Archive for the ‘Early Medieval’ Category

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…


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.

Old Latin vs. Vulgate: Helpful Hint

If you ever have occasion to work with a Latin Gospel-book (or other gospel-containing text) and wonder if you’re dealing with the Old Latin or the Vulgate–not an uncommon issue in the early Insular world–here’s a tip:

Check Matthew’s Beatitudes (In the margin it’ll be marked as Eusebian division 25 or perhaps Ch. 11 in one of the more common schemes.)

  • The Vulgate uses Beati (blessed)
  • The Old Latin uses Felix (happy)

Furthermore, keep an eye on the order of the makarisms–most Latin translations reverse  Greek vss 4 and 5. Thus, “the meek (mites)” ought to be before “those who mourn (qui lugent)”. If that’s not the case–you’ve got something unusual on your hands… (If it’s a transcription, then regard the transcriber with suspicion!)

Genesis and Responsories: A Concise Summary

In five previous posts, I have been investigating the relationship between responsories and the continuous reading of Scripture as it appears in the early medieval monastic Night Office.

I began with Ælfric’s legislation in the Letter to the Monks at Eynsham concerning the beginning of the continuous reading cycle:

“In Septuagesima we should read Genesis until mid-Lent and we sing the history ‘Alleluia: While it is present’ [Alleluia dum praesens est (CAO 6071)] first and for one day only, and for the week as a whole we sing the responsories from the psalms, ‘O how great is the multitude’ [Quam magna multitudo (CAO 7459)] and so forth. Then, in other weeks, we sing what is found in the antiphoner. But from mid-Lent we read Exodus and sing ‘The Lord said to Moses’…” (Christopher Jones, LME, 144-5)

So—what exactly do we find if we follow his advice and find out “what is found in the antiphoner”? I selected a fairly typical Benedictine antiphoner contemporary with Ælfric, the St. Gallen, Stiftsbibliothek, Cod. Sang. 390.

I found that in the six Sundays contained within the period allotted by Ælfric to Genesis, two of them focused on the start of liturgical seasons (Septuagesima and Quadragesima/Lent 1); the other four did indeed provide an interpretive framework for the Genesis text.

Each Sunday tended to group around a patriarch or two in the following fashion:

It’s worth noting that the grand majority of the responsories are taken directly from Scripture. Or—perhaps it’s more accurate to say that they are composed largely from Scriptural materials. For rarely is a verse utilized “as is”; bits of verses are stitched into one another to create a larger Scriptural pastiche which is typically literally faithful to its source but the very act of recomposition enables it to say something other and something more than the original words in the original context.

While individual verses and verse clusters are chosen from these narratives they are in no way chosen at random. They have been carefully chosen and the selections fit together into a precis of the narrative shaped by the liturgists’ own interpretations of the text. For instance, we note that the responsories focus fundamentally on the patriarchs. Obedience seems to be a central theme. The Fall narrative is shaped around it to the point of added in extrabiblical language. Doing so forms a parallel with authentic biblical language praising obedience in the Abraham narrative. Other themes also run through the selections; blessing in particular seems a predominate motif.  I’m sure further study would reveal others.

The upshot here is that when we consider early medieval materials that interact with, summarize or communicate Scripture—especially in broad narrative sweeps—it makes sense to pay attention to the responsories used to interpret those texts when they appear within the monastic Night Office.

Genesis and Responsories, Cont.: Lent 3

Continuing along with early medieval monastic responsories sung alongside the continuous reading of Genesis…

Videntes Joseph a longe (CAO 7863)
R: Seeing Joseph from far off, his brothers spoke among themselves saying, “Behold, here comes the dreamer. Come, Let us kill him and see if his dreams predicted this.”
V: And when Joseph was seen by his brothers—for he was loved by their father more than all of the others—they hated him, nor was anyone able to speak peacefully to them, thus they said; “Come, Let us kill him…”
Source: Gen 37:18-20.

Dixit Judas fratribus suis: Ecce (CAO 6477)
R: Judah said to his brothers, “Behold, Ishmaelites are passing by; come, let us sell him and not pollute our hands. Indeed, he is our flesh and our brother.”
V: When Ruben went out to the well and did not find him, tearing his clothes and going to his brothers he said, “The boy is not present; and where will I go?”; “Indeed, he is our flesh…”
Source: Gen 37:26-27, 29-30.

Videns Jacob vestimenta Joseph (CAO 7858)
R: Jacob, seeing the garment of Joseph, tore his clothes with tears saying, “A wild beast has devoured my son, Joseph.”
V: “See if this is the garment of your son or not;” and when the father saw it, he said: “A wild beast…”
Source: Gen 37:34a, 33, 32b.

Joseph, dum intraret (CAO 7037)
R: Joseph, when he entered into the land of Egypt heard a tongue that he did not understand; his hands worked at their labor, and his tongue spoke wisdom among the leaders.
V: His back was turned away from burdens. His hands worked…
Source: VgPs 81:6-7

Memento mei dum bene (CAO 7144)
R: “Remember me when it is well with you that you might suggest to Pharaoh that he lead me forth from this prison, for I am suffering under a trick and was sent innocent into the pit.”
V: “Indeed after three days, Pharaoh will recall your ministering and will restore you to your former position—then remember me. Suggest to Pharaoh”
Source: Gen 40:12b,13, 14. (Joseph prophesying to the cup-bearer)

Tollite hinc vobiscum munera (CAO 7769)
R: “Take these presents with you, and go to the lord of the land; and when you find him, prostrate yourselves upon the ground. May my God make you favorable to him and he may send back both your brother with you and he who is held in chains.”
V: “Take the fruit of the earth in your vessels and offer to the man presents. May my God make you favorable…”
Source: Gen 43:11, 14. (Israel telling his sons to go to Egypt to buy food from the incognito Joseph)

Iste est frater vester minimus (CAO 6999)
R: “Is this your youngest brother of whom you told me? God have mercy on you, my son!” And he hurried into the house and wept, because he broke out in tears and was not able to contain them.
V: But Joseph, lifting up his eyes, saw Benjamin standing there; his whole body was moved on account of his brother. And he hurried into the house…
Source: Gen 43:29b, 30, 29a. (Joseph reunited with his youngest brother.)

Dixit Ruben fratribus suis (CAO 6480)
R: Ruben said to his brothers, “Did I not say to you, ‘Do not sin against the boy’?—but you did not listen to me. His blood is required.”
V: “We deserve to suffer this, because we sinned against our brother seeing his anguish when he supplicated us but we did not hear him. His blood is required.”
Source: Gen 42:22, 21. (Ruben & brothers after their initial hardships in Egypt at the hand of Joseph.)

Merito haec patimur, quia peccavimus (CAO 7146)
R: “We deserve to suffer this, because we sinned against our brother seeing his anguish when he supplicated us but we did not hear him. For this reason tribulation has come upon us.”
V: Ruben said to his brothers, “Did I not say to you, ‘Do not sin against the boy’?—but you did not listen to me. For this reason tribulation has come upon us.”
Source: Gen 42:21, 22. (Ruben & brothers after their initial hardships in Egypt at the hand of Joseph.)

Dixit Joseph undecim fratribus (CAO 6476)
R: Joseph said to his eleven brothers, “I am Joseph whom you sold into Egypt. Does our old father still live about whom you have told me? Go, bring him to me that he might live.”
V: “For two years the famine has been in the land; it will yet remain another five. Go, bring him to me…”
Source: Gen 45:4b, 3, 6.

Nuntiaverunt Jacob dicentes (CAO 7251)
R: They announced it to Jacob saying, “Your son Joseph lives and he himself rules over the whole land of Egypt,” upon hearing his spirit was revived and he said, “It is enough for me. I will go and I will see him before I die.
V: And when Jacob heard that his son was alive, as if waking from a deep sleep said: “It is enough for me…”
Source: Gen 45:26a, 27b-28, 26b.

Salus nostra in manu tua est (CAO 7559)
R: “Our salvation is in your hands, lord. May your mercy rest upon us that we may serve you in quietness.”
V: “May your soul live, lord, that we may not see death, nor our little ones be wanting. that we may serve you in quietness.”
Source: I know of no direct citations here. The language could fit either monastics imploring Christ or the brothers imploring Joseph, especially given an alternate verse form: “They also came to Egypt to Joseph saying, ‘Give us food that we might live'” [found in Hesbert’s GDFL].

