Frequently listed among the important sources for the legends of St Nicholas of Myra is the Life written in Latin by John the Deacon. This is not printed in Anrich’s collection of Greek sources, which is a nuisance. Various versions of John’s text were created in the Middle Ages, and there is a translation of something into English online here. But where to find John’s text?
Today I happened on some useful information. The old Catholic Encyclopedia article on John the Deacon tells us:
(2) John, deacon of Naples, d. after 910. This deacon, or head of a diaconia at the church of St. Januarius of Naples, flourished towards the end of the ninth and the beginning of the tenth century, …. A biography of St. Nicholas of Mira (ed. Cardinal Mai in “Spicilegium Romanum”, IV, 323 sqq.) is not by this John but by another author of the same name.
The volume of Spicilegium Romanum is here, in a poor-quality scan. This is indeed a different text to that translated above. It is on p.323-339. But surely so widely known a text as John the Deacon has been printed before this?
This leads me, of course, to a text that I have never consulted before: the Bibliotheca Hagiographica Latina, whose volumes are online here: Vol. 1. A – I and Vol. 2. K – Z, although not to non-US readers because of the greed of German publishers. Thankfully a V1 is here and V2 can be found here. On p.890 (=p.203 of the PDF), we find an entry for Nicholas of Myra.
In the BHL we find the Life of John the Deacon in first place (BHL 6104-9), and printed by Falconius in Sancti confessoris pontificis … Nicolai acta primigenia (Neapoli, 1751), 112-22, containing chapters 1-13, and also on p.126. Falconius is here, and the text starts here.
After John’s work there follows in the BHL a mass of other Latin versions of the Life, too many to be of any interest. But it might be interesting to translate John’s Life of Nicholas into English.