of the manuscript at the Torre do Tombo (Mf 185), its previous owner.

List of old editions

In Portuguese, there is are no old editions from this text.

Witnesses’ contextualization 

It is from the fourteenth or fifteenth century and is the only known Portuguese translation.

Other data

The manuscript is on parchment and it is written in Gothic characters from the late fourteenth century or beginning of the fifteenth century in a single column of 30 lines. The initials are colored and decorated with filigree. The leaves have the size of 263 × 180 mm. The previous owners were Torre do Tombo and the Monastery of Alcobaça.



CASTRO, Ivo et alii (1984-85), "Vidas de santos de um manuscrito alcobacense (II): Vida de Eufrosina, Vida de Santa Maria Egipcíaca", Revista Lusitana. Nova Série 5, 43-71

CORNU, Jules (1882), "Anciens textes portugais (Vie de sainte Euphrosyne, Vie de sainte Marie Egyptienne, fragments pieux)", Romania 11, 357-365.

DIAS, Epiphanio (1903-05), "Notas críticas a textos portugueses. I. 'Vida de Santa Euphrosina', 'Vida de Santa Maria Egypcia'", Revista Lusitana 8, 179-183.


Online edition:

Corpus Informatizado do Português Medieval: Vidas de Santos de um Manuscrito Alcobacense - Séc. XIII/XIV, VS6


Online database:

Philobiblon: Texid 1086; Manid 1143; CNum 1070



CEPEDA, Isabel Vilares (1995), Bibliografia da Prosa Medieval em Língua Portuguesa. Lisboa: Instituto da Biblioteca Nacional e do Livro, 220.

COSTA, Sara Figueiredo (2003), "A construção dos tempos do ‘passado' em alguns textos do século XV - Sete Vidas de Santos do Códice Alcobacense 266", Actas do XVIII Encontro Nacional da Associação Portuguesa de Linguística, 267-273.

DELEHAYE, H. (1906), Les légendes hagiographiques. Bruxelles: Bureaux de la Société des Bollandistes.

HILL, Raymond T. (1919) La Vie de Sainte Euphrosine . Romanic Review 10.2, 159-169.

HILL, Raymond T. (1919) La Vie de Sainte Euphrosine. Romanic Review 10.3, 191-232.

HILL, Raymond T. La Vie de Sainte Euphrosine (concluded). Romanic Review 12.1, 44-49.

MACHADO, A. M. (1993), "Vida de Santa Eufrosina". In Lanciani, Giulia e Tavani, Giuseppe (dir.), Dicionário da Literatura Medieval Galega e Portuguesa. Lisboa: Caminho, 671-672.

RADERMACHER, C. J. E. (1889), Lautlehre zweier alportugiesischen Heiligenleber (Euphrosyna und Maria aegyptiaca). Bonn: Universitäts-Buchdruckerei von Carl Georgi.

SOBRAL, C. (2005), "O Modelo discursivo hagiográfico", Modelo. Actas do V Colóquio da Secção Portuguesa da Associação Hispânica de Literatura Medieval 103.

SOBRAL, Cristina M. M. (1993), Vida de Santa Maria Egipcíaca. In LANCIANI, Giulia e TAVANI, Giuseppe (dir.), Dicionário da Literatura Medieval Galega e Portuguesa. Lisboa: Caminho, 672-674.