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MEDIEVAL-RELIGION  September 2015

MEDIEVAL-RELIGION September 2015

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Subject:

FEAST - Many Saints for the Day (Sept. 22): St. Maurice of Acaunus and companions [WAS: FEAST - A Saint for the Day (Sept. 22): St. Maurice]

From:

John Dillon <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

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

Date:

Sat, 26 Sep 2015 08:19:30 +0000

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (142 lines)

medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

In medieval Latin Christianity this was, and in the Roman Catholic church still is, a celebration not of Maurice alone but rather of Maurice and his companions including the entire military unit known as the Theban Legion, according to their Passio all slaughtered at the command of emperor Maximian at a place called Acaunus in what are now the Swiss Alps.  Without actually saying whether this particular legion was at full strength, St. Ado of Vienne tells readers of his ninth-century martyrology that at the time of these saints' suffering a legion numbered 6,600 men, whereas in _his_ martyrology the also ninth-century Usuard of Saint-Germain specifies six named martyrs (starting with Maurice) plus 6,500 unnamed companions.  While fewer than Ursula's 11,000 virgins or the 10,000 martyrs of Mount Ararat, this is still a rather large number of souls to have entered Heaven virtually all together.  Fortunately, though, as souls are incorporeal we don't have to imagine these saints crowding each other uncomfortably as they entered the Pearly Gates.

The number of named companions grew in the Middle Ages.  Excluding one obvious interpolation (that of the legionaries Ursus and Victor), the seemingly seventh-century earliest version of the _Passio Acaunensium martyrum_ (BHL 5737, etc.) names only three: the legionary officers Exuperius and Candidus and, arriving just after the massacre but declaring himself a Christian and being slaughtered for it, the former legionary Victor.  By the later ninth century the canonical group of named companions had come to include Innocentius and Vitalis as well as the three just named; various other saints with their own Vitae and venerated at different locales from northern Italy to the lower Rhine valley were said to have been members of the Theban legion separated from the main party and martyred individually or in small groups later on.  Through 1962 the Roman Martyrology included beside Maurice the canonical five companions (taken over from Usuard) plus other legionaries no longer numbered.  With the revision of 2001 the RM now commemorates the core group of Maurice, Exuperius, Candidus, and Victor plus unnumbered companions from the Theban Legion.


Some period-pertinent images of St. Maurice of Acaunus and companions:

a) Maurice and companions as depicted in a seemingly tenth-century lectionary from the abbey of Saint-Martial in Limoges (Paris, BnF, ms. Latin 5301, fol. 204r):
http://tinyurl.com/qc5b9zo

b) Maurice and companions as depicted (upper register: Maurice rejects Maximian's order to abjure his faith; lower register: martyrdom of the Theban Legion) as depicted in a late tenth-century gradual from the abbey of Prüm (Paris, BnF, ms. Latin 9448, fol. 70r):
http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b84229915/f149.image

c) Candidus as portrayed in the round and, on the base, in relief on his mid- or slightly later twelfth-century silver and silver-gilt head reliquary (ca. 1160) in the treasury of the abbey of Saint-Maurice-d’Agaune, Saint-Maurice (canton Valais):
1) The reliquary as a whole:
http://tinyurl.com/qc954f2
https://www.flickr.com/photos/38490142@N05/19963494080
2) The head:
http://tinyurl.com/nwyl68e
http://tinyurl.com/q87m4nf
http://www.cathkathcatt.ch/f/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2014/12/candide.jpg
https://www.flickr.com/photos/38490142@N05/19528727834
3) The base (martyrdom):
https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/403/20143380732_71a8abc001_b.jpg

d) Maurice as portrayed in relief on one end of the mid- or later twelfth-century silver and silver gilt châsse for the sons of St. Sigismund in the treasury of the abbey of Saint-Maurice-d'Agaune, Saint-Maurice (canton Valais):
http://tinyurl.com/qbpv6gm
http://tinyurl.com/2j8wr6

