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Virtual Pilgrimages? Enclosure and the Practice of Piety at St Katherine's Convent, Augsburg

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  08 January 2009

MARIE-LUISE EHRENSCHWENDTNER
Affiliation:
Department of Divinity, King's College, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen AB24 3UB; e-mail: m.ehrenschwendtner@abdn.ac.uk
Corresponding

Abstract

For forty years, the sisters of St Katherine's, Augsburg, resisted the introduction of strict enclosure as a consequence of Dominican reform. This article examines the initial reactions of the sisters, explores the Dominican practice of enclosure and its connections with obedience, and the influence it had on the sisters' spirituality. After the community had finally accepted enclosure, they managed to gain a papal privilege granting them all the indulgences usually acquired through pilgrimage to Rome and commissioned a cycle of monumental paintings of the seven Roman pilgrim churches. Thus the sisters could ‘jump’ their convent's walls by embarking on substitute pilgrimages.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © 2009 Cambridge University Press

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References

1 The convent chronicle (now Archiv der Diözese Augsburg, ms 95, fos 24v–26r), composed in 1752/3 by Sr Maria Dominica Erhardin, provides a vernacular translation of the original bull; unfortunately the Latin original is lost. Magdalene Gärtner, Römische Basiliken in Augsburg: Nonnenfrömmigkeit und Malerei um 1500, Augsburg 2002, 197–9, has published a literal transcript of the translation from which the following extract is taken: ‘die weill dass dan endlich angelegen das obbemelte Priorin und Convent, weliche alss wir berichtet seint Inn Immerwerrender clausur und Verspechrung leben, mit Ihren In tugenten brinnernts Amplen, dem Herrn Ihrem Breytigamb, und vuill desto eyfriger In gebett aufopfern Je mehr sye hierzu durch Gnaden mitthey lung [sic] Veranlassung Empfangen, hierumb sezen und ordnen wir auss Apo stolischer [sic] macht mitgegen wertigem [sic] brief’ (pp. 197–8). There is another transcript in Martin Schawe, Rom in Augsburg: die Basilikabilder aus dem Katharinenkloster, [Munich 1999], 21.

2 The memorial tablet is now in the Maximiliansmuseum, Augsburg. It is reproduced in Schawe, Rom in Augsburg, 12–13.

3 See Nine Robijntje Miedema, Rompilgerführer in Spätmittelalter und früher Neuzeit: die ‘Indulgentiae ecclesiarum urbis Romae’ (deutsch/niederländisch): Edition und kommentar, Tübingen 2003. Miedema is also preparing an edition of the text of the Ablasstafel (p. 431 and n. 92).

4 ‘Anno Domini M°CCCC°LXXVIJ° iar hat der wirdig vnd hochgelert herr doctor Bartholome Ridler zuo wegen bracht durch vnser ernstlich bet vnd anbringun[g] im getan von vnserm hailigen vater baupst Innocencio, dem achten des namen, vns allen in vnserm closter zuo sant Katherinen hie zuo Augspurg …, die grozz unussprechenlich gnad, die zuo Rom ist in den syben hauptkirchen vnd allen andern kirchen vnd ander gross vnd freiheit, … [U]nser hailiger vater der baupst geit nach in ewig zeit vnd will, wenn ain pryorin vnd die closterfrawen vnd swestern (sy haben profess getan oder nit) die zuo zeiten hie jnnen sind vnd all vnser nachkomen vnd ain yegliche, die in sonderheit andechtlich haymsuocht drey stet in disem closter, die darczuo durch ain pryorin zuo zeyten geordnet send oder werden, vnd an yeglicher der stet drew Pater Noster vnd drew Aue Maria betet, vnd welche vor alter oder kranckhait oder sust die dry stet nit haymsuochen kind vnd doch die ix Pater Noster und ix Aue Maria an der stat, da sy zuo czeyten war oder ist, betet, vnd so oft vnd dik ain jegliche daz tuot, as die pryorin vnd ain yegliche fraw oder swester alle die gnad vnd ablass der sünd hab, die die menschen hand, die an den tagen so man haymsuochen ist, die syben hauptkirchen vnd all ander kirchen, die zuo Rom sind, haymsuochen vn anders tuond, damit sy der gnad und ablass tailhaftig werden, die den kirchen geben sind': Schawe, Rom in Augsburg, 7–8. Schawe (n. 2) is quoting from Miedema's as yet unpublished transcript.

