Josef Gulka net wrote:

> may be a useful lead to note that as a topos of sacred 
geographical lore...

i like that phrase: "a topos of sacred geographical lore."

in a post-cartesian world (our own), what could be more "exact" than the idea
of the location of a given place? --"this place is *here*, by gum, 
on these here map (or, nowadaze, GPS) coordinates, and how could it be


and, yet, in another time, in a galaxy far away....

>the identity of the Valley of Joasaphat (Joel 3:1-2; 12 : "For behold in
those days, and in that time when I shall bring  back the captivity of Juda
and Jerusalem: I will gather together all nations ,and will bring them down
into the valley of Joasaphat... Let them arise, and let the nations come up
into the valley of Joasaphat; for there I will sit to judge all nations round
about..") was coincidental with that of the site of the Last Judgement. 

if one happens to visit the Bishops' garden [sic: French "jardin"s =ing
sterile, gravel-coated parques], off the East end of the choir of the
cathedral of Chartres and walk out to the wall on the Eastern extremity, one
sees the rather shallow, wide-ish valley of the "river" Eure; 

and East across the plain above the opposite bank is the tall spire of 
the village church of Champhol [_campus fauni_ in the 11-12th cc. charters,
which i've always wanted to translate as: "meadow of the (dancing) deer"],
above its very interesting c. 1100 vaulted apse and crypt, from the end of the
11th c. a priory of the ancient Benedictine house of St. Peter ["St. Pere"],
itself visible down in the floor of the valley to the far right of the tourist
in the jardin, now within the limits of the city.

on a clear winter's day, should the tourist turn his gaze to the left (roughly
North East), down the streaming of the Eure --or, better still, 
take a 40 minute's prominade down the bordes of the river itself, past 
the remains of various 12-19th cc. mills-- she would, perhaps, see the smoke
of the hearthfires of the village of Leves, former site of the Benedictine
abbey of "St. Mary [of] Josaphat [such is the orthography of the charters]",
founded (c. 1117?) by Bishop Godfrey of Leves (sucessor 
of St. Ivo) on his family's (_le Riche_) lands below the ancestral _castrum_;
from the middle of the 12th c. the top of the lantern tower of the exquisite
early gothic church would surely be visible, if not from 
the Bishop's house (rebuilt from wood in stone by Ivo, we are told), at least
from the ramparts of the cathedral.

Local tradition apparently had it that this foundation was made in lieu 
of an unfulfilled vow (Godfrey was in Rome on his way there when word reached
him of his election to the see) to go to the Holy Land (and, presumably, to
the "real" Josaphat, by then itself the site of an important Benedictine abbey
with strong connections to various outremer "crusading" chartrain families [a
bit later {1127??, can't remember} a 
son of the Vidamesse of Chartres, Stephen, Abbot of the collegial of St. John
{earlier reformed by St. Ivo along the lines of that of his dear St. Quentin
of Beauvais}, would be elected Patriarch of Jerusalem). 

The Ordinary of the cathedral records that, on certain feast days, a
procession was made from the diocesean mother church out to the abbey in the

a "topos of sacred geographical lore..." indeed.

>It was established in the tradition as early as a sixth c, Breviary of
Jerusalem (Forma b, lines 134040, ed. Weber, Itineraria et alia geographica..)
and adopted as a commonplace in medieval itineraries by 
the 11thc -12thc.(See Palestinian Pilgrim's Text Society, 6, London 1984
[1894??], repr. 1971, Anonymous Pilgrim 1)

curious to know, who was this 11-12th c. "Anonymous Pilgrim 1"?

uhmm, maybe not such an easy question to answer, now that i think on it.

probably that same Anonymous guy who wrote all that other stuff, en ces temps
la, i suppose.

prolific bastard, he was.

>For these medieval pilgrims and geographers, it was also no coincidence 

[dignatus est]

>that the other main reason to revere this valley was its being the site 
of the tomb of the Virgin Mary (traceable to the apocryphal 5thc. Transitus
Mariae) a commonplace accepted and well absorbed in  both popular and
liturgical lore well before the high middle ages....

>While these suggestions may ultimately be of no help in  specifically 
identifying the prayer, they may well help pinning dowm the tone and 

mmmm, "tone and flavor".

_dignatus est_, as those guys might say, that the site of the tomb of the very
Instrument chosen to be the conveyance of the Reconciliation is/will [an
irrelevant distinction, perhaps] be the site of the Judgement.

and that Her temple in far away Chartres should have a congruent 
sanctuary in the valley below....

best to all from here,


Get free email and a permanent address at