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The Word Eclipsed? Preaching in the Early Middle Ages

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  29 July 2016

R. Emmet Mclaughlin
Villanova University


The modern interest in and study of medieval sermon literature was first driven by a combination of confessional acrimony and professional scholarship. L. Bourgain, Albert Lecoy de la Marche, Richard Albert, Rudolf Cruel, Anton Linsenmayer, and G. R. Owst combed through the archives to uncover the written remains of medieval preaching, and what they discovered came as a surprise to those who had been raised on the Protestant black legend of a mute medieval Church. For quantity and variety the period from the twelfth century to the Reformation must count as one (or several) of the great ages of pulpit activity. In fact, on the eve of the Reformation there was some concern that too much was being preached too often. For example, as a result of complaints by laity and clergy alike, in 1508 the Bishop of Breslau ordered a limit on the number of sermons preached in the city. To be sure, modern judgments concerning the quality of that preaching in both style and content vary with the confessional stance and aesthetic preferences of the individual scholar. But of the late medieval dedication to preaching in season and out there can be no doubt.

Copyright © The Fordham University Press 

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1 Bourgain, L., La Chaire française au XIIe siècle d'après les manuscrits (Paris 1879 ); Lecoy de la Marche, A., La Chaire française au moyen age, spécialement au XIIIe siècle d'après les manuscrits contemporains (Paris 1868); Albert, F. R., Die Geschichte der Predigt in Deutschland bis Luther (Gütersloh 1892–1896); Cruel, R., Geschichte der Predigt im Mittelalter (Detmold 1879); Linsenmayer, A., Geschichte der Predigt in Deutschland von Karl dem Grossen bis zum Ausgang des 14. Jahrhunderts (Munich 1886); Owst, G. R., Literature and Pulpit in Medieval England (Cambridge 1938); idem, Preaching in Medieval England: An Introduction to Sermon Manuscripts of the Period 1350–1450 (Cambridge 1926). For more recent evaluations see Longère, J., La Prédication médiéval (Paris 1983), and Schneyer, J. B., Geschichte der katholischen Predigt (Freiburg 1969). Specifically on late medieval preaching, see Blench, J. W., Preaching in England in the late Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries: A Study in English Sermons, 1450-1600 (Oxford 1964).

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2 Meyer, A. O., Studien zur Vorgeschichte der Reformation aus schlesischen Quellen (Munich 1903) 8183. Both the twelfth-century Speculum ecclesiae of Honorius of Autun (PL 172.839) and the later Directorium Sacerdotale (Basel 1483?) of Joannes Pfeffer (Pars 4, paragraph 69) contain warnings against too frequent preaching. Cruel, Geschichte der deutschen Predigt 209–10, noted that late medieval synodal legislation in Germany assumed regular Sunday preaching, and twice actually imposed it on all parish clergy.

3 Grégoire, R., Homéliaires liturgiques médiévaux: Analyse de manuscrits (Spoleto 1980 ); Barré, H., Les Homéliaires carolingiens de l'école d'Auxerre (Vatican City 1962). For a thoughtful evaluation of the evidence for preaching in the early Middle Ages, see Gatch, M. McG., Preaching and Theology in Anglo-Saxon England: Aelfric and Wulfstan (Toronto 1977).

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4 As Albert, , Geschichte der Predigt 1.115–16, pointed out early in the debates, the famous homiliary of Paul the Deacon issued by Charlemagne was designed only for clerical use during the night office. See Charlemagne's circular letter prefacing the collection, MGH Cap. 1.80. As for the so-called ‘Homiliary of Alcuin,’ there are doubts whether it ever existed, and if it did, whether it too was not addressed to a clerical or monastic audience, Gatch, Preaching … in Anglo-Saxon England 187–88 n. 17.

5 Albert, , Geschichte der Predigt 2.65, 116–17; Longère, Prédication médiévale 46.

6 This is part of the larger controversy about the use of the vernacular for preaching in Germany during the Middle Ages. Both Linsenmayer and Cruel combat Protestant claims that Latin was the sole language used for preaching for most of the period. Albert is a corrective to Cruel and Linsenmayer, arguing that on occasion Latin was preached to the laity, but that there was not much preaching at all in the early Middle Ages. See Albert, , Geschichte der Predigt 1.6–7, on the course of the debate in his day.

7 On this the earlier historians concurred: Cruel, Geschichte der deutschen Predigt 208: ‘Fragen wir also zuerst in Bezug auf die Zeit, wann and wie oft im Jahre gepredigt wurde, so ist schon hervorgehoben, daß für die ersten Jahrhunderte der Missions- und Episkopalpredigt an einen regelmässigen Sonn- und Festtagsvortrag in allen Kirchen nicht im entferntesten zu denken war. Aus der wachsenden Bildung des Klerus als Frucht der geistlichen Schulen, wie aus der grossen Zahl von lateinischen und deutschen Predigtsammlungen lässt sich nun zwar schliessen, daß dies Verhältnis im 12. und 13. Jahrhundert sich allmählig günstiger gestaltete.’ See also Albert, , Geschichte der Predigt 1.172. Schneyer, Geschichte der katholischen Predigt 103–104, agrees, even though he is usually quite optimistic about the quantity and quality of preaching in the ancient and medieval Church.

8 Burghard of Würzburg's collection (741–752/3) provides for a sermon every two weeks, Albert, Geschichte der Predigt 1.91–98. Based upon Rabanus Maurus' homilies the same conclusion can be drawn for ninth-century Mainz, with most of the sermons being for feast days, ibid. 2.74–6. Eleventh- and twelfth-century collections in Germany are also almost exclusively directed at feast days, of which there were on average 19 or 20 a year, ibid. 158–9. One must also be suspicious of the ‘topos’ of eloquence in the lives of the saints. By an intriguing transmutation, in the early medieval period ‘dulcedo’ was often used to express caritative activity rather than rhetorical skill, Godman, P., Poets and Emperors: Frankish Politics and Carolingian Poetry (Oxford 1987) 1618.

9 Regula canonicorum,’ cc. 44, 83, PL 89.1036, 1094.

10 Concilia Galliae 511–695 (ed. C. de Clercq, CCL 148a, hereafter cited as Concilia Galliae) 78–79. A good deal of confusion is caused by the Latin terminology of our sources, i.e., episcopus, presbyter, and sacerdos. In the pre-Constantinian Church sacerdos in its proper usage was normally applied only to bishops. After the ‘Peace of the Church’ presbyters were occasionally accorded the title, Gy, P. M., ‘Notes on the Early Terminology of Christian Priesthood,' in The Sacrament of Holy Orders (Collegeville, Minn., 1962) 98115. Gy (106–109), using liturgical sources, is much too certain that sacerdos meant presbyter in the Carolingian era. Though by that time presbyters were generally recognized as priests, the terminology had not yet achieved stability. Careful attention to context is needed to determine whether in fact the sacerdotes in any given canon refer to the bishops alone or to both bishops and presbyters.

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11 Canon 38.1 in Mordek, H., Kirchenrecht und Reform im Frankenreich: Die Collectio Vetus Gallica, die älteste systematische Kanonensammlung des fränkischen Gallien, Studien und Edition (Berlin 1975) 454.

12 Concilia Galliae 317.

13 Epistle 136 to Charlemagne, MGH Epp. 4.206.

14 Alan of Lille, The Art of Preaching (trans. Evans, G. R.; Kalamazoo MI 1981) 145 n. 3; Miller, J. M., Readings in Medieval Rhetoric (Bloomington, IN 1973) 234 n. 7.

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15 The Register of Eudes of Rouen (ed. O'Sullivan, J. F., trans. Brown, S. M., Columbia Records of Civilization, 72; New York 1964) e.g. 69, 108.

16 Decree Concerning Reform ,’ chapter 2, Session 5, The Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent (trans. Schroeder, H. J.; Rockford, Illinois 1978) 2426.

17 Vives, J., ed., Concilios visigóticos e hispano-romanos (Barcelona 1963) 61.

18 On the episcopal capitularies see Brommer, P., ‘Capitula episcoporum: Bemerkungen zu den bischöflichen Kapitularien,' Zeitschrift für Kirchengeschichte 91 (1980) 207236; idem, ‘Capitula episcoporum': Die bischöflichen Kapitularien des 9. und 10. Jahrhunderts (Typologie des Sources du Moyen Ǎge Occidental 43; Turnhout 1985)

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19 The best introduction is McKitterick, R., The Frankish Church and the Carolingian Reforms 789–895 (London 1977 ). On the efforts at reform at the diocesan level, Devailly, G., ‘La Pastorale en Gaule au IXe siècle,’ Revue d'histoire de l'église de France 59 (1973) 2354. For an important and helpful review of Carolingian studies see Sullivan, R. E., ‘The Carolingian Age: Reflections on its Place in the History of the Middle Ages,' Speculum 64 (1989) 267–306.

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20 MGH Cap. 1.61–62. Wallace-Hadrill, J. M., The Frankish Church (Oxford 1983) 280, erred in his belief that c. 82 of the Admonitio Generalis was concerned with frequency.

21 MGH Cap. Ep. 1.17. Brommer dates his collection to late 801. Cf. c. 4 of the Capitula a sacerdotibus proposita, MGH Cap. 1.106, which Boretius dated to ca. 802; Petzold, H., ‘Die altdeutsche Predigt als geschriebenes und gesprochenes Wort,' Theologie und Philosophie 44 (1969) 217. Theodulf of Orleans also tried to impose a weekly preaching requirement on the presbyters of his diocese in c. 8 of his second Capitulary, MGH Cap. Ep. 1.152, but it is difficult to be as precise in dating this. It could come from any time in his tenure at Orleans (789–817/818).

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22 Nam legimus in regnorum libris, quomodo sanctus Iosias regnum sibi a Deo datum circumeundo, corrigendo, ammonendo ad cultum veri Dei studuit revocare … ,’ MGH Cap. 1.54. See Vogel, C., La Reforme cultuelle sous Pepin le Bref et sous Charlemagne (deuxième moitié du VIIIe siècle et premier quart du IXe siècle) (Graz 1965 ). See also Riché, P., Education and Culture in the Barbarian West from the Sixth through the Eighth Century (trans. Contreni, John J.; Columbia SC 1978) 444.

