On the Sweet Fragrance of Healing in the Cult of Relics: Scented Oil Lamps, Holy myron and Myroblytes SaintsLale Doğer, Ceylan Borstlap
The fragrance, which emerged as an important element of the cult of saints, takes its place in religious rites in the Byzantine healing practices of sacred centers, funeral traditions and adventus ceremonies such as the consecration of an altar in the church. The physician-saints, who offer extraordinary therapeutic prescriptions with ordinary organic substances, play a major role in the relationship between relics and scent. As a source of miraculous healing, the saints have provided health services in the centers that have become hagios topos in the Byzantium geography since the Early Byzantine Period. The heavenly treatment was realized by anointing with holy waters agiasmós (ayazma) or rubbing by sacred blessings such as myron (μύρον), balsam, hnānā, soil and ointments; staying overnight in the sanctuaries for incubation and methods such as apomyrizo (ἀπομυρίζω) have been applied. The article evaluates with eulogia the cult-related elements, the phenomenon of smelling the therapeutic relics and finding healing with its spreading scent has been studied. The descriptions of the scented oils have been investigated in the miracle collections (martyrologium) handled through the Greek terminology of the Late Roman-Byzantine Period; by extension, the reliquaries used for scented relics and the oil lamps used as a part of a cult in the religious architecture has been examined. The word myron, which means ‘fragrant ointment’, has been etymologically studied in scriptures and hagiographic texts; was aimed to clarify the myroblytes (μυροβλύτης) saints, the meaning, and the Turkish translations of the word myron. According to the functions of scent, the classification of holy oils based on their time-spatial properties and the iconography of the fragrance have been defined.
Rölikler Kültünde Şifanın Tatlı Kokusu Üzerine: Parfümlü Yağ Kandilleri, Kutsal myron ve Myroblût AzizlerLale Doğer, Ceylan Borstlap
Azizler kültünün bir ögesi olarak ortaya çıkan koku, kutsal tedavi merkezlerinde Bizans şifa uygulamaları, cenaze litürjisi, adventus seremonilerinde kiliselerde altarın kutsanması gibi bazı dinî ritüeller içinde yer almaktadır. Rölikler ile koku arasındaki ilişkide olağan organik maddelerle olağanüstü teröpatik reçeteler sunan şifacı-azizler büyük rol oynamaktadır. Mucizevi şifa kaynağı azizler, Erken Bizans Dönemi’nden itibaren tüm Byzantium coğrafyasında hagios topos hâline gelen merkezlerde sağlık hizmeti vermiştir. Semavi tedavi, kutsal sular agiasmós (ayazma) ile mesh olunarak ya da kutsal lütuflar myron (μύρον), hnānā, toprak ve merhemlerin vücuda sürülmesiyle gerçekleştirilmiş; kutsal alanlarda geceleyerek inkübasyon ve apomyrizo (ἀπομυρίζω) gibi yöntemler uygulanmıştır. Bu makalede eulogia kült unsurlarıyla birlikte, sağaltıcı rölikleri koklama ve yayılan kokusuyla şifa bulma olgusu çalışılmıştır. Geç Roma-Bizans Dönemi Yunanca terminolojisi üzerinden ele alınan mucize koleksiyonları (martyrologium) içinde kullanılan kokulu yağlara dair tanımlar araştırılmış; kokulu rölikler için kullanılan rölikerler ve dinî mimaride kültün bir parçası olarak asılan yağ kandillerinin fonksiyonu değerlendirilmiştir. Kutsal ve hagiografik metinlerde kokulu merhem anlamına gelen myron kelimesi etimolojik olarak incelenmiş; myroblût (μυροβλύτης) azizlere, myron kelimesinin Türkçe çevirilerine ve anlamına açıklık getirmek istenmiştir. Koku işlevlerine göre zaman-mekânsal özelliklerine bağlı olarak kutsal yağların sınıflandırması yapılmış ve kokunun ikonografisi tanımlanmıştır.