5 Gärtner, Römische Basiliken, 18, assumes that he was a Dominican friar and confessor at St Katherine's; Leo Juhnke argues against this in ‘Bausteine zur Geschichte des Dominikanerinnenklosters St Katharina in Augsburg mit Berücksichtigung von Patriziat, Reform und Geistesleben’, in Oberrealschule Augsburg: Bericht über das 125. Schuljahr 1957/58, 60–109 at p. 90.

6 Juhnke, ‘Bausteine’, 90. Since Anna had died by 1495 someone else must have stepped in to secure her bequest. It seems that there was another member of the family, Barbara Riedler, at St Katherine's at the same time: Gärtner, Römische Basiliken, 29–30.

7 Juhnke, ‘Bausteine’, 90.

8 See n. 1 above.

9 There are several descriptions and commentaries on the paintings which are now in the former convent church of St Katherine's, part of the Staatsgalerie Augsburg. For detailed information see, for instance, Gisela Goldberg, Staatsgalerie Augsburg Städtische Kunstsammlungen, I: Altdeutsche Gemälde: Katalog, 2nd edn, Munich 1978, 129–58; Schawe, Rom in Augsburg; and Gärtner, Römische Basiliken. The list of donors is given in Schawe, Rom in Augsburg, 23, and Gärtner, Römische Basiliken, 28–31, 37–41, explores their backgrounds. Their names are to be found in the convent chronicle: Archiv der Diözese Augsburg, ms 95, fo. 27v. They were: Barbara Riedlerin, Helena Rephonin [Rebhuhn], Veronica Welserin, Dorothea Rölingerin [Rehlinger], Anna Riedlerin (probably the sister of Bartholomäus Riedler: Gärtner, Römische Basiliken, 30. See also Pia F. Cuneo, ‘The basilica cycle of Saint Katherine's convent: art and female community in early-Renaissance Augsburg’, Women's Art Journal xix (1998), 21–5.

10 Bruno Bushart suggests, as possible reasons for the commission, either simply the wish to have pictures of the holy places which were out of reach for the sisters or pride in the privilege: ‘Die Augsburger Basilikentafeln', in Holbein-Gymnasium Augsburg: Jahresbericht Schuljahr 1987/88, 6–23 at p. 22. The latter suggestion follows J. E. Weis-Liebersdorf, Das Jubeljahr 1500 in der Augsburger Kunst: eine Jubiläumsgabe für das deutsche Volk, Munich 1901, 20–38. Schawe, Rom in Augsburg, 7, sees the commemoration of an important papal privilege as the reason for the Basilikabilder; on the other hand he assumes that the images also preserved the memory of their donors and could inspire individual contemplation of the passion of Christ and the veneration of Mary and the saints (p. 20). Gärtner, Römische Basiliken, 36, assumes ‘Stellvertretercharakter’, i.e. the function of representation; thus the images offered the possibility of reinforcing devotion to the passion of Christ and the intercessory power of the saints. Miedema, Rompilgerführer, 430, sees in the images auxiliary means (‘Hilfsmittel’) to accomplish spiritual pilgrimages. Only Bushart explicitly stresses that the holy places were out of reach for the nuns who had to live within strict enclosure. However, none of them links the enforcement of strict enclosure to the commissioning of the paintings.

11 Other communities failed fully to comply with the restrictions the reform imposed upon them. The Chronicle of Kirchheim unter Teck, for example, makes it abundantly clear that even a decade after the introduction of reform the sisters were divided between those who opposed and those who favoured it: Christian Friedrich Sattler, Geschichte des Herzogthums Wuertenberg unter der Regierung der Graven 4. Theil, 2nd edn, Tübingen 1777, Beil.nr. 42: ‘Wie diss loblich closter zu Sant Johannes baptisten zu kirchen under deck predier=ordens reformiert ist worden und durch woelich personen.’ Unlike St Katherine's, Augsburg, the convent of Kirchheim/Teck was officially reformed by experienced sisters from houses which had already been reformed. Several sisters were opposed to reform from the beginning: ‘S. barbara schyllingen. S. margretha rechnerin. S. Anna duerrin. und S. anna kuertzin, disse vier Swestern woltent am anfang nit blyben, doch die iij kament balde wider. und S. barbara schyllingen die kam gan eßlingen in das closter zu sirmnoew.’ Barbara Schyllingen left the convent for good and moved into a house which was never referred to as reformed; Anna Dürr returned but was still an opponent of the reform ten years later. On the rejection of reform by some Kirchheim sisters see Heike Uffmann, ‘Inside and outside convent walls: the norm and practice of enclosure in the reformed nunneries of late medieval Germany’, Journal of Medieval History iv (2001), 83–108 at pp. 104–6.

