Early Music History

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James  Grier a1
a1 University of Western Ontario

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Late in the year 1028, Adémar de Chabannes embarked on an ambitious and audacious project to create a new liturgy for the Feast of Saint Martial that would venerate its honoree as an apostle. It is difficult to exaggerate the monstrous nature of the venture and the claim it supported. The historical Martial was well known from the works of Gregory of Tours, the sixth-century historian, as a third-century Roman missionary to Aquitaine and first bishop of Limoges. There his burial place became an important pilgrimage destination and the eventual site of a Benedictine monastery founded in Martial's memory. Adémar, with the full support of the abbot, Odolric, and monks of the abbey of Saint-Martial, and Bishop Jordan of Limoges, sought to transform the historical Martial into a first-century Jew, younger cousin of Simon Peter, an intimate of Jesus himself, whom he served at the Last Supper, Saint Peter's personal delegate to Gaul, and a saint of apostolic rank.


1 A portion of this paper was presented under the title ‘Adémar de Chabannes and the Earliest Compositional Autograph’ at the meeting of the American Musicological Society in Atlanta, 16 Nov. 2001. I thank my audience for a stimulating response to the paper. I am also grateful to the Principal's Development Fund and the Advisory Research Committee, both of Queen's University, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the A. Whitney Griswold Faculty Research Grant and the John F. Enders Research Assistance Grant, both of Yale University, and the Office of Research Services, University of Western Ontario, for grants that enabled me to consult manuscript sources in Paris and prepare this article for publication. I am also very grateful to M. François Avril and Mme Marie-Pierre Laffitte of the Département des Manuscrits, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, and Mme Contamine of the Section Latine, Institut de Recherche et d'Histoire des Textes, for their many kindnesses.