Here we clearly have a Joseph set but it’s constructed in such a way to bring out two parallel texts. First, it harkens back to the Cain and Abel story, particularly with the themes of death and pollution by blood in Dixit Judas fratribus suis: Ecce (CAO 6477), Dixit Ruben fratribus suis (CAO 6480), and
Merito haec patimur, quia peccavimus (CAO 7146).

Second, Joseph appears as a very pronounced type of Christ. The innocent, beloved above others by the father, is set upon by his sinful brothers. His innocence is put in direct connection with three days in bondage. Even Joseph’s title dominus terrae [referenced in Tollite hinc vobiscum munera (CAO 7769)] sounds remarkably Christological in this setting. The repetition of the brothers’ confession in
Dixit Ruben fratribus suis (CAO 6480) and
Merito haec patimur, quia peccavimus (CAO 7146) is entirely appropriate in a Lenten setting and the connection between the brothers’ sins against Joseph and the contemporary hearers’ sins against Christ would not be missed. The last responsory in particular containing plausible pseudo-dialogue between the brothers and Joseph reveals how many of the exchange map onto both Joseph and Christ.

Genesis and Responsories, Cont.: And They’re Back…

After a hiatus for the First Sunday in Lent, the responsories on Genesis return with the Second Sunday in Lent:

Tolle arma tua (CAO 7767)
R: Take up your weapons, quiver and bow, bring [something] from [your] hunting that I may eat, and my soul will bless you.
V: And when you bring back some game, then make me savory meat that I may eat. And my soul will bless you.
Sources: Gen 27:3-4. (Isaac prepares to bless Esau.)

Ecce odor filii (CAO 6601)
R: Behold the odor of my son is as the odor of a plentiful field that the Lord blessed. May my God make you increase as the sands of the seas and give to you the blessing of the dew of heaven.
V: The one who curses you, let him be cursed, and the one who blesses you, let him be filled with blessings. And give to you…
Sources: Gen 27:27b, 28, 29b. (The blind Isaac blesses Jacob.)

Det tibi Deus de rore coeli (CAO 6415)
R: May the Lord give to you the dew of heaven and the abundance of the fatness of the earth. Peoples, tribes will serve you; you will be lord over your brothers.
V: And the sons of your mother will bow before you. You will be lord over your brothers.
Sources: Gen 27:28, 29a. (The blind Isaac blesses Jacob.)

Dum exiret Jacob (CAO 6540)
R: When Jacob went out of his land, seeing the glory of God he said, “How terrible is this place! It is none other than the house of God and the gate of heaven.”
V: “Truly the Lord is in this place and I did not know it. It is none other…”
Sources: Starts with a quick summary of the action (Jacob leaves home, sleeps, sees the ladder to heaven), then Gen 28:17, 16b.

Si Dominus Deus meus fuerit (CAO 7650)
R: “If the Lord my God will be with me in the way that I walk, guard me, and give me bread to bring forth and a garment that covers me, and recall me when I hail him, he will be my God as a refuge and this stone will be a sign.
V: “Truly the Lord is in this place and I did not know it. He will be my God…”
Sources: Gen 28:20, 21b, 22a.

Erit mihi Dominus in Deum (CAO 6668)
R: “He will be my God and this stone which I raise as a pledge I will call the house of God; and out of everything that you give me, a tenth part and peace offerings I will give to you.”
V: “If the Lord my God will be with me in the way that I walk and guard me. A tenth part and peace offerings I will give to you…”
Sources: Gen 28:22, 20.

Oravit Jacob et dixit (CAO 7334)
R: Jacob prayed and said, “Lord who said to me, ‘Return to the land of your birth’ deliver me from the hand of my brother, for I fear him greatly.”
V: “God in whose sight my fathers walked, Lord who gave me peace from my youth. Deliver me…”
Sources: Gen 32:9, 11. (The now wealthy Jacob returns to face the wrath of Esau)

Dixit angelus ad Jacob (CAO 6465)
R: The angel said to Jacob, “Release me, it is dawn.” He responded, “I will not release you unless you bless me.” So he blessed him in that place.
V: “Blessing, I will bless you.” So he blessed him…
Sources: Gen 32:26, 29b. The beginning of the verse is not a direct quote from this location but is thematically pervasive especially given the selections of the previous responsories. (The Angel of the Lord blesses Jacob after a whole night of wrestling.)

