The article aims to outline a series of pathways leading towards a possible semiotic understanding of the Martyrologium Romanum (Roman Martyrology), an official liturgical book of the Roman Catholic tradition consisting of accounts of the saints — the eulogies (elogia, in Latin), a brief summary of their life and death — arranged in calendar order. Based on pre–existing martyrologies, this book was first issued in the second half of 1580s as a consequence of the centralisation promoted by the Council of Trent, and published in a completely revised edition in 2001 in light of the more inclusive and decentralising principles established by the Second Vatican Council. This article contextualises martyrologies as a genre as well as the textual history of the book and the way in which the concept of sanctity has been diachronically articulated and regulated over the centuries. A first attempt at semiotically framing the book is presented, with a focus on its genre, style, paratextual apparata, the different temporal dimensions it implies and its intended model reader. In the end, the article proposes the hypothesis that the Martyrologium is meant to be esoteric (in the etymological sense of “addressed to initiates”) and centrifugal (implying knowledge of other hagiographies), along with the idea that it might be fruitful to introduce a new, meditational use of this book.

Approaching the Martyrologium Romanum. A semiotic perspective

Gabriele Marino
2019

Abstract

The article aims to outline a series of pathways leading towards a possible semiotic understanding of the Martyrologium Romanum (Roman Martyrology), an official liturgical book of the Roman Catholic tradition consisting of accounts of the saints — the eulogies (elogia, in Latin), a brief summary of their life and death — arranged in calendar order. Based on pre–existing martyrologies, this book was first issued in the second half of 1580s as a consequence of the centralisation promoted by the Council of Trent, and published in a completely revised edition in 2001 in light of the more inclusive and decentralising principles established by the Second Vatican Council. This article contextualises martyrologies as a genre as well as the textual history of the book and the way in which the concept of sanctity has been diachronically articulated and regulated over the centuries. A first attempt at semiotically framing the book is presented, with a focus on its genre, style, paratextual apparata, the different temporal dimensions it implies and its intended model reader. In the end, the article proposes the hypothesis that the Martyrologium is meant to be esoteric (in the etymological sense of “addressed to initiates”) and centrifugal (implying knowledge of other hagiographies), along with the idea that it might be fruitful to introduce a new, meditational use of this book.
2018
31-32
175
215
http://www.aracneeditrice.it/index.php/download-pdf-gratuito.html?isbn=9788825527841
Roman Martyrology, Roman Catholic Church, saints, sanctity, semiotic analysis of texts
Gabriele Marino
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2318/1713853
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