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Saint Catherina of Alexandria has been one of the most loved saints since the Middle Ages. The complexity and universality of her legend and cult is due to her popularity. This paper examines first of all, how she was depicted in the medieval sermon literature, above all in the semons of Pelbartus de Themeswar and the sources and antecedents of these sermons. The essay also deals with the Hungarian adaptations based on the works of Pelbartus de Themeswar; the most interesting among them can be found in the Érdy Codex. The text of the Catherina-legend in the Érdy Codex is an exact translation of Pelbartus’ sermons. However, two sheets of paper are torn out from the codex where Catherina’s conversion and Christ’s second appearance was written down. Pelbartus’ source somehow didn’t belong to the works useable as sources of sermons.
Osualdus de Lasko deals in detail with the idea of superstitio in two places of his collection of sermons Biga Salutis and Gemma fidei, and also Pelbatus de Themeswar writes about this theme in his work Aureum rosarium theologiae. This paper examines in these loci the second kind of superstitions, aeremantia, according to the system of Osualdus de Lasko. The structure and reference basis of these three texts are basically the same. Rosarium gives a short definition, Gemma fidei mentions some special days in connection with superstitions, and in Biga salutis an example can be read: a four-line verse about beliefs in connection with the day of Saint Paul’s conversion. Furthermore, this verse can be found in Bod Péter’s work Szent Heortokrátes with some modifications.
Pelbartus de Themeswar’s Doctrine of Angels
29 September is one of the most important days of European calendar, because in the Western Church since the 7th century this day, the date of consecration of Saint Michael Basilica in Rome has been appointed for the celebration of Michael archangel. In the Middle Ages priests commemorated Saint Michael and every angel in their sermons written for this day. Sermons of the celebration of Saint Michael in Pelbartus de Themeswar’s collection of sermons Pomerium de sanctis summarize all the knowledge of angels formed by the Bible, conceptions of Fathers of the Church and other masters in the Middle Ages. It was widespread and universal knowledge, which is not only shown in the writings of medieval preachers but it can also be found in fine arts, literature and folklore.
The Problem of the Usage of Our Medieval Chronicles and Legends in Osualdus de Lasko’s Sermons
Osualdus de Lasko’s work Sermones de sanctis contains 112 sermons written for the celebrations of saints. In the case of the sermons about Hungarian saints he often quotes from the legend of a given saint, but his usage of reference is not consistent. Also texts from chronicle can be read in the works of our Franciscan writer. There is an assumption that Osualdus de Lasko might have used a chronicle which is unknown today. To see more clearly the connection with his usage of legends and chronicles further research must deal with the following questions: Did Osualdus de Lasko know the legends and the chronicle directly or second hand? Which legend and chronicle variants did he meet? Did he use variants we don’t know today? Did the oral tradition play a role in his sermons? How did he form his source texts? The writer of this essay analyses a sermon and tries to answer these questions.
The author of this paper has been a member of the team dealing with the critical edition and literal transcription of the Érdy Codex since 1999. In this essay she examines the historical, phonetic features of the codex, with special regard to the role of two-letter vowels. Since the last century linguists have dealt with the question what the sound quality of the doubled vowels of the Érdy Codex is, first of all the ee letters. By examining the text it has been proved that there is a tendency for doubled vowels mark the length of the vowels: ee is a sign of é sound, aa is a sign of á, oo is a sign of ó, and óó is a sign of ő.
Readers in ancient times often left marks in codices in the form of notes or corrections which are very valuable to researchers who examine the afterlife of the codex. The readers of the codices didn’t correct everything according to their own linguistic taste and norms, however, these tendencies show some linguistic features of the reader which differ from the linguistic features of the text. Therefore, the theme of this essay is not the markings of Karthauzi Névtelen (the unnamed author of the Érdy Codex), but of a later, unknown reader. These corrections are interesting, because most of them can be related to the discussion about e and ee graphemes in the Érdy Codex. Furthermore, in the Érsekújvári Codex similar corrections can be found.
