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MEDIEVAL-RELIGION  October 2009

MEDIEVAL-RELIGION October 2009

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Subject:

saints of the day 9. October

From:

John Dillon <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

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

Date:

Fri, 9 Oct 2009 01:19:03 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

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text/plain (166 lines)

medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

Today (9. October) is the feast day of:

1)  Dionysius of Paris, Rusticus of Paris, and Eleutherius of Paris (d. later 3d cent., supposedly).  D. (Denis, etc.) is the fairly legendary protobishop of Paris, named by Gregory of Tours (_Historia Francorum_, 1. 30) as one of seven missionaries sent to evangelize Gaul during the reign of the emperor Decius (249-251) and as one of two of these who later were martyred (in D.'s case, by decapitation).  He is entered for today, along with the priest Eleutherius and the deacon Rusticus, in the (pseudo-)Hieronymian Martyrology and in the martyrologies of Florus of Lyon and St. Ado of Vienne.  D.'s numerous Passiones (BHL 2171ff.) make Rusticus a priest and Eleutherius a deacon and in this they are followed both by Usuard and by the RM.

BHL 2171 claims an apostolic origin for the churches of the various early missionaries (D. of course included) by placing their mission in the first century under pope St. Clement I.  This tradition was known to the author of the first Vita of St. Genovefa of Paris (BHL 3334; ca. 520).  Genovefa, in turn, is said to have erected at some time in the later fifth century a church over D.'s tomb at Catulliac in Parisian territory some miles north of the city proper and close to the royal villa at Clichy.  In the sixth century St. Venantius Fortunatus knew of D.'s church there, which was beginning to receive important burials, and of another dedicated to him in Bordeaux.  In the early seventh century the church at Catulliac was being tended by a monastic community that would evolve into the famous abbey of Saint-Denis.  It was also drawing pilgrims in such numbers that Dagobert I (the first king to be buried there) founded an adjacent fair on D.'s feast day.

The identification of D. with Dionysius the Areopagite begins with his eighth-century Passio BHL 2178, a product of the abbey that also presents D. as a cephalophore.  His ninth-century Passio by abbot Hilduin elaborates D.'s legend and uses matter from the late antique philosopher pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite, thus making D. also a theologian.  By this time D. had become a "national" saint and his cult was beginning to spread beyond Francia.  In the twelfth century abbot Suger translated relics believed to be those of D., R., and E. from the crypt of his rebuilt abbey church to underneath its main altar.  In the later Middle Ages D. was one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers, invoked in cases of illness of or injury to the head.

VISUALS

A.  Buildings

Two English-language multi-page sites on the abbey of Saint-Denis and on its church:
http://tinyurl.com/4r5kol
http://tinyurl.com/3hfcg6
Another, in French:
http://tinyurl.com/5yml7d

Views of the eleventh-/twelfth-century tower of the St. Dionysius Kirche in Elsen, a Stadtbezirk of Paderborn (the remainder of the medieval church was replaced in 1851 by the present structure):
http://tinyurl.com/yhvh7qd
http://tinyurl.com/yguc7zs

Views of the originally eleventh- to fifteenth-century collégiale Saint-Denis / Sint-Denis kerk at Liège / Luik, restored in 1987:
http://tinyurl.com/3gvd24
http://tinyurl.com/54ggfd

Views, etc. of the originally eleventh- to fifteenth-century church of St Denys at Rotherfield (E. Sussex):
http://www.stdenysrotherfield.org.uk/images/Church_photo.JPG
http://tinyurl.com/meksec
http://www.achurchnearyou.com/album.php?V=5117
http://tinyurl.com/lo7z7y

Views of York's originally twelfth- to fifteenth-century church of St Denys, Walmgate:
http://tinyurl.com/4vckbn
http://www.achurchnearyou.com/album.php?V=18965
http://www.yorkstories.co.uk/york_walks-4/walmgate.htm
http://www.docbrown.info/docspics/yorkscenes/yspage23.htm

Views of the mostly thirteenth- and fourteenth-century Stadtkirche St. Dionys in Esslingen am Neckar in Baden-Württemberg, a dependency of Saint-Denis from 777 to 1213:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/arenate/580224763/
http://static.panoramio.com/photos/original/18768994.jpg
http://tinyurl.com/yk57n2m
http://tinyurl.com/yjkpe6r
http://tinyurl.com/yjyp39m
http://tinyurl.com/4u8agy
http://flickr.com/photos/binehh51/2391463745/
http://tinyurl.com/ylrcmn6
http://www.flickr.com/photos/mediachaos/62764327/

An illustrated, German-language page on the originally mid-fifteenth-century Kirche St. Dionys-Wurmsbach in Rapperswil-Jona (canton Sankt Gallen), a replacement for a predecessor of the same dedication:
http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kirche_St._Dionys-Wurmsbach

Views, etc. of the fifteenth-century (ca. 1457) iglesia de San Dionisio at Jerez de la Frontera (Cádiz):
http://tinyurl.com/45zrjs
http://tinyurl.com/3svh9d

B.  Portraits, etc.

D. (at center) in the jambs of the left portal of the south porch (betw. 1194 and 1230), Notre-Dame de Chartres:
http://tinyurl.com/4o6rjl
Detail (D.'s head):
http://tinyurl.com/4zncmm

D. in the sculptures of the Portal of the Virgin (ca. 1210-1230), Notre-Dame de Paris (Constantine at left):
http://tinyurl.com/49t5mw
http://www.pbase.com/image/38550992

D. (at left) in a window (1228-1231) of the south transept clerestory, Notre-Dame de Chartres (not to miss the important bibliography cited on this page):
http://tinyurl.com/3v5epn