e) Maurice as portrayed in relief on two later twelfth-century bracteate pfennigs struck by archbishop Wichmann of Magdeburg (r., 1152-1192):
1) in the British Museum, London:
http://tinyurl.com/pogkx7d
2) in the Bode-Museum, Berlin (at left; at right, abp. Wichmann):
http://tinyurl.com/obhs4ab

f) Maurice and companions as depicted (panel at upper left; martyrdom) in the late twelfth-century Navarre Picture Bible (1197; Amiens, Bibliothèque Louis Aragon, ms. 108, fol. 226v):
http://www.enluminures.culture.fr/Wave/savimage/enlumine/irht3/IRHT_060416-p.jpg
A closer view of just that panel:
http://www.enluminures.culture.fr/Wave/savimage/enlumine/irht3/IRHT_060414-p.jpg

g) Maurice as portrayed (as a Moor) in a mid- or slightly later thirteenth-century statue (ca. 1260) in Magdeburg's Dom St. Mauritius und Katharina:
http://tinyurl.com/qghwgxu
Detail views:
http://tinyurl.com/oaevn3w
http://tinyurl.com/3xunzk

h) Maurice and companions as depicted (martyrdom) in a late thirteenth-century copy of French origin of the _Legenda aurea_ (ca. 1280-1300; San Marino, CA, Huntington Library, ms. HM 3027, fol. 130r; image greatly expandable):
http://digitalassets.lib.berkeley.edu/ds/huntington/images//000899A.jpg

i) Maurice and companions as depicted (martyrdom) the late thirteenth-century Livre d'images de Madame Marie (ca. 1285-1290; Paris, BnF, ms. Nouvelle acquisition française 16251, fol. 86v):
http://tinyurl.com/2fqmdgx

j) The Theban Legion as depicted (martyrdom) in an earlier fourteenth-century French-language legendary of Parisian origin with illuminations attributed to the Fauvel Master (ca. 1327; Paris, BnF, ms. Français 183, fol. 76r):
http://tinyurl.com/p95pbp5

k) Maurice as depicted in a mid-fourteenth-century glass window (ca. 1340-1360) in the Stiftskirche zur Heiligsten Dreifaltigkeit in the Neukloster in Wiener Neustadt:
http://tarvos.imareal.oeaw.ac.at/server/images/7002499.JPG

l) Maurice as depicted (as a Moor) in a fourteenth-century panel painting (betw. 1357 and 1367) by Theodoric of Prague and workshop in the Holy Cross Chapel, Karlštejn Castle (near Prague):
http://www.ekoklub.cz/Theodorik/img00001.jpg

m) Maurice as depicted in a late fourteenth- or early fifteenth-century copy of the _Legenda aurea_ in its French-language version by Jean de Vignay (ca. 1400; Rennes, Bibliothèque de Rennes Métropole, ms. 266, fol. 265r):
http://tinyurl.com/o9493rt

n) Maurice and companions as depicted (at foot of page; Maurice largely hidden by his shield) in one of the numerous pen-and-ink illustrations in the margins of an early fifteenth-century copy of the _Chronicon a mundi creatione ad annum 1220_, an abbreviation and continuation of the _Pantheon_ of Godfrey of Viterbo (ca. 1400-1415; Paris, BnF, ms. Latin 4935, fol. 41v):
http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b8455934w/f92.image

o) Maurice as portrayed in an early fifteenth-century statue (1411) in the ex-abbatial Kirche St. Moritz in Halle an der Saale:
http://tinyurl.com/29kcngc

p) Maurice and companions as depicted in an early fifteenth-century copy (1419) of the _Elsässische Legenda aurea_ (Heidelberg, Universitätsbibliothek, Cod. Pal. germ. 144, fol. 123v):
http://digi.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/diglit/cpg144/0262

q) Maurice and companions as depicted (martyrdom) by the court workshop of Frederick III in a mid-fifteenth-century copy (1446) of the _Legenda aurea_ (Vienna, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, cod. 326, fol. 202r):
http://tarvos.imareal.oeaw.ac.at/server/images/7006879.JPG