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23 Aries (813) c. 10, MGH Conc. 2/1.251. Cf. Chalons (813) c. 1, ibid. 274; Reims (813) cc. 14–15, ibid. 255.

24 Cf. Pavia (850), c. 5, MGH Conc. 3.222.

25 Preaching … in Anglo-Saxon England 55. For another example of the devolution of episcopal duties, see c. 1 of Walter of Orleans (MGH Cap. Ep. 1.187) where the archdeacon replaces the bishop as the examiner of lower clergy.

26 Both Theodulf and Aelfric argued that the traditional position exaggerated the distinction between presbyters and bishops. They blamed this exaggeration on the threat of heresy in the early Church, an explanation which was not entirely off the mark: Theodulf's second Capitulary, c. 22, MGH Cap. Ep. 1.179; Aelfric's Pastoral Letter for Wulfsige III (ca. 993–995), c. 43 in Councils and Synods with other Documents Relating to the English Church (eds. Whitelock, D. et al.; Oxford 1981; hereafter cited as Councils and Synods) 1.205 and Aelfric's ‘First Old English Letter’ for Wulfstan (ca. 1006), c. 111, ibid. 283. On the development of the ‘presbyteral’ party beginning with St. Jerome, see Jalland, T. G., The Doctrine of the Parity of Ministers,’ in The Apostolic Ministry: Essays on the History and Doctrine of Episcopacy (ed. Kirk, K. E.; 2nd ed. London 1957) 305349. On the confusion concerning the number of separate orders in the hierarchy, Reynolds, R. E., ‘“At Sixes and Sevens” — and Eights and Nines: The Sacred Mathematics of Sacred Orders in the Early Middle Ages,' Speculum 54 (1979) 669–84.

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27 Gatch, , Preaching … in Anglo-Saxon England 35. Gatch saw only two possible exceptions: the first homiliary of Rabanus Maurus (826) and the work of Abbo of St. Germain-des-Près (ca. 900). He associated the eventual appearance of presbyteral aids around 950 with the reappearance of the Romano-Gallican Ordines with their references to episcopal preaching.

28 The transmission can best be seen with c. 28 of the first Capitulary of Theodulf, MGH Cap. Ep. 1.125, which was taken over (along with c. 21, ibid. 117) by Radulf of Bourges in c. 13 of his collection (ca. 853–866), ibid. 242. This in turn was incorporated by Ruotger of Trier in c. 14 of his Capitulary (ca. 915–929), ibid. 66. It eventually found a place in the Decreta of Burchard of Worms and Ivo of Chartres, see ibid. 125 n. 100. In general, Carolingian legislation was ineffective, Mordek, H., ‘Karolingische Kapitularien,' in Überlieferung und Geltung normativer Texte des frühen und hohen Mittelalters (ed. Mordek, H.; Sigmaringen 1986).

29 The problem with private churches and their effect on attendance at the full solemn services at the major churches was not new; cf. Council of Orange (511), cc. 17 and 11, Concilia Galliae 9, 11; Orange (535), c. 15, ibid. 109.

30 Devailly, , ‘La Pastorale en Gaule,’ 24. That is not to say that there were not centers of higher study, but that they were not designed to instruct ordinary parish priests.

31 Cf. Troyes (ca. 829–858), c. 4, C. De Clercq, La Législation religieuse franque (Anvers 1958) 2 .412. The schools seem never to have been founded; see Lesne, E., Histoire de la propriété ecclésiastique en V. V. Les Écoles de la fin du VIIIe siècle à la fin du XIIe (Lille 1940) e.g. 15ff., 414ff.

32 On the education of the clergy in the early Middle Ages, see Riché, , Education and Culture 8–9, 172–73, 176, 281, 283–85, 356–57, 408, 425–26, 468–71. Riché's work supersedes Hörle, G., Frühmittelalterliche Mönchs- und Klerikerbildung in Italien (Freiburg i. Br. 1914) and Stacknik, R., Die Bildung des Weltklerus im Frankenreich von Karl Martell bis auf Ludwig den Frommen (Paderborn 1926). On the limits of elementary education see Köhn, R., ‘Schulbildung und Trivium im lateinischen Hochmittelalter und ihr möglicher praktischer Nutzen,' in Schulen und Studium im sozialen Wandel des hohen und späten Mittelalters (ed. Fried, J.; Sigmaringen 1986), 375–405, esp. 226–31.

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33 See the Admonitio generalis (789) (MGH Cap. 1.60), where the books to be copied in schools were: ‘Psalmos, notus, compotum, grammaticum … et libros catholicos.’

34 MGH Conc. 2/2.632. Cf. Rome (853), c. 34: ‘Et si liberalium artium preceptores in plebibus — ut adsolet — raro inveniuntur, tamen divinum scripture magistri et institutiones ecclesiastici officii nullatenus desint… . Nam qualiter ad divinum cultum aliquis accedere possit, nisi iusta instructione doceatur,’ MGH Conc. 3.327–28.

35 Riché, , Education and Culture 391, observed that the Anglo-Saxons who first brought educational reform to the continent in the eighth century were very suspicious of rhetoric.

36 See Hauck, A., Kirchengeschichte Deutschlands (3rd ed.; Leipzig 1912) 2 .204, for a too optimistic view of the importance of the homiliaries. Also Riché, P., ‘La pastorale populaire en occident VIe-XIe siècles,’ Histoire vécue au peuple chrétien (ed. Delumeaux, J.; Toulouse 1979) 209; Wallace-Hadrill, J. M., The Frankish Church (Oxford 1983) 281–82. Devailly, ‘La Pastorale en Gaule,’ 37, may also make too much of this.

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37 Haito of Basel (806–813) c. 6 (MGH Cap. Ep. 1.211); Walter of Orleans (869–870), c. 7, (ibid. 189); Ruotger of Trier (915–929) c. 5 (ibid. 63), and the ‘Capitula Florentina’ (after 820), c. 7 (ibid. 223) all made mention of homiliaries, though interestingly enough they are always the last on the list. Ghärbald of Liége (802–809), c. 9, (ibid. 39–40); Radulf of Bourges (853–866) c. 5 (ibid. 237); Hildegar of Meaux (868) c. 3 (ibid. 198); Seckel, E. ed., ‘Capitula episeopi euiusdam Frisingensia,’ Neues Archiv der Gesellschaft für ältere deutsche Geschichtskunde 29 (1904) 292–93 all neglect to mention homiliaries.

38 Hammer, C. I., Jr., ‘Country Churches, Clerical Inventories and the Carolingian Renaissance in Bavaria,’ Church History 49 (1980) 517.


39 Polyptyque de l'abbaye de Saint-Remi de Reims (ed. Buérard, B.; Paris 1953): Rilly (p. 8), Aguilcourt (p. 56), Beine (pp. 61–62) and ‘villa vico’ (p. 78) list no homiliaries. Taissy (p. 24) lists only land holdings. Villiers (p. 24) lists the forty homilies of Gregory the Great.

40 The significance of the breakdown of the Mediterranean papyrus trade was first remarked upon by Pirenne, H., ‘Le commerce du papyrus dans le Gaule mérovingienne,' Comptes rendus des séances de l'Academie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres (1928) 178191. A document from the Kingdom of Léon dated 796 established the price of a liturgical manuscript as the equivalent of three cows, Wright, R., Late Latin and Early Romance in Spain and Carolingian France (Liverpool 1982) 188.

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41 Capitula de presbyteris admonendis' (early 9th cent.), c. 6, MGH Cap. 1.238, lines 14–19: ‘Sexto, ut diligenter resciatis post ordinationem presbyteri, quantum quisque fecerit in suo ministerio; quia qui ante ordinationem pauperes fuerunt, post ordinationem vero de rebus cum quibus debuerant ecclesiis servire emunt sibi alodium et mancipia et caeteros facultates et neque in sua lectione aliquid profecerunt neque libros congregaverunt aut ea quae pertinent ad cultum religionis augmentaverunt, sed semper convitiis et contritionibus et rapina vivunt.’

42 Gatch, , Preaching … in Anglo-Saxon England 38.

43 See Gatch, , Preaching … in Anglo-Saxon England. See also Aelfric's ‘Pastoral Letter’ to Wulfsige III (993–995), c. 61, Councils and Synods 208–209, and his ‘First Old English Letter’ to Wulfstan (c. 1006), c. 175, ibid. 294. Gatch has raised a question about the audience and purpose of the Blickling Homilies, ‘The Unknowable Audience of the Blickling Homilies,’ Anglo-Saxon England 18 (1989) 99115. It would seem that the compiler/translator transformed some of the homilies of Caesarius of Aries' from ad populum to ad clerum, 104–105.


44 Ibid. 206–207, 291–292.

45 Gatch, , Preaching … in Anglo-Saxon England 44.

46 Clanchy, M. T., From Memory to Written Record: England, 1066–1307 (Cambridge MA 1979) 165.

47 Gatch, , Preaching … in Anglo-Saxon England 121; Longère, J., La Predication médiévale 237. There are some short-lived echoes: The so-called ‘Canons of Edgar’ (1005–1008), c. 52, Councils and Synods 331; ‘Selection from the Laws of Cnut’ (1020–1022), cc. 26 and 84.4, ibid. 495, 505. After Cnut there are no further entries.

48 See my article, ‘Scholasticism, the Universities and the Origins of the German Reformation,’ forthcoming in History of Universities.

49 Beyond the Written Word: Oral Aspect of Scripture in the History of Religion (Cambridge 1987) 29.

50 The Presence of the Word: Some Prolegomena for Cultural and Religious History (New Haven 1967) 1922; idem, Orality and Literacy: The Technologizing of the Word (London 1982) 5–15.

51 Reverence and Profanity in the Study of Early Modern Religion ,’ in Religion and Society in Early Modern Society, 1500–1800 (ed. von Greyerz, K.; London 1984) 245269. Cf. Clanchy, , From Memory to Written Record 149. Oediger, F. W., Über die Bildung der Geistlichen im späten Mittelalter (Leiden 1953) 121, provides a perfect example both of the late medieval shift and the receptivity of modern scholars to the resulting ‘literate’ outlook: ‘“Ein Kleriker ohne heilige Bücher,” sagt Thomas von Kempen, “ist wie ein Soldat ohne Waffen, ein Schiff ohne Ruder, ein Schreiber ohne Federn …,” “denn die heiligen Büchern,” so heisst es bei Gerhard von Zutphen, “sind Licht von Trost unserer Seelen und die wahren Heilmittel des Lebens, die wir auf dieser Pilgerschaft nicht weniger entbehren können als die Sakramente der Kirche.” In der Tat kann man sich ohne Bücher eine noch so bescheidene geistige Tätigkeit kaum vorstellen.’

