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HomeLa figure martinienne, essor et renaissances de l'Antiquité tardive à nos jours

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Published on Wednesday, May 06, 2015


As part of the Saint Martin's year 2016 (1700th anniversary of the birth of Saint Martin), an international conference will be held at the University of Tours on the theme of “Saint Martin, expansion and revivals in his popularity from the origins to the present day”. The conference concerns not only the historical field but archeology, art history, sociology, theology, literary studies. The focus will be on the lesser known aspects of the theme, e.g. the revivals of saint Martin's cult in some regions of Europe at different periods; or ethnological and anthropological dimensions and their impact on art and literature; or theological appropriation of the saint Martin's figure.



2016 will be a St. Martin's year (1700th anniversary of his birth) : it is a good opportunity to review the studies on St. Martin. There is a huge bibliography on this subject but the research topics are also very numerous. Reference should be made to the fundamental work of Jacques Fontaine (for editing the works of Sulpicius Severus), Clare Stancliffe (for the historical context of the fourth century) and Luce Pietri (for the historical context of late antique and early medieval city of Tours). Archeological works in the Touraine have been conducted by Charles Lelong and Henri Galinié. Recently it is to Elisabeth Lorans that we owe renewal of archeology in Marmoutier.

St. Martin's year 1960-1961 was marked by several symposia held in Tours, in Ligugé, in Rome, and remaining references until today. St. Martin's year 1996-1997 also gave the opportunity to hold conferences centered on Tours and on the sharing of the mantle.

The international symposium organized in Tours in 2016 (October 12th-14th) aims to address the « martinian figure » in all its breadth and all its influence. Several scientific fields, History, Archeology, Art History, Literary Studies, Ethnology and Anthropology, Theology, Economics, are called to focus on some fundamental issues that may arise in the following way :

If the origin of the cult has been well studied (cf. L. Pietri), further reflection should be exspected on the relationship between the spreading of a book and the success of a cult, as well as on the different dimensions of the cult. This original phase is marked by foundations in Touraine, in Poitou, but also in Rome and elsewhere in Gaul and Italy. The characterization of an original phase should allow to study the issue of revitalization, revival, renaissance, reappropriations, reinterpretations, in the history of the cult in relation obviously with the opposite phenomena of extinction, decline, erasure, obliteration, etc ... All this has been little studied in previous work. The various dimensions of the “martinian” cult are not necessarily combined in the same degree in the same period. Each phase of growth of the cult has probably its own springs and its own geography. It is particularly useful to cross history texts and archaeological datas on these different phases: foundations of the period of origins, Merovingian and Carolingian foundations, foundations of the central Middle Ages and foundations of more recent periods. At each stage there are issues of scale: across all regions of Europe where the cult was revived as opposed to those where it disappears; on a local scale the transfer of a patronage of a vanished church to a new church does not necessarily occur in the same place but may involve a logic of local relations.
How to locate the cult of St. Martin in this perspective in Italy, in the British Isles, Spain, in the Germanic area, in the Scandinavian area, in the Slavic area, in Hungary ...
In a broad periodization: Origins, Carolingian, Central Middle Ages, late Middle Ages, modern era, the nineteenth century, the twentieth century, it will be necessary to examine, in addition to history and archeology, as appropriate, the testimony of the literature, data of ethnology and anthropology (“martinian figure” as a major element of the calendar folklore), the artistic and musical production, theological thought (charitable activity is placed under the sign of St. Martin in Utrecht at the end of the nineteenth century or in London in 1924, but is it not specific to certain places and in contemporary times?).
Finally, the historiographical question, especially in the nineteenth century, should not be forgotten.

Submission guidelines

The proposals, contained in one page, can be submitted in English, French, German or Italian. They will be examined by the scientific council and selected according to their relevance to the argument of the conference.

The deadline for submitting proposals is December 31st  2015.

Scientific committee

The scientific committee is especially composed of

  • Luce Pietri (professeur d'Histoire ancienne, université de Paris IV Sorbonne),
  • Clare Stancliffe (Durham university),
  • Elisabeth Lorans (professeur d'Archéologie médiévale, université de Tours),
  • Bruno Judic (professeur d'Histoire du Moyen Âge, université de Tours),
  • Thomas Deswarte (professeur d'Histoire du Moyen Âge, université d'Angers),
  • Sylvie Labarre (maître de conférences de Latin, université du Mans),
  • Christine Bousquet (maître de conférences d'Histoire du Moyen Âge, université de Tours),
  • Yossi Maurey (professeur de musicologie, Université Hébraïque de Jérusalem),
  • Hervé Oudart (maître de conférences d'Histoire du Moyen Âge, université de Paris IV Sorbonne),
  • Chantal Senséby (maître de conférences d'Histoire du Moyen Âge, université d'Orléans),
  • Bruno Maes (maître de conférences d'Histoire moderne, université de Lorraine Nancy),
  • Robert Beck (maître de conférences d'Histoire contemporaine, université de Tours).


  • université de Tours
    Tours, France (37)


  • Thursday, December 31, 2015


  • saint-Martin, culte


  • Bruno Judic
    courriel : judic [at] univ-tours [dot] fr

Information source

  • Bruno Judic
    courriel : judic [at] univ-tours [dot] fr


CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« La figure martinienne, essor et renaissances de l'Antiquité tardive à nos jours », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Wednesday, May 06, 2015, https://doi.org/10.58079/slu

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