medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

Dear Brenda,

The Sulpicia in question is neither of the two women poets mentioned but instead another member of this aristocratic ancient Roman _gens_, Sulpicia Patercula, the wife of Fulvius Flaccus.  Pliny, _Natural History_, 7. 35 calls her the most chaste of Roman matrons.  You can read about her there or in Valerius Maximus (8. 15. 12).  Or, among medieval authors, at Christine de Pizan, _Livre de la cité des dames_, 2. 43. 3 and Boccaccio, _De mulieribus claris_, 67.

S. seems to have been canonized at the Walters.

John Dillon

On Saturday, March 3, 2007, at 11:00 am, Brenda Cook wrote:

>  In the "Church Times" (a leading Church of England newspaper) for Feb 
> 16 
>  there is a picture of  an elegant woman in a dark pink dress standing 
> on a 
>  plinth and with a townscape behind her. Her left hand points across 
> her body 
>  to a model church held in her right hand.
>  The caption reads "Chaste: St Sulpicia was considered the most 
> virtuous 
>  woman in Rome. She is seen here in a late 15th century work by Pietro 
>  Oriolli from "Masterpieces of Italian Painting: the Walter Art 
> Museum" [ 
>  folloed by detai;ls of book]
>  I can find nothing about St Sulpicia. Not in Med Rel archives, not in 
> New 
>  Advent, not in the on-line Index of saints .... Not in either of my 
>  Dictionaries (Penguin, Oxford)
>  So who IS this elusive lady ? There seem to have been two ladies of 
>  Classical antiquity by this name, both poets, one "The Elegist" and 
> one "The 
>  Satirist" but the notes about them do not suggest sanctity far less 
>  canonisation.

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