The Cult of St Erasmus of Ohrid (of Formia) in the Eastern and the Western Tradition Cover Image
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Култът към св. Еразъм Охридски (Формийски) в източната и в западната традиция
The Cult of St Erasmus of Ohrid (of Formia) in the Eastern and the Western Tradition

Author(s): Boyka Mircheva
Subject(s): Language studies
Published by: Институт за литература - БАН

Summary/Abstract: The aim of this study is to explore whether there is a blending of different cults in the veneration of St Erasmus of Ohrid. As is known, in the Western Church several other cults were attached to and merged with the cult of St Erasmus. This fact explains the popularity which the Saint enjoys in Central and Southern Italy and Sicily. However, in the Eastern Orthodox tradition there are no detectable traces of combining or mixing hagiographic motifs from the stories of other saints in the texts or images of St Erasmus. The church celebration on May 10, which is usually regarded as a blending of various commemorations, is in fact an entirely different fest. The only thing that could somehow point to such a blending is the preservation of copies of the Vita of St Erasmus of Ohrid under different dates (May 4, June 10, and even May 10) instead of original dates of his celebration, namely 1st or 2nd of June. The Vita, however, was left uncorrupted and uncontaminated with other stories. The data presented in the article led to the conclusion that the cult of St Erasmus developed locally, and was not translated or adapted from elsewhere. In supporting this assertion the author presents oral and written evidence about the allegedly legendary name of the place where the Saint died according to the local Ohrid tradition – Hermelia. It appeared to be a toponym attested over time in the area near the town of Ohrid.

  • Issue Year: 2013
  • Issue No: 48
  • Page Range: 67-78
  • Page Count: 12
  • Language: Bulgarian