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MEDIEVAL-RELIGION  May 2016

MEDIEVAL-RELIGION May 2016

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Subject:

FEAST - A Saint for the Day (May 14): St. Matthias, apostle

From:

John Dillon <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

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

Date:

Sat, 14 May 2016 21:57:10 +0000

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medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

According to Acts 1:21-26, after the Ascension Matthias was chosen by lot to replace Judas as one of the apostles.  After that he disappears from the New Testament.  By the second century he had become popular with Gnostics in Egypt.  Though Clement of Alexandria quotes one of their number, Heracleon, as saying that Matthias died peacefully, by far the more common view was that he had preached among the savages and cannibals of Ethiopia and had there been martyred.  A Gnostic Gospel was written in Matthias' name, while he and St. Andrew are the joint protagonists of a legendary set of Acta recounting their doings in the land of the cannibals (for an English-language translation of this latter, see: <http://tinyurl.com/j5zajee>).  Matthias is also said to have evangelized in other places.  He has a chapter in the _Legenda aurea_.

There is a view in Trier and in its archdiocese that Matthias had been buried in Palestine, that St. Helena found his remains when she was there, and that she brought them back to this late antique capital of the empire.  Witnesses to this belief do not appear to antedate the ninth century.  In 1127, during the demolition there of the old abbey church of St. Eucharius (Trier's first bishop) in preparation for the erection of a successor, these putative remains were miraculously rediscovered.  The new church, now much rebuilt, quickly become known as that of Matthias.  Herewith some views of the resting place in the crypt of the apostle's putative remains and of his modern effigy above it in the nave:
http://tinyurl.com/za26m27
http://tinyurl.com/hn8n8mu
http://tinyurl.com/htl4m24
http://tinyurl.com/godsx5d

Of course, all in Padua know that in 1177 excavations beneath the originally late antique predecessor of today's basilica di Santa Giustina in that city yielded not only the bodily remains of St. Luke but also, in a separate and seemingly slightly earlier discovery, those of Matthias, whose relics are now entombed in the basilica in an elevated sarcophagus dating from 1562:
http://static.panoramio.com/photos/large/125439710.jpg
http://tinyurl.com/j2ww6sc

Prior to its revision of 1969, when he was moved to today, the general Roman Calendar entered Matthias under 24. February.  That was usually his feast day in the Latin Middle Ages and is still his feast day in Roman-rite churches in German-speaking countries as well as in some non-Roman churches (e.g. Anglican churches generally, Lutheran churches generally).  In the originally tenth-century Synaxary of Constantinople and in its descendants in modern Byzantine-rite churches Matthias' feast day falls on 9. August.


By way of supplement to Gordon Plumb's links, posted earlier today, to medieval images of Matthias in glass, herewith some further links to period-pertinent images of this saint (not a few showing implements of martyrdom other than familiar axe or halberd): 

a) as depicted (in lower margin; in lower right margin, the hanged Judas Iscariot) in a later ninth-century psalter from Constantinople (Paris, BnF, ms. grec 20, fol. 23r):
http://tinyurl.com/hfjxltu

b) as portrayed (at center [misidentified here as Matthew], betw. St. James and Thomas) on a mid- or later twelfth-century gilt and enameled copper alloy plaque of Mosan origin (ca. 1150-1175) in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York:
http://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/467735
Detail view (Matthias):
http://images.metmuseum.org/CRDImages/md/web-large/sf41-100-162d2.jpg

c) as portrayed in relief (at left, with an halberd) on one of the plaques of the apostles on the mid- or later twelfth-century processional shrine (perh. ca. 1160; donated by a bishop of Cambrai in 1177) of St. Symphorian in the église Saint-Symphorien in St.-Symphorien, a _section de commune_ of Mons:
http://tinyurl.com/zp4q5ky

d) as portrayed in relief (in this view, third from left) on the later twelfth-century facade (1167) of the chiesa di San Bartolomeo in Pantano in Pistoia (relief attrib. to Gruamonte):
http://tinyurl.com/nofe8rq

e) as depicted (at lower right; being chosen to replace Judas Iscariot) in one of four panels of a full-page illumination in the late twelfth-century so-called Bible of Saint Bertin (ca. 1190-1200; Den Haag, KB, ms. 76 F 5, fol. 23v, sc. 2B):
http://manuscripts.kb.nl/zoom/BYVANCKB%3Amimi_76f5%3A023v_min_b2

f) as depicted (upper register, second from left) in the later thirteenth-century frescoes of the apostles on the ceiling of the baptistery of Parma:
http://tinyurl.com/jg78our

g) as depicted (drawing lots with his fellow nominee Joseph Basabbas) in a late thirteenth-century copy of French origin of the _Legenda aurea_ (ca. 1281-1300; San Marino, CA, Huntington Library, ms. HM 3027, fol. 35v):
digitalassets.lib.berkeley.edu/ds/huntington/images//000960A.jpg

