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MEDIEVAL-RELIGION  January 2016

MEDIEVAL-RELIGION January 2016

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Subject:

FEAST - A Saint for the Day (Jan. 21): St. Agnes of Rome

From:

John Dillon <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

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

Date:

Thu, 21 Jan 2016 11:01:12 +0000

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text/plain

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medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture



Entered under today in the _Depositio martyrum_ of the Chronographer of 354, Agnes is a martyr of the Via Nomentana, where a cemetery was named for her.  Adjacent to it Constantine's daughter Constantina erected a large basilica dedicated to her, remains of which can still be seen today.  When Agnes was martyred is unknown: the two leading candidates are the persecutions of Decius and Valerian.  Early literary notices, of which there are a number -- Agnes was always a popular saint --, stress her youth (twelve years old, says St. Ambrose) and, initially as an indicator of her age but quickly sexualized (as in Prudentius, _Peristephanon_, 14), her virginity.



By the time of St. Maximus of Turin (d. ca. 465) Agnes had a legendary Passio.  This exists in numerous versions; among the highlights are extended treatments of her placement in a brothel and of the blinding of a male admirer (both already present in Prudentius' poem) and her execution in the Circus Agonalis (today's Piazza Navona).  Agnes' early modern church there (Sant'Agnese in Agone) is variously said to have some of her hair and/or her head.  But her chief place of veneration in Rome is the church over her burial site at the aforementioned cemetery, Sant'Agnese fuori le Mura.  Erected by Honorius I in the early seventh century, several times rebuilt, and containing such of her relics as are not elsewhere, this has long been the venue of today's blessing of two lambs from whose wool archiepiscopal pallia are made.  Their connection with Agnes depends upon the similarity between her name and the Latin words _agnus_ and _agna_ ("lamb"; a frequent attribute of Agnes).





Texts:



α) Pope St. Damasus' verse epitaph for Agnes (_Epigrammata Damasiana_, ed. Ferrua, no. 37), inscribed in Filocalian letters:

http://www.santagnese.org/fotoHR/carme_11-01-04.jpg



β) The Ambrosian hymn _Agnes beatae virginis_ (starts a little more than halfway down the page):

http://tinyurl.com/ofxqdyn



γ) Prudentius, _Peristephanon_, 14 (the closing piece in this late fourth- or very early fifth-century collection of triumphal poems celebrating Christian martyrs):

http://www.thelatinlibrary.com/prudentius/prud14.shtml







Images (supplementing those posted today by Gordon Plumb):



a) as portrayed in relief (as a young girl) on in a fourth-century _pluteus_ from the altar erected by pope Liberius (352-366) at her tomb and now, like the Damasan inscription shown above, embedded in a wall alongside the entrance stairway at Rome's basilica di Sant'Agnese fuori le Mura:

http://www.santagnese.org/img/pluteo_liberio.gif



b) as depicted in a fourth-century roundel on a tomb in the cemetery of Pamphilus on the Via Salaria:

http://www.geometriefluide.com/foto/PIC1834O.jpg



c) as depicted in the earlier to mid-sixth-century mosaics of the presbytery arch (carefully restored, 1890-1900) in the Basilica Eufrasiana at Poreč:

http://nickerson.icomos.org/euf/u/uf-.jpg



d) as depicted (third from right) in the heavily restored, later sixth-century procession of female martyrs (ca. 561) in the nave of Ravenna's basilica di Sant'Apollinare Nuovo (photograph courtesy of Genevra Kornbluth):

http://www.kornbluthphoto.com/images/ApNNorth7.jpg



e) as depicted (at center, betw. popes Honorius I and Symmachus) in the earlier seventh-century apse mosaic of Rome's basilica di Sant'Agnese fuori le Mura:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/prof_richard/8008288332/

Detail view (Agnes):

http://www.flickr.com/photos/prof_richard/8008287787/



f) as depicted (at left; at right, St. Pudentiana) in a ninth-century mosaic in the cappella di San Zenone in Rome's basilica di Santa Prassede:

