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E05818: Agnellus of Ravenna, in his Liber Pontificalis Ecclesiae Ravennatis, written in Latin, refers to sheets of silver which depicted the story of *Apollinaris (bishop and martyr of Ravenna, S00331) in the saint's church at Classe (near Ravenna, northern Italy), and which he attributed to bishop Maurus (642-671); account written in Ravenna in 830/846.

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posted on 19.06.2018, 00:00 by frances
Agnellus of Ravenna, Liber Pontificalis Ecclesiae Ravennatis 114

Iste corpus beati Apolenaris, qui dudum in ardica ipsius conditum a Maximiano praesule cum Iuliano argentario fuit, exinde tulit et in medio templi collocauit; et ipsius martiris historiam laminis argenteis infixit.

‘He [Maurus, bishop of Ravenna, 642-671] brought the body of the blessed Apollinaris, which was for some time in the narthex of that same [church dedicated to Apollinaris] founded by Bishop Maximian [546-557] with Julian the banker, out of there and placed it in the middle of the temple; and he set in silver sheets the history (historia) of that martyr.’

Text: Deliyannis 2006. Translation: Deliyannis 2004, modified.
Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity

Categories

Keywords

History

Evidence ID

E05818

Saint Name

Apollinaris, bishop and martyr of Ravenna : S00331

Saint Name in Source

Apollinaris

Type of Evidence

Literary - Other narrative texts (including Histories)

Language

Latin

Evidence not before

830

Evidence not after

846

Activity not before

642

Activity not after

671

Place of Evidence - Region

Italy north of Rome with Corsica and Sardinia

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Ravenna

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

Ravenna Sardinia Sardinia Sardegna Sardinia

Major author/Major anonymous work

Agnellus of Ravenna

Cult activities - Places

Burial site of a saint - tomb/grave

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Renovation and embellishment of cult buildings

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Other lay individuals/ people

Cult Activities - Relics

Bodily relic - entire body Transfer, translation and deposition of relics

Source

Agnellus of Ravenna (ob. c. 846) was a deacon of the cathedral in Ravenna and – by hereditary right – abbot of two monasteries in Ravenna. He wrote his Liber Pontificalis Ecclessiae Ravennatis between 830 and 846, following the model of the Roman Liber Pontificalis. This work provides biographies of all the bishops of Ravenna from the legendary founder bishop Apollinaris to those active in Agnellus’ own day, and was originally composed to be delivered orally, most likely to clerics of Ravenna. This text is preserved in two manuscripts: one from the 15th c. (Bibliotec Estense Cod. Lat. 371 X.P.4.9.) and a fragmentary manuscript from the 16th c. (MS Vat. Lat. 5834). Agnellus bases his account of the lives of late antique bishops on documents preserved in Ravenna, stories which had been transmitted orally, and his own experience of the architectural landscape of 9th c. Ravenna. Agnellus' work contains invaluable architectural and art historical information about Ravenna: Agnellus refers to several religious buildings in Ravenna and the neighbouring settlements of Caeserea and Classe. He describes their decoration and preserves several inscriptions, many of which are now lost to us. It must be remembered this is a 9th c. work. Agnellus’ descriptions of buildings and their fixtures is based on his 9th c. experience, and not late antique reality. Indeed, his accounts of the events of earlier years are often riddled with inaccuracies. Yet it is likely that his descriptions of the churches of Ravenna are more trustworthy. As Deborah Mauskopf Deliyannis argues, a comparison of surviving late antique mosaics with Agnellus’ account suggests that his descriptions were largely accurate. This is limited to what he does tell us – for example Arian foundations are often ignored whilst orthodox foundations are emphasised. Yet, overall, this text provides invaluable information about the cult of saints in late antique Ravenna.

Discussion

Agnellus almost certainly saw these silver sheets himself, probably with an inscription ascribing them to the patronage of Bishop Maurus. They no longer survive in Classe and were likely taken when the settlement was sacked by Muslim forces around 858. The ‘history’ (historia) they depicted was probably a series of images; but perhaps also accompanied by text. For the foundation of the church of Sant' Apollinare in Classe, see E05787.

Bibliography

Text: Deliyannis, Deborah Mauskopf, Agnelli Ravennatis Liber pontificalis ecclesiae Ravennatis (Corpus Christianorum Continuatio Mediaevalis 199; Turnhout, 2006). Translation: Deliyannis, Deborah Mauskopf, The Book of Pontiffs of the Church of Ravenna (Washington D.C., 2004). Further Reading: Deichmann, Friedrich Wilhelm, Ravenna, Hauptstadt des spätantiken Abendlandes, vol. 1-3, (Wiesbaden, 1958-89). Deliyannis, Deborah Mauskopf, Ravenna in Late Antiquity (Cambridge, 2010). Mackie, Gillian, Early Christian Chapels in the West: Decoration, Function and Patronage (Toronto, 2003). Moffat, Ann, "Sixth Century Ravenna from the Perspective of Abbot Agnellus," in: P. Allen and E.M. Jeffreys (eds,), The Sixth Century – End or Beginning? (Brisbane, 1996), 236-246. Morini, E., "Le strutture monastische a Ravenna," in: Storia di Ravenna, 2.2, Dall’età bizantia all’ età ottania, ed. A. Carile (Ravenna, 1992), 305-312. Schoolman, Edward, Rediscovering Sainthood in Italy: Hagiography and the Late Antique Past in Medieval Ravenna (Basingstoke, 2016). Stansterre, J. M., "Monaci e monastery greci a Ravenna," in: Storia di Ravenna, 2.1, Dall’età bizantia all’ età ottania, ed. A. Carile (Ravenna, 1992), 323-329. Verhoeven, Mariëtte, The Early Christian Monuments of Ravenna: Transformations and Memory (Turnhout, 2011).

Licence

Exports

Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity

Categories

Keywords

Licence

Exports