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CSM Number : 15
Short name: The Death of Julian the Apostate Alternative: Julian the Apostate/ Death of Julian
Incipit: Todolos santos que son no ceo
Refrain: Todolos santos que son no ceo/ de servir muito an gran sabor/ Santa Maria a virgen, madre/ de Jesucristo, Nostro Sennor.
Summary of narrative
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Setting: Caesarea of Syria Protagonist(s): St Basil, St Mercurio, and the Emperor Julian

When the Emperor Julian was battling the Persians, he had to pass through Caesarea. St Basil came out to pay him homage. He greeted the emperor and offered him a loaf of barley bread. Julian spurned the gift and vowed to destroy Basil’s monastery and all of Caesarea. He told Basil he would make him eat hay, but Basil warned him that God would avenge him for the insult.

When Basil returned to the city, he assembled the people and told them about Julian’s threat. He ordered them to fast for three days and to hold vigils in the Virgin’s church so that she would stave off the attack.

Basil fell asleep in front of the altar and the Virgin appeared to him with a great host of saints. She promised to avenge Julian and summoned St Mercurio. The Virgin ordered him to take revenge. St Mercurio, riding on a white steed, and brandishing a lance, struck Julian in the middle and killed him. Basil saw all of this in a vision.

When he woke up, Basil called one of his companions and went to look at the place where he had placed the weapons of St Mercurio. When he could not find them, he realised that his dream had been a reality. He gathered the people and told that St Mercurio had killed Julian with a thrust of his lance — a blow better than that of any jouster. He said he had gone to St Mercurio’s tomb and had seen that his weapons were missing.

The people accompanied Basil to the tomb and, this time, they found the weapons there. St Mercurio’s lance was covered in blood, which proved that the Virgin had defended them against Julian. While the people were gazing with wonder at the weapons, a Syrian philosopher named Master Libano approached them. He had been at the battle and confirmed that Julian was dead.

He said he had seen a white knight deliver a great blow to Julian and told them he wished to remain with them and to convert to Christianity. Master Libano was baptised at once and then the people began to celebrate the feast of the Virgin.

Metrical data
Stanza: 9’ 9 9’ 9 9’ 9 9’ 9 Refrain: 9’ 9 9’ 9
No. of Stanzas: 20
Rhyme scheme: NANA | bcbcbcba Zejel:
MS locations:
T5, E15, To33
Poncelet reference
Cum s. Basilius ep. cum populo christiano (318)
apostasy, apparition, barley, baptism, blood, bread, dream, false accusation, fasting, feast day, hay, heretic, insult, knights (celestial), lance, philospher, conversion, emperor, Saint Basil, Saint Mercurio, Saints (other), tomb, vengeance (divine), vigil, vision, warfare
Click HERE for a list of recordings of this poem
Miracle Collection
Julian the Apostate Gil de Zamora
(Madrid, Biblioteca Nacional, MS 9503)
Julian the Apostate BL Mariale 3
(London, BL, Additional MS 35112, ff. 21-80; 90-94)
Julian the Apostate John of Garland
Julian the Apostate Gautier de Coinci
Julian the Apostate William of Malmesbury
Julian the Apostate Adgar
(London, BL, Egerton 612)
Julian the Apostate Nigel of Canterbury
(London, BL, MS Cotton Vespasian D.xix)
Julian the Apostate/ Death of Julian Mariale Magnum
(Paris Bibliothèque Nationale lat 3177)
Julian the Apostate Bartholomew of Trent
(University of Bologna, Codice 1794)
Julian the Apostate Dominic of Evesham
(Oxford, Balliol College, MS 240, ff. 137-148)
Julian the Apostate Anglo-Norman Miracles of the Virgin
(London, BL, Royal 20 B XIV, fols 102v-169)
Julian the Apostate/ Death of Julian Paris Mariale 1
(Paris Bibliothèque Nationale 14463)
Julian the Apostate BL Mariale 1
(Cotton Cleopatra C.x., ff. 101-144v)
Un recull de miracles de Santa Maria, procedent de Ripoll, i les Cantigues d’Alfons el Savi
Baraut i Obiols, Cebrià
A Paleographic Edition of the Alfonsine Collection of Prose Miracles of the Virgin
Chatham, James R.
Sources of the Cantigas of Alfonso el Sabio [AC]
Dexter, Elise Forsythe
Cantiga 14 del rey don Alfonso el Sabio, parafraseada con coros y orquesta por H.E.
Eslava, Hilarión
Cincuenta leyendas por Gil de Zamora, combinadas con las Cantigas de Alfonso el Sabio
Fita, Fidel
A retórica visual no Códice Rico das Cantigas de Santa María
Iacob, Mihai
A Feasible Source of the Denouements of the Exemplos in El Conde Lucanor
Keller, John Esten
Cantiga 135: The Blessed Virgin as Matchmaker
Keller, John Esten
Seeing is Believing: The Miniatures in the Cantigas de Santa Maria and Medieval Devotional Practices
Kennedy, Kirstin
Uma cantiga de Santa Maria
Lopes, Francisco Fernandes
O Livro dos Milagres da Bem-aventurada Virgem Maria
Martins, Mário
A sátira na literatura medieval portuguesa (séculos XIII e XIV)
Martins, Mário
Osservazioni sulle Cantigas di Alfonso X e sui Miracles di Gautier de Coincy
Marullo, Teresa
El cuadro ’La muerte de Juliano el Apóstata’, del pintor granadino Juan de Cieza, y la Cantiga no 15 de Alfonso X
Montoya Martínez, Jesús
La literatura caballeresca en la obra de Alfonso X
Montoya Martínez, Jesús
La caballería blanca o caballería ’celeste’ en la literatura hispánica
Montoya Martínez, Jesús
Milagres Medievais numa colectânea mariana alcobacense. Edição crítica, tradução e estudo
Nascimento, Aries Augusto, ed.
Revista teatral
Rioja, A. P.