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Dn an Early Fifth Century African Reliquary.
By REV. JOSEPH HIRST.
N July, 1884, at a distance of 8 kilomètres from Aïn-Beida, on the new road to Tebessa, the remains were discovered of an ancient Christian basilica of small size, but of sufficient importance to make it worth while considering whether it should not be removed stone by stone, and re-erected in one of the public squares of the first-named city. The archæological value of the discovery of an early Christian ruin was, however, far eclipsed by that of a reliquary of primitive form, which had evidently been deposited in the foundations of the building at its northern angle. Here some Italian workmen, acting under the direction of the French agent Des Ponts et Chaussées, found, at the depth of I mètres, a rectangular stone, measuring 38 centimètres by 33. In the middle of this stone was a deep oval cavity, measuring 30 centimètres by 15, and in this cavity still lay an oval-shaped silver box, which had originally been enclosed in a wooden case, for the remains of the dust from the decayed wood could still be seen, and in it were found two hinges and a clasp, all of silver.
This silver box was immediately recognised as a reliquary, and on being taken out it was found to measure 16 centimètres long, 8 wide, and nearly 4 inches in height. The whole surface is worked in relief or repoussé ornament representing figures. On the cover is the effigy of a martyr, as may be argued from the laurel crown which he holds against his breast, just as we see in the case of other figures of apostles and martyrs in early Christian art. Above may be seen the Divine hand coming out of a cloud, directing as it were the crown towards the head of the saint.
The martyr is clothed in tunic and cloak adorned with double dotted lines. The lines traced on the pallium may denote a woollen or hairy material; the tunic has a border of embroidered laurel leaves. The martyr has sandals, crepida, on his feet, which rest on an eminence, whence flow the four springs of
the rivers of Paradise, the quadrifluus amnis of Prudentius. On either side of the figure burns a torch, each fixed upon a spindleshaped, three-footed candlestick.
The custom of portraying the deceased faithful or saints between candelabra, or burning candles, was common in Africa and almost peculiar to it. Examples can be found at Naples in the cemetery of St. Gaudioso, and in the catacombs of St. Januarius, and the custom may have been brought thither in the fifth century by the arrival in Campania of the African exiles fleeing from their Vandal persecutors. These candelabra were a symbol of the light of Christian faith, and were an imitation of the custom of lighting candles (cereolaria) before the Book of Imperial decrees, or of bearing lights before the emperors themselves.*
On the elliptic sides of the Theca or casket (the cover is convex) are two scenes often reproduced in the mosaics and paintings of the apses of Christian basilicas. On one side is the mystical rock from which flow the four sacred streams, and over it rises the monogram of Christ. † A stag and a hind
Pope Nicholas I. reproached the Greek Emperor Michael for retaining this custom to symbolize his double jurisdiction, spiritual and temporal. A lamp was carried before a patriarch to signify his spiritual jurisdiction (Ciampini, Monumenta vetera, chap. xii., pars ii.). Vigilantius, in the fourth century, reproached Christians for their accensi ante tumulos Martyrum cerei as idolatrous; while St. Jerome defends them in his 109th ep. and in his book, Contra Vigilantium. Then, again, Prudentius sings of the catacombs: Auroque nocturnis sacris-Adstare fixos cereos; and St. Paulinus, bishop of Nola, of the martyr's sepulchre : Ast alii pictis accendant lumina ceris. Both poets wrote in the fourth century.
+ For the pagan use of the Chi Rho monogram, as abbreviation for chreston (good, useful), chronos (time), or chrysus (gold), see Liddell and Scott's larger Greek dictionary at the letter X; for the Christian appropriation of the symbol for the sacred name of Christ, see De Rossi, Roma Sotterranea (Ital. ed.), vol. ii., pp. 277, 320 et seq., and in the recentlyissued section of the Bulletino di archeologia cristiana, Series IV., anno v., p. 95 et seq., on some new discoveries made in 1888. The statement made by Mr. Romilly Allen, in his recently published Rhind lectures on Christian Symbolism, that the Chi Rho monogram was used on coins centuries before Constantine, seems liable to some misapprehension. As I understand from Prof. Middleton, the Chi Rho is found in Alexandrine MSS. of the first century of our era as a contraction of a commonly occurring Greek word, not Christ; while the X in a circle is found on Cypriote coins of the sixth century B.C.
