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“Vetus Superstitio et Nova Religio” the Problem of Refrigerium in the Ancient Church of North Africa

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  31 August 2011

Johannes Quasten
Affiliation:
Catholic University of America, Washington, D. C.

Extract

The history of the Church in North Africa, so far at least as the sources are concerned, begins for us in the year 180, and it begins with martyrdoms. At Carthage on July 17, Namphano of Madaura, called “Protomartyr” by Augustine, Miggin, Sanam, and six other Christians from Scili in Numidia were sentenced to death by the proconsul Saturninus and beheaded. The official record of their trial has been preserved to us in Greek and Latin and constitutes the oldest document in Africa's Church History.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © President and Fellows of Harvard College 1940

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References

1 Monceaux, P., Histoire littéraire de l'Afrique chrétienne, Paris, 1901, I, 10.Google Scholar

2 Leclercq, H., L'Afrique chrétienne, Paris, 1904, I, 42.Google Scholar

3 Tertullian, Apologeticum, 50, 13.

4 See Sauer, J., Der Kirchenbau Nordafrikas in den Tagen des hl. Augustinus (Aurelius Augustinus, Festschrift der Görresgesellschaft, edited by M. Grabmann and J. Mausbach, Köln, 1930, 248).Google Scholar

5 Augustinus, Epistula 78, 3 (PL, 33, 269).

6 See Mesnage, P. J., L'Afrique chrétienne, Paris, 1912, 1115.Google Scholar

7 See Delehaye, H., Les origines du culte des martyrs, Bruxelles, 1912, 422.Google Scholar

8 Augustinus, Sermo 310, 2 (PL, 38, 1413): Denique sicut nostis, quicumque Carthaginem nostis, in eodem loco mensa deo constructa est; et tamen mensa dicitur Cypriani, non quia ibi est unquam Cyprianus epulatus, sed quia ibi est immolatus. Cf. Enarrat. in Psalm. 80, 4, 23 (PL, 37, 1036, 1046).

9 Victor of Vita, Historia persecutionis Africae provinciae, I, p. 16 (CSEL, 7, p. 8, 14 Petschenig).

10 Augustinus, Confessiones, 5, 8, 15.

11 Augustinus, Sermo 260 (PL, 38, 1201).

12 Augustinus, Sermo 356, 10 (PL, 39, 1578).

13 Augustinus, De civitate dei, 22, 8 (CSEL, 40, 2, p. 607 Hoffmann).

14 Augustinus, Sermo 273, 7 (PL, 38, 1251).

15 Augustinus, De natura et origine animae, 1, 10, 12 (CSEL, 60, 1, p. 312 UrbaZycha): nec scriptura ipsa canonica est.

16 Augustinus, Sermo 319, 8 (PL, 38, 1442): Legite quattuor versus, quos in cella scripsimus, legite, tenete, in corde habete.

17 See Harnack, A., Das ursprüngliche Motiv der Abfassung von Märtyrer- und Heilungsakten in der Kirche (Sitzungsberichte der Kgl. Preussischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Berlin, 1910, 106114Google Scholar. Delehaye, H., Les origines du culte des martyrs, Brussels, 1912, 149Google Scholar sq. Roetzer, W., Des hl. Augustinus Schriften als liturgiegeschichtliche Quelle, München, 1930, 66Google Scholar. Nock, A. D., Conversion, London, 1933, 89.Google Scholar

18 Augustinus, De civitate dei, 22, 8 (CSEL, 40, 2, p. 596 Hoffmann): Canon quippe sacrarum litterarum, quem definitum esse oportebat, illa facit ubique recitari et memoriae cunctorum inhaerere populorum.

19 Augustine remarks in his Epistula 29, 10, that such excesses either had never existed in Italy or had ceased to exist.

