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Holy Treasure and Sacred SongRelic Cults and their Liturgies in Medieval Tuscany$
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Benjamin Brand

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199351350

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199351350.001.0001

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The Bishop’s Relics, 752–899

The Bishop’s Relics, 752–899

(p.17) 2 The Bishop’s Relics, 752–899
Holy Treasure and Sacred Song

Benjamin Brand

Oxford University Press

Tuscan bishops of the eighth and ninth centuries reshaped the sacred topographies of their cities by translating (or transferring) saints’ relics from suburban or rural shrines to urban basilicas. As enshrined in the legendary histories recited on the saints’ feasts, these translations signalled the authority of the prelates over such holy treasure and occasioned their construction of new, magnificent tombs for it. In Lucca, the local bishop, Giovanni I, navigated his city’s delicate entrance into the Carolingian Empire by embracing the example of papal builders from late Antiquity. In Fiesole and Florence, local bishops distinguished themselves less as builders and more as protectors of holy relics in the face of the political instability produced by the dissolution of the Carolingian Empire.

Keywords:   relic translation, Lucca, Fiesole, Florence, Carolingian Empire

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