Archive for the ‘Computing’ Category

Homilies and Homiliaries in the St Gall Collection

Perhaps the single best manuscript collection on the web in terms of breadth of material containing early medieval ecclesiastical stuff is the e-codices virtual Manuscript Library of Switzerland. I took a crawl through it to find what sort of homilies and homiliaries it had hiding in it. Here’s what I came up with… (Note: my list follows search order, not shelf-mark order. I’ll try to rearrange it later.)

  • St. Gallen, Stiftsbibliothek, Cod. Sang. 558
    • This manuscript is from around 800 or sometime in the first part of the 9th century.  The 5 hands are early 9th cent. Carolingian.
    • Contents are varied but largely monastic in nature. That is, it begins with a collection of foundational lives, then moves to homilies of Caesarius of Arles and Ps-Caesarius entitled in the description as “Sermo ad Monachos”. The remaining material is fascinating but less explicitly monastic: Martin of Braga’s “De correctione rusticorum” which is substantially an overview of the Christian faith for catechetical and missionary purposes, then a  materials relating to St Michael, then a fragment of Ps-Chrysostom’s “Sermo de poenitentia.” It woulkd be very easy to envision this kind of collection as a book apportioned out during Lent to those who need either instruction or a refresher on the monastic vocation.
    • Jerome, Life of Paul the Hermit
    • Athanasius, Life of St Antony
    • Jerome, Life of Bl. Hilarion
    • Jerome, Life of St Malchus
    • Caesarius of Arles/Eusebius Gallicanus, 12 Sermons
    • Caesarius/Ps-Caesarius (2 sermons), On the 10 Virgins
    • Caesarius/Ps-Caesarius, Sermo ad Monachos
    • Martin of Braga, On the Correction of the Rustics
    • Verses on St Michael
    • Sermon on the Dedication of the Basilica of St Michael
    • Ps-Chrysostom, Sermon on Penitence
  • St. Gallen, Stiftsbibliothek, Cod. Sang. 241
    • From the 9th century
    • This volume contains three books and a few extras. Written by two scribes of St Gall
    • Paterius, Book of Testimonies on the Old Testament (largely drawn from Gregory)
    • Jerome, Letters of Jerome and Damasus
    • Augustine, Homilies on John (Tractates?); 18 of the 124:  1-17, 20
    • The Athanasian Creed with explanations
    • The Lord’s Prayer with explanations
  • St. Gallen, Stiftsbibliothek, Cod. Sang. 87
    • 9th century
    • Homilies of Origen on Genesis, Exodus, and Leviticus
  • St. Gallen, Stiftsbibliothek, Cod. Sang. 423
    • 10 century
    • Homiliary. Defective at the beginning and end, and starts with what appears to be Maximus on the Assumption of the BCM, then goes to Holy Saturday; pg. 14 is titled “Night Readings begin from Easter to Advent”.
    • Needs investigation
  • St. Gallen, Stiftsbibliothek, Cod. Sang. 579
    • 9th century
    • Written in a 9th century St Gall Carolingian
    • Contents are very similar to Cod. Sang. 558; monastically inclined. Note Caesarian sermon on 10 Virgins (Matt 25) again. What does he say in these two sermons?
    • Jerome, Life of Paul the Hermit
    • Athanasius, Life of St Antony
    • Jerome, Life of Bl. Hilarion
    • Jerome, Life of St Malchus
    • Martin of Braga, On the Correction of the Rustics
    • Caesarius of Arles/Eusebius Gallicanus, 12 Sermons
    • Caesarius/Ps-Caesarius (2 sermons), On the 10 Virgins
