On the Subject of Tombs – Part #1

The first tomb actually has nothing to do with Edward II, but it is of great interest for the project as it is a ‘lost tomb’ of an English monarch. The sister of King Alfred the Great died in Pavia, en route to Rome. The passage in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles reads:

888. Here Ealdorman Beocca and Queen Aethelswith, who was King Alfred’s sister, took the alms of the West Saxons and of King Alfred to Rome; and she passed away, and her body lies at Pavia. 

No one knows where she was buried, and the only clue is the name of a crypt made in the Dark Ages: ‘San Giovanni in Domnarum’, where ‘Domnarum’ means ‘of the ladies’. This rather enticing name derives from the fact that the church was founded by an ancient Lombard Queen in the 7th century, and the baptistry of this church was dedicated to women alone, a kind of female religious enclave.
Nothing really solid to go by, but our only clue to where Aethelswith may lie: in the church dedicated to ladies.

A photograph of the crypt.
tomba1

La prima tomba non ha niente a che fare con Edoardo II, ma è di grande interesse per il progetto in quanto è una “tomba perduta” di un monarca inglese. La sorella del Re Alfredo il Grande morì a Pavia, mentre andava a Roma. Le cronache anglo-sassoni dicono:

888. Here Ealdorman Beocca and Queen Aethelswith, who was King Alfred’s sister, took the alms of the West Saxons and of King Alfred to Rome; and she passed away, and her body lies at Pavia. 

Nessuno sa dove fu sepolta e l’unico indizio è il nome di una cripta costruita nel Medioevo: “San Giovanni in Domnarum”, dove “Domnarum” significa “delle signore”. Questo nome piuttosto intrigante deriva dal fatto che la chiesa fu fondata da un’antica regina lombarda del VII secolo, e il battistero di questa chiesa fu dedicato alle sole donne, una sorta di enclave religiosa per donne. Niente di solido su cui lavorare per noi, ma comunque è l’unico indizio su dove potrebbe riposare Aethelswith: nella chiesa dedicata alle donne.

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