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Whose is the Pink Marble Tomb?

Priscillian

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 1999, Aragones 2000, Desde Le Puy 2002, Portuguese 2009, hoping RDLP 2014
I've asked this one before, but will try again.
The last time I was in Compostela, I noticed in the cathedral a tomb which no-one could tell me anything about. To orient you, at the "back" of the crypt, going around the semi-circle, stop dead in the middle (the holy door is behind you), and look through the bars. You might see a dim light shining upon a pink marble sarcophagus. I asked several official looking people about this and most claimed they had something more important to do than talk to me. No-one was able to tell me about the tomb's significance (it is directly "behind" the silver "remains of St. James" in the Crypt). If anyone can dig deeper (as it were) and gain any knowledge about this supposedly forgotten tomb, I would be very greatful.
Tracy Saunders
http://www.pilgrimagetoheresy.com
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
Tracey, there is a link to an interactive site of the cathedral on http://www.archicompostela.org that might help. Click on Catedral.

There is a Plano Catedral in my Santiago book - see picture here.



There is also on in the 12thC "The Pilgrim's Guide"



The names at the rear of the church, to the left of the Holy Door (facing it from inside the cathedral) are:
Capilla de Corticela, Capilla de San Juan Apostol, Capilla Ntra. Sa. La Blanca, Capilla San Salvador. Then its the Puerta Santa.
In front of those - from the left are:
Capilla de San Andries, Capilla Espiritu Sant, Capilla San Bartolome and in front of Bartolome is the Capilla La Concepcion.
(Interestingly, the 'new' Santiago book shows Capilla San Antonio next to the Puerta de la Azabacheria [on the left] but the old book shows that San Fructuoso is next to the door.)

On the right of the Holy door at the rear is San Pedro and in front of that is Capilla de la Azucenao de Dona Mencia and Capilla de Mondragon. In front of the Capilla de Mondragon is the Capilla de Pilar. To the right of the PorticoReal de la Quintana is the Torre del Reloj.
The Capilla Mayor is in the centre.

If this doesn't help, perhaps you can point out the exact position of the tomb, I'll try to read the name for you.
 

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Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
I think he´s referring to the tombs down under the main altar, adjacent to the "hot spot" where the urnful of St. James´ bones is on display.

When the excavators found James, they also supposedly found the remains of his first few followers. (he never had very many. He was not a very successful evangelist.) Those few, I´m told, are the people interred in the honorific pink marble. I´ll check again to be sure.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Rebekah Scott said:
He was not a very successful evangelist.

On the other hand, you might observe that we are still reading the Letter of St James two thousand years later. That might be regarded as a small measure of communications success... :D

Gareth
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Priscillian said:
No-one was able to tell me about the tomb's significance

Perfect! So, you could make up something. Let me guess. It's a tomb full of heretics? (Am I getting warm?) :)

Gareth
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
Er .... being passionate about religions as I am, I think you are referring to a different James Gareth. The Epistle (or Letter) of James is traditionally attributed to St James the Just (known as James of Jerusalem) and not to our Sant'Iago. :?
 
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Anonymous

Guest
sillydoll said:
Er .... being passionate about religions as I am, I think you are referring to a different James

You're quite right. Not having given it a great deal of thought and being nowhere near as passionate, I've never really looked into the background. :shock: So it appears our James hasn't got much going for him at all. Oh well, at least it's pretty well established that he rode out of the sky on a horse.

Gareth.
 

Priscillian

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 1999, Aragones 2000, Desde Le Puy 2002, Portuguese 2009, hoping RDLP 2014
Quote from Gareth:
"Perfect! So, you could make up something. Let me guess. It's a tomb full of heretics? (Am I getting warm?)"

So warm you might be approaching the nether regions of Heresyville!
Gareth are you missing me?

"established he rode out of the sky on a horse..."
:lol: :lol: :lol:

You gotta luv it!

http:/pilgrimagetoheresy.com
 

Trudy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2006) Roncesvalles to Leon (2007) Leon to Compostela
The question of who this tomb belongs to has always puzzeled me as well. It's not marked on any plan of the Cathedral, nor the Cathedral website, and has no plaque (at least not in 2007). One guidebook mentions that James had two followers but that there bones were placed in St James silver casket. The retablo over the pink tomb shows a boat, presumably carrying St James body, and the finding of three coffins. The third image I can't make out:
 

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Priscillian

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 1999, Aragones 2000, Desde Le Puy 2002, Portuguese 2009, hoping RDLP 2014
That´s the one, Trudy. It seems to be a mystery. No plaque in April 2008 either. Certainly it does look very old, Your photo turned out so much clearer than mine did. Sil suggested in an e-mail that it might contain the remains of Theodemirus, Bishop of Iria Flavia at the time of the discovery of "St. James" remains. perhaps, but why no official recognition if it is?
I'm going to have to...um...dig further!
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Priscillian said:
it might contain the remains of Theodemirus

