medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture
From: "Cormack, Margaret Jean" <[log in to unmask]>
> Of course, his biographers would want him to make a heroic stand and become
a martyr . . .
and they would certainly take care to let us know that "...he had long ago
beheld himself crucified in a dream..." --curiously enough (as chance would
have it) in the precise place where he later "took his stand."
> From: medieval-religion - Scholarly discussions of medieval religious
culture on behalf of Andrew Larsen
> Sent: Wed 15.7.2009 10:37
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [M-R] John of Salisbury at Becket's martyrdom
> medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture
> When I was at Canterbury Cathedral years ago, what struck me was how close
the Sword's Point (the spot venerated as the place of Becket's martyrdom) was
to the cloisters. It seems pretty likely to me that Becket was trying to flee
the church when he was struck down.
> Andrew E. Larsen
> On Jul 15, 2009, at 9:11 AM, Cormack, Margaret Jean wrote:
> > medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture
> > Dear Juris,
> > "According to William Fitz Stephen, Thomas was abandoned at this point by
John of Salisbury and all his clerks except Robert, canon of Merton, who was
his chaplain and constant companion, Edward Grim, and himself."
> > This is from Kay Slocum, Liturgies in Honour of Thomas Becket. University
of Toronto Press 2004 66-67. She is quoting the rolls series which has a
series of volumes called I belive Materials for the Biography of Thomas Becket
or the like.
> > Her account continues:
> > "The biographers note the place where the martyr took his stand. It is
not, as John of Salisbury reports, and is portrayed in countless images, in
front of the altar. As stated by Anonymous I, it was 'near an altar of St.
Benedict," Thomas having 'turned aside to the northern par of the church'.
William of Canterbury is even more definite. "He took his stand in the place
where he had long ago beheld hismelf crucified in a dream (so it is asserted),
on his left the Cross that went before him; at his back, a wall; before him,
an image of the blessed Mary; on all sides, memorials and relics of the
> > She doesn´t say where John of Salisbury actually was, perhaps one of the
other chroniclers mentions this.
> > Meg
> > ________________________________
> > From: medieval-religion - Scholarly discussions of medieval
> > religious culture on behalf of Juris G. Lidaka
> > Sent: Sun 12.7.2009 15:16
> > To: [log in to unmask]
> > Subject: [M-R] John of Salisbury at Becket's martyrdom
> > In the preface of Pepin's recent translation of John of Salisbury's Life
of Becket (PIMS, 2009; ISBN 978 0 88844 298 7) lies this sentence:
> > John was...present in the cathedral when Becket's murder occurred, albeit
from a rather ignominious position, concealed in the shadows of the darkening
> > Dramatic and exciting, but I don't know enough about all this. The
sentence is also repeated on the back cover and on the half-title page. In
the Life itself, John has no comment on his location, despite his description
and quotation of dialogue (although medieval historians & chroniclers often
invented these for verisimilitude).
His letter from years before, which he quoted from almost verbatim for the
Life, also does not locate him (or indicate the time of day when it happened).
(The version to John of Canterbury, bishop of Poitiers, is in Millor &
Brooke's ed. of the Letters (Oxford, 1979) 2: 724-39.
> > Where do these bits of information come from-John's location and the time
of day? Thanks much!
> > Juris
> > --
> > Juris G. Lidaka
> > West Virginia State University
> > Department of English
> > Room 226 Hill Hall
> > P.O. Box 1000
> > Institute, WV 25112-1000
> > USA
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