D.'s window (ca. 1280) in the Stadtkirche St. Dionys in Esslingen am Neckar:
http://tinyurl.com/yfa8loy

D. (seated, commissioning his Vita) in the richly illuminated _Vie de saint Denis_ (despite its customary name, a text in Latin verse) presented to Philip V in 1317 by an abbot of Saint-Denis (Paris, BnF, ms. Français 2090-2092):
http://tinyurl.com/yk9773y 
Other illuminations in the same ms.:
http://tinyurl.com/ygdrryr
http://expositions.bnf.fr/fouquet/grand/f634.htm

Statue of D. (ca. 1320), Schnütgen-Museum, Köln (larger images at bottom of page):
http://tinyurl.com/3pnard

Scenes of D.'s life and suffering in an illuminated, earlier fourteenth-century (second quarter) collection of French-language saint's lives (Paris, BnF, ms. Français 185, fols. 202r, 203v, 204r, 204v, 205v, 206v, 207v), the last also showing the martyrdom of R. and E.:
http://tinyurl.com/ylrytq7
http://tinyurl.com/yllhhq9
http://tinyurl.com/ykgrryk
http://tinyurl.com/yfrz7hr
http://tinyurl.com/yzbemgu
http://tinyurl.com/yfnbkse
http://tinyurl.com/ylppvlk

Illumination of D. (1348) in a manuscript of Jean de Vignay's French-language translation of the _Legenda aurea_ (Paris, BnF, ms. Français 241, fol. 275v):
http://tinyurl.com/ykxkqol

D. in the fourteenth-century rood screen of St Andrew, Hempstead (Norfolk):
http://tinyurl.com/4q7jgt

D. in the Vendôme Chapel window (c. 1415), Notre-Dame de Chartres:
http://tinyurl.com/4vu3v2

D. in a full-page illumination of French or English workmanship (ca. 1430-1440) in a Book of Hours (Los Angeles, J. Paul Getty Museum, ms. 5, fol. 35v):
http://tinyurl.com/yhcuuh5
Detail:
http://tinyurl.com/ylooxrf

Statue of D. (fifteenth-century) in the Musée National du Moyen Âge, Paris (Musée de Cluny):
http://tinyurl.com/3sgqcg

Statue of D. (ca. 1460-1470), Bode-Museum, Berlin:
http://tinyurl.com/4gvkeg

D.'s martyrdom and cephalophory in a late fifteenth-century (ca. 1480-1490) illustrated ms. of Jean de Vignay's French-language translation of the _Legenda aurea_ (Paris, BnF, ms. Français 245, fol. 135r):
http://tinyurl.com/yg4vhdu

D.'s _gesta_, martyrdom, and cephalophory in the late fifteenth- or early sixteenth-century well paintings (restored, early twentieth century) in the Kirche St. Dionys-Wurmsbach in Rapperswil-Jona (canton Sankt Gallen):
http://tinyurl.com/yjlyrwb
http://tinyurl.com/ykffc89


2)  Domninus of Fidenza (d. ca. 304, supposedly).  D. is the martyr and patron saint of Fidenza (PR) in Emilia, anciently Fidentia and for most of the Middle Ages (and indeed until 1927) Borgo San Donnino.  His legendary Passio (several versions; BHL 2264, etc.), certainly older than the ninth century, makes him a chamberlain (_cubicularius_) of Maximian who crowns him daily, converts to Christianity, flees Milan, is pursued by the emperor's servants, is arrested and executed by decapitation on a bank of the river Stirone, picks up his severed head, crosses the river, and lies down at his burial site a stone's throw away from the bank on the other side.  Miracles follow and a cult arises.  Later versions speak of a period of neglect followed by an Inventio and Translatio.

D. now reposes in the crypt of the twelfth- and thirteenth-century formerly archipretal church of Borgo San Donnino (it became a cathedral in 1601).  An English-language account of this building, which has some very fine sculptural decoration by Benedetto Antelami and others, is here:
http://tinyurl.com/37flb8
Some exterior views:
http://tinyurl.com/382xos
http://web.tiscali.it/italfilatel/cattre.jpg
http://tinyurl.com/yzfwh4p
http://tinyurl.com/yfjjugc
http://www.cattedrale.parma.it/allegato.asp?ID=209118
http://www.pedrosite.it/images/003/File0128.JPG
The cathedral's relief showing D. as cephalophore (at right, crossing the river):
http://tinyurl.com/yks2af4
Two reliefs on the right tower:
http://tinyurl.com/yzr257k
http://tinyurl.com/yfdphgp
An English-language note on the sculpturees:
http://tinyurl.com/yfdphgp
Italia nell'Arte Medievale's two pages of (mostly) expandable views of the exterior sculptures are here (or would be were the site still on-line):
http://tinyurl.com/2snehd
http://tinyurl.com/2q96k2

Some interior views:
http://www.clonline.org/image/20anniFrat/fidenza/fidenza1.jpg
http://www.clonline.org/image/20anniFrat/fidenza/fidenza2.jpg


3)  Deusdedit of Montecassino (d. 834).  Today's less well known saint of the Regno became abbot of Montecassino in 828.  Reputed for learning and for piety, he was ejected a mere six years later by the then prince of Benevento, Sicard, who coveted the abbey's lands and revenues.  Sicard also had him imprisoned.  D. did not last long, dying on this date from what is said to have been a combination of abuse and starvation.  He was buried at the abbey, where -- as reported by the late ninth-century Cassinese monk Erchempert in his little history of the southern Lombards -- his tomb soon became a site of miraculous cures.

Best,
John Dillon
(last year's post lightly revised and with more visuals for Dionysius of Paris and companions)

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