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medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

Well, it's not untypical of this list that my small, grammaticall,y and as
it turned out historically, suspect ("whence" Gregory's "translation")
postings slowly loosened an avalanche of learning and opinion on germanic
grammar and translation studies. I learned a good deal as usual. As is often
the unfortunate case with historians, I relied on a secondary source for my
assertion that the Sept 3rd feast of Gregory celebrated his translation
(David Farmer, Oxford Dictionary of Saints, 1988, p. 191)  but you can't go
to the archives for everything. Academia sometimes seems like being in the
army. You sign up for the perks but there's always the risk of getting shot
at.
best,
John W.


John B. Wickstrom
Kalamazoo College
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-----Original Message-----
From: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture
[mailto:[log in to unmask]]On Behalf Of John Briggs
Sent: Tuesday, September 07, 2004 4:29 PM
To: John Wickstrom
Subject: Re: saints of the day 3. September

medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

John B. Dillon wrote:
> medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture
>
> John Briggs wrote:
>> I
>> would suggest that the very fact that there was no translation feast was
>> the reason why some other event in his life (ordination, consecration)
>> was celebrated for his "second" feast.
>
> This would be very reasonable were it established that there was in the
> twentieth century no translation feast for Gregory.  But repeated
> proofless assertions that there was no such feast have the same status
> in argumentation as the original proofless assertion that there was one
> and are consequently not persuasive.

How on earth can I prove the absence of a feast?  Here is an extract from
the reading of the Roman Martyrology (presumably pre-1969, but definitely
twentieth-century) for 3 September:

Item Romę Ordinatio incomparabilis viri sancti Gregorii Magni in Summum
Pontificem; qui, onus illud subire coactus, e sublimiori throno clarioribus
sanctitatis radiis in Orbe refulsit.

> In fairness to John W., and being
> uninformed as to the details and circumstances of the relatively recent
> Roman relocation of Gregory's principal feast to 3. September, I prefer
> to keep an open -- albeit skeptical -- mind about John's statement that
> "the new date is the traditional translation feast."  How traditional it
> really was (if indeed this feast can be shown to have existed) is of
> course another matter.
>

It hardly seems fair to John W. to keep drawing attention to his error -
especially as it was presumably a simple (and understandable) slip, assuming
that the "second" or minor feast would be a  translation feast.

John Briggs

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