Preacher, Sermon and Audience in the Middle Ages

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Preacher, Sermon and Audience in the Middle Ages

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Die Deutsche Bibliothek - CIP-Einheitsaufnahme Muessig, Carolyn: Preacher, sermon and audience in the Middle Ages / by Carolyn Muessig. – Leiden ; Boston ; Köln : Brill, 2002 ISBN 90–04–11416–5

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data is also available.

ISBN 90 04 11416 5 © Copyright 2002 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, translated, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission from the publisher. Authorization to photocopy items for internal or personal use is granted by Brill provided that the appropriate fees are paid directly to The Copyright Clearance Center, 222 Rosewood Drive, Suite 910 Danvers MA 01923, USA. Fees are subject to change. printed in the netherlands

TABLE OF CONTENTS Dedication . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ix

Acknowledgments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . List of Contributors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



List of Plates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xvii


Preacher, Sermon and Audience in the Middle Ages: An Introduction Carolyn Muessig . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



From Texts to Preaching: Retrieving the Medieval Sermon as an Event Augustine Thompson, OP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13


The Ars Praedicandi and the Medieval Sermon Phyllis Roberts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 Coram Papa Preaching and Rhetorical Community at Papal Avignon Blake Beattie . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63



Medieval Sermons and their Performance: Theory and Record Beverly Mayne Kienzle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89 PART FIVE PREACHING AND ART

The Preacher as Goldsmith: The Italian Preachers’ Use of the Visual Arts Nirit Ben-Aryeh Debby . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 127 Preaching and Image: Sermons and Wall Paintings in Later Medieval England Miriam Gill . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 155 The Preacher Saint in Late Medieval Italian Art Roberto Rusconi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 181 PART SIX PREACHER AND AUDIENCE

Vercelli Homilies  –  and the Anglo-Saxon Benedictine Reform: Tailored Sources and Implied Audiences Charles D. Wright . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 203 The Preacher as Women’s Mentor Nirit Ben-Aryeh Debby . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 229 Audience and Preacher: Ad Status Sermons and Social Classification Carolyn Muessig . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 255

  



The Context of Medieval Sermon Collections on Saints George Ferzoco . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 279 Reconstructing the Mental Calendar of Medieval Preaching: A Method and Its Limits – An Analysis of Sunday Sermons Jussi Hanska . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 293 Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 317

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Dedication I am honored to dedicate this volume, on behalf of its editor, Carolyn Muessig, and all its contributors, to Louis-Jacques Bataillon, O.P. I frequently refer to the International Medieval Sermon Studies Society as a society of mentors; that term corresponds to both a vision for future growth and a description of current and past reality. No one deserves grateful recognition as a mentor more than Father Bataillon. Immensely erudite, always helpful, encouraging, and eager to welcome new research, he has guided many young scholars along their first journeys through the baffling complexities of medieval sermons and their manuscripts. He has also become for us a ‘‘socius itineris’’, a friend wherever we have gone (Genesis 35, 3). The contributors to this outstanding book and to the many valuable publications that have enriched the field in recent decades owe him an enormous debt of thanks, one that I express for all not only with gratitude but also with great affection. Beverly Mayne Kienzle President of the International Medieval Sermon Studies Society Boston, Massachusetts, 22 April 2001

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I would like to record my gratitude to the University of Bristol Research Fund and the Department of Theology and Religious Studies, University of Bristol, for their generous support which allowed me to undertake the editorship of this volume. Thanks are also due to Fr James Farge and Caroline Suma of the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies Library, Toronto, Canada, for their kind assistance. The dedicated participation of all the contributors to Preacher, Sermon and Audience is warmly acknowledged. I am grateful to Julian Deahl, Senior Editor, Brill, who invited me to organize and edit this volume, and to Bill George the copy-editor. Special thanks go to George Ferzoco, University of Leicester, whose patience and advice have made the task of editing so much easier. Carolyn Muessig 23 May 2001 Bristol, UK

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LIST OF CONTRIBUTORS Blake Beattie is Assistant Professor in the History Department at the University of Louisville, Kentucky. His research interests include the Avignon Papacy and medieval preaching. He has published extensively on these themes in such journals as Mediaeval Studies and Medieval Sermon Studies. Nirit Ben-Aryeh Debby teaches Medieval History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Her research interests include the sermons of Giovanni Dominici, Italian medieval and Renaissance preaching, and preachers and their pulpits. Recent publications include: ‘‘The Stormy Preaching of Giovanni Dominici in Renaissance Florence 1400–1406,’’ Archivio italiano per la storia della pieta 12 (1999), 65–87; ‘‘Jews and Judaism in the Rhetoric of Popular Preachers,’’ Jewish History 14 (2000), 175–200; and Renaissance Florence in the Rhetoric of Two Popular Preachers: Giovanni Dominici (1356–1419) and Bernardino da Siena (1380–1444) (Turnhout, in press). George Ferzoco is Lecturer in Italian Studies at the University of Leicester. His research interests include medieval hagiography, canonization, and forms of education. Recent publications include Medieval Monastic Education (co-edited with Carolyn Muessig; London, 2000) and ‘‘An Italian Archbishop’s Sermon to the Pope,’’ Medieval Sermon Studies 43 (1999), 67–74. Miriam Gill holds a doctorate from the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London and is a part-time lecturer and researcher at the University of Leicester. Her research focuses on later medieval wall paintings in England, particularly their relationship to literature, drama, society and sacred space. Her recent publications include studies of the role of wall paintings in monastic education and the textual sources of the Eton College murals. She has produced an on-line resource about churches with wall paintings of both the Seven Deadly Sins and Seven Corporal Works of Mercy.


  

Jussi Hanska is Researcher of the Finnish Academy, University of Tampere. His research interests include medieval model sermon collections and the history of natural disasters. Recent publications include ‘‘And the Rich Man also Died; and He was Buried in Hell’’ – The Social Ethos in Mendicant Sermons (Helsinki, 1997); ‘‘La responsabilité du père dans les sermons du e siècle,’’ Cahiers de Recherches médiévales (e–e siècles) 4 (1997); ‘‘Cessante causa cessat et effectus. Sin and Natural Disasters in Medieval Sermons,’’ in Roma, magistra mundi. Itineraria culturae medievalis, vol. 3 (Louvain-la-Neuve, 1998). Beverly Mayne Kienzle is Professor of the Practice in Latin and Romance Languages, Harvard Divinity School; and is current President of the International Medieval Sermon Studies Society. Recent publications include: The Sermon (Typologie des sources du moyen âge occidental 81–83) (Turnhout, 2000); Cistercians, Heresy and Crusade (1145–1229): Preaching in the Lord’s Vineyard (Woodbridge, 2001); ‘‘Hildegard of Bingen’s Teaching in her Expositiones evangeliorum and Ordo Virtutum,’’ in Medieval Monastic Education, ed. George Ferzoco and Carolyn Muessig (London, 2000), pp. 72–86; ‘‘Battered Women and the Construction of Sanctity,’’ (with Nancy Nienhuis), Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion 17.1 (Spring 2001), 33–61. Carolyn Muessig is Lecturer in Medieval Theology, University of Bristol. Her research interests include the sermons of Jacques de Vitry, monastic history, and medieval women’s education. Recent publications include Medieval Monastic Education (co-edited with George Ferzoco; London, 2000); The Faces of Women in the Sermons of Jacques de Vitry (Toronto, 1999); and Medieval Monastic Preaching (Leiden, 1998). She is co-editor (with Veronica O’Mara) of the journal Medieval Sermon Studies. Phyllis B. Roberts is Professor of History, Emerita, The City University of New York. Her research interests include the history of medieval preaching and the cult of St Thomas Becket. She is the author of Thomas Becket in the Medieval Latin Preaching Tradition: An Inventory of Sermons about St Thomas Becket c. 1170 – c. 1400 (The Hague, 1992); Selected Sermons of Stephen Langton (Toronto, 1980); and Stephanus de Lingua-Tonante: Studies in the Sermons of Stephen Langton (Toronto, 1968). She is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

  


Roberto Rusconi is Professor of the History of Christianity at the University of L’Aquila (Italy). His research interests include different fields in the religious history of the later Middle Ages. His publications include: Women and Religion in Medieval and Renaissance Italy (coedited with Daniel E. Bornstein; Chicago, 1996); The Book of Prophecies edited by Christopher Columbus (Berkeley, 1997); Women’s Sermons at the End of the Middle Ages: Texts from the Blessed and the Images of Saints (Berkeley, 1998); Profezia e profeti alla fine del Medioevo (Roma, 1999); La vita religiosa nel tardo Medioevo: Fra istituzione e devozione, in Chiesa, chiese, movimenti religiosi (co-edited with G.M. Cantarella and V. Polonio; Roma-Bari, 2001). Fr Augustine Thompson, OP, is Associate Professor of Christian Thought, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia. His research and publications have focused on high medieval thought and spirituality, canon law, and religious life in Italy. Among his publications are Revival Preaching and Politics in Thirteenth-Century Italy (Oxford, 1992), and (with James Gordley) Gratian: The Treatise on Laws with the Ordinary Gloss (Washington DC, 1993). Charles D. Wright, Associate Professor of English at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, is author of The Irish Tradition in Old English Literature (Cambridge, 1993), and of essays on Old English poetry and prose and Hiberno-Latin literature in journals such as Anglia, Anglo-Saxon England, Journal of Medieval Latin, andTraditio. Current projects include an article on ‘‘Some New Latin Texts of the Apocalypse of Thomas’’ and a study of the transmission of Hiberno-Latin literature in Anglo-Saxon manuscripts.

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Plates 1–4 (between p. 153 and p. 154), for Nirit Ben-Aryeh Debby, ‘‘The Preacher as Goldsmith: The Italian Preachers’ Use of the Visual Arts:’’ 1. Neroccio di Bartolomeo de’Landi. The preaching of St Bernardino in the Piazza del Campo. 2. Ambrogio Lorenzetti. Peace / The Effects of Good Government on the City. 3. Ambrogio Lorenzetti. Peace / The Effects of Good Government on the Country. 4. Ambrogio Lorenzetti. War / Bad Government and the City. Plates 1–8 (between p. 153 and p. 154), for Miriam Gill, ‘‘Sermons and Wall Paintings in Later Medieval England:’’ 1. Wheel of Fortune. North wall of the Choir, Rochester Cathedral (c1245–50). 2. St John the Baptist. Thornham Parva Retable (prior to restoration). 3. Memento Mori image of the poems Erthe upon Erthe and Whoo so hym be thought. South side of the west wall, Chapel of the Guild of the Holy Cross, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire. 4. Crucifixion. Upper storey of the Chantry Chapel of Abbot Islip (d. 1532), Westminster Abbey. From the Mortuary Roll of Abbot Islip (Westminster Abbey). 5. Warning to Swearers. North wall of the nave, Broughton, Buckinghamshire. 6. Warning to Gossips. West wall, Colton, Norfolk.


  

7. St Edward’s Confessor seeing the Christ child in the host. Leofric counselling St Edward to keep his vision secret. South arcade, Friskney, Lincolnshire. 8. Ritual Host Desecration. South arcade, Friskney, Lincolnshire. Plates 1–14 (between p. 186 and p. 187), for Roberto Rusconi, ‘‘The Preacher Saint in Late Medieval Italian Art:’’ 1. Master of St John of Capestrano. St Bernardino of Siena. 2. Bartolomeo degli Erri. St Vincent Ferrer. 3. Benozzo Gozzoli. The sermon of St Ambrose and the dispute with St Augustine. 4. St Augustine, Sermones. Basel, 1494–95. 5. Ligurian school of the end of the 15th century. Bernardino of Feltre preaches from a pulpit. 6. Tiberio of Assisi. St Francis promulgating the indulgence of the Porziuncola. 7. La vita e li miracoli del glorioso confessore sancto Antonio de Padoa. Verona, 1493–95. The saint preaches to the fishes. 8. Jacopo Bellini. St Bernardino da Siena in the pulpit. 9. Lorenzo di Pietro, called ‘‘Vecchietta’’. St Bernardino da Siena preaching. 10. Gian Giacomo da Lodi. Scenes from the life of St Bernardino of Siena. 11. North Italian engraver(ca. 1470–80). St Bernardino of Siena. 12. Erri workshop. Polyptych of St Peter Martyr: (detail): the miracle of the crazed horse.

  


13. Erri workshop. Polyptych of St Thomas Aquinas (detail): the saint preaching. 14. Giovan Pietro Ferraro, Tesauro Spirituale. Milan, 1499. Woodcut of Christ preaching to Mary Magdalene.

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PREACHER, SERMON AND AUDIENCE IN THE MIDDLE AGES: AN INTRODUCTION Carolyn Muessig The most common question that scholars of medieval preaching are asked is ‘‘What is a sermon?’’ It is an excellent question, and like most excellent questions, it is difficult to answer.1 Since sermons come in many styles and genres there is no straightforward response.2 Moreover, scholars of preaching have always recognized sermons as a rich resource for what they indicate about medieval culture. Because sermons intersect with so many aspects of daily life they can be mined in a variety of ways for insights into medieval thought and practice. The diversity of the sermon genre and the richness of information which sermons hold are the focus of Preacher, Sermon and Audience in the Middle Ages. The study examines the role of sermons and the function of preaching in western Europe between the tenth and fifteenth centuries. Some of the themes presented in this volume such as ‘‘Preaching and Performance,’’ ‘‘Preaching and Art,’’ and ‘‘Preacher and Audience’’ have until now received little attention. This study establishes these themes as significant areas of research in the field of sermon studies. Moreover, it revisits more traditional themes such as ‘‘Rhetoric and Preaching’’ and ‘‘Sermons as an Historical Source’’ which hold abundant research opportunities.

1 See Beverly Mayne Kienzle, ed., The Sermon (Typologie des Sources du Moyen Âge Occidental 81–83; Turnhout, 2000) for the most comprehensive answer to this question. 2 See Carolyn Muessig, ‘‘What is Medieval Monastic Preaching: An Introduction,’’ in Medieval Monastic Preaching (Brill’s Studies in Intellectual History 90, ed. Carolyn Muessig; Leiden, 1998), pp. 3–16, at 3–5.


 

Trends in Medieval Sermon Studies

In the last thirty years monographs and articles on medieval sermon studies have increased with amazing consistency and speed. This has resulted mainly from J.-B. Schneyer’s invaluable list of medieval Latin sermon incipits and explicits.3 Schneyer’s study has allowed scholars to explore themes and topics which formerly lay hidden in manuscripts throughout Europe. Augustine Thompson’s article at once outlines these themes and landmark works which have arisen in medieval sermon studies, while pointing to areas of research which need further analysis.4 Covering topics ranging from the sermon transmission to the relatively unexplored field of preaching and art, Thompson’s article is a locus classicus for anyone needing a digestible and comprehensive introduction to the history of medieval preaching and its recent scholarship. Rhetoric and Preaching Sermons are often analyzed in relation to the moral lesson which they convey. The tone of this lesson was modulated by the preacher’s understanding of rhetoric. Phyllis Roberts’s article analyzes handbooks of preaching (artes praedicandi) which presented ‘‘rhetorical systems’’ for preachers to adopt. Based on an analysis of various artes praedicandi, Roberts shows how these handbooks developed in relation to the increased demand for preachers to carry out popular preaching in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries.5 Blake Beattie’s article analyzes a form of preaching rhetoric which was not popular; in fact, ‘‘it spoke most directly to a very specific Christian community comprised exclusively or almost exclusively of Churchmen.’’6 Beattie considers the language of curial preaching at fourteenth-century Avignon. Through a careful study 3 Johann-Baptist Schneyer, Reportorium des lateinischen Sermones des Mittelalters für die Zeit von 1150–1350 (Beiträge zur Geschichte der Philosophie und Theologie des Mittelalters. Texte und Untersuchungen 43; Westphalia, 1969–90), 11 vols. 4 See Augustine Thompson, ‘‘From Texts to Preaching: Retrieving the Medieval Sermon as an Event,’’ in this volume. 5 SeePhyllisRoberts,‘‘TheArsPraedicandiandtheMedievalSermon,’’inthisvolume. 6 See Blake Beattie, ‘‘Coram Papa Preaching and Rhetorical Community at Papal Avignon,’’ in this volume.

,   :  


of the rhetoric of sermons contained in Valencia cat. bib. MS 215, he uncovers a particular language which helped bring cohesion to the quite diverse national origins and religious professions of the men who comprised the fourteenth-century papal curia. Preaching and Performance The ephemeral nature of preaching poses many problems for sermon scholars. The active nature of preaching is locked into texts which obscure the overall performance of the preacher and his sermon. For the most part, the preacher’s gestures, tones, and interaction with his audience are elements that evade concrete analysis. However, Beverly Mayne Kienzle puts forward a provocative proposal in her article which outlines a method for reconstructing the preaching event.7 By relying on the methodology of ‘‘performance theory’’ Kienzle outlines an approach which allows for the possibility of retrieving aspects of the preacher’s performance. Among others, the preaching performances of Bernard of Clairvaux, Bernardino da Siena, and Vincent of Ferrer are considered. Kienzle’s article highlights many themes which run through Preacher, Sermon and Audience in the Middle Ages. Augustine Thompson considers ‘‘the event’’ of preaching which is underlined in Kienzle’s article. Both Roberts and Beattie unpack the significance of rhetoric in shaping the medium of the message. Kienzle too discusses ways for scholars to enliven the preaching event by considering the function of rhetoric; she even discusses how some preachers ‘‘performed’’ miracles in their sermons and how this made their points more effective. Moreover, Kienzle finds evidence for preachers’ use of art in their sermons. Her observations on this point are taken up in the following section of our volume. Preaching and Art Preaching and its relation to art is an area much talked about but little studied. However, building upon the theme of reconstructing 7 Beverly Mayne Kienzle, ‘‘Medieval Sermons and their Performance: Theory and Record,’’ in this volume.


 

the preacher in the act of preaching, Nirit Ben-Aryeh Debby, Miriam Gill, and Roberto Rusconi provide precious details regarding the relationship between art and preaching. By marrying the two disciplines of art history and sermon studies these three scholars come up with evidence which greatly increases our understanding of how some medieval preachers relayed their pastoral lessons. Debby first considers how medieval Italian preachers (i.e., Giovanni Dominici, Bernardino da Siena, and Girolamo Savonarola) perceived the use of art in preaching.8 Moreover, with the example of Bernardino da Siena, Debby demonstrates in what manner a minister could preach and use art to underline his moral points. This is also brought out in Miriam Gill’s article.9 Turning to late medieval English wall paintings, Gill considers how such a medium could be used in sermons. Gill reflects on the ‘‘relationship between sermons and wall paintings in three stages: direct connections, common material, and general associations.’’ Through a thoughtful study of these issues, Gill’s evidence indicates that a preacher’s reliance on local art was not at all unusual. Moving back to Italy, Roberto Rusconi considers the depictions of saintly preachers in late medieval Italian art.10 Rusconi discusses the iconography of Augustine, Francis of Assisi, Anthony of Padua, Bernardino da Siena, and Vincent of Ferrer in relation to preaching. Rusconi notes that an increase in the depiction of preachers in fifteenth-century art indicated a perception that preaching was indeed a saintly practice. Preacher and Audience An ongoing problem in the field of sermon studies is determining audience composition. Identifying the audience is elusive because the sermon text often does not indicate this significant morsel of information. The articles found in this section deal with the relationship between preacher and his audience. Charles D. Wright 8 Nirit Ben-Aryeh Debby, ‘‘The Preacher as Goldsmith: The Italian Preachers’ Use of the Visual Arts,’’ in this volume. 9 Miriam Gill, ‘‘Preaching and Image: Sermons and Wall Paintings in Later Medieval England,’’ in this volume. 10 Roberto Rusconi, ‘‘The Preacher Saint in Late Medieval Italian Art,’’ in this volume.

,   :  


provides an excellent approach regarding how to establish the intended audience of a given sermon. The subject of his study is the Old English Vercelli homilies. By paying close attention to how preachers used sources in these homilies and what themes they employed, Wright argues that the audience was most likely not a monastic audience but a lay one.11 Nirit Ben-Aryeh Debby’s article examines sermons directed to female audiences by the medieval Italian preacher Giovanni Dominici.12 Debby uncovers a complex series of themes which underline the diversity of the preacher’s message. She demonstrates how Dominici could at once show sensitivity to women’s difficulties and yet also show tendencies of misogyny. Moreover, Debby indicates how the preacher’s relationship with his audience influenced the content of his sermons. Carolyn Muessig’s article examines a rarity in medieval sermon collections–sermons which base all their themes on audience composition rather than on a liturgical event; these sermon collections are called sermones ad status.13 Focusing on the audiences portrayed in the ad status sermons of Honorius Augustodunensis, Jacques de Vitry, and Humbert of Romans, Muessig discusses why these preachers developed detailed commentaries on contemporary society. The study indicates that these sermons tell us more about the preachers and their particular agendas than it does about their audiences. Sermons as an Historical Source Unlike the sermones ad status collections which were quite rare, the last two articles are concerned with the study of very widespread liturgical sermon collections: the sermones de sanctis and the sermones dominicales. The first article by George Ferzoco examines the function of sermons related to the feast days of saints. In demonstrating the many circumstances which occasioned such sermons, the article

11 Charles D. Wright, ‘‘Vercelli Homilies - and the Anglo-Saxon Benedictine Reform: Tailored Sources and Implied Audiences,’’ in this volume. 12 Nirit Ben-Aryeh Debby, ‘‘The Preacher as Women’s Mentor,’’ in this volume. 13 Carolyn Muessig, ‘‘Preacher and Audience: Ad status Sermons and Social Classification,’’ in this volume.


 

shows that the genre is not the monolith that most have until now assumed. Using Jacopo da Varazze’s sermon on St Andrew as one example, Ferzoco argues that liturgical setting and solemnity affect the structure and content of such sermons. Moreover, preachers could use these occasions to make a variety of points that may not have been conveniently made during regular Sunday feasts.14 The final article by Jussi Hanska focuses on sermons which were preached on Sundays–the sermones dominicales.15 Hanska tests David d’Avray’s thesis to see if these sermons contain recurring moral themes which would be preached at particular times of the year. This is what d’Avray calls ‘‘the drip-drip method of inculcating beliefs’’.16 Hanska considers the aspects of this method and how they can be used in historical investigation. Among many other compelling observations, one of the significant points which arises from both of these articles is the importance of the sermon as a historical source which indicates that intellectual and popular knowledge of theology and religious practice were not worlds apart but often overlapped. Conclusion As medievalists make their way through the vast terrain of sermons, a greater understanding of medieval religious life and culture will continue to emerge. The contributors in this volume have brought that life and culture a little bit more into focus. By considering the preaching event, the rhetoric that the preacher used, the gestures of his performance, his use of art, his interaction with his audience, and the content of the moral lessons he hoped to instill in his audience’s mind, this volume presents us with a clearer comprehension of the role and significance of the sermon in the Middle Ages.

14 George Ferzoco, ‘‘The Context of Medieval Sermon Collections on Saints,’’ in this volume. 15 Jussi Hanska, ‘‘Reconstructing the Mental Calendar of Medieval Preaching: A Method and Its Limits – An Analysis of Sunday Sermons,’’ in this volume. 16 David L. d’Avray, The Preaching of the Friars. Sermons Diffused from Paris before 1300 (Oxford, 1995), p. 251.

,   :  


Select Bibliography

(What follows is a short list of excellent introductory books to the field of medieval sermons studies.) Avray, David L. d’, The Preaching of the Friars. Sermons diffused from Paris before 1300 (Oxford, 1985). Bataillon, Louis-Jacques, La prédication au  siècle en France et Italie. Études et documents (Variorum Collected Studies Series; Aldershot, 1993). Bériou, Nicole and David L. d’Avray, eds., Modern Questions about Medieval Sermons: Essays on Marriage, Death, History and Sanctity (Biblioteca di Medioevo Latino 11; Spoleto, 1994). Delcorno, Carlo, La predicazione nell’età communale (Florence, 1974). Kienzle, Beverly Mayne, ed.,The Sermon (Typologie des Sources du Moyen Âge Occidental 81–83; Turnhout, 2000). Longère, Jean, La prédication médiévale (Études Augustiniennes Séries Moyen Âge et Temps Modernes 9; Paris, 1983). Martin, Hervé, Le métier de prédicateur en France septentrionale à la fin du Moyen Âge (1350–1520) (Paris, 1988). Spencer, Helen Leith, English Preaching in the Late Middle Ages (Oxford, 1993). Thompson, Augustine, Revival Preachers and Politics in Thirteenth-Century Italy: The Great Revival of 1233 (Oxford, 1992). Zerfass, Rolf, Der Streit um die Laienpredigt. Eine pastoralgeschichtliche Untersuchung zum Verständis des Predigtamtes und zu seiner Entwicklung im 12. und 13. Jahrhundert (Untersuchungen zur Praktischen Theologie 2; Freiburg im Bresigau, Basle and Vienna, 1974).

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FROM TEXTS TO PREACHING: RETRIEVING THE MEDIEVAL SERMON AS AN EVENT Augustine Thompson, OP (University of Virginia) The study of medieval sermons has undergone a great transformation over the last twenty-five years. The older approach to sermon studies, which dominated into the 1970s, concentrated on the ‘‘history of preaching’’. It related extant sermons to the artes praedicandi and narrative sources, and mined the sermons themselves for anecdotal detail on social practice, religious attitudes, or mysticism. Complementing this narrative approach were occasional biographical studies on individual preachers. During the 1970s, focus shifted to the direct study of sermon texts themselves – in particular, those that remained in manuscript. Special attention was given to structure and transmission of texts. These textual studies gave a new texture to our understanding of certain types of preaching, for example, crusade preaching;1 but for medieval preaching as a whole no new grand narratives have been produced to replace those from the earlier part of this century.2 More recently, focus has shifted to preaching as a system of communication; and scholars have exploited sermons as sources for medieval attitudes toward death, the body, society, marriage, women, and sanctity. This new analysis has sometimes drawn on 1 E.g., Penny J. Cole, The Preaching of the Crusades to the Holy Land, 1095–1270 (Cambridge MA, 1991), which maps out for crusade preaching, three distinctive phases in the period from the late eleventh to early fourteenth century: 1095–1150, marked by individual ‘‘famous’’ preachers; 1190–1216, characterized by papal initiatives and the co-opting of innovative preachers like Vacarius, Joachim, and Fulk; and after 1220, the dominance of the mendicants. 2 De Ore Domini: Preacher and Word in the Middle Ages, ed. Thomas L. Amos, Eugene A. Green, Beverly Mayne Kienzle,[hereafter De Ore Domini] (Kalamazoo MI, 1989), pp. xii–xiii, recommends, among older works, Rudolf Cruel, Geschichte der deutschen Predigt im Mittelalter (Detmold, 1879), and Edwin C. Dargan, A History of Preaching, 2 vols. (New York, 1905–12).


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literary theory. These social and cultural studies have led one leading student of medieval sermons to wonder if there is now a danger of forgoing ‘‘empirical work on sources’’, in particular, that which requires ‘‘rigorous manuscript technique.’’3 Nonetheless, manuscript studies have continued. Meanwhile, a number of scholars have sought to draw on all these developments to recover medieval preaching as an oral event. This essay will first examine the methodological changes implied by these developments. It will then turn to how they have provided new ways of reading the traditional sources for preaching, sermon texts, preaching tools, and narrative sources. Finally, it will review the variety of new sources for medieval preaching that have been identified and explored in this process. Methodological Developments The study of sermon texts is central to preaching studies, and the sophistication of this analysis has deepened over the past decades. Louis-Jacques Bataillon, when he surveyed the field in 1980, focused almost exclusively on the analysis of manuscript sermons, whether as transmitted in stenographic or edited versions, and on the formation of sermon collections.4 This turn to unedited sermon texts as an object of study in the 1970s and early 1980s was partly triggered by the recognition that they exist in staggering numbers of heretofore ignored manuscripts.5 Extra-textual concerns were initially narrow, asking, for example, the sermon’s intended audience, its date, or the identity of the preacher.6 Older narrative his3 So David L. d’Avray, ‘‘Introduction,’’ in Modern Questions about Medieval Sermons: Essays on Marriage, Death, History and Sanctity, ed. Nicole Bériou and David L. d’Avray, (Biblioteca di medioevo latino 11 Spoleto, 1994) [hereafter Modern Questions] p. ix; for an introduction to the state of sermon studies today, see David L. d’Avray, ‘‘Method in the Study of Medieval Sermons,’’ Modern Questions, pp. 3–29, and Louis-Jacques Bataillon, ‘‘Approaches to the Study of Medieval Sermons,’’ Leeds Studies in English, n.s., 11 (1980) [repr. La Prédication au  e siècle, art. ]. These two essays, when compared, show the remarkable methodological changes over the ten years that separate them. 4 Ibid., pp. 19–35; John W. O’Malley, ‘‘Introduction,’’ De Ore Domini, p. 1. 5 Nicole Bériou, L’Avènement des maîtres de la parole: La Prédication à Paris au e siècle, 2 vols., Collection des études augustiniennes: Serie moyen âge et temps modernes 31–32 (Paris, 1998), 1:130, notes that 4000 sermons in about 40 collections exist for thirteenth-century Parisian preaching alone. 6 Bataillon, ‘‘Approaches,’’ pp. 24–30.

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tories generally ignored unpublished sermons, and this was their essential weakness.7 A more careful focus on texts made it possible to trace with greater confidence the structural developments in preaching from the patristic period to the late Middle Ages.8 But by the late 1980s the diversity of sermon forms and the vast quantity of unedited material led the editors of a major overview of the state of the discipline to say: ‘‘It is clear from the work done and ongoing in the field of sermon studies that a single specialist in one area may no longer be able to write a good general history.’’9 It has also become increasingly more difficult to write a general history of preaching because we are now more conscious of the difficulty of moving from static written texts to the oral event of preaching. As Nicole Bériou has recently emphasized, students of medieval sermons are now convinced that the medieval sermon must be approached as a ‘‘word’’ ( parole), something spoken and heard.10 This approach understands preaching as a medium of communication, an interaction between preacher and hearers, and as a social phenomenon in itself.11 The conception of preaching as a ‘‘word’’ suggests that the study of preaching will become more closely connected to the study of catechetics, lectures, and even spiritual conversations. Following the happy suggestion of a recent observer of the discipline, preaching studies are broadening into the 7

As noted in De Ore Domini, pp. xii–xiii. O’Malley, ‘‘Introduction,’’ De Ore Domini, pp. 1–11, provides a concise overview of this development, and flags the methodological and source issues that confront the scholar who wishes to move beyond sermon texts to what preaching meant in practice. 9 De Ore Domini, p. xiii. 10 Nicole Bériou, ‘‘Conclusion: La Parole du prédicateur, objet d’histoire,’’ in La Parole du prédicateur:  e– e siècle, ed. Rosa Maria Dessì and Michel Lauwers, Collection du Centre d’études médiévales de Nice 1 (Nice, 1997), pp. 479–88 [hereafter La Parole]. She flags as seminal studies in this process: Jean Longère, Oeuvres oratoires des maîtres parisiens au  e siècle: Étude historique et doctrinale, 2 vols. (Paris, 1975); Michel Zink, La prédication en langue romane avant 1300 (Paris, 1976); Carlo Delcorno, Giordano da Pisa e l’antica predicazione volgare (Florence, 1975); David L. d’Avray, The Preaching of the Friars: Sermons Diffused from Paris before 1300 (Oxford, 1985); the essays included in LouisJacques Bataillon, La Prédication au e siècle en France et Italie (Aldershot, 1993); Hervé Martin, Le Métier de prédicateur en France septentrionale à la fin du Moyen Age, 1350–1520 (Paris, 1988); and the essays collected in Modern Questions and in Dal pulpito alla navata: La predicazione medievale nella sua recezione da parte degli ascoltatori (secc. –) [hereafter Dal pulpito], Convegno Internazionale di Storia Religiosa in memoria di Zelina Zafarana, Medioevo e rinascimento 3 (Florence, 1989). 11 Perhaps pivotal in the idea that preaching and its written texts were best understood as a ‘‘communication medium’’ was David L. d’Avray, The Preaching of the Friars: Sermons Diffused from Paris before 1300 (Oxford, 1985). 8


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study of what sixteenth-century Jesuits called ‘‘the ministry of the word’’ the spoken communication of Christian truth generally.12 The same author remarked: ‘‘The greatest challenge to its interpreter is to overcome the written and static nature of the evidence . . . to arrive at a better understanding of a reality that was oral and fleeting.’’13 Our knowledge of an oral medium is limited by the ephemeral nature of the spoken word. Most sermons went unrecorded, and we might wonder how often preachers actually consulted the sermon tools in circulation.14 Already in the late 1970s, it had become obvious that the immense trove of unedited sermon texts for thirteenth-century Paris included not only edited sermons and autograph sermon notes, but also stenographic reports of actual performances–reportationes.15 The wealth of texts for Paris far outstripped that for other areas of Europe and allowed the possibility of comparing autograph, stenographic, and published versions of the same sermon.16 By 1990 the editing and analysis of reportationes had come to the fore in sermon studies, and comparison between published and stenographic versions of the same sermon hinted at the transformations that occurred in the passage from author’s composition to oral delivery to edited text. Reportatio studies not only highlighted the shift from oral to written, but also reversed our usual perspective on sermons: the reporters were hearers, and thus their product revealed to us what they thought they heard rather than what the preacher thought he was saying. Nicole Bériou’s massive and fundamental L’Avènement des maîtres de la parole gives us some idea of what reportatio studies can and cannot accomplish.17 The preponderance of reportationes at Paris 12

O’Malley, ‘‘Introduction,’’ De Ore Domini, p. 4.

Ibid., p. 2.

14 Not often, was the opinion of one scholar of late medieval English preaching:

H. Leith Spencer, English Preaching in the Late Middle Ages (Oxford, 1993), p. 18. 15 Louis-Jacques Bataillon, ‘‘La predicazione dei religiosi mendicanti del secolo  nell’Italia centrale,’’ Mélanges de l’École française de Rome 89 (1977) [repr. Le Prédication au e siècle, art. ], 691–93. 16 The conference papers in Dal pulpito alla navata are dedicated almost totally to the study of reportationes. See, in particular, Roberto Rusconi, ‘‘Reportatio,’’ Dal pulpito, pp. 7–36, on the genre, and Louis-Jacques Bataillon, ‘‘Sermons rédigés, sermons réportés (e siècle),’’ Dal pulpito [repr. La Prédication au e siècle, art. ] pp. 69–86, esp. 75–77, where an autograph and a reportatio are placed in parallel columns and analyzed. 17 Nicole Bériou, L’Avènement des maitres de la parole: La Prédication a Paris au e siècle, 2 vols., Collection des études augustiniennes: Serie moyen âge et temps modernes 31–32 (Paris, 1998). 13

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were the work of professionals or university students, and represent the perception of a very particular, theologically literate, audience.18 Reportationes expose the improvisation, alternative development, and flexibility of preaching as an oral event,19 but they remain written texts. According to Bériou, in a reportatio, ‘‘La langue des prédicateurs, il est vrai, perd de sa fraîcheur et de son authenticité.’’20 Nonetheless, we are still far closer to the actual oral event than ever before. That reportationes are themselves sometimes ‘‘macaronic’’, a mixture of Latin and vernacular, reminds us of another problematic presented by written texts as a window on the preached word. Outside of sermons to the clergy, medieval preaching was virtually always in the vernacular. Roberto Rusconi has highlighted the bilingualism of reporting: a preacher moved from Latin texts, the Bible and his notes, to a vernacular preached word, which the reporter took down, usually in Latin shorthand.21 The reportatio itself could then be edited into more literary Latin to provide a final version. Sermon texts masque not only a motion from oral to written, but often another from one language to another. Recent studies have begun to explore the transition from Latin to vernacular, as reportatio studies did the transition from text to orality. The rich corpus of Italian sermons by Jordan of Pisa can be compared with his Latin sources and preaching tools.22 Similar work has also been done for late medieval England, where vernacular versions of extant Latin sermons and vernacular sermons dependent on Latin preaching tools allow similar analysis of the translation process.23 There, surprisingly, we find vernacular sermons that are more complex than their Latin models.24 The rich vernacular literature of the

18 So perhaps the hope of David d’Avray, ‘‘Method,’’ 9, that Bériou’s (then) forthcoming work would give ‘‘a fair idea’’ of routine preaching was somewhat optimistic. 19 Bériou, L’Avènement, 1:107. 20 Ibid., 1:290–91. 21 Roberto Rusconi, ‘‘La predicazione: Parole in chiesa, parole in piazza,’’ Lo spazio letterario del medioevo : Il medioevo latino (Roma, 1992), 2:571–72. 22 Analyzed with insight and care in Carlo Delcorno, ‘‘La predicazione volgare in Italia (sec. –): Teoria, produzione, ricezione,’’ Revue Mabillon 65 (1993), 83–107. 23 Spencer, English Preaching; Sigfried Wenzel, Macaronic Sermons: Bilingualism and Preaching in Late-Medieval England (Ann Arbor, 1994); and Alan J. Fletcher, Preaching, Politics and Poetry in Late-Medieval England (Dublin / Portland OR, 1998). 24 Spencer, English Preaching, pp. 118–33, esp. 127, and 252–54, where the vernacular and Latin versions of a sermon are compared structurally.


