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HOLY PLACES, HOLY PEOPLE SAINTS BEFORE THE EAST-WEST SCHISM

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HOLY PLACES, HOLY PEOPLE SAINTS BEFORE THE EAST-WEST SCHISM

 

 

ELTE

Egyetemi Konyvtar es Leveltar

University Library and Archives

HOLY PLACES, HOLY PEOPLE

SAINTS BEFORE THE EAST-WEST SCHISM

The Great Schism of 1054 was the final break of communion between the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church (East-West Schism). Before that, the Christian Church was unified, so the saints who lived before 1054 were "shared", both Churches venerated them as saints.

This exhibition aims to offer a sample of the museum pieces connected with these shared saints preserved at the University Library and Archives. The exhibiton was organized as part of a collaboration with the Russian Holy Places of Undivided Christianity project. This project a'ms to collect places of memory and museum pieces connected with saints and church history from before the Great Schism.

These common saints were already celebrated in the Middle Ages. To preserve their biographies, they were collected and organised into collections. The best-known example of this is the Legenda aurea ('Golden Legend'), compiled by the Dominican bishop, Jacobus de Voragine, that gained incredible popularity in the Middle Ages. Although it never reached the popularity of Legenda aurea, Catalogus sanctorum ('The Catalogue of Saints') by Petrus de Natalibus, bishop of Equilio was still widely used - it provides shortened versions of the legends. Another, more specific collection needs to be mentioned: the Vitae patrum ('The Lives of Fathers') contains the lives of Desert Fathers and Desert Mothers of early Christianity.

Vernacular collections and legends soon followed as well. Der heilegen leben ('The Life of Saints') or Passional is a collection of saints' lives, and it was used in the German-speaking regions of Europe. It was probably compiled around 1400 by a German Dominican friar. The translations of Legenda aurea, Catalogus sanctorum, and Vitae patrum found their way into the 16th-century Hungarian vernacular manuscripts (e.g. the Codex of Cornides copied by Lea Raskay). The translations were continued in later ages. A manuscript preserved at the University Library contains the Hungarian biography of Hilarion the Great which was written down in 1666 by the mysterious fra ter L. N. ('brother L. N.'). An unknown Czech translator used the German translation of Vitae patrum published in 1615 by Heribert Rosweyde to prepare his collection of early Christian hermits' lives.

At the end of the Middle Ages, with the introduction of printing, more and more model sermon collections came into circulation. These collections were surprisingly easy to use and thus became popular rather quickly, so did the writings of two Hungarian observant Franciscan friars, Osvaldus de Lasko and Pelbartus de Temesvar. The works of Pelbartus made their way into the bestsellers of their age, they were published in several important western European cities. In the de sanctis part of the Pomerium ('Orchard') Pelbartus offered sermons to the feast days of several saints who lived before the Great Schism.

The memory of the early saints lived on not only in texts but in visual representations as well. These saints are usually easily recognisable through their attributes: Saint Ursula was depicted with arrows, Dorothea of Caesarea with flowers and apples, Saint Catherine of Alexandria with a wheel, Saint Barbara with a tower, James the Great with scallops, and Saint Peter with a key.

 

 

Holy Places of Undivided Christianity
Book descriptions

ELTE University Library and Archives

Catalogus sanctorum et gestorum eorum ec diversis voluminibus collectus ...

Petrus de Natalibus impressum Lugduni: per Jacobum Saccon, 1514

Ant. 1480

Although it never reached the popularity of the Legenda aurea, the Catalogus sanctorum (’The Catalogue of Saints’) composed by Petrus de Natalibus bishop of Equilio was still widely used in the Middle Ages. It contains in 12 books short legends (sometimes these are only a few sentences long) in the order of the liturgical year. The usability of the work is greatly increased by that, for example, the reader could easily find adequate material for a sermon.

The book was published in Lyon in 1514 by Jacques Sacon, and it most probably came to the University Library from the Pauline monastery in Lepoglava (today: Croatia), where the friars already used it in 1693.

Der heiligen Leben neiiw getruckt ...

gedruckt in StraBburg: durch Mathis Hup fluff, 1513

Ant. 1476

Derheilegen leben (’The Life of Saints’) or Passional is also a collection of saints’ lives, and it was used in German-speaking regions of Europe. It was probably compiled from different sources around 1400 by a German Dominican friar. Originally contained 251 legends, and had two parts based on the liturgical year, the winter and the summer feasts were separated. It became popular rather quickly, in the middle of the 15th century the Dominican nuns in Numberg used these two parts for communal readings during meals.

