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MEDIEVAL-RELIGION  October 2016

MEDIEVAL-RELIGION October 2016

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Subject:

FEAST - Two Saints for the Day (October 25): Sts. Crispin and Crispinian

From:

John Dillon <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

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

Date:

Tue, 25 Oct 2016 21:03:49 +0000

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text/plain

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medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

It is unknown whether Crispin and Crispinian (d. later 3d or early 4th cent., supposedly; in French, Crépin et Crépinien) are martyrs of Rome, where they are unattested prior to the early seventh-century _Itinerarium Malmesburiense_'s notice of their burial site in the church of Sts. John and Paul on the Caelian, or of Soissons, where according to the sixth-century St. Gregory of Tours there was already a basilica dedicated to them (_Historia Francorum_, 5. 34 and 9. 9).  Their legendary, probably later eighth-century Passio (BHL 1990) forms part of the Rictiovarus-cycle of Vitae or Passiones of martyrs of northern Gaul.  This presents them as cobblers of Roman origin working at Soissons and martyred under Maximian for their Christian proselytizing.  Florus of Lyon, St. Ado of Vienne, and Usuard make them martyrs at Soissons under Diocletian.

Crispin and Crispinian are patrons of Soissons (Aisne), where an extramural abbey at their aforementioned basilica flourished from the ninth century onward.  Medievally, their cult was widespread in northern and eastern France and in Brittany.  Relics believed to be theirs are thought to have been brought to Hamburg a little after 830 and to have been placed in the crypt of Osnabrück's cathedral (the predecessor of the present one) in around 850.  After Agincourt (25. October 1415), Crispin and Crispinian then having the Memorial for this day, their cult experienced an uptick in England (though Henry V acknowledged rather St. John of Beverley, whose translation feast this was).  The abbot of Crispin and Crispinian at Soissons is recorded as having been among the dignitaries attending the funeral of Charles VI in 1422; we are not told whether he were obliged to dress as a penitent.

Today (25. October) is the feast day of Crispin and Crispinian in the diocese of Soissons, Laon, and Saint-Quentin.  It is also their day of commemoration in the Roman Martyrology.


Some period-pertinent images of Sts. Crispin and Crispinian:

a) as depicted (martyrdom) in an historiated initial "C" in an earlier twelfth-century passionary (ca. 1101-1125) from St Augustine's Abbey in Canterbury (London, BL, MS Arundel 91, fol. 161v):
http://www.bl.uk/catalogues/illuminatedmanuscripts/ILLUMIN.ASP?Size=mid&IllID=12275
http://www.bl.uk/catalogues/illuminatedmanuscripts/ILLUMINBig.ASP?size=big&IllID=12275

b) as depicted (martyrdom) in an earlier fourteenth-century copy of books 9-16 of Vincent of Beauvais' _Speculum historiale_ in its French-language version by Jean de Vignay (ca. 1335; Paris, BnF, ms. Arsenal 5080):
http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b7100627v/f550.item.zoom

c) as depicted (martyrdom) in the mid- to later fourteenth-century Breviary of Charles V (betw. 1347 and 1380; Paris, BnF, ms. Latin 1052, fol. 546r):
http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b84525491/f1101.image.zoom

d) as depicted (right-hand column; 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 15941, fol. 119r): 
http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b8449688c/f245.item.zoom

e) as depicted in semi-grisaille (martyrdom) in a late fourteenth-century copy of part of Vincent of Beauvais' _Speculum historiale_ in its French-language version by Jean de Vignay (1396; Paris, BnF, ms. Français 313, fol. 257v):
http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b84557843/f520.image.zoom

f) as portrayed in a fifteenth-century polychromed wood statue in the Musée d'Art et d'Histoire de Puisaye in Villiers-Saint-Benoit (Yonne):
http://www.flickriver.com/photos/morio60/14489861019/

g) as depicted in an historiated initial "T" in the early fifteenth-century Châteauroux Breviary (ca. 1414; Châteauroux, Bibliothèque municipale, ms. 2, fol. 381r):
http://www.culture.gouv.fr/Wave/savimage/enlumine/irht2/IRHT_054245-p.jpg

h) as depicted 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. 89v):
http://tinyurl.com/yjo6lc5

i) as depicted (martyrdom scenes) by Aert van den Bossche in a two late fifteenth-century panel paintings from a dismembered altarpiece (ca. 1490):
1) central panel; displayed in the National Museum in Warsaw, on deposit from the collection of the Palace Museum in Wilanów:
http://tinyurl.com/gqqsocn
2) on wing; in the Musée de la Ville de Bruxelles:
http://tinyurl.com/zfhbt5s

j) as depicted in a late fifteenth-century book of hours with a Paris calendar (betw. 1490 and 1500; Den Haag, KB, ms. 76 F 14, fol. 121r):
http://manuscripts.kb.nl/zoom/BYVANCKB%3Amimi_76f14%3A121r_min

k) as depicted (right margin at bottom) in a hand-colored woodcut in the Beloit College copy of Hartmann Schedel's late fifteenth-century _Weltchronik_ (1493; _Nuremberg Chronicle_), fol. CXXIIIrv:
https://www.beloit.edu/nuremberg/book/6th_age/left_page/27%20(Folio%20CXXIIIv).pdf

l) as depicted by Pietro Ruzzolone in two very late fifteenth-century panel paintings in the Museo diocesano in Palermo:
http://tinyurl.com/yjhdtav

m) as depicted (at left and right in the upper register and with scenes from their Passio in the predella) by Giovanni Martino Spanzotti assisted by his then student Defendente Ferrari in a very late fifteenth-century- or very early sixteenth-century altarpiece (betw. 1498 and 1504) in Turin cathedral's capella dei santi Crispino e Crispiniano:
http://www.panoramio.com/photo/99506249
http://tinyurl.com/j86eacm
Detail views (Crispin and Crispinian):
http://images.alinari.it/img/480/SEA/SEA-S-T11999-0006.jpg
http://images.alinari.it/img/480/SEA/SEA-S-T11999-0007.jpg

n) as depicted (at center) by the Master of the Crispin Legend in an earlier fifteenth-century panel painting (betw. 1515 and 1525) in the Österreichische Galerie in Vienna:
http://tarvos.imareal.oeaw.ac.at/server/images/7001095.JPG

o) as depicted (martyrdom) in an earlier sixteenth-century panel painting (ca. 1530) in the église Saint-Sébastien in Stavelot:
http://balat.kikirpa.be/photo.php?path=KN012239&objnr=10150100&nr=24

Best,
John Dillon
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