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MEDIEVAL-RELIGION  October 2009

MEDIEVAL-RELIGION October 2009

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Subject:

saints of the day 18. October

From:

John Dillon <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

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

Date:

Sun, 18 Oct 2009 10:41:36 -0500

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medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

Today (18. October) is the feast day of:

1)  Luke, evangelist (d. late 1st or earlier 2d cent.).  The author of Luke-Acts needs no introduction to this list.  He is generally identified with the physician L. who is St. Paul's companion at Colossians 4:14.  Late antique and medieval traditions place his apostolate in Alexandria in Egypt (the most frequently named venue), Bithynia, Byzantium, Thrace, Macedonia, Achaia, Dalmatia, Italy, and Gaul.  St. Jerome (_De viris illustribus_, 7) knew L.'s age at the time of his death (84) but not where he died.  According to the Coptic Orthodox Church, L. was martyred at Rome by decapitation.  Medieval Greeks tended to think him martyred at Thebes in Boeotia.  Jerome (loc. cit.) reports that L.'s relics were translated in 357 to Constantinople, where they were placed in the Church of the Apostles.  Usuard includes this translation in his elogium for today's feast; some Byzantine synaxary notices also make it part of this commemoration.

Here's L.'s translation to Constantinople as depicted in the October calendar of the fourteenth-century (1335-1350) frescoes in the church of the Holy Ascension at the Visoki Dečani monastery near Peć in, depending on one's view of the matter, either the Republic of Kosovo or Serbia's province of Kosovo and Metohija:
http://tinyurl.com/yjrj4rn
Detail:
http://tinyurl.com/yzqkh7v

Since a reported Inventio of 1177 it has been believed at Padua that a now headless skeleton kept in its basilica di Santa Giustina is that of L.  In 1998 a skull in Prague said to have been brought there as L.'s in the fourteenth century by the emperor Charles IV was taken to Padua and was found to be a "highly specific" fit with the uppermost vertebra of the skeleton, whose coffin had been opened to permit testing of various sorts.  Analysis of mitochondrial DNA from two of the teeth led to a pronouncement that the owner was three times more likely to have been a native of Syria than one of Greece.  Osteological examination of the skeleton showed to be of a man who had been aged somewhere between 70 and 85 when he died.  Carbon dating of the skeleton placed the man's death at some time between the years 130 and 400.  Carbon dating of bones of snakes endemic to western Europe found in the coffin placed the latter in the West in the fifth century. 

Two views of the lead coffin at Padua containing the skeleton believed to be L.'s:
http://www.30giorni.it/foto/1078747115226.jpg
http://www.30giorni.it/foto/1078747296789.jpg
A view of two teeth from the skull from Prague:
http://www.pnas.org/content/98/23/13460/F2.large.jpg

From at least the eighth century onward L. was believed to have been a painter.   Herewith a page of expandable views of paintings by Rogier van der Weyden (ca. 1400-1464) of L. painting an image of the Madonna:
http://tinyurl.com/6czabs
Two other versions by fifteenth-century Flemish masters:
a)  Dieric Bouts the elder (ca. 1415-1475), painting in Penrhyn Castle, Bangor, North Wales:
http://tinyurl.com/yg7667d
b)  Derick Baegert, painting of ca. 1485 in the LWL-Landesmuseum für Kunst und Kulturgeschichte, Münster (Westfalen):
http://www.lwl.org/pressemitteilungen/daten/bilder/24524.jpg

Some fifteenth-century manuscript illuminations of L. painting an image of the BVM:
a)  in an early fifteenth-century (ca. 1414) breviary for the Use of Paris (Châteauroux, Bibliothèque municipale, ms. 2, fol. 373v):
http://tinyurl.com/ygpl5jy
b)  in the mid-fifteenth-century (ca. 1440-1450) Duke of Bedford Hours (Los Angeles, J. Paul Getty Museum, MS. LUDWIG IX 6, fol. 209r):
http://tinyurl.com/yl6jykk
c)  in a later fifteenth-century (ca. 1470) Gospels for the Use of the Parlement de Bourgogne (Besançon, Bibliothèque municipale, ms. 93, fol. 018):
http://tinyurl.com/yjwg3qn
d)  in a later fifteenth-century (ca. 1470-1480) Hours for the Use of Saintes (Besançon, Bibliothèque municipale, ms. 150, fol. 057v):
http://tinyurl.com/yhubzte

Two views of one of the many late medieval images of the Madonna piously thought to have been painted by L. (this one is in the santuario di San Luca at Bologna):
http://tinyurl.com/3j325x
http://tinyurl.com/yh4crp2
Another, called the Madonna constantinopolitana (in local tradition it was brought to Padova from Constantinople) and damaged by fire before the sixteenth century, is displayed behind a protective cover in the cappella di San Luca in Padua's basilica di Santa Giustina, where it is mounted above and behind the tomb of the skeleton believed to be that of L.:
http://www.glaubenswege.ch/Evangelist_Lukas.html
A view of it without the cover:
http://www.abbaziasantagiustina.org/images/icona.jpg
A recent reconstruction of the original:
http://www.iconografi.it/images/costantinopolitana_ric.JPG


2)  Asclepiades of Antioch (d. 218).  According to St. Jerome's _Chronicon_ A. was the ninth bishop of Antioch on the Orontes, having succeeded Serapion in 211 or 212.  He entered the historical martyrologies with Ado, who had read a reference to him in Rufinus' Latin translation of Eusebius' _Historia ecclesiastica but who, having confused this A. with his homonym the companion of St. Pionius, made him a martyr under Decius.


