medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture
Today (13. January) is the feast day of:
1) Hermylus and Stratonicus (d. ca. 308-311 or ca. 320, supposedly). H. (also Hermyllus, Hermellus; in Serbian, Ermil) and S. (in Serbian, Stratonik) are very poorly attested martyrs of Moesia prima. Their legendary late antique Passio in two versions (BHG 744 and 744z; the latter's expansion by Symeon Metaphrastes is BHG 745) makes H. a deacon at Singidunum (today's Belgrade/Beograd) who during the persecution of Licinius was arrested, professed his Christianity before the emperor, and was so savagely beaten with iron rods that his heart and entrails were exposed to view. H.'s friend S. fell to weeping at this, proclaimed himself a Christian, and was beaten as well. Then both were drowned in the Danube. How much of this is factual is an open question.
Byzantine synaxaries and menologia record H. and S. under today's date and sometimes add a notice of the translation of their relics to Constantinople. The medieval Latin church appears not to have known of S. In the (pseudo-)Hieronymian Martyrology H. alone is entered, under 3. August and without any indication of place: _et alibi Hermyli martyris_. The ninth-century martyrologists Florus, Ado, and Usuard follow the dating of the (ps.-)HM but call H. Hermellus and, presumably thanks to his veneration there, identify him as a martyr of Constantinople. H. entered the RM from Usuard with an entry under 3. August; he was moved to today in the revision of 2001, which latter also brought S. into the Latin-rite version of this commemoration.
H. as depicted in the earlier fourteenth-century (betw. 1335 and 1350) nave 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:
S. as depicted in the same set of frescoes:
H. and S. are depicted on a closely contemporary (1350-1355) polyptych by Paolo Veneziano. The work in question, whose central panel shows St. Mary Magdalene before the crucified Jesus, was said only a few years ago to be now in the Museum of Sacred Art in Rab. See Ivo Barić, _Kulturni Kapital Rapske Baštine. Traduzione dal croato in italiano con commento linguistico_ (Trieste: Università degli Studi di Trieste, Scuola Superiore di Lingue Moderne per Interpreti e Traduttori, Anno accademico 2005-2006), pp. 88-91, available on the Web at:
Can anyone point to a view of this piece?
2) Hilarius of Poitiers (d. 367). We know about the bishop and theologian H. (in English, also Hilary) from his own writings, from a later sixth-century Vita by St. Venantius Fortunatus (BHL 3885-3886), and from scattered references in such other writers as St. Jerome, St. Augustine of Hippo, and Sulpicius Severus. A convert to Christianity, he was born at Poitiers and was educated there. In around 350, when he was perhaps thirty-five years old, he was elected that city's bishop. An active opponent of Arianism, H. was exiled to Phrygia in 356 by the emperor Constantius II but caused such difficulties for Arian-leaning or Arian-tolerating bishops at the Council of Seleucia in 359 that he was then sent back to his diocese. His cult appears to have been immediate.
H. was proclaimed a Doctor of the Church in 1850. In the general Roman Calendar prior to the revision of 1969 his feast fell on 14. January; the move to today returned it to his feast day as recorded in the (pseudo-)Hieronymian Martyrology.
a) H. as depicted in an eleventh-century copy of Venantius Fortunatus' Vita of him (Montpellier, Faculté de Médecine, ms. 48, fol. 31v):
b) H. (at left) at the Council of Seleucia and devils inspiring and tormenting the non-Nicene (heretical) bishops as figured on the later twelfth-century lintel of the west portal of the église (ancienne collégiale) Saint-Hilaire in Sémur-en-Brionnais (Saône-et-Loire; see f), below, for more views of this church):
c) H.'s consecration as depicted in an earlier fourteenth-century (second quarter) French-language collection of saint's lives (Paris, BnF, ms. Français 185, fol. 211r):
d) H. and other bishops fighting heretics as depicted in an earlier fourteenth-century (1348) copy of the _Legenda aurea_ in its French-language version by Jean de Vignay (Paris, BnF, ms. Français 241, fol. 38v):
e) An illustrated, English-language page on Poitiers' very largely eleventh-century église Saint-Hilaire-le-Grand:
f) An illustrated, French-language page on the aforementioned originally twelfth-century église (ancienne collégiale) Saint-Hilaire in Sémur-en-Brionnais (Saône-et-Loire):
The scenes below the tympanum
3) Remigius of Reims (d. 532 or 533). R. (in standard French, Rémi, Rémy; at Reims, usually but not always Remi or Remy), the "apostle of the Franks", is said in his Vita by "Fortunatus, bishop of Poiters" (BHL 7150; _not_ by St. Venantius Fortunatus) to have been of noble birth and to have been elected bishop of Reims at the age of twenty-two. It also credits him with various miracles, one of which was the suppression of a fire threatening to consume his city. (This text evinces no knowledge of the recently celebrated Marcellinus of Ancona, another member of the sanctoral fire brigade.) Four letters of his survive; a collection of his sermons was known to St. Sidonius Apollinaris.
