[Martyrdom of St. Saturninus, 14th century, source: Wikimedia Commons]
The vitae Jacobus provides are sensational from beginning to end and their resemblance to more factual accounts of these saints’ actual lives varies. He starts each with an explanation of the etymology of the saint’s name, most of which are quite fanciful and not terribly accurate. Accuracy, however, was not the point. The author wanted to instruct his reader and their listeners not in linguistics, but in theology.
*This cannot be taken at face value to mean that the text was more popular or more widely read than the Bible. After all, the practice of copying by hand was still very common and there were undoubtedly numerous bibles already in use. It probably means only that they needed many copies of the Golden Legend quickly and more cheaply.