medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

On Friday, September 12, 2008, at 6:12 pm, I wrote:
> 2)  John Chrysostom (d. 407). 

> J. has a distinctive portrait tradition (large head, hollow cheeks, 
> wispy beard) deriving from a medieval description in the menaia that 
> could well preserve historical truth.  Some medieval portraits of J.:
> a)  late ninth- or tenth-century mosaic, north tympanon, Hagia Sophia, 
> Istanbul:
> b)  eleventh-century image in soapstone, now in the Louvre:
> c)  thirteenth-century ms. illumination (Moscow, Historical Museum, 
> Ms. 604):
> d)  early fourteenth-century fresco (betw. 1315 and 1321), J. third 
> from right, in the Chora Church (Kariye Camii), Istanbul (view expands):

J. is third from the _left_.

While we're here, it may be worth adding that J.'s appellation Chrysostomos ('Golden-mouthed') is said to be first attested from the sixth century.  One could also note that J.'s selection as bishop of Constantinople is considered to have been the work of the cubicularius Eutropius (famous from Claudian's invective against him), that J. defended Eutropius' during his downfall, and that it was shortly after that that the powers that were in Constantinople effectuated J.'s ouster.

Today (13. September) is also the feast day of:

Maurilius of Angers (d. ca. 417, supposedly).  We know about M. (in English, also Morrell; in French, Maurille) principally from his early seventh-century Vita by one of his successors as bishop of Angers, St. Magnobodus or Maimbod (BHL 5730), who says he was working from the notes of a priest named Iustus.  This makes M. a nobly born native of Milan who after the death of his father bestows in the reign of Julian all his possessions on his mother and goes off to France, drawn by the fame of St. Martin of Tours.  Martin ordains M. subdeacon, then deacon, then priest, after which M. goes to a place called Calonna in the territory of Anjou (now Chalonnes-sur-Loire) and there combats paganism and operates many miracles.  In the first of these, in answer to his prayers pagan temple is burned to ashes by a lightning bolt, leaving a foundation on which M. builds his own church.  Later he founds a monastery on a hill at Calonna.

In time M. is elected bishop of Anjou and is consecrated by his metropolitan, St. Martin.  He serves as bishop for thirty years, performing further miracles and being remembered for there never having been a bad harvest during his episcopate.  M. dies at the age 90 and was buried _non sine miraculis_; his cult was immediate.  Thus far this Vita. In the tenth century M. received an expanded Vita by an archdeacon Arconaldus (BHL 5731-5731d) who inserted presumably fictitious episodes (including a voyage to England) connecting M. with the legendary St. Renatus of Angers.  A verse vita in two books by Marbod of Rennes (BHL 5732) further promoted this later construction of M.  In 1239 M.'s putative relics were translated to a new resting place in the church at Angers where he was said to have been buried and which had come to be named after him.

Expandable views of two twelfth-century illuminations of M. from Angers are here:
This page presents two views of a fresco in Angers' cathedral showing M.'s arrival at Angers and one of a late medieval illumination of a scene from M.'s later Vitae:
The latter two illustrations on this page are of tapestries from 1460 or 1461 in the episcopal palace of Angers and showing scenes from those Vitae:

For a discussion of M.'s medieval cult in England, see this page by Graham Jones: 

M. is a co-patron of Angers.  His traditional date of death is 453.

Best again,
John Dillon

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