Sant' Antimo, Abbey of
SANT' ANTIMO, ABBEY OF
Former Benedictine monastery in the Diocese of Chiusi in the Orcia Valley, near Siena, Italy. Its origins can probably be traced to a grant of charlemagne who endowed the house in gratitude for the passing of an epidemic that had ravaged his army in the Val d'Orcia. The abbey housed the relics of SS. anthimus and sebastian, acquired from adrian i by Charlemagne, at whose death (814) his son Louis I the Pious endowed the monastery with Montalcino and its supporting territory. The abbey church, begun c. 1118, is representative of Italian Romanesque architecture; the crypt, dating from 813, with its vault supported by four small columns, is an important pre-Romanesque monument. Within the church a semi-circular deambulatorium, showing the influence of cluniac architecture, demonstrates a feature rarely found in Italian construction. As the abbots lost their feudal jurisdiction with the rise of Siena, the house declined in wealth and discipline; it was suppressed by pius ii in 1462.
Bibliography: a. canestrelli, L'abbazia di S. Antimo (Siena 1910). l. h. cottineau, Répertoire topobibliographique des abbayes et prieurés, 2 v. (Mâcon 1935–39) 2:2593. g. penco, Storia del monachesimo in Italia (Rome 1961) 121, 541–542, 563.
[o. j. blum]