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Anglo-Saxons has allowed us to see the translation process going on in the early Middle Ages, since we can compare their poetic vernacular ‘‘sermons’’ with patristic models.25 But even when we have a vernacular report of a vernacular sermon, the written version remains at a distance from the oral event. Simultaneous to these pioneering textual studies, scholars began to call attention to the relation between the preacher and his hearers. They looked beyond verbal communication, the ‘‘word’’ of the sermon, which might not have been heard and understood by the audience, to the preacher’s activity as a message in itself. They asked how participation in the event of a sermon transformed the hearers. It is perhaps no surprise that the scholars most interested in these questions were those interested in preachers from whom no written sermons remained, for example, the French hermit-preachers of the eleventh and twelfth centuries.26 Studies on these men focused on the environment that surrounded them: audience relations and expectations, appeal to women, and peacemaking. Scholars drew mostly on narrative, hagiographic, sources. The importance of miracles in the hagiography suggested their importance to the hermit-preacher’s persona and consequently to sermons themselves.27 In essence, these studies saw preaching first of all as a network of human relations and only secondarily as a ‘‘word’’ or communication medium. They reconfigured the communication link between ‘‘pulpit and nave’’ as a social one.The transaction between speaker and hearers seemed ever more important, yet more illusive than ever.28 Where previous studies focused on the communicated 25 For example, comparing Cynewulf ’s treatment of Enoch and Elijah in Christ  and his source, a sermon by Gregory the Great, see Eugene A. Green, ‘‘Enoch, Lent, and the Ascension of Christ,’’ De Ore Domini, p. 13. 26 Older general narratives: J. von Walter, Die ersten Wanderprediger Frankreichs (Leipzig, 1903); E. Werner, Pauperes Christi (Leipzig, 1956); important biographical studies: J. Dalarun, L’Impossible saintété: La Vie retrouvé de Robert d’Arbrissel (v. 1045–1116), fondateur de Fontevraud (Paris, 1985); J. von Moolenbroek, Vital l’ermite, prédicateur itinérante del l’abbaye normande de Savigny (Assen-Maastricht, 1990); and synthetically: H. Leyser, Hermits and the New Monasticism: A Study of Religious Communities in Western Europe, 1000–1150 (London, 1984). Most recently, see Patrick Henriet, ‘‘Verbum Dei Disseminando: La Parole des ermites prédicateurs d’après les sources hagiographiques (e–e)’’, in La Parole du prédicateur, ed. Rosa Maria Dessì and Michel Lauwers, Collection du Centre d’études médiévales de Nice 1 (Nice, 1997), pp. 153–85, esp. 154–55 on the state of studies. 27 Ibid., p. 175. 28 For example: Zelina Zafarana, ‘‘La predicazione francescana,’’‘ Francescanesimo e vita religiosa dei laici nel ’200 (Assisi, 1981), p. 250, wrote: ‘‘molta strada resta da percorrere per

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‘‘word’’ itself, by the 1990s focus was on the triad of preacher-sermon-public.29 In 1979 the effect of the communication medium of the word on its hearers was the topic of a round table at the École Française de Rome.30 This inaugurated a period of intense concern over audience reception of homilies.31 No major study of the last twenty years has been able to ignore the problem of audience reception and internalization.32 The effects of routine sermonizing, in contrast to the performances of electrifying revivalists, proved hardest to track.33 Some students of ‘‘routine preaching’’, noting the repetitive structure and content of sermons and the almost total absence of evidence for active reception by hearers, construed preaching as a ‘‘ritual activity,’’ community-forming, perhaps, but lacking in communicative content.34 Different varieties of preaching suggest different speaker-audience relations, and it has become obvious that particular studies of different forms of preaching must ground conclusions about audience reception. Perhaps no generalizations are possible. One result of the contrasts among diverse forms of preaching is a greater sense that sermons are simultaneously a ritual and a communication medium, and that even ritualized activities are a form of communication. attingere, in qualche misura almeno, il rapporto fra pulpito e navata.’’ Quoted by Mariano d’Alatri. ‘‘Pulpito e navata nella Cronaca di fra Salimbene,’’ Salimbeniana, Atti del Convegno per il  Centenario di Fra Salimbene, Parma 1987–89 (Bologna, 1991), p. 76. 29 A model advocated by Martine de Reu, ‘‘Divers chemins pour étudier un sermon,’’ in De l’homelie au sermon: Histoire de la prédication médiévale, ed. Jacqueline Hamesse and Xavier Hermand (Louvain-la-Neuve,1993), pp. 331–40, esp. the summary, p. 331. 30 Published as Faire Croire: Modalités de la diffusion et de la réception des messages religieux du e au e siècle, Table Ronde organisée par l’École française de Rome, 22–23 juin 1979 (Rome, 1981). 31 Dessì, ‘‘Introduction,’’ La Parole du prédicateur, pp. 9–10: ‘‘Attentifs aux modalités du ‘faire croire’, les historiens se sont en particulier intéressés au cours des dernières décennies, à la ‘prédication effective’ et à sa ‘réception’ par les fidèles’’. 32 For example: Martin, Le Métier, pp. 549–611, which depends on remarks about reception found in sermons themselves; Spencer, English Preaching, pp. 64–77, who also ransacks sermons, but draws on reactions to sermons recorded in Margery Kempe (ibid. pp. 70–71) and in the Golden Legend (ibid., p. 65); Bériou, L’Avènement, pp. 293–383, investigates the suggestions about reception found in ad status preaching. 33 The issues involved in distinguishing ‘‘ritualized’’ and ‘‘prophetic’’ preaching are examined in Rosa Maria Dessì, ‘‘Introduction: Praedicatores et prophetès,’’ La Parole du prédicateur, pp. 9–19. 34 Especially: Giles Constable, ‘‘The Language of Preaching in the Twelfth Century,’’ Viator 25 (1994), 131–52.


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More generally, our reconstruction of audience reception is impeded by our ignorance of audiences’ mental furniture. Preacher’s use of biblical texts, exempla, contemporary allusions, etc., triggered audience reactions because of common knowledge and experience unknown to us. It is hard to say how a medieval audience ‘‘filled in the blank spaces between the outlines of a sermon.’’35 How to supply for this defect is not at all clear. Certainly one route is to cast a wider net when analyzing ‘‘reception’’ and place sermons within their concrete social and political context.36 Actions triggered, or not triggered, by sermons are easier to trace when we can match preachers’ prescriptions with contemporary legislation, as has been done for Bernardino da Siena’s programs for sumptuary legislation and the contemporary enactments in cities where he preached.37 But audience reception should not be confused with legislative activity, which is merely one of its outcomes. It is unlikely that we will ever be able to reconstruct the way any single audience internalized and acted on any single sermon. In default, there has arisen a trend toward studying particular forms of preaching and what might be called the ‘‘preaching profession’’ within particular regions and periods. This has proved easiest for phenomena like crusade preaching, where its context (the crusades themselves), its mechanisms (papal sponsorship), its principal practitioners, and its results are already fairly well known.38 The most extensive regional study of preaching to date is Hervé Martin’s Le Métier de prédicateur en France septentrionale à la fin du Moyen Age, 1350–

35 On this central problem, see David L. d’Avray, Death and the Prince: Memorial Preaching before 1350 (Oxford, 1994), pp. 189–98; and his earlier studies, ‘‘Sermons for the Dead before 1350,’’ Modern Questions, pp. 175–93, and ‘‘The Comparative Study of Memorial Preaching,’’ Modern Questions, pp. 195–215. 36 Bernadette Paton, Preaching Friars and the Civic Ethos, Siena 1380–1480 (London, 1992) 211, suggests use of works like David Herlihy and Christiane Klapish-Zuber, Les Toscans et leurs familles: Une Étude du catasto florentin de 1427 (Paris, 1978). On Paton, see review by Remo L. Guidi, Archivum Franciscanum Historicum 86 (1993), 426–29. 37 Thomas M. Izbicki, ‘‘Pyres of Vanities: Mendicant Preaching on the Vanity of Women and its Lay Audience,’’ De Ore Domini, pp. 211–234, esp. 219-20; who concludes that Bernardino’s program went ignored, while the proposals of Antoninus of Florence fared much better. He is also suggestive on how ‘‘bonfires of vanities’’ ritualized audience response to sermons. 38 Cole, Preaching, which is best for the pre-mendicant period; and Christoph Maier, Preaching the Crusades: Mendicant Friars and the Cross in the Thirteenth Century (Cambridge, 1994), which examines the early mendicants.

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1520.39 Examining some 2500 known preachers and over 800 extant sermons throughout a 170 year period, Martin moves from prosopography and textual studies to an analysis of the professionalization of preaching and the interaction of preachers and audiences. He draws on extensive and diverse sources beyond sermon texts and narrative descriptions.40 Other studies, more restricted in scope, have followed a similar histoire totale model.41 The preaching ministry of the Santa Maria Novella Dominicans in the Florentine contado has been reconstructed in astonishing detail.42 Here a wealth of non-sermonic sources allows the reconstruction of preaching’s ‘‘infrastructure’’: the hospitia that sheltered traveling preachers, the usual routes of preaching tours, and material support as reflected in communal funding and bequests in wills. A judicious use of the Santa Maria Novella necrologies allows us to measure at least one kind of ‘‘audience response’’ – the number of recruits drawn as a percentage of population and geographical distribution of recruits.These can then be matched against the geography of contado preaching circuits. But recruitment, like legislation, is only a result of audience reception and so a phenomenon beyond the actual event of the sermon. Regional projects will no doubt multiply, in particular for Germany where most sermon studies still possess a close textual focus.43 In spite of the growing sophistication of analysis and our deeper appreciation of the relation of preacher, audience, and event, the sermon texts remain opaque. As David L. d’Avray has remarked it would be very difficult for us moderns to distinguish a ‘‘good’’ medieval sermon from a ‘‘bad’’ one.44 We simply cannot fill in the 39 Costanzo Cargnoni, ‘‘La predicazione alla fine del medioevo,’’ Collectanea franciscana 60 (1990), 311, calls Martin’s book the ‘‘riferimento necessario ed esemplare’’ for future studies of French preaching. 40 For a summary of sources, see Martin, Le Métier, pp. 23–102, esp. 14–16 (his source list). 41 For example: Augustine Thompson, Revival Preachers and Politics in Thirteenth-Century Italy: The Great Devotion of 1233 (Oxford, 1992); Italian ed., Predicatori e politica nell’Italia del  secolo (Milan, 1996). 42 Charles M. de la Roncière, ‘‘Présence et prédication des Dominicains dans le contado florentin (1280–1350),’’ La Parole du prédicateur, pp. 261–393. 43 See, for example, the essays in Volker Mertens and Hans-Jochen Schiewer, eds., Die deutsche Predigt im Mittelalter, Internationales Symposium am Fachbereich Germanistik der Freien Universität Berlin vom 3.–6., (Tubingen, 1992). It is obvious that most of the studies referred to in this article focus on French, English, or Italian subjects. 44 d’Avray, ‘‘Method,’’ p. 24.


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‘‘blanks’’ in the discourse, its silences, the way original hearers did. More broadly, one might wonder if our attempt to fit the oral event of preaching into its social and cultural context is not somewhat backwards. Medieval audiences participated in an oral culture.45 Their social, cultural, religious, and intellectual formation came through oral media. Their culture was itself a ‘‘preaching’’ in the broad sense that we have understood it in this essay. All evidence for the Middle Ages needs to be placed inside that oral society, inside the ‘‘sermon’’ of culture. Having broadly sketched out the methodological movement in preaching studies from text to orality, we now turn to what this means for the use of sources. The principal source for preaching, sermons themselves, has begun to speak in a new way. Creativity in source use, like the growing appreciation of preaching as a transtextual phenomenon is not new. The study of certain types of preaching have long depended on it. Lay preaching, for example, is best known indirectly, from evidence such as the canonical legislation that controlled it.46 In the case of late medieval England, literary sources and spiritual writers like Marjory Kempe have given suggestive glimpses of lay preaching.47 The reconstruction of heretical preaching, such as that of the Cathars, also demanded recourse to unconventional sources.48 Studies of heretical and lay preaching show us the obstacles facing the scholar when sermon texts are lacking. In both cases, scholars must draw on canon law, saints’ lives, court and inquisition records, polemical literature, and scholastic disputations as sources. These often tell us more about changing attempts at regulation and attitudes toward heretics or women than they do about preaching.49 Even when narrative descriptions record sermon content and techniques, as for the Pataria of the Gregorian Reform, the reports sometimes tell us more about the interests of sympathetic or critical 45 As is suggested by Peter Francis Howard, Beyond the Written Word (Florence, 1995), p. 6. 46 Michel Lauwers, ‘‘Predicatio-Exhortatio: L’Église, la réforme et les laïcs (e–e), La Parole du prédicateur, pp. 187–232; and Alcuin Blamires, ‘‘Women and Preaching in Medieval Orthodoxy, Heresy, and Saints’ Lives,’’ Viator 26 (1995), 226. 47 Spencer, English Preaching, pp. 108–18. 48 For one creative attempt, see John Arnold, ‘‘The Preaching of the Cathars,’’ in Medieval Monastic Preaching, ed. Carolyn Muessig, Brill’s Studies in Intellectual History 90 (Leiden, 1998), pp. 183–205. 49 Lauwers, ‘‘Predicatio-Exhortatio,’’ pp. 135–52.

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Catholic clerics than about the lay preachers.50 It has proved easiest to reconstruct heretical preaching for environments where sources are also rich for orthodox preaching; heretics participated in the same culture. For example, the well known preaching scene in thirteenth-century Paris has allowed extrapolation, when interpreting anecdotal and legal references, to what might have been typical of ‘‘Amaurician’’ preaching.51 When the observers of heretical preaching are themselves preachers, e.g. the chronicler Salimbene da Adam or the inquisitor Bernard Gui, their own interest in preaching makes their descriptions richer and more suggestive, if still problematic.52 When we have actual sermons by dissenters, and so can compare heretical and orthodox sermons with security, there are sometimes surprising results.53 New Approaches to Sources We now turn to new developments in the use of what could be called ‘‘traditional’’ sources for medieval preaching. Researchers have long recognized that sermons might provide insights into the cultures in which they were preached. In addition, even in the patristic period, sermons contain self-referential comments on the preacher, the audience’s deportment, and how, when, and where the sermon itself was preached.54 Perhaps no medieval preacher’s sermons are so self-referential as those of Bernardino da Siena, who included autobiographical tidbits about his experiences, how he prepared sermons, and what was on his mind as he entered a city to preach.55 Collections of sermons or reportationes sometimes include references to dates and places from which one may reconstruct the itinerary of a preaching tour.56 Even more valuable for 50

Ibid., pp. 188–91. Bériou, L’Avènement, 1:48–58. 52 See Rusconi, ‘‘La predicazione,’’ pp. 584–90, on the possibilities of such sources. 53 As is the case for the Lollards in England, see Spencer, English Preaching, passim. Here the interesting discovery is the similarity between orthodox and heretical preaching, not the contrast. 54 For examples in the sermons of Origin, Augustine, Caesarius, see Jean Longère, La Prédication médiévale (Paris, 1983), p. 29. 55 Howard, Beyond, p. 145 (drawing on Sermo , Florence: Biblioteca Nazionale, MS Conv. Supp. A.8.1759, fol. 4r); Paton, Preaching, p. 82. 56 As Bériou, L’Avènement, 1:216–27, does for Raoul de Châteauroux. 51


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reconstructing preaching campaigns, their forms, and the results are sermon diaries. One fifteenth-century Franciscan included in his sermonary, not only the dates and places, but also the response of his hearers and the length of the sermons when delivered.57 In short, we can read sermons for more than their own written content and form. Preaching tools, long mined for homiletic structure, content, and theory, can occasionally be used to throw light on the event of preaching itself, although to jump from theory to practice can be risky.58 Artes praedicandi are sometimes organized around the three components of a preaching as oral medium (preacher, sermon, hearers) and include observations on how texts might be adapted to particular audiences.59 Secular rhetorical treatises sometimes throw light on preaching, or at least on how academic rhetoricians viewed it.60 Historians of the sermon have long been interested in exempla collections. Exempla continue to be studied for their literary interest and for the hints they give on how abstract ideas were given concrete form.61 They are one place where we feel close to such intangible elements of preaching as humor and local color.62 Like 57 M. Sensi, ‘‘Predicazione itinerante a Foligno nel secolo ,’’ Picenum Seraphicum 10 (1973), 193, and Rusconi, Predicazione e vita religiosa nella società italiana da Carlo Magno alla controriforma (Turin, 1981), pp. 198–99; Howard, Beyond, p. 144, remarks on this diary that the Holy Saturday sermon lasted five and a half hours. 58 As noted by d’Avray, Preaching of the Friars, p. 178. Although sometimes theory can be matched against actual sermons, as has been done for Humbert of Romans: Simon Tugwell, ‘‘Humbert of Romans’s Material for Preachers,’’ De Ore Domini, pp. 105–17. The artes can be measured against reportationes: Bériou, L’Avènement, 1:143–44. 59 Howard, Beyond, p. 76. 60 As has been done for academic theory and treatises on public speaking in medieval Italy. This can throw light on jargon, e.g., ‘‘magnus concionator’’ as used by Salimbene of Gerard of Modena, Enrico Artifoni, ‘‘Gli uomini dell’assemblea: L’oratoria civile, i concionatori e i predicatori nella società comunale,’’ La predicazione dei frati dalla metà del’200 alla fine del ’300, Atti del  Convegno internazionale, Assisi, 13–15 ottobre 1994 (Spoleto, 1995), p. 173, or on how academics reacted to the ‘‘artless’’ preaching style of Francis of Assisi: ibid., p. 161. 61 Suggestive on use of exempla for making abstract theology concrete is Alan E. Bernstein, ‘‘The Exemplum as ‘Incorporation of Abstract Truth’ in the Thought of Humbert of Romans and Stephen of Bourbon,’’ in The Two Laws: Studies in medieval legal history dedicated to Stephan Kuttner, ed. Laurent Mayali and Stephanie A.J. Tibbetts (Washington DC, 1990), pp. 82–96, esp. 94–96, where Humbert of Romans’ exempla are compared with the Thomistic doctrines they exemplify. 62 See Jeannine Horowitz and Sophia Menache, L’Humour en chaire: Le Rire dans l’Eglise médiévale, Histoire et société 28 (Geneva, 1994), where humorous exempla are studied at length, although more as literary documents than as a window on preached sermons.

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sermons, exempla can be self-referential when their topic is preaching itself. Some exempla focus on the preacher, but the audience is a not uncommon subject. The perspective can be jaundiced,63 but sometimes exempla reproduce hearers’ objections, hesitations, and inattention, and so seem authentic reports of audience reaction.64 Narrative sources, such as chronicles and hagiography, have long served historians of preaching. At their best, they contain vivid descriptions of preachers in action. An event does come alive in narrative, but as a window on medieval preaching narrative descriptions can be problematic. Scholars have remarked that chroniclers, like modern journalists, have an eye for the extravagant, the exceptional, and the unexpected. Narrators love the dramatic and exceptional gesture – such as Robert of Lecce ripping off his Franciscan habit to reveal a suit of armor during a crusade sermon.65 Narrative sources work best for exceptional revivalists and preaching ‘‘super-stars’’. Hagiographic sources also suffer from that genre’s tendency to reduce individual peculiarities to conventional models and to highlight the miraculous.66 It is not surprising that preaching studies dependent on saints’ lives usually suggest that the saint-preacher’s persona was more important than his words, and that sermon content was probably mostly ascetical moralizing.67 Even first-hand observers never report the whole event observed, rather they focus on aspects that serve their narrative.This becomes obvious when there are several narratives for a single sermon – e.g. the crusade sermon of Pope Urban  at Clermont, where one must look elsewhere in the search for narrative coherence.68 Still, chronicle and hagiography are sources too rich to be ignored. A chronicler like Salimbene da Adam, for whom preaching was a personal interest, did not restrict his attention to celebrity preachers, and his comments on particular events, individual personalities, sermon length, audience reactions, and even content can illuminate more 63 As in the often repeated exemplum where the devil preaches very well in place of a sick friar because he knows the congregation will ignore the good advice and so doubly damn themselves: Bériou, L’Avènement, 1:133; Howard, Beyond, pp. 91–93. 64 Jacques Berlioz, ‘‘L’Auditoire des prédicateurs dans la littérature des ‘exempla’ (e–e siècles),’’ Dal pulpito, esp. pp. 139–41. 65 Franco Cardini, ‘‘Aspetti ludici, scenici e spettacolari della predicazione francescana,’’ repr. in id., Minima Mediaevalia, Politica e storia 4 (Florence, 1987), p. 189. 66 Henriet, ‘‘Verbum Dei,’’ p. 184. 67 E.g., ibid., pp. 164–70; on content, ibid., pp. 168–69. 68 As attempted by Cole, Preaching, pp. 2–36.