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52 A Brief History of Preaching (tr. Mattson, K. E.; Philadelphia 1965) 2.

53 E.g., Brilioth, , A Brief History of Preaching 18. Cf. Reicke, B., ‘A Synopsis of Early Christian Preaching,' in The Root of the Vine (ed. Fridrichsen, A.; New York 1953) 132. On the earliest preaching see McDonald, J. I. H., Kerygma and Didache: The Articulation and Structure of the Earliest Christian Message (Cambridge 1980). See also Kerr, H. T., Preaching in the Early Church (New York 1942); Schneyer, J. B., Geschichte der katholischen Predigt (Freiburg 1969).

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54 Quasten, Johannes, Patrology (Westminister MD 1950) 1.53–54.

55 Ibid. 243.

56 Brilioth, , A Brief History of Preaching 41.

57 Ibid. 42; Schneyer, Geschichte der katholischen Predigt 42.

58 A Brief History of Preaching 42.

59 See Dahl, N., Das Volk Gottes: Eine Untersuchung zum Kirchenbewusstsein des Urchristentums (Darmstadt 1963) 211, 223; Meeks, W., The First Urban Christians: The Social World of the Apostle Paul (New Haven CT 1983) 146.

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60 Cf. Oesterley, W. O. E., The Jewish Background of the Christian Liturgy (Oxford 1925).

61 Greeven, H., ‘Propheten, Lehrer, Vorsteher bei Paulus: Zur Frage der Ämter im Urchristentum,' in Das kirchlichen Amt im Neuen Testament (ed. Kertelge, K.; Darmstadt 1977) 355–56, argues that the Pauline Christians may have consciously tried to distance themselves from this Jewish custom.

62 Meeks, W., First Urban Christians (New Haven CT 1983) 146; McDonald, Kerygma and Didache 43; Neusner, J., The Idea of Purity in Ancient Judaism (Leiden 1973) 103.

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63 Brilioth, , A Brief History of Preaching 8.

64 Gerhardsson, B., Memory and Manuscript: Oral Tradition and Written Transmission in Rabbinic Judaism and Early Christianity (Uppsala 1961) 6770.

65 Brooten, B. J., Women Leaders in the Ancient Synagogue (Chico CA 1982) 28.

66 Ibid. 67. On the role of the early Rabbinate see Gerhardsson, , Memory and Manuscript.

67 At least such is the impression given by the Pastoral Letters (1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, and Titus) where the teaching function of the clergy is emphasized, H. von Campenhausen, Ecclesiastical Authority and Spiritual Power in the Church of the First Three Centuries (tr. Baker, J. A.; Stanford 1969) 109–11; Marxsen, W., Introduction to the New Testament (tr. Buswell, G.; Philadelphia 1983) 206.

68 MacMullen, Ramsay, Christianizing the Roman Empire (A.D. 100–400) (New Haven CT 1984) 2542. Cf. Glenn Hinson, E., The Evangelization of the Roman Empire (Macon GA 1981).

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69 Campenhausen, , Ecclesiastical Authority and Spiritual Power 101.

70 Eph. 6:1,15; Philad. 1. Cf. Chadwick, H., The Silence of Bishops in Ignatius,’ Harvard Theological Review 43 (1950) 169172.


71 Dix, G., The Shape of the Liturgy (London 1945), 116.

72 Martyr, Justin, First Apology, 67.

73 Cyprian, Ep. 56, PL 4, Col. 357; Tertullian, CSEL 69, 9; La Tradition apostolique (ed. Botte, B.; Paris 1986) 67, 71, 75, 77, 79, 81, 95, 119, 123, 124; Didascalia Apostolorum (ed. Connolly, R. H.; Oxford 1969) 122. We also have Origen's complaints about the small size and indifference of the audiences, Longère, J., ‘La pouvoir de prěcher et le contenue de la prédication dans l'Occident chrétien,’ in Prédication et propagande au Moyen Age: Islam, Byzance, Occident (Paris 1983) 165–77.

74 Didascalia et Constitutiones Apostolorum (ed. Funk, F. X.; Paderborn 1905) 2.161.

75 Bouley, A., From Freedom to Formula: The Evolution of the Eucharistic Prayer from Oral Improvisation to Written Texts (Washington DC 1981) esp. 130, 134, 153.

76 This comes across quite clearly, e.g. in Wilken, R. L., ‘Alexandria: A School for Training in Virtue,' in Schools of Thought in the Christian Tradition (ed. Henry, P.; Philadelphia 1984) 1130 (esp. 22) and Babcock, W. S., ‘Christian Culture and Christian Tradition in Roman North Africa,' ibid. 31–48 (esp. 35, 46). The emphasis upon intimate face-to-face oral instruction, imitation of the master, and discipleship, which Wilken sees as characteristic of the school of Origen and other schools of virtue, shows the clear lineaments of moral and practical education in an oral society, Ong, , Orality and Literacy 9. On the distinctions ‘radically oral,’ ‘largely oral,’ and ‘residually oral,’ see Ong, , Presence of the Word 22. I take it that he would equate ‘radically oral’ with ‘primary orality’ (‘cultures with no knowledge at all of writing'), Orality and Literacy 1.

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77 Harris, W. V., Ancient Literacy (Cambridge MA 1989) 304305. The oral character of Christianity for most Christians was reinforced by the development of the clerical liturgical monopoly. Unlike early medieval Egyptian Judaism, in which the inability to read the Hebrew texts excluded from full participation in the synagogal service and thus was viewed as socially degrading, the laity had no reading part in Christian worship, Reiff, S. C., ‘Aspects of Medieval Jewish Literacy,' The Uses of Literacy in Early Medieval Europe (ed. McKitterick, R.; Cambridge 1990) 151–52. On the ways in which script and orality, literacy and orality interact, Ong, W. J., ‘Orality, Literacy and Medieval Textualization,' New Literary History 16 (1984) 112; idem, Orality and Literacy; Stock, B., The Implications of Literacy: Written Language and Models of Interpretation in the Eleventh and Twelfth Centuries (Princeton NJ 1983); Bäuml, F. H., ‘Varieties and Consequences of Medieval Literacy and Illiteracy,' Speculum 55 (1980) 237–65.

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78 For this latest estimate of the extent of Roman literacy, Harris, Ancient Literacy 22. On the declining literacy of the late Empire, ibid. 312–32. MacMullen, Christianizing the Roman Empire 21, had estimated 25%. Casual contact with literacy has little or no impact on illiterates, Ong, , Orality and Literacy 56. On the uneven impact of literacy, ibid. 11. In general ancient religion did not rely much on writing, Harris, Ancient Literacy 83, 154, 170–71, 219–20. Only the Orphic cult employed the book in ancient Greece, Rodhe, G., ‘Über das Lesen im Altertum,' in his Studien und Interpretationen zur antiken Literatur, Religion und Geschichte (Berlin 1963) 296.

79 Ong, , ‘Orality, Literacy and Medieval Textualization,’ 5.

80 Bouley, , From Freedom to Formula 8 n. 25, 20, 27–28; Reif, , ‘Aspects of Medieval Jewish Literacy,’ 142. In general, there is a lack of Hebrew manuscripts from the period between the second and ninth centuries, ibid. 146.

81 On this see Gerhardsson, , Memory and Manuscript. In general on the oral Torah see Neusner, J., The Oral Torah: The Sacred Books of Judaism: An Introduction (San Francisco 1986); idem, Oral Tradition in Judaism: The Case of the Mishnah (New York 1987).

82 “Israel”: Judaism and its Social Metaphors,’ Journal of the American Academy of Religion 55 (1987) 333.

83 On the ambivalence toward writing, Harris, Ancient Literacy 90; Plato, Phaedros 274b–278a, cf. Epist. II (314) and VII (340–42). Plato had a paradoxical position with regard to literacy. Though he complained of books, his philosophy was possible only for one with a ‘literate’ mentality. He would ban the poets from the Republic precisely because they represented an oral culture, Ong, , Orality and Literacy 79–81. On Christian attitudes toward writing, Vischer, L., ‘Die Rechtfertigung der Schriftstellerei in der Alten Kirche,' Theologische Zeitschrift 12 (1956) 320–36; Osborn, E. E., ‘Teaching and Writing in the First Chapter of the Stromateis of Clement of Alexandria,’ Journal of Theological Studies 10 (1959) 335–43.

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84 See Irenaeus' letter to Florinus, in Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History 5. 20. Also 2 John 12, 3 John 13, 2 Peter 1.20–21, 3.15–16, 2 Thess. 2.2; Ignatius of Antioch, Philadelphians 8.2; Gerhardsson, Memory and Manuscript 195–97. Even as late as 2 Clement (100–150) the author, while citing chapter and verse from Scripture, unself-consciously appealed to non-canonical sayings of Jesus that derived from a continuing oral tradition, Brilioth, A Brief History of Preaching 20.

85 Gerhardsson, , ibid. 32, 123, 157, 197.

86 Graham, , Beyond the Written Word, 4–5. As Ong, , Orality and Literacy 26, points out, Arabic and certain other Mediterranean cultures have still not fully ‘interiorized’ literacy.

87 Ibid. ix.

88 Gerhardsson, , Memory and Manuscript 29.

89 Ibid. 46.

90 Omne Verbum Sonat: The New Testament and the Oral Environment of Late Western Antiquity,’ Journal of Biblical Literature 109 (1990) 327. Remarkably few biblical papyri survive from the first three centuries and there is remarkably little evidence that reading was done by the great mass of Christians, Harris, Ancient Literacy 294, 304–305.


91 There is an interesting passage in what some believe to be a second-century homily attached to the Epistle to Diognetus, that seems to describe the structure of Christian worship:

A chant celebrates the fear of the Law,

The grace of the Prophets is made known,

The faith of the Gospels is implanted,

The tradition of the Apostles is preserved, and

The grace of the Church waxes jubilant.

