Caesarius of Arles and the 10-no-12-no-13 Sermons

I’m on to something interesting here…

I’ve got in front of me five different ninth-century manuscripts that have a certain block of texts that are exactly the same—ten “homilies”, two sermons on the same topic, and a final sermon. The first 12 items are identified with Caesarius of Arles, the last is unspecified. What’s interesting is that these items are identified as being from Caesarius when they circulate together. Apart from one another they’re attributed to all sorts of other folks.

Very interesting.

Two of these manuscripts have this collection with the same two other sets of documents–a set of early monastic lives and Martin of Braga’s De Correctione. The ordering is different which makes me think that one was not copied directly from the other.

Right now, I’m not interested in who wrote these ten to thirteen sermons; instead, I’m chewing on why it seems important to the various copiests that they be associated with Caesarius. The answer that I’m leaning towards is that this sermon packet and especially the collection above may be seen as a set of primary source materials for a form of early non-Benedictine western monasticism…

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