Vidi Dominum facie ad faciem (CAO 7874)
R: “I saw the Lord face to face, and my soul has been saved.”
V: And he said, “No longer will you be called Jacob, but Israel will be your name.” And my soul…
Sources: Gen 32:30b, 28a. (The Angel of the Lord renames Jacob as Israel.)

So, this whole set hits the high points of the Jacob narrative. Clearly the high points for early medieval liturgists are the scenes of blessing—the blessing of Isaac upon the trickster Jacob, the vision at Bethel and Jacob making a covenant with God, then the blessing at Phanuel.

Genesis and Responsories, Cont.: A Pause for Quadragesima

Continuing yet again with our look at how the Genesis readings are contextualized and framed by the responsories with which they are paired in the early medieval monastic Night Office, we come to a not unexpected break in the interpretive flow. Liturgically, Lent does not begin on Ash Wednesday but with the First Vespers of Quadragesima so, sure enough, the first Matins of Lent hammers the Lenten themes and makes no reference whatsoever to Genesis. This too teaches us something: the responsories serve to interpret the Scriptures, yes, but their primary obligation is to the rhythms of the year. When the continuous reading of the Scripture is the most seasonally thematic part, the responsories work with them; when it’s not, it does something else.

Ecce nunc tempus acceptabile (CAO 6600)
R: Behold–now is the acceptable time; behold–now is the day of salvation. Let us commend ourselves in much patience, in much fasting, through the weapons of the righteousness of the power of God.
V: In all things let us exhibit ourselves as ministers of God that our ministry not be blamed. Through the weapons…
Sources: 2 Cor 6:2b, 4, 5, 7, 4, 3. This is a section of the appointed Epistle for the day.

Paradisi portas aperuit nobis (CAO 7348)
R: The time of fasting will open to us the gates of Paradise. Let us receive it, with prayer and supplication, that we may glory in the day of resurrection with the Lord.
V: Behold–now is the acceptable time; behold–now is the day of salvation giving no one any offense. That we may glory…
Sources: The first two sentences have no clear Scriptural parallels that I can think of; as for the rest… 2 Cor 6:2b, 4, 5, 7, 4, 3.

Emendemus in melius (CAO 6653)
R: Let us change ourselves for the better because we sinned in ignorance. Lest the day of our death overtake us suddenly, let us beseech a time of penitence and may we not be found [unready]. Harken, Lord, and have mercy for we have sinned against you.
V: We, with our fathers, have sinned, we have done injustice, we have committed iniquities. Harken, Lord…
Sources: Again, lots of Scriptural language but no compelling parallels that I can think of.

In jejunio et fletu orabant (CAO 6910)
R: In fasting and prostrations the priests prayed, saying, “Spare, Lord, spare your people, and do not give your inheritance over to destruction.”
V: Between the vestibule and the altar the priests implored. “Spare, Lord…”
Sources: Joel 2: 12a, 17b. In the Tridentine Breviary, Joel 2:17 is the Little Chapter for Vespers during Lent. According to the Office Chapter lectionary for Lent in Cod. Sang. 342 it was not the Vespers reading there—but the Little Chapter for the Night Office was Joel 2:12.

In omnibus exhibeamus nos (CAO 6920)
R: In all things let us exhibit ourselves as ministers of God with much patience that our ministry not be blamed.
V: Behold—now is the acceptable time; behold—now is the day of salvation. Let us commend ourselves in much patience. That our ministry…
Sources: 2 Cor 6:4a, 3b, 2b. This responsory contains most of the same elements as the first, merely reversing the order in the response and verse.

Abscondite eleemosynam (CAO 6012)
R: Hide your alms in the bosom of the poor and they [the alms] will pray for you to the Lord. For just as water quenches fire, so alms quench sin.
V: Honor the Lord out of your substance, and out of your first fruits give to the poor. For just as water…
Sources: I can’t locate a source for the first sentence but the second is Sir 3:33 and the verse is from Prov 3:9.

Tribularer si nescirem (CAO 7778)
R: If in tribulation I were ignorant of your mercy, Lord, you said, “I do not wish the death of the sinner, but repent and live”, the one who calls the Canaanite and tax collector to penitence.
V: But you received Peter weeping, merciful Lord. The one who calls…
Sources: Ezekiel 18:32 contains the quotation, the rest is built around gospel material, particularly the tears of Peter after the crowing of the cock in Matt 26:75|Mark 14:72|Luke 22:62.