(translation based on Early Christian Writings [trans. Staniforth M.; New York 1986] 183, with slight revision.) On the oral nature of the early liturgy and its eventual formalization in writing after the Constantinian conversion, see Bouley, From Freedom to Formula. On the distinctive oral character of catechesis and its content, Gerhardsson, Memory and Manuscript 203. On catechesis in the ancient Church, Daniélou J., La Catéchèse aux premiers siècles (Paris 1968).

92 Clanchy, , From Memory to Written Record 21.

93 This type of homily would predominate in North Africa until Augustine gave it a more speculative cast, Leclercq, J., ‘Predication et rhétorique au temps de saint Augustin,' Revue Benedictine 57 (1947) 117–31. See also idem, ‘Le sermon, acte liturgique,’ in La Liturgie et les paradoxes chrétiens (Paris 1963) 205–27. For an early comment on the ‘conservative’ nature of ancient preaching see Irenaeus, , Adversus Haereses 1.10.2. On the mix of strict and more loosely maintained formulas in oral performance, Ong, , Orality and Liturgy 25–26.

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94 Gerhardsson, , Memory and Manuscript 93–189.

95 Countryman, L. W., The Intellectual Role of the Early Catholic Episcopate,’ Church History 48 (1979) 261–68; Carpenter, H. J., ‘Popular Christianity and Theologians in the Early Centuries,' The Journal of Theological Studies 14 (1963) 294310. The Syrian Didascalia Apostolorum (3rd century) and the Apostolic Constitutions (4th century) derived from it both assume the possibility of illiterate bishops, Connolly, Didascalia Apostolorum 30; Funk, Didascalia et Constitutiones Apostolorum, 1.31–33. In the more developed regions of the Empire, e.g., urban Egypt, the bishops, presbyters, and deacons were usually literate. Elsewhere this might not always have been the case, Harris, Ancient Literacy 320–21. It is intriguing, however, that even in fourth-century Egypt deacons and presbyters were expected to commit to memory certain specific portions of Scripture, ibid. 301. On the nature of liturgical preaching, Wagner, J., ‘La Fonction de la prédication dans la liturgie,' in Parole de Dieu et sacerdoce (eds. Bouyer, L. and Fischer, E.; Paris 1962) 179–194.

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96 Syria, unlike Rome, Alexandria, and North Africa, allowed for presbyteral preaching. For an example of this love of preaching as reported by the fourth-century pilgrim Egeria, see the Peregrinatio Egeriae. This may have its roots in the prophetic tradition which seemed to endure longest in that region, Brilioth, A Brief History of Preaching 23.

97 Contra Celsum (trans. Chadwick;, Chadwick; rpr. Cambridge 1986) I:62 p. 57. Cf. I:2 I:5, I:6, I:18, I:25, I:26, I:27, I:29.

98 Gunnar af Hällström, Fides simpliciorum according to Origen of Alexandria (Helsinki 1984 ); Lebreton, J., ‘Les désaccord de la foi populaire et de la théologie savante dans l 'église chrétienne du IIIe siècle,’ Revue d'histoire ecclesiastique 19 (1923) 481506; 20 (1924) 5–37.

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99 Graham, , Beyond the Written Word 15: ‘Speaking involves interaction with an audience; writing necessitates distancing of the writer from his or her readers.’ See also 16. Cf. Goody, J. and Watt, I., ‘The Consequences of Literacy,' in Literacy in Traditional Societies (ed. Goody, J.; Cambridge 1986) 2768.

100 On the new basilicas, Krautheimer, R., Early Christian and Byzantine Architecture (Baltimore MD 1965) 1765; idem, Three Christian Capitals: Typography and Politics (Berkeley CA 1983). On the interaction of architecture and liturgy, Gamber, K., Liturgie und Kirchenbau: Studien zur Geschichte der Messfeier und des Gotteshauses in der Frühzeit (Regensburg 1976); idem, Domus Dei (Regensburg 1968).

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101 Daniélou, , La Catéchèse 39–40; but see the De catechizandis rudibus for a sketch of his program.

102 Dix, The Shape of the Liturgy 325, 434, describes the character of pre-Constantinian sermons and readings as ‘witness,’ not ‘edification.’ See also Leclercq, , ‘Le sermon, acte liturgique,’ 215; Jungmann, J. A., The Mass of the Roman Rite (New York 1951) 1.459. An interesting parallel can be seen in the reading of Scripture in synagogue services. It was designed as an act of worship, not instruction, Gerhardsson, Memory and Manuscript 42.

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103 Even Chrysostom had difficulties holding the attention of his audiences, Brilioth, A Brief History of Preaching 39.

104 Classical rhetoric arose in the first truly script culture — fifth-century b.c. Athens, Goody and Watt, ‘Consequences of Literacy,’ 49–55. Cf. Harris, , Ancient Literacy 223. Already in the fourth century b.c. it had begun the shift from a purely oral political phenomenon to an increasingly literate school discipline, Gastaldi, S., ‘La retorica del iv secolo tra oralità e scrittura: “Sugli scrittori di discorsi” di Alcidamente,’ Quaderni di storia 14 (1981) 189225. By the time of Constantine, it had become even ‘more closely intertwined with the written rather than the spoken word, a strategy for style in written prose and verse rather than in vocal speech,’ Graham, Beyond the Written Word 24–25. For an intriguing parallel shift from oral to literate preaching in the thirteenth century, see Berlioz, J., ‘La Mémoire du predicateur: Recherches sur la memorisation des recits exemplaires (XIII-XV e siècles),’ in Temps, mémoire, tradition du Moyen Age (Aix-en-Provence 1983) 157–183. Exempla collections that had originally been organized on ‘traditional’ patterns known to all (e.g., the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit) were replaced by collections organized alphabetically.

105 Lot, F., ‘A quelle époque a-t-on cessé de parler latin?' Recueil des travaux historiques de Ferdinand Lot (Geneva 1986) 1 .432, pointed out that the Western Christian authors of the third through sixth centuries were either professionals (‘professors’or lawyers), e.g., Minucius Felix, Cyprian, Arnobius, Lactantius, Firmicus Maternus, Marius Victorinus, Augustine, Prudentius, Sulpicius Severus, Dracontius, or nobles and high officials, e.g., Hilary of Poitiers, Ambrose, Priscillian, Paulinus of Nola, Fulgentius of Ruspe, Boethius, Cassiodorus, Avitus of Vienne, Caesarius of Aries. Cf. Harris, , Ancient Literacy 300.

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106 Lot, F., ibid. 433, remarks that the rhetorical education demanded six to ten years of study devoted solely to grammar and rhetoric, to the exclusion of science and philosophy. On the lack of an educational opportunity for most people in the ancient world, including the Roman Empire, Harris, Ancient Literacy 16: ‘The school systems of Graeco-Roman antiquity were for the most part quite puny.’

107 Schneyer, , Geschichte der katholischen Predigt 49. Of pre-Vatican II Catholicism Jungmann, The Mass of the Roman Rite, 1.456, could still write: ‘The sermon, which (together with its embellishments) is delivered in the vernacular after the Gospel, is currently regarded as an interpolation in the course of the liturgy rather than as a step forward in its progress.’

108 Schneyer, Thus, Geschichte der katholischen Predigt 48; Leclercq, ‘Le sermon, acte liturgique,’ 211; Brilioth, A Brief History of Preaching 49–50, though each applauds the work of individuals like Augustine and Chrysostom.

109 van der Meer, F., Augustine the Bishop (London 1978) 431–32.

110 ‘A quelle époque a-t-on cessé de parler latin?’441–442. On the gulf separating an Augustine, or an Ambrose, from the mass of the population, see MacMullen, R., ‘A Note on Sermo Humilis,’ Journal of Theological Studies 17 (1966) 108112. On audience, idem, The Preacher's Audience (A.D. 350–400),’ Journal of Theological Studies 40 (1989) 503–11.


111 This goes beyond mere intellectual rigor and linguistic elaboration. It is not clear that individual members of an oral community would have possessed the mental tools to appreciate the products of a literate society. See Ong, , Orality and Literacy 31–77, on the ‘psychodynamics’ of orality.

112 Matter, E. A., ‘Exegesis and Christian Education: The Carolingian Model,' in Schools of Thought in the Christian Tradition (Philadelphia PA 1984) 92.

113 Petzold, , ‘Die altdeutsche Predigt,’ 216.

114 De doctrina Christiana, 4.29. Cf. Cruel, , Geschichte der deutschen Predigt 258–59; Schneyer, Geschichte der katholischen Predigt 49.

115 In the East the period covers the careers of Cyril of Jerusalem (d. 386), Basil the Great (d. 379), Gregory of Nyssa (d. ca. 395), Gregory Nazianzus (d. 389), and Chrysostom, Chrysostom (d. 407). It might be extended to include Cyril of Alexandria (d. 444) and Theodoret of Cyrrhus (d. 458), although scholars have not been favorably impressed by these later preachers. Cf. Brilioth, , A Brief History of Preaching 39–40; Schneyer, Geschichte der katholischen Predigt 92–3. In the West, as we have seen, the first significant surviving sermon literature was produced by Zeno of Verona (d. ca. 375) and Ambrose (d. 397). It reached its generally recognized peak with Augustine (d. 430), and was already moribund by the time of Petrus Chrysologus (d. ca. 450) and Leo the Great (d. 461), Brilioth, A Brief History of Preaching 42–43, 62–64; Schneyer, Geschichte der katholischen Predigt 85–86. Schneyer (p. 49) is troubled by the dearth of sermons even from this period.

116 McVann, James, The Canon Law of Sermon Preaching (New York 1940) 89.

117 The Jews in Roman Imperial Legislation (ed. Linder, A.; Detroit 1987) 337355.

118 Dix, , The Shape of the Liturgy 40; Jungmann, The Mass of the Roman Rite 1.456–58.

119 Concilium Romanum' (745), MGH Cap. 1.40, 43. On the problems that these two created, Russell, J. B., ‘St. Boniface and the Eccentrics,' Church History 33 (1964) 235247. See also ‘Karlomanni principis capitulare’ (742), MGH Cap. 1.24–5; ‘Peppini principis capitulare suessionense’ (744), ibid. 29, 30.