20 Dölger, F. J., , II, Münster, 1922, 568.Google Scholar

21 Freistedt, E., Altchristliche Totengedächtnistage und ihre Beziehung zum Jenseitsglauben und Totenkultus der Antike, Münster, 1928, 114 sq.Google Scholar

22 Dölger, loc. cit., 555.

23 See Lucius, E., Die Anfänge des Heiligenkultes in der christlichen Kirche, Tübingen, 1904, 29. 293Google Scholar. Grossi-Gondi, F., Il rito funebre del “refrigerium” al sepolcro apostolico dell' Via Appia, Rome, 1920, 263Google Scholar sq. Oeconomus, G. P., De profusionum receptaculis sepulcralibus inde ab antiquissimis temporibus usque ad nostram fere aetatem usitatis, Athens, 1921, 51Google Scholar sq. Bruck, E., Totenteil und Seelgerät im griechischen Recht, München, 1926, 279Google Scholar sq. Schneider, A. M., Refrigerium, Diss. Freiburg i. Br., 1928Google Scholar, 32. Buonaiutti, E., Refrigerio pagano e refrigerio cristiano (Ricerche religiose, 5, 1929, 6067).Google Scholar

24 Diehl, E., Inscriptiones latinae christianae veteres, I, Berlin, 1925, 301, 1570.Google Scholar

25 Dölger, F. J., Antike und Christentum, 2, 1930, 91 sq.Google Scholar

26 See Klauser, Th., Die Cathedra im Totenkult der heidnischen und christlichen Antike, Münster, 1927, 139.Google Scholar

27 Augustinus, Confessiones, 6, 2 (CSEL, 33, 114, Knöll).

28 Ibid., p. 115.

29 Loc. cit. Ne ulla occasio se ingurgitandi daretur ebriosis et quia illa quasi parentalia superstitioni gentilium essent simillima.

30 Augustinus, Enarratio, II in Psalm. XXXII, 5 (PL, 36, 279): Nonne id egit institutio in nomine Christi Vigiliarum istarum, ut ex isto loco citharae pellerentur?

31 Morin, G., Sancti Augustini sermones post Maurinos reperti. (Miscellanea Augustiniana, I, Rome, 1930, Denis sermo 13, 4, p. 58.) Et nunc consideremus qui sint filii occisorum, et qui sint filii occidentium. Et videtis multos currere ad memorias martyrum, redire saturates de memoriis martyrum; et tamen discute illos, et invenies inter persecutores martyrum.Google Scholar

32 CSEL, 34, 54–62.

33 Epistularum, XXII, 4 (CSEL, 34, p. 58, Goldbacher).

34 Ibid., XXII, 2, p. 54.

35 Ibid., XXII, 4, p. 57.

36 Ibid., p. 58.

37 Ibid., p. 57.

38 Ibid., XXII, 5, p. 58.

39 Epistularum, XXII, 6 (CSEL, 34, p. 58, Goldbacher).

40 Constitutiones Apostolorum, 8, 42 (I, p. 552, Funk).

41 Eusebius, Ad coetum Sanctorum (GCS, Eusebius, I, p. 171, Heikel).

42 Cf. the title of the Acts in Codex canonum ecclesiae africanae (Mansi, III, 732): gloriosissimo imperatore Theodosio Augusto III et Abundantio viris clarissimis consulibus VIII Idus Octobris Hippone regio in secretario basilicae pacis.

43 Possidius, Vita Augustini, 7.

44 Mansi, III, 923.

45 Augustinus, Epistularum, XXII, 5 (CSEL, 34, p. 58, Goldbacher).

46 For the relationship of Augustine to Alypius of Tagaste cf. Rauschen, G., Jahrbücher der christlichen Kirche unter Theodosius dem Grossen, Freiburg, 1897, p. 346 sq.Google Scholar

47 Augustinus, Epistularum, XXXVIIII, 2 (CSEL, 34, p. 114, Goldbacher).

48 For instance, I Cor. 5, 11; I Cor. 6, 9–11.

49 Augustinus, loc. cit., 7, p. 118.

50 Ibid., 8, p. 119.

51 See Quasten, J., Musik und Gesang in den Kulten der heidnischen Antike und christlichen Frühzeit, Münster, 1930, pp. 232247: Heidnische Pannychis und christliche Vigil.Google Scholar

52 Augustinus, loc. cit., 9, pp. 119–120.

53 Augustinus, loc. cit., 11, p. 121.

54 Cf. Holl, K., Augustins innere Entwicklung (Gesammelte Aufsätze zur Kirchengeschichte, III, Tübingen, 1928, 105).Google Scholar

55 Frangip. serm., 8, 5 (Morin, G., Miscellanea Augustiniana, I, Rome, 1980, p. 231).Google Scholar

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