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The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity


from its origins to circa AD 700, across the entire Christian world


John Moschus, in his Spiritual Meadow (68),mentions the New church of *Mary (Mother of Christ, S00033), presumably Justinian's 'Nea' in Jerusalem. Written in Greek, probably in Rome, in the 620s or 630s.

Evidence ID

E05287

Type of Evidence

Literary - Hagiographical - Monastic collections (apophthegmata, etc.)

Major author/Major anonymous work

John Moschus

John Moschus, The Spiritual Meadow, 68

In this chapter Moschus recounts how certain Abramios, higoumen of the new [church of] of Mary the Mother of God (τῆς ἁγίας Θεοτόκου Μαρίας ἡ Νέα), bought a shirt for Abba Theodosios who had no garment to wear in winter.

Text: Migne 1865 (PG 87.3). Summary: J. Doroszewska.

Cult Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Non Liturgical Activity

Saint as patron - of a community

Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - monks/nuns/hermits

Source

John Moschus (c. 540/550634) was a monk and spiritual writer. He lived successively with the monks of the monastery of St. Theodosios, south-east of Jerusalem, among the hermits of the Jordan Valley, and at the Lavra of Pharan in the Judaean Desert, where he spent ten years. About the year 578 he went to Egypt with Sophronius, his close friend to whom he was to dedicate the Spiritual Meadow. After 583 he perhaps came to Mount Sinai where he spent about ten years. In around 604 he went to Antioch but returned to Egypt later in the same decade. In around 614-619 he went to Cyprus, then to North Africa, and then to Rome, where he died before ‘the beginning of the eighth indiction’ (i.e. September 634). He wrote the Spiritual Meadow and co-authored with Sophronius a Life of John the Almoner.

The
Spiritual Meadow (Gr. Leimōn pneumatikos; Lat. Pratum spirituale) was written in the 620s or 30s, very probably in Rome. The work narrates Moschus' personal experiences with many of the ascetics whom he met during his extensive travels, mainly through Palestine, Sinai and Egypt, but also Cilicia and Syria, and recounts the edifying stories and sayings that he received from them. The title of the work is explained as an analogy between picking flowers in a springtime meadow and picking edifying stories and sayings from the lives of holy men and women. The number of chapters varies depending on the manuscript.


Discussion

This must be a reference to Justinian's great church of Mary in Jerusalem, which was often referred to as the 'Nea', the 'New Church'.


Bibliography

Edition:
Migne, J.P, Patrologia Graeca, vol. 87.3 (Paris, 1865), 2851-3116.

Translations:
Maisano, R., Giovanni Mosco, Il prato (Naples, 2002).

Rouët de Journel, M.-J.,
Jean Moschus, Le Pré Spirituel (Sources chrétiennes 12; Paris, 1946, repr. 2006).

Wortley, J.,
John Moschos, The Spiritual Meadow (Cistercian Studies Series 139; Kalamazoo, 1992).

Further reading:
Baynes, N.H., "The
Pratum spirituale," Orientalia Christiana Periodica 13 (1947), 404-414; repr. in Baynes, Byzantine Studies and Other Essays (London, 1955), 261-270.

Binggeli, A. “Collections of Edifying Stories,” in: S. Efthymiadis (ed.),
The Ashgate Research Companion to Byzantine Hagiography II: Genres and Contexts (Farnham, 2014), 143-160, esp. 146-147.

Chadwick, H.J., "John Moschus and his friend Sophroonios the Sophist," Journal of Theological Studies 25 (1974), 41-74.

Follieri, E., "Dove e quando mori Giovanni Mosco?,"
Rivista di Studi Bizantini e Neoellenici 25 (1988), 3-39.

Mioni, E., "Il Pratum Spirituale di Giovanni Mosco: gli episodi inediti del Cod. Marciano greco II.21,"
Orientalia Christiana Periodica (1951), 61-94.

Mioni, E., "Jean Moschus, Moine,"
Dictionnaire de Spiritualité 7 (1973), cols. 632-640.

Nissen, T., "Unbekannte Erzählungen aus dem Pratum Spirituale,"
Byzantinische Zeitschrift 38 (1938), 351-376.

Pattenden, P., "The text of the Pratum Spirituale,"
Journal of Theological Studies 26 (1975), 38-54.


Record Created By

Julia Doroszewska

Date Last Modified

05/02/2021

Related Saint Records
IDNameName in SourceIdentity
S00033Mary, Mother of ChristΘεοτόκος ΜαρίαCertain


Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL:
Julia Doroszewska, Cult of Saints, E05287 - http://csla.history.ox.ac.uk/record.php?recid=E05287