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120 I owe this insight to Cavadini., Cavadini. On Adoptionism see his ‘The Last Christology of the West: Adoptionism in Spain and Gaul, 785–817’ (Ph. D. diss., Yale 1988).

121 ‘Ut canonum statuta sine praeiudicio ab omnibus custodiantur, et nemo in actionibus vel iudiciis ecclesiasticis suo sensu, sed eorum auctoritate ducatur. In exponendis etiam vel praedicandi divinis scripturis sanctorum catholicorum et probatissimorum patrum sensum quisque sequatur, in quorum scriptis, ut beatus dicit Ieronimus, fides Veritas non vacillet. Sed et qui in suis monasteriis religiose residere debent et vocum novitates, ut innotescant, studio proferre satagunt, acerrime ut praesumptores arguantur et comprimantur.’ MGH Conc. 3.100–101. On heresy in the period, Russell, J. B., Dissent and Reform in the Early Middle Ages (Berkeley 1965).

122 Zerfass, R., Der Streit um die Laienpredigt (Freiburg 1974 ). See also ‘Professio fidei Waldensibus praescripta’ (1208), Denzinger, H., ed., Enchiridion Symbolorum (29 ed.; Freiburg 1953) 198; Lateran IV (1215), c. 3, ibid. 203.

123 Documents Illustrative of English Church History (eds. Gee, H. and Hardy, W. J.; London 1910) 135.

124 ‘Errores Iohannis Wicleff’(1415), c. 14, Denzinger 242; ‘Errores Johannis Hus’ (1415), c. 18, ibid. 246. Cf. Trent Sessio VII (1547) 301.

125 Concilia Germaniae (eds. Hartzheim, J. and Schannat, J. F.; Cologne 1757–1790) 3.530.

126 On the shift to written liturgies in the West, Bouley, From Freedom to Formula 159–215. The process was completed by the sixth or seventh century for Rome, but may still have been going on in Gaul when the Roman rite was imposed in the eighth century, ibid. 192, 211. On the development of the liturgy, Jungmann, Mass of the Roman Rite; Dix, The Shape of the Liturgy; Klauser, T., A Short History of the Western Liturgy (London 1969 ); Duchesne, L., Christian Worship, Its Origin and Evolution: A Study of the Latin Liturgy up to the Time of Charlemagne (5th ed.; London 1927); Cattaneo, E., Il culto cristiano in occidente: Note storiche (Rome 1978).

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127 Duchesne, , Christian Worship 161.

128 Schneyer, , Geschichte der katholischen Predigt 8586; Brilioth, A Brief History of Preaching 61–62.

129 Longère, , Prédication Médiéval 29; Brilioth, A Brief History of Preaching 66. On Gregory's audience, McClure, J., ‘Gregory the Great: Exegesis and Audience' (D. Phil., Oxford 1978) 24, 7–9, 20–21.

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130 The first appearance of the sermon in the Roman Ordines is found in the first Ordo for the Lateran (12th century), Bernhardi Cardinalis et Lateranensis Ecclesiae prioris Ordo officiorum Ecclesiae Lateransis (ed. Fischer, L.; Munich 1916) 50, 78, 82; and in ‘Ordo Romanum XI,’ PL 78, 1033. The tenth-century ‘Ordo Romanum VI’ which originated in Germany had perhaps been the instrument through which Rome itself was moved to include the sermon, n. 7, PL 78, 922A; Le Pontifical Romano-Germanique du dixième siècle II (eds. Vogel, C. and Elze, R.; Vatican City 1963) 122. In the commentaries on the Roman Mass the sermon is invariably omitted, e.g., Amalarius of Metz (d. 850), Amalarii episcopi opera liturgica omnia (ed. Hanssens, J. M.; Rome 1948–1950); Beleth, Beleth (d. ca. 1165), Summa de ecclesiasticis officiis, 2 vols., ed. Douteil, H., CCCM 41, 41A; Turnhout 1976); Durandus, Durandus (d. 1296), Rationale Divinorum Officiorum (Lyons 1905); Gabriel Biel (d. 1495), Canonis Misse Expositio, 4 vols. (ed. Oberman, H. and Courtenay, W. J.; Wiesbaden 1963–1967).

131 Expositio Antiquae Liturgiae Gallicanae Germano Parisiensi ascripta (ed. Quasten, J.; Münster 1934) 1516.

132 Sozomen, , Historia ecclesiastica, 7.19 (PG 67, 1476).

133 Dickens, A. G., The Counter-Reformation (New York 1969) 81.

134 Jungmann, , The Mass of the Roman Rite, 1.457 n. 13. But he is too sanguine about its survival in the Byzantine liturgy. Cf. Dix, , The Shape of the Liturgy 473.

135 Mateos, J., La célébration de la parole dans la liturgie byzantine: Etude historique (Rome 1971) 147.

136 Sermon 1, Sancti Caesarii Arelatensis Sermones (ed. Morin, G., CCL 103; Turnhout 1953) 1 .7, 10–12, 16. Cf. Vaison (529), c. 2, Concilia Galliae 78. The recitation (‘recitare') of written homilies can still be seen in the ninth-century Veronese ‘Libellus de assidua praedicatione,’ where both presbyters and deacons are called upon to preach, Meersseman, G. G., ‘Ministerio parrochiale nel ix secolo secondo il cod. xc della capitolare di Verona,’ Zeitschrift für schweizerische Kirchengeschichte 71 (1971) 3, 11. The three sermons comprising the bulk of the treatise are simply reworked patristic homilies that exhort the Christian community to concord, and attack continuing pagan practices.

137 Nickl, G., Der Anteil des Volkes an der Messliturgie im Frankenreiche von Chlodwig bis auf Karl den Grossen (Innsbruck 1930) 6.

138 Toledo XIV (684) c. 10, Concilios Visigóticos 446.

139 While in other respects an admirable piece of work, Petzold, H., ‘Die altdeutsche Predigt als geschriebenes und gesprochenes Wort,' Theologie und Philosophie 44 (1969) 196233, falters because Petzold's own perspective is so determined by written cultural expectations. He identifies Christianity almost exclusively with the inherited written patristic tradition, ignoring the oral component of early Christian culture. And while keenly aware both that patristic preaching belonged to the written culture and that that culture never really was dominant for most Christians during the early Middle Ages he fails to ask how the majority of believers was actually nourished.

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140 Graham, , Beyond the Written Word 2425. Cf. Harris, , Ancient Literacy 140. Also see note 104 above. The decisive break with the initial ‘oral’ rhetoric came precisely when rhetoric became an ‘art’ that one could study, usually relying on written texts, Ong, , Orality and Literacy, 9–10, 109–110.

141 ‘Die Kirche galt im Mittelalter nicht sowohl eine Lehranstalt, als für eine Heilanstalt… . Die Hauptsache war, Mitglied der Kirche zu werden und den Segnungen Antheil zu haben, die sie allen ihren Mitgliederen spendet. Dagegen stehen der Glaube und die Erkenntnis der einzelnen Christen erst auf zweiter Linie': von Raumer, R., Die Einwirkung des Christentums auf die Althochdeutsche Sprache: Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der deutschen Kirche (Stuttgart 1845) 238.

142 Gatch, , Preaching … in Anglo-Saxon England 2730. On the development of the office, Salmon, P., L'Office Divin: Histoire de la Formation du Breviaire (Paris 1959 ); Taft, R., The Liturgy of the Hours in East and West: The Origins of the Divine Office and Its Meaning for Today (Collegeville MN 1986).

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143 On the monastic role in providing pastoral care, including preaching, in the early Middle Ages, Giles Constable, ‘Monasteries, Rural Churches and the cura animarum in the Early Middle Ages,’ Cristianizazione ed organizazione ecclesiastica delle campagne nell'alto medioevo: espansione e resistenze (Settimane 28; Spoleto 1982) 349389; Amos, T. L., ‘Monks and Pastoral Care in the Early Middle Ages,' Religion, Culture and Society in the Early Middle Ages: Studies in Honor of Richard E. Sullivan (eds. Noble, T. F. X. and Contreni, J. J.; Kalamazoo MI 1987) 165180. The monastic cast of the entire Anglo-Saxon church culture, in some ways an inheritance from the Irish, owed a great deal to the scarcity of bishops. Bede in 734 advised converting corrupt monasteries into episcopal sees, Councils and Ecclesiastical Documents Relating to Great Britain and Ireland (eds. Haddan, A. W. and Stubbs, W.; Oxford 1871) 3 .319–320. See also McClure, J., ‘Bede 's Notes on Genesis and the Training of the Anglo-Saxon Clergy,’ in The Bible in the Medieval World: Essays in Memory of Beryl Smalley (ed. Walsh, K. and Wood, D.; Oxford 1985), 17–30.

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144 Gatch, , Preaching … in Anglo-Saxon England 3132. For Caesarius' intention see Sermo 2, Sancti Caesarii Arelatensis Sermones, 1.18–19. Almost all of the early medieval sermon or homily collections had monks or clergy as their primary audience, Albert, Geschichte der Predigt, I.32–35, 91–98, 103, 163, II, 119–120, 137, 151–55.

145 Mainz (813) c. 25, MGH Conc. 2/1.268; Aachen (836), c. 11, MGH Conc. 2/2.710.

146 Attigny (822), c. 2, MGH Conc. 2/2.471. This terminology, at least, may derive from Gregory the Great, Dagens, C., ‘Gregoire le Grand et le ministère de la parole: Les notions d' ‘ordo praedicatorum' et d’‘officium praedicationis',’ Forma Futuri: Studi in onore del Cardinale Michelo Pellegrino (Turin 1975) 1054–73. See also Ladner, R., ‘L 'ordo praedicatorum avant l'ordre des prěcheurs,’ in Mandonnet, P., Saint Dominique: L'idée, l'homme, et l'œuvre (Paris 1937) 51–55.

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147 Albert, , Geschichte der Predigt, 3.84.

148 Cf. Bede's letter to Bishop Egbert (734) on conditions in Northumberland, Synods and Ecclesiastical Documents, 3, esp. 317.

