medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture
On Wednesday, January 6, 2010, at 3:24 am, I wrote:
> The Epiphany (in Orthodox churches, the Theophany). A few visuals:
> 39) Adoration of the Magi (betw. 1263 and 1270), nave fresco, church
> of the Holy Trinity at the Sopoćani monastery in, depending on one's
> view of the matter, Serbia's province of Kosovo and Metohija or the
> Republic of Kosovo:
Not only should the URL have read:
but the monastery's location was wrongly identified (presumably as a result of cutting and pasting from the wrong part of an older post). It is at Sopoćani (Raška dist.) in southern Serbia.
6. January is also the feast day of:
Julian and Basilissa (?). The absence of early cult indications for the medievally popular J. and B. is striking. Their earliest clearly datable testimonies are to B. alone: a) her later sixth-century portrait among those of female saints of the sixth-century apse mosaic of the Basilica Eufrasiana at Poreč (Italian: Parenzo) in Croatia and b) her mention in a similar context by the later sixth-century St. Venantius Fortunatus (_Carmina_, 8. 3. 35).
The ultimate source for these and for the entry for J. and B. under 6. January in the (pseudo-)Hieronymian Martyrology (later sixth-century at the earliest), is probably the saints' undated late antique Passio (a conjoined Bios and Martyrion; BHG 970-971). This was certainly in existence by the mid-seventh century: St. Aldhelm (d. 709/10) draws on it in some form for his treatment of J. and B. in both the prose and the verse _De virginitate_. A lectionary written at Luxeuil in the late seventh or early eighth century preserves a very faithful translation of the Passio into Latin (BHL 4529; significantly altered in its later witnesses including the one used for the edition in the _Acta Sanctorum_).
According to their edifying Passio, which in addition to being clearly legendary is interestingly bipartite, J. and B. are saints either of Antinoe in Egypt or, thanks a widespread but probably false variant reading, of Antioch on the Orontes. J. is presented as a very well educated young man who secretly prefers to remain virginal. When his parents press him to marry he does so out of filial piety and, having married B., persuades her to join him in maintaining a chaste union. A heavenly apparition confirms their choice. When their parents die they use their inheritances to found a men's monastery and a women's. The Diocletianic persecution breaks out. B.'s nuns and B. herself die in a way that is not made clear. J. is arrested, acquires -- largely through conversion -- a varied roster of companions, and after many tortures is decapitated.
The Latin Calendar of Sinai (before ca. 800; thought to reflect African liturgical practice) records the feast of J. and B. under 2. October. Florus of Lyon follows the (ps.-)HM in recording J. and B. under 6. January. The Marble Calendar of Naples (also earlier ninth-century) records them under 7. January. Byzantine synaxaries place them under 8. January (later there is also a feast on 21. June as well as one on 5. July for the dedication of J.'s church in Constantinople). St. Ado of Vienne and Usuard, followed by the RM prior to its revision of 2001, enter them under 9. January. St. Rabanus Maurus has them under 13. January; Wandelbert of Prüm has them under 13. February.
a) B. as depicted in the sixth-century apse mosaic of the Basilica Eufrasiana at Poreč:
b) Celsus and Marcianilla (two of J.'s companions: C. was his persecutor's son and M. was C.'s mother) and B. as depicted in an eighth(?)-century fresco of Rome's basilica di San Paolo fuori le mura:
c) The originally earlier ninth-century San Julián de los Prados in Oviedo.
Illustrated, English-language page:
A better illustrated English-language page (also available in French and in Spanish):
A much better illustrated Spanish-language page, with many views of the interior:
Another view of the facade:
d) The iglesia de los Santos Julián y Basilisa, said to have been consecrated in 922, in the monasterio de San Juan de la Peña near Santa Cruz de la Seros (Huesca):
The later eleventh-century monastery was built around this church. The later fourteenth-century (ca. 1370) _Crónica de San Juan de la Peña_ says that a pair of refugees from now Muslim-ruled Zaragoza, Voto and Felix, built a small church on the site that they hallowed with relics they had brought with them of St. John the Baptist and that two brothers named Julian and Basilissa founded the monastery around it.
e) J. (at left; today's Lucian of Antioch at right) as depicted in the earlier fourteenth-century (betw. ca. 1312 and 1321/1322) frescoes of the nave in the monastery church of the Theotokos at Gračanica in, depending on one's view of the matter, either Serbia's province of Kosovo and Metohija or the Republic of Kosovo:
J.'s monastic garb rules out an identification of the figure as either J. of Anazarbus or J. of Galatia.
f) J. (at right; St. Paul at left) in the early fifteenth-century (ca. 1410) Hours of René d'Anjou (an Horae BVM for the Use of Paris; London, British Library, MS Egerton 1070, fol. 86r):
g) The marriage of J. and B. (lower register, center and right), J.'s martyrdom (lower register, left), other scenes from their Passio (upper register) as depicted in a later fifteenth-century (1463) copy of Vincent de Beauvais' _Speculum historiale_ in its French-language version by Jean de Vignay (Paris, BnF, ms. Français 51, fol. 77r):
The martyrdom of various of J.'s companions as depicted in the same ms. (fols. 79r, 80v):
h) The mostly earlier fifteenth-century (1405-1436) chiesa collegiata di Santa Maria della Scala at Chieri (TO) in Piedmont, popularly known as its duomo, has putative relics of J. and B., supposedly brought back from Antioch by a crusader in 1098, hidden for fear of theft, and discovered along with the body B.'s supposed companion St. Genesia on 20. May 1187. Since at least 1422 these have been the focus of an annual fair usually held on 21. May, in the course of which the local farmers' association parades them though the town in a display reliquary case from 1512 set up on a cart drawn by two oxen:
Here's the Italia nell'Arte Medievale page on the collegiata di Chieri, whose baptistery, part of the crypt, and one belltower are survivors from an originally eleventh-century predecessor (medievally, both churches had chapels dedicated to B.:
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