12 Johannes Meyer op, Buch der Reformacio Predigerordens. I., II. und III. Buch, ed. Benedictus Maria Reichert, Leipzig 1909, ii.18, p. 45. Juhnke, ‘Bausteine’, 83, uncritically follows this view. For a more general consideration of problems connected with Meyer's Buch der Reformacio see Sabine Jansen, Die Texte des Kirchberg-Corpus' [sic]: Überlieferung und Textgeschichte vom 15. bis zum 19. Jahrhundert, Cologne 2005 (http://deposit.ddb.de/cgi-bin/dokserv?idn=977807940&dok_var=d1&dok_ext=pdf&filename=977807940.pdf, accessed 24 Feb. 2006), 53–4 n. 209. The reactions of sisters to the introduction of strict enclosure in the wake of the reform movement needs further investigation; the scarcity of sources makes it difficult to assess the actual situation: Uffmann, ‘Convent walls’, 83–4. However, merely to echo the views of contemporary chroniclers who themselves often belonged to the reformers' party is not an option.

13 Juhnke, ‘Bausteine’, 63–4.

14 There is abundant information on the sisters' origins ibid. 74–80.

15 See Reinhard H. Seitz, ‘Zur Geschichte des Dominikanerinnenklosters Sankt Katharina in Augsburg’, in Werner Schiedermair (ed.), Das Dominikanerinnenkloster zu Bad Wörishofen, Weissenhorn 1998, 63–71. Seitz analyses the necrology of St Katherine's.

16 ‘Liber constitutionum sororum Ordinis Praedicatorum’, in Analecta Sacri Ordinis Praedicatorum iii (1897), 337–48.

17 Sometimes sisters were even permitted to reward fellow sisters for their services. Thus, ‘Conceditur sororibus Anne et Marie Walterin conv. Augustensis S. Catherine, quod possint quedam parva de patrimonio suo quibusdam sororibus eiusdem ordinis et conventus sibi servientibus donare non mercede sua’: Registrum litterarum Thomae de Vio Caietani, 1507–1513, ed. Benedictus Maria Reichert, Leipzig 1914, 152–65 at p. 165.

18 See Juhnke, ‘Bausteine’, 82. For lists of the belongings of several sisters see Archiv der Diözese Augsburg, ms 95, fos 35r–37r, 53v–66r. Sr Maria Dominica included many documents from the convent's archive in German translation. In this context pottery, clothing, textiles and articles of devotion are listed; as far as books were concerned the women mainly owned ones needed for their choir duties.

19 Leonhard Hörmann, ‘Erinnerungen an das ehemalige Frauenkloster St Katharina in Augsburg’, Zeitschrift des historischen Vereins für Schwaben und Neuburg ix (1882), 357–86 at p. 362.

20 Archiv der Diözese Augsburg, ms 95, fos 99v–100r; Leonhard Hörmann, ‘Erinnerungen an das ehemalige Frauenkloster St Katharina in Augsburg’, Zeitschrift des historischen Vereins für Schwaben und Neuburg x (1883), 301–44 at pp. 311–12 (dated 12 Mar. 1357). Juhnke, ‘Bausteine’, 81, gives 1358 as the date. See also Seitz, ‘Geschichte’, 66.

21 This happened at other convents too: Margaretha Ebner und Heinrich von Nördlingen: ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der deutschen Mystik, ed. Philipp Strauch, Freiburg–Tübingen 1882, 7, lines 11–13. The ruling of 1357/58 is an interpretation of a regulation in the Dominican sisters' constitution. Leaving the convent without permission is dealt with in chapter xxii, ‘De apostatis’: Analecta iii. 345.

22 See Annette Barthelmé, La Réforme dominicaine au XVe siècle en Alsace et dans l'ensemble de la province de Teutonie, Strasbourg 1931.