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conventional mendicant sermonizers and their preaching.69 Similarly, Salimbene speaks of the preparations and planning that lay behind particular preaching campaigns, something usually invisible in other sources.70 Such is also true of other mendicant chroniclers who had a professional interest in preaching.71 City chroniclers can supply useful information on the recruitment of Lenten preachers and those preachers’ education and background.72 Even descriptions of a celebrity like Francis of Assisi can throw light on what was expected and conventional by remarking on how the saint was exceptional.73 Perhaps the safest narrative witnesses to medieval preaching are remarks made in passing, when the sermon or preacher is not the central focus of the narrative. An abbot’s encouragement to a newly elected prior with Latin too defective to preach in the Chronicle of Bury St Edmunds, Margery Kempe’s off-hand remarks on what makes a good sermon, and similar reflections in Piers Plowman, have all been used to good effect in reconstructing late medieval English preaching.74 Chronicle and hagiographic sources also have pride of place if we want to know how contemporaries categorized styles of preaching or viewed the idiosyncrasies of particular preachers.75 Finally, narrative sources can be the exclusive source for the views of outsiders, as when Jewish chronicles record the reactions of the Jews of the Rhineland to the excesses of vulgar crusade preachers.76


On Salimbene, see Mariano d’Alatri. ‘‘Pulpito e navata,’’ pp. 79–80. Ibid., pp. 82–84; see also Thompson, Revival Preachers, pp. 92–93. 71 E.g. Antoninus of Florence in his Summa Historialis, exploited by Howard, Beyond, pp. 232–33. 72 See, for example, the use of the Petit Thalamus chronicle in Jean-Arnault Dérens, ‘‘La Prédication et la ville: Pratiques de la parole et ‘religion civique’ à Montpellier aux e et e siècles,’’ La Prédication en Pays d’Oc: (e–début e siècle), Cahiers de Fanjeaux 32 (Toulouse, 1997), 347–53. 73 As noted by Cardini, ‘‘Aspetti,’’ pp. 188 and 201. 74 Spencer, English Preaching, pp. 91–108. The prior was told to memorize Latin sermons, or even preach in English or French! 75 E.g., Gianfranco Folena, ‘‘In margine ai ‘Sermones’: Stile francescano e stile antoniano,’’ Culture e lingue nel Veneto Medievale (Padua, 1990), pp. 164–66, which delineates what made Antony of Padua different from what contemporaries considered typical of early Franciscan preachers; on which, see also Cardini, ‘‘Aspetti,’’ pp. 192–93. 76 Cole, Preaching, pp. 43–45, using a Jewish chronicle (Sefer Zekhirah) in tandem with Christian sources (Annales Sancti Iacobi Leodiensis, Annales Colonienses Maximi and Gesta Abbatum Lobbiensium) and the model of Bernard’s crusade preaching. 70

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New Sources for Preaching

Jewish chronicles are certainly an unexpected source for medieval Christian preaching. Nonetheless, they are only one type of evidence that lies beyond sermon texts, preaching tools, and conventional narrative sources. A widening of vision is essential if we are to reconstruct many otherwise indivisible aspects of preaching. Questions about the location and shape of the pulpit, the language of the sermon, the disposition of the congregation, and the connection of the sermon to liturgical events, are notoriously hard to answer.77 In 1983, Jean Longère singled out pastoral legislation like Gregory the Great’s Regula Pastoralis, liturgical sources like Rupert of Deutz and Sicard of Cremona, and municipal statutes as possible supplements to already well exploited hagiographic sources and chroniclers like Jacques de Vitry and Salimbene.78 He merely sounded the possibilities. Since then much has changed. Other potential sources have been identified and other possibilities probed. Canon law collections, synodalia, papal registers, university cartularies, and anti-heresy treatises have proved essential supplements to sermon texts and narrative sources.79 Recently, scholars have drawn attention to images of preaching in painting and manuscript illumination, although others remain skeptical of their utility. In this section I shall inventory these new sources and evaluate the results of their use. It is surely obvious, if often overlooked, that most medieval sermons had a ritual context. Although not necessarily tied to the readings of the lectionary, preachers observed the liturgical seasons and the festivals of saints. City preachers were invited for seasons like Lent. A revivalist like John of Vicenza in thirteenth-century Italy might celebrate Mass before preaching, and itinerant Franciscans like Anthony of Padua linked preaching to hearing confessions. Liturgical sources have proved useful not merely for establishing context but also for explaining peculiarities in sermons themselves. Liturgical context can suggest reasons for themes and


As noted by Bériou, L’Avènement, 1:18. On use of liturgical evidence, see Longère, Prédication médiévale, pp. 171–76; on statute and chronicle evidence, see ibid., pp. 241–46. 79 See the methodological notes in Cole, Preaching, pp. x–xi; and, on university registers and anti-heretical literature, ibid., pp. 67–69. 78


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content, as well as highlighting catechetical functions, like instruction on the Lord’s Prayer and Creed during Lent.80 Liturgical background can also explain doublets and other peculiarities in sermon collections, was when the English Sarum Use prescribed the same gospel for Advent and Palm Sunday.81 As Mariano d’Alatri reminds us, liturgical manuals and chronicles are the best sources for identifying when preachers ceased using the ambo in the choir screen and moved to a pulpit in the nave.82 As liturgical manuals and commentary can provide information on where and when preaching occurred, theological treatises, which might seem scholastic rather than pastoral, can help us understand hidden aspects of preaching, especially when a treatise is linked directly to preaching. Peter of Blois, the secretary to Archbishop Baldwin of Canterbury, wrote a treatise on crusade preaching based on Baldwin’s 1188 preaching campaign. This document has been used to reconstruct the themes and content of Baldwin’s lost sermons.83 It is well known that many, if not most, mendicant preachers were trained in scholastic theology. This theological training not only informed the friars’ preaching tools, but also affected their sermons directly. When, for example, the flow of ideas shows that a preacher was using Thomas Aquinas’s Summa we can examine the changes introduced to accommodate formal theology to pastoral exhortation.84 Perhaps the single most important recent study of scholastic theology and the formation of preachers is M. Michèle Mulchahey’s First the Bow is Bent in Study, which shows how the early Dominicans specifically crafted their educational system to prepare friars to preach.85This educational system and the Dominican-produced preaching tools and exegesis studied by


Bériou, L’Avènement, 1:386–414. Spencer, English Preaching, pp. 28–29. 82 ‘‘Pulpito e navata,’’ p. 76, remarking also that ‘‘pulpit and nave’’ did not present such a contrast by the thirteenth century when the pulpit was generally in the nave on the side. 83 Cole, Preaching, pp. 72–74. 84 For examples, see David d’Avray, ‘‘Sermons on the Dead before 1350,’’ Studi medievali 31 (1990), 512, showing the adaptation of Thomas in funeral sermons; and Paton, Preaching, p. 192, for parallels to the Summa in sermons generally. 85 ‘‘First the Bow is Bent in Study’’: Dominican Education before 1350 (Toronto, 1998), which includes a masterful reconstruction of Thomas’ plan of studies at Rome (pp. 321–36), established by correlating his disputed questions with parallel passages in the Summa. 81

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Mulchahey shows that the scholastic method had closer links to the preached word than one might think. The continuing influence of theological development on preachers and sermons can also be sought in the library inventories of communities of preachers such as the Franciscans and Dominicans.86 On the other hand, such analysis must be undertaken with caution. Students do not always take away much from their classes, and a book’s presence in a library is no guarantee that it was read. As bookish evidence for the intellectual formation of preachers has proved useful for coaxing out the intellectual furniture presupposed by sermons, institutional records can give us greater insight into the social and cultural world of the preachers. They also illuminate preaching’s institutional context. The cartularies of the University of Paris have proved remarkably useful for identifying the identities of preachers, locations of sermons, character of audiences, and the preaching obligations of those active in the academic community. This source also provides information on how different types of reportationes were taken down and, by clarifying jargon (e.g. the meaning of collatio), can provide evidence on the different forms taken by the ‘‘ministry of the word’’.87 Paris is an extraordinarily well documented venue, but the institutional records found there are not unique. At Padua, archidiaconal records and other administrative documents of the cathedral chapter, including the Sacrista (recording the expenses of the cult) and the Liber Ordinarius (the ceremonial of the duomo), make it possible to identify the Lenten preachers engaged there in the late Middle Ages.88 Such an inventory, in conjunction with University of Padua records, may found prosopographical studies and show

86 As has been done by Remo Guidi, ‘‘Il pulpito e il palazzo: Temi e problemi nella predicazione dei mendicanti nel 400,’’ Archivum Franciscanum Historicum 89 (1996), 277–78, who tests humanist criticism of the ignorance of Franciscan preachers with their libraries, using W. K. Humphreys, The Library of the Franciscans of the Convent of St. Anthony, Padua, at the Beginning of the Fifteenth Century (Amsterdam, 1966); and id.The Library of the Franciscans of Siena in the Late Fifteenth Century (Amsterdam, 1978). 87 Jacqueline Hamesse, ‘‘Le prédication universitaire: Éloquence sacrée, éloquence profane?’’ Ephemerides Liturgicae 105 (1991), 284–89, treating the Chartularium Universitatis Parisiensis. 88 Donato Gallo, ‘‘Predicatori francescani nella cattedrale di Padova durante il quattrocento,’’ Predicazione francescana e società veneta nel quattrocento: Committenza, ascolto, ricezione, Atti del  Convegno internazionale di studi francescani, Padova, 26–27–28 marzo 1987 (Padua, 1995), pp. 150–58.


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how tastes in Lenten preaching changed over time. In Florence, necrologies and religious order records have proved both useful and treacherous as prosopographical sources.89 One might probe further in the same direction, looking at renovation expenses for churches and public spaces. These sometimes tell us about how physical surroundings, e.g. the piazza in front of Santa Maria Novella, were restructured to facilitate preaching. Such architectural reconstructions will doubtless have implications for the physical relations between a preacher and his audience, as well as for those among the members of that audience.90 A number of recent studies have shown canon law sources, including particular legislation, decretal collections, and religious order statutes, to be a far more valuable resource for sermon studies than one might imagine. For the Carolingian period, when extant sermons are almost entirely monastic, the Admonitio Generalis of 879 and other particular legislation have provided both a context to sermonaries and some hints at what may have been preached to the laity in that period.91 For the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, legal sources have helped provide context for lay preaching. In conjunction with hagiography, the development of laws regulating lay preaching help trace positive and negative reactions to its existence, if not its content.92 For content, the rise and fall of the academic canonical distinction between ‘‘preaching’’ and ‘‘exhortation’’ ( predicatio-exhortatio) does suggest what jurists, at least, thought was suitable content for lay preaching. Juridical developments also reveal the growing hostility to lay preaching during the thirteenth century as canonists slowly abandoned the distinction.93 Francis of Assisi, a lay preacher himself, had a profound impact on his follow-

89 De la Roncière, ‘‘Présence et prédication,’’ pp. 369–91, successfully uses the Santa Maria Novella necrology. Daniel C. Lesnick, Preaching in Medieval Florence: The Social World of Franciscan and Dominican Spirituality (Athens GA, 1989), must be judged unsuccessful; see the review in Journal of Religion 71 (1991), 261–64, where the source’s interpretative pitfalls are explained. 90 One might say, with Howard, Beyond, pp. 85–86, that ‘‘the shape of Florence reflects its preached culture’’. 91 Thomas L. Amos, ‘‘Preaching and the Sermon in the Carolingian World,’’ De Ore Domini, pp. 41–60, esp. 42, 46; although Amos admittedly finds liturgical sources more suggestive. 92 See, for example, John M. Trout, ‘‘Preaching by the Laity in the Twelfth Century,’’ Studies in Medieval Culture 4 (1973), 92–108. 93 See Lauwers, ‘‘Predicatio-Exhortatio,’’ pp. 211–22.

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ers’ understanding of preaching. As John W. O’Malley has remarked, Francis’ ‘‘extraordinarily influential statements about preaching were made in a document that at first glance would seem to have nothing to do with preaching’’: the Franciscan Rule itself.94 Here, a legal source provides the single clearest exposition of how Francis and his early followers conceived of preaching. This source, along with hagiography and other autobiographical fragments, have allowed the reconstruction of non-verbal aspects of the Poverello’s preaching and given us some idea of its favor and impact on hearers.95 Turning to sermon content, it is now clear that many, if not most, patristic quotations and references in high medieval sermons came, not from the Fathers themselves, but from Gratian’s Decretum or from the fourth book of the Lombard’s Sentences, which depends on it.96 Similarly, preaching against heresy or, in the late Middle Ages, witchcraft, is usually informed by the legal treatment of those crimes.97 For the high Middle Ages, especially, legislation has provided invaluable glimpses of the forms and content of ‘‘routine preaching’’. We do not have sermons preached by ordinary parish priests, but we do have synodalia giving instructions on them. For influence on preaching, no legislation matches that of Eudes of Sully at Paris (1205), which was later incorporated into the enactments of at least eleven synods and the legislation of at least nine bishops. Eudes’s legislation deals principally with preaching by parish clergy and requires regular catechetical sermons on the Pater Noster, the Ave, and the Creed.98 We can also trace how subsequent general legislation, such as the Fourth Lateran Council, led to requirements that parish priests preach on the Easter duty and


In ‘‘Introduction,’’ De Ore Domini, p. 7. Cardini, ‘‘Aspetti,’’ pp. 187–210; see esp. the use of Francis’ Rule, Testament, and letters, ibid., pp. 193–96. 96 Louis-Jacques Bataillon, ‘‘Les Instruments de travail des prédicateurs,’’ Culture et travail intellectuel dans l’Occident médiéval (Paris, 1981) [repr. Le Prédication au e siècle, art. ] p. 199. 97 For Bernardino’s sermons against witchcraft, see Paton, Preaching, pp. 295–300, which depends almost exclusively on A. Kors and E. Peters, Witchcraft in Europe, 1100–1700: A Documentary History (Philadelphia, 1972), for legal evidence. More could be done here. 98 Jean Longère, ‘‘La Prédication d’après les statutes synodaux du Midi au e siècle,’’ La Prédication en Pays d’Oc: (e–début e siècle), Cahiers de Fanjeaux 32 (Toulouse, 1997) pp. 269–71. 95


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preparation for communion, and eventually to provisions for preaching on the articles of faith, the decalogue, marriage, and the other sacraments.99 When carefully scrutinized, a work like Maurice de Sully’s Manuale throws light on non-textual aspects of preaching. He directed preachers to shorten the sermon when the weather is too hot or cold and to correct popular errors (e.g. that candle blessings can replace absolution). As evidence for audience reception, this text also single’s out preachers’ topics that were received with hostility or hesitation (e.g. prohibitions on usury and fornication).100 How Maurice’s directives played out in practice is difficult to say, given the absence of parochial sermons from the thirteenth century. Later, in England with Arundel’s 1407 Constitutions and Wolsey’s York 1518 Constitutions, the impact of legislation on parish preaching can be traced in extant sermons.This late medieval legislation shows a clear descent from thirteenth-century pastoral syllabuses, such as those of Pecham and Grosseteste.101 Canonists themselves influenced preaching by way of their penitential manuals, especially through their tables of vices and virtues and their moral analysis.102 When we turn from canonical to secular laws, these can provide the social and political context of sermons and suggest attitudes toward preaching.103 City records in both Italy and France show that preaching promoted civic identity. In the later Middle Ages it became common for cities to recruit and pay preachers for service


Ibid., pp. 271–74. Bériou, L’Avènement, 1:24–26; she also reviews Peter the Chanter’s criticism of sermon defects, ibid., pp. 32–33. 101 Spencer, English Preaching, pp. 163–216. 102 Louis-Jacques Bataillon, ‘‘Prédication des séculiers aux laïcs au e siècle de Thomas de Chobham à Randulphe de la Houblonnière,’’ Revue des sciences philosophiques et théologiques, 74 (1990) [repr. La Prédication au e siècle, art. ], pp. 457–65, esp. 458–61, where Randulphe’s influence is traced in reportationes, and ibid., pp. 258–59, where the Chobham’s is traced through the diffusion of his Summa de Arte Praedicandi and Summa Confessorum. Chobham’s Summa also influenced French synodalia and the Frederico Visconti’s legislation in Pisa. 103 Bernadette Paton, ‘‘Una città faticosa: Dominican Preaching and the Defense of the Republic in Late Medieval Siena,’’ in City and Countryside in Late Medieval and Renaissance Italy: Essays Presented to Philip Jones, ed. Trevor Dean and Chris Wickham (Ronceverte WV, 1990) 109–23, which places fifteenth-century Sienese sermons within their political context, or Thompson, Revival Preachers, pp. 136–204, which discusses the impact of preachers on thirteenth-century north Italian politics. 100

      


during Lent and other seasons.104 This practice soon become institutionalized, a process that has been traced from the financial records of French cities, and reflects what has been called the ‘‘professionalization’’ of the preacher’s office.105 Once institutionalized, sermon series became a civic ritual in which municipal officials participated.106 The linkage with civic pride provoked frenzied searches for star preachers who would reflect glory on the city and spawned negotiations years ahead of time.107 Cities fortunate enough to have produced a famous preacher can also be seen seeking other stars to celebrate the native son after his death.108 The study of the preacher in literature, especially in satire, has a long history and need not detain us. Fiction often tells us more about the writer’s dislike of preachers and sermons than it does of actual individuals and performance. Literary sources are not, however, sterile. Parodies of sermons, by their stereotypical forms, do give some idea of what an audience expected to hear.109 In humanist criticism one can find concrete details that go beyond mere stereotype. Nor are all humanist responses negative, some comment positively on certain aspects of contemporary preaching.110 Perhaps the most important recent literary studies of preaching trace the comparative development of exempla and their literary parallels in Dante and, particularly, Boccaccio.111 I have left till last what is perhaps the most problematic, yet potentially fruitful, of the new sources for medieval preaching, pictorial representation. For the content of sermons, manuscript illustrations of biblical and classical events serve to flesh out what hearers 104

Dérens, ‘‘La Prédication et la ville,’’ p. 359. Martin, Le Métier, pp. 103–119; and, for Italy, see Gallo, ‘‘Predicatori francescani,’’ pp. 145–83. 106 A phenomenon noted by Dérens, ‘‘La Prédication et la ville,’’ p. 353, in his analysis of a Cérémonial consulaire. 107 See Howard, Beyond, pp. 87–89, who traces the vicissitudes of Florence searching for a star Lenten preacher in 1376. 108 Such as Siena’s attempts to engage Antonio of Rimini to preach the eulogy of Bernardino da Siena, traced in E. Bulletti, ‘‘Predicazioni senesi di frate Antonio da Rimini (documenti inediti),’’ Bullettino senese di storia patria 62 (1955), 206–12. 109 As noted by Bériou, L’Avènement, 1:196–212. Although others have been skeptical about such moves from parody to event, e.g., Fletcher, Preaching, pp. 249–51, on the Pardoner’s sermon in Chaucer. 110 As noted by Guidi, ‘‘Il pulpito,’’ pp. 268–76. 111 See, above all, Carlo Delcorno, Exemplum e letteratura: Tra Medioevo e Rinascimento (Bologna, 1989). 105


 , 

would have imagined when sermons recounted famous stories or spoke of individuals using biblical or classical images.112 Artistic motifs and models as a window into hearers’ visualizations remain relatively unexploited. Turning from text to event, Roberto Rusconi has been at work on images of preaching and preachers since the early 1990s.113 The obstacles to using such images, however, are not trivial. Chiara Frugoni has flatly stated that they never show us ‘‘una vera predica.’’114 Images focus on civic monuments and spaces; the audience consists of only a handful of symbolic hearers. In short, the sermon of the image-makers is merely a frame for the saint or apostle portrayed. Frugoni suggests that the medieval Church was uncomfortable with images of actual sermons, preferring instead idealized presentations of correct behavior.115 Rusconi himself admits that images of preaching are principally intended to present the preacher as a object of devotion.116 In that, they are mirror image of the satirical representations of preachers that populate medieval literature. Nonetheless, there is enough of the cultural commonplace in images of preaching that they cannot wholly be divorced from reality: a cult image of Vincent Ferrer preaching to Pope Benedict  included the stenographer taking down the reportatio.117 The first step toward fruitful use of visual representations requires reconstructing the development of iconography over time. This will give some idea of what is conventional (and so stereotypical) and what is idiosyncratic (and so perhaps taken from life). This kind of history must also treat the literary models used by the painters. Rusconi has traced the iconography of Francis preaching to the birds and Anthony preaching to the fish from their first appearances until the

112 For example, d’Avray, Death and the Prince, pp. 189–200, who draws on images of chivalry; or Longère, Prédication médiévale, pp. 222–24, who supplements images of Jesus as Judge with paintings of the Last Judgment; and Paton, Preaching, p. 127, who suggests the allegorical representations, such as Lorenzetti’s frescos in Siena’s Palazzo Publico, might illuminate sermons on vices and virtues. 113 Called to public attention by d’Avray, ‘‘Method,’’ p. 9, fn. 15. 114 ‘‘L’immagine del predicatore nell’iconografia medioevale (secc. –),’’ Dal pulpito, pp. 287–99. 115 Ibid., pp. 296–99. 116 Roberto Rusconi, ‘‘La Pouvoir de la parole: Representation des prédicateurs dans l’art de la Renaissance en Italie,’’ La Parole du prédicateur, pp. 445–46. 117 Roberto Rusconi, ‘‘Reportatio,’’ p. 22.

