medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture
Today (10. November) is the feast day of:
1) Demetrius of Antioch (d. late 250s?). We know about D. (also Demetrianus) chiefly from sources of Syrian origin. He was elected bishop of Antioch on the Orontes in 253 and died of hardships suffered in exile after the Persian king Shapur I had conquered that city and moved most of its population elsewhere as a labor force. According to Eusebius, his successor was elected in 261. D.'s cult at Antioch appears to have been immediate. He is entered for today in the (pseudo-)Hieronymian Martyrology and in the martyrology of Usuard.
2) Orestes of Tyana (?). O. is a saint of the former Tyana in Cappadocia, where a monastery dedicated to him is already attested from the later fourth century in the correspondence of St. Basil the Great. He has a legendary Greek-language Passio (versions: BHG 1384, 1385) that makes him a physician of Tyana caught up in the Great Persecution. His resistance to a command to sacrifice to idols in a temple was miraculously confirmed by an earthquake that a) caused the idols to fall and be smashed and b) resulted in the collapse of the temple itself once O. had been brought outside. Still a prisoner, O. was then tortured severely and then tied to a maddened horse that dragged him to his death across rocky terrain. Thus far O.'s Passio.
A very late thirteenth- or very early fourteenth-century (ca. 1300) fresco of O., attributed to Manuel Panselinos, in the Protaton church at Karyes on Mount Athos:
O.'s end as depicted in the earlier fourteenth-century (1335-1350) frescoes in the narthex of 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:
3) Tiberius of Saint-Thibéry (?). T. (in French Thibéry, Tibéri, Tibère) is the saint of today's Saint-Thibéry (Hérault) in Languedoc, where an abbey named for him and claiming to possess his relics was already in existence in 817.
Nothing is known about T. Absent from the (pseudo-)Hieronymian Martyrology, he has a brief Vita of uncertain date (BHL 8285m) and another by the early fourteenth-century hagiographer Pietro Calò (BHL 8285n). Both of these derive from a lost predecessor calqued on an early Passio of Sts. Vitus, Modestus, and Crescentia (15. June), make T. a martyr under Valerian, and give him two apparently fictional companions named Modestus and Florentia. Like the aforementioned abbey, the lost Passio from which these descend was already in existence in the early ninth century, as it underlies identical entries in the martyrologies of Florus, Ado, and Usuard (all of which, however, place the martyrdom of T., M., and C. under Diocletian) as well as another in the martyrology of Wandelbert of Prüm. T. and his companions entered the RM from Usuard and remained there until 2001, when all three ceased to be entered.
The abbey (rebuilt by the Maurists early in the eighteenth century) is situated above the point where the major Roman road between Italy and Iberia, the Via Domitia, crossed the Hérault (arches of the Roman bridge survive). From it T.'s cult spread widely across southern France, with attestations from Fréjus to Bordeaux and from many places south of a line connecting those two cities. Some views of its remaining late medieval fourteenth- to early sixteenth-century structures (NB: the church is now called that of Sainte-Marie-de-la-Salvetat):
The Roman bridge:
4) Leo I, pope (d. 461). An activist pope who promoted the doctrine of Petrine succession and who vigorously championed his views of proper Christian belief, L. (a.k.a. Leo the Great), L. persuaded Attila the Hun not to attack Rome in 452 but was unable to prevent the Vandal sack under Gaiseric in 455. Doctrinally, he is most remembered as the author of the Tome of Leo, one of the founding documents of Chalcedonian orthodoxy.
A leaf from a fragmentary seventh- or eighth-century North Italian manuscript of L.'s sermons (Universitätsbibliothek Salzburg, M II 274):
L.'s eighth-century portrait in Rome's Santa Maria Antiqua:
A black-and-white rendering of L.'s depiction in the later tenth- or early eleventh-century Menologion (so called) of Basil II:
L. at right (at left, St. Peter) in a probably thirteenth-century fresco in the rupestrian church of San Nicola at Casalrotto, a locality of Mottola (TA) in Apulia:
Views of the figures in full length:
L. in the fourteenth-century frescoes of the triumphal arch in the monastery church of the Theotokos at Gračanica in, depending on one's view of the matter, Serbia's province of Kosovo and Metohija or the Republic of Kosovo:
L. in a fourteenth-century (1348) illuminated manuscript of Jean de Vignay's French-language version of the _Legenda aurea_ (Paris, BnF, ms. Français 241, fol. 145v):
L. meeting Attila in an illumination from the fourteenth-century Hungarian _Képes Krónika_ (_Illustrated Chronicle_):
L. in fourteenth- and fifteenth-century manuscript illuminations of French provenance:
L. in the very late fourteenth- and early fifteenth-century Breviary of Martin of Aragon (Paris, BnF, ms. Rothschild 2529, fol. 180v):
L. meeting Attila as imagined by Raphael in the Vatican's Stanza di Eliodoro (1514):
Another view (expandable) occurs near the bottom of this page:
At Capena (RM) in Lazio the originally eighth- or ninth century Chiesetta di San Leone is dedicated to today's L. There's an illustrated account here:
At Bitonto (BA) in Apulia a monastery dedicated to L. is first attested from 1146. By 1266, when the archbishop of Bari was seeking funds for its restoration, it had fallen into disrepair. The monastery was rebuilt either later that century or early the next and again in 1524 after what was probably a period of near abandonment in the later fifteenth century. Secularized in 1807, it passed in part in 1886 to a community of Observant Franciscans, who undertook a rebuilding. Restoration of its fourteenth-century mural paintings took occurred in 1918. I've not been able to find any views of those, but this view of the cloister shows some late medieval architectural fragments mounted on a wall:
At Castellana Grotte (BA) in Apulia a church dedicated to St. Magnus (presumably M. "of Trani", widely venerated in southern Italy) was in 1383 replaced by one dedicated to L., another Magnus. Since largely rebuilt, it is now the town's principal church. Four expandable exterior views occur towards the bottom of this page:
5) Justus of Canterbury (d. ca. 629). The principal source for J. is St. Bede the Venerable's _Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum_ (1. 29; 2. 3–9, 16, 18, 20). The first bishop of Rochester (consecrated by St. Augustine of Canterbury in 604), he had been one of the Roman monks sent in 601 to support Augustine's mission in what now is England. After the latter's death he joined Sts. Lawrence of Canterbury and Mellitus in urging Irish bishops and abbots to observe Roman practices. In 614 J. was present at an ecclesiastical council at Paris and in 616 or 618 he withdrew to Francia upon the accession of a pagan king in Kent. Recalled by the same king, he returned a year later.
J. succeeded to the see of Canterbury in 624. In the following year he consecrated St. Paulinus not yet of York bishop of Northumbria. J.'s death occurred in some year in the period 627-631; today is his _dies natalis_.
6) Baudolinus (d. ca. 740). The name saint of Umberto Eco's Baudolino and the patron of Alessandria (AL) in Piedmont, B. is attested to in Paul the Deacon's _Historia Langobardorum_ (6. 58) as a holy man endowed with powers of prophecy and of second sight and living at Forum (now Villa del Foro) near the site of the future Alessandria. A late medieval Office, printed in a Milanese breviary of the Umiliati in 1483, makes him an hermit and, alluding to his many miracles, ascribes to him one in particular: B. sows vegetable seeds that sprout immediately to feed a starving traveler who was happening by. Other miracles were added in a 1548 edition, including what seems to be the well known one of B.'s ridding Forum of wild geese that were devouring the local crops.
(last year's post lightly revised and with the addition of Orestes of Tyana)
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