Angelis suis mandavit de te (CAO 6087)
R: He commanded his angels concerning you, that they guard you in all of your ways; they will carry you in their hands lest you strike your foot against a stone.
V: Upon the asp and basilisk you will walk; you will tread on the lion and the dragon. They will carry you in their hands…
Sources: VgPs 90:11-13. The appearance of this psalm is fascinating as it pulls together a whole bunch of liturgical threads. While it is cited from the psalms, it actually makes its entrance through the Gospel of the Day, Matthew 4:1-11; this psalm is referred to in the debate between Jesus and the devil found there. If you then look at the data from Hesbert’s Antiphonarium Missarum Sextuplex where he pulls together the Propers from six early sources you’ll see that every single one of them from the Introit to the Tract to the Offertory to the Communion are based on this psalm.

Pater, peccavi in coelum (CAO 7362)
R: “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me as one of your hired hands.”
V: “Do not the hired hands in my father’s house abound with bread, but here I perish from hunger? I will rise and I will go to my father and I will say to him. Make me as one of your hired hands.”
Sources: Luke 15:18b-19, 17b-18a. The repentance of the prodigal son.

Ductus est Jesus in desertum (CAO 6529)
R: Jesus was led into the wilderness by the Spirit that he might be tested by the devil, and drawing near the Tempter said to him, “If you are the Son of God, speak that these stones may become bread.”
V: And when he had fasted for forty days and forty nights, afterward he hungered. And drawing near the Tempter said…
Sources: Matthew 4:1, 3, 2. A portion from the Gospel of the Day.

Looking over the choice of texts, we see a real confluence here between the appointed Mass texts and the Night Office; this is one of those points where the cross-over is not just notable but extensive. The Epistle, Gospel, and the Psalm featured in the Mass liturgy all feature quite heavily here. Once again we’re reminded that the different liturgies despite their different functions are interwoven—even more so at the main points of the Church Year.

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.

More Genesis and Responsories: Quinquigesima

Continuing with the theme and texts from the last post, I’m still looking at the responsories of pre-Lent and how they serve as interpretive lenses for early medieval liturgical communities as they read through the book of Genesis.

As we saw, the responsories of Sexagesima got us through creation and up to the murder of Abel by Cain. Remember, we’re heading into Lent here, so images that can be read as pointing to the crucifixion and passion will be thrown into relief by the season as a whole.

The responsories for Quinquigesima begin (in our book of choice…) with:

Quadraginta dies et noctes (CAO 7454)
R: For forty days and nights the heavens were opened, and out of all flesh having the spirit of life they entered into the ark, and the Lord closed the door of the entrance.
V: Namely Noah and his wife and his sons and the wives of his sons. They entered into the ark…
Sources: Gen 7:4b, 11b, 15b, 16b, 7a.

Ponam arcum meum (CAO 7391)
R: “I have placed my bow in the clouds of heaven,” said the Lord to Noah, “And I will be mindful of my covenant that I pledge with you.
V: And when I produce clouds in the heavens, my bow will appear in the clouds. And I will be mindful…
Sources: Gen 9:13, 15, 14.

Per memetipsum juravi (CAO 7375)
R: “I have sworn by my own self,” says the Lord, “I will not increase the flood-waters upon the earth; I will be mindful of my pact that I shall not destroy all flesh with the flood-waters.
V: “I have placed my bow in the clouds of heaven, and I will swear by my right hand. That I shall not destroy…
Sources: Gen 9:11. While most of the earlier responsories have been almost word-for-word cut-n-paste events from Scripture, the language here departs from the vocabulary of the Vulgate. Creative license or tracks of the Old Latin…?

Aedificavit Noe altare (CAO 6055)
R: Noah built an altar to the Lord, offering upon it a burnt-offering. God smelled the pleasant odor and blessed him: “Be fruitful and multiply, refill the earth.”
V: “Behold–I establish my pact with you and with your seed after you. Be fruitful and multiply…”
Sources: Gen 8:20a, 21a, 9:1b.

Locutus est Dominus ad Abraham (CAO 7097)
R: The Lord spoke to Abraham saying, “Go out from your land and kinsman and go to the land that I will show you, and I will make you to increase into a great nation.”
V: “Those blessing you, I will bless you and will multiply you. I will make you to increase into a great nation…”
Sources: Gen 12:1,2a, 3a.