The copy of the University Library is incomplete both in the beginning and the end (the margins were also badly trimmed during binding), but other characteristics point to Strassburg (then part of the Holy Roman Empire), 1513 and Matthias Hup fuff. The 16th-century German blackletter is easily recognisable in the book.

In vitas patrum... [collig. 2.]

Saint Jerome

impressis Lugduni: per Jacobum Myt, 1515

Ant. 1645

The Vitae patrum or Vitas patrum (’The Lives of Fathers’) contains the lives of Desert Fathers and Desert Mothers of early Christianity. Its foundation goes back to three 4th century legends of Saint Jerome that were later pieced together with other legends from the 3rd and 4th centuries written originally in Greek and translated into Latin. In the Middle Ages, the whole collection was attributed to Jerome, and the edition presented here also follows this tradition („Hieronymus In vitas patrum”).

Even though the copy of the University Library is incomplete at the end, its ornate leather binding with wooden boards is noteworthy, moreover, the metal clasps also remained intact. It was printed in Lyon in 1515 by Jacques Myt, and it was in the possession of the Pozsony (Bratislava) Jesuit college in 1692.

Szent Hylarion remete elete

Saint Jerome, FraterL. N. (scriptor)

1666

A 15

Saint Jerome wrote the biography of Hilarion the Great. The saint was bom in Thabatha, south of Gaza, lived his life as an anchorite following the example of Saint Anthony the Great, and according to the story, he established the first cloisters in Talestina. He performed numerous miracles both in his life and after his death. The manuscript of the University Library holds the Hungarian translation of the Latin legend which was put in writing in 1666 by the mysterious frater L. N. (’brother L. N.’). The translation can be earlier than that because the distorted forms of the personal and place names are close to those of the early printed editions.

This manuscript is one of those few that without any doubt came to the University Library from the Poor Clares of Pozsony (Bratislava), the sisters probably read it out aloud. This suggests that frater F. N. could have been the one charged with the pastoral care of the nuns. Given that we know little about the reading culture of the late medieval Hungarian cloisters, this modest manuscript is hugely significant. After the legend, one can read poems on one and a half pages which can even be original creations.

Vitae patrum aneb ziwoti otcu to gest, spisowani mnohich starich otcu a pustewniku, gak take у gegich rozprawenich, a истки genz...

Heribert Rosweyde, Matthaeus Rottier (transl.) post 1691, ante 1764 A 25a

In 1615, the Jesuit Heribert Rosweyde published the lives of the Desert Fathers in ten books. This was the beginning of a much broader project, the Acta Sanctorum (’The Acts of Saints’) which — after the death of Rosweyde — was continued by Jean Bolland and the Bollandists. The collection lived several editions, and Matthaeus Rottier translated it into German in 1691. The German text was later translated into Czech by an unknown writer, this translation is displayed here. This enormous work survives in two volumes, and the first one alone counts more than 1300 folio leaves. In the first book, on page 703 begins the legend of Barlaam and Josaphat. The Greek version of this Indian legend is traditionally attributed to the 7th—8th century Doctor of the Church, John of Damascus.

Pomerium sermonum de sanctis hyemales et estivales ...

Pelbartus de Temesvar

in Hagenaw: impress! per Henricum Gran expensis Joannis Rynman, 1515

RMK III 67:1

At the end of the Middle Ages, with the introduction of printing, more and more model sermon collections came into circulation. These do not contain performed sermons, but rather strictly regulated sketches that help the simple preacher (even a rural parish priest) to compile several speeches to the same feast day. These collections were surprisingly easy to use and thus became popular rather quickly. The writings of two Hungarian observant Franciscan friars, Osvaldus de Lasko and Pelbartus de Temesvar enjoyed the same success. The works of Pelbartus made their way into the bestsellers of their age, they were published in several important western European cities (e.g. Paris, Lyon, Strassburg etc.). The Pomerium (‘Orchard’) like most of the 16th-century sermon collections has three parts: Pelbartus offered sermons to Sundays and high holy days, saints’ feast days and the Lenten period.

The presented volume contains the speeches for the saints’ feast days, including many saints before the Great Schism (since these saints were of course celebrated in the medieval Western Church as well as the Eastern one). Pelbartus usually wrote multiple sermons for the same feast, to provide more material for his readers. The structure of the sermons is clear: after the Biblical citation, thestructure is given, these points are then exposed. The copy printed in the Alsatian city, Hagenau was in the possession of the Benedictine abbey of Celldomolk in the 18th century.

 S. lacobus maior

Gerard Seghers

[s.l.]: Franciscus van den Enden excudat, [post 1620, ante 1674]

KEP 06305

 S. Petrus

Gerard Seghers

[s.l.]: Franciscus van den Enden excudat, [post 1620, ante 1674]

KEP 06308

The two copper plates are the works of Flemish painter and art dealer Gerard Seghers. He engraved the picture of all 12 apostles, with the former Jesuit Neo-Latin poet and art dealer Franciscus van den Enden covering the costs of printing; the displayed documents are part of this series. The Flemish van den Enden lived a thrilling life: he was the teacher of famous philosopher Baruch Spinoza in Amsterdam, but in 1674 he was hanged before in Paris, later a failed plot against Louis XIV. Both saints are easily recognisable in the pictures: while James the Great wears the clothes of a pilgrim and scallops on his hat, Saint Peter holds a key in his hands.

Szent Biblia az az: Istennec О es Wy Testamentvmanak prophetac es apostoloc altal meg iratott szent konyuei ...

Visolban: nyomtattatott Mantskovit Balint altal, 1590

RMKI 38:1

The first Hungarian translations of the Bible appeared in print at the beginning of the 16th century, but these were all partial translations (e.g. the four gospels). The first complete Bible printed in the Hungarian language is the so-called 17epoly Bible or Karoli Bible. It was translated in the 16th century by pastor Gaspar Karoli and fellow Calvinists and was printed in 1590 by Balint Mantskovit in Vizsoly. The New Testament was possibly translated by Karoli in its entirety. Karoli names his sources in the prologue: the Vulgata, the Septiiaginta., translations and commentaries by Franciscus Vatablus, Sebastian Munster, Santes Pagninus and Immanuel Tremellius. The three volumes of the 17eyoly Bible have more than 2400 pages and weigh about 6 kg.

More than 50 copies exist today, two of which are in the possession of the University Library. On the cover of one of the copies, one can read the name of Andreas Asztalos, a patron of the arts in Nagyszombat (Trnava) and the year 1591. On the title page, there is also the writing of the unknown Johannes Pragay, a self-proclaimed former Calvinist from 1653.

Codex of Cornides

Buda, Margaret Island, Dominican convent: 1514—1519

Cod. Hung. 4

The first vernacular manuscripts in Hungarian appeared relatively late (compared to other, Western European nations), in the last quarter of the 15th century. The creation of these codices was strongly connected to the late medieval Observant reforms that took place in the religious (mendicant) orders. Their main target audience was nuns living in cloisters and religious laywomen. The Codex of Cornides was copied between 1514 and 1519 by Lea Raskay, a nun living in the Dominican cloister on Margaret Island (Buda). It has two parts: the de tempore (along with writings of Our Lady) and the de sanctis (lives of Dorothea of Caesarea, Agatha of Sicily, Juliana of Nicomedia, Saint Helena, Saint Praxedes etc.). All of the texts are translations from Latin done by an unknown friar (probably a Dominican). The sources of the sermons are the collections of Johannes Herolt, Paratus and Pelbartus de Temesvar, and the legends were translated from the Legenda aurea. This plain manuscript was read loud during meals, so the sisters could have spiritual nourishment as well as physical. In the second quarter of the 16th century, the nuns had to leave their cloister due to the imminent danger of the Turks, they and their books found a new home in the convent of the Poor Clares of Pozsony (Bratislava). It came to the University Library from the Poor Clares after the Secularization Decree of Joseph II (1782).

Codex of Nador

Obuda, Convent of the Poor Clares: 1508

Cod. Hung. 1.

Another Hungarian vernacular manuscript, the Codex of Nador — named after Archduke Joseph of Austria, Palatine of Hungary — was copied in the convent of the Poor Clare of Obuda in 1508 (visible on the verso of leaf 329). It was bound not long after in the regal binding workshop. The unknown Clarisse nun, who written down the manuscript, also copied parts in other Hungarian vernacular codices (Codex of Simor, Codex ofNagys^pnibat, and Codex of Debrecen). This book was also used for communal reading during meals (see the virgules in the text). It contains several, very diverse texts: among others, treatises of the Communion and the torments of hell, Passion of Jesus Christ, a dispute between Body and Soul, Lament of Mary, prayers, and examples and lives of several saints (Euphrosyne of Alexandria, Saint Ursula, Saint Apollonia Jadwiga of Poland, Adrian of Nicomedia, Alexius of Rome, and Saint Fursey). The codex was in the library of the Poor Clares of Pozsony (Bratislava) during the 17th—18th century, and after 1782 it came into the possession of Mihaly Winkler, parish priest in Godre, who donated it to the University Library at the beginning of the 19th century.

 

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See also

Minsk, Belarus

The Saints of the Undivided Church and their works on the pages of handwritten and early printed books

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