Volume 5 Issue 3 CONTENTS


Saint Martin of Tours, the Honorary Hungarian1

Levente Seláf

Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest


St Martin was one of the most important hagiographical figures of France in the Middle Ages. Because of his Pannonian origins, he was also an important saint for the Hungarian kings and for the monks of the abbey of Pannonhalma, Martin’s supposed birthplace in medieval times, where his cult was the strongest in Hungary. Martin’s connection to Pannonia, which became part of Hungary after the settlement of Hungarians in the Carpathian Basin, was not totally ignored in France, where Martin’s cult took root. In the late twelfth century, the Historia septem sanctorum dormientium, a curious hagiographical story invented to support a new cult of the seven hermit saints of the abbey of Marmoutier, claimed that St Martin of Tours descended from the royal family of the Huns or Hungarians. Hungarian scholars investigated the origins and the spread of this motif in the early twentieth century, but on the basis of a mistaken, much earlier dating of the Historia.
In this essay, I establish the exact relationship and chronology of the known texts containing the motif of St Martin’s royal and Hungarian origins. Moreover, I offer a systematic survey of the saint’s medieval French biographies, showing how limited knowledge of this motif was outside the texts descending directly from the Historia. At the same time, I examine a hitherto unedited Old French legend contained in a single manuscript (Paris, BNF fr. 1534), a legend which constitutes an addition to the corpus of texts referring to Martin as a Hungarian prince.

Keywords: St Martin, hagiography, Hungarian-French cultural connections, Historia septem sanctorum dormientium, Conte de Floire et Blanchefleur, dynastic sainthood.

St Martin and Hungary

St Martin of Tours was one of the most popular holy figures of France in the Middle Ages, and his cult was widespread in the Christian world. Thanks to his first biographer, Sulpicius Severus, one of Martin’s disciples, we know a great deal about the major milestones of his life. Born in Pannonia in 316 as the son of an officer of the Roman army, he was converted in his early youth to Christianity. After serving as a soldier, he became a monk and a disciple of St Hilary of Poitiers. Elected bishop of Tours in 371, Martin died in the fame of sanctity in 397. Sulpicius Severus’ Martinian writings saw several adaptations from the fifth century on in Latin and later in Old French, frequently with numerous additions concerning his deeds and miracles in vitam and post mortem.

Because of his birthplace, St Martin of Tours was linked to Hungary in medieval France. One thus could say that Martin was the first historically attested saint who was represented in some religious texts, even if in a legendary way, as Hungarian.

The imaginary Hungarian or Hun origins of the saint appear in several texts related to his cult. Of course, for chronological reasons this kinship is impossible: the nomadic Huns arrived in Pannonia almost a century after Martin had been born and had left his birthplace, while the Hungarians only arrived at the Carpathian Basin at the end of the ninth century. Nevertheless, it is possible that this element contributed to the popularity of St Martin in Hungary. The cult of Martin was extremely important for the Hungarian rulers from the beginnings of the creation of the state; he was useful in the creation of an ideological basis of the kingdom as a major argument for the consolidation of Christianity in the country.2 In 997, prince Stephen (crowned king of Hungary only three years later) prayed to Martin before going to battle near Veszprém against the pagan Koppány, and Stephen remained faithful to him after his victory.3 In 1001, as a king he enriched with an important donation the Benedictine abbey of Pannonhalma, dedicated to the saint. Pannonhalma played an important role in later Hungarian history, and the abbey’s long-lasting prestige was certainly related to the preservation of the importance of the cult of St Martin for the Hungarian rulers. The chronicles of the first crusade have preserved the memory of the negotiations between king Coloman and the crusaders of Godfrey of Bouillon in Pannonhalma, considered at the time as Martin’s place of birth.4 Even later, during the twelfth-fifteenth centuries, Martin complemented very well the cult of the dynastic saints of Hungary.

The imaginary Hun or Hungarian descent of the saint acquired special importance in the eyes of scholars dealing with medieval French and Hungarian cultural relations,5 and it has even piqued the interest of people working in the field of cultural politics in the twenty-first century. Via Sancti Martini was created in 2005 on the image of the medieval pilgrimage routes, leading from Szombathely, built on the ruins of the ancient Roman city Savaria (considered today the birthplace of the saint), via Italy to Tours, following the stages of Martin’s life from the Orient to the Occident.6

I explore the representation of St Martin as a Hungarian through a systematic analysis of medieval French vitae of Martin. My intention is to examine the importance and the expansion of this information about Martin’s Hungarian origins in the cult of St Martin in France and to determine the extent to which it influenced the image of Hungary and the Hungarians in medieval France. After briefly presenting the medieval texts containing mention of the Hungarian origins of St Martin that were familiar to twentieth-century scholarship and the popular fictitious biography of St Martin created in the chanson de geste Belle Hélène de Constantinople (according to which he was of Greek and English origin), I present the results of a systematic overview of Martin’s many, hitherto mostly unpublished Old French vitae. I provide this overview in part with the intention of finding additional texts asserting the saint’s hypothetical Hungarian origins.

The Creation of a Fabulous Genealogy

The earliest document that contains a fictitious genealogy of St Martin connecting him to the royal dynasty of the Huns or, in other manuscripts, directly to the Hungarians is the twelfth-century Legend of the Seven Sleepers, or in Latin Historia septem sanctorum dormientium, which I cite as Historia (BHL 2320).7 The Historia narrates the story of the Seven Sleepers of Marmoutier, allegedly Martin’s cousins, who allegedly were living as hermits in the monastery founded by Martin, where he himself lived as a hermit, like his nephews. The function of this rewriting of the legend of the Seven Sleepers of Ephesus was to support the local cult of the hermits in the monastery of Marmoutier, which attracted a great number of pilgrims in the Middle Ages. It might have been construed as the “foundation charter” for the local cult of the hermits whose tombs were venerated as holy in Marmoutier, where several miracles occurred. Linking the Seven Sleepers to St Martin helped promote the fame of the abbey. The close ties between Martin and his nephews necessitated an important enlargement of the narrative about the saint’s youth: many new details had to be invented that were missing from Sulpicius Severus’ account. The anonymous author of the Historia presents Martin as a royal prince, and he describes the Hungarian kings living in Pannonia as rulers of a pagan kingdom which, after a lost battle, was conquered by the Romans and became part of the Roman Empire. The text gives a detailed genealogy of Martin’s family, listing his royal ancestors: the great-grandfather, Amnarus (Aumarus), his grandfather and father, both called Florus. While Amnarus was still an independent king, his captive son, Florus was only freed after he had renounced his crown. Florus the younger, his son, lived in the court of Emperor Constantine in Constantinople. He married Constantine’s niece and returned home to Pannonia to rule the country. Their son, also called Florus, was born in Pannonia. He went to study in Constantinople, where he was baptized by St Paul, the bishop of the city, and he changed his name to Martin. After he returned to Pannonia to join the imperial army as an officer, his life continued according to the vita of Sulpicius Severus. Martin’s nephews joined him in Marmoutier as hermits. They survived Martin, all falling asleep miraculously on the same day. They are “the Seven Sleepers” of the abbey.