    • Caesarius/Ps-Caesarius, Sermo ad Monachos
  • St. Gallen, Stiftsbibliothek, Cod. Sang. 99
    • 9th century
    • Ambrose, Homilies on Luke in 10 books
  • St. Gallen, Stiftsbibliothek, Cod. Sang. 614
    • 9th-12th centuries
    • This is a complicated book with quite a number of different items. It begins with sermons, and moves to other maters from there, particularly the Ordines Romani
    • 12 sermons by Augustne/Caesarius of Arles/Remegius/Ps-Chrysostom
    • Hymn Fabrica Mundi
    • Christmas Sequence
    • Two Ps-Bede sermons for All Saints (Legimus is the first)
    • Abbots of St Gall
    • Ratpert: Various matters on St Gall
    • Excerpt of Canons of Ps-Remegius (liturgically inclined?)
    • Ordines Romani (I, II, XXIV, XXVI, III, XXVIII, XXII, XXVIII (more) XII, XXXVI, on papal vestments)
    • Ps-Amalarius, Ecgology on the Ordines Romani
    • Excerpts from Isidore (on liturgical topics)
    • Bernold of Constanz, Excerpts from the Micrologus
  • St. Gallen, Stiftsbibliothek, Cod. Sang. 188
    • 7th century
    • Italian hand in Uncial
    • This is a compilation with two main parts:
    • 106 sermons by Maximus of Turin
    • Ambrose, On the Sacraments (defective)
    • 3 anonymous sermons
  • St. Gallen, Stiftsbibliothek, Cod. Sang. 431
    • 3rd quarter of the 9th century
    • written in Carolingian minuscule by one hand
    • This is a homiliary that covers the second half of the winter season. The capitulary lists 42 homilies from Septuagesima through the Wednesday of Holy Week; according to the description, the manuscript includes 60 and goes through Good Friday
  • St. Gallen, Stiftsbibliothek, Cod. Sang. 430
    • 3rd quarter of the 9th century
    • written in Carolingian minuscule by one hand
    • This is a homiliary that covers the first half of the winter season. The description states that there are 105 sermons that run from Advent through the Annunciation.
  • St. Gallen, Stiftsbibliothek, Cod. Sang. 211
    • 3rd quarter of the 9th century
    • written in Carolingian minuscule
    • Gregory the Great, Homilies on Ezekiel, 1-22
  • St. Gallen, Stiftsbibliothek, Cod. Sang. 103
    • 9th century
    • by various hands
    • John Chrysostom (Ps-?), book of homilies
  • St. Gallen, Stiftsbibliothek, Cod. Sang. 194
    • Middle of 8th century
    • pre-Caroline minuscule written probably at St Gall
    • Palimpsest with sermons written over top the Books of Solomon and a sacramentary. Upper text has sermons of Caesarius and excerpts from Isidore
    • Caesarius of Arles, homilies
    • Isidore, Excerpts from Entym. Book II
  • Schaffhausen, Ministerialbibliothek, Min. 45
    • 11th century
    • Carolingian minuscule written in various hands
    • Palimpsest with homilies by Gregory over top a Gospel-book in Insular majuscule and minuscule
    • Gregory the Great, Homilies on Ezekiel 1-12
  • St. Gallen, Stiftsbibliothek, Cod. Sang. 454
    • 2nd half of 9th/1st half of 10th century
    • classic St Gall Caroline writing
    • A martyrology with extras
    • Ado of Vienna, Martyrology
    • Cyprian, 2 Epistles
    • Passions of the Saints
    • Letter of Ps-Ignatius
  • St. Gallen, Stiftsbibliothek, Cod. Sang. 425
    • 10th century
    • written in various hands
