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METAPHRASTES


225


METAPHRASTES


cate, all the parts assumed wavy lines, false and gen- uine gems and porcelain paintings formed the decora- tion; Classicism discanlcil Ihese hauhlesand produced chalices of tlic srvcivsi lorms and with straight hues.

In France, which .luring tliis epoch set the fashion in Europe, the Court and a numljer of prominent in- dividuals devoted enormous sums to provide valuable church furniture, at times in such a way that true art was lost in splendid display. In a completely equipped "chapel", which Cardinal Richelieu pre- sented to the crown in 1636, there was a cross, or- namented with 2516 diamonds of various kinds, a chalice and a paten with 2113 diamonds, a madonna with 1253 diamonds; altogether 9000 diamonds and 224 rubies were employed in furnishing the chapel. The Sainte-Chapelle at Paris was presented by the " Chambres de comptes " with a reliquary one metre in length, for which they paid 13,060 livres. New metal-work was at that time produced in larger quan- tities in Germany, which in this art especially main- tained its pre-eminence. Indeed it is the time of the so-called Counter-Hefonnation, which in Southern Germany and Austria Ijeheld the erection of so many magnificent churches. The new houses of God, how- ever, required new metal furniture. To the present day the treasure-rooms of many a cathedral — and convent — church are filled with the crosses, candle- sticks, and antipendia that were made at that time; they are remarkable, however, for their size rather than their artistic qualities; the material is mostly silver. But works of art of great excellence are not entirely lacking. The Abbey of St. Blasien formerly owned an antipendium portraying the passage of the imperial army through the Black Forest in the year 1678, a most beautiful piece of work (now in Vienna). Other examples of the zeal employed in the manu- facture of precious metal-work are the reliquary shrine of St. Engelbert in Cologne, dating from 1633, which shows the saint lying prostrate on the cover, and statues of bishops on the sides, but otherwise only architectural forms; also the shrine of St. Fridolin at Sackingen (Baden), characterized by the complete mobility of its lines; and furthermore the valuable monstrance in Klosterneuburg near Vienna, which is in the form of an ekler-tree (1720).

Probably at no time was so little money expended upon religious furniture as during the period of Classi- cism; it is the age of barren Rationalism, which was practically devastating in its effect upon the liturgy and religious life. To devote large sums to the ac- quisition of precious furniture was not in consonance with the spirit of this age. For this reason candle- sticks and even monstrances were not infrequently made of tin or wood, but to preserve appearances, often coated with silver or gold. We do not desire, however, to leave this period with this gloomy picture. In the baroque period the art of the blacksmith reached its second climax in Germany and France. Under the hammer of the smith the inert, mass began to sprout and blossom. The superb choir-railings, lanterns, candle-stands, and chandeliers show to the present day that the art of the blacksmith in the ser- vice of the Church was at that time spurred on to the highest endeavours. The revival of the styles of the Middle Ages during the nineteenth century proved beneficial to the religious metal-work also. At the present day candlesticks, chalices, monstrances are manufactured, which in costliness and purity of style are not inferior to the best works of ancient art. Moreover the tendency toward the creation of a new style is noticeable also in the art of metal-working Whether this is to be crowned with lasting success, is a question for the future to decide.

MOLIKIER, L'orflvrerie relitiieuse et civile (Paris); Lueb and Creutz, GeschiclUe der Melallkunst (Stuttgart. 1904 and 1909); Lernert, lUustrierle Geschichle des Kunstgewerbes (Berlin, 1909).

Beda Kleinschmidt. X.— 15


Metaphrastes, Symeon (Sii/»f(i» o Aicra^pdo-Ti;!), the principal compiler of the legends of saints in the Meno- logia of the Byzantine Church. Through the impor- tance of this collection his name has become one of the mo,st famous among tho.se of medieval Greek writers. The epithet Metaphrastes may be rendered Compiler; it is given to liim from the usual name for such ar- rangements of saints' lives {iJ.eTdtppa<ns, compilation). Little is known for certain about his life. His period is the latter half of the tenth century. In one of his leg- ends (the Life of St. Samson) he tells of the saint's miracles continued down to his own time; that time is the reign of Romanos II (959-63) and of John I Tzimiskes (969-76). Michael Psellos (1018-78), who wrote the life of Symeon, afterwards added to those of the other saints in the collection, says he was a Logo- thete. In this case it means one of the Secretaries of State with the title Magister. Psellus also tells us that Symeon was a favourite of the emperor, at whose com- mand he made his collection of legends. Ehrhard says that tliis emperor was Constantine VII (Porphyrogen- netos, 912-59) who organized a compilation of all kinds of learning to form a kind of universal ency- clopaedia by the scholars of liis Court (Krumbacher, "Byz. Lit.", 200). Ehrhard (loc. cit.) and most au- thorities now identif.y the Metaphrast with Symeon Magister the Logothete, who wrote a chronicle under Nicephorus Phocas (963-9). Besides the identity of name and period there is internal evidence from the two works (Chronicle and Legends) for this. A certain Arab chronicle.-, Yahya ibn Said of Antioeh, in the eleventh century refers to "Simon, Secretary and Logothete, who composed the stories of the saints and their feasts " (Delehaye in " Revue des (Questions hist.", X, 84). Another point that fixes his time as the latter half of the tenth century is that, as Ehrhard has proved, the speech made by Constantine VII at the translation of the portrait of Christ from Edessa on 16 August, 944, is contained in Symeon's part of the Menology ("Die Legendensammlung", etc., pp. 48, 73). Formerly his period was generally thought to be earlier. In his life of St. Theoctistus of Lesbos he gives what seems to be a passage about himself, in which he says that he took part in the expedition of Admi- ral Himerios to Crete in 902. It is now proved that Symeon simply copied all this life, including the auto- biograpliical note, from an earlier writer, Niketas (Ehrhard, "Byz. Lit.", p. 200).

Symeon's cliief work, the one to which he owes his great reputation in the Byzantine Church, is the col- lection of Legends. But it is not easy to say how much of the Menology was really composed by him. On the one hand, in many cases he simply copied existing lives of saints; on the other, the collection has grown considerably since Ins time and all of it without discrimination goes by his name. Leo Alla- tius (op. cit.) ascribes 122 legends only to Symeon, Delehaye (" Les m^nologes grecs " in the "Analecta Bollandiana", XVI, 311-29), thinks that 148 or 150 are authentic and original. It may be noticed that t he authentic ones are chiefly those in the early months of the year, from September (the Byzantine t^alendar be- gins in September; the saints in the Menology are ar- ranged as their feasts occur). It is certain, that a number of these legends were written by Symeon from such sources as he found (partly oral tradition). The sifting of these from the rest still needs to be done (Ehrhard, 1. c, 201-2). His reputation as an author has been restored by the latest students. At on(' time his name was a byword for absurd fabrications. Ehr- hard, Dobschiltz, and others have now shown him to be a conscientious compiler who made the liest use of his niaterial that he could . The often absurd stories in his lives were already contained in the sources from which he wrote them ; he is not responsible for these, since his object was simply to collect and arrange the legends of the saints as theyexisted in his time. He