It is surprising how far the compiler distanced his story from the original account of Sulpicius’ vita and its later rewritings. The dating of the Historia is obscure. Even in the earliest manuscripts, which date to roughly the end of the twelfth century, it was attributed to Gregory of Tours himself by a (false) letter supposed to have been sent by him to Sulpicius. In the nineteenth century, however, scholarship negated the Gregorian attribution on stylistic grounds and declared that it must have been composed much later. The generally accepted date was the ninth century. Ilona Király and Sándor Eckhardt, Hungarian scholars who studied the text in the first half of the twentieth century, dated it to the Carolingian period. This dating was questioned in the 1980s, when Guy-Marie Oury argued for a date in the second half of the twelfth century.8 The chief argument against the earlier dating is the absence of the cult of the Seven Sleepers in the Liber de miraculis of Marmoutier, which was composed in 1137. Their veneration must have begun only later. Oury suggested that the goal of the Historia was to consolidate the authority of the Abbey of Marmoutier by linking it to St Martin’s family and the newly discovered relics of his nephews. Hervé de Villepreux (1177–87), the abbot of Marmoutier, must have sponsored the compilation of the Historia: renouncing his position, he retired to the place where the Seven Sleepers died to live as a hermit for sixteen years. Oury rightly assumes that the cult of the Seven Sleepers was extremely important for the abbot personally.

The hypothesis of the late dating is somewhat weakened by Hervé de Villepreux’s letter to Philip, Archbishop of Cologne, written in 1181, in which he mentions the origins of St Martin and the history of the Seven Sleepers, referring to their legend, written by St Gregory of Tours. Is this a voluntary falsification by Hervé de Villepreux, who is then the inventor and the first witness of the cult of the Seven Sleepers? The cult, by all means, spread very rapidly between 1137 and 1180. Hervé refers to it as a popular and well-attested cult, also supported by the authority of St Gregory of Tours.

Sharon Farmer gave further proof in support of the contention that the Historia can be dated to the twelfth century.9 She connected the text to the rise of the “chivalric saint” in the twelfth century: as opposed to the holy crusader fighting the enemies of the faith, a new image of the virtuous prince, a young member of a royal dynasty who gives up his earthly kingdom to serve God as a hermit or a monk, became the model to follow. The figure of Martin as a knightly confessor and a young Hungarian royal prince is the most important innovation of the Historia. Dynastic holiness was on the rise in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries: the confessor kings were beatified at this time.10 Martin’s Christian name also reinforces the twelfth-century dating: born as Florus, he is given his new name in baptism after one of his uncles, a Christian bishop named Martin. This practice of name-giving only became widespread in this period. Remarkably, while Martin’s father remains pagan in both Sulpicius Severus’ text and the Historia, Martin converts much of the family in the later text.

Ilona Király focuses on Martin’s childhood and his royal descent as the son of the king of Hungary. Király pointes out that another Old French text also mentions Martin’s Hungarian origins: Maurice of Sully’s sermon to the feast of St Martin.11 No reliable critical edition of the sermons exists, this one might be also an apocryphon and it is impossible to know whether the vernacular or the Latin version was the earlier of the two. The exact dating of the sermons is debated. The earliest possible date is 1160. Király cites a half sentence from the French version: “Saint Martin fu nes de Hongrie” (“St Martin was born in Hungary”). There is no further indication of an influence of the Historia. Maurice of Sully does not refer to Martin’s royal descent in the sermon.

The “Hungarian Origins” as a Literary Motif: the Historia and the Conte de Floire et Blanchefleur

The twelfth-century dating of the Historia, makes necessary a revision of the intertextual relationship of the source text to its potential models and the texts influenced by it, a whole network of narrative sources. Király calls attention to the fact that the names of Martin’s father and great-grandfather, Florus and Aumarus, are rather frequent in the chansons de geste in their French forms (Floire and Aumer), and sometimes they even occur in the same context. An early dating of the Historia would have supposed that it exerted an influence on the vernacular texts, but in light of the new dating it is clear that it happened the other way.

There is another, even more important consequence of the late, twelfth-century invention of Martin’s fictitious genealogy. At that time, the kingdom of Hungary already existed. It is possible that the author of the Historia modeled Martin’s imaginary homeland on the shape of contemporary Hungary: his vision of the country may not have reflected merely a fabulous Hunnia-Hungaria, i.e. an exotic place-name without any direct reference, but the concrete reality, or at least the ideological construct that was Hungary in the twelfth century. At that time, St Stephen and St Emeric were both canonized, and the beata stirps of the Árpádians became the most important distinctive feature of the country. In the twelfth century, the ideal of royal sanctity was not yet very widespread in the Occidental world: the author of the Historia could have borrowed this ideological construct and may have adopted it to Martin and his family following the image of the saints of the Árpádians. If so, in his eyes it was not that Martin’s authority increased the prestige of Hungary. Rather, Martin’s fame was increased by the fact that he belonged to the dynasty of Hungarian monarchs. To maintain this hypothesis it is necessary to suppose that the author had some information about Hungary and its saints.12 There are no textual correspondences between the legends of St Stephen and Emeric on one side and the Historia on the other, but there are details in both that bear some resemblance. Florus, the father of Martin, marries Constance, the niece of the East-Roman Emperor, while Stephen married the sister “of the Roman emperor,,” as his legends claim.13 Another interesting parallel between the stories is Martin’s education in Constantinople, while it was precisely in the second half of the twelfth century, between 1165 and 1170, that a Hungarian prince, the future king Béla III, lived in the Byzantine court as the potential heir of Manuel I Komnenos. Of course, if we accept this parallel as mirroring the actual political reality, we have to date the Historia to the period after 1165.

