IMC 2012: Sessions

Session 525: Hagiography and the Cult of the Martyrs: Analyzing a Success

Tuesday 10 July 2012, 09.00-10.30

Organiser:Michèle Gaillard, Département d'Histoire / Institut de Recherches Historiques du Septentrion (IRHiS - UMR 8529), Université Charles-de-Gaulle Lille III
Moderator/Chair:Anne-Marie Helvétius,
Paper 525-aLes Passions des martyrs d'Agaune: De la défense de la foi à la défense de l'Empire
(Language: Français)
Eric Chevalley, Faculté des lettres, Université de Lausanne
Index terms: Hagiography, Language and Literature - Latin, Religious Life
Paper 525-bLeodegar: A Political Martyr
(Language: English)
Anne Wagner, Centre de Recherche Universitaire Lorrain d'Histoire (CRULH), Université de Lorraine / Département d'histoire, Université de Franche-Comté
Index terms: Hagiography, Political Thought, Religious Life
Paper 525-cLes martyrs des 'faits divers' au haut Moyen Âge
(Language: Français)
Edina Bozóky, Département d'histoire, Université de Poitiers
Index terms: Hagiography, Lay Piety, Religious Life

In this session, we wish to provide an analysis of the causes and consequences of the success of martyrs’ cult in the early Middle Ages. We will compare two cases of martyrdoms famous in the entirety of Gaul. One consists of the martyrs of Agaune (St Mauritius and the Theban Legion), made successful by Eucherius’ sermon (dating from the 2nd quarter of the 5th century) and an anonymous Passion. The second is St Leodegar, whose cult spread very rapidly in the years following his death in 678/679, for essentially political reasons. The success of martyrs’ cults triggered the search for new ones, in particular martyrs of ‘news in brief’ (essentially victims from bandits). As a result, the notion of martyrdom was extended from then on to all innocent victims.