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Moissac Abbey: 55: Martyrdom of St. Saturnin

55: Martyrdom of St. Saturnin

East gallery, capital 55, west face. Martyrdom of St. Saturnin, the first bishop of nearby Toulouse (c.250 AD). There was a Capitoline temple in the city center, whose oracle began to fail. The pagan priests attributed this to Saturnin's presence and, after refusing to sacrifice to pagan idols, he was dragged to death by a bull down the streets of Toulouse. The south face of this capital presumably shows his condemnation by the pagan priests, while the north face shows him dragged by the bull with his head being smashed on the steps of the Capitoline temple on the east face. The west face depicts the saint in a mandorla, ascending to heaven.