Király draws an interesting comparison between the genealogies of Pepin the Short and that of St Martin as it is contained in the Historia. As she found several similar names, she supposed that the author of the Historia borrowed details from Pepin’s genealogy.14 Brichtildis, Martin’s grand-mother, and Blichtildis, mother of Pepin’s great-great-grandfather, have the same name, and it is important that there was a Martinus in Pepin’s family too. In my view, however, the other correspondences identified by Király are weak.15 All family trees resemble one another. I would not exclude the possibility that the writer of the Historia could have used also other models, and if he knew St Stephen’s legend, which affirms that Stephen was the fourth ruler of the Hungarians in Pannonia, we can reasonably hypothesize that the author of the Historia wanted to imitate this pattern when he suggested three ancestors of Martin as rulers of Pannonia. Incidentally, Pepin’s genealogy is much richer and more complex than the family trees of Stephen and Martin.16

I must mention a popular and relevant vernacular text, Floire et Blanchefleur, an early idyllic romance of rather controversial dating which is the oldest Old French romance starring a prince of Hungarian origins. It narrates the love of the pagan prince Floire and the Christian Blanchefleur. After many adventures, the two lovers marry and Floire converts his nation to Christianity. In the so-called aristocratic version of the text Floire is king of Hungary (in the other, he is king of Aumarie, which is a frequent name designating a Saracen kingdom of Iberia in the tradition of the chansons de geste, corresponding probably to Almería, in Spain). The most recent edition of the text dates the romance to 1150, but it is not clear whether Hungary was present in the first variant.17 Jean-Luc Leclanche, the critical editor, derives Floire’s name from the Historia, but if this derivation were accurate, Hungary would have had to have figured in the first version of the text, which is impossible if the Historia dates to the 1170s, as is suggested by Farmer and Oury. Huguette Legros has another hypothesis concerning the insertion of the reference to Hungary in Floire et Blanchefleur. She assumes that the romance was written around 1186 to please Marguerite Capet, future queen of Hungary, who married Béla III (who turned back from Constantinople some years before, as he had failed to inherit the Byzantine throne but had obtained the Hungarian crown) the following year: according to her, the loving couple of the romance, Floire and Blanchefleur, symbolically represent the alliance of the Hungarian and French rulers.18 Either the early dating of the romance is false, or it was the romance that influenced the Historia, and the author of the Historia might have borrowed the name of Martin’s father from the romance. But it is also possible that the reference to Hungary as Floire’s kingdom was effectively inserted later in the romance, reflecting already an influence of the Historia or Marguerite’s marriage to king Béla. It is important to note that the prologue of the romance claims that Bertha Broadfoot (Berthe aux grands pieds), Charlemagne’s mother, was the daughter of Floire and Blanchefleur: instead of giving St Martin Hungarian ancestors, this text gives them to Charlemagne. The motif of Bertha’s Hungarian origins appears also in Adenet le Roi’s Berte aus grans piés (after 1273–74) and other later romances of the Middle Ages.19

The Influence of the Historia on Later Martinian Literature

The earliest text outside the region of Tours that mentions the Seven Sleepers and Martin’s relationship to them is Guibert of Gembloux’s biography of St Martin. The Walloon monk wrote several vitae of the saint in verse (two versions, BHL 5637 and BHL 5636, from 1177–79 and 1181)20 and in prose (1205, BHL 5635). Guibert mentions the Seven Sleepers as Martin’s nephews, and he identifies Martin’s father as King Florus of Hungary. However, this cannot be taken as “independent evidence,” for Guibert sojourned several times in the Abbey of Marmoutier, and he wrote these texts upon his return to his monastery from Marmoutier. He must have acquainted himself with the legend of the Seven Sleepers during his stay in Martin’s monastery.

The earliest vernacular text that bears clear signs of the Historia’s influence is the Vie de monseignor saint Martin de Tors by Péan Gatineau, canon of St Martin in Tours.21 The date of this verse legend is debated, as is the identity of the author. Most probably it was written in the first half or second quarter of the thirteenth century by a canon of the Cathedral of St Martin in Tours. Péan Gatineau draws on several sources when compiling his long legend, most of them identified in the rubrics of the single surviving manuscript. Although the source of Martin’s youth is not indicated, it is clear that Péan draws his information from Sulpicius Severus and the Historia. He repeats the complicated genealogy, describes Martin’s education in Constantinople, his baptism by the holy bishop of the city, and his conflicts after his return to Hungary (while Sulpicius Severus does not say clearly where Martin’s family lived while he was a soldier, the Historia claims that they stayed in Hungary, instead of moving to Italy). An important addition to the source is the mention of the monastery founded on the birthplace of the saint, where pious monks honor his memory: all scholars considered it a reference to the Benedictine abbey of Pannonhalma, but no one knows where Péan Gatineau got this information.

Péan Gatineau’s verse legend was rewritten in prose in the fifteenth century, faithfully following the original. Preserved only in a fragmented manuscript (Tours, BM ms. 1025), from which unfortunately the first part, dealing with Martin’s youth, is missing, it was printed twice (in Tours in 1496 and in Paris in 1516). One exemplar of each printed text survives, allowing the reconstruction of the text. At the end of the manuscript there is a long notice in which the composer of the prose version affirms that he simply translated Péan Gatineau’s work and prays for peace and the success of the French kingdom against their enemies, evidently the English. Thanks to this text a rather precise dating of the version is possible:


A ce derrain miracle cy se taist Payen Gastineau qui ce livre fist et ceste hystoyre mist en rime. Et pource qu’il n’en parle plus fault que je me taise moy comme non saichant qui ay translaté et mys de ryme en prose ce que Paien Gastineau avoit fait. Si prenez en gré et s’il y a faulte de langaige ou d’escripture si vueillez supplier a mon nom seus et a ma simplesse et icelluy corriger le plus gracieusement que pourrez. […] [N]ostre doulx saulveur Jhesucrist qui doint bonne santé et bonne vie et longue a nostre bon roy Charles et la royne, a monseigneur le daulphin, a leur lignee et a tous ceulx du sang royal aiant bonne voulenté et ceulx qui mauvaise sont dieu les vuelle amander tellement qu’ilz recongnoissent leur droicturier seignieur. Aussi vueille delivrer tous prisonniers du sang real qui sont es mains de noz ennemys. Aussi que nous puissons avoir bonne paix et vivon en ce reaulme a l’onneur et au prouffit du roy et de la chose publique a la confusion et deshonneur de ces anciens ennemys estranges et privez.22

