Judith Beheading Holofernes (Caravaggio)
Judith Beheading Holofernes is a painting of Judith beheading Holofernes by Caravaggio, painted in c. 1598–1599. The widow Judith first charms the Syrian general Holofernes decapitates him in his tent; the painting was rediscovered in 1950 and is part of the collection of the Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica in Rome. The deuterocanonical Book of Judith tells how Judith served her people by seducing and pleasuring Holofernes, the Syrian General. Judith gets Holofernes drunk seizes her sword and slays him: "Approaching to his bed, she took hold of the hair of his head". Caravaggio's approach was to choose the moment of greatest dramatic impact: the moment of decapitation itself; the figures are set out in a shallow stage, theatrically lit from the side, isolated against the inky black background. Judith's maid Abra stands beside her mistress to the right as Judith extends her arm to hold a blade against Holofernes's neck. X-rays have revealed that Caravaggio adjusted the placement of Holofernes' head as he proceeded, separating it from the torso and moving it minutely to the right.
The faces of the three characters demonstrate the artist's mastery of emotion, Judith's countenance in particular showing a mix of determination and repulsion. Artemisia Gentileschi and others were influenced by this work; the model for Judith is the Roman courtesan Fillide Melandroni, who posed for several other works by Caravaggio around this year. A painting believed by some to be Caravaggio's second version of Judith Beheading Holofernes was discovered in Toulouse in 2014. An export ban was placed on the painting by the French government while tests were carried out to establish its authenticity. In February 2019 it was announced that the painting would be sold at auction after the Louvre had turned down the opportunity to purchase it for €100 million. Judith and Holofernes
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental questions about existence, values, reason and language. Such questions are posed as problems to be studied or resolved; the term was coined by Pythagoras. Philosophical methods include questioning, critical discussion, rational argument, systematic presentation. Classic philosophical questions include: Is it possible to know anything and to prove it? What is most real? Philosophers pose more practical and concrete questions such as: Is there a best way to live? Is it better to be just or unjust? Do humans have free will? "philosophy" encompassed any body of knowledge. From the time of Ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle to the 19th century, "natural philosophy" encompassed astronomy and physics. For example, Newton's 1687 Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy became classified as a book of physics. In the 19th century, the growth of modern research universities led academic philosophy and other disciplines to professionalize and specialize.
In the modern era, some investigations that were traditionally part of philosophy became separate academic disciplines, including psychology, sociology and economics. Other investigations related to art, politics, or other pursuits remained part of philosophy. For example, is beauty objective or subjective? Are there many scientific methods or just one? Is political utopia a hopeful dream or hopeless fantasy? Major sub-fields of academic philosophy include metaphysics, ethics, political philosophy and philosophy of science. Traditionally, the term "philosophy" referred to any body of knowledge. In this sense, philosophy is related to religion, natural science and politics. Newton's 1687 Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy is classified in the 2000s as a book of physics. In the first part of the first book of his Academics, Cicero introduced the division of philosophy into logic and ethics. Metaphysical philosophy was the study of existence, God, logic and other abstract objects; this division has changed.
Natural philosophy has split into the various natural sciences astronomy, chemistry and cosmology. Moral philosophy still includes value theory. Metaphysical philosophy has birthed formal sciences such as logic and philosophy of science, but still includes epistemology and others. Many philosophical debates that began in ancient times are still debated today. Colin McGinn and others claim. Chalmers and others, by contrast, see progress in philosophy similar to that in science, while Talbot Brewer argued that "progress" is the wrong standard by which to judge philosophical activity. In one general sense, philosophy is associated with wisdom, intellectual culture and a search for knowledge. In that sense, all cultures and literate societies ask philosophical questions such as "how are we to live" and "what is the nature of reality". A broad and impartial conception of philosophy finds a reasoned inquiry into such matters as reality and life in all world civilizations. Western philosophy is the philosophical tradition of the Western world and dates to Pre-Socratic thinkers who were active in Ancient Greece in the 6th century BCE such as Thales and Pythagoras who practiced a "love of wisdom" and were termed physiologoi.