23 Conrad of Prussia (1426) was one of the leaders of the reform movement within the Dominican province of Teutonia: ibid. 26–8.

24 See Meyer, Buch der Reformacio Predigerordens, ii.11, p. 38; ii.18, p. 45; ii.22, p. 49.

25 Ibid.iii.28, pp. 87–90.

26 Jansen tries to trace the movements of Katharina Langmentlin: Textgeschichte, 54 n. 211.

27 ‘Elyzabeth herwertin. diese swester waz von jugent uff im closter gewesen zu Sant katharinen zu ouspurg ouch predier ordens. und do sy zu iren tagen kam. do gewann sy ein triben von gott in ir conscientz. das sy moecht kummen in das closter zu schoenensteynbach’: Sattler, Geschichte des Herzogthums Wuertenberg, Beil.nr. 42, p. 157.

28 Johannes Meyer op, Buch der Reformacio Predigerordens. IV. und V. Buch, ed. Benedictus Maria Reichert, Leipzig 1908, v.45, pp. 103–5 (Ursula Mentigin); v.46, pp. 105–7 (Katherina Zellerin). They are also mentioned in Juhnke, ‘Bausteine’.

29 Juhnke also mentions Elisabeth Radauer, who left for Schönensteinbach: ‘Bausteine’, 81.

30 Ibid. 82.

31 Jansen, Textgeschichte, 52, stresses the economic significance of a wealthy convent such as St Katherine's. It was hence in the interest of the city council to control the religious affairs of the nuns.

32 Seitz, ‘Zur Geschichte’, 66. The city council complained that the sisters were disobedient ‘wider die constitucion, die ir In zugesandt händ’. This confirms the report of Sr Maria Dominica: Archiv der Diözese Augsburg, ms 95, fo. 22v.

33 See Die Chroniken der deutschen Städte vom 14. bis ins 16. Jahrhundert, V: Die Chroniken der schwäbischen Städte: Augsburg, ii, Leipzig 1866, no iv, ‘Die Chronik des Burkhard Zink 1368–1468’, ‘es mochten zu in gan ir guet freund und wer wolt, sie mochten auch bei ainer weil wol aussgan zu irn freunden, doch mit urlaub’ (p. 103). The regulation had been agreed upon in 1357/8 (see above).

34 According to Juhnke (‘Bausteine’, 99 n. 63) the original document is in the Stadtarchiv Augsburg but, unfortunately, even the most helpful staff there could not find it. However, the convent chronicle preserves a German translation: Archiv der Diözese Augsburg, ms 95, fo. 23r-v. Texier's main point in his garrulous letter is that ‘Und weillen der ehrwürdtige frater Nicolaus Notel der besagten provintz provincial bisshero Euer kloster visitiert, und zu erhaltung dess heilligen gottes-diensts, und zum aufnamb und wachsthumb Eüeres klosters sowohl in geistlichen, alss zeitlichen, gewise halÿl sambe, heilige und gerehte Verordnungen wegen dem eingang und clausur, und andern gewisen stükhen, so die Ehr dess klosters selbsten betreffen, und von Euch unter förstlichen strafen und censurn unzerbrechlich miessen gehalten werden, hinterlassen hat’. He reminds the sisters of their vows and their obligation to obey the rule and constitutions (fo. 23r). On enclosure he refers to Boniface viii's decree Periculoso to enforce his claim.

35 See the unsuccessful attempts to reform the convents of St Katherine's in Nuremberg and the communities of Frauenaurach, Rottenburg and Engelthal in 1397: Barthelmé, La Réforme, 34: ‘A vrai, il s'agissait seulement de rétablir une clôture plus stricte dans ces quatre monastères.’ Although the reform movement did not succeed in Engelthal and Frauenaurach, reform at the St Katherine's, Nuremberg, was finally achieve in 1428 and it became the most influential reformed convent. Rottenburg was not reformed until 1475: ibid. 164–5.

36 The convent of St Katherine's, St Gall, for example, was taught the new way of living by means of letters received from St Katherine's, Nuremberg: M. Thoma [Katharina] Vogler, Geschichte des Dominikanerinnenklosters St. Katharina in St. Gallen, 1228–1607, Fribourg–Switzerland 1938. They were collected in the still extant Schwesternbuch (sisters' book) and Chronik (chronicle), now at St Katherine's, Wil.