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4064/4644820346_c1ee45024c_z.jpg



g) as depicted (martyrdom) in an earlier twelfth-century homiliary (Cambrai, Bibliothèque municipale, ms. 528, fol. 132v):

http://www.enluminures.culture.fr/Wave/savimage/enlumine/irht11/IRHT_161396-p.jpg



h) as depicted (her modesty preserved in the brothel) in an earlier thirteenth-century collection of saint's lives in their French-language translation by Wauchier de Denain (betw. 1226 and 1250; London, BL, MS Royal 20 D VI, fol. 48v): 

http://www.bl.uk/catalogues/illuminatedmanuscripts/ILLUMIN.ASP?Size=mid&IllID=42712



i) as depicted in a panel of a mid-thirteenth-century glass window (w. 202; ca. 1245-1250) in Strasbourg's cathédrale Notre-Dame:

http://therosewindow.com/pilot/Strasbourg/w202-C3.htm



j) as depicted in a panel of a mid-thirteenth-century ambulatory window (Bay 109, panel C4; before 1256; extensively restored, late nineteenth century) in the cathédrale Saint-Julien, Le Mans:

http://www.medievalart.org.uk/lemans/109_pages/LeMans_Bay109_PanelC4.htm



k) as depicted in a later thirteenth-century Cistercian psalter (ca. 1260; Besançon, Bibliothèques municipales, ms. 54, fol. 13r):

http://www.enluminures.culture.fr/Wave/savimage/enlumine/irht5/IRHT_083231-p.jpg



l) as depicted (martyrdom) in a late thirteenth-century copy of French origin of the _Legenda aurea_ (San Marino, CA, Huntington Library, ms. HM 3027, fol. 23v; image greatly expandable):

http://digitalassets.lib.berkeley.edu/ds/huntington/images//000968A.jpg



m) as depicted (at left; at right, St. Barbara) in the late thirteenth-century Livre d'images de Madame Marie (ca. 1285-1290; Paris: BnF, ms. Nouvelle acquisition française 16251, fol. 96r):

http://tinyurl.com/y9wmsx6



n) as depicted in a late thirteenth-century glass window panel (ca. 1295-1297; from the Filialkirche St. Walpurgis in St. Michael in der Obersteiermark) in the Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nürnberg:

http://objektkatalog.gnm.de/objekt/MM18



o) as depicted (martyrdom and other scenes) in the early fourteenth-century Sts. Catherine and Agnes window in the église Saint-Pere in Chartres:

http://therosewindow.com/pilot/Chartres-st-pere/w226.htm 



p) as depicted (bottom register, at far right) by Duccio di Buoninsegna in his early fourteenth-century Maestà (betw. 1308 and 1311) for the cathedral of Siena:

http://www.wga.hu/art/d/duccio/maesta/0main/maest_01c.jpg

Detail view (Agnes):

http://www.wga.hu/art/d/duccio/maesta/0main/maest_06a.jpg



q) as depicted (at left; at right, St. Ambrose of Milan) by Simone Martini in a predella panel of his earlier fourteenth-century Polyptych of Santa Caterina (commissioned, 1319) in the Museo nazionale di San Matteo in Pisa:

http://tinyurl.com/jsvpdyw



r) as depicted in the earlier fourteenth-century East Window (ca. 1320) in the church of the former Cistercian abbey of Heiligkreuztal near Riedlingen (Lkr. Biberach) in Baden-Württemberg:

http://id.corpusvitrearum.de/images/1465.html

Detail view:

http://www.heiligen.net/afb/01/21/01-21-0304-agnes-rome_1.jpg



s) as depicted (defending herself from her suitor and his friends) in an earlier fourteenth-century copy, from the workshop of Richard and Jeanne de Montbaston, of the _Legenda aurea_ in its French-language version by Jean de Vignay (1348; Paris, BnF, ms. Français 241, fol. 44v):

http://tinyurl.com/y96nhmg



t) as depicted (at left; at right, St. Domitilla) by Andrea di Bonaiuto in a later fourteenth-century diptych (ca. 1365-1370) in the Galleria dell'Accademia, Florence:

http://tinyurl.com/zsad2mo



u) as depicted (martyrdom and other scenes) on both the inside and the outside of the later fourteenth-century enameled Royal Gold Cup (ca. 1370-1380) in the British Museum, London:

http://tinyurl.com/hrsotwo

Detail views:

1) Martyrdom:

http://tinyurl.com/zmbg44a

2) All scenes:

http://tinyurl.com/zaj3k78



v) as depicted (martyrdom) in a later fourteenth-century copy of Vincent of Beauvais' _Speculum historiale_ in its French-language version by Jean de Vignay (ca. 1370-1380; Paris, BnF, ms. Nouvelle acquisition française 15943, fol. 48r):

http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b8449689s/f103.item.zoom



w) as depicted (martyrdom) by Giovanni di Benedetto and workshop in a late fourteenth-century Franciscan missal of Milanese origin (ca. 1385-1390; Paris, BnF, ms. Latin 757, fol. 298r):

http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b8470209d/f599.item.zoom



x) as depicted in a late fourteenth- or early fifteenth-century copy of the _Legenda aurea_ in its French-language version by Jean de Vignay (Rennes, Bibliothèque de Rennes Métropole, ms. 266, fol. 47v):

http://tinyurl.com/jrof5ha

http://tinyurl.com/z295dx6



y) as depicted in an early fifteenth-century physician's almanac (1411-1412; London, BL, Harley MS 2332, fol. 2v):

http://sarahjbiggs.typepad.com/.a/6a013488b5399e970c01a73d70264a970d-popup



z) as depicted in two early fifteenth-century frescoes (1414) in the chiesa di Santa Caterina / Filialkirche Hl. Katharina in Mitterdorf / Villa di Mezzo, a locality of Caldaro sulla Strada del Vino / Kaltern an der Weinstraße (BZ) in Trentino - Alto Adige:

1) Refusing to wed the prefect's ailing son:

http://tinyurl.com/hmabf73

2) Martyrdom:

http://tinyurl.com/zbp9pdg



aa) as depicted (martyrdom) in an early fifteenth-century copy of the _Elsässische Legenda aurea_ (1419; Heidelberg, UB, Cod. Pal. germ. 144, fol. 294r):

http://digi.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/diglit/cpg144/0611



bb) as depicted (as a young girl) in the earlier fifteenth-century Breviary of Marie de Savoie (ca. 1430; Chambéry, Bibliothèque municipale, ms. 4, fol. 430v):

http://www.enluminures.culture.fr/Wave/savimage/enlumine/irht1/IRHT_035520-p.jpg



cc) as depicted (as a young girl) in the earlier fifteenth-century Hours of Catherine of Cleves (ca. 1440; New York, The Morgan Library and Museum, Morgan MS M.917, p. 300):

http://www.themorgan.org/collection/hours-of-catherine-of-cleves/119#



dd) as depicted (as a young girl) by the Masters of the Delft Grisailles in the earlier fifteenth-century Loftie Hours (ca. 1440; Baltimore, The Walters Art Gallery and Museum, ms. W.165, fol. 125v):

http://thedigitalwalters.org/Data/WaltersManuscripts/W165/data/W.165/sap/W165_000254_sap.jpg



ee) as depicted (martyrdom) by the court workshop of Frederick III in a mid-fifteenth-century copy of the _Legenda aurea_ (1446-1447; Vienna, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, cod. 326, fol. 37r):

http://tarvos.imareal.oeaw.ac.at/server/images/7006831.JPG



ff) as depicted in the mid-fifteenth-century frescoes (1453) in Rasbo kyrka, Rasbo (Uppsala län):

http://medeltidbild.historiska.se/medeltidbild/mbbilder/bilder/94/9428714.jpg



gg) as depicted by the Master of the Dutuit Mount of Olives in a hand-colored, later fifteenth-century print in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam:

http://tinyurl.com/k58an7t



hh) as depicted (at upper right in the central panel) in the later fifteenth-century winged principal altarpiece (ca. 1460-1480) in the Protestant church in Mălâncrav (German: Malmkrog) in Romania's Sibiu region (German: Siebenbürgen):

http://tinyurl.com/zoqawmh

Detail view (Agnes):

http://tinyurl.com/hxt7qu8



ii) as depicted (martyrdom and other scenes) in a later fifteenth-century copy of Vincent of Beauvais' _Speculum historiale_ in its French-language version by Jean de Vignay (1463; Paris, BnF, ms. Français 51, fol. 257r):

http://tinyurl.com/ja4aqrl



jj) as depicted (at upper left in the panel at right) on one of the wings (closed position) of Hans Memling's later fifteenth-century St. John Altarpiece (completed ca. 1479) in the Memlingmuseum, Sint-Janshospitaal, Bruges: 

http://www.wga.hu/art/m/memling/2middle2/13john4.jpg 



kk) as depicted (left margin at bottom) in a hand-colored woodcut in the Beloit College copy of Hartmann Schedel's late fifteenth-century _Weltchronik_ (_Nuremberg Chronicle_; 1493) at fol. CXXIIIr:

https://www.beloit.edu/nuremberg/book/6th_age/right_page/28%20%28Folio%20CXXIIIIr%29.pdf



ll) as portrayed in an earlier sixteenth-century silver and silver gilt reliquary statue (ca. 1520-1525) in the treasury of the St.-Paulus-Dom in Münster:

http://tinyurl.com/lyfqkf4



Best,

John Dillon



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