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E02254: The Latin epitaph of *Martin of Braga (bishop of Braga, ob. c. 580, S01176) describes *Martin of Tours (ascetic and bishop of Tours, ob. 397; S00050) as his patron; written in Braga (north-west Spain), after 580.

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posted on 16.01.2017, 00:00 by dlambert
(Ps.-?)Martin of Braga, Epitaph

EPITAPHIUM EIUSDEM

Pannoniis genitus, transcendens aequora vasta,
Galliciae in gremium divinis nutibus actus,
Confessor Martine, tua hac dicatus in aula,
Antistes cultum institui ritumque sacrorum,
Teque, patrone, sequens famulus Martinus eodem
Nomine, non merito, hic in Christi pace quiesco.

'HIS EPITAPH

Born in Pannonia, crossing vast plains, and brought to the lap of Galicia by the command of God, I was consecrated in this hall of yours, o confessor Martin; as a high-priest I organised the cult and the rite of the sacred. I, Martin, of the same name but not of the same merit, following you, my patron, as a servant, rest here in the peace of Christ.'

Text: Barlow 1950, 283. Translation: M. Szada.

History

Evidence ID

E02254

Saint Name

Martin, ascetic and bishop of Tours, ob. 397 : S00050

Saint Name in Source

Martinus

Type of Evidence

Literary - Poems Inscriptions - Funerary inscriptions

Language

Latin

Evidence not before

580

Evidence not after

700

Activity not before

550

Activity not after

700

Place of Evidence - Region

Iberian Peninsula

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Braga

Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)

Braga Osset Osset Osen (castrum) Osser castrum

Major author/Major anonymous work

Martin of Braga

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Saint as patron - of an individual

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - bishops

Source

This epitaph was presumably inscribed on the tomb of Martin of Braga. It was supposedly written by Martin himself (see e.g. Barlow 1950, 276-277), but Farmhouse Alberto 1994 convincingly demonstrated that the poem differs significantly from the language and poetic expression known from the other works of Martin. The author was probably someone less experienced in literary expression and metrics. Gregory of Tours (Histories 5.37; E02171) dates the death of Martin of Braga to AD 580.

Discussion

Like his namesake, Martin of Tours, Martin of Braga originated from Pannonia, on the upper Danube, before travelling to the Holy Land and then making the long journey to Galicia in the far north-west of the Iberian peninsula. He founded the monastery in Dumio where he became a bishop around 550-560. After 561 and before 572 he became the bishop of Braga. In this epitaph, Martin of Braga's devotion to Martin of Tours is explicitly explained by their sharing a name in common and having a common region of origin.

Bibliography

Editions: C. Barlow, Martini episcopi Bracarensis opera omnia (New Haven 1950). J. Vives, Inscripciones cristianas de la España romana y visigoda (Barcelona 1942), no. 349. Further reading: P. Farmhouse Alberto, "Para uma revalorizaçao dos poemas de Martinho de Braga", Evphrosyne: Revista de filología clássica 22 (1994), 215-223.

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