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FEAST - A Saint for the Day (April 25): St. Mark, Apostle and Evangelist


John Dillon <[log in to unmask]>


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


Mon, 25 Apr 2016 07:07:49 +0000





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medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

The gospel that bears his name was already attributed to to Mark early in the second century by Papias, who derived his information from John the Presbyter (Eusebius, _Historia ecclesiastica_, 3. 39. 15; cf. 2. 15).  Eusebius (_ibid_., 2. 16, 24) also knew a tradition, not vouched for by Clement of Alexandria, that Mark had founded the church of Alexandria in Egypt and was its first bishop.  St. Jerome (_De viris illustribus_, 8) says that Mark died in Alexandria.  Eusebius (_Historia ecclesiastica_, 2. 24) in saying that St. An(n)ianus became Mark's first successor in the Alexandrian see in the eighth year of Nero (63/64) gives an approximate date for Mark's death.  According to the legendary fourth- or fifth-century _Acts of Mark_  (_Martyrium Marci_), this occurred by martyrdom at Alexandria on a return visit two years after An(n)ianus had succeeded to the see.  By the end of the fourth century Mark had a tomb at Alexandria that was the object of pilgrimage.  By then too he had an important basilica at Constantinople, erected by Theodosius the Great.  The emperor Romanus I restored it in the first half of the tenth century.

In the late eighth century the Friulans Paul the Deacon and Paulinus of Aquileia gave voice to the belief that Mark had been the apostle of the upper Adriatic.  In 829 the Venetian doge Giustiniano Particiaco left money in his will for the erection in his city a church to house Mark's remains (apparently not including Mark's head, believed in Alexandria to have been found in the seventh century by pope St. Benjamin I and which Alexandrians claim still to have).  The narrative portion of the tenth-century Translation of St. Mark to Venice (BHL 5284) provides a nicely detailed story of how those remains got there from Alexandria.  That early church (consecrated in 832) is long gone.  Its late eleventh-century replacement was adorned in the thirteenth century with spolia from Constantinople, including perhaps pieces from Mark's Theodosian basilica there.

Mark's sarcophagus in Venice's basilica cattedrale di San Marco:



Bones said to be Mark's in the same church:


Some period-pertinent evangelist portraits of St. Mark (mostly manuscript illuminations):

a) as depicted in the sixth-century Rossano Gospels, a.k.a. the Codex Purpureus of Rossano (Rossano [CS], Museo diocesano, s.n.):


This is said to be the oldest surviving portrait of an evangelist in the history of manuscript illumination.

b) as depicted in the late seventh- or early eighth-century Lindisfarne Gospels (London, BL, Cotton MS Nero D. IV, fol. 93b):


c) as depicted in the eighth-century Lichfield Gospels, a.k.a. the Gospels of St Chad (Lichfield, cathedral library, MS 1):


d) as depicted in an eighth-century gospels of Irish origin (St. Gallen, Stiftsbibliothek, Cod. Sang. 51, p. 78):


e) as depicted in the earlier ninth-century so-called Hurault Gospels (Paris, BnF, ms. Latin 265, fol. 73v):


f) as depicted in the earlier ninth-century  Soissons Gospels (Paris, BnF, ms. Latin 8850, fol. 81v):


g) as depicted in the ninth-century Landévennec Gospels (Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Auct. D. 2. 16, fol. 71v):


h) as depicted in the mid-ninth-century Lothar Gospels (Paris, BnF, ms. Latin 266, fol. 75v):


i) as depicted (at right; at left, St. John, apostle and evangelist) as depicted in the restored eleventh-century frescoes of the Karanlık kilise (Dark Church) at Göreme in Turkey's Nevşehir province:


j) as depicted in the eleventh-century Trebizond Gospels (San Lazzaro degli Armeni [VE], Biblioteca Mechitarista, MS 1400/108):


k) as depicted in the mid-eleventh-century mosaics of the Nea Moni on Chios:


Detail view:


l) as depicted in the mid-eleventh-century mosaics of the cathedral of St. Sophia in Kyiv:


m) as depicted in an eleventh- or twelfth-century gospels from Constantinople (Paris, BnF, ms. Coislin 20, fol. 151v):


n) as depicted in a twelfth-century gospels from Sicily or mainland southern Italy (Glasgow University Library, MS Hunter 475 [V.7.2], fol. 110v):

http://special.lib.gla.ac.uk/exhibns/month/apr2006.html  [several views on this page]

o) as depicted in an earlier twelfth-century gospels from Helmarshausen (ca. 1120-1140; Los Angeles, J. Paul Getty Museum, Ms. Ludwig II 3, fol. 51v):


p) as depicted by the Kokkinobaphos Master in an earlier twelfth-century illumination added to an originally later tenth-century gospels from Constantinople (betw. 1126 and 1150; London, BL, Burney MS 19, fol. 63v):



q) as depicted by the Kokkinobaphos Master in a detached leaf from an earlier twelfth-century gospels in the Great Lavra on Mt. Athos (MS A44; betw. 1126 and 1150) now in the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore (Walters Ms. fol. W.530.D):


r) as depicted in a later twelfth-century gospels of perhaps Mosan origin (ca. 1150-1200; Den Haag, KB, ms. 76 E 17, fol. 42r):


s) as depicted in a thirteenth-century gospels from Constantinople (Paris, BnF, ms. Grec 54, fol. 111r):


t) as depicted in the earlier fourteenth-century frescoes (betw. ca. 1312 and 1321/1322) in the monastery church of the Theotokos at Gračanica in, depending upon one's view of the matter, either the Republic of Kosovo or Serbia's province of Kosovo and Metohija:


Detail view:


u) as depicted in the earlier fourteenth-century frescoes (ca. 1317-1324) 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:


v) as depicted in the mid-fourteenth-century frescoes of the monastery church of St. Michael the Archangel at Lesnovo in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia:


w) as depicted (largest roundel) in the mid-fourteenth-century Gospels of Tsar Ivan Alexander (1355-1356; London, BL, Add MS 39627, fol. 88r):


x) as depicted in a later fourteenth-century glass window panel (ca. 1380) from the cathedral of Erfurt, now in the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum in Munich:


y) as depicted 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. 197v):


z) as depicted in the late fourteenth-century frescoes (1389; restored in the early 1970s) of the monastery church of St. Andrew at Matka in Skopje's municipality of Karpoš:


Detail view:


aa) in an earlier 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. 90r):


bb) as depicted (at upper right in roundel) in an earlier fifteenth-century bible of English origin (ca. 1401-1425; London, BL, Royal MS 1 E IX, fol. 262v):


cc) as depicted in grisaille 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. 214r):


dd) as depicted in a later fifteenth-century book of hours from Tours (ca. 1470; Den Haag, KB, ms. 74 G 28, fol. 19r):


ee) as depicted in a later fifteenth-century gospels from the region around Lake Van (1475; Baltimore, Walters Art Museum, Walters Ms. W.540, fol. 81v):


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


gg) as depicted in the late fifteenth- or early sixteenth-century London Rothschild Hours of southern Netherlandic origin (ca. 1500; London, BL, MS Add 35313, fol. 16v):



John Dillon


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