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E05130: Gregory of Tours writes the Miracles of Julian, in Latin in Clermont and Tours (central and north-west Gaul), 570/587. Overview entry.

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posted on 25.02.2018, 00:00 by kwojtalik
Gregory of Tours, Miracles of Julian (Liber de passione et virtutibus sancti Iuliani martyris)

Overview entry:

(Ch. 1) Julian's suffering - see $E05131.
(Ch. 2) The discovery of his head - see $E05137.
(Ch. 3) The power of the spring in which the saint’s head was washed - see $E05140.
(Ch. 4) The old men and the woman whose husband was imprisoned - see $E05142.
(Ch. 5) The man who wished to kill another man in the church - see $E05143.
(Ch. 6) The conversion of the local inhabitants - see $E05144.
(Ch. 7) How Hillidius liberated people from their enemies - see $E05145.
(Ch. 8) The death of those who had stolen the vessels of the church - see $E05146.
(Ch. 9) The paralytic Foedamia - see $E05150.
(Ch. 10) The man who tried to drag from the church a man who had struck him - see $E05151.
(Ch. 11) The man who was disabled because he yoked his oxen on a Sunday - see $E05152.
(Ch. 12) Anagild, a mute, deaf, and blind man - see $E05153.
(Ch. 13) The men who broke into the church during the reign of King Theuderic - see $E05154.
(Ch. 14) The invader Sigivald - see $E05155.
(Ch. 15) The evilness of Pastor - see $E05156.
(Ch. 16) The arrogance of Becco- see $E05157.
(Ch. 17) The deacon who stole the sheep belonging to the church - see $E05164.
(Ch. 18) The man who stole a horse during the saint’s vigil - see $E05165.
(Ch. 19) The man who committed perjury for the sake of a small gold coin - see $E05166.
(Ch. 20) The man who pillaged and stole from the holy church - see $E05198.
(Ch. 21) The man who lost his horse during a festival - see $E05199.
(Ch. 22) The blind man who received his sight - see $E05200.
(Ch. 23) Gallus, who soon became a bishop, and his foot that was healed - see $E05201.
(Ch. 24) The fever of Peter, a nephew of Gallus - see $E05202.
(Ch. 25) Gregory's own headache - see $E05203.
(Ch. 26) The man with a fever who was cured at this spring - see $E05204.
(Ch. 27) The thunder that sounded in the church, and the lightning - see $E05205.
(Ch. 28) The man who was unable to approach the tomb because of the crowd of people - see $E05229.
(Ch. 29) Julian's festival - see $E05230.
(Ch. 30) The possessed man - see $E05231.
(Ch. 31) The tameness of animals - see $E05232.
(Ch. 32) His relics that were brought to the district [of Reims] - see $E05233.
(Ch. 33) A similar story about his relics that were displayed in the East - see $E05234.
(Ch. 34) How his relics were brought to a church in Tours - see $E05237.
(Ch. 35) The possessed man who was freed from a demon - see $E05238.
(Ch. 36) The wine that he increased during the night - see $E05239.
(Ch. 37) The paralysed man who was cured in the same place - see $E05240.
(Ch. 38) The blind girl who received her sight - see $E05241.
(Ch. 39) Another crippled man - see $E05243.
(Ch. 40) Perjurers - see $E05244.
(Ch. 41) His relics that the priest Aredius took - see $E05254.
(Ch. 42) The paralysed man who was cured - see $E05255.
(Ch. 43) The blind man who received his sight - see $E05256.
(Ch. 44) The cross that was stolen from the altar - see $E05257.
(Ch. 45) How his relics were acquired - see $E05258.
(Ch. 46a) The young boy that was brought to soothsayers, and another who was cured by the saint’s power - see $E05265.
(Ch. 46b) The roses that were revealed by the will of God at his tomb - see $E05266.
(Ch. 47) The woman who received her sight - see $E05267.
(Ch. 48) The relics that the priest Nanninus brought back - see $E05268.
(Ch. 49) The many ill people who were healed - see $E05269.
(Ch. 50) Another blind man who received his sight in his church at Pernay - see $E05270.

Text: Krusch 1969. Translation: Van Dam 1993.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Julian, martyr of Brioude : S00035

Saint Name in Source


Type of Evidence

Literary - Hagiographical - Collections of miracles



Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Gaul and Frankish kingdoms Gaul and Frankish kingdoms

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Tours Clermont

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

Tours Tours Tours Toronica urbs Prisciniacensim vicus Pressigny Turonorum civitas Ceratensis vicus Céré Clermont Tours Tours Toronica urbs Prisciniacensim vicus Pressigny Turonorum civitas Ceratensis vicus Céré

Major author/Major anonymous work

Gregory of Tours

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Composing and translating saint-related texts


Gregory, of a prominent Clermont family with extensive ecclesiastical connections, was bishop of Tours from 573 until his death (probably in 594). He was the most prolific hagiographer of all Late Antiquity. He wrote four books on the miracles of Martin of Tours, one on those of Julian of Brioude, and two on the miracles of other saints (the Glory of the Martyrs and Glory of the Confessors), as well as a collection of twenty short Lives of sixth-century Gallic saints (the Life of the Fathers). He also included a mass of material on saints in his long and detailed Histories, and produced two independent short works: a Latin version of the Acts of Andrew and a Latin translation of the story of The Seven Sleepers of Ephesus. The Miracles of Julian, full title Martyrdom and Miracles of the Martyr Saint Julian (Liber de passione et virtutibus sancti Iuliani martyris), consists of 50 chapters. It opens with a brief account of Julian's martyrdom and of the discovery of his head in Vienne (chapters 1 and 2), followed by 48 chapters of miracles effected by the saint, primarily at his tomb in Brioude (south of Clermont, central Gaul), but also through relics distributed in other areas of Gaul (and in one case, chapter 33, even in an unnamed 'city of the East'). Brioude and the shrine of Julian are within the ancient territory of Clermont, Gregory's native city, and the attachment that he and his wider family felt towards Julian is manifest in a number of stories in the Miracles, including evidence that Gregory often attended the feast of the saint on 28 August. In chapter 50 Gregory addresses Julian as his patron and asks for his support through the remainder of his life. Gregory wrote the Miracles of Julian over an extended period, very possibly starting before he became bishop of Tours in 573. Statements he makes in chapters 32 and 34 suggest that he initially planned to draw the book to a close with less chapters than the fifty we have, and that this was soon after his consecration to Tours; but, learning later of more miracles (primarily from Aredius of Limoges, chapters 41-45) and himself witnessing a further miracle (chapter 46a), he extended the book to 50 chapters, completing these in the early or mid 580s. Chapter 50 addresses the reader in a valedictory tone, with a personal invocation of Julian; but it is possible that the work was never published in Gregory's lifetime. For discussion of the work, see: Krusch B., Gregorii Turonensis Gregorii episcopi Turonensis Miracula et opera minora (Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Scriptores rerum Merovingicarum I.2; 2nd ed.; Hannover, 1969), 2. Monod G., Études critiques sur les sources de l’histoire mérovingienne, 1e partie (Paris, 1872), 42–45. Van Dam, R., Saints and their Miracles in Late Antique Gaul (Princeton, 1993), 162-163. Shaw R., "Chronology, Composition and Authorial Conception in the Miracula," in: A.C. Murray (ed.), A Companion to Gregory of Tours (Leiden/Boston, 2015), 102–140.


Edition: Krusch B., Gregorii episcopi Turonensis Miracula et opera minora (Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Scriptores rerum Merovingicarum I.2; 2nd ed.; Hannover 1969), 112–134. Translations: de Nie. G., Lives and Miracles: Gregory of Tours (Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library 39; Cambridge MA, 2015). Van Dam, R., Saints and their Miracles in Late Antique Gaul (Princeton, 1993), 200–303. Further reading: Murray A.C. (ed.), A Companion to Gregory of Tours (Leiden and Boston, 2015). Shanzer, D., "So Many Saints – So Little Time ... the Libri Miraculorum of Gregory of Tours," Journal of Medieval Latin 13 (2003), 19–63.

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