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FEAST - A Saint for the Day (July 27): St. Panteleimon / Pantaleon


John Dillon <[log in to unmask]>


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


Wed, 27 Jul 2016 10:06:01 +0000





text/plain (1 lines)

medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

We know nothing of the actual life of the reputed thaumaturge and megalomartyr Panteleimon (d. early fourth century, supposedly).  In Greek he is usually called Panteleimon (pronounced with the final "o" closed and with a slight pause between the second "e" and the "i"), i.e. "merciful to all" or "all-merciful".  According to his Greek Passio (BHG 1412z-1414m; Latin versions are at BHL 6429-6442), this name, replacing his previous Pantoleon or Pantaleon, was bestowed upon him from Heaven just before his death.  In Latin he is ordinarily called Pantaleo or Pantaleon.  Modern scholarship when using a Latin name-form often adds the geographic specification "of Nicomedia" (thus distinguishing this saint from his homonym of Bisceglie, one of the companions of that Apulian city's legendary early martyr-bishop Maurus).  Pantaleon's legend makes him a physician of Nicomedia who learned that the only important medicine was the cure of souls but who nonetheless was given the grace to operate many miraculous cures of the body.  His suffering, in which colloquies with a villainous emperor Maximian (presumably Galerius) are followed by a series of miraculously ineffective tortures leading in the end to decapitation, is also said to have taken place in Nicomedia, then the capital city of the Roman East.

In "Eastern"-rite churches Panteleimon has been celebrated on various days in late July, especially the 27th (his feast day in the Synaxary of Constantinople, in the Metaphrastic Menologion, and in modern churches using the Byzantine Rite).  The earlier ninth-century Marble Calendar of Naples, with its admixture of "Eastern" and "Western" feasts, likewise places Pantaleon's celebration on this day.  But in the Latin West Pantaleon's late antique and medieval feast day was often 28. July (so the [pseudo-]Hieronymian Martyrology; also the ninth-century martyrologies of Florus of Lyon, St. Ado of Vienne, and Usuard of Saint-Germain).  From its sixteenth-century inception onward the Roman Martyrology has commemorated him under 27. July.  In the late medieval and early modern cult of the usually Fourteen Holy Helpers Pantaleon was invoked against headache and was customarily portrayed with a large nail protruding from the top of his head. 

Some period-pertinent images of St. Panteleimon / Pantaleon:

a) Panteleimon as depicted in a tenth-century ceramic icon, from Constantinople or Nicomedia, in the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore: 


b) Panteleimon as depicted (at right, flanking the Panagia Kyriotissa; at left, his teacher St. Hermolaus) in an earlier tenth-century icon in the Holy Monastery of the God-trodden Mount Sinai in St. Catherine (South Sinai governorate):



c) Panteleimon as portrayed in relief (upper right; at upper left, St. Philip the Apostle) on a leaf of the mid-tenth-century ivory Harbaville Triptych in the Musée du Louvre in Paris: 


d) Panteleimon as depicted on a tenth- or eleventh-century glazed ceramic tile from Nicomedia or its vicinity, now in the State Historical Museum in Moscow:


e) Panteleimon as depicted in the earlier eleventh-century mosaics in the upper church of the katholikon in the monastery of Hosios Loukas near Distomo in Phokis: 


f) Panteleimon as depicted in the mid-eleventh-century frescoes of the Nea Moni on Chios: 



g) Panteleimon as depicted in a fragmentarily preserved earlier twelfth-century icon in the Great Lavra on Mt. Athos: 


h) Panteleimon as depicted in relief (at center) on a soapstone plaque of uncertain date mounted in a twelfth- or thirteenth-century icon in the Musei Vaticani, Città del Vaticano: 


i) Panteleimon as depicted in the late twelfth-century frescoes (ca. 1191) in the church of St. Panteleimon at Kurbinovo (Resen municipality) in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia: 


Detail view (different light):


j) Pantaleon as portrayed in a thirteenth-century relief said to have come from Venice, now in Burg Liechtenstein in Maria Enzersdorf (Land Niederösterreich): 


k) Pantaleon as portrayed in a thirteenth-century relief of Italian origin in the Musée National du Moyen Age (Musée de Cluny) in Paris:


l) Panteleimon as depicted in a thirteenth-century icon with scenes from his Passio in the Holy Monastery of the God-trodden Mount Sinai in St. Catherine (South Sinai governorate): 


m) Panteleimon as depicted (at right; at center, St. Barbara; at left, St. Nicholas of Myra) in a thirteenth-century fresco in the rupestrian chiesa di San Nicola dei Greci in Matera:


