medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture
Today (18. March) is the feast day of:
1) Cyril of Jerusalem (d. 386). The theologian C. became bishop of Jerusalem in about 349 and was soon in conflict with his metropolitan, Acacius of Caesarea, who twice managed to get him deposed for about a year. In 367 his general support of Nicene orthodoxy caused him to be ejected by the Arian emperor Valens (d. 378). Though he again returned to his see, this time his exile lasted longer. C. was present at the First Council of Constantinople (381), where he accepted the term _homoousios_ ('consubstantial') as defining the relationship of the Son to the Father. In his surviving _Catechetical Lectures_, which are much earlier (348-50), C. avoids this word. These doctrinal addresses to catechumens in the period before Easter were probably heard by many others as well. The _Itinerarium Egeriae_ contains an admiring account of such instruction at Jerusalem in the early 380s.
2) Edward the Martyr (d. 978). The older son of the Anglo-Saxon king Edgar the Peaceable, E. (Eadweard) succeeded to the throne in 975 at about the age of twelve. He was assassinated while on a visit to his half-brother and successor Æthelred at Corfe Castle in Dorset. The archbishop of Canterbury, St. Dunstan, proclaimed his sanctity. On 13. February 979 E.'s body (later said to have been incorrupt) was formally translated to Shaftesbury Abbey, where on 20. June 1001 it was ceremoniously enshrined. In 1008 a law of king Æthelred mandated today as E.'s feast day for the entire kingdom.
The town of Shaftesbury came to be known as Edwardstowe (a designation it lost during the Reformation). In the late eleventh century E. received a Life and Miracles. Bones pronounced by their discoverer to be those of E. are said to have been found in 1931 in the remains of Shaftesbury Abbey. These are now preserved at St. Edward the Martyr Orthodox Church in Brookwood, Surrey (near Guildford). A more universally accepted relic of E. is the coin whose obverse bearing his portrait is shown here:
3) Anselm of Lucca (d. 1086). Sometimes called Anselm the Younger to distinguish him from his uncle of the same name who became pope Alexander II (both were bishops of Lucca), A. was a supporter of Gregory VII in the investiture controversy. Designated for his office by his uncle, A. accepted appointment from Gregory in 1073 but contrary to G.'s wishes also accepted investiture from Henry IV. Shortly thereafter he resigned to become a Cluniac monk at the abbey of St. Benedict at Polirone near Mantua; ordered back to Lucca by Gregory, he continued to live as a monk and attempted to impose a similar lifestyle on his canons, who would have none of it. These sided with Henry and in 1081 they got A. expelled from Lucca.
A. sought refuge with his political ally, Matilda of Tuscany, and spent the rest of his life in papal service. Unsuccessful with human canons, he turned his attention to those of the legal variety and produced an important, pro-reform collection of the latter. Also surviving from his pen are five prayers he wrote for Matilda. A. died at Mantua and was promptly recognized as its patron saint. Though he had arranged to be buried at the abbey at Polirone, on Matilda's command his remains were instead conveyed to Mantua's cathedral, where they are today:
A. was canonized in 1087. He has a pre-canonization prose Vita written in 1086 or 1087 by a priest whose initial was B. (this used to be ascribed to a canon Bardo) and an impressive verse one from the later 1090s by one of his successors at Lucca, the poet-bishop Rangerius (d. 1112).
Lucca's cathedral of St. Martin was begun by uncle Anselm I in 1063. Much of the present structure
dates from the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, but the apse at least seems to be of the later eleventh century:
An interior view is here:
Some further views of the later medieval exterior and views of its reliefs:
The Gonzaga lordship at Mantua saw extensive Renaissance rebuilding of St. Benedict of Polirone, located in today's former abbey town of San Benedetto Po (MN) in Lombardy. Its Oratory of Saint Mary has a partially preserved and recently restored mid-twelfth-century (1151) mosaic floor shown here:
That's from an illustrated, Italian-language site on the abbey and on its church, now the basilica abbaziale di San Benedetto Po:
A little of the late fourteenth- and early fifteenth-century exterior of Mantua's cathedral of St. Peter is still visible between more recent construction:
(Anselm of Lucca lightly revised from last year's post)
To join the list, send the message: join medieval-religion YOUR NAME
to: [log in to unmask]
To send a message to the list, address it to:
[log in to unmask]
To leave the list, send the message: leave medieval-religion
to: [log in to unmask]
In order to report problems or to contact the list's owners, write to:
[log in to unmask]
For further information, visit our web site: