The cult of St Alexius: a new veneration of an old saint and Italian influence in the Catalan region

Although this fourth-century saint had become popular very early among the eastern Christians, in Western Europe St Alexius was the recipient of a wave of devotion only in the ninth and tenth century. From the ninth century onwards, different versions of his life spread in diverse religious communities from Spain to England. Around 1040 his…

Dealing with the recent past in St Maximin, Trier

Not only were the deeds of saints recorded in hagiographical sources; we regularly find traces of a local past as well. These traces can explain what elements of the past were important for a specific community. For example, in the following, I will argue that the Historia Miraculorum was written to justify a reform movement…

Wandering Archangel Michael: the Gargano legend from Eastern Italy to Catalonia

From the last decades of the eighth century, the cult of the Archangel Michael spread throughout various Western regions and became a common European religious and spiritual phenomenon. Two important sanctuaries, Monte Gargano on the eastern coast of Italy and Mont Saint Michel in north-western France, invoked numerous pilgrimages at this time. A number of donations,…

Embodying Dynasties II: cults, politics, and genealogies

As my earlier blog post laid out, my research project as part of After Empire looks at royal mausolea as sites of historical memory in the tenth and early eleventh centuries. As we are already almost one year into the project I thought I’d give an update on how my own research is going. Over…

The Long Arms of Saint Eucharius of Trier?

The religious landscape of the tenth century is usually described as consisting of a hotchpotch of localities. Defining what was ‘local’ in the Middle Ages, however, is rather difficult for modern scholars. It could comprise a diocese, a town, a monastery, or a community of canons – all entities that were not necessarily separate from…