      


late Middle Ages.118 When surveying images of Dominican preachers, Rusconi finds images detailing the environment of preaching in ways that go beyond hagiographic stereotypes, but even in those cases, preaching remains secondary to the glorification of the saint.119 If such caveats are kept in mind, incidental detail in the images may prove useful. In the work of Fra Angelico, for example, preachers, even ancient ones, appear in contemporary garb and place. The layout of the scene, the pulpit, the audience’s dress and deportment, all seem authentically fifteenth-century. The preacher, however, repeats the same static gesture of a raised hand. The images are mute on what we would most want to see, the particularities of an individual preacher in action. Again, near contemporary images of Bernardino da Siena show him in identifiable Italian piazze, show the curtain between men and women, and accurately depict his pulpit, complete to the Holy Name plaque.120 It is the furniture of preaching and its geography that is accessible from images, what is missing are the contents of the sermon and the preacher’s delivery.121 Like any single source, images provide neither the royal road nor the perfect source for recapturing the lived event of a sermon. The journey to that reality demands ever more careful reading of all our sources and, above all, a creative imagination to ‘‘fill in the blank spaces’’ of medieval sermons.

118 ‘‘ ‘Trasse la storia per farne la tavola’: Immagini di predicatori degli ordini mendicanti nei secoli  e ,’’ La predicazione dei frati dalla metà del’200 alla fine del ’300, Atti del  Convegno internazionale, Assisi, 13–15 ottobre 1994 (Spoleto, 1995), pp. 407–50. 119 Ibid., pp. 431–37. Rusconi emphasizes that miracle-working is more important, for example, in images of Dominic on the Arca in Bologna. Of an image of Peter Martyr preaching in Florence, he writes, ibid., p. 438, ‘‘Malgrado al rappresentazione si riferisse ad una predica effectitiva solamente allo scopo di localizzare nello spazio e nel tempo il verificarsi di un portento operato per intercessione del santo.’’ 120 Rusconi, ‘‘La pouvoir,’’ pp. 447–50. 121 Ibid., pp. 455–56.


 ,  Select Bibliography

Amos, Thomas L, Eugene Green and Beverly Mayne Kienzle, eds., De Ore Domini. Preacher and Word in the Middle Ages, Studies in Medieval Culture 27 (Kalamazoo, 1989). Avray, David L. d’, The Preaching of the Friars: Sermons Diffused from Paris before 1300 (Oxford, 1985). Bataillon, Louis-Jacques, La Prédication au e siècle en France et Italie (Aldershot, Eng., 1993). Bériou, Nicole, L’Avènement des maîtres de la Parole: La prédication à Paris au e siècle, Collection des Études Augustiniennes. Moyen Âge et Temps Modernes 31 (Paris, 1998, 2 vols.). Bériou, Nicole and David L. d’Avray, eds., Modern Questions about Medieval Sermons: Essays on Marriage, Death, History and Sanctity, Biblioteca di Medioevo Latino 11 (Spoleto, 1994). Dal pulpito alla navata: La predicazione medievale nella sua recezione da parte degli ascoltatori (secc. –), Convegno Internazionale di Storia Religiosa in memoria di Zelina Zafarana, Medioevo e rinascimento 3 (Florence, 1989). Delcorno, Carlo, Giordano da Pisa e l’antica predicazione volgare (Florence, 1975). Dessì, Rosa Maria and Michel Lauwers, La Parole du prédicateur:  e– e siècle, Collection du Centre d’études médiévales de Nice 1 (Nice, 1997). Faire Croire: Modalités de la diffusion et de la réception des messages religieux du xiie au xve siècle. Table ronde organisé par l’École française de Rome, en collaboration avec l’Institut d’histoire médiévale de l’Université de Padoue (Rome, 22–23 juin 1979), Collection de l’École française de Rome 51 (Rome, 1981). Hamesse, Jacqueline, and Xavier Hermand, eds., De l’homélie au sermon: Histoire de la prédication médiévale (Louvain-la Neuve, 1993). La prédication en Pays d’Oc (e–début e siècle), Cahiers de Fanjeaux 32 (Fanjeaux, 1997). La predicazione dei frati dalla metà del’200 alla fine del ’300, Atti del  Convegno internazionale, Assisi, 13–15 ottobre 1994 (Spoleto, 1995). Longère, Jean, La prédication médiévale (Paris, 1983). —, Oeuvres oratoires de maîtres parisiens au e siècle. Étude historique et doctrinale, Tome : Texte. Tome : Notes (Paris, 1975). Martin, Hervé, Le métier de prédicateur à la fin du Moyen Âge (Paris, 1988). Mertens, Volker and Schiewer, Hans-Jochen, Die deutsche Predigt im Mittelalter. Internationales Symposium am Fachbereich Germanistik der Freien Universität Berlin vom 3.–6. (Tubingen, 1992).

      


Mulchahey, M. Michèle. ‘‘First the Bow is Bent in Study’’: Dominican Education before 1350 (Toronto, 1998). Predicazione francescana e società veneta nel quattrocento: Committenza, ascolto, ricezione. Atti del  Convegno internazionale di studi francescani, Padova, 26–27–28 marzo 1987 (Padua, 1995). Rusconi, Roberto, ‘‘La predicazione: Parole in chiesa, parole in pizza,’’ Lo spazio letterario del medioevo I: Il medioevo latino (Roma, 1992), 2:571–72. pencer, Helen Leith, English Preaching in the Late Middle Ages (Oxford, 1993). Thompson, ugustine, Revival Preachers and Politics in Thirteenth-century Italy: The Great Devotion of 1233 (Oxford, 1992).

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THE ARS PRAEDICANDI AND THE MEDIEVAL SERMON Phyllis B. Roberts (The City University of New York, Emerita) First some definitions: the term ars praedicandi refers to the new rhetoric of preaching which developed in the Middle Ages and drew from a variety of ancient sources, Jewish and classical. The term also refers to the theoretical and practical manuals that were prepared for the instruction of preachers and were supplemented by a variety of ancillary treatises and materials that taken together formed a ‘‘rhetorical system’’ that met the needs of the preachers of the high and late Middle Ages.1 Except for Augustine’s early guide to preaching in Book  of De doctrina christiana (426), there was no rhetoric of preaching until ca. 1200.2 Changes in the orientation of medieval preaching from preaching that was largely clerical to an increased emphasis on the needs of popular audiences required new techniques in the formulation of the sermon. The fresh emphasis on popular preaching gave impetus to the growth of a substantial didactic literature known as artes praedicandi. To the masters of the high Middle Ages, the art of preaching was ‘‘modern’’ and therefore required up-to-date techniques. Preachers needed a forma praedicandi which outlined the choice of theme and various subdivisions of the sermon according to certain conventional rules. The preaching manuals, whose numbers steadily increased in the course of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, became indispensable guides to the preaching art. This essay will examine the emergence of the ars praedicandi as it relates to the history of preaching and preaching techniques to both clergy and laity. I shall include examples from various artes praedi1 James J. Murphy, Rhetoric in the Middle Ages: A History of Rhetorical Theory from St. Augustine to the Renaissance (Berkeley/Los Angeles, 1974), p. 342. 2 Augustinus, De Doctrina Christiana, De vera religione, ed. Kl.-D. Daur and J. Martin, Corpus Christianorum, Series Latina (Turnhout, 1962) 32, pp. 116–67.


 

candi which describe the construction of the medieval sermon and the elaborate didactic techniques that were a feature of that era. I shall also touch on, however briefly, the variety of preaching aids that became a part of this new rhetoric of preaching. Along with poetics (ars poetriae) and the theory of letter writing (ars dictaminis), the art of preaching (ars praedicandi) had a prominent place in the development of medieval rhetoric, drawing upon the sources of classical rhetoric which continued to play a significant role in medieval intellectual life.3 As one of the liberal arts, rhetoric survived in the medieval manuscripts of some of the chief classical authors; in the writings of Martianus Capella (fl. 410–27), Cassiodorus (†ca.545), Isidore († 636), Alcuin (†804) and others who preserved the general principles and terminology of the ancient rhetoric; in the commentaries on and translations of Cicero (†43 B.C.) (especially his Rhetoric ad Herennium); and in the trivium of the medieval schools and universities. The alliance of rhetoric and law can be seen in its service to the courts and in the development of the ars dictaminis, the art of letter writing and legal administration. The interaction between rhetoric and poetry resulted in the ars poetriae which influenced various theories of poetry in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. The application of rhetoric to preaching helped to create a new rhetoric of preaching called the ars praedicandi. The growth of the preaching art was a gradual one and was enriched by its ancient Jewish and classical sources. By the time of Jesus, the Jewish synagogue service included prayer, scriptural reading and discussion. Jesus’ community was a community accustomed to preaching and early Christianity inherited and continued this ‘‘corporate rhetorical tradition’’. The history of preaching theory thus had its first phase in the person of Jesus, in his mandate for preaching and in his use of parables and multiple significations. St Paul’s theology of preaching and influence on the liturgy further underscored the importance of the art of preaching in the early Christian centuries.4 Four major forms of preaching developed in the early Church. 3 See Harry Caplan, ‘‘Classical Rhetoric and the Mediaeval Theory of Preaching,’’ in Of Eloquence: Studies in Ancient and Mediaeval Rhetoric ed. Anne King and Helen North (Ithaca, N.Y., 1970), pp. 105–134. For relevant bibliography on the ars praedicandi, see James J. Murphy, Medieval Rhetoric: A Select Bibliography, Toronto Medieval Bibliographies (Toronto, 1971), pp. 71–81. 4 Murphy, Rhetoric, pp. 269–84 at p. 273.

 ‘ ’    


The first was the missionary sermon which had its origins in the addresses to Jewish communities and to the unconverted and reflected Christianity’s sense of mission to go forth and preach the Gospel. (See Mark 3.14–15 and Matthew 28.16–20.) The second, prophecy, had the biblical prophets as models and was characterized by inspiration and exhortation to the Christian life. A third form, the homily, emphasized the oral interpretation of Scripture and became the mode for Christian oratory in the early Church. Finally, the Christian epideictic or panegyrical sermon, which had no Jewish antecedents, and came into use largely in the fourth century as Christianity became more closely associated with Roman public life.5 It was Augustine (†430) who ‘‘set about recovering for the new generation of Christian orators the true ancient rhetoric’’.6 While Augustine’s precepts on preaching as outlined in Book  of his De doctrina christiana are a ‘‘defense of conventional Ciceronian rhetoric’’,7 Augustine goes beyond Cicero, grounding his rhetoric in Scripture and the Fathers of the Church. ‘‘For Augustine… understanding Scripture requires the tools of both grammar and rhetoric, while transmitting knowledge to others requires a rhetoric based on love as well as evocative skill.’’8 Although Augustine’s treatise was important in establishing a tradition of rhetorical preaching, it did not exert as great an influence in the early Middle Ages as the more widely read Regula pastoralis of Gregory the Great who was pope from 590–604.9 In what was essentially a treatise on ecclesiastical administration, Gregory commented on the importance of preaching by bishops. While he emphasized the content of sermons, he says virtually nothing about the sermon’s rhetorical qualities. Gregory’s books of moralities and homilies were, however, a rich source of exempla and anecdotes for the medieval preacher. The history of medieval preaching may be seen as the transition from the simple patristic homily to the more complex sermon of the high and later Middle Ages. A simple style characterized early me5 See George A. Kennedy, Classical Rhetoric and its Christian and Secular Tradition from Ancient to Modern Times (Chapel Hill, N.C., 1980), pp. 135–41. 6 Charles S. Baldwin, Medieval Rhetoric and Poetic (to 1400) Interpreted from Representative Works (1928; repr. Gloucester, MA, 1959), p. 52. 7 Murphy, Rhetoric, p. 286. 8 Murphy, Rhetoric, pp. 291–92. 9 Liber regulae pastoralis, PL 77:13–128.


 

dieval preaching (especially monastic sermons) and influenced the form of sermons into the early twelfth century. The theme was drawn from Scripture and was usually based on the daily liturgy. The theme was not, however, followed by the protheme which was a creation of the thirteenth century. Changes in terminology reflect this development. Homilia or homily referred to the kind of preaching where a biblical passage, normally read during the Mass, was explained phrase by phrase and was, therefore, a commentary on the gospel of the Mass. The term sermo, or sermon, came into use by the thirteenth century and was applied to the type of preaching where a short quotation, also taken from the liturgy of the day, was divided at length and developed according to the rules of the ars praedicandi. 10 The distinguishing mark of most early medieval preaching was that it was essentially preaching by clerics for audiences of clerics. This is not to say that popular audiences were ignored. Legislation in the Capitularies of Charlemagne (813) called for preaching to the people in the language they would understand.11 More typical of this period, however, was Rabanus Maurus’ (†856) De clericorum institutione (819), a manual for priests which drew on Augustine and Gregory the Great for its precepts on preaching.12 Medieval preaching by the late twelfth and thirteenth centuries shifted its emphasis from preaching that was largely monastic and clerical to the needs of popular audiences. The revival of popular preaching coincided with the widespread development of towns and commerce, schools and universities, and crusades of the 10 Albert Lecoy de la Marche, La chaire française au moyen âge, spécialement au  siècle, 2nd ed. (Paris, 1886) p. 271. On medieval monastic preaching, see Medieval Monastic Preaching, ed. Carolyn Muessig, Brill’s Studies in Intellectual History 90 (Leiden, 1998). On the development of preaching from homily to sermon, see the essays in De l’homélie au sermon. Histoire de la prédication médiévale. Actes du Colloque international de Louvain-la-Neuve (9–11 juillet 1992), ed. Jacqueline Hamesse and Xavier Hermand, Publications de l’Institut d’études médiévales: Textes, Études, Congrès 14 (Louvain-la-Neuve, 1993). For a bibliography of medieval sermon studies, see Thomas N. Hall, ‘‘A Basic Bibliography of Medieval Sermon Studies,’’ in Medieval Sermon Studies 36 (Autumn 1995), 26–42. On the study of medieval sermons, see also Louis-Jacques Bataillon, ‘‘Approaches to the Study of Medieval Sermons,’’ Leeds Studies in English, n.s. 11 (1980), 19–35 and Beverly M. Kienzle and David L. D’Avray, ‘‘Sermons’’ in Medieval Latin: An Introduction and Bibliographical Guide, ed. F.A.C. Mantello and A.G. Rigg, (Washington, D.C., 1996), pp. 659–69. 11 MGH, Legum 1, 14, 190. 12 Rabanus Maurus, De clericorum institutione, PL 107:293–420.

