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MEDIEVAL-RELIGION  August 2009

MEDIEVAL-RELIGION August 2009

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Subject:

saints of the day 29. August

From:

John Dillon <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

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

Date:

Sat, 29 Aug 2009 11:06:24 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

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text/plain (172 lines)

medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

Today (29. August) is the feast day of:

1)  The Decollation (Beheading) of John the Baptist (1st cent.).  A few images:

Supposed head of J., kept as a relic in Rome's church of San Silvestro in Capite since at least the thirteenth century:
http://tinyurl.com/nqgtb2
http://tinyurl.com/nmhjce

Capital (ca. 1125-1150), Toulouse, Musée des Augustins:
http://tinyurl.com/62z54b
http://tinyurl.com/6rsczj
These are discussed in a Tribune de l'Art page on an exposition of 2005 in which they were shown ("La France romane au temps des premiers Capétiens, 987-1152"):
http://www.latribunedelart.com/Expositions_2005/France_Romane_231.htm 

Capital (twelfth-century), Monasterio de San Juan de Duero, Soria (Castilla y León):
http://www.arquivoltas.com/13-Soria/SJuanDuero%20G15.jpg
http://www.arquivoltas.com/13-Soria/SJuanDuero%20G16.jpg
Multi-page site on the monastery and its twelfth- and thirteenth-century sculptures:
http://www.arquivoltas.com/13-Soria/01-SJuanDuero01.htm

Familiar to many delegates to the International Medieval Congress at Leeds, the originally later twelfth-century (1150-1170) church of St John the Baptist in Adel, up the hill from the site of the Congress:
http://tinyurl.com/38z6w4
That view shows neither the crosses that have been incised in each of paving the stones in the walkways to deter theft nor the recently applied strapping around the belfry wall (in which latter cracks have appeared).  A fairly full description and set of detail views is here:
http://www.crsbi.ac.uk/search/location/Adel*/site/ed-yw-adel.html
Information about the church's appeal for funds to assist in its preservation is here:
http://tinyurl.com/lrgblb

The originally later twelfth-century church (ca. 1150-1200) of St John the Baptist, Berkswell (Warks):
http://tinyurl.com/69wsel
http://tinyurl.com/5sf83j  [click on "The Church" in menu at left]
http://www.le.ac.uk/ee/pot/temp1/index.htm
A fairly full description and set of detail views is here:
http://tinyurl.com/kmoufs

Benedetto Antelami's north portal (ca. 1210), baptistery of Parma, architrave, detail:
http://www.artandarchitecture.org.uk/images/conway/c9c56e8a.html
Portal as a whole:
http://www.wga.hu/art/a/antelami/virgin_c.jpg

The early thirteenth-century church of St. John the Forerunner at Kastania in Leftktra municipality (Messinia prefecture) in the Peloponnese:
http://tinyurl.com/2ylf6g
English-language discussion and views (incl. some of the frescoes) on this page:
http://www.zorbas.de/maniguide/kastania.html

Capital of J., thirteenth-century portal of the esglesia/iglesia de Sant Ramón, Plà de Santa Maria (Alt Camp), Catalunya:
http://tinyurl.com/m382rd
Spanish-language page with many expandable views of this church:
http://tinyurl.com/2cafvt  

Fresco of the Decollation of John the Baptist (later thirteenth-century), baptistery of Parma:
http://www.cattedrale.parma.it/img/voltabatt/104B-decollazione_Z.jpg
Views of the baptistery's cycle of John the Baptist are accessible from here:
http://tinyurl.com/kloxg

The originally thirteenth- and fourteenth-century cerkev Sv. Janeza Krstnika (church of St John the Baptist) at Muta in Spodnja Muta, Slovenia:
Illustrated, English-language accounts:
http://tinyurl.com/25r3ra
http://www.ntz-nta.si/en/default.asp?id=5562
Expandable views here:
http://www.muta.si/podrocje.aspx?id=289

The originally thirteenth- to early fifteenth-century cathedral of Wrocław (formerly Breslau) is dedicated to John the Baptist.  It was very badly damaged in World War II and has since been rebuilt.
Multiple views:
http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=225143
Exterior:
http://www.geocities.com/gregmoto/9609wro.JPG
http://tinyurl.com/govjf
http://www.wroclaw.pl/p/3082/
Interior:
http://www.wroclaw.pl/p/3133/

A fourteenth-century Byzantine icon of J., now in the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg:
http://www.icon-art.info/masterpiece.php?lng=en&mst_id=906

The originally late fourteenth- and fifteenth-century cerkev Sv. Janeza Krstnika at Bohinj, Slovenia:
http://www.bohinj.si/?catID=1480
http://tinyurl.com/292neo

Andrei Rublev, icon of J. (1408), now in the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow:
http://www.icon-art.info/masterpiece.php?lng=en&mst_id=454

A fifteenth-century alabaster plaque from England:
http://test.huntmuseum.com/qzty2o/2593.jpg
Archival info:
http://tinyurl.com/hw9qv

Andrea del Verrocchio, Beheading of John the Baptist, silver altar panel (1477-80), Baptistery of Florence:
http://easyweb.easynet.co.uk/giorgio.vasari/verrocc/pic1.htm

Dionisy and assistants, icon of J. (1490s or 1502-03) in the Virgin Nativity cathedral of the St. Ferapont Belozero (Ferapontov Belozersky) Monastery at Ferapontovo in Russia's Vologda Region:
http://www.dionisy.com/eng/dionisy/index_photos.shtml?06

