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medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

Dear Cecilia,

It's a little hard to get answers to these question when we don't have the title or venue of Vauchez's article.  But if you take the time to look at the pertinent pages in Augustine Thompson's book via the link I provided in my previous post, you will find answers to some of your questions, albeit not in enough quantity or detail to permit useful generalizations.

Best again,
John Dillon


On Monday, October 19, 2009 7:28 pm, Cecilia Gaposchkin wrote:

> medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture
> 
> OK, Good. But what was the value of the candle? Did the church use these
> candles? Were they used to light the church? Was the wax sold for 
> income? It
> clearly had alot of symbolic capital.  What I'm not getting is the ultimate
> value of the votive object.  Was it practical? Economic? purely symbolic?
> Were these candle used? lighted?
> 
> cecilia
> 
> 
> 
> On Mon, Oct 19, 2009 at 8:15 PM, Andrew Larsen <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
> > medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture
> >
> > Andre Vauchez has an interesting article about how Italian cities managed
> > saints cults partly through donations of candles.  In at least one city,
> > they sent an official around to check if the church in question was 
> keeping
> > the city's (massive) candle on its altar all year.  Those that 
> didn't were
> > penalized.  The gift of the candle was a sign of official approval 
> by the
> > city.
> >
> > Andrew E. Larsen
> >
> >
> > On Oct 19, 2009, at 6:54 PM, Dr Jim Bugslag wrote:
> >
> >  medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture
> >>
> >> This is a large subject, and I have never seen any really good 
> study of
> >> it, but you are certainly right about the votive use of candles.  
> It was
> >> common for someone to be "measured for a candle" in relation to an 
> expected
> >> miracle cure at the shrine of a saint, the candle in question being 
> either
> >> the length of the person or their weight.  There were also 
> trindles, which
> >> were long tapers, usually wound into a skein.  The city of Chartres 
> annually
> >> offered one to the cathedral that was as long as the circumference 
> of the
> >> city walls.  And there were all sorts of miraculous candles, as 
> well.  I
> >> believe that S. Maria Maggiore in Rome claimed one of four candles 
> that were
> >> believed to have descended from heaven around the Virgin Mary at 
> the birth
> >> of Christ, and in the early 11th century, the Virgin showed up in 
> person at
> >> Arras, leaving the Holy Candle there, with instructions on how to 
> use its
> >> wax to cure the mal des ardents.  It was usually believed that such 
> candles
> >> could burn without being consumed, and other miraculous candles 
> were often
> >> created using bits of their wax.
> >> Cheers,
> >> Jim
> >>
> >> Cecilia Gaposchkin wrote:
> >>
> >>> medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and 
> culture
> >>> Hello all,
> >>> I'm just now catching up on this thread, and it catches my attention
> >>> because I have just been reading some miracle and pilgrimage 
> stories, and
> >>> everyone is always pledging candles, and giving candles, and 
> buying candles
> >>> - candles of quite enormous proportions: candles the length of the 
> tomb,
> >>> candles the length of a sick son, candles the length and shape of 
> a lame
> >>> leg, and so forth - to the shrine.
> >>>
> >>> When, as a graduate student, I used to lecture at the Cloisters, I 
> had
> >>> some pithy and almost certainly inaccurate line about the desire 
> for light
> >>> in churches, the "donations" of candles and [ahem, this is where 
> it becomes
> >>> methodologically dubious], and appearance of stained glass with Gothic
> >>> architecture and the "desire" for "light".
> >>> I'm not really asking for an explanation of that crazy argument. But
> >>> rather, if we're talking about medieval lighting, can anyone talk 
> abit about
> >>> the function/economics/aesthetics/and/osprituality of the "candle" 
> in the
> >>> medieval churches.   It seems alot of people were spending alot of 
> money -
> >>> even money they didn't have much of - on candles.
> >>>
> >>> cecilia
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>> On Mon, Oct 19, 2009 at 12:18 PM, John McCulloh <[log in to unmask] <mailto:
> >>> [log in to unmask]>> wrote:
> >>>
> >>>    medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and
> >>>    culture
> >>>
> >>>    I had just looked up the reference to suggest the same article.
> >>>     It is fascinating reading.  Ekirch presents evidence that, before
> >>>    the advent of cheap electrical  lighting, people went to bed at
> >>>    dusk woke up around midnight to relieve themselves, eat and
> >>>    socialize, and then nodded off for their "second sleep."
> >>>
> >>>    For medievalists it suggests that monks getting up in the middle
> >>>    of the night were not really practicing asceticism.  They were
> >>>    following a typical sleep pattern.  The monastic element in their
> >>>    vigils was their prayer.
> >>>
> >>>    John
> >>>
> >>>    John M. McCulloh
> >>>    Professor                                               Office
> >>>    tel:  785-532-0373
> >>>    Department of History                                   Deptal
> >>>    tel:  785-532-6730
> >>>    Eisenhower Hall                                         FAX:
> >>>  785-532-7004
> >>>    Kansas State University
> >>>    Manhattan, KS 66506-1002
> >>>
> >>>    ----- Original Message -----
> >>>    From: "Shannon McSheffrey" <[log in to unmask]
> >>>    <
> >>>    To: [log in to unmask]
> >>>    <
> >>>    Sent: Monday, October 19, 2009 8:21:35 AM GMT -06:00 US/Canada 
> Central
> >>>    Subject: Re: [M-R] Medieval lighting
> >>>
> >>>    medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and
> >>>    culture
> >>>
> >>>    On preindustrial sleeping patterns, some might find this article
> >>>    interesting: A. Roger Ekirch, "Sleep We Have Lost: Pre-industrial
> >>>    Slumber in
> >>>    the British Isles," The American Historical Review 106:2 
> (April, 2001)
> >>>    http://www.historycooperative.org/journals/ahr/106.2/ah000343.html.
> >>>
> >>>    Shannon
> >>>
> >>>    Dr. Shannon McSheffrey
> >>>    Professor and Chair, Department of History
> >>>    Concordia University
> >>>    1455 de Maisonneuve Blvd. W.
> >>>    Montreal, Quebec  CANADA  H3G 1M8
> >>>
> >>>    [log in to unmask] <
> >>>
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