(At this last miracle keeps silent Payen Gastineau, who made this book, and put in rhymes this story. And as he says nothing more, I have to keep silence myself as an ignorant man who translated from rhyme to prose what Paien Gastineau had made. Accept it benevolently, and if there is any fault of language or writing in it, you have to attribute it only to my name and my simplicity, and I ask you to correct it with as much gracefulness as you can. [We must pray to Martin to intercede on our behalf to] Our Saviour Jesus Christ to give good health and long and good life to our good king Charles and to the queen and the dauphin, their lineage and everyone of the royal blood who is of goodwill, and may God punish those who are bad so that they recognize who is their legitimate lord. Might He liberate all prisoners of royal blood who are in the hands of our enemies, that we might have good peace and live in this kingdom to the honor and profit of the king and the community, but to the confusion and dishonor of the ancient enemies, whether they are distant or close.)


The prose version must have been written after the battle of Azincourt in 1415 but before the release of Charles of Orléans and his brother from the captivity in 1440, and in all likelihood after the promotion of Charles, count of Ponthieu (the future Charles VII), to the dignity of dauphin (1417) and before the death of Charles VI (1422). The author must have been a fervent supporter of the Valois dynasty, and it is possible that the prose version of Péan Gatineau’s legend is a sign of the renewal of interest in St Martin’s cult in this period, which was difficult for the French monarchy.

The Hungarian origins of St Martin receive the greatest attention in another text, a mystery play composed by an anonymous author at the end of the fifteenth century.23 It was preserved in a now lost sixteenth century printed edition, and it is known only from an edition published in 1841. About half of the text is devoted to Martin’s youth. His father, the pagan king of Hungary, entrusts Martin to his cousin, the duke of Acherance, to give him the courtly and knightly education necessary to become a good sovereign. Martin’s sister is married to the pagan prince of Milan: their son is Brice, who will succeed Martin as bishop of Tours. Martin is converted by a hermit, and after the death of his father, when he is crowned king, he renounces the throne in favor of the prince of Milan, whom he had converted. While Martin leaves Hungary in secret to dedicate his life to Christ and become a monk in Marmoutier with his nephew Brice so as to accomplish the career known from his vita, the duke of Milan and the pagan prince of Acherance fight for the Hungarian throne. With the blessing of God, the duke of Milan triumphs in the battle and becomes the legal heir to Martin as king of Hungary.

In this play, there is no mention of the Seven Sleepers, no direct borrowing from the Historia or Péan Gastineau’s legend. Certain episodes suggest that the author might have known one of these texts, but his goals were not related to the cult of the Seven Sleepers in Marmoutier or in Tours. Was this mystery play ever performed? For what occasion was it written? These questions remain unsolved. Nevertheless, it is clear that the conversion of Hungary to Christianity is an important topic in the play.24

In the fifteenth century, another text telling the story of Martin’s birth became much more popular than the Historia. It was the famous fourteenth-century chanson de geste Belle Hélène de Constantinople, in which St Martin and St Brice, his successor as bishop of Tours, are represented as brothers, sons of the Byzantine princess Helene and King Henry of England. The great number of manuscripts and two fifteenth-century prose versions of this poem prove that this alternative genealogy of the saint was much more popular than the earlier Historia at that time.25 The first, mid-fourteenth-century verse text, a variant of the “tale of Constance” is preserved in five manuscripts, and it was translated into prose twice in the fifteenth century: the first, anonymous one is conserved in three manuscripts and several incunabula and early prints, while that of Jean Wauquelin26 is preserved in only one copy. The amount of surviving evidence attests to the greater popularity and wider spread of the Belle Hélène compared to the tradition of the Historia. The reasons are multiple: the complicated, romantic story of the text written later better fit the needs of a large public, while the sober narration of Martin’s life and miracles could serve as an inspiration for literary works of several genres as we have seen, but could not obtain a similar effect. St Martin has a secondary role in the romance. His presence strengthens the authority and reliability of a text filled with several of the miraculous adventures of his legendary family. It seems that the anonymous author of the mystery play on St Martin knew not only the Historia but the chanson de geste too, which is why he proposes a kinship between Brice and Martin, even though in his text Brice and Martin are not brothers. Rather, Martin is Brice’s uncle.

A non-literary document attesting to the influence of both the Historia and the Belle Hélène de Constantinople is a family tree of the saint, preserved on a double folio manuscript compiled sometime at the end of the fifteenth or beginning of the sixteenth century.27 The family tree is traditionally attributed to Ambroise de Cambrai (d. 1496), counsellor to King Louis XI and the holder of several important ecclesiastical and lay dignities.28 Among Martin’s ancestors and relatives we find all of the important, legendary rulers of the early medieval world, including not only his father, the Hungarian King Florus, but the emperors of Constantinople and kings of England as well, including Arthur and Uther. The compiler used all available sources to create a glorious and mighty lineage for St Martin. He drew on the Historia septem dormientium and the Belle Hélène de Constantinople, since he regarded these texts as authentic and true.

­Further Traces of the Historia’s Influence on Medieval Hagiographical Literature

To summarize my observations thus far, in addition to the Latin sources (the Historia, Guibert of Gembloux’s vitae, Alberic of Trois-Fontaines chronicle), there are four known vernacular texts containing references to the Hungarian origins of the saint. We can measure the real impact of these scarce data only if we compare them to other vernacular texts dealing with St Martin’s origins. For this reason, I carried out a systematic analysis of all medieval French biographies of St Martin in search of his link to Hungary, and I present the results of this survey in the following.

The medieval French legends of Martin were thoroughly gathered and enumerated in the JONAS database of the IRHT, in the framework of a research program aiming to collect all Old and Middle French hagiographical texts.29 At the moment, 36 items are registered concerning St Martin, 20 of which are legends. Some of them were translated from the same Latin source, but most of them are preserved in more than one manuscript, and the textual testimonies sometimes differ significantly, so these high numbers confirm that Martin was one of the most popular saints in medieval France, and his legend was widely read and rewritten in vernacular throughout the Middle Ages.

An overview of all of the medieval French legends of Martin (and of their Latin sources) shows that the motif of his Hungarian origins invented by the Historia had very little impact on the strictly hagiographical texts.30 Most of them constantly use Sulpicius Severus’ account, directly or indirectly, which includes only a half-sentence on Martin’s place of birth:


Igitur Martinus Sabaria Pannoniarum oppido oriundus fuit, sed intra Italiam Ticini altus est. Parentibus secundum saeculi dignitatem non infimis, gentilibus tamen.

