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MEDIEVAL-RELIGION  August 2009

MEDIEVAL-RELIGION August 2009

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Subject:

Re: saints of the day 20. August

From:

John Dillon <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

medieval-religion - Scholarly discussions of medieval religious culture <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 21 Aug 2009 08:14:10 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

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medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

Dear Erik,

I had the same reaction that you did on looking at that entry in Usuard.  After a while it dawned on me that two things have happened to make it so odd.

1)  Usuard's entry is also in his predecessor Florus and his contemporary Ado.  The practice of these ninth-century martyrologists is often to drop the names of towns given in the (pseudo-)Hieronymian Martyrology, especially when these are unfamiliar.  When possible, these are replaced by a statement of proximity to some place better known in a Frankish context.   That that didn't happen here suggests that -- quite reasonably under the circumstances --  neither Florus nor Ado nor Usuard had a clue as to where _Fabriteria_ might be.

2)  That left Florus with an entry that would have read simply  _Magni  m._ (as one finds in the Gelasian Sacramentary).  That's way too brief for an _historical_ martyrology and especially for what is the first entry for a given day.  So Florus, who even more than his successors had a _horror vacui_, retained _Magni_ but added Andrew and companions as an alternative (_seu_) and thus gave his entry some bulk and circumstance.  Ado and Usuard, no better informed about Magnus than was Florus, simply copied him.

It's apparent that none of these martyrologists knows any of the details of Magnus' cult, let alone his characterization in his legendary Passio.  It would be interesting to discover (and I imagine that someone  -- Leroquais? -- has already studied this) which entries in the Gelasian Sacramentary were by this time so devoid of context for Frankish readers.

That said, the Magnus of 19. August in the Gelasian Sacramentary has to be the one whose cult is rooted chiefly in southern Lazio and in northern Campania, i.e. M. "of Trani".  We have the evidence of the (pseudo-)Hieronymian that there was a martyr of this day from that very area and we have no evidence until much, much later of any other Magnus being celebrated on that day (both M. of Caesarea in Cappadocia and M. of Avignon are first attested from the later Middle Ages).

Best again,
John Dillon

----- Original Message -----
From: Erik Drigsdahl <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Friday, August 21, 2009 4:58 am
Subject: Re: [M-R] saints of the day 20. August
To: [log in to unmask]


> medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture
> 
> John, you are of course right, as always.  I regret to say that I not  
> paid much attention to your description. As soon as there was a "St. 
> Magnus" was I satisfied.
> 
> Victor Leroquais has in "Sacramentaires et Missels" a 'Magnus 
> episcopus martyr' on 19. August from the earliest sources and onwards. 
>  I suppose he must be the one from the Gelasian Sacramentary,
> (http://www.chd.dk/cals/gregkal.html)
> alias the french "Saint Grant" on 19. August (- and apparently not  
> Magnus "of Trani")
> 
> As I'm sitting in my summer house, with nothing but a laptop and three 
> books, is it not the time to pose questions, but it is difficult for 
> me to recognize him in Usuard's Magnus of that day:
> " Natalis sancti Magni, seu sancti Andreae martyris, cum sociis suis 
> duobus milibus quingentis nonaginta et septem."
> 
> Surely Usuard must have been familiar with the contents of a Gelasian 
> Sacramentary.
> 
> Best
> Erik Drigsdahl
> 
> 
> At 22:50 -0500 20/08/09, John Dillon wrote:
> >On Thursday, August 20, 2009, at 6:18 am, Erik Drigsdahl wrote:
> >
> >> PS: Yesterdays Saint Magnus is of course the French "Saint Grant" (or
> >> Main, Maigne, Mene, etc.)
> >
> >There are at least three saints Magnus who have been celebrated on 
> 19. August.  If by "Yesterdays Saint Magnus" is meant the one noticed 
> in yesterday's "saints of the day" (Magnus "of Trani") he is not 
> French but instead south Italian, given both his localization _in 
> Fabriteria_ (i.e. Fabrateria Vetus, today's Ceccano) in the 
> (pseudo-)Hieronymian Martyrology and the geographic distribution of 
> his later cult sites (the earliest certainly dated one of these being 
> his church in the territory of Ceprano, attested in charters of 988 
> and 990).
> >
> >This Magnus (whose association with Trani appears to be at least very 
> largely legendary) occurs not only in French calendars but indeed in 
> calendars from all over the Latin West by reason of his having been 
> included in the Gelasian Sacramentary, where of course he appears 
> without geographic specification.  So it is not surprising that he 
> would have name forms in French, just as do those other south Italian 
> saints of the Gelasian Sacramentary, Vitus (15. June) and Priscus of 
> Capua (1. September).
> >
> >There _is_ a French saint Magnus (M. of Avignon), also celebrated on 
> 19. August.  But he is said to be first documented in 1458 and his 
> celebration on this day, which appears to be limited to Avignon and 
> vicinity, was probably determined by the presence on 19. August in 
> standard calendars of a saint bearing this name.
> >
> >Best,
> >John Dillon
> 
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