Název: Converting minds, eyes, and bodies? : the early cult of relics between rhetoric and material practices in northern Italy and Gallia
Konverze myslí, očí a těl? : raný kult relikvií mezi rétorikou a materialitou v severní Itálii a Galii
Zdrojový dokument: Convivium. 2021, roč. 8, č. Supplementum 3, s. -167
ISSN2336-3452 (print)2336-808X (online)
Licence: Neurčená licence
plný text nepřístupný
The idea of displacing bodies or bodyparts for the Christian cult of saints and relics represented a fundamental departure from the ancient relationship with bodies and bodily remains. Promoters of the cult in the fourth century, such as Ambrose of Milan, thus had to justify these new practices within a network of rhetorical and material realities, creating an ideological "frame" that mirrored the physical one – the reliquaries housing the relics themselves. Two centuries later, in the age of Gregory of Tours, these accepted practices were reframed in yet another geographical and cultural realm, paving the way for the medieval cult of relics. Against the backdrop of this classical narrative, this article aims to understand the tension between the intellectual and ideal setting of the cult of relics promoted by Ambrose and his circle and its actual material reality and transformations over the two centuries leading up to Gregory's time. Specifically, the paper focuses on the new practices around martyrs' relics put into place by the bishop of Milan, and how they spread via the contemporary networks of the ecclesiastic and intellectual elite. Secondly, based on the analysis of selected objects from the fourth-century Italian Peninsula such as the San Nazaro casket and the small capsella at Garlate, as well as on sources describing the performance of relics, the article examines the actual effectiveness of the cult's material implementation as opposed to its rhetorical framing. Ultimately, it questions the efficacy and longevity of the initial networking promoted by Ambrose, especially when implemented in a place and time where Romanization and Christianization underwent a different set of parameters than in Milan.
- This article was written in the frame of the project "Material Histories of Late Antique Culture – from reliquaries to diptychs – MUNI/FF-DEAN/0120/2021".