Moines de Grande Arménie et pèlerins arméniens en Occident (VIe-XIIe siècle)

The monasteries of Great Armenia always send towards the Occident, between the VIth and XIIth century, some monk-pilgrims who are sometimes prelates of high row. These displacements were carried out for the periods of difficulties or catastrophes : removal of the kingdom of Armenia by the Persians, in 428 ; Arab domination (654-884) ; conquest of Great Armenia by the Turks (second half of XIth century). The participation of the Armenians in the military operations of Byzantine Italy supports also the creation of centres of attraction. The contacts are however most profitable for the periods of blooming of the kingdoms, periods when the monachism flowers, in a concomitant way. About the year 1000, the Armenian pilgrims are rather followers of the peregrinatio Christi than refugees : anxious to go to venerate in Rome the tombs of the apostles Peter and Paul, like some of their predecessors, these monks are undoubtedly also sensitive to the revival of the Church of Occident. Their holiness stimulates popular piety after their death : in the kingdoms of Italy and France, they are often related to the altars. It is difficult to measure the impact of these interecclesiastic contacts on Western art : certain similarities remain, in any case, disconcerting.

Christiane DELUZ
La représentation de l’Orient dans la cartographie médiévale à la période romane

Medieval maps are not constructed with the same principles as modern maps and have not the same purposes. Six maps are presented :
– The two so-called Jerome maps. one of the Orient, the other of Holy Land, realised probably in the 8th century.
– The so-called Isidore map, a 10th or 11th century map. It is a T.O. map, representing the three continents, Asia, Europe and Africa, encircled by the Ocean and separated by the Mediterranean Sea, the Don and the Niles.
– The Beatus map conserved in a manuscript of the Commentary of Apocalypse by the monk Beatus of Liebana († 798). This one was realised for the abbot of Saint-Sever, before 1060.
– The Cottonian map (Xth or XIth century) drawn probably in Ireland.
– The Psalter map, included in a XIIIth century Psalter. Very little (diameter : 8 cm.,5), its contains 145 legends. It is a “Somme” of what was known about Asia, legendary towns, ancient cities and provinces, as well as actual, Ascalon or Damiete. So, if there seems to be not evolution in the representation and nomenclature of Asia in these medieval maps, they say that the Roman Empire is progressively forgotten, the Christianity triumphs and the Asia, rich and wonderful is offered to those who will explore it.

Dominique WATIN-GRANDCHAMP, Patrice CABAU, Daniel et Quitterie CAZES
Le coffret reliquaire de la Vraie Croix de Saint-Sernin de Toulouse

The enamel shrine of the Holly Cross conserved in the Treasure of Saint-Sernin at Toulouse appears as exceptional : this little object is a witness of relations between West and East; it has been ordered by Saint-Sernin from the workers of Limoges and has no equivalent. The “report” represented on three faces of the box tells us how a piece of the Cross has been given at Jerusalem by the abbot of Josaphat to Raymond Botardel, who went through the Mediterranean see et gave it to abbot Pons, the last offered it with his canons to saint Sernin at Toulouse. Intended to authenticate the relic, the account poses the problem of what isn’t said : who were exactly the persons who are represented, why might Raymond Botardel go to Palestine, when did his travel take place… ? To these questions are added these which concern the shrine himself and the context in which he may have been ordered.

Christian FÖRSTEL
Les manuscrits grecs en Occident entre le Xe et le XIIe  siècle

Largely been unaware of during most of the Western Middle Ages, the Greek nevertheless always fascinated the well-read men latin mediums. This interest is translated in the field of the circulation of the book by a relatively important presence of Greek manuscripts into Occident before the humanistic time. Between the Xth and XIIth centuries, this presence is attested in the empire of Ottoniens and Saliens as in France of the kings capétiens : the Greek manuscript 375 of the national Library of France establishes the link between Colonia, where it was copied in the XIth century, and the royal abbey of Saint-Denis, where it is from the XIIth century. In Colonia as in Saint-Denis, the study of the Greek is reflected in the book production. In these two centers, the hellenism is confined however with the only theological or biblical field. Infinitely vaster is the field covered by the Greek studies in Pisa in the second and the third quarter of XIIth century: profiting from a direct contact with the capital of the Byzantine empire, the Burgundio lawyer gathers in Pisa of the constantinopolitans manuscripts of very great quality which are used as a basis for its translations of John of Damascus, of John Chrysostom and especially of Aristotle.

Relations iconographiques entre Catalogne et Orient : mobilité des modèles

This article deals with the representation of the Ascension in Western and Eastern monumental decoration around 1100. In Italy as in Cappadocia, the scene has an iconic value, while being part of a narrative. From the first examples in central Italy to the late French in Aquitaine, the author first shows how the various Ascensions produced in the context of the Gregorian reform are guided by very peculiar rules. These rules are meant to emphasize the idea of the coming of a new reign (that of the reformers), using two images borrowed from the early Christian times : the vine, symbolising the blossoming Church, and the Traditio legis. Besides, inscriptions and Traditio legis insist on the idea that peace is the apostle’s mission, and Peter’s in particular, who embodies the new papal power as defined by the reformers. In the second part of the article, the location of the Ascension in the church’s space is related to its liturgical function and to funerary rituals.

Typologie et emplacement de l’Ascension dans le décor monumental entre Orient et Occident : état de la question

This article deals with the representation of the Ascension in Western and Eastern monumental decoration around 1100. In Italy as in Cappadocia, the scene has an iconic value, while being part of a narrative. From the first examples in central Italy to the late French in Aquitaine, the author first shows how the various Ascensions produced in the context of the Gregorian reform are guided by very peculiar rules. These rules are meant to emphasize the idea of the coming of a new reign (that of the reformers), using two images borrowed from the early Christian times : the vine, symbolising the blossoming Church, and the Traditio legis. Besides, inscriptions and Traditio legis insist on the idea that peace is the apostle’s mission, and Peter’s in particular, who embodies the new papal power as defined by the reformers. In the second part of the article, the location of the Ascension in the church’s space is related to its liturgical function and to funerary rituals.

Une salle capitulaire pour une reine : les peintures du chapitre de Sigena

The paintings of the chapterhouse of Sigena (Huesca) are an exceptional example of byzantine-style mural paintings around 1200. The atmosphere obtained in this magnificent room, which reminds the prestigious byzantine art and the mosaics of Norman Sicily, is in accordance with the international projection of the kingdom of Aragon under the rule of Alfonso II and Pedro II. Neither the Sicilian mosaics nor the illustration of the Winchester Bible contribute to clarify every aspect of these murals. The genealogical series represented on the soffits of the arches reveal other inspiration sources. The magnificent portraits of Christ’s ancestors are exceptional if compared with other similar european cycles, including the Monreale mosaics and the Canterbury stained-glass windows. This paintings approach to some particular miniatures and icons made in the East Mediterranean at the end of XIIth century or at the beginning of the XIIIth. The architectural setting of these portraits on the arches of Sigena reminds the tendency of the late Comnenian art to decorate churches with real or false icons. The Master of Sigena, as it can be thought, may has been in contact with artistic centres of the Crusader kingdoms of Jerusalem, Acre and Chypre.

La dévotion au Saint-Sépulcre de Jérusalem en Occident : imitations, invocation, donations

Devotion to the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem expressed itself multiple ways during centuries. The Holy Land pilgrims have sometimes, either before their departure, or at their return (and exceptionally when they could not join Jerusalem), founded churches dedicated to the Holy Sepulchre. Some were offered at institutions of Holy Land, such as the patriarchate, a long time before the Crusades. Then in the XIIth century, the creation of the canonic chapter of The Holy Sepulchre drained many goods to the East initially, then to Occident. The imitations of the Holy Sepulchre were numerous, that is to say that they are whole complexes, like Santo Stefano of Bologna, churches in centered plan (Parthenay, Neuvy-Saint-Sépulcre, Cambridge, Northampton, Vera Cruz of Segovia, Brindisi, Torres del Rio). These buildings could contain shelters with the image of the tomb of Jerusalem, which one finds also imitations in churches of basilical plan. To find the form and dimensions of this holy place is the expression of devotion with material relic of Jerusalem. By the copy, sacrality is transplanted, supported by major relics. It remains and makes it possible faithful to revive in memory the feelings of the pilgrimage and to diffuse them among those which do not have them yet lived.

Jean-Pierre SODINI
Saint Syméon, lieu de pèlerinage

Saint Symeon protostylite (before 390-459) won such a reputation that, when dead, his corpse was brought down to Antioch. The only relic left on the spot was the column, which remained the goal of an important pilgrimage. Toward the years 470, different buildings for the pilgrims were erected in the village of Telanissos (Deir Sem’an) and upon the hill where the holy man once lived (Qal’at Sem’an). On the hill, was built between 470 and 490 a huge cruciform martyrium which encapsulated the saint’s column, and, on the west side of the hill, a baptistery. Around these two poles were progressively displayed different buildings. A via sacra lined by shops connected the holy place to the housing village. The pilgrim processed from the village, crossing a triumphal arch, and reached a monumental gate with three entrances opened in the surrounding wall. He then faced a courtyard, and afterwards passed through the arches of an hostelry. He entered the liturgical yard limited to the West by the baptistry and its church and to the East by the cruciform martyrium. Religious disputes (Sermin massacre, 517) and the islamic conquest led the pilgrim site into decline. It resumed its activity first under the patriarch Christophoros (966), and twelve years after, with the byzantine reconquest (978/979), when it was completely fortified. After arab attacks in 985 and 1017, the monastery is no more mentioned when the Crusaders invade the region (1098) on their way to Jerusalem. Monks are still occupying the site in the mid 12th century.

René ELTER et Ahmad ABD el-RHADAN
Assistés de A. Hassoune, Y. Matar, M. Ali, Abd el-Aziz Midan, Mahmud abu Muhammar, F. Adam, C. et R. Jude, A. Lefebvre, J.-M. Mechling, M. Mondy, S. Poilprez.
Le monastère de Saint-Hilarion :  évolution et développement architectural d’un sanctuaire de pèlerinage dans le sud de Gaza (Palestine)

Since 1997, excavations of the Gaza Department of Antiquities carried out a monastery from the Byzantine period which was founded by Saint Hilario; its supposed chronology stretches from the 4th to the 8th centuries AD.
Around 310, Hilario, converted to Christianity in Egypt, came to live as a hermit on the ground of the present-day Nuseirat. Half a century later, a community was organized in a primitive setup which could be considered to be cenobitic. In 362, under the reign of Julian, the so-called « Apostate », success and then persecutions forced the hermit to abandon his faithful and to go to Egypt. That same year, the monastery was destroyed. Hilario died on Cyprus in 371 after having lived in Lybia, Sicily and Greece. According to the Life of Hilario written by Saint Jerome, the saint’s remains were transferred secretly and laid to rest in the monastery the year after his death. The monastery was rebuilt and expanded between the end of the 4th century and the 7th century. Several churches were built and transformed.

L’iconographie du faux marbre, le cas de l’église franque à Abou Gosh

The frank church of Emmaüs-Abou Gosh comprises into his exceptional whole of architecture and murals a component so far neglected. They are the nonfigurative painted decorations which decorate the large arcs, the arcs beams, splayings of windows, the pillars and the pilasters. This paper proposes an iconographic reading of one of these components, the false marble, whose presence is particularly important. Starting from the idea that the choice of these paintings is related to the symbolism granted to the marble, we show through architectural and pictorial examples, of literary images and accounts of pilgrims that the false marble, just like the marble, become a visual marking of sacred, attached to the holy places out of Holy Land and the Temple in particular. The locality of Abou Gosh, named at the time Qaryet-el-Inab was indicated by the Frank ones like the place of the meal of Emmaüs, by pleading iconographic texts, memories, strategic and ideological interests. We propose to interpret the false marble intended to embellish and animate the borders of architecture and paintings in this church, like the desire to affirm a biblical authenticity there.

Valentino PACE
La Bible « byzantine » de San Daniele del Friuli : le chef d’œuvre d’un scriptorium des Croisés

The Bible keeped at the Biblioteca Guarneriana di San Daniele del Friuli is a codex of great luxury and large size. Its ornemantation is extraordinarily rich : each text is preceded by large initial, with figures or stories, whereas a myriad of small decorated initial, among which a good number present human or animal figures, constellates its 254 folii. With regard to the figurative roots of the Bible, one notices the union of the “Byzantine” characters with others coming from continental and insular Europe, with an absolutely single result as for their homogeneity and their quality. The will of the person who financed this book had to be decisive to create such a luxurious object and yet the iconography does not provide us any information about it. One only could conjecture that an operation of this kind had to accompany a great event : for example the dedication of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (1149) or the crowning of king Baudoin (1152) could have been adequate reasons. What is sure is that the Bible fully reflects the “frank” climate of the Holy Land.

Art byzantin en Sicile orientale entre le XIIe et le XIIIe siècle : témoignages dans le territoire de Lentini

The mosaics at the Palatine Chapel, those at the « Santa Maria dell’Ammiraglio », in Palermo, and those belonging to Monreale’s and Cefalù’s cathedrals, illustrate the Byzantine artistic patterns that have influenced Sicilian artistic production during the Norman domination. The East of Sicily is, on the other hand, characterized by a few examples of monuments which reflect the Byzantine style. In the Lentini area (which lies between Catania and Siracusa) some hidden art crafts scattered around this area reflect  a Byzantine influence. In presenting some examples of XII and XIII century art craft found in the Lentini area, this paper seeks to address the following questions : Were they produced by Greek or local artists? Do they reflect the Christian artistic formal language introduced in Sicily by the Norman kings? Do they represent a local re-elaboration of originally Greek artistic patterns then to be assimilated during the Byzantine occupation between the VIth and IXth century and subsequently in the XIth century ?

Vers une remise en question de la « byzantinisation » excessive du décor de Monreale (Sicile, fin du XIIe siècle) à travers l’analyse du programme hagiographique

The mosaics of the cathedral of Monreale were studied by great byzantinists, such as Otto Demus and Ernst Kitzinger. However, the hagiographic program remains a forgotten and neglected aspect in the studies of the 20th and the beginning of the 21st century. The hundred seventy four representations of saints, first studied separately and later on as a whole, provide a large quantity of information. The iconography and the selection of saints reveal the numerous borrowings of this decoration. The place of the images in the church, as well as their interferences and correspondences, inform us about the King’s foreign policy. Even if Byzantium remains an omnipresent fascination for the Norman royalty of Sicily, the position of William II toward the East evolves and the attachment to the Greek tradition, characteristic of Roger II’s reign, is no longer considered in the same way. The choice of news saints and their spatial situation show that the King favored new dynastical links with the heart of “Europe” : the Plantagenêt royalty and the Germanic Empire. Thus the hagiographic program strongly moderates the tendency to excessive « byzantinisation » of the decoration of Monreale.

Les miniatures préliminaires du manuscrit Perpignan, BM 1

The description and analysis of the “hors text” miniatures of the manuscript Perpignan BM 1 indicate and remember works of reform and enlargement of the church of Sant Miquel de Cuixà by the abbot Oliba : the canopy above the major altar and the two superimposed chapels of the crypt and of the Trinity.

Immaculada LORES i OTZET
La sculpture de Saint-Michel de Cuxa à l’époque de l’abbé Oliba

The works promoted by abbot Oliba at Saint-Michel of Cuxa (1008-1046) have traditionally been considered architectural achievements. At the same time, those works were also decorated with painting and sculpture. This article points out to the recovering of the ornamental features of Oliba’s art. Unfortunately, the most important part of these pieces is nowadays lost. The analysis of the sculptural pieces which are still preserved at the abbey and the comparison with other Catalan works of the first half of the XI Century, especially those from Ripoll and Vic, allows dating these remaining pieces as contemporary of Oliba’s period. This conclusion mainly affects the baldachin and the Trinity Chapel.

Autour d’un document inédit de l’an mil sur Cuxa : échanges de biens et redéploiements territoriaux en Conflent

The discovery of a new document of the year 1000 concerning the inheritance of the abbey of Saint-Michel de Cuxa makes it possible to add some additional information to the history of the monastery and its possessions. By this act, the Guifred abbot and the community give the freehold which they have in Corneilla, in Conflent, and receive from the count of Cerdagne, also named him Guifred, places of Erola, Canaveilles and Aquas. This exchange testifies to the moment when the count seems to concentrate his possessions in the valley of Cadi (Corneilla-of-Conflent) where it melts the abbey of Saint- Martin du Canigou. Cuxa, for its part, increases its work of land concentration in high Conflent, around the site of the first monastery, Eixalada. This document makes it possible to raise the question of the territorial redeployments in Conflent, between the abbey and the count.

Richard DONAT
Étude anthropologique des ossements du reliquaire dit de saint Pierre Orseolo à Prades (Pyrénées-Orientales)

The Treasury of the parish church Saint-Pierre de Prades (Pyrénées-Orientales) keeps several reliquaries including one allotted to Saint Pierre Orseolo (928-987), doge of Venice from 976 to 978. This reliquary, made up of two boxes out of carved wooden, contained a whole of forty-eight human bones which were the subject of an anthropological study highlighting the presence of at least three adult subjects. This study, attempting to bring biological information (age, sex, pathological anomaly or of different nature), raises the question of the identity of the individuals to which these remainders belonged. In particular it makes it possible to exclude the membership from some of them in Pierre Orseolo, starting from confrontation between anthropological and historical data.

Seings manuels des scribes et notaires du XIe au XIIIe siècle dans le Roussillon et l’Hérault

The signum manus is a particular graphic sign in the writing. To undertake a reflexion on the origins of this sign, its forms and the direction of its inscription, it is on the one hand to ask about the writing as a corporate measure, about the men educated with this practice, actors and creators of the writing all at the same time, and even about the nature of graphic testimonys of the past. In addition, the signum manus is a prefiguration and maybe a preamble of our contemporary signature. This study tackles the questions of the genesis of the signum in relation to the work of the scribe, then that of notary. It compares the forms and the different evolutions that the signa could take in Roussillon and Languedoc.

Les vicomtes de Castelnou et la réforme grégorienne dans le diocèse d’Elne

The viscontal family of Castelnou is created by the counts of Besalú shortly after the year 1000. Right from the start, the Viscounts try to approach certain ecclesiastical establishments. Exclude from the abbey of Arles by the counts of Besalú, they are reduced to a position of second in the Church of Elne by the counts of Roussillon. This secondary position partly explains the active support of the Viscounts to the Gregorian Reform. Perhaps the personality of Guillem II, at the same time regent of the Viscounty, archdeacon of Elne and abbot of Saint-Paul of Narbonne, offers another lighting on the foundation of some collegial affiliated to Saint-Ruf. The bonds between Saint-Ruf and Saint-Paul are old, which explains the early foundation of the viscontal priories of Castelnou, in the years 1080, and of Saint-Féliu-d’Amont, at the beginning of the XIIth century. The separation of the laic capacities with the Church, as the reform involves, makes it possible Castelnou to finally seize the episcopal seat of Elne.


Marcel Durliat, historien de l’art médiéval

Leave Comment

Votre adresse e mail ne sera pas affichée. Champs obligatoires *

clear formSubmit