Detail views:



n) Pantaleon as portrayed in relief (third from right, flanking Christ) by the Master of Courmayeur on an earlier thirteenth-century wooden altar frontal (variously dated to ca. 1201-1210 or to ca. 1220-1240) in the Museo Civico d'Arte Antica (Palazzo Madama) in Turin:


o) Pantaleon as depicted with scenes from his Passio in the earlier thirteenth-century St. Pantaleon window (ca. 1220-1225) in the basilique cathédrale de Notre-Dame in Chartres: 



p) Pantaleon as depicted (at center, before the emperor; at right, his father) 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. 92v):



q) Panteleimon as depicted in the later thirteenth-century frescoes (1259) in the church of Sts. Nicholas and Panteleimon at Boyana near the Bulgarian capital of Sofia: 


r) Panteleimon as depicted in a later thirteenth-century fresco (1271) in the monastery church of St. Nicholas at Manastir (Prilep municipality) in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia:


s) Panteleimon as depicted in the late thirteenth- or very early fourteenth-century frescoes (ca. 1290-1305), attributed to Manuel Panselinos, in the Protaton church on Mt. Athos (image considerably reduced):


t) Panteleimon as depicted in a fourteenth-century icon in the Chilandar monastery on Mt. Athos: 


u) Panteleimon as depicted (at center, wearing light blue over purple) between his fellow healers Sts. Cosmas(?) and Damian in a later thirteenth-century fresco (ca. 1263-1270 or 1270-1272) in the south choir of the monastery church of the Holy Trinity in Sopoćani (Raška dist.), Serbia: 



v) Panteleimon as depicted (at right) in a fourteenth-century fresco in the chapel of St. Stephen Protomartyr in the monastery church of the Holy Trinity in Sopoćani (Raška dist.), Serbia: 


Detail view: 


w) Panteleimon as depicted in the earlier fourteenth-century frescoes (betw. ca. 1311 and ca. 1322) in the church of St. Nicholas Orphanos in Thessaloniki: 


x) Panteleimon as depicted in an earlier fourteenth-century fresco (betw. ca. 1317 and 1324) in the church of St. Demetrius in the Patriarchate of Peć at Peć in, depending on one's view of the matter, either the Republic of Kosovo or Serbia's province of Kosovo and Metohija: 


Detail view: 


y) Panteleimon as depicted (at left in the panel at upper right; martyrdom) in an earlier fourteenth-century pictorial menologion from Thessaloniki (betw. 1322 and 1340; Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Gr. th. f. 1, fol. 49r):


z) Pantaleon as depicted (martyrdom) 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. 92v): 


aa) Pantaleon 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. 240v): 


bb) Pantaleon as depicted (at center, operating a miracle) in an earlier fourteenth-century copy of Vincent of Beauvais' _Speculum historiale_ in its French-language version by Jean de Vignay (ca. 1335; Paris, BnF, ms. Arsenal 5080, fol. 250r):


cc) Panteleimon as depicted in the earlier fourteenth-century frescoes (betw. 1335 and 1350) in the church of the Holy Ascension at the Visoki Dečani monastery near Peć in, depending on one's view of the matter, either the Republic of Kosovo or Serbia's province of Kosovo and Metohija: 


Detail view: 


dd) Panteleimon as depicted (at left; at right, St. Hermolaus of Nicomedia) in the mid-fourteenth-century frescoes (ca. 1345) of the church of the Panagia Olimpiotissa in Elassona (Larissa regional unit) in northern Greece: 


ee) Panteleimon as depicted in a fifteenth-century icon of Byzantine origin, now in the State Pushkin Museum of Visual Art, Moscow: 


ff) Pantaleon as depicted (at left, with a donor) in the late fifteenth-century frescoes of the chapelle San Pantaleone in Gavignano (Haute-Corse): 


Detail view: 


gg) Pantaleon as depicted in a hand-colored woodcut in the Beloit College copy of Hartmann Schedel's late fifteenth-century _Weltchronik_ (_Nuremberg Chronicle_; 1493) at fol. CXXVr: 


hh) Pantaleon as portrayed in relief (at center) on the late fifteenth-century Vierzehn-Nothelfer-Altar (1498) in the Münster St. Marien und Jakobus in Heilsbronn (Lkr. Ansbach) in Bavaria: 


Detail view: 


ii) Pantaleon as portrayed (just right of center) in a statue on the early sixteenth-century choir screen (ca. 1510) in the Kirche St. Pantaleon in Köln: 


jj) Pantaleon as portrayed by Daniel Mauch in an early sixteenth-century statue (ca. 1510) in the Kapelle Franz-Xaver in Bieselbach, a locality of Horgau (Lkr. Augsburg): 


kk) Pantaleon (at center) as portrayed in an earlier sixteenth-century statue (ca. 1520) in the modern high altar of the Pfarrkirche Sankt Pantaleon in Sankt Pantaleon-Erla (Land Niederösterreich): 


Detail view: 



ll) Panteleimon (lower roundel; upper roundel, St. Samson the Hospitable) depicted by Theofanis Strelitzas-Bathas in the earlier sixteenth-century frescoes (1527) of the monastery of St. Nicholas Anapafsas in Kalambaka (Meteora dist.) in northern Greece: 


mm) Pantaleon as portrayed in relief (rear row, fifth from left) by the workshop of Tilman Riemenschneider in an originally polychromed earlier sixteenth-century limewood carving of the Fourteen Holy Helpers (ca. 1520-1530) in the Mainfränkisches Museum in Würzburg: 




John Dillon 


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