Socrates was a influential philosopher, who insisted that he possessed no wisdom but was a pursuer of wisdom. Western philosophy can be divided into three eras: Ancient, Medieval philosophy, Modern philosophy; the Ancient era was dominated by Greek philosophical schools which arose out of the various pupils of Socrates, such as Plato, who founded the Platonic Academy and his student Aristotle, founding the Peripatetic school, who were both influential in Western tradition. Other traditions include Cynicism, Greek Skepticism and Epicureanism. Important topics covered by the Greeks included metaphysics, the nature of the well-lived life, the possibility of knowledge and the nature of reason. With the rise of the Roman empire, Greek philosophy was increasingly discussed in Latin by Romans such as Cicero and Seneca. Medieval philosophy is the period following the fall of the Western Roman Empire and was dominated by the ris
Oil painting is the process of painting with pigments with a medium of drying oil as the binder. Used drying oils include linseed oil, poppy seed oil, walnut oil, safflower oil; the choice of oil imparts a range of properties to the oil paint, such as the amount of yellowing or drying time. Certain differences, depending on the oil, are visible in the sheen of the paints. An artist might use several different oils in the same painting depending on specific pigments and effects desired; the paints themselves develop a particular consistency depending on the medium. The oil may be boiled with a resin, such as pine resin or frankincense, to create a varnish prized for its body and gloss. Although oil paint was first used for Buddhist paintings by painters in western Afghanistan sometime between the fifth and tenth centuries, it did not gain popularity until the 15th century, its practice may have migrated westward during the Middle Ages. Oil paint became the principal medium used for creating artworks as its advantages became known.
The transition began with Early Netherlandish painting in Northern Europe, by the height of the Renaissance oil painting techniques had completely replaced the use of tempera paints in the majority of Europe. In recent years, water miscible. Water-soluble paints are either engineered or an emulsifier has been added that allows them to be thinned with water rather than paint thinner, allows, when sufficiently diluted fast drying times when compared with traditional oils. Traditional oil painting techniques begin with the artist sketching the subject onto the canvas with charcoal or thinned paint. Oil paint is mixed with linseed oil, artist grade mineral spirits, or other solvents to make the paint thinner, faster or slower-drying. A basic rule of oil paint application is'fat over lean', meaning that each additional layer of paint should contain more oil than the layer below to allow proper drying. If each additional layer contains less oil, the final painting will peel; this rule does not ensure permanence.
There are many other media that can be used with the oil, including cold wax and varnishes. These additional media can aid the painter in adjusting the translucency of the paint, the sheen of the paint, the density or'body' of the paint, the ability of the paint to hold or conceal the brushstroke; these aspects of the paint are related to the expressive capacity of oil paint. Traditionally, paint was transferred to the painting surface using paintbrushes, but there are other methods, including using palette knives and rags. Oil paint remains wet longer than many other types of artists' materials, enabling the artist to change the color, texture or form of the figure. At times, the painter might remove an entire layer of paint and begin anew; this can be done with a rag and some turpentine for a time while the paint is wet, but after a while the hardened layer must be scraped. Oil paint dries by oxidation, not evaporation, is dry to the touch within a span of two weeks, it is dry enough to be varnished in six months to a year.
Although the history of tempera and related media in Europe indicates that oil painting was discovered there independently, there is evidence that oil painting was used earlier in Afghanistan. Outdoor surfaces and surfaces like shields—both those used in tournaments and those hung as decorations—were more durable when painted in oil-based media than when painted in the traditional tempera paints. Most Renaissance sources, in particular Vasari, credited northern European painters of the 15th century, Jan van Eyck in particular, with the "invention" of painting with oil media on wood panel supports. However, Theophilus gives instructions for oil-based painting in his treatise, On Various Arts, written in 1125. At this period, it was used for painting sculptures and wood fittings especially for outdoor use. However, early Netherlandish painting with artists like Van Eyck and Robert Campin in the 15th century were the first to make oil the usual painting medium, explore the use of layers and glazes, followed by the rest of Northern Europe, only Italy.
Early works were still panel paintings on wood, but around the end of the 15th century canvas became more popular as the support, as it was cheaper, easier to transport, allowed larger works, did not require complicated preliminary layers of gesso. Venice, where sail-canvas was available, was a leader in the move to canvas. Small cabinet paintings were made on metal copper plates; these supports were more expensive but firm, allowing intricately fine detail. Printing plates from printmaking were reused for this purpose; the popularity of oil spread through Italy from the North, starting in Venice in the late 15th century. By 1540, the previous method for painting on panel had become all but extinct, although Italians continued to use chalk-based fresco for wall paintings, less successful and durable in damper northern climates; the linseed oil itself comes from a common fiber crop. Linen, a "support" for oil painting comes from the flax plant. Safflower oil or the walnut or poppyseed oil are sometimes used in formulating lighter colors li
The Baroque is a ornate and extravagant style of architecture, painting and other arts that flourished in Europe from the early 17th until the mid-18th century. It preceded the Rococo and Neoclassical styles, it was encouraged by the Catholic Church as a means to counter the simplicity and austerity of Protestant architecture and music, though Lutheran Baroque art developed in parts of Europe as well. The Baroque style used contrast, exuberant detail, deep colour and surprise to achieve a sense of awe; the style began at the start of the 17th century in Rome spread to France, northern Italy and Portugal to Austria and southern Germany. By the 1730s, it had evolved into an more flamboyant style, called rocaille or Rococo, which appeared in France and central Europe until the mid to late 18th century; the English word baroque comes directly from the French, may have been adapted from the Portuguese term barroco, a flawed pearl. Both words are related to the Spanish term berruca; the term did not describe a style of music or art.