 ‘ ’    


Church against enemies from without and heretics from within. Pope Innocent  (†1216), himself a renowned preacher, exemplifies an age when the sermon was coming into its own as an effective instrument not only against the enemies of the Church, but also in winning popular support for his plans for reform. The Fourth Lateran Council (1215) emphasized the importance of the preaching office in its tenth canon, underscoring the bishop’s responsibility to name men suited to fulfill the important task of edifying the flock by word and example.13 Pope Innocent’s decision to promote the role of preaching in the Church and to improve the standards of its preachers was in turn effected by successive synodal and provincial statutes after 1215.14 Doctors and masters such as Stephen Langton (†1228), Maurice de Sully (†1196), Peter the Chanter (†1197) and Robert de Courçon (†1219) were involved in this major reform program and directed their interests toward the reinvigoration of Christian teaching.15 Preaching was an essential tool in resisting and opposing heresy and in spreading the ideas of the vita apostolica. Further momentum was given to the importance of popular preaching by the mendicants whose rapid spread through the cities of western Europe in the first decades of the thirteenth century may be seen as a continuation and extension of the effort to educate and persuade the laity. By the thirteenth century, therefore, the fresh emphasis on popular preaching, the ties between preaching and the schools, and the need to provide some guidance for preachers coincided with the growth of a substantial didactic and rhetorical literature consisting of treatises known as artes praedicandi. To the masters of the high Middle Ages, contemporary preaching required ‘‘modern’’ techniques. Although the sermon had long been recognized as a major instrument in the Church’s ministry, it was evident that by the thirteenth century, a new attitude of specialization and professiona-


Conciliorum Oecumenicorum Decreta (Freiburg, 1962), p. 215. See Phyllis B. Roberts, ‘‘The Pope and the Preachers: Perceptions of the Religious Role of the Papacy in the Preaching Tradition of the Thirteenth-Century English Church,’’ in The Religious Roles of the Papacy: Ideals and Realities 1150–1300, ed. Christopher Ryan (Toronto, 1989) pp. 277–97. 15 See John W. Baldwin, Masters, Princes and Merchants: The Social Views of Peter the Chanter and his Circle, 2 vols. (Princeton, 1970) and Phyllis B. Roberts, Stephanus de LinguaTonante: Studies in the Sermons of Stephen Langton (Toronto, 1968) [hereafter cited as Roberts, Studies]. 14


 

lization was emerging toward the fashioning of sermons. Probably the most outstanding example of these changes emerged in the fully developed scholastic sermon, which will be discussed below. The need for a forma praedicandi outlining the choice of theme and various subdivisions of the sermon was met by developments in the ars praedicandi and the production of preaching handbooks, treatises and manuals that responded to the demand to upgrade the standards of preaching to both laity and to clergy, who would in turn preach to the laity. More than three hundred of these artes praedicandi are extant. They date from the thirteenth century to the early fifteenth century and were written in England, France, Italy, Germany, and Spain.16 The first examples of such manuals had appeared in the twelfth century. The Benedictine Guibert de Nogent (†1124) intended his Liber quo ordine sermo fieri debeat as a prologue to his commentary on Genesis rather than as a separate work on preaching.17 His remarks on preaching, therefore, are rather general as compared with his more specific treatment of scriptural interpretation. Yet Guibert shows a familiarity with invention, organization, style, and delivery, reflecting an awareness of the ancient rhetorical tradition. The Cistercian Alan of Lille (†1202/1203), on the other hand, represents in his Summa de arte praedicatoria (1199?) another important advance in the development of the genre.18 Alan gives great attention in this work to the use of authorities and to the subject matter to be presented in specific preaching situations to various audiences which he identifies: soldiers, advocates or oratores, doctors, other prelates, religious, the married, widowed, and virgins. Also included in his treatise are a large number of model sermons. In his use of

16 Murphy, Rhetoric, pp. 275, 332. For a basic bibliography and description of the genre, see Marianne G. Briscoe, Artes Praedicandi and Barbara H. Jaye, Artes Orandi, Typologie des sources du moyen âge occidental 61 (Turnhout, 1992). There has been some discussion [See David L. D’Avray, The Preaching of the Friars: Sermons Diffused from Paris before 1300 (Oxford, 1985), p. 78.] about how much of a direct influence preaching manuals had on medieval preachers, since manuscript evidence suggests that most manuals do not appear to have circulated very widely in the Middle Ages. Many also appeared relatively late from the mid fourteenth century and later. The artes praedicandi, nonetheless, represent an important summary of medieval rhetorical practice and serve as useful sources for the purposes of this essay. 17 Guibert de Nogent, Liber quo ordine sermo fieri debeat, PL 156:21–32 and Ad Commentarios in Genesim, PL 156:19–22. 18 Alan of Lille, Summa de arte praedicatoria, PL 210:109–98.

 ‘ ’    


subject matter, Alan of Lille shows the strong influence of Gregory the Great’s Regula Pastoralis, but he has little to say about the organization of sermons or their style.19 ‘‘By the year 1200, then, the Christian Church had produced only four writers who could by any stretch of the imagination be called theorists of preaching: Augustine, Pope Gregory, Guibert de Nogent, and Alain de Lille.’’20 Nor was there a general consensus that the ancient ars rhetorica could serve as a theory of preaching. Medieval preachers did not simply apply principles of Ciceronian rhetoric to their sermons. While a non-theoretical approach apparently met the needs of preaching in the early Middle Ages, between the years 1200–20, a whole new rhetoric of preaching known as the ars praedicandi developed and set into motion what James J. Murphy calls a ‘‘homiletic revolution’’.21 The artes praedicandi that were produced in the wake of this revolution varied in scope and content. Some had as their object a discussion of the moral conduct of the preacher. The Dominican Humbert de Romans’ (†1277) thirteenth-century treatise on preaching, for example, devotes more attention to the conduct of preachers than to the form of preaching.22 Many treatises considered the technique and composition of sermons. Some also gave attention to matters of voice, gesture and delivery. Thus in the fourteenth-century treatise by the English Dominican and Oxford master Thomas Waleys († after 1349), De modo componendi sermones, 23 Waleys urges that the new preacher seek out some place of privacy where he can practice voice and gesture without fear of ridicule. He should preach to trees and stones before he preaches to man. There were also other kinds of materials that comprised this new ars praedicandi. Handbooks of themes, distinctions, authorities, concordances and examples undoubtedly formed a useful reference library for preachers.24 19

Kennedy, Classical Rhetoric, p. 191.

Murphy, Rhetoric, p. 309.

21 Murphy, Rhetoric, p. 310.

22 Murphy, Rhetoric, p. 341.

23 See Thomas Waleys, De modo componendi sermons, in Artes Praedicandi: Contribution à

l’histoire de la rhétorique au moyen âge, ed. Thomas M. Charland, Publications de l’Institut d’études médiévales d’Ottawa 7 (Ottawa and Paris, 1936), pp. 328–403. 24 See Harry Caplan, Mediaeval Artes Praedicandi: A Hand-List, Cornell Studies in Classical Philology 25 (Ithaca, N.Y., 1934) and Caplan, Mediaeval Artes Praedicandi: A Supplementary Hand-List, Cornell Studies in Classical Philology 26 (Ithaca, N.Y., 1936). 20


 

How can we account for this extraordinary ‘‘homiletic revolution’’? What were the sources for this direction in medieval preaching? Caplan argued for the influence of ancient rhetoric on medieval preaching theory and pointed to the importance of the new preaching orders, the spread of mysticism, and the growth of scholasticism.25 Roth regarded William of Auvergne’s Rhetorica divina (thirteenth century) as a turning point in the evolution of a genuinely medieval approach to preaching.26 Charland, on the other hand, emphasized the prime influence of scholastic method in the emerging ars praedicandi, its close connections with the medieval schools and university preaching where preaching, sermon-making, and the study of Scripture had long been closely linked. Such close ties eventually came to be formalized in the statutes of the university of Paris and other medieval universities that followed Paris’ lead.27 Students in theology had to preach at least once a year and preaching competence was a prerequisite to the granting of the license. Masters who were preachers dealt with the direct instruction of the Christian community, for university regulation explicitly directed that theological masters preach on certain days and in specified places in the capital. While it is evident that the new thematic sermon mode had close associations with the university and in fact is often called the university style sermon,28 it is also clear that the basic elements of the new approach to preaching were not exclusive to the university but were also available outside the universities before academics took them up and subjected them to the analytical spirit of the thirteenth century. Consider, for example, the works of two authors writing between 1200 and 1250, whose interest in the new form and technique of the sermon anticipate later developments in university thematic 25

Caplan, ‘‘A Late Mediaeval Tractate on Preaching,’’ in Of Eloquence, p. 42. See Dorothea Roth, Die mittelalterliche Predigttheorie und das Manuale curatorum des Johann Ulrich Surgant (Basel and Stuttgart, 1956). 27 See Chartularium universitatis Parisiensis, ed. Heinrich Denifle and E.L.M. Chatelain, 4 vols., (Paris, 1889–97) 2, pp. 1188, 1189 and Phyllis B. Roberts, ‘‘Medieval University Preaching: The Evidence in the Statutes,’’ in Medieval Sermons and Society: Cloister, City, University, ed. Jacqueline Hamesse, Beverly M. Kienzle et al., Publications de l’Institut d’études médiévales: Textes et Études du Moyen Âge, 9 (Louvain-la-Neuve, 1998), pp. 317–28. 28 See Marie-Magdeleine Davy, Les Sermons universitaires parisiens de 1230–1231: Contribution à l’histoire de la prédication médiévale, Études de philosophie médiévale, ed. Etienne Gilson (Paris, 1931). 26

 ‘ ’    


preaching. Alexander of Ashby’s (an Augustinian house in Northamptonshire), De modo predicandi (ca.1200) set forth a new approach to the form of preaching and introduced a theory of organization embodying ideas of division and proof. Alexander emphasized the use of a standard form to be followed in preaching. The second author was Thomas Chabham or Chobham († between 1233–36, also known as Thomas of Salisbury, master at Paris) whose Summa de arte praedicandi, written between 1210 and 1215, set the art of preaching solidly within the intellectual framework of the late twelfth and early thirteenth century. Thomas Chobham demonstrated the value of the art of rhetoric to the office of the preacher by showing how the parts of a sermon compared with Roman rhetorical doctrine. His outline for the sermon included the opening prayer for divine aid, the protheme (or antetheme) or introduction of the theme, the theme or statement of a scriptural quotation, division or statement of parts of the theme, the development or prosecutio of the members named in the division, and conclusion.29 By the year 1200, therefore, the elements of the ars praedicandi had been brought together. While Murphy argues that the basic theory of the ars praedicandi was a product of the late twelfth century and not necessarily limited to the schools and universities, there is no doubt that the elaboration of the ars praedicandi lay in the university and by university masters.30 Between 1200 and 1322, when Robert of Basevorn wrote his Forma praedicandi, the future of the ars praedicandi was assured.31 Robert’s treatise was a full treatment of a rhetoric of preaching which would endure into the early modern era to be replaced only by the revival of Ciceronianism in the Renaissance.32 By the fourteenth century, when Robert of Basevorn wrote his Forma praedicandi, the thematic sermon had become the favored

29 Murphy, Rhetoric, pp. 311–326. See Thomas de Chobham, Summa de arte praedicandi, ed. Franco Morenzoni, Corpus Christianorum, Continuatio Mediaevalis 82 (Turnhout, 1988). Also by Morenzoni, Thomas de Chobham, Sermones, Corpus Christianorum, Continuatio Mediaevalis 82A (Turnhout, 1993) and Des écoles aux paroisses. Thomas de Chobham et la promotion de la prédication au début du e siècle, Collection des Études Augustiniennes 30 (Paris, 1995). 30 Murphy, Rhetoric, p. 326. 31 Robert de Basevorn, Forma praedicandi in Charland, pp. 233–323. 32 Murphy, Rhetoric, pp. 343–344.


 

form of preaching. Thematic preaching took its name from the way preachers treated scriptural texts or themes as a basis for amplification and division. Thomas Waleys set forth the conditions for the selection of the theme: ‘‘The theme should suit the material about which the preacher principally wishes to speak…it should be taken from Scripture…it should be to the point…and it should be accurately quoted.’’33 Having announced his theme, the preacher invited his listeners to pray with him. The section that followed, sometimes called the protheme, or more accurately exordium, served as an introduction to this prayer and frequently contained some topos relating to the preacher’s unworthiness. The exordium concluded with the invocation to prayer, repeated simultaneously by the preacher and the audience of the faithful. There was then a restatement of the theme and its development by use of examples and similitudes. A more complex protheme was introduced in the course of the thirteenth century and became a kind of pre-sermon, with its own introduction relating to the scriptural text, reference to the good preacher, and its own division of the parts of the theme and subsequent confirmation by various authorities. By the close of the thirteenth century, the protheme had become virtually a sermon within a sermon, and the intricacies of the development of the theme illustrate the extent to which the sermon became subject to complex rules of composition, which can be found as late as the seventeenth century in printed English sermons. Thematic preaching was not missionary preaching. It was a preaching of instruction in the meaning of Scripture and was closely linked to exegesis. Preaching manuals thus reflected the influence of a variety of disciplines such as biblical exegesis, scholastic logic and rhetoric.34 Grammar and other liberal arts also made their mark in the amplification of the divisions of the theme. In its fully developed form, thematic preaching was a systematic, logical form of preaching in sharp contrast with the relative informality and lack of structure of earlier medieval homilies. The scholastic or university sermon became increasingly complex. Preachers divided the theme to facilitate the organization and presentation of the ser33 Thomas Waleys, De modo componendi sermones: cap. ii De themate assumendo et auctoritatibus allegandis in Charland, pp. 341–49. 34 Kennedy, Classical Rhetoric, pp. 191–92.

 ‘ ’    


mon. Division of the theme was accompanied by a declaration and confirmation of its parts. Declaration furnished a rational justification, i.e., that the division was well-grounded according to reason; confirmation, that such division was well-grounded according to Scripture. Similar procedures were followed by medieval theologians in their exegesis and scriptural commentary, and it is probably no accident that many of the best preachers were also distinguished biblical scholars. The means by which sermons could be developed were rather elaborate by the later Middle Ages.Thomas Waleys indicated three: citation of authorities, arguments, and examples. Robert of Basevorn added digressio, i.e., the marginal development of the principal subject and correspondentia, the comparison of various parts.35 A late medieval tractate on preaching lists these nine methods of expanding a sermon: through concordance of authorities, through discussion of words, through explanation of the properties of things, through a multiplication of senses, through analogies and natural truths, through marking of an opposite, through comparisons, through interpretation of a name, and through multiplication of synonyms.36 The manuals that we have been describing were, for the most part, written in Latin and were principally interested in the form of the sermon and the methods available for developing a theme. By the later Middle Ages, however, there appeared a variety of shorter manuals whose principal concern was examining how one preaches to the ‘‘people’’. Authors such as Geraldus de Piscario, OFM, France (fl.14th century); Francesc Eixemenis, OFM, Spain (†1409); Henry of Hesse, Germany (fl.14th century); Pseudo-Aquinas (before 1500); Christian Borgsleben, OFM, Germany (fl.1450–60); Martin of Cordova, OSA, Spain (fl.15th century); and Simon Alcock, England (†1459) provide ‘‘the first attributable examples of manuals written outside the influence, and in many cases outside the precincts of English and Parisian universities’’.37 Manuals of the 35

See Charland, p. 195 and pp. 213–14. See H. Caplan, ‘‘The Four Senses of Scriptural Interpretation and the Mediaeval Theory of Preaching,’’ in Of Eloquence, p. 94. 37 Briscoe, Artes Praedicandi, p. 43. On Geraldus de Piscario, see F.M. Delorme, ‘‘L’Ars Faciendi Sermones de Geraud du Pescher’’ in Antonianum 19 (1944), 169–98; on Henry of Hesse and the Pseudo-Aquinas tract, see H.Caplan, ‘‘‘Henry of Hesse’ on the Art of Preaching,’’ in Of Eloquence, pp. 135–59. 36


 

fifteenth century increasingly addressed the needs of preaching to the people and issues of vernacular preaching style.38 The manuals of the artes praedicandi were one of several resources available to a preacher. A wide variety of preaching aids were also developed from the late twelfth and thirteenth century on, and together with the aforesaid manuals form what Murphy called the ‘‘rhetorical system’’ of the ars praedicandi. These include Scripture with its glosses; collections of exempla, florilegia, distinctiones, and similitudines, concordances, alphabetical lists and topic charts to locate materials; and collections of model sermons.39 The subject is a vast one, but I shall, in the next part of this essay, try to touch on some of these techniques and describe, with a few selected examples, how these fit into the story of the ars praedicandi and the medieval sermon. The study of the exemplum has had a long and rich history in the scholarship of medieval preaching. Thomas Welter’s classic study, published in 1927, traces the origin and development of the genre through the high Middle Ages to the fifteenth century. Exempla historiography has been enriched by subsequent studies such as Tubach’s Index exemplorum (1969) and L’Exemplum (1982), a collaborative effort by Claude Bremond, Jacques Le Goff, and JeanClaude Schmitt which reflects the scholarship that has emerged from the deliberations of the Paris interdisciplinary seminar on medieval exempla.40 The appearance of the exemplum as a separate genre 38

Briscoe, Artes Praedicandi, p. 61. Murphy, Rhetoric, pp. 342–343. For an example of a manuscript that contains sermons as well as a collection of unusual exempla, florilegia, and numerous other aids to preaching, see Mary E. O’Carroll, A Thirteenth-Century Preacher’s Handbook: Studies in MS Laud Misc. 511 (Toronto, 1997). Additional thirteenth-century examples are discussed in Louis-Jacques Bataillon, ‘‘Similitudines et exempla dans les sermons du e siècle,’’The Bible in the Medieval World: Essays in Memory of Beryl Smalley, ed. Katherine Walsh and Diana Wood (Oxford, 1985), pp. 191–205. For excellent summaries of material relating to preaching aids (sermon collections, florilegia, exempla, and artes) see M. Michèle Mulchahey, ‘‘First the bow is bent in study. . .’’ Dominican Education before 1350 (Toronto, 1998), pp. 400–79; and on the tools for biblical exegesis, pp. 480–526. Mulchahey (pp. 185–88) also cites the example of the Florentine preacher Jacopo Passavanti who was praedicator in conventu at Santa Maria Novella from 1340–41 and who probably compiled a sermonary which was no ordinary sermon collection but was designed as a teaching text, offering notes on ways of interpreting the theme and discussion of the possible use of the sermon material. While all sermon collections were intended as teaching texts, what sets Passavanti’s sermonary apart is his direct approach to the reader, offering his opinion on a particular approach he favors and how it can be modified. 40 See J.-Th. Welter, L’exemplum dans la littérature religieuse et didactique du moyen âge, 39

 ‘ ’    


ca.1170–1250 parallels the emergence of universities and the systematization of preaching techniques. The history of the exemplum is therefore intimately tied to developments in the ars praedicandi since exempla furnished preachers with plentiful raw materials for their sermons. The term itself was adopted by theologians from classical works on rhetoric. Quintilian († ca.118) wrote a full chapter on exempla.41 The classical world had in turn inherited the genre from ancient oriental peoples whose parables, tales, legends, and fables frequently appear in later exempla. As Greco-Roman sources became Christianized, the early Church fathers soon recognized and adopted exempla for the use of instruction and pedagogy.42 Ambrose (†397) wrote in his commentary on  Corinthians that ‘‘exempla are more persuasive than words alone’’.43 Augustine drew on exempla from various sources in his sermons;44 Pope Leo the Great (†462) especially recommended the Acta Martyrum as a source for hagiographic exempla;45 and Pope Gregory the Great’s homilies and dialogues won for him the title ‘‘Father of the Exemplum in Eu-

Bibliothèque d’histoire ecclésiastique de la France (Paris, 1927) and his La Tabula Exemplorum secundum ordinem alphabeti: Recueil d’exempla compilé en France à la fin du e siècle (Paris, 1926). Frederic C. Tubach’s Index Exemplorum: A Handbook of Medieval Religious Tales, Folklore Fellows Communications 204 (Helsinki, 1969), an index of 5400 themes of exempla is, however, difficult to use. There are also important omissions which justify the publication of supplements to the index. On this see Jacques Berlioz and Marie-Anne Polo de Beaulieu, eds., Les exempla médiévaux: Introduction à la recherche, suivie des tables critiques de l’Index exemplorum de Frederic C. Tubach (Paris, 1992). The Typologie volume, L’’Exemplum’, ed. Claude Bremond, Jacques Le Goff, and Jean-Claude Schmitt, Typologie des sources du moyen âge occidental 40 (Turnhout, 1982) contains three sections: 1) on the medieval exemplum including bibliography on editions and collections; 2) on the structure of the exemplum in Jacques de Vitry; and 3) on the role of the exemplum in the sermon. For a collection of sources that illustrate the history of the exemplum and a survey of exemplum historiography, see Prêcher d’exemples: Récits de prédicateurs du moyen âge, ed. Jean-Claude Schmitt (Paris, 1985). Among the more recently published scholarly editions is Jean Gobi, La scala Coeli, ed. Marie-Anne Polo de Beaulieu, Sources d’Histoire Médiévale (Paris, 1991), a book of 1000 exempla composed in the years 1327–30 by the Dominican Jean Gobi Junior. 41 For an analysis of Quintilian’s Institutio oratoria written about 92 A.D., see Murphy, Rhetoric, pp. 22–26. 42 L’’ Exemplum’ (Typologie), p. 48. 43 Commentarius in epistolam ad Corinthios , PL 17:236, 254. Exempla subjicit, ut facilius suadeat, quia cui verba satis non faciunt, solent exempla suadere. . .quoniam exempla facilius suadent quam verba, exemplis commendat per quae facilius assequantur. 44 See, e.g., Augustinus, Sermones, PL 39:1568–81. 45 See Acta Martyrum, In natali s.Laurentii, PL 54:435.


