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medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

Today (30. April) is also the feast day of:

Pomponius (d. 6th cent.).  This less well known saint of the Regno, an
early bishop of Naples, is listed for today in that city's early
ninth-century Marble Calendar.  He is credited with having built Naples'
church of Santa Maria Maggiore, known since early modern times as the
Pietrasanta.  This occupies the site of an ancient temple, pieces of
which may still be seen in its seventeenth-century rebuilding by Cosimo
Fanzago.  According to Neapolitan legend, the ruined temple was by night
the haunt of demons, the chief of whom (in one version) assumed the form
of a giant boar and greatly terrified nearby residents with its sinister
grunting.  The BVM, ever keen on noise abatement in urban areas,
appeared to P. in a dream vision and instructed him to erect a church on
the ruins.  This he did, dedicating the building to her, and the demons
troubled the area no more.

P.'s late antique church is gone, but its much later belltower
(10th-12th century) survives and is the oldest such structure in the
city.  A distance view is here:
http://www.danpiz.net/napoli/monumenti/grecoromana/4.htm
The marbles and even the original brick in the base are spolia.  But
higher up this is not so:
http://www.hotelneapolis.com/img/albergo/3.jpg

Best,
John Dillon

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