Prior to the 18th century, the French baroque and Portuguese barroco were terms related to jewelry, An example from 1531 uses the term to describe pearls in an inventory of Charles V's treasures. The word appears in a 1694 edition of Le Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française, which describes baroque as "only used for pearls that are imperfectly round." A 1728 Portuguese dictionary describes barroco as relating to a "coarse and uneven pearl."The French term for the artistic style may have had roots in the medieval Latin word baroco, a philosophical term, invented in the 13th century by scholastics to describe a complicated type of syllogism, or logical argument. In the 16th century the philosopher Michel de Montaigne associated the term'baroco' with "Bizarre and uselessly complicated." In the 18th century, the term was used to describe music, was not flattering. In an anonymous satirical review of the première of Jean-Philippe Rameau's Hippolyte et Aricie in October 1733, printed in the Mercure de France in May 1734, the critic wrote that the novelty in this opera was "du barocque", complaining that the music lacked coherent melody, was unsparing with dissonances changed key and meter, speedily ran through every compositional device.
In 1762, Le Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française wrote that the term could be used figuratively to describe something "irregular, bizarre or unequal."Jean-Jacques Rousseau, a musician and composer as well as philosopher, wrote in 1768 in the Encyclopédie: "Baroque music is that in which the harmony is confused, loaded with modulations and dissonances. The singing is harsh and unnatural, the intonation difficult, the movement limited, it appears that term comes from the word'baroco' used by logicians."In 1788, the term was defined by Quatremère de Quincy in the Encyclopédie Méthodique as "an architectural style, adorned and tormented". The terms "style baroque" and "musique baroque" appeared in Le Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française in 1835. By the mid-19th century, art critics and historians had adopted the term as a way to ridicule post-Renaissance art; this was the sense of the word as used in 1855 by the leading art historian Jacob Burkhardt, who wrote that baroque artists "despised and abused detail" because they lacked "respect for tradition."Alternatively, a derivation from the name of the Italian painter Federico Barocci has been suggested.
In 1888, the art historian Heinrich Wölfflin published the first serious academic work on the style, Renaissance und Barock, which described the differences between the painting and architecture of the Renaissance and the Baroque. The Baroque style of architecture was a result of doctrines adopted by the Catholic Church at the Council of Trent in 1545–63, in response to the Protestant Reformation; the first phase of the Counter-Reformation had imposed a severe, academic style on religious architecture, which had appealed to intellectuals but not the mass of churchgoers. The Council of Trent decided instead to appeal to a more popular audience, declared that the arts should communicate religious themes with direct and emotional involvement. Lutheran Baroque art developed as a confessional marker of identity, in response to the Great Iconoclasm of Calvinists. Baroque churches were designed with a large central space, where the worshippers could be close to the altar, with a dome or cupola high overhead, allowing light to illuminate the church below.
The dome was one of the central symbolic features of baroque architecture illustrating the union between the heavens and the earth, The inside of the cupola was lavishly decorated with paintings of angels and saints, with stucco statuettes of angels, giving the impression to those below of looking up at heaven. Another feature of baroque churches are the quadratura. Quadratura paintings of Atlantes below the cornices appear to be supporting the ceiling of the church. Unlike the painted ceilings of Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel, which combined different scenes, each with its own perspective, to be looked at one at a time, the Baroque ceiling paintings were created so the viewer on the floor of the church would see the entire ceiling in correct perspective, as if the figures were real; the interiors of baroque churches became more and more ornate in the High Baroque, an
Crucifixion of Saint Peter (Caravaggio)
The Crucifixion of Saint Peter is a work by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, painted in 1601 for the Cerasi Chapel of Santa Maria del Popolo in Rome. Across the chapel is a second Caravaggio work depicting the Conversion of Saint Paul on the Road to Damascus. On the altar between the two is the Assumption of the Virgin Mary by Annibale Carracci; the two lateral paintings were commissioned in September 1600 by Monsignor Tiberio Cerasi, Treasurer-General to Pope Clement VIII who purchased the chapel from the Augustinian friars on 8 July 1600 and entrusted Carlo Maderno to rebuild the small edifice in Baroque style. The contract for the altarpiece with Carracci has not been preserved but it is assumed that the document had been signed somewhat earlier, Caravaggio had to take into consideration the other artist's work and the overall iconographic programme of the chapel. Cerasi nourished a deep devotion towards Saint Peter and Paul, invoked them in his will. Together the two saints represented the foundation of the Catholic Church, they were called the Princes of the Apostles.
Both had a strong connection with the city of the papacy. Caravaggio's paintings were thus intended to express Cerasi's attachment to the Church of Rome and his closeness to papal power, their position in the chapel was important but the devotional focus was still on the Assumption of the Virgin Mary on the altar in the middle. The juxtaposition of the two scenes had a well-known precedent in the frescos of the Capella Paolina at the Apostolic Palace but the paintings of Caravaggio are starkly different from the crowded Mannerist scenes of Michelangelo. Although much is said about the supposed rivalry between Carracci and Caravaggio, there is no historical evidence about any serious tensions. Both were sought-after artists in Rome. Caravaggio gained the Cerasi commission right after his celebrated works in the Contarelli Chapel had been finished, Carracci was busy creating his great fresco cycle in the Palazzo Farnese. In these circumstances there was little reason for them to regard each other as business rivals, states Denis Mahon.
The contract signed on 24 September 1600 stipulates that "the distinguished painter, Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio" will paint two large cypress panels, ten palms high and eight palms wide, representing the conversion of Saint Paul and the martyrdom of Saint Peter within eight months for the price of 400 scudi. The contract gave a free hand to the painter to choose the figures and ornaments depicted in the way as he saw fit, "to the satisfaction however of his Lordship", he was obliged to submit preparatory studies before the execution of the paintings. Caravaggio received 50 scudi as advance payment from the banker Vincenzo Giustiniani with the rest earmarked to be paid on completion; the dimensions specified for the panels are the same as the size of the existing canvasses. When Tiberio Cerasi died on 3 May 1601 Caravaggio was still working on the paintings as attested by an avviso dated 5 May which mentioned that the chapel was being decorated by the hand of the "famosissimo Pittore", Michelangelo da Caravaggio.
A second avviso dated 2 June proves that Caravaggio was still at work on the paintings a month later. He completed them sometime before 10 November when he received the final instalment from the heirs of Tiberio Cerasi, the Fathers of the Ospedale della Consolazione; the total compensation for the paintings was reduced to 300 scudi for unknown reasons. The paintings were installed in the chapel on 1 May 1605 by the woodworker Bartolomeo who received four scudi and fifty baiocchi from the Ospedale for his work; the first version Giovanni Baglione in his 1642 biography about Caravaggio reported that the first versions of both paintings were rejected: "The panels at first had been painted in a different style, but because they did not please the patron, Cardinal Sannesio took them. And - so to speak - Fortune and Fame carried him along." This report is the only historical source for the well-known story. Although the biography was written decades after the events, its veracity has been accepted.
Baglione provided no further explanation about the reasons and circumstances of the rejection but modern scholarship put forward several theories and conjectures. The first versions of the paintings were acquired by Giacomo Sannesio, secretary of the Sacra Consulta and an avid collector of art. Caravaggio's biographer, Giulio Mancini mentioned these paintings being in the collection of Cardinal Sannesio around 1620 but he thought them retouched copies of the originals; the paintings reappeared in an inventory of Francesco Sannesio, the heir of Cardinal Giacomo, dated to 19 February 1644 that recorded "two large panels, that represent Saint Peter crucified and the other the conversion of Saint Paul, framed in gold". This time the heirs sold the paintings to the Spanish Viceroy of Naples, Juan Alfonso Enríquez de Cabrera who transported them to Madrid two years later. After his death, the paintings were recorded again in the inventory of his assets on 7 August 1647. At the time "The Martyrdom of Saint Peter" was valued to a total of 3300 ducats, its gilded and carved frame estimated to have a value of 300 ducats in itself.