 

rope’’.46 Gregory’s Dialogues in fact constituted one of the early exempla collections for the use of preachers.47 The medieval exemplum also bore the influences of the monastic milieu of the early Middle Ages, especially among the new orders of the eleventh and twelfth centuries and notably among the Cistercians.48 Exempla were especially well suited to eleventh-century polemicists such as Wulfstan, archbishop of York (1002–23), Odilon of Cluny (†1049), and Peter Damien (†1072) whose emphases on biblical, historical, and hagiographical exempla respectively, show a continuity with the earlier patristic tradition.49 By the late twelfth century, the medieval exemplum as an illustrative story took on its characteristic structure, function and diffusion, and by the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries its transformation as a literary and cultural object led to the appearance of numerous exempla collections which had significant implications and importance for the study of medieval preaching. Of the forty-six collections cited by Welter, thirty-four (principally by Dominicans and Franciscans) date from 1250 to 1350, when the number of collections noticeably diminished.50 Classification schemes varied: logical order was favored especially by Cistercian and Dominican authors; alphabetical order with its ease of use was a feature of the Liber exemplorum ad usum praedicantium (ca.1275) by an anonymous English Franciscan, the Tabula exemplorum secundum ordinem alphabeti (ca. 1277), and the Speculum laicorum (1279–92). Another innovation at the beginning of the fourteenth century was by the Dominican Arnold of Liège (†1308) who, in his alphabetical collection of exempla, follows most exempla with the note ‘‘Hoc eciam valet ad’’, a system of cross-referencing which showed that the exemplum could be used in different contexts.51

46 M.D. Howie, Studies in the use of Exempla: With special reference to middle high German literature (London, 1923), p. 6. 47 See Dialogorum Libri , PL 77:149–430 and Saint Gregory the Great, Dialogues, tr. O.J. Zimmerman, Fathers of the Church (N.Y., 1959). 48 L’ ‘Exemplum’ (Typologie), p. 50. 49 Welter, L’exemplum, pp. 21–22. 50 L’ ‘Exemplum’ (Typologie), pp. 58–60. 51 L’ ‘Exemplum’ (Typologie), pp. 60–62.While most of the exempla collections were in Latin, exempla were also diffused in vernacular languages. See, for example, the sermons of preachers such as Bernardino da Siena which contain exempla in the vernacular. See further the study by Carlo Delcorno, L’exemplum nella predicazione volgare di Giordano

 ‘ ’    


Alphabetical arrangements, though taken for granted in modern reference works, were not an obvious medieval innovation. As Richard H. Rouse and Mary A. Rouse observed in their splendid study of the Manipulus Florum (1306) of Thomas of Ireland: ‘‘to discuss Filius before Pater, or Angelus before Deus, simply because the alphabet required it, would have seemed absurd’’.52 Alphabetization first gained acceptance in collections of distinctions, concordances and subject indexes and then was applied to the organization of materials in encyclopedias, exempla collections, and florilegia. By the 1270s, there was wide acceptance of a subject index and of general reference tools by masters and scholars in Paris.53 In the 1280s, an effective biblical concordance became available, so that fourteenth-century artes praedicandi take for granted preachers’ access to a concordance.54 A number of important techniques had been developed to make these tools both useful and accessible: 1) the development of layouts for both book and page; 2) the emergence of reference systems, including the adoption of Arabic numerals; and 3) acceptance of alphabetical order as a means of arranging words and ideas.55 The Manipulus Florum belongs to the genre of florilegia, which alphabetically arranged, was an extremely popular work with links to the growing importance of preaching and preaching tools in the high Middle Ages. As ‘‘an alphabetically-arranged topical compendium of auctoritates, designed for use in writing sermons’’56 the Manipulus Florum was a typical product of its age. Consisting of some 6,000 extracts from patristic and ancient sources, classified according to 266 alphabetically-arranged topics, the Manipulus Florum, including prologue and bibliography would correspond to a modern work of 365 pages.57 Its audience was the average universitytrained preacher who needed a useful reference manual for sermons that were becoming increasingly complex in structure and da Pisa, Memorie dell’Istituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere, ed Arti, Classe di Scienze Morali 36 (Venice, 1972). 52 Richard M. Rouse and Mary A. Rouse, Preachers, Florilegia and Sermons: Studies on the Manipulus florum of Thomas of Ireland (Toronto, 1979), p. 35. [hereafter cited as Rouse and Rouse, MF] 53 Rouse and Rouse, MF, p. 21. 54 Rouse and Rouse, MF, p. 11. 55 Rouse and Rouse, MF, pp. 26–27. 56 Rouse and Rouse, MF, p. ix. 57 Rouse and Rouse, MF, p. 117.


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dependent upon the citation of authorities.The usefulness and popularity of the work are attested by 180 surviving manuscripts and some forty-seven printings between 1483 and 1887.58 Further, the Manipulus Florum became the vehicle whereby twelfth and thirteenth-century sources were made available to many later writers including not only preachers but also theologians, mystics, lawyers, and vernacular poets. Preaching aids also included collections of similitudes or similitudines. Defined as a likening or comparison, a parable or allegory, the similitude had much in common with those exempla that lacked specific or historical detail. An early collection was the book of Similitudes of Anselm (†1109), assembled by his biographer Eadmer.59 A much more systematic collection of similitudes was assembled by William de Montibus in his Similitudinarium. Called the most famous teacher in England during the late twelfth and early thirteenth centuries, William de Montibus (ca.1140–1213) taught at Paris and then at the cathedral school at Lincoln.60 William himself specified in his prologue to the Similitudinarium the form of the work: ‘‘That we might be able to find a simile pertinent to an argument more quickly and easily, we have taken pains to organize this treatise on similitudes in alphabetical order; we give this work the name Similitudinarium.’’61 William’s treatise had as its audience students, teachers, and preachers who would transmit the understanding of theological doctrine to the people in their care. William distinguished similitudes from examples: similitudines, for the most part, were drawn from the world of nature; exempla, from human history.62 The following entries will serve to illustrate the brief form 58

Rouse and Rouse, MF, p. x. See Roberts, Studies, p. 90. 60 William’s life and pastoral writings were the subject of an unpublished D.Phil. thesis at Oxford (1957) by Hugh MacKinnon. Joseph Goering, whose own dissertation at Toronto shared an interest in William de Montibus, proposed to MacKinnon in the spring of 1982 an updating of the thesis and preparation for publication.The collaboration was short-lived, however, terminated by MacKinnon’s untimely death in December 1982. Goering’s book William de Montibus (c. 1140–1213) The Schools and the Literature of Pastoral Care (Toronto, 1992) owes a great and acknowledged debt to MacKinnon’s earlier study. 61 Quoted in Goering, p. 305. 62 Goering, p. 304. There were also interesting cross references between works on natural science and similitudines and exempla for the use of preachers. The Liber de Naturis Rerum, a natural science encyclopedia of the thirteenth century by Pseudo-John Folsham contains numerous annotations that could serve the reference needs of preachers. [My 59

 ‘ ’    


and content of some of these similitudes:63 Controversy (Contentio): We are dwarfs on the shoulders of giants and small birds on the wings of eagles. Merit (Meritvm): Just as light and the power of sight work together for seeing, so grace and free choice work together for meriting. Secular (Secvlaris): St. Malachy was no more influenced by his barbarous homeland than are the fish of the sea by their salty home.

A book of similitudes has also been attributed to Stephen Langton whose possible connections with William de Montibus I have explored elsewhere.64 Master of theology in the schools at Paris, archbishop of Canterbury from 1207–28, notable preacher and biblical scholar, Langton’s Similitudines were at an early date absorbed into some copies of William de Montibus’ Similitudinarium.65 Furthermore, examples of similitudes that appear in the Langton collection and in Langton’s own sermons underscore how useful the similitude could be for the medieval preacher.66 Langton and William de Montibus also appear as authors of yet another type of preaching aid, namely books of distinctions which were a key to utilizing and organizing the senses of Scripture. Medieval preachers drew on a long tradition of expounding Scripture according to its multiple senses: historical or literal, tropological, allegorical, and anagogical. Medieval treatises on preaching also commented on the importance of the use of the senses of Scripture. Guibert de Nogent, in his handbook on sermon-making, urged preachers to use any or all of the four senses of scriptural interpretation and offered as an example this interpretation of Jerusalem in its multiple senses: in the literal sense, Jerusalem represents the city of that name; in the allegorical sense, it represents Holy Church; in the tropological sense, it signifies the faithful soul of one who aspires to the vision of eternal peace; and in the anagogical sense, Jerusa-

thanks to Dmitri Abramov who called attention to this connection in a paper delivered at the International Medieval Congress at Leeds in 1999 and who kindly sent me copies of selected folia from the manuscript Trinity College (Cambridge) R.15.13 (938) which contain these moral annotations.] 63 Quoted in Goering, p. 305. 64 See Roberts, Studies, pp. 90–93. 65 See Goering, pp. 307–312, for a description of the manuscripts of de Montibus’ work and references to the appearance of the Langton material. 66 See Roberts, Studies, p. 93 for examples.


 

lem refers to the life of the dwellers in Heaven who see God revealed in Zion.67 Senses of Scripture were tabulated and formulated in the distinctio, a scheme or table of meanings for each word, according to three or four senses, each meaning frequently illustrated by a text. The earliest examples of biblical distinctions appear to have been the work of Paris masters and belong to the last quarter of the twelfth century and became an increasingly frequent feature in sermons to clergy and people thoughout the Middle Ages. A book of Distinctiones had, in fact, long been attributed to Stephen Langton.68 Riccardo Quinto has recently demonstrated that such a collection by Langton has survived in two Paris manuscripts, Bibliothèque nationale lat. 393, fols. 22r–31v and lat. 14526, fols. 161–174. His survey of the Langton opera includes a tabulation of ninety distinctiones, an example of a genre that was immensely valuable as an aid to preaching.69 Unlike Langton’s book which was more strictly ‘‘biblical’’ in source material, William de Montibus’ Distinctiones are more correctly described as ‘‘theological’’. While numerous examples of distinction books relied on the traditional schema of the senses of Scripture, William’s work is ‘‘more a theological textbook or summa than a catalogue of biblical usage’’.70 Distinctiones might lend themselves to schematic or diagrammatic representations, or as William here includes, more discursive entries that were characteristic of many contemporary distinction collections. William’s first entry is 67 For references and a summary of the development of the senses of Scriptural interpretation, see Roberts, Studies, pp. 103–06. 68 See Roberts, Studies, p. 107, n. 79 for references. 69 Riccardo Quinto, ‘‘Doctor Nominatissimus’’ Stefano Langton (+ 1228) e la tradizione delle sue opere, Beiträge zur Geschichte der Philosophie und Theologie des Mittelalters, Neue Folge 39 (Münster, 1994), pp. 58–76. Further on biblical distinctions, see Richard H. and Mary A. Rouse, ‘‘Biblical Distinctiones in the Thirteenth Century,’’ in Archives d’histoire doctrinale et littéraire du moyen âge 41 (1974), 27–37 and the following articles by Louis-Jacques Bataillon: ‘‘L’Agir humain d’après les distinctions bibliques du e siècle,’’ in L’Homme et son univers au moyen âge, Actes de septième congrès international de philosophie médiévale (30 août–4 septembre 1982), ed. Christian Wenin (Louvain-la-neuve, 1986), pp. 776–90; ‘‘Intermédiaires entre les traités de morale pratique et les sermons: les Distinctiones bibliques alphabétiques,’’ in Les genres littéraires dans les sources théologiques et philosophiques médiévales. Définition, critique et exploitation, Actes du colloque international de Louvain-la-neuve 25–27 mai 1981 (Louvain-la-neuve, 1982), pp. 213–26; ‘‘The Tradition of Nicholas of Biard’s Distinctiones,’’ in Viator. 25 (1994), 245–88. 70 Goering, p. 261.

 ‘ ’    


typical of his method: ‘‘Arcus dicitur Christus, et propitiatio Dei, scriptura, iudicium, robur, intentio, insidie, et dolus.’’ Each meaning he then illustrates with an appropriate scriptural verse, examples from the natural world, the lives of the saints, the liturgy, or a theological interpretation.71 The distinctio form was not only useful for preachers; it also had a wide and valuable use for the study of Scripture and theology. I turn finally to the close links between the study of the Bible and preaching which Peter the Chanter (†1197) had described so succinctly: The practice of Bible study consists in three things: reading (lectione), disputation, preaching... Reading is, as it were, the foundation and basement for what follows, for through it the rest is achieved. Disputation is the wall in the building of study, for nothing is fully understood or faithfully preached, if it is not first chewed by the tooth of disputation. Preaching, which is supported by the former, is the roof, sheltering the faithful from the heat and wind of temptation. We should preach after, not before, the reading of Holy Scripture and the investigation of doubtful matters by disputation.72

The medieval sermon drew its fundamental inspiration from Scripture. Sermons drew widely on biblical texts and examples which preachers saw as especially relevant to the teaching of both clergy and layfolk. The Bible, with its glosses and commentaries, was, after all, the quintessential element of the ars praedicandi. Stephen Langton, the greatest biblical scholar of the later twelfth century, commented on the whole of the Bible. Biblical glosses were read as lectures in the Paris schools, circulated and transmitted by reportatio.73 Langton’s commentaries contain a considerable amount of homiletic material. Marginal and/or interlinear glosses call attention to portions of the text that suited a particular occasion for preaching. Whether these notes were in the original reportationes of Langton’s lectures or were added by a later copyist does not diminish their 71 The passage quoted denotes the various meanings of arcus or rainbow . ‘‘The rainbow is said [to signify] Christ and propitiating of God, Scripture, judgement, strength, intention [or the exertion of mind], trickery and deceit.’’ Translation mine. Quoted in Goering, p. 262. 72 Verbum Abbreviatum, c. 1 PL 205:25. Translated in Beryl Smalley, The Study of the Bible in the Middle Ages, 3rd ed. (Oxford, 1984), p. 208. See further Louis-Jacques Bataillon, ‘‘De la lectio à la praedicatio. Commentaires bibliques et sermons au e siècle,’’ Revue des sciences philosophiques et théologiques 70 (1986), 559–75. 73 For references on Langton’s biblical commentaries, see Roberts, Studies, p. 97.


 

usefulness as an aid for preachers. The lecture-commentary itself thus became a source book for sermon-making.While the commentary itself was clearly too bulky for the purpose, various methods of annotation appear in the manuscripts to facilitate their use: 1) marginal notes or headings which indicated the suitability of certain passages as themes for particular sermons and occasions; 2) indexes by subject which sometimes appear in the manuscripts to aid the preacher; and 3) the most drastic method, which was to break up the commentary and then retranscribe it as subject matter for sermons arranged according to the liturgical year.74 A brief example from Langton’s commentaries must here suffice:75 Peterhouse College (Cambridge) MS 112, which contains texts of Langton’s biblical commentaries, is full of glosses, some of which highlight the relevance of certain passages to sermons. The book of Genesis, chapters 6–9, gives an account of the Flood; on fol. 10rb of the manuscript, the following is added: Sermo in sinodo, and a gloss in which the ark is compared to the Church: ‘‘... quia sicut archa tundebatur fluctibus maris et non submergebatur, ita ecclesia tunditur undique persecutione malorum nec submergitur.’’ The archa suggested the Church; the archus (rainbow) that appeared after the waters of the Flood receded designated Sacred Scripture, a text suited to the Feast of St Martin: ‘‘... per archum etiam intelligitur predicatio... per archum designatur sacra scriptura, iste archus positus in nubibus celi, i.e. in doctrina apostolorum et prophetarum...’’ (fol. 11rb) In most cases, these glosses refer to a scriptural passage which is commented on in the text. These are not necessarily themes of sermons. Yet there are also examples when themes might be identified. Notice for example the passage on  Reg.,  in Peterhouse MS 112, fol. 142rb: ‘‘Si quis cognoverit plagam cordis sui. Sermo in dedicatione ecclesie...’’ [=1 Kings 8.38 ‘‘... if every man shall know the plague of his own heart...’’] Langton himself preached on this theme on the occasion of a church dedication.76

74 Beryl Smalley, English Friars and Antiquity in the Early Fourteenth Century (Oxford, 1960) pp. 34–36. 75 ‘‘quia sicut archa’’: ‘‘Even as the ark was tossed about by the waves of the sea and was not sunk, so is the Church beset everywhere by evil persecution and is not submerged.’’ ‘‘per archum etiam’’: ‘‘The rainbow [has several meanings]; it is understood [or interpreted] as preaching and as Sacred Scripture. That rainbow situated in the clouds of the sky, i.e., in the teaching of the apostles and prophets. Translations mine. For additional examples, see Roberts, Studies, pp. 98–99. 76 For references, see Roberts, Studies, p. 99.

 ‘ ’    


As we have seen from the evidence described in this chapter, the ars praedicandi undoubtedly played a crucial role in the history of medieval preaching. Consisting not only of the many manuals – both theoretical and practical – that described the construction of the medieval sermon and thus reflected homiletic practice, the ars praedicandi also came to include numerous preaching aids that were developed and widely diffused in the course of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. These included glosses on Scripture, concordances, collections of model sermons, handbooks of exempla, florilegia, distinctions and similitudes. Taken together, the ars praedicandi constituted a new rhetoric of preaching that served the changing needs of clergy and laity in the high Middle Ages.77 Select Bibliography Baldwin, Charles S., Medieval Rhetoric and Poetic (to 1400) Interpreted from Representative Works (Gloucester, MA, 1959 [1928]). Bataillon, Louis-Jacques, La Prédication au e siècle en France et Italie, Collected Studies Series 402 (Brookfield, Vt., 1993). Bremond, Claude, Jacques Le Goff, et Jean-Claude Schmitt, L’ ’Exemplum’, Typologie des sources du moyen âge occidental 40 (Turnhout, 1982). Briscoe, Marianne, Artes Praedicandi and Barbara H. Jaye, Artes Orandi. Typologie des sources du moyen âge occidental 61 (Turnhout, 1992). Caplan, Harry, Of Eloquence: Studies in Ancient and Medieval Rhetoric, ed. Anne King and Helen North (Ithaca, N.Y., 1970). Charland, Thomas M., Artes Praedicandi: Contribution à l’histoire de la rhétorique

77 This survey of the ars praedicandi and the medieval sermon could be supplemented by the researches of many scholars currently involved in medieval sermon studies.The Eleventh Medieval Sermon Studies Symposium held in July 1998 in Erfurt, Germany was devoted in its entirety to the theme: ‘‘Preaching Tools and their Uses’’ which included inter alia papers on the use of model sermons as preaching tools; the uses of preaching and preaching tools in the Mission of the high Middle Ages; Concordantia in the dominical sermons of Antony of Padua; the ‘‘Disciplina clericalis’’ of Petrus Alphonsus and its diffusion in medieval exempla collections; the ‘‘Historia septem sapientium’’ as a preaching tool; and canonization bulls and Neapolitan saints and sermons in the early fourteenth century. Abstracts of these papers by David L. d’Avray (London), James D. Ryan (New York), Paul Spilsbury (Bristol), Jacques Berlioz (Lyon), Detlef Roth (Basel), George Ferzoco (Leicester), respectively, and those of other participants may be found in Medieval Sermon Studies 42 (Autumn 1998), 10–19.The study of ars praedicandi and the medieval sermon is alive and well!