149 While this is widely accepted concerning the early medieval conversions (e.g., Hauck, Kirchengeschichte Deutschlands, 1.116, 235, 346 et passim; Albert, Geschichte der Predigt, 1.66–7), recent literature has come to the same conclusion concerning the primitive and ancient Churches: Kee, H. C., Miracle in the Early Christian World (New Haven 1983), esp. 61, 209–210, 219, 274–75; MacMullen, Christianizing the Roman Empire, esp. 25, 29, 65. Cf. Origen on Christ and the Apostles, note 97 above.

150 Vauchez, A., ‘Présentation,' Faire croire: Modalités de la diffusion et de la réception des messages religieux du XIIe au XVe siècle (Rome 1981) 8, with reference to Riché, P., ‘La pastorale populaire en Occident (VIe–XIe siècles),’ in Histoire vecue du peuple chrétien (ed. Delumeau, J.; Toulouse 1979) 1.95–221. By contrast, see the characterization of thirteenth-century preaching and its goals in Le Goff, J. and Schmitt, J.-Cl., ‘Une parole nouvelle (au XIIIe siècle),’ ibid. 257–279. Even Bede seemed to have come to the realization that royal efforts were much more important to the spread of the Gospel than clerical preaching, McClure, ‘Bede's Notes on Genesis,’ 29–30. See also Petzold, , ‘Die altdeutsche Predigt,’ 205 n. 35.

151 Cf. Dix, , The Shape of the Liturgy 326 on the ancient Church and Albert, Geschichte der Predigt 1.72 for the early medieval Church. And not just for the laity, Devailly, ‘La Pastorale en Gaule,’ 36, 45, 54. Note the concern of Charlemagne and his associates that the clergy understand the baptismal rite, Keefe, S. A., ‘Carolingian Baptismal Expositions: A Handlist of Tracts and Manuscripts,' Carolingian Essays (ed. Blumenthal;, Blumenthal; Washington DC 1983) 169237.

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152 Council of Toledo (633), c. 26, Consilios Visigóticos 202; Braga (572), c. 1, ibid. 81; ‘Karlmanni principis capitulare’ (742, c. 10, MGH Cap. 1.25; ‘Admonitio Generalis’ (789), c. 70, ibid. 59; ‘Concilium Germanicum’ (742), c. 3, MGH Conc. 2/1.3: ‘Concilium in Francia habitum’ (747), ibid. 47; Reims (813), cc. 3–6, ibid. 254; Paris (829), c. 29, MGH Conc. 2/2.631; Aachen (836), c. 5,16, ibid. 711, 714; Ruotger of Trier (915–929), c. 8, MGH Cap. Ep. 1 64; Walter of Orleans (869–870), c. 1, ibid. 187; Radulf of Bourges (853–66), c. 8, ibid. 239.

153 Laws of Early Iceland, Grágás. The Codex Regius of Grágás with Material from Other Manuscripts (trans. Dennis et al.; Winnipeg 1980) 3738. My thanks to Margaret Cormack for this information.

154 Council of Vaison (529), c. 1, Concilia Galliae 78; Walter of Orleans (869–70), c. 6, MGH Cap. Ep. 1.189; Hincmar of Reims, ‘Capitula in synodo Rehemis data anno 874’ c. 11, PL 125, col. 802. Ong, , Orality and Literacy 9, identifies apprenticeship and discipleship as the normal methods of education in oral societies.

155 Toledo (527), c. 1, Concilios Visigóticos 42. Merida (666), c. 18, Concilios Visigóticos 338; ‘Admonitio Generalis’ (789), c. 72, MGH Cap. 1.59–60; Rome (853), c. 40, MGH Conc. 3.330.

156 Köhn, R., ‘Schulbildung und Trivium,' 226. Though Köhn emphasizes the oral aspect of elementary education even in the high Middle Ages, Le Goff, J., Les Intellectuels au moyen age (Paris 1957) 69, 95–97, extends it to even the most advanced levels of study for the early Middle Ages.

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157 On the role of memorization in oral societies, Graham, Beyond the Written Word 35. See also Yates, F. A., The Art of Memory (Chicago 1966). On the changeover from memory to written record in England, Clanchy, From Memory to Written Record. For Northern France, C. de la Ronciere, ‘De la memoire vecue à la tradition, perception et enregistrement du passé,’ in Temps, memoire, tradition au Moyen-Age, (Aix-en-Provence 1983) 272.

158 Graham, , ibid. 97.

159 Sermo VI, c. 3, Sancti Caesari Arelatensis Sermones 32. On illiterate merchants, ibid. c. 2, 31 and Sermo VIII, c. 1, 41.

160 On the decline of Roman literacy, Harris, Ancient Literacy 317–322. On illiterate decuriones, ibid. 313–314. On the decline of military literacy, ibid. 293–94. On the loss of literacy in early medieval Byzantium see Mullett, M., ‘Writing in Early Medieval Byzantium,' in Uses of Literacy in Early Medieval Europe (ed. McKitterick, R.; Cambridge 1990) 16161. On the impact of literacy on a pre-literate people, see Smith, J. M. H., ‘Oral and Written: Saints, Miracles, and Relics in Brittany, c. 851–1250,' Speculum 65 (1990) 309–343. The essays found in The Uses of Literacy in Early Medieval Europe give greater precision to our knowledge of how writing was used in the early medieval period and reconfirm the view that literacy itself was normally associated with the Church and royal/imperial government. Only a small fraction of the population — high ecclesiastics, lay aristocrats, and professional scribes — were actively literate.

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161 Nickl, , Der Anteil des Volkes an der Messliturgie 21–24, 31–33. Cf. ‘Capitula de examinandis ecclesiasticis’ (ca. 802), cc. 13–14, MGH Cap. 1.110; Council of Vesoul (ca. 789–813), cc. 4–5, De Clercq, Législation religieuse 1.368; ‘Concilium Romanum’ (826), c. 10, MGH Conc. 2/2.558. On the chanting of the prayer to the congregation, ‘Notitia de colloquio Romano,’ (809–810), MGH Conc. 2/1, 240:25–241:22, 243:19–20, 244:1–3.

162 Council of Meaux-Paris (845–846), c. 77, MGH Conc. 3.124.

163 Capitula duo incerta' (found only in a twelfth-century copy) MGH Cap. 1.257.

164 Ibid. 222–224.

165 Jungmann, , The Mass of the Roman Rite, 1.477. On the extent to which the vernacular was employed see Nickl, , Der Anteil des Volkes an der Messliturgie, passim; Devailly, ‘La pastorale en Gaule,’ 32.

166 Clanchy, , From Memory to Written Record 189.

167 Cited in Erbe, M., Pfarrkirche und Dorf: Ausgewählte Quellen zur Geschichte des Niederkirchenwesens in Nordwest- und Mitteldeutschland vom 8. bis zum 16. Jahrhundert (Gütersloh 1973 ). For other examples see Theodulf, (788–817/8) c. 3, MGH Cap. Ep. 1.149; Walter of Orleans (869–870), c. 20, ibid. 192; ‘Capitula Florentina’ (post-820), cc. 2–5, ibid. 222. Cf. ‘Quae a presbyteris discenda sint’ (ca. 805), cc. 1–15, MGH Cap. 1.234. Perhaps it is in this context that we should place the school text which Cruel, R., Geschichte der deutschen Predigt 115–16, describes, the ‘Cisio-Janus,’ that held psalms, hymns, prayers, the Lord's Prayer, the Creed, the Ten Commandments, and a short poem (the ‘Cisio-Janus’ proper) which served as a mnemonic device for the feast days of the year.

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168 Die Wundergeschichten des Caesarius von Heisterbach (ed. Hilka;, Hilka; Bonn 1937) 3.199.

169 Pontal, O., Les statuts synodaux (Typologie des sources du moyen age, 11; Turnhout 1975) 39, 68.

170 De cessatione legalium (eds. Dales, R. C. and King, E. B.; Oxford 1986) 34.

171 Reinke, D. R., ‘“Austin 's Labour”: Patterns of Governance in Medieval Augustinian Monasticism,’ Church History 56 (1987) 159, 161.

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172 As noted by O'Sullivan, J. F. with regard to the visitations of Eudes of Rouen, The Register of Eudes of Rouen xxix. Wendehorst, A., ‘Monachus scribere nesciens,' Mitteilungen des Instituts für Österreichische Geschichte 71 (1963) 6775, found, for example, that of the 47 monks in the Cistercian house of Bildhausen in 1324, eleven could not write their own signature, and another could do only part of it.

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173 The formulation of basic Christian beliefs was often accomplished in prayer, hymn, and acclamation in the primitive Church, as can be seen from the text of the New Testament itself, Bouley, From Freedom to Formula 37–87.

174 Rieger, M., ‘Die altdeutsche Predigt,' in Wackernagel, W., Altdeutsche Predigten und Gebete aus Handschriften (Basel 1876) 306; Albert, Geschichte der Predigt, 1.66–7, 116, 118–9, 121–23, 156–7; Jungmann, The Mass of the Roman Rite, 1.459 n. 22. Mohrmann, C., ‘Praedicare-tractare-sermo: Essai sur la terminologie de la predication paleo-chrétienne,' La Maison Dieu 39 (1954) 97107, sees a narrowly technical use of ‘praedicatio’ by the end of the 4th century. In contrast, Dagens, ‘Grégoire le Grand et le Ministère de la Parole,’ 1055–56, shows that ‘praedicatio’ was not understood in that narrow sense even by Gregory. See e.g. ‘Arnonis instructio pastoralis’ (798), c. 7, in which Arno refers to singing and ‘other preaching,’ MGH Conc. 2/1.198. Even 12th and 13th century vernacular sermon collections did not clearly distinguish ‘preaching’ from ‘reading,’ Zink, M., La prédication en langue romane avant 1300 (Paris 1982) 201.

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175 See Davies, J. G., ‘Deacons, Deaconesses, and the Minor Orders in the Patristic Period,' Journal of Ecclesiastical History 45 (1963) 115 esp. 11–12.

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176 Ong, , Orality and Literacy 140–1, identifies narrative as the key to oral culture.

