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The Modern and Contemporary Reception of Saint Gerard of Cenad

Online ISBN 978-615-80340-5-0
Volume 3 (May 2016)
Pages 1-61
Edited by Claudiu Mesaroş

Shadows in the Sand: Unfriendly Landscape in Archaeology
Author(s): Dorel Micle

The low-land of the Banat Region in Western Romania is a territory rich in archaeological sites, the presence of human communities being facilitated by the local geomorphology, hydrography, and pedology. Even so, this area includes approximately 975 km2 where there are no traces of human settling from the nineteenth century (when archaeological research first begun in Banat) until today. After analysing the paleochannels of the Mureș River (the Galațca Channel being the best one preserved) and the soil resulted after sediment deposition, it is visible that the entire plain has a sub-layer of sand which cloaked the groundwater, thus preventing human communities from settling here. The lack of rivers and springs explains why the land was unsuitable for agriculture from the Neolithic Period to the Middle Ages. The Habsburg colonisation of the eighteenth century allowed the first villages to take shape here while the economic exploitation of the plain started via hydro-amelioration works (digging wells and irrigation canals) -- this made the territory famous up until today for its “Gottlob watermelons,” the “Lovrin vegetables,” and the “Teremia brandy” (produced from the grapes cultivated there). This is proof that sandy lands in the area were efficiently exploited after being transformed from “unfriendly” lands into “useful” lands.

Considerations Regarding the Intellectual Background of the Bishops of Cenad in the Middle Ages up to the Year 1526
Author(s): Răzvan Mihai Neagu

The present study aims to prove that the bishops of the dioceses in Eastern Medieval Hungary were men of notable culture acquired in the great European universities of the time. The knowledge they acquired was of scholastic and eventually humanist nature, two specific trends of that epoch. The fact that some of the prelates had undertaken academic studies was to be a catalyst to their social and ecclesiastic ascension, which culminated with the ownership of the bishopric. Up to 1526, seven bishops of Cenad had academic studies. The most attended universities were those on the Italian Peninsula, especially Bologna and Padua. This situation accounts to the relative closeness to Rome, the religious centre of the Catholic world, as well as to the specialization in canon law of the Italian universities, to their fame, and to the strong bounds between Italy and Hungary, especially during the times of Matthias Corvinus. It is important to consider that these academic studies were a major factor which contributed to the religious and secular ascension of ecclesiastical personalities. Some of the bishops were notable humanists, decisively contributing to the outspread of the Renaissance ideas and spirit throughout Hungary. The activity of these academic bishops placed the ecclesiastic life of Hungary in the European pattern of the epoch.

An Englishman’s Overview on Saint Gerard of Cenad: Butler’s Lives and Saint Gerard
Author(s): Boris Stojkovski, Svetozar Boškov

In this paper the authors will present an interesting modern reception of Saint Gerard, found in the Lives of the Saints written by the well-known English Roman Catholic priest and hagiographer, Alban Butler. This piece of hagiographic work is widely read not only as a religious work, but also as vernacular literature. The authors will attempt to provide an overview of this work, while also providing additional commentary regarding sources and possible influences, as well as incorrect and somewhat confusing information provided by Alban Butler. The authors will also attempt to identify the key sources of Alban Butler in depicting the life of Hungarian protomartyr and patron-saint. Additionally, a brief overview will be given of how modern editors of Butler’s work perceive Saint Gerard and his life.

The Reception of Gerard of Cenad’s Deliberatio supra hymnum trium puerorum ad Isingrimum Liberalem in Romania. The edition of Radu Constantinescu (I)
Author(s): Claudiu Mesaroș

The Romanian edition of Deliberatio supra hymnum truym puerorum from 1984 still stands as the only textual reference available to the Romanian academia and continues to influence the general reception of Gerard’s text. It has been more than thirty years since this selective translation was published by the Romanian publisher Meridiane and there was practically no critical reaction to it, which could suggest either minimal interest or minimal access to alternative sources. We believe both hypotheses are worth considering and we support the need for a more systematic approach to Radu Constantinescu’s work in order to support the idea of a new Romanian translation and commentary. The present study critically examines Răzvan Theodorescu’s Foreword and Radu Constantinescu’s introductory study. We leave for future investigation the consistency of the translated selection and the Comments published at the end of the text.

Dying for Christ on the Move: Representing the Martyrdom of Saints Lawrence, Gerard of Cenad, and Eugenia of Rome
Author(s): Andrea-Bianka Znorovszky

This paper is a case study on the visual representations of conversion and martyrdom in the lives of Saints Lawrence, Saint Gerard of Cenad, and Saint Eugenia. It focuses on the construction and the iconography of the holy body in relation to such themes as: conversion, torture, and death for Christ’s sake. Furthermore, it aims to present the circulation and adaptation of iconographic patterns from the space of cult (Italy) to another space of worship (France).

Glossary for a Future Translation of Deliberatio supra hymnum trium puerorum
Author(s): Radu Cernătescu

Bishop Batthyány was the first editor of Saint Gerard’s treatise. His edition of Deliberatio contains a few erroneous explanations in the footnotes which risk distorting the meaning of the text. In this short essay we intend to correct some of these errors and to prepare Deliberatio supra Hymnum trium puerorum (Albo-Carolinae, 1790) for a future translation.