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Note to stanza
[All]: Agatha, a virgin martyr of Catania in Sicily, was the subject of a legend that describes her as of a noble family, pursued by a pagan suitor of consular rank, named Quintian. She rejected him, whereupon he prosecuted her as a Christian and had her subjected to various tortures, from which she eventually died. The most noteworthy of these (see st. 27) was the cutting off of Agatha’s breasts. There are at least four versions of the life of S. Agatha in ON (Unger 1877, I, 1-14; Widding, Bekker-Nielsen and Shook 1963, 298; Cormack 1994, 74; Wolf 2003, 11-17, 155) and evidence for her veneration from the late C13th onwards, particularly in the region round Borgarfjörður (Magnús Már Lárusson 1951).
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