On the Source History of the Legend of Saint Kozma and Damian
The theme of this paper is the honour of Saint Kozma and Damian and the sources of their legend. The writer of the essay deals with medieval and modern sources, comparing the similarities and differences among them. The source of Karthauzi Névtelen (the unknown author of the Érdy Codex) is most likely to be the Legenda Aurea, because these two texts are almost the same. The Karthauzi Névtelen just makes alterations: omiting unnecessary Latin names, abbreviating sencences and making the characters more realistic. Along with this, the essay examines other Hungarian codices and also modern sources, furthermore, the Hungarian relations of this legend.
The many-sided exemplum
Our medieval codices are rich in exemplum, which are exemplars mostly in short narrative form to illustrate an abstract thought or proposition. Therefore, it can occur in any texts whose aim is to convince or teach. At the same time they are also entertaining stories, using many sources, for example chronicles, legends, miracles, visions and elements of eastern epics. This can be observed in one of the most popular exemplums of our codices in Hungarian literature, which’s title is ‘The exemplar of the three lances”. In the international literature the title is named by Saint Dominic, the main character of this exemplum. According to tradition, Dominic can see Jesus in a vision, as he is holding three lances in his hand to destroy the world because of its three great sins. Mary however intervenes and suggests sending Dominic and Francis to make the world return to the right way. This story can be found for example in the legend of Saint Dominic in Legenda Auera, and in Catalogus Sanctorum. Also our author, Pelbartus de Themeswar uses this exemplum, and Hungarian translators write it down in different versions in codexes. The main aim of this paper is to show the great variety of exemplums through this one exemplar and many of its appearances, sources and pictorial representation.
In the Christmas Eve sermon of the Érdy Codex its writer comes to the conclusion that Augustus, Emperor of Rome is a prefiguration of Jesus Christ. This interpretation shows - according to the second grade of the medieval biblical hermeneutics – the locus allegoricus typological meaning. The typological explanation is based on the method of correspondence. One pole is the type, the other pole is the anti-type: the type foretells the anti-type, and the anti-type fulfills, moreover, exceeds the type. This knowledge must be taken into account when interpreting this sermon. The writer confirms this idea with arguments and historical facts (monarchy, peace, census). So Augustus is one of those who prepared Christ’s saviour work. This paper deals with the history of the theological background of this theme and Karthauzi Névtelen’s sources.
The short life story of Praxedis and the importance of benefactions can be read in a sermon of the Érdy Codex. This legend is not an extensive one in the codex; however, it is more detailed than in other Hungarian sources. We can assume that she was a real person and played an important role in the early Christian world, but her importance sank into oblivion. We need to examine the Latin sources to find the sources of the sermon of the Érdy codex. And, with the help of the Internet, we can come to know other details of this theme.
Miklós István TÓTH:
About the Legend of Stanislaus of Cracow (Also known as Stanislaus Szczepanowsky) in the Érdy Codex
(The Honour of Stanislaus of Cracow in Hungary and His Legend in the Érdy Codex)
This essay examines the variable judgements of Stanislaus of Cracow’s rule in the medieval Polish history and the written sources of his legend. Furthermore, the paper deals with the legend of the Érdy Codex comparing with its source, which can be found in the Legendae sanctorum regni Hungariae in Lombardica Historia non contentae. In the Middle Ages two other legend-variants were known in Hungary, where a Hungarian-related (magyar vonatkozású csoda?) miracle and a late, apocryphal episode about the penitence and death of King Boleslaus can be read. The spread of the honour of Stanislaus of Cracow in Hungary and the fact of regarding him as a Hungarian saint are the following themes to be examined.
Saint Martin is closely associated with the idea of soldier saint namely the Athleta Christi and the ideal of ascetic life. However, it is less well-known, that he was a very effective healer and exorcist and his figure has preserved many elements of pagan superstitions (mostly in the folklore). His legend in the Érdy Codex is supposedly the extract and Hungarian variant of the Legenda Aurea, main source of which is the biography written by Sulpicus Severus around 400. The essay deals with the work of Sulpicius Severus, the life of Saint Martin and the relationship between Christianity and magic. It examines the pagan features of the legend of this saint: his cloak, goose, the connection between Martin and Mars, his miracles (healings, raising from the dead and exorcisms) and rituals in the folklore, for example purifying things with Martin’s twig.