    • Homiliary containing 32 sermons for the time from Christmas through the 2nd Sunday in Lent. Named authors are Ambrosius 1, Augustinus 1, Beda 11, Eusebius 1, Fulgentius 1, Gregory 5, Leo  2, Maximus 2, Origenes 3, and 5 without names
  • St. Gallen, Stiftsbibliothek, Cod. Sang. 1394
    • various
    • various
    • This manuscript is a collection of a whole lot of little bits of manuscripts. The only homily in it (for Palm Sunday) is at the very end–but it’s glossed in Old German from the 11th century
  • St. Gallen, Stiftsbibliothek, Cod. Sang. 432
    • 2nd half of the 9th century
    • small Carolingian minuscule by various hands
    • Homiliary for Summer containing 146 sermons from Easter to the beginning of Advent. Also includes Commons for Saint, Martyrs, and Church Dedications. There’s a further odd collection for various liturgical occasions both in and outside of this period at the end
  • St. Gallen, Stiftsbibliothek, Cod. Sang. 433
    • 3rd quarter of the 9th century
    • Carolingian minuscule by several hands
    • Homiliary for saints’ days, both common and proper
  • St. Gallen, Stiftsbibiothek , Cod. Sang. 553
    • 9th or 10th century
    • written by 8 hands in St Gall Carolingian
    • Lives of the saints of St Gall and a sermon
    • Jonas, Life of St Columbanus
    • 2 hymns to St Columbanus
    • Jonas, Life of Athala
    • Jonas, Life of Bertholf
    • Jonas, On the Monks of Bobbio
    • Homily for reading on festivals of St Gall (adapted from Bede’s sermon on St Benedict)
    • Genealogies of the venerable Gall, Brigida, and Patrick
    • Wettus, Life of St Gall
  • St. Gallen, Stiftsbibliothek, Cod. Sang. 561
    • 9th/10th and 11th centuries
    • various hands
    • This is a three-part manuscript; the first section has passions of the apostles and some early martyrs as well as an exaltation of the cross. The second has sermons on the Blessed Virgin Mary  from Ps-Ambrose and Bede. Too there is a sermon from (Ps-)Bede on All Saints and responsories for All Saints ostensibly by Bede. The third part has fragments of a breviary from Christmas
  • St. Gallen, Stiftsbibliothek, Cod. Sang. 571
    • 9th and 11th/12th centuries
    • St Gall Carolingian
    • Lives of early Church and Frankish saints. Includes a sermon for the feast of St Remaclus by John Chrysostom
  • St. Gallen, Stiftsbibliothek, Cod. Sang. 204
    • First quarter of the 11th century
    • Carolingian minuscule written by two hands
    • Gregory the Great, Forty Gospel Homilies
  • St. Gallen, Stiftsbibliothek, Cod. Sang. 434
    • Third quarter of the 9th century
    • carolingian minuscule by one hand
    • Homiliary covering from the 2nd Sunday after Pentecost through the 26th Sunday after Pentecost
  • St. Gallen, Stiftsbibliothek, Cod. Sang. 125
    • between 770-780
    • small German minuscule with glosses by several hands
    • A collection of mostly patristic materials
    • Jerome, On the Four Gospels
    • Jerome, Homily on Matthew
    • Jerome, Homily on St Joseph
    • Gregory the Great, Excerpts from the homilies
    • Isidore, Excerpts
    • Excerpts from selected Fathers
  • St. Gallen, Stiftsarchiv, Handschriften der Abtei Pfäfers, Cod. Fab. II
    • 11th century
    • Carolingian minuscule in various hands
    • The homilies of Gregory book-ended by selections from Eusebeus and interrupted by the blessing of the paschal lamb
    • Gregory the Great, Forty Gospel Homilies

