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medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

Interesting.  Thompson's examples (as one may have read by now: twelve pages is not a lot) are from Lombardy, Emilia-Romagna, Tuscany, and Umbria.  Without -- to judge from Andrew's summary -- duplicating any of Vauchez's instances (and lacking V.'s interest in uncanonized saints), they yield the same general picture.  Are there no similar contributions based on French material?

Best again,
John Dillon  

On Monday, October 19, 2009, at 9:09 pm, Andrew Larsen wrote:

> Cecelia,
> 	The article in question is "Patronage of Saints and Civic Religion in 
> the Italy of the Communes" in The Laity in the Middle Ages (Notre 
> Dame, 1993) (I think it might be a reprinted article, but I'm not sure).
> 	At Orvieto, in 1350, the city sent a 50 lb candle to the cathedral 
> for the Virgin and a second smaller one (weight unspecified in the 
> article) to the cathedral for a local saint.  The Dominican house 
> received 2 20 lb candles, one for Dominic and one for a local saint.  
> The Franciscans received a similar pair of candles, and the 
> Augustinians 1 candle.  Statutes required that the candles remain in 
> place for 1 full year, when they would be replaced.
> 	In 1314, Orvieto issued a statute specifying that its candles "should 
> serve exclusively to illuminate the body of Christ and should remain 
> lit until the end of the Elevation."  If a candle was not kept for a 
> whole year, it was not to be replaced.  A notary was required to visit 
> the church every three months to ensure the candle was in the proper location.
> 	In 1315, Poggibonsi declared a candle-lit procession for a local 
> saint.  Beginning in 1321, the town annually calculated the number of 
> candles to be used, which varied between 200 and 500.  They were 
> donated to the local Franciscan house. An equal number of merchants 
> were required to donate candles and participate in the procession.  
> The number of candles dropped from 500 in 1348 to 350 in 1350.
> 	Also in Poggibonsi, on the feast of a local saint, the guilds 
> conducted a torch-lit procession to the saint's church and then 
> donated the torches, on penalty of a fine.  The next day, the town 
> presented wax to the same church.
> 	In 1451, Amandola decreed an annual donation of a 50-solidi candle.  
> After 1471, the value of the candle went up to 10 pounds.
> 	In 1391, Spoleto decreed a donation of 30 lbs of wax every year to 
> the Dominican church, although in 1397 this was reduced to several (4, 
> I think)candles of 3 lbs each.  Two more candles of equal weight were 
> given to another church.  The remaining 12 lbs of wax  was given to 
> clergy who participated.
> 	Most of the saints involved were uncanonized saints, so the towns in 
> question were giving civic approval to these saints and thereby 
> skirting church control of canonization.
> 	So to answer your questions, it seems that the candles were expected 
> to be used, although the requirement to check up suggests that there 
> was a worry they wouldn't be used.  At Orvieto, the town tried to 
> ensure exactly when the candles were used during the service, and 
> exactly where they would be shedding their light.  The economic value 
> of the candles was clearly an issue in some cases, since at Amandola 
> they increased the cost, while at Spoleto, because of quarrels between 
> churches, they decided to rebalance how the candles/wax was being 
> given away. The fact that Poggibonsi fined those who failed to donate 
> their candles suggests that some people resisted the required 
> donation.  So although the value of the candles was symbolic and 
> practical (Orvieto did want them used for lighting) to the town 
> government, they were aware of the economic aspects of the issue and 
> tried to control them.
> 	Hope this helps.
> 
> Andrew E. Larsen
> 
> On Oct 19, 2009, at 7:49 PM, John Dillon wrote:
> 
> >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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