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Christina


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(4th century?),

virgin and martyr. There are two claimants to this title who have come to share the same Acts: Christina of Tyre (Phoenicia) and Christina of Bolsena in Tuscany. It would seem that the former never existed, while the latter was probably a genuine martyr with a surviving shrine and catacomb. Both Eastern and Western churches had a cult of Christina on 24 July; the Legend which does duty for both made her the heroine of a series of unlikely tortures endured for refusing to sacrifice to the pagan gods: eventually she was shot to death with arrows. The Legend seems to be a conflation of those of Barbara, Catherine of Alexandria, and Ursula. Her iconography begins with a mosaic at Ravenna (6th century) in which she has no special attributes. In the 15th and 16th centuries there are notable paintings by Cranach and Paul Veronese, her attributes being a millstone, a wheel, pincers, and arrows.

AA.SS. Iul. V, 495–534;C.M.H., p. 394;Propylaeum, p. 304;C. Ricci, Santa Christina e il lago de Bolsena (1928);art. Bolsena in D.A.C.L.; B.T.A., iii. 173–4.

Subjects: Christianity.


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