Textual Parallels: Answering Jonathan

I’m getting back to the point that Jonathan raised on the post below. I keep exploring the issue of how to look at and construct parallels from a number of angles and as I consider a new project I’m embarking on (or will if my PMR abstract is accepted) I’ve got some more thoughts.

Jonathan’s defending paper parallels, And let me say, I am a fan of apaper parallels, and believe strongly that students of the New Testament and preachers need to own a copy of Throckmorton’s Gospel Parallels and be well versed in its use.

That having been said, I’m thinking about stages in a research project. There are some points where a static parallel is handy; others when it is less so. That is, as you go, you starting noticing things that require different different kinds of parallel examination that you wouldn’t have realized without the prior work.

I’m getting more and more keen on XML and the potential it offers for introducing markup into a text as you go. As I’m envisioning it, once you have uniform markup in a certain constellation of texts, different XSLT configurations could be used to display different kinds of parallels—or parallels within the same text given the right kinds of controls.

If the PMR presentation does get accepted I’ll try and put this into practice and see how well it works.

Textual Parallels

I’m working on a couple of projects right now that involve textual parallels.

To put it simply, I’ve become dissatisfied with the parallel colums thing. Isn’t there a better way to do this?

I mean think about it… The use of parallel columns was old technology when Codex Bezae(NT Uncial D)  had a facing page Latin/Greek text of the New Testament. Even then folks in Late Antiquity got that it didn’t work well, especially not for really big texts. Like, say, comparing the four gospels.

The point of Bezae, of course, was not to offer a parallel for the study of both texts. Rather, it was so either a Greek or Latin reader could read the Scriptures and someone who was competent in both could read both and make of the differences whatever they would.

The first serious system for studying the parallels between the Four was Ammonius and we honestly know nothing about his system. What we do have is the improvement on his work by Eusebius. Eusebius’s system is the single best piece of analytical scholarship of the Gospels to come out of the Patristic period and that’s no exaggeration. All scholars of Late Antiquity and the Early Medieval period whose work touches even tangentially on the Gospels needs to know this system. Period.

Here’s what his system does:

  1. The entire text of all four gospels are divided into numbered sections, each gospel being numbered sequentially from one up to however many divisions it takes. Where divisions begin and end depend on where parallels exist or do not exist. In other words, there are some sections in didatic material in the Synoptics that contain half of a modern verse; in some parts of John, a section can span several printed pages. (Remember, too, that no uniform chapter or verse system existed until the thireenth century. As a result all Latin lectionary lists that I know identify where the reading starts by reference to the Eusebian canon in which the incipit appears.)
  2. Thirteen numbered tables stand at the head of the gospels numbered from I to X with four instances of X. Each of the tables reflects a set of relationships going from the most complex to the most simple. Thus, Table I displays the sections where all four gospels share material that Eusebius decided was common to them all. Thus this table has four columns, one for each gospel, and numbers indicating to which section you should refer in each to find the parallel. Duplicates appear in the table indicating that some portions have more than one parallel—especially in cases where a bit in the Synoptics has several Johannine parallels.  Then tables II-IV have commonalities across three gospels (II: the Synoptics [Mt, Mk, Lk]; III: Mt, Lk, Jo; IV: Mt, Mk, Jo) and tables V-IX have commonalities across two (a key one being table V: Q [Mt, Lk]). Lastly, each gospel has a table X where passages unique to that gospel may be found.
  3. Within the text of the gospels themselves, most gospel books contain a marginal reference indicating the table and the parallels. Thus you may see a number indicating the division and then (perhaps in red) a numeral from I to X. If the number is a “I” it will have at least three other numbers, sometimes with a sigil identifying the gospel.
  4. The mechanics of the table are explained in Eusebius’s letter to Carpanius which is frequently found in Greek manuscripts;  Jerome explains it in the famous Letter to Damasus beginning “Novum Opus” which stands at the had of most Latin gospel manuscripts.

I look at this and recognize it instantly; it’s an ancient database.

So—given databases, mark-up, hyper-text, et al., which is the more excellent way: Bezae’s path or Eusebius’s?

What Every Medievalist Should Bookmark: Catalogue of Digitized Medieval Manuscripts

Playing off the popular What Every Medievalist Should Know series, I’ve been thinking about some digital resources that every medievalist should have bookmarked. Larry recently pointed to this one and it definitely belongs on the list.

With the explosion of medieval manuscripts on the web, it was just a matter of time before someone got around to doing this and this site, the Catalogue of Digitized Medieval Manuscripts, represents a good start. However, more remains to be done for this site to reach its full potential.

It incorporates and catalogues some of my favorite sites, such as the Cologne Cathedral Library and the Library of St Gall, and looks to add more as they become available. Because it catalogues these sites that I use, I do wonder about their interface, their data tagging practices, and its limitations.

