diaryand_activities_conferences_2010_culto-sepulcros-santos

April 28, 2010

Course

THE ROAD TO SANTIAGO AND THE ROOTS OF THE WEST

The cult of the sepulchres of the saints on the Camino de Santiago

Ms Soledad de Silva y Verástegui.
University of the Basque Country

"OF THE BODIES OF THE SAINTS THAT REST ON THE ROAD TO SANTIAGO AND MUST BE VISITED BY THE PILGRIMS".

With these words the poitevino Aimerico Picaud, around 1140, addressed the pilgrims who walked the European routes to Santiago de Compostela. Chapter VIII of Book V of the Codex Calixtinus, known as the guide of the pilgrimage, set out a long enumeration of the bodies of the saints that were found in various churches, sanctuaries or monasteries through which the pilgrims passed along the different routes-Tolosan, Podenian, Limousine or Touronese-that led to Santiago and which they had to visit. The author mentions numerous tombs of saints in France, although on the Spanish route he only mentions those of Santo Domingo de la Calzada, those of Saints Facundo and Primitivo, in Sahagún, San Isidoro in León and finally the apostolic tomb in Compostela. It is evident that the pilgrimage to Santiago was conceived, in the middle of the Age of average, as a cultic pathway marked by bodies and relics of the saints that the pilgrim had to venerate until reaching the final goal : the tomb of the apostle Santiago in Compostela.

We propose in this work to travel the Camino de Santiago through the sepulchres or reliquaries of the saints that are on the route from Jaca to Compostela that the pilgrims were able to visit in those centuries, and that fortunately most of them have come down to us. Two are the main reasons that have moved us to approach this topic. In the first place, given that we are celebrating a new Jacobean year, it seemed appropriate to recover the spirit of the authentic Christian pilgrimage, which was first manifested in the veneration of the tomb of a saint, as shown by the most ancient pilgrimages to the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem or to the tombs of the apostles Peter and Paul in Rome. Secondly, in spite of the abundant artistic historiography that the Way of St. James has given rise to, most of the programs of study have focused on Architecture, Monumental Sculpture or Painting, but not on devotional sepulchral sculpture, which has had important artistic repercussions.

In the first session, the tombs of Santo Domingo de la Calzada and the splendid ivory reliquary and cenotaph of San Millán de la Cogolla are studied from the point of view of their typology, iconographic program, style and ornamentation. The second part deals with the tombs of San Juan de Ortega and San Lesmes, the latter in Burgos, that of San Zoilo in Carrión de los Condes, those of Saints Facundo and Primitivo in the monastery of Sahagún, the ark of relics of San Isidoro, in León and finally the tomb of the apostle Santiago, goal of the pilgrimage.


Sarcophagus of San Juan de Ortega

Sarcophagus of San Juan de Ortega. End of the XII century.

Cenotaph of San Millán de la Cogolla

Cenotaph of San Millán de la Cogolla. Detail. Healing of the two blind men. End of the 12th century.