medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture
Herewith some medieval images of St. Saturninus of Toulouse. Many of these show one or more stages of his legendarily transmitted martyrdom in which he was dragged by a bull down the slope (later versions: steps) of Toulouse's capitolium (for a recent, English-language version of a very early form of S.'s Passio see <https://ia601004.us.archive.org/5/items/PassionOfSt.Saturninus/PassionOfSaturninus.pdf>).
a) S.'s martyrdom as realized in stone on one of the very late eleventh-century capitals in the cloister (consecrated, 1100) of the abbaye de Saint-Pierre at Moissac:
b) S.'s martyrdom as realized in stone on the exterior of the mid-twelfth-century chevet (a survivor from a church consecrated in 1156) of the église Saint-Sernin in Daumazan-sur-Arize (Ariège):
c) The later twelfth-century so-called sarcophagus of S. (probably a reliquary altar; has images in relief of S.'s martyrdom) in the église abbatiale de Saint-Hilaire near Limoux (Aude):
d) S.'s martyrdom as depicted in the late twelfth-century Navarre Picture Bible from Pamplona (Amiens, Bibliothèques d'Amiens Métropole, ms. 108, fol. 214v):
e) S.'s martyrdom as realized in stone (ca. 1195-1230) on left pillar of the left portal of the south face of the cathedral of Notre Dame, Chartres:
It's hard to understand the rationale for the question mark employed here. Saturninus of Toulouse is pretty unique in having been (however legendarily) dragged by a bull down a set of steps.
f) S.'s martyrdom as portrayed on an early thirteenth-century reliquary in the basilique Saint-Sernin in Toulouse:
g) S.'s martyrdom as realized in the lower register of the very late thirteenth-/very early fourteenth-century tympanum (before 1306) of the main portal of the iglesia de San Saturnino in Artajona (Navarra):
h) S.'s martyrdom as depicted in an illumination by Richard or Jeanne de Montbaston in an earlier fourteenth-century copy (1348) of the _Legenda aurea_ in its French-language version by Jean de Vignay (Paris: BnF, ms. Français 241, fol. 319r):
Here, however, S. is shown being dragged up the steps, not down them.
i) S. as depicted in an earlier fifteenth-century breviary (ca. 1414) for the Use of Paris (Châteauroux, Médiathèque municipale, ms. 2, fol. 429v):
j) S.'s martyrdom as depicted in a later fifteenth-century copy (ca. 1470) of the _Legenda aurea_ in its French-language version by Jean de Vignay (Mâcon, Médiathèque municipale, ms. 3, fol. 78r):
k) S.'s martyrdom as depicted 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 245, fol. 193r):
Again, up the steps not down them.
On 11/29/14, "Heintzelman, Matthew" wrote:
> "Saturninus was ordained bishop by disciples of the apostles and sent to the city of Toulouse. When he arrived and the demons ceased to give responses, one of the pagans said that unless Saturninus was killed, they would obtain nothing from their gods. They therefore apprehended Saturninus, and, when he refused to sacrifice, tied him to a bull's legs and drove the animal from the highest point of the capitol, precipitating him down the steps to the bottom. Thus Saturninus, with his skull shattered and his brains spilled out, happily consummated his martyrdom. Two women gathered his body and hid it in a deep cavern for fear of the pagans, but his successors later transferred it to a more honorable place." (Jacobus de Voragine, Golden Legend (Princeton, 2012 reprint), p. 728.
> Matt H.
> Curator, Austria/Germany Study Center; Rare Book Cataloger, Hill Museum & Manuscript Library (HMML)
> Saint John's University, Collegeville, Minnesota 56321-7300
> Phone: 320-363-2795; Fax: 320-363-3222
> http://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/medieval-religion(http://www.hmml.org/" target="1">http://www.hmml.org
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