are represented running to slake their thirst at the sacred stream, the whole scene being shut in by two palm trees, symbolic of Palestine, and of the mystic land of promise beyond the grave. On the other side eight sheep are seen issuing, on the right and on the left, from two little buildings like temples, sketched on the lesser curve of the ellipse, turning towards the Divine Lamb, which stands in the middle of the field, and behind which rises a Latin-shaped cross. The monogram of Christ is represented in a purely Greek and very primitive form, viz., in that called after Constantine, in which the curve of the Rho is open and unfinished, the ends of the lines being wavy and curled. The sheep represented in this scene are easily recognised as belonging to a race peculiar to Tunis, which is noted for its bushy tails. The little buildings, or latticed chapels, in their construction, remind us of an iron lantern made in the shape of an ark or basilica, open on all sides, a rare monument of Christian archæology peculiar to Africa.
Both the scenes of the vertical bands of the casket and the effigy on the cover are encircled by an ornamental border of palm leaves in relief, which runs in a triple row round the box.
The custom of placing under altars silver chasses containing the relics of martyrs or saints, is recorded by the ecclesiastical writers of the fourth century. They have been found at Metz, at Rimini, at Grado in Illyria, at St. Zeno near Trent, and also at Rome in the foundations of the original altar of the basilica of the Holy Apostles. These boxes, called in Latin capsellæ, and the relics of the saints laid under altars, were known in Africa under the name of Memoria. There was generally a little opening before the reliquary, called fenestellæ confessionis, which allowed the faithful to put in handkerchiefs or objects of devotion in order to receive therefrom a blessing.
Commendatore J. B. De Rossi, who has treated of this African reliquary at great length, attributes the silver box, here described, if not to the earliest years, at least to the first thirty years of the fifth century.* The
* De Rossi has treated of this African silver reliquary-brought by Cardinal Lavigerie, on one of his recent journeys to Rome, and presented by him to the Pope-in his Bulletino di archeologia cristiana (now
figure of the martyr drawn in good proportions, the folds of the drapery well treated, the embroidery of the tunic and cloak simple and free from all trace of the exaggeration of Byzantine influence, denote a style of art belonging to that early date, and not yet in full decline. Moreover the absence of any nimbus round the head of the saint, or of the Divine Lamb, the occurrence of the monogram of Christ on the holy mount (this is the first such example known), and its very form, as well as other details, are circumstances which all tend to confirm this date. Even the technical execution of the work seems more delicate in character than that on the similar objects found at Grado, one of which has been assigned to the fifth century, and the other to the middle of the sixth century of our era.
The King's Confessors.
By REV. C. F. R. PALMER. (Continued from p. 161, vol. xxii.)
F. RICHARD DE WINKLEY.
Being a doctor of theology and professor of Sacred Scripture, F. Richard de Winkley taught in the schools before he was called to the English court. He became provincial of his Order, and was chaplain, and then confessor, to Edward III., whom he served, too, as a skilful diplomatist. In 1337 he went over sea, on the king's affairs, with the Bishop of Lincoln, the Earls of Salisbury and Huntingdon, and Sir William Trussel, Sir Reginald de Cobham, and Sir Nicholas de la Bache, knights, and had for his expenses, May 6, £6 13s. 4d., for which he had to account in the exchequer. In the same year a commission was appointed, con
much belated owing to the more important occupations of the author), Nos. 1 and 2, sixth year of the 4th series (1888-9), p. 68; but especially in the splendid monograph, La capsella argentea africana offerta al Sommo Pontefice Leone X111. dall' Emo. Sig. Card. Lavigerie, Rome, 1889, 36 pp., imperial folio, illustrated, which is now attracting the attention of the foreign reviews, as La Rassegna Nazionale, Florence, October 16, 1890, from which latter periodical the descriptive portion of this article has been compiled.
sisting of the Bishop of Lincoln, the Earls of Northampton and Suffolk, Sir John Darcy (steward of the royal household), Winkley (provincial), John de Ufford (canon of London), Master Paul de Montfiore, John de Montgomery, knight, and Master John Wauwayn (canon of Darlington). These proctors, or commissioners, were deputed, October 3rd, to treat with the King of France on the grave questions between the King of England and him; to treat with nobles for their friendship, and with others concerning the staple of wool abroad; and, October 7, to treat with David, King of Scotland, for a truce, and even for a final peace. Any three of these commissioners were to act, the bishop or an earl being one of them. The provincial was engaged in the French affairs, and had to go to various parts over sea, and he received for travelling, October 17, 1338, an exchequer tally for £20. The royal gift of a cask of wine to him, evidently for the use of the altar, cost the king, February 19, 1339-40, 66s. 8d., at Ghent.