 

au moyen âge, Publications de l’Institut d’études médiévales d’Ottawa 7 (Paris, 1936). Goering, Joseph, William de Montibus (c. 1140–1213): The Schools and the Literature of Pastoral Care (Toronto, 1992). Kennedy, George A., Classical Rhetoric and its Christian and Secular Tradition from Ancient to Modern Times (Chapel Hill, N.C., 1980). Miller, Joseph M., Michael H. Prosser, and Thomas W. Benson, eds., Readings in Medieval Rhetoric (Bloomington, Ind., 1973). Murphy, James J., Medieval Rhetoric: A Select Bibliography (Toronto, 1971). —, ed., Three Medieval Rhetorical Arts (Berkeley/Los Angeles, 1971). —, Rhetoric in the Middle Ages: A History of Rhetorical Theory from St. Augustine to the Renaissance (Berkeley/Los Angeles, 1974). Roberts, Phyllis Barzillay, Stephanus de Lingua-Tonante: Studies in the Sermons of Stephen Langton (Toronto, 1968). Rouse, Richard H. and Mary A. Rouse, Preachers, Florilegia and Sermons: Studies on the Manipulus florum of Thomas of Ireland (Toronto, 1979).


CORAM PAPA PREACHING AND RHETORICAL COMMUNITY AT PAPAL AVIGNON Blake Beattie (University of Louisville, Kentucky) Among the many changes occasioned by the papacy’s relocation to Avignon at the beginning of the fourteenth century was a redefinition of the nature of pontifical liturgies and the preaching that attended them. Pontifical liturgies that had been celebrated for time immemorial in the public spaces of the great Roman basilicæ or in grand papal processions through the streets of Rome found themselves necessarily transferred to more exclusive venues. The most distinctive of these, of course, was the private chapel of the palais des papes constructed during the pontificates of Benedict  (1334–42) and Clement  (1342–52); but even before the construction of the palace, pontifical liturgies at Avignon began to take place principally in venues that served also as centers for the private devotions of the popes. John  (1316–34), for example, seems to have used Notre-Dame des Doms, or perhaps the inner chapel of the episcopal palace, as both a public liturgical center and a private chapel – even as it continued to function as the cathedral church of Avignon!1 At the same time, perhaps as a direct result of the increasingly blurred distinction between public and private pontifical liturgies, the popes themselves began to withdraw from their role as celebrants and preachers. The papal retreat from liturgical preaching was neither abrupt nor complete: most of the thirty-six surviving sermons of John , the thirty-four surviving sermons of Benedict , and the forty-one surviving sermons of Clement  1 Marc Dykmans, ‘‘Jean , et les Carmes. La controverse de la Vision,’’ Carmelus 17 (1970), 159. It is certain that John  established chapels at several Avignonese churches, including (as of 1322) Notre-Dame des Doms; see Bernard Guillemain, La cour pontificale d’Avignon (1309–1376). Étude d’une société (Paris, 1966), p. 362.


 

were preached during formal liturgical celebrations.2 Yet the popes of Avignon were at least as likely to leave the exposition of God’s word to surrogate preachers – especially cardinals – whose exalted dignity could be seen to justify the substitution. The ceremonial of Cardinal Jacopo Stefaneschi (†1341), whose observations on the rituals of the curia obtained for much of the fourteenth century, identifies fifty major feasts per year whose Masses were celebrated by the pope in propria persona. Thirty-eight of these feasts incorporated preaching into the liturgy; at such celebrations, according to Stefaneschi, the pope could preach, if he so desired, or designate a surrogate to preach in his place.3 This suggests a departure from the practices of only a generation earlier, when the pontifical of Guillaume Durand the Younger (c.1295) recorded that the pope himself would customarily preach after the gospel at pontifical Masses, if he desired a sermon.4 The trend was sufficiently steady that, by about 1500, the pope had ceased entirely to serve as preacher at pontifical celebrations.5 Thus, Avignon played an important role in the transition from the public liturgical celebrations of the medieval papacy to the private court ceremonies of the Renaissance. The impact of these changes on curial preaching was significant. Inasmuch as many pontifical liturgies in thirteenth-century Rome were celebrated as public affairs, the sermons that attended them – and were traditionally delivered by the papal celebrant–issued general exhortations, appropriate to the liturgical celebration at hand, to the broadest of Christian audiences. The essentially private sermons of the fourteenth-century curia, by contrast, addressed themselves to the peculiar needs of the pope before whom (at least as often as by whom) they were delivered, and of the curial prelates who attended him in the chapel. As a consequence, Avignonese curial preaching necessarily employed the rhetorical forms that spoke most directly to a very specific Christian community com2

Guillemain, La cour pontificale d’Avignon, pp. 128–29. See Marc Dykmans, Le cérémonial papal, 2: De Rome en Avignon, ou le cérémonial de Jacques Stefaneschi (Bruxelles/Rome, 1981), pp. 405.5–9. The list of feasts is found on pp. 405–11. 4 See Michel Andrieu, Le pontifical romain au moyen-age, 3: Le pontifical de Guillaume Durand, Studi e testi 88 (Vatican, 1940), .xviii, 33 (639.15–19). 5 John W. O’Malley, Praise and Blame in Renaissance Rome: Rhetoric, Doctrine, and Reform in the Sacred Orators of the Papal Court, c. 1450–1521 (Duke University, 1979), pp. 12–13. 3

    


prised exclusively or almost exclusively of prominent Churchmen. While these prelates came from a variety of cultural, linguistic, socio-economic and vocational backgrounds, they shared a common set of prelatial responsibilities that imparted to them at least some form of community. The language of curial preaching at fourteenth-century Avignon is the language of that community. It is a language characterized less by the prescriptive stylistic and topical forms which adorned the classical or Renaissance rostrum than by an oratorical sensibility articulated most famously by Cato the Elder (234–149 BC): rem tene, verba sequentur.6 The res which preoccupied curial preachers at Avignon were those which pertained most directly to the activities of curial prelates; the verba that followed were, for the most part, the words of the scriptural, canonical, and patristic texts through which the preachers interpreted their subjects and from whose language they constructed the ethical-rhetorical apparatus of their arguments. Thus, while there is little in Avignonese curial preaching to suggest a formal rhetoric, analogous to the one employed by humanist preachers in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, an examination of a number of curial sermons – specifically, those contained in Valencia cat. bib. MS 215, a late fourteenth- or early fifteenth-century collection of sermons from papal Avignon7 –reveals what is nevertheless an authentic and distinctive rhetorical tradition, predicated not on common stylistic and syntactical practices, but on common homiletic techniques, a broadly circumscribed corpus of authorities, and a general attentiveness to the peculiar circumstances of the sermons’ audience. The present discussion focuses on ten sermons from the Valencia MS, all of whose rubrics indicate clearly that they were preached in the papal cappella, before the pope, the Sacred College of Cardinals, and other members of the curia, at fourteenth-century Avignon. Five were delivered during pontifical liturgies by cardinals

6 ‘‘Grasp the concept; the words will follow.’’ The earliest author to attribute the dictum directly to Cato was Julius Victor, who wrote a fourth-century ars thetorica based on Quintilian’s. 7 For the MS, see Thomas Kaeppeli, ‘‘Predigten am päpstlichen Hof von Avignon,’’ Archivum Fratrum Prædicatorum 19 (1949), 388–93; Johann-Baptist Schneyer, Geschichte der katholischen Predigt (Freiburg, 1969), p. 171; Elías Olmos y Canalda, Catálogo descriptivo: Códices de la catedral de Valencia, 2nd ed. (Valencia, 1943), p. 159; Blake Beattie, ‘‘A Book of the Schismatic Pope Benedict ? Cues to the Ownership of a Collection of Coram Papa Sermons,’’ Mediæval Studies 57 (1995), 345–56.


 

acting as surrogates for the pope: Cardinal Pierre de Préz (c.1285–1361), who preached on the fourth Sunday of Advent sometime after his appointment as vice-chancellor in 1325;8 Pierre Bertrand (c.1280–1348), who preached on Ash Wednesday sometime between 1331 and 1348;9 Cardinal Élie Talleyrand de Périgord (1301–64), who preached on the third Sunday of Lent 1333;10 Cardinal Imbert du Puy (c.1300–48), who preached on the second Sunday of Lent 1333;11 and Cardinal Gui de Boulogne (1316–73), who preached on the second Sunday of Lent sometime after his elevation to the cardinalate in 1342.12 Five were preached by bishops whose coram papa sermons were almost certainly occasioned by visits to the curia on other business: Bernat Oliver, OESA (†1348), who preached on Passion Sunday 1334 and again eleven or twelve years later, during his short tenure as bishop of Barcelona, on the feast of Saint Benedict;13 Angelo Cerretani (†1349), bishop of Grosseto, who preached on the feast of St Stephen in 1344;14 Luca Mannelli, OP (†1362), bishop of Zituni (Greece), who preached on the fourth Sunday of Advent, 1346;15 and Gonzálo de Aguilar (†1353), bishop of Sigüenza, who preached on Lætare Sunday of 1346.16 The coram papa sermons of the Avignonese chapel were liturgical sermons, preached during major Christian feast and especially during the great preaching cycles of Advent and Lent. They were almost certainly delivered inter solemnias missarum: later Avignonese ceremonials indicate that Lenten sermons at pontifical Masses immediately followed the reading of the gospel by the presiding cardinal deacon.17 Typically, the sermons communicated simple, pastoral messages, and exhorted their audience to standards of Christian conduct appropriate to the season or feast day. The sermons by Bernat Oliver, on the feast of St Benedict, and Angelo 8

Valencia cat. bib. MS 215, fols. 1ra–5vb.

Ibid., fols. 22ra–28rb.

10 Ibid., fols. 35va–41ra.

11 Ibid., fols. 90ra–92va.

12 Ibid., fols. 177ra–184ra.

13 Ibid., fols. 72rb–78vb, 105ra–113rb.

14 Ibid., fols. 123va–131va.

15 Ibid., fols. 184va–194vb.

16 Ibid., fols. 195ra–202va.

17 Marc Dykmans, Le cérémonial papal de la fin du moyen age à la Renaissance, 3: Les textes

Avignonnaises jusqu’à la fin du grand schisme d’Occident (Bruxelles/Rome, 1983), p. 196.28–29. 9

    


Cerretani on the feast of St Stephen, are illustrative: they present their subjects as outstanding exemplars of Christian life, and call upon their auditors to imitate them. Sometimes, the preachers found occasion to address distinctive ceremonial practices pertinent to the feast day. Thus, Gonzálo de Aguilar devoted the last part of his Lætare Sunday sermon to an elaborate discussion of the symbolism of the Golden Rose, which the pope customarily presented on that day to the secular prince who had rendered the most valuable services to the papacy in the preceding year.18 In every case, it is clear that the liturgical context was critically important in determining the rhetorical parameters of the sermon. Structurally, most of the sermons of Valencia cat. bib. MS 215 are typical, three-point, thematic sermons, of the sort that most often appeared in contemporary model collections. Indeed, it is possible that the Valencia MS was intended to provide models for other curial preachers; some of the diagrams with which the scribe chose to illustrate rhyming or versified passages,19 for example, were most likely intended for the instruction of other preachers. The preachers introduced their scriptural themes and then dissected their moral and symbolic meanings through lengthy analyses of each of the three key words in the text. Thus, for Pierre de Préz, the Advent theme Vox clamantis in deserto (Is. 40:3) generated extensive analyses of vox (identified principally as Christ, ‘‘the proctor or nuncio of the Will and nuncio of the Heart of the God the Father’’20), clamantis (Christ as ‘‘the eminent preacher of truth in this world, in various ways’’21), and deserto (‘‘namely, the desert of our misfortune’’22). For Pierre Bertrand, the Ash Wednesday theme Sanctificamini in iusticia, et pascentur agni (Is. 5:16–17) afforded an excellent opportunity to discuss the ways in which sanctification of 18

Valencia cat. bib. MS 215, fols. 201ra–202va. See examples below. On the other hand, at least one layman had requested a copy of one of the sermons, translated into Provençal for his own private reading, as the rubric of the sermon by Cardinal Talleyrand makes clear: S’’ermo quem fecit reuerendus pater et dominus dominus cardinalis Petragoricensis dominica quadragesime, coram domino papa et coram dominis cardinalibus et coram aliis prelatis, anno Domini millesimo CCCmo tricesimo tercio Auinione. Et fuit translatus in Romancio pro nobili uiro domino Petro de Via ’’(Valencia cat. bib. MS 215, fol. 35va). Pierre de Vie was a nephew of Pope John . 20 Valencia cat. bib. MS 215, fol. 1ra: …procurator seu nuncius Paterne Voluntatis… [et]…cordis, idest Dei Patris, nuncius. 21 Ibid., fol. 5ra: …predicator egregius super ueritatem…in isto mundo diuersimode… 22 Ibid., fol. 5rb: …[scilicet] nostre felicitatis. 19


 

various types (sanctificamini) could be effected by the cultivation of true and godly justice (iusticia), in the hopes of attaining salvation (et pascentur agni23). More accomplished preachers adhered less closely, perhaps, to the counsels of the model collections in composing their sermons, but only one, the Dominican Luca Mannelli – a remarkable preacher whom the Dominicans named prædicator generalis of Tuscany in 133224 – seems to have dispensed with them entirely. In each case, the tripartite thematic structure enabled the preacher to communicate a direct, straightforward pastoral message, of a sort that the conventions of the Avignonese curia apparently favored. Curial protocol at Avignon seems to have discouraged sermons on theologically controversial topics; Joan de Clarano preached on the highly contentious Beatific Vision before John , as did the archbishop of Armagh, Richard FitzRalph,25 but such discussions seem rather more the exception than the rule. Similarly, Avignonese protocol seems to anticipate the fifteenth- and sixteenth-century curial prohibitions against sermons with expressly political topoi26 – even when a preacher’s scriptural theme might seem to invite such a discussion. Thus, when Luca Mannelli preached on the Advent theme Factus est principatus super humerum eius (Is. 9:6), he skillfully avoided any provocative discussion of contemporary politics, focusing instead on the necessity of Christ’s universal principate and exhorting the ecclesiastical princes in his audience to make Christ’s perfect princely authority a model for themselves.27 The liturgical circumstances in which coram papa preaching took place at fourteenth-century Avignon engendered a homiletic rhetoric whose structure was essentially thematic and whose tone was primarily pastoral. The preachers worked to create a sense of community within 23 See Blake Beattie, ‘‘Lawyers, Law and Sanctity in Sermons from Papal Avignon,’’ in Models of Holiness in Medieval Sermons, ed. Beverly M. Kienzle, E.W. Dolnikowski, Rosemary Drage Hall, Darleen Pryds, and Anne T. Thayer (Louvain-laNeuve, 1996), pp. 270–74. 24 Thomas Kaeppeli, Scriptores ordinis prædicatorum medii ævi,  (Rome, 1980), p. 89. 25 See Katherine Walsh, A Fourteenth-Century Scholar and Primate. Richard FitzRalph in Oxford, Avignon and Armagh (Oxford, 1981), pp. 84–107, 184–85. Since none of FitzRalph’s coram papa sermons is contained in the Valencia MS, they will not otherwise be considered here. 26 O’Malley, Praise and Blame in Renaissance Rome, pp. 33–35. 27 See Blake Beattie, ‘‘The Sermon as Speculum Principis: A Curial Sermon by Luca Mannelli, O.P.,’’ Medieval Sermon Studies 42 (1998), 26–51.

    


their audience through a number of rhetorical techniques which helped to incorporate their listeners into the act of preaching. Rhythmic repetition, for example, was employed to intensify the forcefulness with which certain message could be communicated. In a particularly striking example, Bernat Oliver – an experienced preacher from the Order of Augustinian Hermits – built a driving cadence around the word percussit; an excellent choice, given the percussive rhetorical effect that Oliver hoped to attain: Causam querit de tanto dolore, questionem proponit de sua passione – super est – ut audiamus responsionem, que nobis dirigitur Ysaie : propter scelus populi mei percussi eum [Is. 53:8] … ¦ … Percussit itaque Deus Deum, ut mundus repararetur. Percussit Pater Filium, ut alienigena adoptaretur. Percussit solem, ut nobis eius lux comunicaretur. Percussit celum, ut nobis aperiretur. Percussit pastorem, ut grex saluaretur. Percussit agnum, ut lupus raptaretur. Percussit pellicanum, ut fuso eius sanguine pullus uiuificaretur. Percussit maris ostreolam, ut nostra purpura intingeretur. Percussit dominum, ut seruus redimeretur. Percussit regem, ut populus dominaretur. Percussit iudicem, ut reus absolueretur. Percussit iustum, ut iniustus dignificaretur. Percussit ciuem, ut hostis reconsiliaretur. Percussit principem, ut exul reuocaretur. Percussit caput, ut carnis uirtus debilitaretur. Percussit brachium quasi phlebotomando, ut totum corpus sanaretur. Percussit saccum, ut thesaurus effunderetur. Percussit uitam eugadi [SIC], ut ¦ incorrupcionis balsamum egrediretur. Percussit uite fontem, ut culpa lanaretur. Percussit sanctum sanctorum, ut mundus conuerteretur. Percussit salutem, ut perdicio perderetur. Percussit uitam, ut mors occideretur. Percussit sapientiam, ut nesciam instrueretur. Percussit ueritatem, ut falsitas conuinceretur. Percussit uirtutem, ut fragilitas firmaretur. Percussit pietatem, ut impietas finiretur. Percussit bonitatem, ut malicia corrigeretur. Percussit scutum, ne homo inhermis et nudus uulneraretur. Vltimo percussit petram, ut nostri cordis duricia emolliretur.28

28 ‘‘He (Christ) seeks the cause for such grief, and poses the question concerning his passion – it is above (‘‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’’) – that we might hear the answer which is set out for us in Isaiah 53: ‘For the crimes of my people I have struck him.’ … And so God struck God, that the world might be repaired. The Father struck the Son, that the stranger might be adopted. He struck the Sun, that its light might be imparted to us. He struck Heaven, that it might be opened to us. He struck the Shepherd, that the flock might be saved. He struck the Lamb, that the wolf might be carried off. He struck the Pelican, that by its spilt blood its chick might be restored to life. He struck the Oyster, that our royal cloth might be stained purple. He struck the Master, that the slave might be redeemed. He struck the King, that the people might reign. He struck the Judge, that the defendant might be absolved. He struck the Just, that the unjust might be made worthy. He struck the Citizen, that the enemy might be reconciled. He struck the Prince, that the exile might be recalled. He struck the Head, that the power of the flesh might be weakened. He struck the Arm as if by bleeding it, that the whole body might be healed. He struck the Sack, that the treasure might be poured forth. He struck the Life of the Balsam-tree (,L2,D4FJ@