St. Gregory of Tours' _Historia Francorum_ is our first narrative source for R.'s having baptized the Frankish king Clovis. R.'s Vita by Hincmar of Reims (BHL 7152-7164) makes him a member of a prominent noble _and_ ecclesiastical family and adds other miracles, including that of the ampule of chrism miraculously provided for Clovis' baptismal ceremony.
Florus of Lyon and Hincmar both give today as R.'s _dies natalis_. His traditional feast on 1. October, removed in 1969 from the general Roman Calendar but still observed in the diocese of Reims-Ardennes, commemorates his translation in 1099 from Reims' cathedral to the abbey church of Saint-Remi. R.'s putative remains repose in the latter's largely eleventh- through thirteenth-century successor, today's basilique Saint-Remi. As this structure sustained massive damage to the nave and transept in World War I, much of what one sees today is restoration work. A brief, French-language account of the building is here:
and two sets of expandable views (the latter alas uncaptioned) are here:
Other visuals from France:
a) Three of R.'s best known miracles (restoring to life the girl from Toulouse; multiplication of wine; the heavenly dove providing chrism for Clovis' baptism) are portrayed on this later ninth-century ivory book cover now in the Musée de Picardie, Amiens:
b) The St. Rémi window (ca. 1220-25) at Notre-Dame de Chartres:
c) R. is portrayed several times on the "Portail des Saints" (ca. 1220-1230) of the north transept of Reims' cathédrale de Notre-Dame (NB: Many of the carvings on this building were reworked in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries). For orientation purposes, herewith a view of the portal as a whole:
In the tympanum, scenes of R.'s miracles are shown in the second register starting from the top:
The lowest register shows the baptism of Clovis:
(Rub a dub dub, a king in a tub!)
d) The same building's fourteenth-century west front has another version of the baptism scene (queen Clothild; Clovis; R.) in the "Galerie des Rois" above the rose window:
A view of the west front:
e) A later fourteenth-century miniature of the baptism of Clovis (Paris, BnF, ms. Français 28213, fol. 12v):
f) A fifteenth-century depiction of the baptism (Paris, BnF, ms. Latin 917, fol. 1r), showing the dove now with two ampules (a later development of the story):
Some instances of R.'s medieval veneration outside of today's France.
a) The St.-Remigius-Kirche in Büdingen (Lkr. Wetteraukreis) in Hessen began in the eighth century as wooden structure and was rebuilt in stone in the ninth century. At the beginning of the eleventh century the massive west end was added and in around 1050 all the walls were raised to their present height. In the fourteenth century the church got a new choir and new interior decor. Some views:
b) The originally twelfth-century tower (increased in height ca. 1500) of the much rebuilt Sint Remigiuskerk in Duiven (Gelderland):
Further views, including some of this church's nave from ca. 1500, are here:
c) The originally twelfth- or thirteenth-century tower of the otherwise originally late fifteenth-century (1491) Kirche St. Remigius in Falera (Canton Graubünden):
(In that last view, those are menhirs in the foreground.)
d) The Kirche St. Remigius in Wittlaer, a _Stadtteil_ of Düsseldorf, is first recorded from 1144 but in its present form is a (somewhat restored) earlier thirteenth-century building. A general view is here:
And a plan is here (at bottom):
e) The originally thirteenth-century, since greatly rebult chiesa di San Remigio in Fosdinovo (MC) in Tuscany preserves a thirteenth-century statue of a seated R. (does anyone have a better view of it?):
f) The oratorio/chiesetta di San Remigio in Corzoneso, a locality of Acquarossa in Canton Ticino, is first recorded from 1249. Herewith a view from 1935, showing early modern rebuilding:
and, at left and center, two views of the rear of this two-apsed church:
g) The fourteenth-century statue of a seated R. in the essentially early twentieth-century Sint Remigiuskerk in Klimmen (Limburg), a replacement for an originally eleventh(?)-century predecessor:
h) Some views of the Remigiuskirche (Franciscan) in Bonn, begun in 1272 and consecrated in 1317:
i) A church dedicated to R. outside of Florence's ninth-century city wall is first recorded from 1040. It was rebuilt in the fourteenth century and despite later alterations is still very largely a "gothic" church. Some views:
Giottino's Pietà of San Remigio (between 1360 and 1365), now in the Uffizi, was painted for this church. Here's a view (the bishop is of course R.):
j) The earlier sixteenth-century choir of the since much rebuilt Sint Remigiuskerk in Baarle-Hertog (prov. Antwerpen), a set of Belgian exclaves surrounded by territory of the Dutch province of Noord-Brabant:
4) Jutta of Huy (d. 1228). We know about J. (in French, Iuette, Yvette; in English, also Yvette) from an immediately posthumous Vita by Hugo of Floreffe (BHL 1230). The daughter of a lay official of the diocese of Liège, she was married at about the age of thirteen. Though she hated sexual intercourse, she was compelled to bear several children before being widowed at age eighteen. Refusing to remarry, J. placed her offspring in the care of one of their grandfathers and for eleven years devoted herself to patients at a leper hospital outside of Huy. Then she became an anchoress in the vicinity and lived for another thirty-six years, offering guidance to pilgrims and becoming famous for miracles. Today is J.'s _dies natalis_.
(last year's post revised and with the addition of Hermylus and Stratonicus)
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