This hagiographic research evaluates the phenomenon of smelling the therapeutic relics and finding healing with its spreading scent through the texts of Martyrologium. The miracle collections have been determined the holy cure formulas of martyr-saints, in which discussed through the Greek terminology of the Late Roman-Byzantine Period of the hagiographic texts by examining the relationship between the scent and the relics of the saints. Among the saints thaumatourgoi anargyroi St. Cosmas and Damian, St. Cyrus and John, and St. Artemios who have a strong healing cult in the capital Constantinopolis and Anatolia. In the cult of the physician-saints, some Byzantine saints have been produced divine medicine for humanity from their miracle-working relics. The myroblytis (μυροβλύτης) saint, who produced myron, played a major role in this research. Myroblytes St. Panteleimon, St. Demetrios, and St. Eugenios (and a few more myroblytes saints) have performed healing miracles with extraordinary therapeutic prescriptions with ordinary organic substances in the vitae of saints. Under favour of their tombs and relics, the saints provided health services with their miraculous healing methods in the locus sanctus centers. Myron liquid was pouring from the relics of St. Nikolaus of Myra, St. Luke, and St. Achilles of Larissa. As seen in the example of St. Gregorios of Mesampela, myron was also able to emanate from icons and even from the tombs of Byzantine emperors. Gregory of Nazianzus has anointed the altar with myron. In the miracle collections have investigated the descriptions of the scented oils, unguent, or ointments. The word myron has been etymologically studied in scriptures and hagiographic texts; was aimed to clarify the myroblytes (μυροβλύτης) saints, the meaning, and the Turkish translations of the word myron. It has been understood that myron is an adulterated ointment, described as a gift of God, and has a sweet scent. Another sacred medicine has been seen among the healing practices, was the wax-covered ointments. A scented ointment covered by honey wax and stamped with the image (ektypoma) of the healer-saint, is depicted similar to pilgrim tokens. Various cult-related elements such as wax-covered ointments for later use, hnānā, dust, soil, blood, and oils were transported by eulogiai containers to the different regions. Pilgrims believed that they could recover from their illnesses by contacting holy relics in various ways. As Theodore Studios stated baldly, the Byzantine people embraced “with faith and awe the full of divine grace of holy relics”. Whether commoner or emperor, it has been seen those prayers from all social stratum consult the healer saint in the cult of saints; pilgrims have filled the locus sanctus and for the dream-divination (incubation) stayed overnight in the sanctuaries. Among the many examples featured in miracle collections are: A pilgrim who entered the tomb of St. Menas and wanted to smell the relics; another has seen that the body of St. Artemios was opened and a scent came out for him to heal. In favour of a sweet smell that emerged when protomartyr St. Stephen’s tomb was discovered, many people there were healed at the same time. In this context, the reliquaries have been examined: pyxis and reliquary in the shape of a sarcophagus with holes were used for scented relics. It has also been studied the lamp oils used as a part of the cult of saints. The heavenly treatment was realized by anointing, rubbing, or drinking the lamp oils, as is the case with the lamp burning in the crypta of Theodora of Thessalonica. In between the miracles of St. Eustratius, has been learned that these burning lamps emit odour from the holy relics. The scent emanating from burning lamps has been discussed in our context. Fragrance fumigation is another way of gaining health through sacred figures by being covered with scent and/or intermingled with odour. Known to be a verb derived for this purpose, apomyríso (ἀπομυρίζω) was produced by the Byzantines. The pilgrims came to inhale the scented blessings from the icons and relics in the monastery of St. Eugenios, the patron saint of Trebizond. In the cult of saints, it has been seen that the way of pervading the scent within the areas of usage differed. Although the elements in these usage patterns, which emerged because of the relationship between scent and relic, are different, it has been seen that the meaning of the scent has not changed. The eulogia functions of the cult-related objects, the classification of holy oils based on their time-spatial properties and the iconography of the fragrance have been defined. The results obtained from this study, it is aimed to lead to a deeper understanding of how scented relics perform healing and the function of scent. Due to the miracle-working substances in the healing prescriptions used by the divine medicine carrying symbolic expressions, the analysis of iconology of the substances in question is more important for the believer who awaits a cure from heaven, rather than the chemical analysis on this earthly life.