In 1337 Edward III. took on himself the title of King of France, and in the following year began his terrible wars to enforce his claim. The general chapter of the Order met, May 16, 1339, at Clermont-Ferrand, and as it was thus held within his enemy's domain, the king withdrew the gift of £20, which it was customary for England to offer on such occasions. In the meantime, Winkley was put out of office as provincial by the master-general of the Order, F. Hugues de Vanssemain, a Frenchman; and the general chapter of 1339 appointed a vicargeneral till the canonical election of another provincial was made. The king was indignant that his chaplain should be thus removed, in an unusual manner, whilst honourably employed in royal and public affairs, wherein was nothing unlawful or against the honour of the Order; and when Winkley had to go to the general chapter, celebrated June 4, etc., 1340, at Milan, wrote to the mastergeneral to that effect, April 20, and said, moreover, that it was an act of contempt towards himself, done to please his enemies, which would not have happened if the master had duly weighed the favours and graces which the royal house had showered
on the Order, and might continue: it would be very pleasing, still, if such ingratitude were redeemed, beyond what was due to a man of probity and known goodness, by listening to the royal recommendation in favour of Winkley, whereby the Order would find opportune returns. Some secret and arduous affairs of the kingdom sent Winkley at this time to the Roman court, and he probably visited the pope at Avignon on his way back from Milan, if he went to the general chapter. He had letters of credence, dated April 25, to Benedict XII., who answered the king by Winkley, July 13, expressing his intense desire to establish peace between England and France. For the expenses to and fro, and at the papal court, 10 was paid October 17, and £20 on the 24th following.
£19 4s. for the French journey. After this time the confessor was taken up only with the duties of his ministry. He had a grant of 40 marks a year, April 17, 1344, in aid of his expenses, and for better maintaining his state in the king's service. A royal gift of £4 19s. was made to him March 2, 1345-6. Whilst near Calais he obtained two royal pardons of manslaughter, one, February 6, 1346-7, in favour of Richard King, for the death of Walter de Luttote; the other, July 25 following, in favour of William Smythiot of Cambridge, for the death of one Stephen, called Frenshman, or Borgulon. His pension was last paid him March 6, 1346-7; and July 4 the order for payment was issued, but not executed, and it is evident that F. Richard de Winkley had now closed his life. At this time his companion, F. Walter de Neuport, withdrew into his cloister at London on an allowance of 40s. a year for clothing, which was superseded, January 18, 1361-2, by a pension of 5 marks out of the revenues of Devon, the grant being confirmed, March 11, 1377-8, by Richard II.; and he is last heard of April 18, 1385, when the Sheriff of Devon was ordered to pay up all arrears of the pension.
In 1342 the royal confessor was again sent to the Roman court. Preparatory to his journey, he stayed some time in London, and received, April 7, 100s. for his expenses there; a gray palfrey for riding worth 113s. 4d., May 7; a sumpter-horse for his harness, 46s. 8d., May 25; letters of credence to the pope, dated May 22, in which the king also begged some privileges for the royal chapel; and 40 marks, June 8, for travelling.
Early in the following year, at Portsmouth, Winkley was plundered of goods to no small amount. He seems to have fallen into the hands of freebooters, for Richard Hokere and Richard Swayn, of Winchelsea, two royal officers, were sent after the robbers, carrying a writ, dated May 6, for arresting and conveying to the Tower of London Roger de Dynton, William Pevenese of Portsmouth, John Spencer of Portsmouth, Robert Blake, William Hevyn of Feversham, Roger Smyth, and others, who had committed the outrage. Again the confessor was employed on arduous affairs at the papal court, and the journey to Avignon and back took him 113 days. Immediately after, he was despatched to Vannes, which took up another 64 days. He was allowed 6s. a day for his and his companion's expenses in both journeys; and October 11, 1343, there were paid into his own hands in the exchequer £33 18s. for the journey to the pope, 116s. 8d. for some papal bulls, 50s. for passage and repassage of the sea, and
F. ARNALD DE STRILLEGH.
The usual allowance of cloth was delivered, in 1348, to F. Arnald de Strillegh for himself, his companion, and household, at Pentecost and Christmas, but nothing more appears on record concerning this confessor.
