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MEDIEVAL-RELIGION  October 2016

MEDIEVAL-RELIGION October 2016

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Subject:

FEAST - A Saint for the Day (October 14): pope St. Callistus I

From:

John Dillon <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

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

Date:

Fri, 14 Oct 2016 05:10:43 +0000

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text/plain

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medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture



Callistus (also Calixtus; d. 222) was elected bishop of Rome in 217, succeeding pope St. Zephyrinus. Our chief sources for him are the tendentious _Philosophoumena_ or _Refutatio omnium haeresium_ of an Hippolytus who tends be called Hippolytus of Rome and the not altogether reliable _Liber pontificalis_. According to Hippolytus, Callistus had been born into servile status and had twice been punished for crimes. In the second instance he had been sentenced to the mines in Sardinia and probably at that time ceased to be the property of his former master, a Christian of the imperial household. Some nine or ten years after Callistus' release from the mines Zephyrinus put him in charge of the Christian cemetery at Rome that still bears Callistus' name. Herewith an illustrated, Italian-language page on the cemetery of Callistus:

http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catacombe_di_San_Callisto



In his brief pontificate Callistus condemned the theologian Sabellius for heresy and had to endure accusations of similar purport from the aforementioned Hippolytus, who set himself up as a rival bishop of Rome. Callistus died under Alexander Severus, who is not reliably known to have persecuted Christians, his activity in that regard being transmitted solely in Passiones of legendary character.  But by the earlier fourth century he had come to be considered a martyr. The _Depositio martyrum_ of the Chronographer of 354 enters under today Callistus' laying to rest at a milestone that accords with the location of the cemetery of Calepodius. The latter is given as the site of Callistus' burial by both the _Liber pontificalis_ and Callistus' legendary Passio (BHL 1523; oldest witness is of the ninth century; a condensed version in hexameters is in the earlier to mid-tenth-century _De triumphis Christi in Italia_ of Flodoard of Reims and a condensed version in prose is in Jacopo da Varazze's later thirteenth-century _Legenda aurea_).  In his legend Callistus is said to have been beaten severely (with lead weights, according to the Passio), starved, and finally killed by having a rock tied to him and then being thrown into a well.



More soberly, Callistus' remains are said to have been translated, perhaps by pope Gregory III (731-741), to Rome's church of Santa Maria in Trastevere where later Gregory IV (827-844) gave him the honor of a re-burial in the church's apse.



In 854 relics believed to be those of Callistus were translated by count St. Evrardus (Everardus) of Friuli to the monastery he had founded at today's Cysoing (Nord) in French Hainaut. The monastery, which took Callistus' name and which lasted until 1792, became a dependency of the church of Reims in 892.  Callistus' relics, _teste_ Flodoard in his _Historia ecclesiae Remensis_, were translated thither in the same year and were laid to rest in the then cathedral next to those of St. Nicasius of Reims.

 

Since the early fifteenth century a head thought by some to be that of pope St. Callistus I has been in St. George's Chapel of Český Krumlov Castle, Český Krumlov (in German: Böhmisch Krumau) in what's now the Czech Republic:

http://tinyurl.com/3935dbt





Some period-pertinent images of pope St. Callistus I:

 

a) as portrayed in an earlier thirteenth-century statue on the trumeau of the central portal of the north transept of the cathédrale Notre-Dame in Reims:

http://tinyurl.com/9qv4a4y

http://tinyurl.com/2cwvgok



b) as depicted (martyrdom) in a late thirteenth-century copy of French origin of the _Legenda aurea_ (San Marino, CA, Huntington Library, ms. HM 3027, fol. 143v):

http://digitalassets.lib.berkeley.edu/ds/huntington/images//000922A.jpg 

 

c) as depicted (third from left) in the late thirteenth-century apse mosaic (ca. 1290; attributed to Pietro Cavallini) of Rome's Santa Maria in Trastevere:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/athomeinrome/857538928/sizes/o/



d) as depicted (undergoing torture with lead weights) in an historiated initial "C" in a fourteenth-century copy, from the diocese of Girona, of a Catalan-language version of the _Legenda aurea_ (Paris, BnF, ms. Espagnol 44, fol. 222r [continue clicking on the image for increasingly higher resolution]):

http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b52506309k/f449.item.zoom



e) as depicted (promulgating his supposed decree mandating fasting in all four seasons [a spurious text transmitted in the False Decretals]) 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. 201r):

http://tinyurl.com/24l22es

 

f) as depicted (at right, promulgating his supposed decree on fasting in all four seasons) in an earlier 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. 60r):

http://tinyurl.com/2dc984p 



g) as depicted in a later fourteenth-century Roman missal of north Italian origin (ca. 1370; Avignon, Bibliothèque-Médiathèque Municipale Ceccano, ms. 136, fol. 276r):

http://www.enluminures.culture.fr/Wave/savimage/enlumine/irht2/IRHT_055393-p.jpg

 

h) as depicted (martyrdom) 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. 234v):

http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b8426005j/f484.item.zoom



i) as depicted in the early fifteenth-century Châteauroux Breviary (ca. 1414; Châteauroux, Bibliothèque municipale, ms. 2, fol. 371r):

http://www.enluminures.culture.fr/Wave/savimage/enlumine/irht2/IRHT_054230-p.jpg

 

j) as depicted (martyrdom) in an early fifteenth-century copy of the _Elsässische Legenda aurea_ (1419; Heidelberg, Universitätsbibliothek, Cod. Pal. germ. 144, fol. 159v):

http://digi.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/diglit/cpg144/0334

 

k) as depicted (holding a large stone) in an earlier fifteenth-century breviary from Bruges (ca. 1420; New York, The Pierpont Morgan Library, MS. M.374, fol. 144v):

http://ica.themorgan.org/icaimages/3/m374.144vc.jpg



l) as depicted (martyrdom) in a mid- or slightly later fifteenth-century copy from Bruges of the _Legenda aurea_ in its French-language version by Jean de Vignay (ca. 1445-1465; New York, The Pierpont Morgan Library, MS M.672-675, vol. IV, fol. 145r):

http://ica.themorgan.org/manuscript/page/43/135969



m) as depicted  in a later fifteenth-century copy from Bruges of Jean Mansel's _Fleur des histoires_ (ca. 1451-1500; Paris, BnF, ms. Français 298, fol. 97v):

http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b10509064d/f206.item.zoom



n) as depicted (second from right; at far right, St. Catherine of Siena; in the panel at left, St. Agatha and pope St. Pius I) by Vecchietta in a later sixteenth-century altarpiece of the Assumption and Saints (1462-1463) in the concattedrale di Santa Maria Assunta in Pienza:

http://www.wga.hu/art/v/vecchiet/virgin_c.jpg

Detail view (Callistus at left):

http://www.pienza.org/foto_cattedrale/Cattedrale_Lorenzo_Pietro_DSC_5124.jpg

 

o) as depicted (at left, baptizing) 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. 9r):

http://tinyurl.com/23juwa9

 

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

http://www.beloit.edu/nuremberg/book/6th_age/left_page/18%20%28Folio%20CXIIIIv%29.pdf 

 

Best,

John Dillon



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