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Religious Medal of Saint Benedict, 1880

  • bronze
  • Inv. 1923-X

Public Domain

This Italian medal from the 19th century, by an anonymous engraver, depicts Saint Benedict. Benedict was born around 480 in Umbria and was of noble origin. After his studies in Rome, he lived for three years as a hermit in the solitude of a cave. He was held in high esteem by the local monks and when their abbot died, he was asked to become their superior. Benedict refused for a long time, but finally he agreed. He applied the rules very strictly, so that the monks began to complain that they had asked him to be their superior, so that one day they poisoned his wine. By a miracle, the wine cup broke and Benedict understood the attempted murder. He then went back to living as a hermit and gained many followers. This formed the basis for the monastic communities, formed according to his rules. On this medal, besides Benedict, the poisoned wine cup is depicted with a snake above it; the depicted bird refers to a variation on the legend, in which a raven took a poisoned piece of bread (instead of wine) from him.


Anonymous artist

Title Religious Medal of Saint Benedict
Date 1880
Period 19th century
Location Italy TGN
Signatures, inscriptions, and markings text on the front side: AVSCVLTA / OFILI PRAE / CEPTA MAGRI
location and date below: EX • S • M • CASINO / MDCCCLXXX
name on the front side: / CRVS / S • PA / TRIS / BEN / EDIC / TI°
text on the front side: I • EIVS • IN • OBITV • NRO • PRÆ • • SENTIA • MVNIAMVR • I
text on the reverse: C S P B
text on the reverse: PAX
text on the reverse: Centraal een kruis dat bovenaan, links en rechts eindigt op een doorboorde cirkel ; in de vier kwartieren van het kruis, telkens omgeven door een dubbele cirkel, C S P B ; rondom een verhoogde cirkel met erboven, tussen twee gestileerde takjes, PAX en tussen de cirkel en de geprofileerde rand, S • • M • • Q • • L • • I • • V • • B (links) V • • R • • S • • N • • S • • M • • V (rechts).
Collection medals AAT
Inventory number 1923-X
IIIF Manifest
Art & Architecture Thesaurus 300189808 figures (representations) AAT
Keywords Iconclass 11H saints Iconclass
11H(BENEDICT) Benedict of Nurcia, abbot of Monte Cassino and founder of the Benedictine Order; possible attributes: aspergillum, book, cup (sometimes broken), raven with loaf, sieve (or tray) Iconclass
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