Research mathoms III

I’ve been noting what’s NOT in Burgs & Bailiffs Trinity : The poor pilgrim’s almanack, or, The handbook of pilgrimage and relic theft. But what’s in there? Here’s a screencap of the table of contents. It doesn’t list sidebars, but it does drill down to the section headings within the four main essays: On the road (which covers travel generally); Death, Burial & Grave Goods; Furta Sacra (all about relics and their theft); Into the catacombs (all about catacombs); Whither pilgrim? (a gazetteer of shrines, holy wells, tombs, and other pilgrimage destinations); and Relics & Clerics (which offers a revised clerical spell casting system and a completely different kind of cleric that is dedicated to pilgrimage). Click to embiggen.

toc-screenshot

 

Here’s one more mathom.

Beheaded martyrs

If you read much about martyrs, you will quickly notice that a large number of martyrs went through multiple executions before being really, sincerely martyred. They might be broiled, beaten, shot with arrows, crushed, hung, trampled by animals, or have any number of brutal treatments and still survive until they are finally beheaded. While we might be tempted to imagine the persecutors shouting “There can be only one!” scholars speculate that the beheadings are often later additions to the stories, because by the Middle Ages, only beheading was considered an appropriate execution for high-status individuals. For the saints to be killed by lesser — even common — means was incongruous with their status as God’s elect, so the hagiographies were amended to end with a more aesthetically pleasing (to the generally noble or high-ranking patrons of the scribes) death.

More fancifully, the trope of saints being beheaded also spawned another category of saints: celaphores. These were saints who are depicted — visually in icons and statues, or narratively in their hagiographies — as carrying their own severed heads. Celaphores are often said to have carried their severed heads to their burial places, in some cases preaching as they walked; most famously, St. Denis of Paris did this, but folklorists have counted more than a hundred cases. Apart from making memorable miracles and dramatizing the saint’s power over death, this behavior helps legitimize the final resting place of a saint, and discourages further translation.

 

 

 

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Published in: on December 13, 2016 at 8:00 am  Comments (2)  
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  1. Recently picked up B&B: Trinity as pdf from seeing the release on g+. I have the previous two so I knew it would be up my alley.
    However, did you know that as a PDF the table of contents is the last page? And that if you didn’t know to look for it (I hadn’t seen this blog post) you would have no guide whatsoever for the 128 page pdf?
    Well, I didn’t.
    I was somewhat upset as I’d spent money. But I loved the content and wanted to make it useful for myself.
    So I bookmarked the whole thing while reading/skimming. Every section and subsection. Every table is bookmarked twice, once in a table list and once in the section it is in.
    I can email it to you if you (or other readers) want it.
    The first bookmark is to the table of contents at the end of the pdf. I’m pretty sure other print on demand publishers make separate files for print and for pdf.

    • Thanks for buying a copy! Sorry for the confusion!
      Paolo Greco handled all the layout and I think he put the table of contents at the end because that is a common practice in European publishing (he’s in Scotland). They usually call it an “index” which is confusing too because in American publishing an index is usually arranged alphabetically and points to pages rather than chapters. Anyway I’ll see what he can do. Rearranging the pdf shouldn’t be too difficult (he said, having no idea what that entails in LaTexT).


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