h) as depicted (martyrdom by stoning and with the sword) in the late thirteenth-century Livre d'images de Madame Marie (ca. 1285-1290; Paris, BnF, ms. Nouvelle acquisition française 16251, fol. 72r):
http://tinyurl.com/28w5plj

i) as depicted (at right, with a spear; at left, perhaps St. Paul) in a panel of a late thirteenth-century window (1290s?; bay 105, lancet b) in the basilique de Notre-Dame-de-l'Épine in Évron (Mayenne):
http://therosewindow.com/pilot/Evron/w105ab.htm

j) as thrice depicted in the early fourteenth-century frescoes (ca. 1305-1310) in the Göttweigerhofkapelle in Stein an der Donau (Land Niederösterreich):
1) Released by Christ from prison:
http://tarvos.imareal.oeaw.ac.at/server/images/7005553.JPG
2) Preaching:
http://tinyurl.com/hdofaso
3) Martyrdom by stoning and by the axe:
http://tarvos.imareal.oeaw.ac.at/server/images/7005554.JPG

k) as depicted (at far right) by Duccio di Buoninsegna in the row of apostles above the central panel of the front side of his early fourteenth-century Maestà (betw. 1308 and 1311) in the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo in Siena:
http://www.wga.hu/art/d/duccio/maesta/0main/maest_08.jpg
Detail view (Matthias):
http://tinyurl.com/h2fca29

l) as depicted by the workshop of Simone Martini in an early fourteenth-century panel painting (ca. 1317-1319) in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York:
http://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/437678

m) as depicted (lower register in the panel at lower right; martyrdom by the sword) in an earlier fourteenth-century pictorial menologion from Thessaloniki (betw. 1322 and 1340; Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Gr. th. f. 1, fol. 50v):
http://image.ox.ac.uk/images/bodleian/msgrthf1/50v.jpg

n) as depicted (second from right; being chosen to replace Judas Iscariot) in volume 1 of the earlier fourteenth-century Belleville Breviary (ca. 1323-1326; Paris, BnF, ms. Latin 10483, fol. 158v):
http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b8451634m/f318.item.r=.langFR.zoom

o) as depicted (bas-de-page illumination) in the earlier fourteenth-century Taymouth Hours seemingly from London or its vicinity (ca. 1326-1350; London, BL, MS Yates Thompson 13, fol. 46r):
http://www.bl.uk/catalogues/illuminatedmanuscripts/ILLUMIN.ASP?Size=mid&IllID=29024

p) as depicted (two scenes: preaching; martyrdom by the sword) in an earlier fourteenth-century copy of the _Legenda aurea_ in its French-language version by Jean de Vignay (ca. 1326-1350; Paris, BnF, ms. Français 185, fol. 67r):
http://tinyurl.com/z3m6gyy

q) as twice depicted (with a spear; being chosen to replace Judas Iscariot?) in a mid-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. 72r):
http://tinyurl.com/j8tnelh

r) as depicted (at right; at left, St. Jude Thaddeus) in the Litanies section of a later fourteenth-century miscellany of mostly French-language devotional texts (betw. 1351 and 1400; Paris, BnF, Français 400 [Colbert 1432], fol. 27r):
http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b105258207/f55.item.r=.zoom

s) as depicted (enthroned between the apostles Peter and John) in the later fourteenth-century Breviary of Charles V (ca. 1364-1370; Paris, BnF, ms. Latin 1052, fol. 347v):
http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b84525491/f704.item.zoom

t) as depicted (with a club) by the Troyes Master in the late fourteenth-century Hours of Prigent de Coëtivy (ca. 1380-1400; Rennes, Bibliothèque de Rennes Métropole, ms. 1511, fol. 206v):
http://tinyurl.com/zbprfel

u) as depicted (with an halberd) on the fifteenth-century rood screen at St Agnes, Cawston (Norfolk):
http://www.norfolkchurches.co.uk/cawston/Dscf3692.jpg

v) as depicted (his martyrdom by clubbing) in an early fifteenth-century copy of the _Legenda aurea_ in its French-language version by Jean de Vignay followed by the _Festes nouvelles_ attributed to Jean Golein (ca. 1401-1425; Paris, BnF, ms. Français 242, fol. 62r):
http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b8426005j/f139.item.zoom

w) as depicted (martyrdom by the axe) in an early fifteenth-century copy of the _Legenda aurea_ in its French-language version by Jean de Vignay followed by the _Festes nouvelles_ attributed to Jean Golein (ca. 1402; Geneva, Bibliothèque de Genève, ms. fr. 57, fol. 85v):
http://www.e-codices.unifr.ch/en/bge/fr0057/85v