F. JOHN DE WODEROWE.
In the spring of 1349 F. John de Woderowe became the confessor of Edward III., and on his commencing D.D. at Cambridge in that year, the king bestowed on him, July 8, a gift of £20. He rose to be a man of no small consideration in his time. In 1353 he accompanied the Archbishop of Canterbury, Duke of Lancaster, and other magnates in the embassy to the King of France, receiving for his own expenses, November 9, £26 13s. 4d., and January 25 following 11 6s. 8d. In the next year he went to the papal court with the bishop-elect of London, Sir Guy Bryan, and others for the confirmation of the peace between England and France, for which he had,
July 7, an advance of 200 marks for the journey; whilst he was at Avignon, December 8, £100 was sent to him; and February 23, through his brother Richard, a further sum of 100 marks; and after his return he had, May 5, £8 for his wages, and £38 for his safe conduct, safe conduct, passage and repassage of his men and horses, and other necessaries. This journey occupied him from May 25 to March 29, 1355. In the autumn of 1356 he was again at Avignon, and carried with him royal letters, dated November 12, containing the king's oft-repeated solicitation for the papal renewal of the privilege of some colleges of canons, who had lost the original documents. A pension of 40 marks a year was granted him May 24, 1355, the payment of which was changed, May 13, 1358, to £20 out of the farm-rent of Nottingham, the remaining 10 marks being continued out of the exchequer. Moreover, he had a royal grant, June 26, 1360, of £69 10s. 6d. a year for the support of himself and his companion at the court, four grooms serving him in the royal household, four horses, and one hack, including £9 2s. 6d. for the wages of these men, at
d. each, who attended to the horses, and 116s. for small necessaries; and this payment was transferred, October 1, 1362, from the royal household to the exchequer. He He lent 20 marks to Jane, Queen of Scotland, which after her death was paid, November 30, 1362, out of the English exchequer. The pension was superseded, August 26, 1372, by his appointment to the office of chirographer of the common bench. According to the old custom, he and his companion had, every Christmas and Pentecost, the black and white cloth for their habits, table-napery, and bedclothes from the king's wardrobe, all of which were continued to him even after he had given up the charge of the royal conscience. He had given him by the king, in 1366, two casks of Gascony wine, in 1371 a pipe of Rhenish wine, and in 1373 another cask of Gascony wine, all probably for the service of the altar; and August 18, 1371, a messenger from the king was paid 13s. 4d. for going to him from Marlborough to Dartford.
Woderowe was very active in promoting and carrying on the foundation of the priory
of Dartford, in Kent, for Sisters of the second Order of St. Dominic, and through him most of the royal gifts of Edward III. were made for the purpose. He superintended the works of the friars' and sisters' houses there, and received £40, January 25, 1353-4, for his expenses in staying at Dartford. Through him the king lent 100s., February 10 following, to the friars there, to be paid at will. On his retiring from the court, in 1376, he had a royal pardon, July 15, for all offences, especially debts and accounts due to the exchequer. His companion was F. Nicholas Hope, who, being abroad on affairs of state, had 5 marks, May 25, 1360, for coming out of Burgundy into England. He had a pension of 10 marks a year granted to him for life, and received the payment of it down to April 13, 1374. To whom succeeded F. Thomas Walsh, in 1363, and, April 6, had IOOS. a year granted to him to find him in clothing and other necessaries. He became Prior of King's Langley, and as such was also prior of the new Dominican nunnery of Dartford, and the king granted him an annuity of 10 marks, April 3, 1374, out of the sisters' revenues, for the needs and labours of this additional charge. The pension of 100s. was confirmed, July 14, 1380, by Richard II., and was paid February 1 following for the last time. It is probable that F. William de Brownhill was companion for about two years, as he received, April 18 and June 4, 1375, a donation of 100s. each time from the king; but there is no direct evidence of what position he held at court.
F. WILLIAM SIWARD.
When Woderowe resigned, the charge was committed, November 12, 1376, to F. William Siward, who was a master of theology, and taught in his convent at Oxford. On the same day the pension of £69 10s. 6d. was assigned to him, being 3s. a day (£54 12s), to maintain him and his companion, and the men serving him in the royal household, four horses, and one hackney, 1d. a day each (£9 2s. 6d.) for the wages of the four grooms or valets, and 116s. for small expenses. About the end of March, 1377, he received the cloth for winter and summer habits, bedding, and table-napery, etc., of