The panel was registered for the last time in the inventory of the possessions of Juan Gaspar Enríquez de Cabrera, the tenth Admiral of Castile, in 1691. After that the first version of the Crucifixion of Peter has disappeared from the documents, its further fate remains unknown; the painting depicts the martyrdom of St. Peter. According to ancient and well-known tradition, when he was
The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire during the imperial period. The emperors used a variety of different titles throughout history; when a given Roman is described as becoming "emperor" in English, it reflects his taking of the title Augustus or Caesar. Another title used was imperator a military honorific. Early Emperors used the title princeps. Emperors amassed republican titles, notably princeps senatus and pontifex maximus; the legitimacy of an emperor's rule depended on his control of the army and recognition by the Senate. The first emperors reigned alone; the Romans considered the office of emperor to be distinct from that of a king. The first emperor, resolutely refused recognition as a monarch. Although Augustus could claim that his power was authentically republican, his successor, could not convincingly make the same claim. Nonetheless, for the first three hundred years of Roman emperors, from Augustus until Diocletian, efforts were made to portray the emperors as leaders of a republic.
From Diocletian, whose tetrarchic reforms divided the position into one emperor in the West and one in the East, until the end of the Empire, emperors ruled in an monarchic style and did not preserve the nominal principle of a republic, but the contrast with "kings" was maintained: although the imperial succession was hereditary, it was only hereditary if there was a suitable candidate acceptable to the army and the bureaucracy, so the principle of automatic inheritance was not adopted. Elements of the republican institutional framework were preserved after the end of the Western Empire; the Western Roman Empire collapsed in the late 5th century after multiple invasions of imperial territory by Germanic barbarian tribes. Romulus Augustulus is considered to be the last emperor of the West after his forced abdication in 476, although Julius Nepos maintained a claim recognized by the Eastern Empire to the title until his death in 480. Following Nepos' death, the Eastern Emperor Zeno abolished the division of the position and proclaimed himself as the sole Emperor of a reunited Roman Empire.
The Eastern imperial lineage continued to rule from Constantinople. Constantine XI Palaiologos was the last Roman emperor in Constantinople, dying in the Fall of Constantinople to the Ottomans in 1453; the "Byzantine" emperors from Heraclius in 629 and onwards adopted the title of basileus, which had meant king in Greek but became a title reserved for the Roman emperor and the ruler of the Sasanian Empire. Other kings were referred to as rēgas. In addition to their pontifical office, some emperors were given divine status after death. With the eventual hegemony of Christianity, the emperor came to be seen as God's chosen ruler, as well as a special protector and leader of the Christian Church on Earth, although in practice an emperor's authority on Church matters was subject to challenge. Due to the cultural rupture of the Turkish conquest, most western historians treat Constantine XI as the last meaningful claimant to the title Roman Emperor. From 1453, one of the titles used by the Ottoman Sultans was "Caesar of Rome", part of their titles until the Ottoman Empire ended in 1922.
A Byzantine group of claimant Roman emperors existed in the Empire of Trebizond until its conquest by the Ottomans in 1461, though they had used a modified title since 1282. Eastern emperors in Constantinople had been recognized and accepted as Roman emperors both in the East, which they ruled, by the Papacy and Germanic kingdoms of the West until the deposition of Constantine VI and accession of Irene of Athens as Empress regnant in 797. Objecting to a woman ruling the Roman Empire in her own right and issues with the eastern clergy, the Papacy would create a rival lineage of Roman emperors in western Europe, the Holy Roman Emperors, which ruled the Holy Roman Empire for most of the period between 800 and 1806; these Emperors were never recognized as Roman emperors by the court in Constantinople. Modern historians conventionally regard Augustus as the first Emperor whereas Julius Caesar is considered the last dictator of the Roman Republic, a view having its origins in the Roman writers Plutarch and Cassius Dio.