3)  Proculus, Eutyches, and Acutius (d. 305, supposedly).  Today's less well known saints of the Regno, said to have been a deacon and two laymen of ancient Puteoli, today's Pozzuoli (NA) in Campania, are among the canonical companions in martyrdom of St. Januarius venerated at Naples.  In the developed Januarian story all the martyrs are caught up in the Great Persecution and are sentenced to exposure to wild beasts in the amphitheatre of Pozzuoli.  This sentence is however not carried out and they are instead decapitated at the Forum Vulcani, at or near the Solfatara in the Phlegraean Fields.  In a synopsis relayed by Bede (followed by Ado and by Usuard) as well as in a more detailed translation account (BHL 4116), people of Puteoli bring their remains (much later, evidently) to the town's basilica of St. Stephen.  Their feast day commemorates this translation.

Later translation accounts (BHL 4137, 4133) have Naples' eighth-century bishop Stephen II translating the remains of Eutyches and Acutius to that city and the Lombards making off with those of Proculus and taking them to Benevento.  A supposedly ninth-century translation account has the relics of all three removed to Reichenau.  In the later eighteenth century, when these accounts had come to light and relics said to be theirs were found at Reichenau, Pozzuoli received half of the remains of each saint that were then at Naples (including those of P., who had somehow managed to find his way there from Benevento) and the other halves were re-interred under the main altar of Naples' cathedral (where within a few years they were joined by the putative relics of Naples' St. Agrippinus).  An inspection of the Campanian relics in 1964 was followed by a declaration that these were lacking the bones belonging to the set at Reichenau.

E. and P. in a ninth-century fresco in Naples' catacombe di San Gennaro:
http://tinyurl.com/yzvzjlc
A. (at right; St. Desiderius of Benevento at left) in a ninth-century fresco in Naples' catacombe di San Gennaro:           
http://tinyurl.com/llyzbv
P. in the late eleventh- or early twelfth-century cycle of Januarian portraits in the chiesa di Sant'Aniello at Quindici (AV) in central Campania:
http://www.moschiano.net/Quindici/pages/affresco%2022_jpg.htm

Herewith two illustrated, Italian-language accounts of the Flavian Amphitheatre at Pozzuoli, the greatly visible structure that the author and reader of Januarius' early Passio will have had in mind when imagining Pozzuoli's amphitheatre:
http://tinyurl.com/ymzdaw
http://140.164.3.3/CampiFlegrei/pozzuoli/anfiteatro.html
More views (all expandable), and some of the Solfatara as well, are here:
http://www.geocities.com/kpkilburn/pozzuolicumasolfatara.htm
As it happens, Pozzuoli had an earlier, late-Republican amphitheatre that continued in use in the imperial period well after the town's Flavian amphitheatre had come into existence.  Here's an Italian-language account of it of this smaller structure:
http://140.164.3.3/CampiFlegrei/pozzuoli/anfiteatromin.html

In the sixth century inhabited Puteoli/Pozzuoli had shrunk to its fortified acropolis, today's Rione Terra.  The town's paleochristian cathedral of St. Stephen was abandoned and an ancient temple (today's so-called Tempio di Augusto) became the new cathedral, dedicated to P.  This remained free-standing until 1643, when it was incorporated into the then newly built cattedrale di San Procolo.  This late fifteenth-century drawing by the architect Giuliano da Sangallo is said to be the only view we have of it prior to that incorporation:
http://tinyurl.com/2krn63
In 1963 the cathedral suffered a disastrous fire and in the following year remains of the ancient temple and medieval cathedral were revealed when the fabric surrounding them was removed:
http://www.costruzioni.net/articoli/pozzuoli/9.jpg
http://www.costruzioni.net/articoli/pozzuoli/8.jpg
http://140.164.3.3/CampiFlegrei/pozzuoli/pozzuoli4/tempiort.gif
http://tinyurl.com/2jbbzk
In this aerial view they're just a little above center:
http://www.costruzioni.net/articoli/pozzuoli/6.jpg


4) Amabilis of Riom (d. later 5th cent.).  According to St. Gregory of Tours' _In gloria confessorum_, cap. 32, A. (in French, Aimable, Amable) was a priest of outstanding virtues at today's Riom (Puy-de-Dôme) in Auvergne, said to have had power over snakes.  Relics believed to be his were brought from Clermont to Riom probably in the eleventh century (a community of canons regular served his church there from 1077 to 1548).  Herewith some views of Riom's mostly twelfth- and thirteenth-century basilique Saint-Amable (the facade is of the eighteenth century; the belltower and the transepts were rebuilt in 1855):
http://www.pbase.com/philippe_henry/image/53516725
http://tinyurl.com/6esr73
http://tinyurl.com/5cdsrx

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

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