I presume you have already looked at Georgiana Goddard King in relation to this? Since the boat and the three coffins in the photo now give more of a clue which is the tomb you are asking about, I was looking at that in August when I was there. If you look at King, p.35 she mentions Theodomir "discovering three sepulchres in a barrel-vaulted crypt". These three might relate to the curious history, mentioned later in her third volume, of the three "buried in one tomb which S. James had built" on Mount Olivet (i.e. James, Zacharias, Symeon). "He left directions that he should also be laid therein." (ref.King, p.338) http://openlibrary.org/details/wayofsaintjames03kinguoft

I have already given my opinion in this Forum about the unreliability of King's work, and much of this once again revolves around the confounding of the two James's - a trap we all seem to fall into at some point :? - but there is possibly some connection here, in the artwork on this tomb which relies on those very same confusions and old myths. However, when King goes on in the next paragraph to say the sepulchre with the three bodies "found at Santiago in the ninth century, existed at Jerusalem in the sixth," while giving no sources or footnotes, I just lose interest again and close the book!

By the way, Tracy, you will be pleased to hear that a great deal of time is devoted to exploring the history of 'gnosticism' in the formation process for the Catholic priesthood. This should be no surprise, because the Early Church had to define itself largely as a result of confusions arising in a Hellenistic world in which the outright anti-Judaism of people like Marcion and Montanus produced a rigoristic, puritanical approach to life which purged the Christian texts of any Jewish references. It was not for 'gnostic' heresy that Marcion was excommunicated in 144 AD, but radical anti-Judaism that was offensive to the Christian community. Fascinating stuff when you delve into it and look at the texts of the time. I was interested to see that one of the two prophetesses who followed Montanus was called Priscilla (c. 167-172 in Phrygia) but our Syriac expert professor told me there would be no connection whatsoever with Priscillian, later on and at the other end of the Medi... Apparently that would have been a common name and he would not have been knowingly named after his Montanist 'gnostic' predecessor, the charismatic Priscilla.

Anyway, that was a bit of a diversion. Keep exploring this tomb question: it sounds interesting. I'm sure it must be well documented somewhere.

Gareth
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
It´s prosaic, but perfectly possible that these "place of honor" tombs, right there under the altar, are used on a rotating basis for the remains of bishops, nobles, or other people important or rich enough to merit burial there. Using and re-using tombs was a longtime fundraiser in cathedrals and shrine churches all over Christendom, with places closer to the altars being the most prime. Whoever is in there (if anybody is) probably paid big money for the privilege, as did the body before him, and the body before him. I bet at least one of them was a heretic, or at least a heathen!

Just a guess.
Reb.
 

ksam

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese '08, Frances '11, del Norte '14, Invierno '16, Ingles '17, Primitivo October 2018
PINK marble....no wonder no one acknowledges being in there...ewww, pink??? Not this lifetime, and please lord, not the next! :lol:
Karin
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Karin said:
PINK marble....no wonder no one acknowledges being in there...ewww, pink???
Yes, quite. No refined Catholic taste at all... Probably was a gnostic.
Reb said:
I bet at least one of them was a heretic, or at least a heathen!
And even if it turns out to a be a Catholic's tomb, it could always be claimed that the heretics sabotaged the artwork with pink marble... :lol: (There's a comic conspiracy novel in there somewhere, Tracy...)

Gareth
 

Priscillian

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 1999, Aragones 2000, Desde Le Puy 2002, Portuguese 2009, hoping RDLP 2014
Sort of..."I´m pink; therefore I am"?

Actually in defense of pink, Spanish men wear a lot of pink(ish) shirts, and against that olive skin it looks very good on them I have to say. Maybe they are more secure in their sexuality??? :oops:
The tomb is sort of "rosy". Anyway, no more cans of worms.
Am working on the Pink Conspiracy Novel angle..........
 

Priscillian

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 1999, Aragones 2000, Desde Le Puy 2002, Portuguese 2009, hoping RDLP 2014
It has taken a LONG time, but I finally have an answer - from a Cathedral spokesman at any rate.
It wouid seem that this is only the "top" of a sarcophagus. It was located at this point at some past time to indicate where the "Tomb of St. James" was because access was restricted from the time of Archbishop Gelmirez (1100 - 1140) on- This I already knew. Diego Gelmirez decided to remove the sepulchre from plain site. Pilgrims could not visit it as you can do today. Instead they were able to visit the altar of Mary Magdalene (that in itself I find fascinating). This is "at the back" of the cathedral not far from the Holy Door and close to the first built chapel, that of El Salvador which actually predates Diego Gelmirez and has the faces of Bishop Diego Pelaez (later arrested on the grounds of treason) and King Alfonso V on their capitals. The pink marble and the star above it - so I was told - are Baroque. That during the baroque times no-body knew where the remains were was not considered.
I didn´t ask.
I thought it best.
 

Trudy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2006) Roncesvalles to Leon (2007) Leon to Compostela
Thanks for solving that Tracy. Odd that only the other day I was going through my photo albums, found one of the tomb, and wondered when someone would work out what it was!

Cheers ... Trudy
 

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