(Martin was born in Sabaria, the city of the Pannonians, but he grew up in Italy, in Pavia. His parents were, according to the judgement of the world, of no mean rank, but they were pagans.)


This sentence was translated in all the legends I know of, but the interpretation of Sabaria and the “city of the Pannonians” appears in a great variety in them. The oldest French legend of Martin is attributed to Wauchier of Denain, one of the most prolific French translators and authors of the early thirteenth century. In a cycle of legends dedicated to eight confessors, he prepares an entire hagiographical dossier about Martin, including not only the vita made by Sulpicius Severus but also the history of the translatio of the saint and the dialogues of Sulpicius.31 The 17 surviving manuscripts mention “Sabaria” and talk about “Pannonia” instead of the “city of the Pannonians,” but in very different forms in the sentence translated from Sulpicius. For instance, in the manuscript Paris, BNF fr. 23112 we find the following: “Sains Martins fu ne de la contree de Pannonie d’un castel qui avoit a non Isapharie.” (St Martin was born in the region of Pannonie in a castle called Isapharie.)32

The later Old French legends either omit one or two of these strange names or modify them totally. We find “Sabaire” in the French translation of John of Mailly’s legend (Abbreviatio in gestis et miraculis Sanctorum, c. 1243, translated in the thirteenth century), while the manuscripts of the translation of the Legenda aurea made by John of Vignay (before 1348) propose “Salune” or “Salurie.” The tribe of the Pannoniens is also altered in various ways. Sometimes Pannonia is used, the correct name of the Roman province, but only rarely. The people living there are referred to as “Pononiens, Pannoniers, Panoniens,” while the geographical name occurs in forms like “Pannonie, Pannonye, Pannone, Pamo,” or even “Patmos,” probably under the influence of the Visions of St John. None of these sources insert a digression explaining the identification of the antique Pannonia with medieval Hungary, and the localization of Sabaria or its contemporary, medieval equivalent remains totally obscure. The French readers of these legends could hardly have even suspected that the remnants of this city are found in Hungary.

There is one exception that clearly shows the influence of the Historia. One of St Martin’s French legends, preserved in a single manuscript (Paris, BNF fr. 1534) and totally neglected by scholars and still unedited, narrates the origins of the saint in the following way:


Saint Martin fust de mont noble ligniee et de saincte vie. Il fu né de Pannonie qui ore est appellée Hongrie. Et fu filz Floires qui fu filz Eaumer Roy de Hongrie. Mauximien et Hercules cachierent Eaumer de Hongrie et cachierent hors de la terre, et Floires qui plus ne fu mies subget a l’empiere, puis prist Brigide nieche au roy d’Esoigne dont saint Martin fust, qui out deulx freres Hilgius et Floires le mendre qui fu mont saint homme. Saint Martin fu sy aumosnier, que de son enffance il donnoit pour dieu et sy ne savoit qui dieu estoit. Hilgius ot vii. filz. Aucuns dient que ce furent lez sains sept dormans qui sont a Tours en une eglise. Saint Martin lessa pere et mere et vint a Paiani l’evesque de Costentin noble qui le baptiza, a trois cens et lxiiij ans de la nativité. Puis revint a son pere qui le mena a Constant emperie de Romme qui le fist chevalier et fust chevalier .v ans puis vint en France et ung vallet a lui a qui mainte fois terdy ses soulles. Or adonc que Julien cesar ot besong de chevalier, sy manda Martin qui estoit nouvel chevalier qu’il venist a luy et il y vint. Et ly dist l’empeuere qu’il convenoit que il allast en la bataille. Et Martin ly dist: A moy n’est mie de combatre et se je vois je n’y porteroy escu, ne lances mes quant j’auroy feste la crois en mont front je les ire envaie.33

(St Martin descended from a very noble lineage, and he lived a very holy life. He was born in Pannonia, today called Hungary. He was son of Floire who was son of Eaumer, king of Hungary. Maximianus and Hercules deposed Eaumer and expelled him from his land, and Floire, who was no longer a subject of the empire, married Brigide, niece of the king of Saxonia. Martin was their son. He had two brothers, Hilgius and Floires the younger, who was a very holy person. St Martin was so charitable that he gave alms for God even before he knew of His existence. Hilgius had seven sons. Some people say they were the seven sleepers who are in Tours in a church. St Martin left his father and mother and came to Paiani, bishop of Constantinople, who baptized him in 364 AD. After that, he went back to his father, who brought him to Constant, emperor of Rome, who dubbed him knight, and he remained a knight for five years. After that, he came to France with a servant, to whom he cleaned several times the shoes. After that, when the Caesar Julien needed knights, he sent people for Martin, who was a newly dubbed knight, to order him to come, and he came. And the emperor told him that he was supposed to go to the battle. And Martin answered: “I am not willing to fight, and if I go there, I will bring neither shield nor lance, but when I make the sign of the cross on my forehead, I will conquer them.)


Probably the origin of this legend is not closely related to Tours, but the compiler must have read or heard the fabulous story of Martin’s royal birth. He could have read either the Historia or one of the texts reflecting its influence. The link between Martin and the seven sleepers is a clear sign that the Historia was at least the indirect source for him. Compared to the Historia, the genealogy of Hungarian kings has one element less, and there are some other slight changes in the data, but this may be simply an alteration that was made to the unique conserved manuscript. It is worth noting that the legend of the Seven Sleepers of Ephesos is also contained in the same manuscript, moreover in a unique variant. This is not the text of the Historia, but again it shows some knowledge of the cult of Marmoutier, because at the end the legend states that the relics of the sleepers were moved from Ephesos to the abbey: “... jusques au temps a une roigne de France Constance qui les fist porter a Mermonstier jouxte Tours l’an IX cens et VIII ans ou ilz repposent.”34 (...till the time of a queen of France, called Constance, who brought them to Marmoutier near Tours in 908, and from that time on they remain there.)