Disclaimer: While I am a New Testament Medievalist, I feed my family as a database programmer. I really do understand the complications of building an engine of this sort—trust me, I’ve done it before both for public and private consumption. Criticisms follow, but they are intended to be completely constructive and should not detract from both the promise and need for this site.

Because the site works with my favorite libraries which tend to be both biblical and liturgical, I quickly notice some lacunae and potential conceptualization issues.

  1. Not all of the manuscripts on the identified sites are contained in the catalogue. For instance, only one missal (the Leofric Misal), one Gospel Book (the Bodleian’s Auct. D.2.16), and one gradual appear. There are no antiphoners catalogued. Or sacramentaries. Or lectionaries. From my own personal lists I know that quite a number of all of these appear at the St Gall and Cologne sites. So—this catalogue is a work in progress.
  2. The complex relationship between author, editor, and scribe is not tackled. I saw the name “Notker” as I was browsing authors and started to worry. Notker Balbus is a seminal figure for the study of chant. He’s the author of a treatise on chant and is also responsible for notating some of the best surviving chant manuscripts—which are online at the St Gall site. How, I wondered, would these manuscripts be identified? Would he be listed as the author of these antiphoners and sacramentaries? After all, he didn’t write them or even edit them, but it is crucial that his name be connected with them in some fashion. It turns out, though, that Notker’s name leads to only one manuscript, the one with his treatise in it. The issue of linking him with the sacramentary and antiphoners is side-stepped for the time being.
  3. The site appears to rely on external summaries for title and author data leading to duplicates. That is, it seems that the site catalogues its materials based on however the host site catagorizes them. Thus, when you browse “Titles” you’ll come across duplicates where a title appears in both English and Latin. (I didn’t see any German language duplicates introduced but the potential certainly exists given the available collections.)  “Dupes” are database designers recurrent nightmares. They’re almost inevitable in *any* unscrubbed data set and—we hates them… They appear here in Titles, but also in Authors:  for instance, there are separate entries for “Gregory”, “Gregory I”, and “Gregory the Great”.
  4. The date system is inconsistent. A search for “Provenance equals England” reveals a large potential problem. The first entry has a date of  “c. 1200”, the second has a date of “s. xvi 1/3”. It turns out that the date search box appears as a drop down (good choice!) so that as you type it will attempt to auto-populate and in doing so shows you the available dates in the database. Unfortunately, if you want to see the manuscripts from around 1000 you have to run three searches, one that looks for “10..”, one for “c. 10..” and one for “s. xi…”  The only way to fix this is to build a new date column in the database maximized for searching. My own suggestion would be to leave in the date column they currently have, and to add one that groups manuscripts by general period—then populate the date search drop-down with *that* field rather than the field from the manuscripts’ hosts.
  5. The shelfmark lookup system is clunky. Clicking on “Browse by: Shelfmark” brings up a string of numbers sorted as text. Thus we get “1”, “10”, “100” as the first three entries with no indication of in which library the numbered shelf might exist. Personally, I’d love to see this tweaked by simply doing a join between the location field and the shelfmark field. Whilke it might make this search somewhat reduant with the “Browse by: Location” I think it’d make the Shelfmark system much more user-friendly.

As I consider what’s on the site and what’s not, it seems to me that what I would offer them is more a caution than a critique. Because so much of the liturgical material is not yet up, they have the opportunity to think through exactly how to present it. Me, I think it’d be great to be able to search for “Mixed Gelasian” or “Hadrianum” for sacramentaries/missals but I’m not sure how that would fit into their current conceptualization.

A further issue not yet taken up is the inevitable problem of homiliaries—do you simply lump them under the name of the editor (which is quite necessary to be sure) but do you break out the individual patristic authors as well?

Kvetching aside, this site is definitely one to watch. It’s a great start to a much needed index and I look forward to seeing how they decide to tackling some of the issues ahead of them that makes manuscript study the fascinating and sometimes frustrating field that it is.

Update: I received a very nice email from the head of the project. He assured me that the site is a first draft and that future improvements are indeed in the wings pending further funding.