177 Cruel, , Geschichte der deutschen Predigt 218; Petzold, ‘Die altdeutsche Predigt,’ 190; Oediger, Bildung der Geistlichen, 121 n. 3; Deanesly, M., The Lollard Bible 45, 75 n. 3. For a good example, see Gatch, , ‘The Unknowable Audience of the Blickling Homilies,’ 103, where he discusses Blickling homily IV. The compiler/translator seems to use ‘godspelle’ to refer to any ‘text that is being adapted for delivery to a congregation in their vernacular language.’ Specifically, it refers to a homily of Caesarius of Aries as ‘godspelle.’

178 Albert, , ibid. 121; Toledo (633), c. 12, Concilios Visigóticos 196; Ghärbald of Liége (ca. 801), c. 3, MGH Cap. Ep. 1.17; Ruotger of Trier (915–29), c. 14, ibid. 66; Theodulf of Orleans (789–817/8), c. 28, ibid. 125; Radulf of Bourges (853–66), c. 13, ibid. 242; ‘Capitula a sacerdotibus proposita’ (802?), c. 4 MGH Cap. 1.106.

179 Cf. Reims (813), c. 5, MGH Conc. 2/1.254, where the deacon's role as lector of the Gospel in the Mass is modeled on Christ's preaching office. See also the address of the Deacon Florus (838) in which he dwells on his ‘preaching’ office, MGH Conc. 2/2.770.

180 Hincmar of Reims, ‘Capitula quibus de rebus, magistri et decani per singulas ecclesias, inquirere et episcopo renuntiare debeant,’ c. 11, PL 125, col. 779: ‘Si habeat clericum qui possit tenere scholam, aut legere Evangelium aut canere valeat, prout necessarium sibi videtur.’ See also Radulf of Bourges (853–66), c. 10, MGH Cap. Ep. 1.240–41; Ruotger of Trier (915–29), c. 10, ibid. 64–65, where priests are warned not to say private Masses or to let laity do the readings. One wonders just how much of Scripture the general population actually heard. If one looks at Hincmar's Vita Remigii ep. Remensis (MGH SS 3.314ff.) one is struck by the absence of biblical imagery and reference in the chapters designated for the unlearned, by contrast to those for the learned, which are filled with biblical references, Gurevich, A., Medieval Popular Culture: Problems of Belief and Perception (Cambridge 1988) 5152. See also Smith, J. M. H., ‘Oral and Written,' 319–320 for a Breton example.

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181 Cited by Hauck, A., Kirchengeschichte Deutschlands (Leipzig 1903) 4 .26 n. 7. Zink, M., La prédication en langue romane 225, has also discovered vernacular sermons that are merely paraphrases of the biblical text.

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182 Deanesly, , The Lollard Bible 10 n. 1, 27 n. 2, 28, 38, 39, 41, 352.

183 Ibid. 350.

184 Ibid. 141.

185 Toledo (589), c. 2, Concilios Visigóticos 125; Bouley, From Freedom to Formula 212–213 n. 231; ‘Capitulare missorum specialia’ (802), c. 29, MGH Cap. 1.103. For thirteenth-century Alsace, Oediger, Bildung der Geistlichen 118. On the ‘Verkündigung’ see Schönfelder, A., ‘Die “Verkündigung” im mittelalterlichen Gottesdienst,' Liturgischer Zeitschrift 1 (1929) 5862.

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186 Jungmann, , ibid. 473.

187 ‘3’(585), ibid. 14. Cf. Cruel, , Geschichte der deutschen Predigt 288–9.

188 Leyser, K. J., Rule and Conflict in an Early Medieval Society (Bloomington IN 1979) 103.

189 This seems to be the thrust of Hinson, The Evangelization of the Roman Empire. Participation in worship services was the means by which interested pagans were drawn into the Christian fold.

190 Religion as a Cultural System ,’ in Anthropological Approaches to the Study of Religion (ed. Bainton, M.; London 1966) 28. Le Bras, G., Institutions ecclésiastiques de la chrétienté médiévale (Paris 1959) 1.140 n. 7, has remarked: ‘Cette fonction éducative du culte et des sacrements a été mésestimée par des historiens trop intellectuels, qui n'attendent la formation que des livres et des discours.’

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191 Religious Celebrations ,’ in Celebration: Studies in Festival and Ritual (ed. Turner, V.; Washington DC 1982) 218.

192 Turner, V., ‘Introduction,' ibid. 12–13.

193 Ibid. 13, 16–19, 22.

194 V., and Turner, E., ‘Religious Celebrations,' 204.

195 Ong, , ‘Orality, Literacy and Medieval Textualization,’ 9. The study of ritual is a relatively new and expanding field. For an introduction to the nature of the results as seen in two of its best-known practitioners, see Grimes, R., ‘Ritual Studies: A Comparative Review of Theodor Gaster and Victor Turner,' Religious Studies Review 2 (1976) 1325.

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196 Nickl, , Der Anteil des Volkes an der Messliturgie 4. Though differing on the nature of spoken Latin in the pre-Carolingian period, both Lot, ‘A quelle époque a-t-on cessé de parler Latin,’ 104 and Wright, Late Latin and Early Romance in Spain and Carolingian France 44, came to the same conclusion.

197 This instruction may in large measure have taken place in the context of sacramental penance, von Raumer, R., Die Einwirkung des Christentums auf die althochdeutsche Sprache: Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der deutschen Kirche (Stuttgart 1845) 254.

198 Deanesly, , The Lollard Bible 45. The work cited is Passavanti, J. (d. 1357), Lo Specchio della vera penitenza (ed. Polidori; Florence 1863).

199 Deanesly, , The Lollard Bible 195.

200 Ibid. 197.

201 Ibid. 198.

202 Ibid. 199.

203 In Fassten hat Jederman müssen beichten, Frawen und Mann und was zue seinem Tag khommen ist. Die Jung khindt haben Vatter und Muotter ahnhin gefürth, so sie noch clein seindt gewesen, habens vor dahumb edtwas gelehrt sagen, wie wenig es ist gesein, damit sie lehrnent beichten und in brauch kommen,’ Schilling, A. (ed.), ‘Die religiösen und kirchlichen Zustände der ehemaligen Reichstadt Biberach unmittelbar vor Einführung der Reformation,’ Freiburger Diözesansarchiv 19 (1887) 115. I owe this citation to W. David Myers.

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204 Ibid. 243, citing De Veritate Sacrae Scripturae II (ed. Buddensieg;, 1905) 179. Schmitt, J.-Cl., ‘Du bon usage du ‘credo ',’ in Faire croire. Modalités de la diffusion et de la réception des messages religieux du XIIe au XVe siècle (Rome 1981) 360, cites an exemplum from Etiénne de Bourbon from the thirteenth century in which an old woman who faithfully recited her Creed, Lord's prayer, and Ave Maria, was regularly visited by the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove who gave her the gift of tears. When a bishop sought to improve upon her undoubted holiness by teaching her the Psalter, she lost the gift.

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205 Rieger, M., ‘Die altdeutsche Predigt,' 294; Gillespie, V., ‘Doctrina and Praedicatio: The Design and Function of Some Pastoral Manuals,’ Leeds Studies in English 11 (1980) 36 50. Perhaps already in the thirteenth century, and certainly by the seventeenth century, the early medieval situation would be totally reversed, with a simpler form of preaching, the prones absorbing doctrina, D'Avray, D. L., The Preaching of the Friars: Sermons Diffused from Paris before 1300 (Oxford 1985) 82.

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206 See above n. 162.

207 Karoli magni capitula a canonibus excerpta' (813), c. 26, MGH Conc. 2/1.297: ‘Ut presbiteri bene vivere et ita populum doceant.’ Most often the priest's visible example is coupled with his ‘preaching’ — in effect ordering the priest to teach by word and deed — but the emphasis is clearly on the necessity for clerics to lead lives in accordance with canonical requirements, e.g., Constitutions of Archbishop Oda (942–946), c. 4, Councils and Synods 1.71; Council of Paris (829), c. 3, MGH Conc. 2/2.611; Aries (836) c. 25, ibid. 723; ‘Concilium Foroiuliense’ (796/797), MGH Conc. 2/1.195. On the role of imitation, discipleship, and apprenticeship in oral societies, Ong, , Orality and Literacy 9. An interesting comparison can be drawn with the role assigned women in the ‘conversion’ of their husbands during the ancient and early medieval periods. It was to be their behavior and physical allure, not their verbal persuasion, that was to move their spouses. Only in the thirteenth century did clerics call on women to convince their men with words as well, see Farmer, S., ‘Persusive Voices: Clerical Images of Medieval Wives,' Speculum 61 (1986) 517543.

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208 E.g., , ‘Genesis ,’ ‘Exodus,’ ‘Daniel,’ ‘Christ and Satan,’ ‘Fates of the Apostles,’ ‘Christ,’ ‘Juliana,’ ‘Elene,’ ‘Andreas,’ ‘Judith,’ ‘Guthlac’ and the ‘Dream of the Rood.’ On Anglo-Saxon religious literature, Gardener, J., The Construction of Christian Poetry in Old English (Carbondale PA 1975 ). For the Heliand, Behagel, O., ed. Heliand und Genesis (9th ed.; Tübingen 1984).

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209 These works show the remarks of ‘primary orality’ as briefly outlined by Ong, , ‘Orality, Literacy and Medieval Textualization’3. Cf. Haendler, G., Geschichte des Frühmittelalters und der Germanenmissions (Die Kirche in ihre Geschichte 2/E; Göttingen 1961) 36. Frantzen, A. J., The Literature of Penance in Anglo-Saxon England (New Brunswick NJ 1983), has argued convincingly that it is necessary to examine a much broader range of genres in reconstructing the instruction given concerning penance.

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210 Clanchy, , From Memory to Written Record 198–201, 229–230, emphasizes that the oral culture of the nobles was sophisticated and demanding. It involved not only the lessons in the use of arms, but also the ability to administer the customary oral law, and to understand the often complex political systems of their time. The more purely artistic aspects found in the epics would help mold the warrior ethos. According to the Quedlinburg-Chronicle, German peasants sang songs about Dietrich of Bern (Theodoric the Great) as late as the tenth century (MGH SS 3.31). The Life of St. Liudger relates that a singer Bernlef sang of the wars and exploits of kings to the Frisians (MGH SS 2.410). The Frankish kings were celebrated in vulgaria carmina in the time of Charlemagne (MGH SS 1.268). On these incidents, see Gurevich, A., Medieval Popular Culture: Problems of Belief and Perception (Cambridge 1988) 50. On the German lay poetry of the Carolingian era, see McKitterick, , Carolingians and the Written Word 232–235.

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211 On this see LeGoff, , ‘Clerical Culture and Folklore Traditions in Merovingian Civilization,’ and idem, ‘Ecclesiastical Culture and Folklore in the Middle Ages: Saint Marcellus of Paris and the Dragon,’ both in his Time, Work and Culture in the Middle Ages (tr. Goldhammer, A.; Chicago 1980) 153–58, 159–188. Cf. Schmitt, Schmitt ‘"Religion populaire” et “Culture folklorique,”' Annales 31 (1975) 941953; Graus, F., Volk, Herrscher und Heiliger im Reich der Merowinger (Prague 1965). For an example of the relationship of oral and literate in Brittany, Smith, J. M. H., ‘Oral and Written: Saints, Miracles, and Relics in Brittany, c. 850–1250,' Speculum 65 (1990) 309–43.

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212 The penetration was so successful that there was resistance among some of the clergy to reliance upon written evidence in preference to oral testimony in the eleventh and twelfth centuries, Clanchy, From Memory to Written Record 209, 233.

213 On Caedmon, , Ecclesiastical History 4.24. On the distinctively ‘oral’ nature of Caedmon's Hymn in the manuscripts of Bede, see Magoun, F. P., Jr., ‘Oral-Formulaic Character of Anglo-Saxon Narrative Poetry,’ Speculum 28 (1953) 446–67; idem, ‘Bede's Story of Caedman: The Case History of an Anglo-Saxon Oral Singer,’ Speculum 30 (1955) 4963; O'Keefe, K. O'B., ‘Orality and the Developing Text of Caedmon 's Hymn,’ Speculum 62 (1987) 1–20. On Ottfried, Albert, Geschichte der Predigt 2.129–130. The first examples of sermons written in German had close ties to the poetry of the period, ibid. 1.129, 172. See also Fichtenau, H., ‘Bemerkungen zur rezitatorischen Prosa des Hochmittelalters,' in Beiträge zur

Mediävistik: Ausgewählte Aufsätze (Stuttgart 1975) 1.145, 149–151. That pagan poetry was known to the clergy can be seen in Alcuin's complaint that during their common meals English monks were listening ‘not to a reader, but to a harpist, and not to sermons of church fathers, but to pagan songs.’ ‘What do Christ and Ingeld [a Germanic hero] have in common?’ (MGH Epp. Kar. 2.183). Centuries later Meinhard, the scholasticus at Bamberg, excoriated his bishop Gunther (1057–75) because ‘he never thinks of Augustine or Gregory, but always of Etzel, Amalung and such like.’ Both cited by Gurevich, Medieval Popular Culture 7.

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214 Barlow, C. W., ed., Martini Episcopi Bracarensis Opera Omnia (New Haven 1950) 159203. The Sermo Galli seems actually to have been composed by Notker Babulus (late ninth century), Willwoll, W. F., Die Konstanzer Predigt des heiligen Gallus: Ein Werk des Notkers Babulus (Freiburg, Switzerland 1947). On the ‘Scarapsus’ or ‘Dicta Pirminii’ see Angenendt, A., Monachi Peregrini: Studien zu Pirmin und den monastischen Vorstellungen des frühen Mittelalters (Munich 1972). For the text, Jecker, G., Die Heimat des hl. Pirmin des Apostels der Alamannen (Münster 1927) 34–73.

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215 On the content of early medieval missionary preaching, Sullivan, R. E., ‘The Carolingian Missionary and the Pagan,' Speculum 28 (1953) 705–40, esp. 715–16. The cosmological and historical elements were often provided by Genesis commentaries, McClure, ‘Bede's Notes on Genesis’ 19–20.

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216 Elliott, A. G., ‘The Power of Discourse: Martyr 's Passion and Old French Epic,’ Medievalia et Humanistica NS 11 (1982) 3960.

217 Clovesho (747) c. 12: ‘Ut presbyteri saecularium poetarum modo in ecclesia non garriant, ne tragico sono sacrorum verborum compositionem ac distinctionem corrumpant vel confundant, sed simplicem sanctamque melodiam secundem morem ecclesiae sectentur,’ Councils and Ecclesiastical Documents, 3.366–7. See also Fichtenau, , ‘Bemerkungen zur rezitatorischen Prosa des Hochmittelalters’ 160–61.

218 Kluckhohn, C., ‘Myths and Rituals: A General Theory,' Harvard Theological Review 33 (1942) 4579. Cf. Kee, , Miracle in the Early Christian World 61. Oral culture and myth seem to be intrinsically related, Graham, Beyond the Written Word 16: ‘Where memory collapses time spans, writing tends to fix events temporally and heighten the sense of their distinctiveness as well as their “pastness” or separation from the present and the individual person. The sense of participation in the events narrated becomes more difficult. Something of this kind of perceptual shift is what we often try to get at by distinguishing (oral) “myth” from (written) “history” as narrative modes. The crux of the difference between the two is not their relative “truth,” but their presentation of temporality — the one in a synchronic or atemporal frame of reference of “time out of mind” (Mircea Eliade's illud tempus) and the other in a fundamentally diachronic, linear frame of temporal sequence and relation.’ Cf. Goody, and Watt, , ‘The Consequences of Literacy’44–49. For a wonderful contrast between what was considered proper to the mass of the population as opposed to the learned, see Hincmar of Reims Vita Remigii ep. Remensis, MGH SS 3.314ff. Hincmar marks off chapters to be read to the common people and others for the more advanced. For the former the emphasis was upon the saint's miracles, his more unusual virtues, and the duties owed by peasants who belonged to villas that St. Remi had acquired for the Church. For a discussion of this work see Gurevich, , Medieval Popular Culture, 1–2. See also Smith, , ‘Oral and Written,’ 319, for a description of the tripartite life of the Breton Saint Winwaloe, especially of the third part, a homily for the people: ‘… shorn of any stylistic flamboyance and of invitations to spiritual reflection, it catalogues the events of Winwaloe's life in such a way as to elicit immediate respect for his virtutes.’

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219 The Clerical Population of Medieval England,’ Speculum 2 (1944) 185.

220 Dumas, A., ‘Le parole et l 'écriture dans les capitulaires carolingiens,’ Mélanges d'histoire du moyen age dédiés à la memoire de Louis Halphen (Paris 1951) 209216; Ganshof, F. L., ‘Charlemagne et l 'usage de l'écrit en matière administrative,’ Le Moyen Age 57 (1951) 1–25. On the lack of an Anglo-Saxon bureaucracy, Clanchy, From Memory to Written Record 15–17. There have been efforts to revise the understanding of Carolingian and Anglo-Saxon administrative practice, but the effort is to argue a marginally more optimistic view of administrative literacy while acknowledging the limits placed upon the use of writing by government. See Keynes, S., ‘Royal Government and the Written Word in Late Anglo-Saxon England,' in Uses of Literacy in Early Medieval Europe 226–257 and Nelson, J. L., ‘Literacy in Carolingian Government,' ibid. 258–296.

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221 See Clanchy, , From Memory to Written Record 220–226, for the situation in England as late as the thirteenth century. McKitterick, R., The Carolingians and the Written Word (Cambridge 1989) 23134 is unpersuasive in her arguments for the predominance of written law and procedure on the Continent in the ninth century.

222 Murray, A., ‘Gregory VII and his Letters,' Traditio 22 (1966) 149202; Southern, R. W., Western Society and the Church in the Middle Ages (New York 1972) 108–109. This may have been particularly marked in the post-Carolingian period. The Papacy had inherited the written administrative traditions of the Roman Empire and they had served the Papacy well in the period through the Carolingian era, T. F. X. Noble, ‘Literacy and Papal Government in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages,’ in The Uses of Literacy in the Early Middle Ages 82–108.

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223 From Memory to Written Record 226.

224 Medieval Literacy …' 15. Cf. Wormald, C. P., ‘The Uses of Literacy in Anglo-Saxon England and its Neighbors,' Transactions of the Royal Historical Society 27 (1977) 95114. For some other interesting ways in which medieval orality manifested itself see Vollrath, H., ‘Das Mittelalter in der Typik oraler Gesellschaften,' Historische Zeitschrift 233 (1981) 571–594. McKitterick's, McKitterick's The Carolingians and the Written Word attempts unsuccessfully to counter this vision of Carolingian society. A comparison with Clanchy, From Memory to Written Record, is most enlightening. As Harris, Ancient Literacy 11–12, points out, even the ancient world was unable to muster the necessary preconditions for mass literacy. Among other things, the rural character of medieval society militated against an effective system of schooling, ibid. 13. What McKitterick does describe would be best termed as scribal literacy and not the more extensive craftsman literacy. On these terms ibid. 7–8.

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225 The tension between the two cultures can be seen in Bede. Although he provided vernacular translations of the Creed and Lord's Prayer for the clergy and laity, in the end he chose to follow the path indicated by Gregory the Great, i.e., the attempt to form a Christian clergy on the basis of Latin patristic theology rather than vernacular culture, McClure, ‘Bede's Notes on Genesis,’ 17, 28–29.

226 Stock, ‘Medieval Literacy’ 20–21. One can see this in the Blickling homilies where homilies that were originally aimed directly at the laity were converted into exhortations to the clergy, who in turn were to instruct the laity, Gatch, ‘The Unknowable Audience of the Blickling Homilies’ 104–105.

227 Scribner, R., ‘Ritual and Reformation,' in The German People and the Reformation (ed. Po-chia Hsia, R.; Ithaca NY 1988) 122–44, has recently argued that even the Reformation must be seen as in some sense a ‘ritual process.’ As late as the eighteenth century in some parts of Italy the shift from instruction based on ritual to one based on texts was still not complete, Turini, M. and Valenti, A., ‘L 'educazione religiosa,’ in Brizzi, G. P., Il catechismo e la grammatica. I. Istruzione e controllo sociale nell'area emiliana e romagnola nell'700 (Bologna 1985) 347–423.

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