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Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
January 2024
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Book description

This incisive, in-depth study unearths the significance of a neglected group of early medieval manuscripts, those which transmit the Ordines Romani. These texts present detailed scripts for Christian ceremonies that narrate the gestures, motions, actions and settings of ritual performance, with particular orientation to the Roman church. While they are usually understood as liturgical, and thus lacking any particular creative flair, Arthur Westwell here foregrounds their manuscript permutations in order to reveal their extraordinary dynamism. He reflects on how the Carolingian Church undertook to improve liturgical practice and understanding, questioning the accepted idea of a “reform” aimed at uniformity led by the monarch. Through these manuscripts, Westwell reveals a diversity of motivations in the recording of Roman liturgy and demonstrates the remarkable sophistication of Carolingian manuscript compilers.

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  • Chapter 1 - The ‘Roman’ Collection of Ordines in Metz, Lorsch and Tours
    pp 19-39


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