cover of book

St George: A Saint for All
by Samantha Riches
Reaktion Books, 2015
Cloth: 978-1-78023-448-9 | eISBN: 978-1-78023-477-9

The image of St. George—atop his horse, lance plunged halfway into a dragon’s body—is so familiar to us that we take for granted what a long history it has had. As Samantha Riches demonstrates in this book, St. George is easily one of the most transported icons across cultures, and his history is the history of myth writ large. Traveling in Georgia, Greece, Malta, Belgium, Lebanon, Palestine, Ethiopia, Estonia, and many other places, she offers a fascinating look at one of the most popular mythical figures of all time.
Riches traces St. George in his various appearances and guises across a wealth of religions and traditions. From Eastern Orthodox, Coptic, and Western European Christian traditions, she follows his trail into Islam, Hinduism, Judaism, Candomblé, and the many pagan systems where he has functioned a symbol of nature, springtime, and healing. Exploring the innumerable ways artists, poets, and painters have engaged his mythical import, she shows him to be at the center of many political divisions, where he has been used to advance one agenda or another. Drawing together many aspects of the cult of St. George, Riches provides a fascinating history of an enduring icon. 

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