Sur la terre comme au ciel : la paix chrétienne. Oliba (1008-1046), pacificateur et guide des âmes

Oliba, abbot of Santa Maria de Ripoll and Saint‑Michel de Cuxa, bishop of Vic, is regarded as an important figure in the Catalan history, especially as the principal person of the first half of the eleventh century, a time of great disorder and violence related to the genesis of feudal society, but at the same time the determining period in the formation of Catalonia. The study of the work and personality of Oliba has long been undertaken by leading historians, but the books that are devoted to him are often cluttered with hyperbolic praise confining the hagiography or guided by anachronistic nationalist perspectives. Yet documentation on Oliba is reduced. In the absence of new revelations, we must put Oliba, not only in his time and social condition of aristocrat, who involve him in the debates and power struggles in his contemporary society, but also in its situation of churchman, his dual position of abbot and bishop, faced with difficult circumstances as in the performance of his pastoral work that in the direction of its monastic communities.

La documentació del monestir de Cuixà referent a Oliba i als anys del seu abadiat

The first part presents the documents of the monastery of Cuxa of the years 1008‑1046, including 31 relating to Oliba as abbot of Cuxa and 48 others without explicit reference to him. One only is an original. Eight other documents are examined, from other funds and 4 documents posthumous. In the second part are analyzed some aspects of the monk Garsia’s sermon, written for the anniversary of the consecration of Saint‑Michel de Cuxa of 28 September 975, before the feast of the archangel, although the act of endowment has been granted on september the 30. By the data on the chapels of Pessebre and the Trinity faced with the chronology of Cuxa, we can conclude that the chapels were allocated at a 16th of October, a date that does not match that of the Council of Cuxa, held on 23 June 1035, but must relate to the year 1040. The analysis of the relics listed in the sermon, shows that some of them were obtained in 1038 by Oliba from the hands of the Archbishop of Arles. By these data we can also guess the identity of the three holy bodies buried in the chapel of Pessebre. The third part presents other medieval sources, in particular the Gesta of Peter Orseolo, which contain the record of his canonization by Oliba, probably on 12 April 1027.

La personnalité littéraire d’Oliba
Lettre-sermon du moine Garsias de Cuxa à l’abbé Oliba
Traduction Daniel CODINA, Pascale BOURGAIN et Marianne BESSEYRE

The remaining writings of Oliba are not many, because we depend on random copies, with a predominance of commemorative texts. They show him perfectly integrated in the literary currents of his time, inherited from the Carolingian Renaissance, with the eleventh century trend towards abounding expressionism. Himself goes from a mannerism close to the hermeneutic anglosaxon style much admired in the tenth century, to a more sober phrasing, close to the style of Aimoin of Fleury, who is less founded on the rhyme than on the recurrence of repetitive words and parallels constructions, especially on the metaphorical and connotative value of these words. The last two traits are constitutive of what will be the great style of the twelfth century: Oliba has fully participated in the literary evolutions of his time, even anticipating them.

Liturgie et symbolisme de l’espace rituel au temps d’Oliba

L’interprétation des campagnes d’al-Mansûr contre l’Espagne chrétienne

An impressive and bloody string of victories, Al‑Mansûr’s military expeditions against Christian Spain (982‑1002) are generally assumed to be the bitter counterpart for the political weaknesses of an illegitimate regime. Devoid of any noticeable gain on the ground, those raids seem to be inspired by a calculated fanaticism and aimed at humiliating Christendom in order to justify al‑Mansûr’s dictatorship at home.Another explanation might be relevant, according to Ibn Khaldûn’s theory. Build up on a sharp distinction between controlled and disarmed subjects submitted to taxation on one side, uncontrolled and bellicose Bedouins on the other, the Muslim States govern through a certain amount of violence they get by diverting a steady stream of Bedouin forces into their own political and military structures. In Xth century Baghdad, Cairo or Cordoba, exhausted Arab forces are replaced by new thriving Bedouin tribes, Turks in the East, Berbers, Slavs or Christian Spaniards in the West. As a paradox, Al‑Mansûr’s policy actually leads to unify the peninsula, under his rule in a first time, to the advantage of his Christian militias as soon as his power crumbles. A move that paves the way to the Reconquista.

La transmission des idées scientifiques et astrologiques d’origine arabe dans la Marca Hispanica au temps de l’abbé Oliba : vieilles idées et questions nouvelles

The purpose of this paper is to review some recent contributions on the introduction of the Arabic science and astrology in Europe through Catalonia. We rise a series of questions about the validity of the interpretative outlines used by historians of science. We propose new hypotheses about the concept of the Andalusian frontier as an area where human relationships permitted cultural exchanges. We revise some appraisals formulated on the astrolabe of Marcel Destombes. Finally, we analyze the important contribution of D. Juste on the Alchandreana, which establishes the introduction of Arabic astrological texts, among other already known scientific exchanges.

Milagros GUARDIA
L’héritage d’Oliba de Ripoll dans l’art roman d’Aragon

This article aims to review the relationship ‑ by the way well known ‑ between the most remarkable personalities of the monastic and liturgical reform in the Catalan counties and the Kingdom of Navarre / Aragon during the eleventh century. Abbot‑Bishop Oliba, King Sancho of Navarre and Ponce of Tavèrnoles were those most iconic characters. So is the network of contacts, by focusing on Ribagorça, to understand the peculiarities of his first romanesque art. In this region ‑ a crossroads because of its geographical position and its previous history ‑ in connection with the centers that depended on the Diocese of Roda Isàvena, especially the Vall de Boí, we can see that the artistic models coming from Ripoll, as a consequence of these early contacts, were maintained throughout the eleventh century and the first decades of the twelfth century. The painted decoration of Sant Joan de Boí is the most significant exemple of these early contacts…

Saint-Martin du Canigou. L’église du XIe siècle.

The church of Saint‑Martin du Canigou is situated above a steep escarpment. The constraints of the site explain both the small dimensions of the church and the distinctive aspects of its plan (one church built above another ‑ without transepts ‑ and a lateral bell tower at the entrance to the monastery). The decision to vault the buildings was precocious fot the beginning of the eleventh century. The irregularities of the vaults themselves suggest some hesitancy on the part of the architect. In the east end of the church he used monolithic columns but he was forced to replace the slender monolothic form with stronger cruciform piers in the western bays. In the upper church he sacrified light to assure the stability of the nave vaults. The consecration on november 1009 of the lower church to the Virgin, of the upper church to St. Martin and of the first store of the bell tower to St. Michael allows us to suppose that construction was more or less complete. The addition of a small chapel on the south side of the chevet that was intended for the relics of St. Gaudérique which arrived at Saint‑Martin du Canigou around 1012‑1013 supports this chronology (perhaps it was this little chapel that was consacrated in 1014). The adaptation of a new type of construction (regulary laid, rectangular petit appareil) and the decorative system (vertical bands and blind arcading), which was entirely new in Catalonia indicates that the church architect was fully aware of the new architectural forms that had emerged around the year 1000 in the territory that extended from the Pô valley (as for example Galliano and Ivrea cathedral) to the Duchy of Burgundy (as for example at Saint‑Vorles de Châtillon‑sut‑Seine or at Saint‑Bénigne, Dijon).

Le nouveau Testament de la Bible de Ripoll et les traditions anciennes de l’iconographie chrétienne : du scriptorium de l’abbé Oliba à la peinture romane sur bois

There are still many questions about the Bible of Ripoll (Vat. Lat. 5279), an  illuminated manuscript produced under the government of the Abbot Oliba (1008-1046). On one hand, the characteristic figurative cycle of the New Testament allows us to tackle subjects as fascinating as its relationship with ancient traditions of Christian iconography, or as the traffic patterns across the Mediterranean during the first Middle Ages. On the other hand, this set of images raises the question of its possible relation with the monumental decoration of the basilica of Ripoll at the time of Oliba and its subsequent effect on other productions at the Abbey in the twelfth century, as the monumental gate or the painting on wood.

L’iconographie des cycles de Daniel et d’Ézéchiel dans les Bibles catalanes: présence divine et vision de l’invisible

Catalan bibles planned and carried out in the first half of the eleventh century at Ripoll under the patronage of the abbot Oliba present prophetic cycles which are the longest and most complex of all the Latin Bibles of the Middle Ages.
The interest of this narrative repertory is not only unusual in its magnitude, which has hardly an equivalent in other depictions of the same time or of different times, but also in the eclectic nature of the images. This reveals the enormous diversity of research and collection of sources that preceded the composition of these two Bibles, when Ripoll monks gathered and freely construed, with an original way, an extensive iconographic material, now largely lost, which no traces remain only in those two monumental Bibles. Thumbnails of these Bibles, often simple and modest, not colored or unfinished, betray, with a closer look, a particular theological complexity, the result of the cultural vitality of monastic environment that made them. They also reflect an approach to liturgy, to aesthetic idea and the architectural vision of the sacred place, peculiar to Oliba’s time. These elements emerge clearly from the detailed analysis of the two central themes of prophetic cycles: the vision of God appearing to the Prophet, with its wealthy theological and figurative content, and the representation of the divine presence in his terrestrial home, the Temple of Jerusalem.

Culture visuelle et réflexion architecturale au début du XIe siècle: les voyages de l’abbé-évêque Oliba (1ère partie : Les premiers voyages, avant l’itinéraire vers Rome)

The visual culture of the Abbot‑Bishop Oliba, leading to architectural thinking and making decisions on religious buildings under his charge, has been fed by three sources: 1. local culture in the collective imagination and the realities in which Oliba had bathed since his childhood, 2. travel a short distance, leading to local exchanges 3. trips of longer duration during which Oliba could get in touch with the realities of a landscape architectural monuments which he was abroad. Among these we must stress the importance of Roman and Italian travel. At least twice, when he was still only abbot, Oliba went to Rome in 1011 and 1016. As Sigeric of Canterbury and all the great travelers of his time, visited the Oliba major Roman basilicas and was certainly impressed by the Roman columns historiated format and then the Pantheon great Marian shrine in central plan.

Les églises de Vic au temps de l’évêque Oliba, Santa Maria la Rodona

The remains of the church of Santa Maria la Vic Rodona were uncovered in 2004 following the renovation of the place of the Cathedral. Despite its destruction in 1787, this church has always been present in history and memory of the inhabitants of Vic, as a subject of many interpretations of history. Despite the undoubted merit of studies already conducted, the data obtained during the archaeological excavations have helped to clarify some important points about the old church, built for the first time in the tenth century, rebuilt by the bishop Oliba in the eleventh century and rebuilt again in the twelfth century. The archaeological evidence thus contradicts some previous interpretations, these facts show the importance of the archaeological work now.

Immaculada LORÉS et Carles MANCHO
Hec domus est sancta quam fecit domnus Oliva : Santa Maria de Ripoll

Like every legend, the one from Ripoll also has solid foundations. The artistic itinerary of the monastery has always been imagined as a natural route, thanks to the intuition of some of the great men who directed it, with Oliba at the head. Even so, there is nothing natural either in the itinerary or in the way it has come down to us. Our point of view can be summarized very quickly. The cultural and political history of Catalonia in the nineteenth century, in quest for the symbols of the motherland, “invented” the myth of Ripoll and its most illustrious abbot, and from that time it has always been accepted that this historicist creation distorted a reality that could only be unmasked with the research of historical sources. Nevertheless, our opinion is that the nineteenth century “invented” the myth of Ripoll, but in the medieval sense of the term, so to say, it “discovered” a myth that was created in the twelfth century. From this point of view, the documents are testimonies with a clear political significance. In this article we try to reconsider the research about the monastery of Ripoll, the real one, revising and reordering the small amount of objective information that has reached to us.

Architecture autour d’Oliba. le massif occidental de la cathédrale romane de Gérone

The major artistical role of the abbot and bishop Oliba is often featured through the citation of the architectural projects promoted by himself within his monastic or episcopal dominions (Cuixà, Ripoll, Vic and its diocesis). But the influence of his artistical personality is also evoked in the study of other important churches of the same context, so as those of Sant Pere de Casserres, Sant Vicenç de Cardona or Sant Pere de Rodes among others. The «oliban» architecture is now not any more conceived as being so homogeneous as it was some years ago, and the lack of documents makes it very difficult to know until which point the advise or the personal taste of Oliba could have been determinant in the design of those other sanctuaries which were not part of his government sphere.
This contribution is dedicated to one of these buildings. The romanesque cathedral of Girona (consacrated 1038) had a western massif, today quite well‑known thanks both to the archaeological excavations and texts (particularly liturgical). This structure can be put into relation with certain features and referents of other churches built under the promotion of the abbot and bishop. All this, together with the relationships hold by him and the promoters of the building of Girona, alloes us the intuition of possible ways of influence of the prelate on, at least, one of the great projects of the catalan architecture at that moment.

L’art au temps de Sancho III el Mayor : Leire

In 1057 took place in the monastery of Leire the consecration of an expansion of its church that was innovative compared to what had previously been built in the kingdom of Pamplona. Despite a secular course of sovereignty, the small territory ruled by the dynasty Jimena was not characterized by its artistic achievements. Pre‑romanesque buildings were modest in terms of architecture and poor for the carving. However, since Leire the Pyrenean Kingdom joins the enormous creative effort that lived the Western Europe and offers leading works whitch provide to this kingdom an important place in the history of Romanesque art.Around 1030, during the reign of King Sancho el Mayor (1004‑1035) and under the Abbot Sancho (1019‑1052), started the new construction at Leire, consisting of an enlargement of the church by the construction of the crypt and the choir, which meant both effort and novelty. The circumstances of Leire construction were too exceptional as of the new building could cause a revival of the art of Navarre. No other building had its size, nor its economic resources. However, some elements used in the abbey have left their mark in the vicinity.

Les patronages d’Ariberto da Intimiano et la peinture lombarde au début du XIe siècle

The millennium of the Church of St Vincent in Galliano (2 July 1007) was a pretext to undertake further research on the personality of Ariberto da Intimiano, sponsor of this work before being Archbishop of Milan.
At Galliano his intervention, as custodian (custos) of the basilica and sub‑deacon of the cathedral of Milan, takes part into the commissions, rich in religious and political implications, made during the Ottonian period. The purpose of Ariberto in Galliano included whole decoration of the basilica of St Vincent, including the walls of the nave, where he closes some windows to make the area larger and to cover it with wall paintings. He promotes the hagiographic and narrative dimension of the church space as an image of the heavenly city.Ariberto ‑ through Adeodato’s translation, the construction of the crypt, the renewal of the presbyterium and the decoration of the church of St Vincent ‑ wanted to follow in the footsteps of Ambrose, founder of new basilicas, and of major archbishops as Carolingian Angilbert II. The references of the iconography and style of the wall paintings of the nave of Galliano are in Carolingian art, such as in the golden altar of St. Ambrose in Milan and in the frescoes of St John of Müstair. It is also possible to find affinities with the apocalyptic paintings, almost contemporary of the Baptistery of Novara and with the Maiestas Domini of Prugiasco in the Canton of Ticino, as in St Sauveur Barzanò, in the basilica of Agliata and in the sacellum of St Satire in Milan.

Carolyn Marino MALONE
Saint-Bénigne de Dijon: le programme des dédicaces de la rotonde

The dedications of the rotunda of Saint‑Bénigne de Dijon (1001‑1018) and its altars establish a program which constitutes a path leading to salvation through the Church ; it progresses from the lower level dedicated to the martyrs and confessors, through the middle level dedicated to the Virgin and Apostles (these two levels referring to the earthly Church), up to the upper level dedicated to the Trinity and Saint Michel (the heavenly Church). Although a similar progression towards Christian salvation is indicated by the two levels of the rotunda situated to the west of the church of Saint‑Michel de Cuxa ,where the tombs of the martyrs and the chapel of the Mother of God and of the Nativity on the lower level represent the mystery of the Incarnation of the earthly Church, and the level of the Trinity above represents the heavenly Church, the rotunda of Saint‑Bénigne, because of its three levels and its oculus, suggests still more forcefully the heavenly kingdom. For the first, and perhaps the only time, an altar dedicated to the Trinity was placed on the third level of a church and was encircled by a crown of “shinning light” at the focal point of the entire church, as described in the chronicle of Saint‑Bénigne (1058 et 1065). Because of its three levels and its oculus, the rotunda of Saint‑Bénigne, can be interpreted as a site for theosis.

Le décor de l’église d’Artés: un reflet tardif de la tradition sculptée du XIe siècle en Catalogne

From the romanesque church of Santa Maria d’Artés (el Bages, Catalonia), we only conserve a portion of the apse, of polygonal plan, which contains the remains of a very significant carved decoration which was dated eleventh century. These pieces of scenery, have a flat relief, playing on the effects of contrast between shadow and light, characteristic of many southern sets of sculpture of the eleventh century, and include plant motifs bevel carved combined with animal themes. These themes are those which give its uniqueness to the group of Artés, when compared with some examples of sculpture most famous and most studied in Catalonia, which belong to that era. According to evidence provided by archaeological excavations and the study of architectural remains, these reliefs are remploy in the apse, which is later, and dated from the late XIIth century or the beginning of the XIIIth. This paper proposes to resume the study of this monument, which has been studied in recent decades in some occasion, and to situate it in the context of the sculpture of the eleventh century, compared to the most important or to others who are more isolated.

le décor de stuc autour de l’an mil: aspects techniques d’une production artistique disparue

The art of stucco constitutes an important element of architectural ornament with rare, but significant, remains that allow the integration of this artistic production into the larger framework of medieval art. Recent technical studies made on many archaeological remains permit presentation of aspects of this medium, hitherto unknown. Heir to the Roman tradition, medieval stuccoes exemplify a progressive evolution towards diversified forms of artistic expression. We propose to study the relevant technical modifications, such as the utilization of raw materials, their composition, and their techniques of production. We shall try to explain when and how stucco fabrication evolved during the Middle Ages, with the principal technical modifications seeming to have occurred around the year 1000, and propose a focused illustration on Catalan stuccoes decorations from XIth and XIIth centuries.

Bérangère ROCHE
Saint-André de Sorède: la redécouverte d’une abbaye grâce à un manuscrit

The discovery of a remarkable manuscript preserved at the archives in Perpignan makes it possible today to renew and improve the knowledge of the Romanesque abbey of Saint‑André de Sorède. Indeed, this estimate for restorations made in 1777 offers a virtual and detailed visit of the monastery since the expert explores the whole real estate and land assets and recommends damage repair works which have probably been done. It allows, among other things, to uncover an old inquiry: the location of the vanished Romanesque cloister, which was situated north side of the church. This manuscript, the “Chambon report”, is dated from the 18th century; however, a detailed field survey along with archives documents can let us believe that both the plan and the appearance of the monastery have little changed since medieval times. Thanks to this manuscript, it is possible today to offer a reconstruction of the plan of the abbey in the Middle Ages.

Sandrine JUNCA
Des peintures murales médiévales méconnues dans des églises de l’Aude et de l’Hérault

This study presents three sets of wall paintings, dating from medieval period, in the departments of the Aude and the Hérault. This is a sample of the first results of research carried out during my masters. The sets have been chosen among the most unknown paintings in order to make discover the treasures of these areas. As regards the Aude, we linger over the paintings of the church Saint‑Saturnin in Fabrezan and of the church Saint‑Polycarpe in the village with the same name. Then, as regards the Hérault, we are interested in the paintings of the church Saint‑Pierre in Montbazin. They belong to the least investigated works. These sets have been the subjects of very few studies, especially in the last thirty years. Moreover, a try for comparison with Romanesque wall paintings coming from Catalonia essentially, is presented.

Les cryptes monumentales dans la Catalogne d’Oliba. De Sant Pere de Rodes à la diffusion du modèle de crypte à salle

Crypts play an important role in the Romanesque architecture of the Catalan counties, as an unavoidable part of the redefinition of chevets in the first half of 11th Century. This paper offers a panoramic view about Catalan crypts of the First Romanesque, focusing on the diffusion of the specific “hall crypt” tipology, for wich the crypt of Sant Pere de Vic built up by the Abbot Oliba became the most prestigious model. On the other hand, the article studies the peculiar crypt of Sant Pere de Rodes, for which a direct Roman influence is proposed, and it notices the existence of a rather unknown underground space under the basilica of Santa Maria de Ripoll. Since it’s clear we’re not facing here a liturgical crypt, maybe we can identify this underground area with the remains of the ancient monastic church dedicated in 977.

La construction du mythe d’Oliba au XIXe siècle : Canigó, de Jacint Verdaguer (1886)

Jacint Verdaguer (1845‑1902), priest and poet, is one of the main representatives of cultural and literary movement called Renaixença, which coincides with a revival of Catalonia after three centuries of relative deletion. In a long poem in twelve songs, Canigó, which he describes as “Llegenda pirenaica del temps de la reconquesta” (Pyrenean legend of the times of the Reconquest), Verdaguer rebuilt Catalan medieval history by evoking the exploits of famous heroes that he mythifies in this space of Pyrenees that Verdaguer knows perfectly to have walked throught and where Canigou, whitch he exalts the beauty, becomes the mountain of all hazards and all mysteries. The battles are the subject of the first eight songs before appearing Oliba, who occupies the first place in songs IX, XI and XII. The purpose of this communication is to analyze the forms and meaning of the myths of Oliba in the Verdaguer great epic‑lyric song.


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