However, the majority of Roman writers, including Josephus, Pliny the Younger and Appian, as well as most of the ordinary people of the Empire, thought of Julius Caesar as the first Emperor. At the end of the Roman Republic no new, no single, title indicated the individual who held supreme power. Insofar as emperor could be seen as the English translation of imperator Julius Caesar had been an emperor, like several Roman generals before him. Instead, by the end of the civil wars in which Julius Caesar had led his armies, it became clear that there was no consensus to return to the old-style monarchy, but that the period when several officials, bestowed with equal power by the senate, would fight one another had come to an end. Julius Caesar, Augustus after him, accumulated offices and titles of the highest importance in the Republic, making the power attached to those offices permanent, preventing anyone with similar aspirations from accumulating or maintaining power for themselves. However, Julius Caesar, unlike those after
Catherine of Alexandria
Saint Catherine of Alexandria, or Saint Katharine of Alexandria known as Saint Catherine of the Wheel and The Great Martyr Saint Catherine, is, according to tradition, a Christian saint and virgin, martyred in the early 4th century at the hands of the pagan emperor Maxentius. According to her hagiography, she was both a princess and a noted scholar, who became a Christian around the age of 14, converted hundreds of people to Christianity, was martyred around the age of 18. More than 1,100 years following her martyrdom, Saint Joan of Arc identified Catherine as one of the Saints who appeared to her and counselled her; the Eastern Orthodox Church venerates her as a Great Martyr and celebrates her feast day on 24 or 25 November. In Catholicism she is traditionally revered as one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers. In 1969 the Roman Catholic Church removed her feast day from the General Roman Calendar. In 2002, her feast was restored to the General Roman Calendar as an optional memorial; some modern scholars consider that the legend of Catherine was based on the life and murder of the Greek philosopher Hypatia, with reversed roles of Christians and pagans.
According to the traditional narrative, Catherine was the daughter of Constus, the governor of Egyptian Alexandria during the reign of the emperor Maximian. From a young age she devoted herself to study. A vision of the Madonna and Child persuaded her to become a Christian; when the persecutions began under Maxentius, she went to the emperor and rebuked him for his cruelty. The emperor summoned 50 of the best pagan philosophers and orators to dispute with her, hoping that they would refute her pro-Christian arguments, but Catherine won the debate. Several of her adversaries, conquered by her eloquence, declared themselves Christians and were at once put to death. Catherine was scourged and imprisoned, she was scourged so cruelly and for so long, that her whole body was covered with wounds, from which the blood flowed in streams. The spectators wept with pity. Maxentius ordered her to be imprisoned without food, so she would starve to death. During the confinement, angels tended her wounds with salve.
Catherine was fed daily by a dove from Heaven and Christ visited her, encouraging her to fight bravely, promised her the crown of everlasting glory. During her imprisonment, over 200 people came to see her, including Maxentius' wife, Valeria Maximilla. Twelve days when the dungeon was opened, a bright light and fragrant perfume filled it, Catherine came forth more radiant and beautiful. Upon the failure of Maxentius to make Catherine yield by way of torture, he tried to win the beautiful and wise princess over by proposing marriage; the saint refused, declaring that her spouse was Jesus Christ, to whom she had consecrated her virginity. The furious emperor condemned Catherine to death on a spiked breaking wheel, but, at her touch, it shattered. Maxentius ordered her to be beheaded. Catherine herself ordered the execution to commence. A milk-like substance rather than blood flowed from her neck. Angels transported her body to the highest mountain next to Mount Sinai. In 850, her incorrupt body was discovered by monks from the Sinai Monastery.
The monks found on the surface of the granite on which her body lay, an impression of the form of her body. Her hair still growing, a constant stream of the most heavenly fragranced healing oil issuing from her body; this oil produced countless miracles. In the 6th century, the Eastern Emperor Justinian had established what is now Saint Catherine's Monastery in Egypt, her relics include her left hand warm to the touch and her head. Her incorrupt body is not publicly displayed. Countless people make the pilgrimage to the Monastery to receive miracle healing from Saint Catherine. Donald Attwater dismisses what he calls the "legend" of Saint Catherine, arguing for a lack of any "positive evidence that she existed outside the mind of some Greek writer who first composed what he intended to be an edifying romance." Harold Davis writes that "assiduous research has failed to identify Catherine with any historical personage" and has theorized that Catherine was an invention inspired to provide a counterpart to the story of the later pagan philosopher Hypatia of Alexandria.
Modern scholarship supports Davis’ assumption that the legend of Catherine of Alexandria was based on the life and murder of Hypatia, with the roles of Christians and pagans reversed. Hypatia was a Greek mathematician and philosopher, brutally murdered by a Christian mob after being accused of exacerbating a conflict between two prominent figures in Alexandria, the governor and the bishop, Cyril of Alexandria. Sometimes cited as a possible inspiration of Saint Catherine, the writer Eusebius wrote, around the year 320, that the Emperor had ordered a young Christian woman to come to his palace to become his mistress, when she refused, he had her punished, by having her banished and her estates confiscated. Although Eusebius did not name the woman, she had been identified with Dorothea of Alexandria; the earliest surviving account of Saint Catherine's life comes around 600 years after the traditional date of her martyrdom, in the menologium a docume