37 ‘Ste-Catherine d'Augsburg, en effet, fut reformé selon le type primitif instauré jadis à Nuremberg, à Frauenaurach, à Rottenburg et à Engeltal, sans l'apport de religieuses étrangères’: Barthelmé, La Réforme, 63. It is nevertheless the case that, although not deliberately introduced to help in the reform process, Schönensteinbach sisters of Augsburg origin did live at St Katherine's for sixteen months when forced out of their home convent by war in Alsace: Meyer, Buch der Reformacio, ii.18, 22, pp. 45, 49.

38 On architecture and enclosure in general see Jeffrey F. Hamburger, ‘Art, enclosure and the Cura monialium: prolegomena in the guise of a postscript’, Gesta xxxi (1992), 108–34, esp. pp. 111–14, and Roberta Gilchrist, Gender and material culture: the archaeology of religious women, London–New York 1994, esp. pp. 92–169. See also Francesca Medioli, ‘An unequal law: the enforcement of clausura before and after the Council of Trent’, in Christine Meek (ed.), Women in Renaissance and early modern Europe, Dublin 2000, 136–52 at pp. 140–1; Uffmann, ‘Convent walls’, 90–100; Annette Kern-Stähler, ‘Zur Klausur von Nonnen in englischen Frauenklöstern des späten Mittelalters: die Lincolner visitation returns, 1429–1449’, in Falk Eisermann, Eva Schlotheuber and Volker Honemann (eds), Studien und Texte zur literarischen und materiellen Kultur der Frauenklöster im Mittelalter: Ergebnisse eines Arbeitsgesprächs in der Herzog August Bibliothek, Wolfenbüttel, 24–26 Februar 1999, Leiden 2004, 103–18 at pp. 105–7; and Barbara Steinke, Paradiesgarten oder Gefängnis: das Nürnberger Katharinenkloster zwischen Klosterreform und Reformation, Tübingen 2006, 45–54.

39 This took place on 24 September 1441. Thus, ‘da ward man zu rat und macht in all mauren umb das closter hecher … und prach man in die eisni getter, durch die sie vor geredt hetten mit den leuten, die prach man in auss und vermaurt die, und hüet ir etwen lang, dass niemant zu in noch von in mocht gan. und sol man wissen, als man in die getter vermauren wolt, da wurden die frawen so zornig und so unrichtig und luefen herfür mit stangen und mit pratspiessen und schluegen und stachen zu den maurern und zu den werkleuten und triben sie all ab mit gewalt, dass ir kainer torst da ichts machen. also muest man der statknecht etwa manigen dahin bringen, dass sie die maurer beschirmeten, biss sie die löcher vermaurten. und da sie sahen, dass sie nit geweren mochten, da lautten sie die gloggen über ain rat und über die, die darzu halfen, und schickten zu dem bischoff, und patten in, dass er sich ir annem und in hulf. das tet der bischoff und nam sich ir an und macht ein solch läding, dass sie den orden halten solten und über zwai jar einstan und den orden halten, und welche das nit uen wolt und herauß wolt kommen, der solt man ir guet wider geben, was sie herein hett pracht’: ‘Chronik des Burkhard Zink’, 103–4: The same events are reported in Die Chroniken der deutschen Städte vom 14. bis ins 16. Jahrhundert, XXII: Die Chroniken der schwäbischen Städte: Augsburg, iii, Leipzig 1892, no. v: ‘Die Chronik des Hector Mülich, 1348–1487’, 1–442 at p. 79; no. vi ‘Anonyme Chronik von 991–1483’, 445–529 at pp. 489–90. It is also in the convent chronicle: Archiv der Diözese Augsburg, ms 95, fos 22v–23r.

40 ‘Chronik des Burkhard Zink’, 103. How many sisters left for other convents is not known. See also Sr Maria Dominica's account: ‘welche aber nit bleiben wolten, könten freÿ zu denen Ihrigen wider hinaussgehen, mit allen sahen, welche sÿe auss dem vätterlichen hauss in dass Kloster gebraht haben, in goldt und beweglichen sahen. wellihes die klosterfrauen mit groster freid angenomen haben. wie der bischoff aber geheisen stet nit dabeÿ oder ob es seinen fortgang gehabt nah zweÿen Jahren’: Archiv der Diözese Augsburg, ms 95, fos 22v–23r. A later hand has added (fo. 23r) ‘Der Bischof wahr Petrus a Naumburg zugleich Cardinal’. For details of the compromise negotiated by the bishop of Augsburg see Hörmann, ‘Erinnerungen’ (1882), 362–3.

