The Hagiographic Works About Sts Cyril and Methodius in Legenda aurea of Iacobus de Voragine (= Cyrillo-Methodian Studies. 11) Cover Image
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Агиографските творби за св. Кирил и Методий в Legenda aurea на Яков Ворагински (= Кирило-Методиевски студии. Кн. 11)
The Hagiographic Works About Sts Cyril and Methodius in Legenda aurea of Iacobus de Voragine (= Cyrillo-Methodian Studies. 11)

Author(s): Slavia Barlieva
Subject(s): History, Language studies, Language and Literature Studies, Middle Ages
ISSN: 0205-2253
Published by: Кирило-Методиевски научен център при Българска академия на науките
Keywords: Cyril; Cyrillo-Methodian sources; Cyrillo-Methodian tradition; Hagiographic works; Iacobus de Voragine; Legenda aurea; Methodius; Quemadmodum
Summary/Abstract: This study, dedicated to the sources of Sts Cyril and Methodius, connected with the collection of lectures about saints Legenda aurea, presents for the first time in European literary-historical research this famous work of West European hagiography from the standpoint of Cyrillo-Methodian problems. Chapter One introduces in detail the collection: its author Iacobus de Voragine (Ch. 1.1) and also the importance of the work in the history of European culture (Ch. 1.2). This presentation is aimed not only at making the reader familiar with the phenomenon Legenda aurea but also at showing in what an old and popular European literary monument are found traces of the Cyrillo-Methodian tradition. Besides this, through the scheme of the development of the collection in the different regions of Western and Central Europe is substantiated also the plan for a systematic study both of the Latin original and the mediaeval translations in different national languages. This plan made it possible to discover the response, although distant, to the cult of the Slav Apostles in lands where it was regarded as unknown during the Middle Ages: Spain and Germany. Further on the study, the principal goal of which is to clarify the problems of the Latin sources of the lives and work of the Slav Apostles, is divided into parts, differentiated according to the individual sources associated in one or other way with Legenda aurea. In the first place (Ch. 2) is examined the text of the Life of St. Clement of Rome in the Golden Legend which narrates the translation of the relics of the Saint from Herson to Rome. In Ch. 2.1 unambiguously is confirmed its similarity to the Latin Lives of Sts Cyril and Methodius (Vita cum Translatione S. Clementis), called also Italian Legend, from which it is extracted by the literary methods of abridgement and revision. For this reason a new term for denoting this text was introduced: "Brief Redaction of the Italian Legend". A more categorical answer has been sought also to the question how the compilation of Iacobus de Voragine about St. Clement of Rome was composed. Whether Iacobus compiled the brief redaction of the Italian Legend and what could this suggest to us about the authorship of the Italian Legend itself. The observations made have imposed the conclusion that at the time when Legenda aurea was composed, i. e. about the middle of the 13th century. The Life of St. Clement of Rome by Iohannes Himonidos and Gaudericus of Veletri had already lost its third part – Translatio Clementis. In its stead popularity enjoyed the redaction made by Leo of Ostia who is regarded as the author of the story of the translation of the relics of Clement in Rome (the Italian Legend). The Dominican liturgist, probably the Chief Master of the Order Humberto de Romanis, abridged the Italian Legend and adapted it as the ninth lecture for the Festival of St. Clement of Rome in the Dominican lectionaries. It was namely from there that Iacobus de Voragine borrowed the short redaction of the Italian Legend so as to use it as the end of the narrative about St. Clement in his collection Legenda aurea. As regards the addition connecting the translation of the relics of St. Clement of Rome with the name of St. Cyril, the direct study of a large number of copies of Legenda aurea has established that this addition was made probably in Italy after 1292 and not between 1263 and 1267 as P. Devos and P. Mayervaert claim. It is a repercussion of the Chronicle of the Dominican Martin de Troppau through the work of another Dominican writer Pierre Callo. Special attention is paid in Ch. 2.2 to the presence of the short redaction of the Italian Legend besides in Legenda aurea also in other Latin works of the Late Middle Ages. In the first place here is supplied information about the already mentioned Chronicle of Martin de Troppau and is stressed the need for studying other works by the same author which are likely to contain some data about St. Clement of Rome and hence St. Cyril, mostly about his sermons on saints. The study of the excerpt itself which mentions the name of the Slav Apostle and the results of the study of his influence on the Golden Legend give grounds to the author to express a view at variance with that of the publisher of the Chronicle so far – that not the Golden Legend is the source of Martin but his text on the translation of Clement's relics was added to the Life of Pope Clement in Legenda aurea. Another new element in the results of the study is the evidence that Martin used as his sources not only the Italian Legend, as has been believed so far, but also the First