THE MONK CHRISTIAN AND HIS ATTITUDE TOWARDS ST. ADALBERT
Christian is the monastic author of 'The Life of St. Wenceslas and St. Ludmila', also known as 'The Legend by Christian', written in Bohemia probably in 992-994. For many years he has been the source of a number of controversies. A thorough analysis of the sources, and especially the oldest lives of St. Adalbert (Wojciech, Voytech) and the 'Legend' itself, makes it possible to ascertain that the author came from the Bohemian Premyslid dynasty and was the brother of Duke Boleslaus II. Certain researchers, incapable of accepting that the son of Boleslaus I could have written about his own father in such derogatory terms, and basing themselves on a mistaken interpretation of Brunon of Querfurt, tried to prove that Christian was the uncle of St. Adalbert and originated from the Slavnik dynasty. The recognition of Christian as a Premyslid, which today no longer gives rise to any doubts, leads to questions about the reason why he had dedicated his work to a member of the Slavnik dynasty as well as the nature of the relations between him and St. Adalbert, which the 'Legend' depicts as extremely close. It also appears that the 'Legend' was the outcome of cooperation involving not only the monk and the bishop, but also Duke Boleslaus II of Bohemia who was interested in propagating a cult of his dynasty's patron saint. This cooperation, probably inspired by Christian, a member of a mission dispatched to Rome in order to escort Adalbert, was rendered possible by the concessions made both by the duke (and expressed in an edict issued in 992) and the bishop, who consented to become the patron of the whole undertaking and to propagate the 'Legend'. Unfortunately, the death of the bishop (997) and subsequently of Boleslaus put a halt to a wider reception of this work.
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