Gepost door: dejister | 11 september 2011

De Hulpheiligen van Caesar


Gian Lorenzo Bernini, St. Laurentius
Via het proces van diëgetische transpositie is het verraad, het lijden en het sterven van Caesar als een echo in verhaalvorm naar alle hoeken van de wereld gekaatst. Eén gebeurtenis, vele verhalen. In de tijd herschreven, aangepast aan de sociale geografie. Het verhaal over Jezus is een voorbeeld van zo’n diëgetische transpositie, afkomstig uit Caesar. Zo ook het verhaal over de heilige Laurentius, die de dood zou hebben gevonden in het vuur. In zekere zin is het verhaal over Laurentius een vervangingsverhaal dat de overgang van de crematie naar de inhumatie in het Christendom begrijpelijk maakte. Francesco Carotta (Forum Divi Julii 2003):

‘Concerning the relation between the Divus Iulius-cult and the St. Laurentius-cult, it can be observed that St. Laurentius is today too called ‘Divus’ instead of ‘Sanctus’ in some churches dedicated to him (we saw one recently near Naples). More important is the fact that the feast day of St. Laurentius is on August 10th—the presumed date of Caesar’s victory in Pharsalos: Laurentius means simply laureate, i.e. wearing the laurel wreath, attribute of victory. Being burnt, Laurentius is a substitutional saint, who became necessary as Jesus was no longer considered having been cremated like Caesar was. He is a vicarious saint. Not by chance he is the first martyr of the Occident – his pendant in the Orient being Stephanus (name which means the same in Greek like Laurentius in Latin, and whose feast day is the day following Christmas, i.e. the supposed birthday of Jesus).

So if people confound St. Laurentius with Jesus, this is normal. And if the cross is represented with fire beneath it, well: it is original: as Caesar’s funeral bier was burnt, at its head there was a cruciform tropaeum with a wax-effigy of his martyrized body fixed on it. You can see a burning cross in the Easter fire on the Easter Vigil: it is the moment of resurrection, when people exclaim: ‘Christos anesti! Resurrexit!’.

So the necessity of having a St. Laurentius as a burnt alter ego of Jesus comes from the fact that in old liturgy without a burnt body there is no resurrection, while in the later gospels passed down to us Jesus is no longer cremated but inhumated.’

Advertenties

Categorieën

%d bloggers liken dit: