medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

On Thursday, December 31, 2009, at 4:38 am, I wrote:

> Sylvester I, pope (d. 335)...  
> S. in the late thirteenth-century (1295) frescoes in the church of the 
> Peribleptos (now Sv. Climent) at Ohrid, Former Yugoslav Republic of 
> Macedonia (two images, the color being wrong differently in each):
> file:///C:/DOCUME~1/DARTHJ~1/LOCALS~1/Temp/0102sylvester-1.jpg

Obviously, the first of these is a filename, not a valid link.  Here's a link to the image in question (whose background in different shades of brown should really be in darker and lighter shades of blue):

By way of recompense, herewith two views of the originally twelfth-century église Saint-Sylvestre at Sainte-Colombe (Gironde) in Aquitaine:
And see also item b) below under Columba of Sens.

Today (31. December) is also the feast day of:

1)  Columba of Sens (d. 274, supposedly).  The virgin martyr C. (in French, Colombe and Colome; in Spanish, Coloma and Comba) is a poorly documented saint with a cult that seems at least as old as the seventh century both in Gaul, where her great abbey at Sens is said to have been founded by Chlotar II in around 620 and where a basilica dedicated to her is said to have existed at Paris in the time of St. Eligius (so E.'s Vita BHL 2474, an eighth(?)-century reworking of one by his contemporary St. Audoenus), and in Iberia, where the church of Santa Comba at Bande (Orense) has been dated on the wording of a ninth-century charter to ca. 675.

C. has a legendary, originally seventh- or early eighth-century Passio (BHL 1892) that makes her a martyr at Sens under emperor Aurelian; expansions of this from the ninth century onward make her a pagan prince's daughter at Zaragoza who, desiring to become a Christian, flees to Gaul and is baptized at Vienne before going on to Sens.  There she is soon arrested in a persecution, endures a lengthy colloquy with Aurelian, rejects his offer of marriage to his own son, is placed among prostitutes at the amphitheatre, is assaulted by a miscreant, is saved miraculously by a she-bear who then obeys C.'s command to release the scoundrel, converts him to Christianity, is protected from soldiers by the she-bear, reaffirms her Christianity to a very irritated Aurelian, and finally is executed by decapitation.

C.'s feast on this day is attested in the (pseudo-)Hieronymian Martyrology and in the historical martyrologies of the ninth century.  C.'s medieval cult, which in France seems to have been strongest in today's Bourgogne and Île-de-France, extended across Francia from the Rhineland and from southern Belgium to the Pyrenees as well as in many places in today's Spain and Portugal.  In Italy she is the subject of a sermon by St. Peter Damian (BHL 1896m) and the titular of the cathedral of Rimini, whose predecessor, also dedicated to her, was consecrated in 1154. 

A few visuals:

a)  An illustrated, Spanish-language page on the originally seventh(?)-century iglesia de Santa Comba at Bande:
Pages of views of the same church:

b)  A brief, illustrated, French-language account of the much rebuilt, originally eighth(?)-century église Saint-Sylvestre-et-Sainte-Colombe at Colombiers (Hérault) in Languedoc:
Further views:
The church's Visigothic altar:  

c)  An illustrated, French-language page on the much rebuilt, originally ninth-to-early-eleventh-century église Sainte-Colombe at Chevilly-Larue (Val-de-Marne) in Île-de-France:

d)  An illustrated, English-language page on the much rebuilt, originally tenth-century església de Santa Coloma in Andorra La Vella, Andorra: 

e)  A page of views of the originally later twelfth-century église Sainte-Colombe at Sainte-Colombe (Charente) in Poitou-Charentes:

f)  Some French-language pages on the originally twelfth-century église Sainte-Colombe at Gréville-Hague (Manche) in Normandy with its thirteenth-century wall paintings and its fifteenth-century statues:
Other views of this church: 

g)  An illustrated, French-language page on the originally thirteenth-/sixteenth-century église Sainte-Colombe at Servon (Seine-et-Marne) in Île-de-France: 

h)  A page of views of the much rebuilt, originally thirteenth-century église Sainte Colombe (with an eleventh[?]-century tower) at the locality of Soulme in Doische (prov. de Namur) 

i)  Expandable views of panel paintings from the 1340s or early 1350s by Giovanni Baronzio depicting scenes from C.'s Passio; formerly in the cathedral of Rimini, these are now in the Pinacoteca di Brera in Milan:

j)  English-language and Italian-language pages on, and some other views, of the basilica cattedrale di Santa Colomba at Rimini (1447-1466, restored after heavy damage in World War II; the belltower is a survivor from the church's central medieval predecessor), better known as the Tempio Malatestiano:

2)  Donata, Paulina, Rogata, Dominanda, Serotina, Saturnina, and Hilaria (?).  Also known as the Septem Virgines, D. et al. are Roman martyrs of the cemetery of the Jordani on the Via Salaria.  Entered under today in the (pseudo-)Hieronymian Martyrology, they are also listed in at least one of the earlier seventh-century guidebooks for pilgrims to Rome, the _Liber de locis sanctis martyrum_.  An Inventio of their relics under pope St. Hadrian I led to a late eighth-century renewal of their cult.

Best again (and happy New Year),
John Dillon

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