The so-called Martyrologium Hieronymianum, the "martyrologyof Jerome", was the most widely used and influential of the medieval lists of martyrs. Compiled probably in the late 6th century by anonymous monks in Gaulfrom calenders or martyrologies originating in Rome, Africa the Christian east and locally, Martyrologium Hieronymianum was the first general or "universal" martyrology, and the ultimate source of all later Western martyrologies.
Falsely attributedto Saint Jerome, the MH contains a reference to him derived from the opening chapter of his Vita Malchi (392 AD) where Jerome states his intention to write a history of the saints and martyrs from the apostolic times: Scribere enim disposui...ab adventu salvatoris usque ad nostram aetatem, id est, ab apostolis, usque ad nostri temporis faecem... ("I decided to write [a history, mentioned earlier] from the coming of the savior up to our age, that is, from the apostles, up to the dregs of our time" - Vita Malchi, Introduction). Its alternate name, Martyrologium sancti Hieronomi, offers further misleading confidence to its authorship.
Delehayewas of the opinion that the first rescension was compiled in northern Italy, probably within the patriarchate of Aquileia, sometime during the 430s or 440s. Encyclopaedia Britannica 1911suggested that in its present form it goes back to the end of the 6th century: "It is the result of the combination of a general martyrology of the Eastern Churches, a local martyrology of the Church of Rome, some general martyrologies of Italy and Africa, and a series of local martyrologies of Gaul. The task of critics is to distinguish between its various constituent elements." The Catholic Encyclopedia ("Martyrology") observes that all the surviving manuscripts derive from a lost recension apparently made in Gaul, probably at Auxerre, ca 600, on which the Dictionary of the Middle Ages ("Martyrology", 1987) concurs.
Some of the entries contain brief narratives about the saints which is of historic interest, however the vast majority of entries are nothing but lists of names and places, for example: III id. ian. Romæ, in cymiterio Callisti, via Appia, depositio Miltiadis episcopi— "On the third day before the Idesof January, at Rome, in the [catacomb] cemetary of Callixtus, on the Appian Way, buried Miltiades, the bishop". The first "historic" martyrologies (containing narrative history of the life of a saint) would not flower until the Carolingianperiod, starting with the martyrology of Bede.
In its present form the Martyrologium Hieronomianum is a 9th century compilation from various calendars and lists of martyrs, amended and interpolated, the names distorted and multiplied or moved from one date to another according to local cultus. The oldest of the numerous manuscripts is that of Berne. Scholars generally assume that in the lists of martyrs that head each day's entry, newer additions were added at the bottom of the lists, and thus that the first names are most likely to be those from the lost earliest versions of the Martyrologium Hieronymianum.
Editing Martyrologium Hieronymianum has been monumentally difficult. The edition of F. M. Fiorentini(Vetustius occidentalis ecclesiæ martyrologium, Lucca, 1668), was accompanied by a very erudite historical commentary that seemed to reach a dead end. The publication of the Syriac Martyrology discovered by the Orientalist William Wright(Journal of Sacred Literature, 1866, p 45ff), gave the impetus to a fresh series of researches after Fr Victor De Buck(Acta SS., Octobris, XII, p. 185 etc) noted the relationship of this Syriac martyrology to the Hieronymian Martyrology: a general martyrology of the Eastern churches, written in Greek at Nicomedia, seems to have served as a source for the Hieronymianum. In 1885 Giovanni Battista de Rossiand Louis Duchesnepublished a memoir entitled "Les sources du martyrologe hiéronymien" in de Rossi's Mélanges d'archéologie et d'histoire, V; it was the starting-point of a critical edition of the martyrology they edited and, published in 1894, which remains standard (CE "Martyrology").
- Catholic Encyclopedia:"Martyrology", "Chair of Peter", "Sts. Quirinus", etc.
- 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica: "Martyrology"
- Giovanni Battista de Rossiand Louis Duchesne, editors,Martyrologium Hieronymianum in Acta Sanctorum LXXXII November, part II (1894; reprint 1971) The standard edition.
- Hippolyte Delehaye, Commentarius perpetuus in Martyrologium Hieronynianum ad recensionem H. Quenti in Acta Sanctorum XXIV November 11, part II]. ((Brussels, 1931)
- McCulloh, John M. (1987). "Martyrology", Dictionary of the Middle Ages (vol.8)
- Hrabanus Maurus- Carolingian author or martyrologies
- Notker Balbulus- Carolingian author of martyrologies
Categories: Christian hagiography| Pseudepigraphy
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