medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

Today (20. October) is the feast day of:

Leopardus of Osimo (?).  One of the ancient saints of Osimo (AN;
accented on the first syllable) in the Marche and believed in the Middle
Ages to have been its bishop, L. has a fifteenth- or sixteenth-century
Life (BHL 4884) that dates him to the fifth century, confounds him
with another saint of this name, and is generally quite unreliable.

In 1296 L.'s remains were discovered in the cathedral (this Inventio
is recounted in detail in Osimo's fourteenth-century statutes); these
were verified by the presence of a silver plaque, said to have been found
on the saint's breast, bearing the inscription SCS [sanctus] LEOPARDVS.
This plaque (in Italian, _lamina_) is one of the treasures of Osimo's
diocesan museum.  Formerly dated to the ninth century, it is now
thought to be of the seventh or the eighth (when the March of Ancona
was experiencing its Byzantine "Indian summer" as part of east central
Italy's Pentapolis) and to have been the cover of a gospel-book.  The
best view I could find quickly on the Web is here:
A drawing of this object's upper side is here:

Osimo's cathedral, dedicated to L., is an eleventh- and twelfth-century
"romanesque" structure that received noticeable "gothic" alterations in
the late thirteenth century and again in the fifteenth.  A brief, illustrated
Italian-language account of this building is here:
Another, with many expandable views, is here:
A few further exterior views:
Exterior details: 
A view of the crypt:

There is a brief article on L. by Giacomo Boccanera in the _Bibliotheca
Sanctorum_, vol. 7, cols. 1333-35.  For the inventio of 1296, see Diana
Webb, _Patrons and Defenders: The Saints in the Italian City-states_
(London: I. B. Tauris, 1996), pp. 106, 129, 146-48.

John Dillon
(last year's post lightly revised)

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