Chapter of the Legend of the Monk Christian. An attempt is made to prove that he compiled the text of interest to us on the pattern of the short redaction of the Italian Legend from Legenda aurea, drawing as his sources also the Italian and Christian's Legends. The view is expressed that he had at his disposal some document, later lost, from the Office of Pope Nicholas I, calling Cyril to Rome. By this is explained also the anachronism accociating the visit of the Slav Apostle to Rome with the pontificate of Nicholas I and not with that of Pope Adrian II. In the study are used also other mediaeval compilations on the translation of the relics of St. Clement of Rome: the Chronicle of the Spanish Minorite Iohannes of Zamora, the List of Saints and Their Acts of the Venetian Pietro de Natale and the Notes on the Milanese Saints of the Chaplain Gotfredo da Busero. Concerning the last text, the present study makes a contribution to the view of P. Devos that in it there is a reflection of the Italian Legend through the mediation of Legenda Aurea. Using a larger part for comparison, also a direct influence of the Chronicle of Martin de Troppau is established. As a result of the systematic review of all Latin texts, associated with the Life of St. Clement of Rome, was discovered a hitherto unused text in Cyrillo-Methodian studies, containing the short redaction of the Italian Legend – Florilegium of the Chronicles of the Inquisitor of Toulouse, Bernardus Guidonis, which is published in the present monograph. The review made of the most important Latin legendary and other similar compilations of an annalistic character has shown clearly that to one or other extent they used the short redaction of the Italian Legend from Legenda aurea of Iacobus de Voragine in their lectures dedicated to St. Clement of Rome. The basic conclusion which imposes itself as a result of this review is that in the Late Middle Ages in the West European Hagiographic collections the Holy Brothers Cyril and Methodius had no place of their own. Mention was made only of St. Cyril, usually only with the byname "Philosopher", as a saint who brought to Rome the relics of Pope Clement. In the late 13th c. appeard the elaboration that this philosopher was St. Cyril, Bishop of Moravia and Apostle of Almost all Slavs. In Ch. 2.3 the model of studying the Latin Golden Legend is applied also with respect to its mediaeval translations. The traces of the Latin original of the Cyrillo-Methodian tradition established in the Life of St. Clement of Rome have been found transferred also in some of the translations in the languages that were forming then as literary national ones. Naturally we should take into account also that in this case we come against to a large extent mechanical phenomenon since the translations automatically include the Cyrillo-Methodian text together with the Life of St. Clement of Rome. As a result of the present study of the translations of Legenda aurea have been discovered and published translations of the short redaction of the Italian Legend in Catalan and Old High German – texts which for the time being are the only, although cursory, information about St. Cyril in the Spanish and German literary traditions. Published were also Tuscan translations of this work. The examination of the Old Czech translation showed how this text there lacked a clear connection with the Slav Apostles although it was published simultaneously with lectures specially dedicated to the two saints. The review of the written monuments bearing witness to the spread of the short redaction of the Italian Legend in popular adaptations of Legenda aurea indicated that the translation of the relics of St. Clement of Rome was not explicitly associated with Constantine-Cyril. Whereas in the Latin redaction appeared the elaboration that the monk who discovered the relics of the Saint in Kherson was the Slav Apostle Cyril, a Moravian Bishop, this elaboration was fully ignored in the popular translations of the Colden Legend and only the byname Philosopher was preserved. The literal quotation of Leo of Ostia and the actual contents of the texts give us yet grounds to claim that here we come across abridged versions of the Italian Legend. Naturally they cannot be called sources of the Cyrillo-Methodian work but are a sign how the Cyrillo-Methodian tradition developed in Western Europe during the Late Middle Ages – the Slav Apostles were worshipped there above all as holy men who had brought to Rome the blessing of Clement's relics. This conclusion and the methodology of research applied in this work offer the possibility for future studies of Latin sources about Sts Cyril and Methodius and their translations in popular languages during the Midle Ages, for instance of the Pope's letters and some works in the sphere of canonical law. Naturally most productive with respect to the Cyrillo-Methodian problems is the study of copies of Legenda aurea from the Western Slav lands – chiefly today's Bohemia and Poland (Ch. 3). It was found that the Czech Golden Legend most accurately reproduced the Czech hagiographic tradition of the two saints, presenting all hagiographic works about them of a Czech origin with the exception of the legend Beatus Cyrillus. The author does not discover data on the existence of a church celebration of the Apostles in Bohemia during the 13th century – from then date the oldest Latin copies, emerging