r) Maurice and companions as depicted in the mid-fifteenth-century frescoes (1459) of the cappella di San Maurizio in Castelnuovo di Ceva (CN) in Piedmont:
1) Maurice (on horseback):
http://tinyurl.com/oqlmlmy
2) Maurice and companions (martyrdom):
http://tinyurl.com/qjq2t5u

s) Maurice and four companions -- among them Exuperius, Innocentius, and Candidus -- as depicted (martyrdom) in a later fifteenth-century copy (1463) of Vincent of Beauvais' _Speculum historiale_ in its French-language version by Jean de Vignay (Paris, BnF, ms. Français 51, fol. 43r):
http://tinyurl.com/ps3eo92

t) Maurice as depicted in a later fifteenth-century glass window panel of Middle Rhine origin (ca. 1470-1490) in the Musée National du Moyen Âge (Musée de Cluny), Paris:
[log in to unmask]" target="_blank">http:[log in to unmask]

u) Maurice and companions as depicted in a late fifteenth-century breviary according to the Use of Langres (after 1481; Chaumont, Mediathèque de  Chaumont, ms. 33, fol. 436v):
http://tinyurl.com/2drnk54

v) Maurice and his companions (martyrdom) as depicted in a late fifteenth-century breviary according to the Use of Rome (after 1492; Clermont-Ferrand, Bibliothèque du patrimoine, ms. 69, fol. 555v)
http://www.enluminures.culture.fr/Wave/savimage/enlumine/irht4/IRHT_081396-p.jpg

w) Maurice as portrayed (on horseback) in an earlier sixteenth-century polychromed wooden sculptural assemblage (ca. 1501-1525) in the église Saint-Maurice in Sens:
http://tinyurl.com/q8vbbzx
Detail view:
http://tinyurl.com/qb7ggaj
Before restoration:
http://tinyurl.com/q2gu9mw

x) Maurice as depicted (at far right, as a Moor; at far left, St. George of Lydda) by Hans Baldung Grien on an opened wing of his early sixteenth-century Three Kings altarpiece (ca. 1506-1507) in the Gemäldegalerie, Berlin:
http://www.wga.hu/art/b/baldung/2/01altar1.jpg

y) Maurice as depicted in an early sixteenth-century glass window (ca. 1508) in Köln's Hohe Domkirche Sankt Petrus und Maria:
https://www.heiligenlexikon.de/Fotos/Mauritius9.jpg

z) Maurice and companions as depicted in an early sixteenth-century book of hours (ca. 1510; Tours, Bibliothèque municipale, ms. 2104, fol. 167v):
http://www.enluminures.culture.fr/Wave/savimage/enlumine/irht2/IRHT_051210-p.jpg

aa) Maurice and companions as depicted (martyrdom; lower register: Maurice; upper register: companions) by Bernardo Luini in an early sixteenth-century fresco (1510s) in Milan's chiesa di San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore:
http://tinyurl.com/nrjutmj
http://tinyurl.com/pk47amh

bb) Maurice as depicted (at center, as a Moor; at left, St. Erasmus) by Matthias Grünewald in an earlier sixteenth-century panel painting in the Alte Pinakothek, Munich (ca. 1520-1524; _The Meeting of St. Erasmus and St. Maurice_):
http://www.wga.hu/art/g/grunewal/3/04erasm.jpg
Detail view (Maurice):
http://www.wga.hu/art/g/grunewal/3/04erasm2.jpg

cc) Maurice as depicted (as a Moor) by Lucas Cranach the Elder and workshop in an earlier sixteenth-century panel painting (ca. 1520-1525) in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York:
http://www.metmuseum.org/collection/the-collection-online/search/439081
http://ww2.hdnux.com/photos/36/47/22/8025241/3/920x920.jpg
Detail view:
http://tinyurl.com/nhs22o9

Best,
John Dillon

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