Arbore monastery church, Soloca (Bucovina), Romania, erected 1502-03 and dedicated to the Beheading of John the Baptist:
English-language accounts:
http://www.rotravel.com/romania/monasteries/arbore.php
http://tinyurl.com/oukgh
http://www.romanianmonasteries.org/bucovina/arbore
Views:
http://www.eliznik.org.uk/RomaniaViews/churches/arbore.jpg
http://tinyurl.com/kvabs7
Two views here (about a third of the way down the page; one is of the interior):
http://tinyurl.com/n44sa6


2)  Sabina of Rome (?).  During the pontificate of St. Celestine I (422-32)  a priest from Illyricum erected on the Aventine a basilica that in documents of the fifth century is known as _titulus Sabinae_, perhaps because it replaced a nearby titular church of that name.  By the time of the Gelasian Sacramentary (mid-eighth century with a Roman component of about a century earlier), the dedication feast of this basilica (today's Santa Sabina) was celebrated on 29. August.  By this time too, there had appeared the legendary _Passio sanctarum Serapiae virginis martyris et Sabinae martyris_ (BHL 7407, 7586) making S. a virgin martyred, exactly one month after her friend Serapia, on 29. August in some city or town whose identity the Passio does not make altogether clear.

To judge from her _dies natalis_, the S. of the Passio is the saint of the church on the Aventine.  Who she really was or if she ever existed in the flesh is unknown (Rome's early titular churches were named after their founder-owners, not after saints venerated on the premises).  The historical martyrologies from Bede onward make the S. of 29. August a martyr at Rome and specify (from Florus onward) a location on the Aventine.  Ado, copied by Usuard, added to his account elements drawn from the Passio.

In 1218 the church of Santa Sabina on the Aventine was given by Honorius III to St. Dominic of Caleruega for his new Order of Preachers.  Early twentieth-century renovation stripped it of most of its late medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque added elegances and returned the building to a semblance of its fifth- to thirteenth-century self.  For some brief, illustrated accounts of this late antique gem, see:
http://tinyurl.com/5tugwu
http://www.romeartlover.it/Vasi129.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa_Sabina
http://tinyurl.com/92wyu
Further views (interior):
http://sights.seindal.dk/img/orig/613.jpg
http://sights.seindal.dk/img/orig/614.jpg
http://sights.seindal.dk/img/orig/616.jpg
A couple of videos:
http://tinyurl.com/6y9ybz

Of course, S. has been venerated at other places.  One of these is Silanus (NU) in Sardinia, the circular central portion of whose originally later eleventh-century church of Santa Sabina echoes the shape and interior dimensions of the adjacent prehistoric _nuraghe_:
http://tinyurl.com/np292e
http://tinyurl.com/2e3o6v
http://www.ilportalesardo.it/archeo/nusilanus2.htm
http://tinyurl.com/6xlckj
http://www.flickr.com/photos/11627121@N03/2733058056

Another is San Benedetto dei Marsi (AQ) in Abruzzo, successor to the late antique and early medieval _civitas Marsicana_ (formerly Marruvium).  Its church of Santa Sabina, thought to have had a predecessor of the fifth or sixth century, is documented from 964 onward.  Throughout the Middle Ages this was the cathedral church of the diocese of the Marsi (since 1915, diocese of Avezzano).  Badly damaged in the conflict between the papacy and Frederick II, this Santa Sabina was rebuilt for the visit in 1287 of Honorius IV but was again in poor condition when the diocesan seat was transferred to Pescina late in the sixteenth century.  Herewith a couple of illustrated, Italian-language accounts of this church, which collapsed in the great earthquake of 1915:
http://tinyurl.com/6fczfc
http://www.radicchio.it/sanbenedettodeimarsi/page4.html
Views of its reconstructed thirteenth-century portal:
http://tinyurl.com/6nvrqt
http://tinyurl.com/lfs2jm  [left click only]
http://www.provincia.laquila.it/GalleriaFoto.aspx?N=93
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3101/2574034416_b9f3f5f55f.jpg
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3041/2573211433_2cc253cf24.jpg
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3095/2573211609_124ee3c34f.jpg


3)  Mederic (d. 700, supposedly).  M. (in French, Médéric or Merry) is first heard from in the later ninth century, when he has an entry for today in the martyrology of Usuard and when, in 884, he was accorded a formal Elevatio by the bishop of Paris at a chapel near the extramural oratory of Saint-Pierre-des-Bois.  In the tenth century he received a legendary Vita (BHL 5875-5876) that makes him a nobly born native of Autun who entered a monastery there, became its abbot, was effective in banishing demons, gained unwanted fame, after some difficulty persuaded his bishop to allow him to retire, and became a hermit in the woods outside of Paris, where he died.  In 1005 the chapel housing M.'s putative remains became a collegial church subordinate to the cathedral chapter of Paris.  A new church dedicated to M. was built in the thirteenth century and was replaced, starting in 1500, with the present église Saint-Merry.

Herewith some views of the latter structure, which underwent considerable modification in the eighteenth century and which is said to preserve most of the relics of this unofficial patron of the rive-droite:
Exterior:
http://tinyurl.com/6qb2ej
http://www.alovelyworld.com/webfranc/gimage/fra029.jpg
http://tinyurl.com/59t3n9
http://tinyurl.com/6hacyw

Plan with expandable interior views:
http://tinyurl.com/5a6sef
Other interior views:
http://tinyurl.com/5z3kxx
http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/p/m/196f31/

Best,
John Dillon
(last year's post lightly revised)

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