There are two potential candidates for the queen of France mentioned in the legend, but for chronological reasons neither one is her. She cannot have been Constance of Arles, who married Robert II in 1003 and died in 1032, or Constance of Castille, Louis VII’s second wife (1154–60), as their lifetimes do not correspond to the date indicated in the legend, and I am not aware of any transfer of relics from Ephesus to Arles during the period of their reign. But despite the contradictory and confused data of the text (maybe due to a negligent copyist), this version of the Seven Sleepers is further evidence that the author of the compilation, who must be responsible for Martin’s legend and that of the Seven Sleepers, knew some of the local traditions of Tours and Marmoutier, and he was aware of the role of the abbey in the cult of the Seven Sleepers, and probably this is why he tried to reconcile the data of the Historia and the vita composed by Sulpicius Severus. If not from an oral source, the author may have taken his information either directly from the Historia or from Péan Gatineau’s Vie de Monseignor saint Martin, or possibly from a vita written by Guibert of Gembloux, and he completed with it his translation of the Legenda aurea, based on Sulpicius’ account.


Apparently, in the huge hagiographical material dedicated to St Martin, the question of his origins was not of high importance. As in the case of many other saints, the laconic narrative of the original legend was enlarged in some texts written in the twelfth century, but the circulation of the enlarged version as we find it in the Historia and its textual family remained limited. There are different reasons for the rarity of this motif in later hagiographical material. First, the Historia septem dormientium was never so widespread and never obtained the fame of Sulpicius’ legend: probably because an eye-witness of Martin’s life was more reliable than an anonymous text that bore the signs of its primary goal (to support the abbey of Marmoutier) and contained some evidently spurious data. Martin’s popularity based on Sulpicius Severus was very high before the twelfth century. The Historia did not become an alternative legend of St Martin: it remained the main document of the cult of the Seven Sleepers of Marmoutier, and the scarce testimonies of this local cult prompted few new texts. The most popular hagiographers of the thirteenth century, like Jacobus de Voragine, did not use the Historia for their compilations, so its impact could not be strengthened by them as intermediaries. But it is important to note that not only the Historia but Péan Gastineau’s legend and its prose version also contained mention of the alleged Hungarian origins of the saint: they had a somewhat larger impact, and on different types of texts (Guibert of Gembloux’s Latin legend, Alberic’s chronicle, the anonymous mystery play, Ambroise de Cambrai’s genealogical table, and the newly discovered Old French legend). Nevertheless, neither in the mystery plays nor in the historical compilations are Martin and Hungary more strongly connected than in the vitae: for instance Andrieu de la Vigne’s Mistère de saint Martin (1496) or Vincent of Beauvais’ Speculum historiale (1246–63) did not mention Hungary as his birthplace.

Independently of the Historia, Old French legends rarely identified Pannonia with Hungary. Maurice of Sully’s above mentioned sermon, if it is authentic, might be an exception, as we do not know whether it was textually related to the Historia or was independent of it. The identification of the ancient Roman province and Hungary required a certain cultural knowledge from the scribes and compilers of medieval legends, and they did not always have this knowledge. The wish to remain faithful to Sulpicius Severus’ text or to its translators was stronger than the wish to update the information about the saint’s birthplace. Names and toponyms are the most fragile data in medieval texts, in which misspellings, autonomous interpretation, and false etymologization are very frequent: this is why “Sabaria Pannoniarum oppido” appears in such a wide variety in the sources.

When a text written in medieval France identifies Hungary as the birthplace of St Martin, one can reasonably suspect that this is due to the influence of the Historia and its textual network. The notion of St Martin as royal offspring, however, appears in other texts, such as the Belle Hélène and its prose versions. In this case, Constantinople and England supplemented Hungary, as the wandering Byzantine princess married the English king. There is a slight hesitation in the vernacular translations of the position held by St Martin’s father in the army, in the Old French legends independent of the Historia and the Belle Hélène. Sometimes they give him a very high rank, but none of them refers to him as a prince or a king. However, I think that this idea was not totally alien to the medieval compilers who considered that St Martin must have had an important status and a promising future as a layman in order to give greater weight to his renouncement of both. An interesting example is found in a fourteenth-century manuscript of the French version of Vincent de Beauvais’ Speculum historiale, translated by John of Vignay (Paris, BNF fr. 51, fol. 250), a miniature representing St Martin’s baptism. This is highly unusual in the saint’s iconography. It might reflect the impact of the frequently mentioned scene of the “baptism of a pagan or Saracen king.”35 The baptism of the king is connected to the conversion of Clovis in the iconography of the French chronicles. The pictorial cycles in the manuscripts of the chansons de geste also include similar images. For me, this clearly denotes the fact that the designer of the manuscript sought to illustrate the noble descent of St Martin and thus associate him with the Merovingians and the later French kings, even if the text does not mention Martin’s royal ancestors.

It seems almost certain that St Martin’s genealogy as outlined in the Historia was created in the last quarter of the twelfth century in order to buttress the importance of Tours and Marmoutier. The invention of the cult of the Seven Sleepers was intended to reinforce the cult of St Martin by creating a new local ritual of worship. The chronology of the spread of the Historia shows that the text did not remain as popular after the first half of the thirteenth century. Its importance was limited geographically and temporally as well: we can see it as a tool in a campaign to promote St Martin (somewhat neglected by the French kings in the twelfth century in favor of St Denis).36 The rise of the Kingdom of Hungary and the consolidation of its international prestige at the end of the twelfth century (thanks to the recently canonized dynastic saints of the House of Árpád) might also have contributed to the formation of the new image of St Martin: the pagan prince converted to Christianity, who renounced his earthly glory and crown to serve God.37 From this point of view, the Historia might be seen as the first piece of evidence of the international acknowledgement of the beata stirps of the Árpádian dynasty. We can thank this text and the subsequent texts that drew on it for the prefiguration of the pious Hungarian prince in the image of St Martin, and the limited but long-lasting influence of the Historia indicates the presence of the idea of “holy Hungary” in France, at least until the end of the fifteenth century.



Archives Indre-et-Loire, Liasse G. 365.

Paris: Bibliothèque Nationale de France (BNF) fr. 1534

Tours: Bibliothèque Municipale (BM) MS 1025


Adenet le Roi, Berte as grans piés, edited by Albert Henry. Textes littéraires français, 305. Geneva: Droz, 1982.

Beaune, Colette. Naissance de la nation française. Paris: Gallimard, 1985.

