The Aquileian Christians Choose Hermagoras as their Leader

Circa 1180
Crypt of the Aquileia Basilica

The inscription identifies the man on the left as St. Mark. In the legend, he founded the church of Aquileia and served there for several years but then wished to return to St. Peter in Rome. The people protested, "give us a shepherd" and asked that Hermagoras to be their new bishop.

Hermagoras is identified by the inscription on the right. The legend says he was presented to Mark by the population as a whole, but in the fresco that function is assigned to a richly dressed Authority figure. In the 8th-century vita the only secular Authority figure among the Christians is Ulfius, whose son Mark cured of leprosy.

According to Tavano (197), opinions range widely as to when in the 12th century the crypt frescos should be dated, but most agree on a date around 1180.

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Photographed at the basilica by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.