“Frankish” or “Byzantine” Saint? The origins of the cult of Saint Martin in Dalmatia
Papers from the First and Second Postgraduate Forums in Byzantine Studies: Sailing to Byzantium, a cura di S. Neocleous, Cambridge, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, (2009)
This paper grew out of my research in Dalmatian hagiotopography and was originally meant to contribute to a scholarly discussion about the extent and the character of Byzantine presence in early medieval Dalmatia. As my work progressed, its focus became more and more narrow. From the bold and ambitious attempt to use local hagiotopography in order to identify and reconstruct a “sense of belonging” to the Byzantine Empire, in early medieval Dalmatia, it became a case study of the history of the cult of a saint not at all Byzantine at a first glance. Remembering the original inspiration of my enterprise, I would like to depart from the broader historical context, or, more precisely, the traditional narrative of the Byzantine presence in the Adriatic. Namely, the traditional master narrative maintains that the areas along the eastern Adriatic coast were under Byzantine rule from late antiquity (at least the age of Justinian (527-65)) until the late eleventh century.