in Bohemia, of Legenda aurea and they do not contain any of the hagiographic works regarded as sources of Sts Cyril and Methodius. The existing data confirm the opinion that their cult was revived in Bohemia only in the age of Charles IV who sought the national identity of his people in its Slav roots. At first the hagiographic texts of the Holy Brothers were connected chiefly with the ecclesiastical glorification of the most venerated Czech saints: St. Ludmila, St. Vaclav and St. Procopius. These were the legends of the Monk Christian and Diffundente sole, dedicated to St. Ludmila, the Life of St. Vaclav by Charles IV and the Short Life of St. Procopius. Excluding Christian's Legend which was the oldest domestic Czech sources and which appeared probably at the very end of the 10th c., for all the others the study of their place in the textual tradition of Legenda aurea shows that in all probability they were connected with the national doctrine of Charles IV and emerged about the middle of the 14th c. Besides that the contents of the collection provide data on the existence of yet another Life of St. Procopius which, in the same way as the Short Life of the saint connects his knowledge about the Slav letters with St. Cyril. Thus the study outlines still another Cyrillo-Methodian source – the Life of St. Procopius Erat sanctus Procopius which after more detailed research should be embodied in the publication of the sources of the lives of the Slav Teachers. Another such source emerges after the application of the same pattern of research also to the translations of the Latin legends of Czech origin in Old Czech by the study of the old Czech translation of Legenda aurea – the Old Czech Passional. This is the translation of Charles' Life of St. Vaclav which, however, is entitled Zivot svatého Cirula biskupa. In order to preserve the approach to the texts accepted as sources about Sts Cyril and Methodius, this translation should enrich the list of Slav sources as has been proceeded in the case of the Old Czech translation of the legend Diffundente sole. In an analogous way appears the possibility of enriching the list of the sources with yet another monument: to the Slav sources may be added also the Old Czech translation of the Short Life of St. Procopius Erat sanctus Procopius, entitled Byl v ceskéj zemi jeden opat. These additions prompt the idea of the possibility to make a more precise structuring of the corpus of the Cyrillo-Methodian sources whereby the original texts will be published together with their translations, not as has so far been done – in different parts of the corpus differentiated on the principle of language. The study of the manuscripts of Legenda aurea from the Western Slav lands yields the best results with respect to the two Latin Lives of Czech origin, specially dedicated to the Apostles: the legends Tempore Michaelis (Moravian Legend) and Quemadmodum (Ch. 3.2). To the hitherto known ten copies of the Moravian Legend the study adds six newly discovered copies, all from Polish collections Legenda aurea, where it was found to be the basic hagiographic text about the Slav Apostles. These are Cod. 271 (Bibl. Jagiellonska, Krakow), ff. 159r–160r, Cod. 1768 (ibidem), ff 163r–169r; Cod. 2767 IV (Bibl. Czartoryskich, Krakow), ff. 127r–129r; Cod. Ill 8041, ff. 171r–129v (Bibl. Naukowa, Warszawa); Cod. BOZ 54 (ibidem), ff. 119v–121r; Cod. 5439 II (Bibl. Ossolinskich, Wroclaw, ff. 139r–141). The witnessed textual differences between the Polish and Czech copies make possible the differentiation of a Czech and a Polish redaction of the monument – a distinction which has so far not been made by the publishers of Tempore Michaelis. As far as the legend Quemadmodum is concerned, in the Cod. 54 II 39 (Bibl. Ossolinskich, Wroclaw), ff. 139r, mentioned above, together with the Moravian Legend was found a hitherto unknown fragment of it. Besides that, the study attracts another five copies of this Latin Life of Sts Cyril and Methodius which have up to now not been used in the Cyrillo-Methodian studies but have been mentioned in connection with the study of the composition of the Czech Golden Legend. In this way the total number of the Quemadmodum copies increased from 13 to 18. The basis for textological study of the two Latin hagiographic works enriched in this manner creates the possibility in a future study to solve with greater objectivity some problems connected with the dating and the sources of the two Cyrillo-Methodian legends and also in a more substantiated fashion to recreate the history of the Sts Cyril and Methodius cult in the lands of today's Bohemia and Poland. As a whole the present monograph on the Latin hagiographic texts about Sts Cyril and Methodius, connected with the most widespread hagiographic work of the West European Middle Ages, Legenda aurea of Iacobus de Voragine characterizes the development of the Cyrillo-Methodian tradition in its completeness. Although some of the examined texts cannot be treated as sources, they all were a reflection of the respect to the Slav Apostles, glorified in Europe as the creators of the Slav letters, as evangelizers of Slavdom and carriers of the relics of St. Clement to Rome. As regards both its contents and its chronology, the Cyrillo-Methodian tradition emerged for the last time as an All-European cultural phenomenon.

  • Page Count: 123
  • Publication Year: 1998
  • Language: Bulgarian