Bibliotheca hagiographica latina antiquae et mediae aetatis, 2 vols, Brussels: Société des Bollandistes, 1898–1901. (BHL)

Csernus, Sándor. “La Hongrie, les Français et les premières croisades.” In Les Hongrois et l’Europe: Conquête et intégration, edited by Sándor Csernus, Klára Korompay, 411–26. Paris–Szeged: Université de Szeged (JATE)–Paris III–Sorbonne Nouvelle (CIEH)–Institut Hongrois de Paris, 1999.

Eckhardt, Alexandre. De Sicambria à Sans-Souci: Histoires et légendes franco-hongroises. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1943.

Érszegi, Géza, ed. “Szent István király nagy legendája” [The Great Legend of King St Stephen]. In Árpád-kori legendák és intelmek [Legends and exhortations of the Árpád Era], Budapest: Szépirodalmi, 1983.

Farmer, Sharon. Communities of Saint Martin: Legend and Ritual in Medieval Tours. Ithaca–London: Cornell University Press, 1991.

Folz, Robert. Les Saints rois du Moyen Âge en Occident (VIe–XIIe siècles). Brussels: Société des Bollandistes, 1984.

Hartvic. “Life of King Stephen of Hungary.” Translated by Nóra Berend. In Medieval Hagiography: An Anthology, edited by Thomas Head, 378–98. London: Routledge, 2001.

Király, Ilona. Szent Márton magyar király legendája. [The Legend of St Martin, king of Hungary]. Bibliothèque de l’Institut Français à l’Université de Budapest 8. Budapest, Eggenberger, 1929.

Klaniczay, Gábor. Holy Rulers and Blessed Princesses: Dynastic Cults in Medieval Central Europe, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000.

Knutsen, Katharine Anne, ed. Mystere de la vie et hystoire de monseigneur sainct Martin: édition critique. Unpublished PhD thesis, University of Massachusets, 1976.

Koszta, László. “Szent Márton tiszteletének magyarországi kezdete: Megjegyzések Pannonhalma alapításához” [The beginnings of St Martin’s cult in Hungary: Remarks on the foundation of Pannonhalma]. In Tiszatáj 55 (2001): 79–84.

Lecoy de la Marche, Albert. Vie de saint Martin: évêque de Tours, apôtre des Gaules. Tours: A. Mame et fils, 1895.

Legros, Huguette. La rose et le lys: étude littéraire du „Conte de Floire et Blancheflor.” Aix-en-Provence: Publications du CUERMA, 1992.

Leurquin, Anne-Françoise and Savoye, Marie-Laure. “Notice de Vie de saint Martin de Tours, anonyme.” Jonas-IRHT/CNRS database. Accessed March 19, 2016. http://jonas.irht.cnrs.fr/oeuvre/7230

Oury, Guy-Marie. “Les sept dormants de Marmoutier: La vocation à la réclusion,” Analecta Bollandiana 99 (1981): 315–27.

Pitra, J. B., ed. Analecta sanctae Hildegardis opera Spicilegio Solesmensi parata. Monte Cassino: n.p., 1882. [Reprint: Farnborough, 1966.] Accessed February 25, 2016. https://archive.org/stream/analectasanctae00hildgoog#page/n630/mode/2up.

Robert d’Orbigny. Le conte de Floire et Blancheflor, edited by Jean-Luc Leclanche. Paris: Champion, 2003.

Roussel, Claude, ed. La Belle Hélène de Constantinople: Chanson de geste du XIVe siècle. Textes littéraires français 454. Geneva: Droz, 1995.

Seláf, Levente. “Egy exemplum változatai: A magyar királyfi mint Mária jegyese és aquileiai pátriárka.” [Variants of an exemplum: The prince of Hungary as bridegroom of the Virgin and patriarch of Aquileia]. In Irodalomtörténeti Közlemények 113, no. 5–6 (2008): 582–98.

Seláf, Levente. “Párhuzamos életrajzok: Szent Erzsébet és Ysabelle de France legendái” [Parallel lives: Legends of St Elizabeth of Hungary and Isabelle de France]. In Árpád-házi Szent Erzsébet kultusza a 13–16. században [The cult of St Elizabeth in the thirteenth–sixteenth centuries], edited by Dávid Falvay, 141–51. Studia Franciscana Hungarica 2. Budapest, Magyarok Nagyasszonya Ferences Rendtartomány, 2009.

Söderhjelm, Werner. Das altfranzösische Martinsleben des Péan Gatineau aus Tours. Tübingen, 1896.

Thompson, John Jay. “Introduction to Wauchier de Denain.” In La vie mon signeur seint Nicholas le beneoit confessor, 11–47. Geneva: Droz, 1999.

Tolan, John. “Le baptême du roi « païen » dans les épopées de la Croisade.” Revue de l’histoire des religions, 217, no. 4 (2000): 707–31.

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JONAS database http://jonas.irht.cnrs.fr/

1 In parallel with the redaction of this study I prepared an article in Hungarian on Old French legends about St Martin, containing more citations of medieval sources and adopting a somewhat different approach. It will be published in a volume dedicated to the 1700th anniversary of St Martin. The main arguments of the two texts are the same, but they are not identical.

2 Koszta, “Szent Márton,” 79–84.

3 According to St Gregory of Tours, Clovis was also helped by St Martin before a battle, so his role as a helper in military affairs was well attested for a long time.

4 Csernus, “La Hongrie,” 411–26.

5 The best documented and even today still most influential overview of the French tradition of St Martin’s Hungarian origins is a study published in Hungarian by Ilona Király in 1929, see Király, Szent Márton. A point of reference in Hungarian scholarship, it is practically unknown outside the country, except for some references given by Sándor Eckhardt, who refers to it in his book dedicated to the Hungarian–French cultural relations of the Middle Ages. See Eckhardt, Sicambria. Király collected with great competence and engagement numerous records of medieval French and Hungarian ecclesiastical relations in French archives and libraries before World War II, when, in 1940, the municipal library of Tours was bombed, resulting in the disappearance of several documents. For this reason, her work remains an important source collection, but several minor faults and misunderstandings in it make it necessary to revise her overview.

6 Accessed October 11, 2016, http://www.viasanctimartini.eu/.

7 Bibliotheca hagiographica latina (BHL). The only modern edition of the Historia is in the Patrologia Latina vol. 71, c. 1106–08. It is not reliable and does not really help clarify the original form of the text. I could not collate the surviving manuscripts, so I take these data from the PL-edition of the text. For a list of the manuscripts see Oury, “Les sept dormants,” 319.

