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Hammer, Carl I.
‘The Examples of the Saints’: Reading Eugippius’ Account of Saint Severin

2008, e-publikation
ISBN 978-87-635-3478-9
s. 155-185 i:
Classica et Mediaevalia Vol. 59

40 DKK  6 $   5 €


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Summary:
In 511 Eugippius wrote a Commemoratorium or ‘Account’ of the holy man, Severin, who was active from about 460 until his death in 482 in the frontier province of Noricum (now Austria). Eugippius was abbot of Severin’s community, resettled near Naples in Italy, and his ‘Account’ has been used extensively by historians to reconstruct conditions along the Danubian frontier during the last years of the Western Roman Empire. But, beyond the distortions normally associated with hagiography – Eugippius was clearly concerned to portray Severin as a suitable founder-saint for his community – the author may also purposely have altered the historical information for other, more ideological purposes. This paper looks at two episodes which describe Severin’s reception of relics: Saints Gervasius and Protasius (chapter 9) and St John the Baptist (chapter 23). Their common ‘message’ is to oppose the Arianism espoused by Theoderich’s contemporary Gothic regime in Italy and to condemn the disputed papal election of 498 which ended through Theoderich’s support of Symmachus. But the paper concludes that the short narratives of the relics embedded as pericopes within these chapters are historically credible. Thus, it appears that Eugippius’ ‘Account’ is best contextualized and interpreted for historical information at the level of such discrete pericopes rather than the longer chapters where Eugippius may have reconfigured authentic historical information to advance his agenda.

 
Emneområde | Middelalderstudier | Religion og teologi |
Emneord | Kristendom | Religionshistorie |
Specifikt emneord | Hagiografi | Helgener | Kirkehistorie |
Periode | Middelalder |
Sprog | Engelsk | Latin |





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