x) as depicted (second from right; being chosen to replace Judas Iscariot) in an earlier fifteenth-century _Bible historiale_ (ca. 1430; Den Haag, KB, ms. KB, 78 D 38 II, fol. 202r):
http://manuscripts.kb.nl/zoom/BYVANCKB%3Amimi_78d38%3Adl2_202r_min_a

y) as depicted in the earlier fifteenth-century Breviary of Marie de Savoie (ca. 1430; Chambéry, Bibliothèque municipale, ms. 4, fol. 453r):
http://www.enluminures.culture.fr/Wave/savimage/enlumine/irht1/IRHT_035553-p.jpg

z) as depicted (with an axe) in the earlier fifteenth-century Hours of Catherine of Cleves (ca. 1440; New York, The Morgan Library and Museum, Morgan MS M.917, p. 235):
http://tinyurl.com/ju62gus

aa) as depicted in grisaille (with an halberd) by Jean le Tavernier in the mid-fifteenth-century Hours of Philip of Burgundy (ca. 1451-1460; Den Haag, KB, ms. 76 F 2, fol. 253v):
http://manuscripts.kb.nl/zoom/BYVANCKB%3Amimi_76f2%3A253v_min

bb) as depicted (with an halberd) in a panel on a seemingly later fifteenth-century chasuble (ca. 1451-1500) in the Sint-Annakerk in Aldeneik, a _deelgemeente_ of Masseik (prov. Limburg) in Belgium:
http://balat.kikirpa.be/photo.php?path=X082879&objnr=27378&lang=en-GB&nr=22

cc) as depicted (with an axe) in a later fifteenth-century book of prayers (ca. 1470, calendar for the Use of Utrecht; Baltimore, Walters Art Museum, Walters Ms. W.182, fol. 53r):
https://www.flickr.com/photos/medmss/9165811561

dd) as depicted (at left, with an axe; at center and left, the Jameses minor and major) in a panel of a later fifteenth-century winged altarpiece (ca. 1470-1480) in the parish church of the Holy Cross in Kezmarok, Slovakia:
http://tarvos.imareal.oeaw.ac.at/server/images/7012843.JPG

ee) as depicted (second from right; being chosen to replace Judas Iscariot) in a late fifteenth-century copy (ca. 1480-1490) of the _Legenda aurea_ in its French-language version by Jean de Vignay (Paris, BnF, ms. Français 244, fol. 89r):
http://tinyurl.com/294wbca

ff) as depicted (with an axe) in the late fifteenth-century frescoes (1480s or 1490s) in the apse of the église Saint-Pierre at Montanay (Rhône):
http://www.commune-montanay.fr/iso_album/saint_mathias_1.jpg

gg) as depicted (at right, with an axe; at left, St. Jude Thaddeus) by Miguel Ximénez and workshop in panels of his and Martín Bernad's late fifteenth-century altarpiece of the Holy Cross (completed, 1487) for the parish church of Blesa (Teruel) and now, after dismemberment, mostly in the Museo de Zaragoza:
http://tinyurl.com/q6r44as
Detail view (Matthias):
http://tinyurl.com/z6t5le6

hh) as depicted (left margin at bottom; martyrdom by clubbing and by the sword) in a hand-colored woodcut in the Beloit College copy of Hartmann Schedel's late fifteenth-century _Weltchronik_ (_Nuremberg Chronicle_; 1493) at fol. CVIIv:
https://www.beloit.edu/nuremberg/book/6th_age/left_page/11%20%28Folio%20CVIIv%29.pdf

ii) as depicted (with a carpenter's square) by the Master of James IV of Scotland in the late fifteenth-century Isabella Breviary (ca. 1497; London, BL, Add. Ms. 18851, fol. 347r):
http://www.bl.uk/manuscripts/Viewer.aspx?ref=add_ms_18851_f347r

jj) as twice depicted (with a cleaver; in the capital "D" below the large illumination) in a late fifteenth-century breviary for the Use of Besançon (before 1498; Besançon, Bibliothèques municipales, ms. 69, p. 403):
http://www.enluminures.culture.fr/Wave/savimage/enlumine/irht5/IRHT_083464-p.jpg

kk) as depicted in a late fifteenth-century book of hours (ca. 1499-1500, calendar for the Use of Paris; Den Haag, KB, ms. 76 F 14, fol. 113r):
http://manuscripts.kb.nl/zoom/BYVANCKB%3Amimi_76f14%3A113r_min

ll) as portrayed in high relief (with an halberd; misidentified in Wikimedia as Matthew) in the early sixteenth-century choir stalls (betw. 1501 and 1507) in the St. Martinskirche in Memmingen in southwestern Bavaria:
http://tinyurl.com/jrj8sff

Best,
John Dillon

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