Skoči na glavni sadržaj

Izvorni znanstveni članak

The Cult of St Stephen the First Martyr in Early Medieval Dubrovnik: Martyrdom in the Foundations of the City, Commune and (Arch)Diocese

Zdenka Janeković Römer orcid id ; Zavod za povijesne znanosti HAZU u Dubrovniku, Dubrovnik, Hrvatska

Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 339 Kb

str. 9-28

preuzimanja: 977



St Stephen is the first saint mentioned in the written historical sources on Dubrovnik, in the account of the Byzantine emperor Constantine Porphyrogenitus, who associated the development of the city with the cult of this martyr and his church in which the relics of St Pancratius were kept. According to Ragusan chronicles, starting from Miletius, the relics of other Roman martyrs, the first city protectors, were also kept at the mentioned church. This fact the chroniclers relate to the founding of the city. What needs to be elucidated here is as to how the cult of St Stephen the First Martyr became related to the development of the city, and where exactly it had come from, Constantinople or Rome. In support of the assumption that the cult of this saint spread to Dubrovnik from Rome, despite his veneration throughout the Byzantine Empire, is the cult of St Pancratius, also martyr, a cult of Roman provenance, followed by the cults of the Saints Nereus, Achilleus, Domitilla and Petronilla. Given the fact that all these Roman saints are connected with the church of St Stephen, there is reason to assume that this cult, too, was promoted in Dubrovnik within the papal policy towards the city and region as a whole. This is further confirmed by the legend of Pavlimir, founder of the city, who arrived from Rome, bringing holy relics with him. Ragusan chronicles tend to emphasise Epidaurian tradition and the arrival of Pavlimir from Rome, while the group of Roman saints sanctifies Roman tradition, and is most closely related to the foundation myths. Before St Blaise, bishop from the East, was chosen as a symbol of the city, patron saints of Dubrovnik were generally of Roman provenance. This Roman policy was mainly adopted by the bishops who had strong influence in the cities in the period marked by dissolution of old municipal structures and the weakening of public administration. Midst the upheavals of late antiquity and early Middle Ages, the Church managed to maintain continuity and was replacing ancient organisation of the civil government as a strong and stable institution around which the society gathered, gradually creating new political forms and social relations. The bishops mainly leaned on the cult of the saints through the acquisition of relics and promotion of cults that best conveyed specific political goals. Early Dubrovnik cults were strongly linked to papal policy and diocesan jurisdiction. The construction of the city’s identity was inseparable from the religious feeling, church identity and the value of Christianity upon which the communal elite built its ethics and ideology. This harmony is most vividly displayed in the cult of the city’s patron saints, who at the same time were the foundations and backbone of the community’s unity. The Church, patron saint and lay community moulded a unique feeling of belonging, self-consciousness and identity. The cult of St Stephen and the saint’s church with the first reliquary of medieval Dubrovnik constituted a stronghold of thus shaped policy of the Dubrovnik commune and Church, as well as that of the Church of Rome.

Ključne riječi

Middle Ages; Dubrovnik; cult of saints; relics; the foundation of the city; Roman church; (Arch)diocese of Dubrovnik; the commune of Dubrovnik

Hrčak ID:



Datum izdavanja:


Podaci na drugim jezicima: hrvatski

Posjeta: 2.111 *