41 Klaus Graf, ‘Ordensreform und Literatur in Augsburg während des 15. Jahrhunderts’, in Johannes Janota and Werner Williams-Krapp (eds), Literarisches Leben in Augsburg während des 15. Jahrhunderts, Tübingen 1995, 100–59 at p. 106.

42 Meyer in fact refers to a lasting friendship between St Katharine's, Augsburg, and Schönensteinbach: Meyer, Buch der Reformacio, ii.18, p. 45.

43 ‘wie wol daz selb closter zů der observantz nit reformiert ist, so haltet man die beschliessung gar merklich’: ibid. It is not clear what Meyer means by ‘gar merklich’; it may be his way of expressing caution on this point. Meyer was a fervent proponent of reform in the order; his many books on this topic were intended to encourage the Dominican sisters to follow the example of their fellow nuns. Undoubtedly, he was biased and described the conduct of any Dominican nuns who were in any way involved in the reform project in an approving manner.

44 ‘Priorissae et sororibus presentibus et futuris monasterii S. Catharine in Augusta precipitur sub pena transgressoribus debita, quod observent clausuram, cantum, modum vivendi, ut hactenus fecerunt, nec audeant immutare et dictus eorum modus vivendi’: Registrum litterarum Raymundi de Capua, 1386–1399; Leonardi de Mansuetis, 1474–1480, ed. Benedictus Maria Reichert, Leipzig 1911, 108–9.

45 Hörmann, ‘Erinnerungen’ (1882), 363.

47 Idem, ‘Erinnerungen an das ehemalige Frauenkloster St Katharina in Augsburg’, Zeitschrift des historischen Vereins für Schwaben und Neuburg xi (1884), 1–10 at p. 3.

48 This coincided with the papal bull Periculoso (1298) in which strict enclosure was prescribed for all nuns: James A. Brundage and Elizabeth M. Makowski, ‘Enclosure of nuns: the Decretal Periculoso and it commentators’, Journal of Medieval History xx (1994), 143–55.

49 The best-known examples of book collections in Dominican convents are St Katherine's, Nuremberg, and St Katherine's, St Gall. See the medieval catalogues of books once belonging to the Nuremberg community: Mittelalterliche Bibliothekskataloge Deutschlands und der Schweiz, ed. Paul Ruf, III: Bistum Augsburg, Eichstätt, Bamberg, Munich 1932, 570–638, and the reconstruction of the St Gall library: Vogler, Geschichte, (1938), 230–70. On the correlation between the introduction of stricter observance and collecting books in Dominican convents see Werner Williams-Krapp, ‘Observanzbewegungen, monastische Spiritualität und geistliche Literatur’, Internationales Archiv für Sozialgeschichte der deutschen Literatur xx (1995), 1–15, and Marie-Luise Ehrenschwendtner, Die Bildung der Dominikanerinnen in Süddeutschland vom 13. bis 15. Jahrhundert, Stuttgart 2004, 277–331.

50 The entries in the Augsburg convent chronicle show that some sisters possessed private libraries which contained not only books that they needed for divine service but also texts in which they were personally interested: Jansen, Texte, 60.

51 See Helmut Gier, ‘Kirchliche und private Bibliotheken in Augsburg während des 15. Jahrhunderts’, in Janota and Williams-Krapp, Literarisches Leben, 82–99 at p. 90. In some manuscripts the names of previous owners are to be found (for example BSB München, cgm 480: ‘Iste libellus est soror [sic] Barbare Warrüssin professe in cenobio sancte Katherine ordinis predicatorum … und ir schwester [sc. Elisabeth Warausin]’: Karin Schneider, Die deutschen Handschriften der Bayerischen Staatsbibliothek München, cgm 351–500, Wiesbaden 1973, 406–14 at p. 407) or scribes: see the compilation of manuscripts from St Katherine's in Sigrid Krämer, Handschriftenerbe des deutschen Mittelalters, I: Aachen-Kochel, Munich 1989, 43–4. The only named sister known to have copied manuscripts herself was Elisabeth Warausin in the fifteenth century; among extant books from St Katherine's there are six that were written by her: Jansen, Texte, 55. No books extant were written by Veronica Welserin (†1531) whom the author of the convent chronicle suggested, in 1496, was the ‘convent scribe’: Jansen, Texte, 60.