Tentavit Deus Abraham (CAO 7762)
R: God tested Abraham and said to him, “Take your son whom you love, Isaac, and offer him as a burnt-offering upon a mountain that I will show you.”
V: Make to God a sacrifice of praise and repay your vows to the Most High. upon a mountain…
Sources: Gen 22:1-2; VgPs 49:14. (Of course, the juxtaposition in the second half also contains strong resonances to the style of Deuteronomy and is intended to bring Mt. Zion into clear focus.)

[Antiphon for the canticles for Nocturn 3]

Angelus Domini vocavit Abraham (CAO 6098)
R: The Angel of the Lord called to Abraham saying, “Do not extend your hand against the boy, for you fear the Lord.”
V: And all the tribes of the earth shall be blessed in you. For you fear the Lord.”
Sources: Gen 22:11, 12; 12:3b.

Vocavit angelus Domini Abraham (CAO 7911)
R: The Angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven saying, “I will bless you, and I will multiply you like the stars of heaven.”
V: “And all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in your seed because you obeyed my voice. And I will multiply you…”
Sources: Gen 22:15, 17, 18.

Deus domini mei Abraham (CAO 6420)
R: “God of my lord Abraham, direct my way that I may return in health to the house of my lord.”
V: “I pray you, Lord, have mercy upon your servant. That I may return…”
Sources: Very loosely connected to Gen 24:12.

Veni hodie ad fontem (CAO 7827)
R: Today I came to the fountain of water and prayed to the Lord, saying, “Lord, God of Abraham, make my desire prosperous.”
V: “Therefore the girl to whom I shall say ‘Give me water from your jar that I might drink’ and she shall say, ‘Drink, lord, and I will give a drink to your camels’ she it will be whom the Lord prepared for the son of my lord.” Lord, God of Abraham…”
Sources: Gen 24:42-44.

Caecus sedebat secus viam (CAO 6260)
R: A blind man used to sit beside the road and, the Lord having passed by, he cried out to him. The Lord said to him, “What would you like me to do for you?” “Rabbouni, that I might see light.”
V: But those who went before rebuke him that he would be silent, but he called out more and more. “Rabbouni, that I might see light.”
Sources: Luke 18:35b, 38, 41, 39. Light is an addition to the biblical text (and not commonly found in this responsory either).

Dum staret Abraham (CAO 6563)
R: While Abraham remained at the root of Mambre, he saw three boys coming down the road; he saw three but he worshiped one.
V: The Lord said to Abraham, “Behold, your wife Sara shall bear you a son and you shall call his name Issac.” He saw three…
Sources: loosely based on Gen 18:1-2, 17:19. The R appears to have been created mostly whole-cloth from the substance of 18:1-2 highlighting the Trinitarian possibilities in the text, playing off the Vulgate’s use of “adoravit” as a form of welcome.

We begin with a nocturn-full of Noah materials that both begins with “40 days” and foregrounds the everlasting covenant not to destroy the earth by water.

Moving to Abraham, we note that there is not a continuous narrative here. Rather, it jumps a bit from place to place. For instance, we have Isaac’s almost sacrifice before we have him being born. Indeed, we have the search for his wife before he’s even been born! And that is, perhaps, one of the more puzzling sections of this group of responsories–why two responsories on the search for Rebecca?

Too, we have the injection of material from Luke. Luke 18:31-43 is the Gospel appointed for the day and sure enough on the next page are five antiphons labelled “In Ev” (i.e., to be used with the Magnificat at Vespers) that are all extracts from the healing of the blind man in Luke 18, a typical treatment for the Gospel of the day. I would think this reponsry would function best as the first responsory in the third nocturn but the order doesn’t work quite that neatly. At any case, here we see one of the not uncommon cross-overs that place the Night Office lectionary in connection with the Mass lectionary.

I’m tempted to suggest that the placement of this Gospel-inspired responsory is intended as a pregnant juxtaposition in connection with the pleas of Abraham’s servant, given the common theme of beseeching but that may be stretching a bit…

In any case, the responbsories here show the same pattern that we saw at Sexagesima, namely responsories that are intended to shape, focus and fundamentally interpret the continous reading of Scripture.