8 Oury, “Les sept dormants.”

9 Farmer, Communities of Saint Martin.

10 See Klaniczay, Holy Rulers; Folz, Les saints rois.

11 He was bishop of Paris, 1160–96, see Király, Szent Márton, 39.

12 This knowledge of the lives of Hungarian saints would not be exceptional, as the anonymous author of the oldest French legend (circa 1243–62) of St Elisabeth of Hungary claims to have read the legend of St Stephen, see Seláf, “Párhuzamos életrajzok,” 141–51.

13 Hartvic, “Life of King Stephen,” 378–98; Érszegi, “Szent István király nagy legendája,” 27.

14 Király, Szent Márton, 32–33.

15 Király considered Amnarus as equivalent with Arnaldus, Florus with Flodulfus, Hilgrinus with Galechisus, see Király, Szent Márton, 33.

16 I remark very prudently that to my ears the name Aumarus/Amnarus (Martin’s great-grandfather) is more similar to the Hungarian Álmos (Almus/Aumus) than to Arnaldus, Pepin’s great-grandfather, an analogy proposed by Király. Of course, such a precise knowledge of the names of Hungarian leaders by the author of the Historia is not probable at all.

17 Robert d’Orbigny, Le conte de Floire et Blancheflor.

18 Legros, La rose et le lys, 14–35.

19 Adenet le Roi, Berte as grans piés.

20 Pitra, Analecta sanctae Hildegardis, 582–91.

21 Söderhjelm, Das altfranzösische Martinsleben.

22 MS 1025, fol. 117r-v. This is my transcription. I am very grateful to Régis Rech, director of the Bibliothèque Municipale of Tours, for providing me with the digital reproduction of some folios of the manuscript, which enabled me to transcribe this passage.

23 Knutsen, Mystere, 29 sq.

24 Although there is no evidence in support of it, the notion that the mystery play could have been composed for or performed on the occasion of the alliance of the French, Polish and Hungarian crowns in 1500, sealed by the marriage of Anne de Foix-Candale and King Wladislaus II of Hungary in 1502, is a charming hypothesis.

25 Roussel, La Belle Hélène de Constantinople.

26 Wauquelin, La Belle Hélène de Constantinople.

27 Archives Indre-et-Loire, Liasse G. 365. I am very grateful to the personnel of the archive, who sent me some high-quality digital reproductions of the document.

28 The attribution comes from Lecoy de la Marche, who at the end of the nineteenth century could still read the title of the table. The photos I received from the Archives Indre-et-Loire do not enable one to read the title of the text, which is badly damaged. Lecoy de la Marche’s reading is the following: “Généalogye du tres glorieux confesseur et amy de Nostre Syeur monsieur S. Martin, évesque de Tours, extraicte de diverses escriptures aucthenticques, composée a la dévotion du tres chrestyen roy de France Louys, unziesme de ce nom, et par son commendement mise en cest ordre par messire Ambroys de Cambray, docteur es droictz, conseiller et maistre des requestes ordinaire de l’hotel dudit seigneur,” see Lecoy de la Marche, Vie de saint Martin, 72. Ambroise was “maître des Requêtes de l’Hôtel du roi” from 1473; Louis XI died in 1483, so one can date the document between these two dates. It is not clear how or when the chart landed in the Archives Indre-et-Loire in Tours, and we do not know if the document was commissioned by the royal family, proving the interest of the dynasty in the patronage of St Martin, or by someone else related to Tours or Marmoutier.

29 Accessed October 11, 2016, http://jonas.irht.cnrs.fr/.

30 In the followings all transcriptions of the manuscripts are mine on the basis of the originals or digital copies available on Gallica (Accessed October 11, 2016, www.gallica.bnf.fr) or in the library of the IRHT in Paris. Exceptions are indicated in the footnotes.

31 Thompson, “Introduction”, 11–47. There is no critical edition of Wauchier’s Martinian dossier.

32 Some other variants: BNF fr. 185: “Sains Martins fu nez en la cité de Pannonie, d’un chastel qui Ysapharie estoit appelez.,” BNF fr. 412: “Seinz Martins fu nez de la contree de Pannone d’un chastel qi Ysabbarie avoit non.,” BNF fr. 413: “Saint Martin fut nez de Panone d’un chastel qui Ysapharie avoit non.,” BNF fr. 23117: “Sains Martins fu nez de Pavone d’un chastel qui Ysapharie avoit nom.”

33 Paris, BNF fr. 1534, fol. 74v-75r

34 Paris, BNF fr. 1534, fol. 54rb – 55rb Another version of the legend contained in the manuscript Rouen, Bibliothèque municipale, 1430 (U. 093) ends with the same episode, the arrival of the seven sleepers to Tours: “…et quant il furent mors, l’emperour lour fist faire moult grant reverence et les fist canoniser et sont appeller les sept dormans, et sont apresent en lour sepultures a Tours en Touraine” (...and when they died, the emperor honoured them and beatified them. They are currently called the seven sleepers and they are buried in Tours, [a city] in Touraine.”) In this interesting legendary Martin’s life also appears in a very rare version, mentioned only in one other source. Unfortunately, I could not read the text of the Martin legend, while I had no access to the exemplar from Rouen, and the other testimony of the text was seriously damaged in a fire in 1944. I quote the incipit after the JONAS database: “Saint Martin fut de noble lignage et se convertit des son enfance moult religieusement” (St Martin descended of a noble lineage, and he converted in his childhood very piously”), see Leurquin and Savoye, “Notice.”

35 About the iconographic and literary motif see Tolan, “Le baptême du roi ‘païen’,” 707–31.

36 St Martin’s role in the ideology of the Frankish Kingdom and later in the French monarchy was constantly evolving. For the Merovingian kings St Martin was a patron saint, and Martin was seen as the apostle of the country. Later his cult was widespread in the Carolingian Empire, but from the twelfth century onwards, its importance diminished. In the times of the Capetian dynasty, Martin became, in addition to St Remy and St Denis, just one of the three major figures who converted Gaul to Christianity. During Louis the Fat’s reign (1081–1137), St Denis and the abbey dedicated to him acquired general prestige, and Denis surpassed the other two saints in the dynastic ideology. Martin’s popularity stayed intact all over France, but he had a serious rival as the main protector of the country. See Beaune, Naissance de la nation française, 80–81.

37 The topos of the pious Hungarian prince abandoning his kingdom to live as a monk has several variants. In one of them the prince becomes patriarch of Aquileia, see Seláf, “Egy exemplum változatai.”