medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

Today (27. July) is the feast day of:

1)  Seven Sleepers of Ephesus (d. 250 or 251, supposedly).  The Sleepers of Ephesus, usually but not always seven in number, are said in a story that is at least as old as the early sixth century to have been Christian youths who were walled up in a cave outside of Ephesus (variant: Arabissos in Cappadocia) by the order of the emperor Decius.  Instead of actually dying, they slumbered for some three hundred years and woke up in the reign of an emperor Theodosius (the numbers suggest Theodosius II, r. 401-450), whereupon they proclaimed the truth of the resurrection of the dead.  Having done so, the Sleepers then returned to their cave, where they promptly died and were buried.

The Sleepers have a Passio with versions in Greek (BHG 1593-1599), in many Eastern languages (BHO 1012-1022), and in Latin (BHL 2313-2320; the first of these is by St. Gregory of Tours, who worked with a Syrian informant).  There are numerous other medieval accounts based on the Passio as well as versions of the story that are by no means so specific.  Two of the latter are a) in the _Qur'an_, at Surah 18 ("The Cave") and b) at Paul the Deacon, _Historia Langobardorum_, 1. 4 (with a location in far northern Germany at the edge of what must be the world-encircling Ocean).

A late antique burial cave near the ruins of ancient Ephesus in today's İzmir province in Turkey has since the sixth century been venerated as the Sleepers' resting place.  Here's the Sacred Destinations page on it:
Another view:

In Orthodox and other Eastern-rite churches these saints have usually been celebrated on either 22., 23., or 24. October.  In the Latin West the two most common dates have been today and 27. June.  Herewith an expandable view of the Seven Sleepers as depicted in a late thirteenth-century copy of French origin of the _Legenda aurea_ (San Marino, CA, Huntington Library, ms. HM 3027, fol. 85r):

2)  Pantaleon of Nicomedia (d. early 4th cent., supposedly).  We know nothing of the actual life of the megalomartyr P. (also Panteleimon), called "of Nicomedia" in modern scholarship to distinguish him from P. of Bisceglie, one of the companions of that Apulian city's legendary early martyr-bishop Maurus.  His hagiographic legend in Greek (BHG 1412z-1418c) and in Latin (BHL 6429-6446) makes him a physician of Nicomedia who learned that the only important medicine was the cure of souls, who nonetheless was given the grace to operate many miraculous cures of the body, and who underwent a "classic" passio (including colloquies with the emperor followed by a series of ineffective tortures followed by decapitation) supervised by the emperor Maximian (i.e. Galerius).  The Vatopedi monastery on Mt. Athos claims to possess one of P.'s feet:

In Eastern-rite churches P. has been celebrated on various days in late July, especially today (his feast day in the Byzantine Rite).  The earlier ninth-century Marble Calendar of Naples, with its admixture of "Eastern" and "Western" feasts, also places his celebration on this day.  But in the Latin West P.'s late antique and medieval feast day was often 28. July (so the [pseudo-]Hieronymian Martyrology; also Florus, St. Ado, and Usuard).  From the sixteenth century onward the Roman Martyrology has commemorated P. under today's date.

Further visuals:

a)  Ano Boulari (Mesa Mani), Lakonia, church of Agios Panteleimon (991/2).  An illustrated, English-language account follows that of the same settlement's Agios Stratigos on this page:
Portrait of P. (at left; very late tenth-century) in the church's right apse:

b)  Vicinity of Distomo in Phokis, monastery of Hosios Loukas, katholikon, earlier eleventh-century mosaic portrait of P. (restored between 1953 and 1962):

c)  Nea Moni, Chios, katholikon, mid-eleventh-century mosaic portrait of P.:

d)  Saint-Pantaléon, Gordes (Vaucluse), église Saint-Pantaléon (said to go back to the fifth century but in its present form largely an originally twelfth-century church).  A page of expandable views:
Other views:

e)  Köln, former abbey church of Sankt Pantaleon (consecrated, 980; expanded, mid-twelfth century; heavily damaged in World War II; restoration completed, 1962).  An illustrated, German-language account of the building's history is here:
Views (west front; early sixteenth-century Lettner):
Other views:

f)  Venice, basilica di San Marco, cappella di San Pietro, earlier twelfth-century (?) mosaic on outer wall, P. at right:

g)  Nerezi Lartëm (Skopje), Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, church of Sveti Panteleimon (twelfth-century).  Illustrated, English-language accounts are here:
Other views:

h)  Monreale (PA), Sicily, cattedrale di Santa Maria la Nuova, mosaic on an arch soffit (ca. 1182):

i)  Mödling (Niederösterreich), an illustrated, German-language page on the originally late twelfth-century (after 1182) Pantaleonskapelle:
Another view:

j)  Losa de Mena (Burgos), Castilla y León, ermita de San Pantaleón de Losa (late twelfth-/early thirteenth-century):
Illustrated, Spanish-language account:
Other views:

k)  Dolianova (CA), Sardinia, (ex-)cattedrale di San Pantaleo (1160-1289):

l)  Pieve a Elici di Massarosa (LU), Tuscany, chiesa di San Pantaleone (a thirteenth-century replacement for an early medieval predecessor on the same site).  Illustrated, Italian-language account:〈=it
More views (greatly expandable):

m)  Chartres, cathédrale de Notre-Dame, Saint Pantaleon window (1220-25):

n)  St. Catherine's Monastery, Sinai, icon of P., with scenes from his Bios (thirteenth-century):

o)  Maria Enzersdorf (Niederösterreich), Burg Liechtenstein, relief of P. (thirteenth-century; said to have come from Venice):

p)  Thessaloniki, church of Agios Panteleimon (thirteenth-century):

q)  Sopoćani (Raška dist.), Serbia, monastery church of the Holy Trinity, fresco portrait of P. (wearing light blue over purple) among the healers in the south choir (later thirteenth-century):

r)  Baltimore (MD), Walters Art Gallery, late thirteenth-century arm reliquary of P. (Rhenish origin; photographs by Genevra Kornbluth):

s)  Mt. Athos, Protaton church, fresco portrait of P. attributed to Manuel Panselinos (ca. 1300):

t)  Sopoćani (Raška dist.), Serbia, monastery church of the Holy Trinity, fresco portrait of P. in the chapel of St. Stephen, Protomartyr (fourteenth-century):

u)  Peć in, depending on one's view of the matter, either the Republic of Kosovo or Serbia's province of Kosovo and Metohija, Patriarchate of Peć, church of St. Demetrius, fresco portrait of P. (ca. 1317-1324):

v)  Courmayeur (AO), Valle d'Aosta, chiesa parrochiale di San Pantaleone (twelfth-/fifteenth-century, later rebuilt):
(the menu on the right in this last page takes one through stages of building on the site)

w)  Unkel (Lkr. Neuwied), Rheinland-Pfalz, Pfarrkirche St. Pantaleon (thirteenth-/early sixteenth-century):
A view of this church's earlier fourteenth-century (second quarter) wooden reliquary shrine for a relic of P., painted in the later fifteenth-century, is at no. 3 here:

3)  Celestine I, pope (d. 432).  C. is said to have been a native of the Roman Campagna.  As a deacon of the Roman church, he is addressed with great respect in a letter from St. Augustine of 418.  In 422 he succeeded pope St. Boniface I.  At Rome C. suppressed the remaining Novatianists, taking away their churches and forcing them to meet in private homes.  He restored the basilica that became Santa Maria in Trastevere (this had suffered damage in Alaric's sack in 410).  During his pontificate the basilica that replaced the original _titulus Sabinae_ was built on the Aventine; we know it now as Santa Sabina.  Here are some views:
An illustrated, English-language page on this church's much restored, originally fifth-century wooden door:
The Sacred Destinations page on Santa Sabina, that page's accompanying photogallery, and a separate page on the ancient door:
Bill Thayer's page-in-progress on Santa Sabina:

Elsewhere, C. was unsuccessful in getting the church of Africa to recognize his primacy.  In 429 he sent St. Germanus of Auxerre to Britain in a campaign to suppress Pelagianism.  G. was accompanied on this journey by the deacon Palladius, the first recorded Christian missionary to Ireland.  C. used an appeal from St. Cyril of Alexandria to condemn Nestorius in 430 and, through emissaries, successfully pursued this course in the following year at the First Council of Ephesus.  Today is C.'s _dies natalis_; he was buried in the cemetery of Priscilla.

John Dillon
(last year's post revised)

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