52 A list of the extant manuscripts from St Katherine's is to be found in Krämer, Handschriftenerbe, i. 43–4. Jansen tries to trace the manuscripts which can be connected with the convent: Texte, 55–9. However, the entry ‘das büch gehört jns das buch ampt’, which seems to indicate that these manuscripts once belonged to St Katherine's, appears only during the sixteenth century; there is therefore no proof that the books were there in the fifteenth century, as even Jansen, who has a very optimistic view of the library situation, has to concede (p. 55). See also Juhnke, ‘Bausteine’, 85–6. Since the convent was dissolved in 1807 during the secularisation of all ecclestiastical properties books must have been lost then, but, as far as it is possible to judge, it seems that the library was never one of the sisters' main concerns. However, since books were indispensable to divine service and table readings, there must have been a range of books available which enabled the nuns to fulfil their prescribed duties.

53 See, for example, Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, ms 157 (1501), and Frankfurt StUB, ms Germ. 4° 1: Jansen, Texte, p. 57. Many of the manuscripts were written by different scribes and only afterwards bound together, for example München SB, mss cgm 231, 480: Jansen, Texte, 57–8.

54 Sr ‘Ann die Bächin’ bequeathed, among other things, her Latin and German books to her cousins: ‘Dar nach schaffun ich miner swester dochter Margerun und Clauraun den Biederin und gib in uff bi minem lebenden lip alliu miniu bůch tuesch und latin. Die briefer [liturgical books] sind vor ir und min zell und min korallin pater noster und allez daz ich han’: Bayerisches Hauptstaatsarchiv, Augsburg, St Katharina Urk. 232. See also Graf, ‘Ordensreform und Literatur’, 131, 132–3, and Jansen, Texte, 55–60.

55 Juhnke, ‘Bausteine’, 85.

56 Archiv der Diözese Augsburg, ms 95, fos 35r, 53v, 54r, 56r–v, 58v. See also Jansen, Texte, 60.

57 A few decades later the Reformation changed the situation. The sisters of St Katherine's resisted all attempts to dissolve their community, and even managed to obtain from the secular authorities a document protecting their enclosure. One familiar issue re-emerged: their relatives, previously excluded together with everybody else, were now officially allowed into the convent: Hörmann, ‘Erinnerungen’ (1882), 365.

58 St Katherine's was not the only community to object strongly to the reintroduction of strict enclosure. Leonard De Mansuetis's register refers to other convents that refused to comply: Registrum litterarum, 97, 106–8, 126.

59 Because of the differences between orders on the matter of enclosure, this article is confined to a discussion of the Dominican order.

60 See Eugen Hillenbrand, ‘Die Observantenbewegung in der deutschen Ordensprovinz der Dominikaner’, in Kaspar Elm (ed.), Reformbemühungen und Observanzbestrebungen im spätmittelalterlichen Ordenswesen, Berlin 1989, 219–71 at p. 225.

61 On the history of enclosure see, for example, G. Huyghe, La Clôture des moniales des origines à la fin du XIIIème siècle, Roubaix 1944; R. Gazeau, ‘La Clôture des moniales au xiie siècle en France’, Revue Mabillon lviii (1974), 289–308; and Jane Tibbetts Schulenberg, ‘Strict active enclosure and its effects on the female monastic experience’, in John A. Nicols and Lilian Thomas Shank (eds), Medieval religious women, I: Distant echoes, Kalamazoo 1984, 51–86.

62 Brundage and Makowski, ‘Enclosure of nuns’, 144.

63 Gilchrist, Gender and material culture, 166.

64 Stricter regulations on enclosure were not of course restricted to the new mendicant orders, the Dominicans and the Franciscans, but corresponded to the Zeitgeist: Elizabeth Makowski, Canon law and cloistered womem: Periculoso and its commentators, 1298–1545, Washington, DC 1997, 13–14. However, in the early thirteenth century regulations on strict enclosure were binding on only a few religious women. Thus, ‘Dominican nuns are among the first religious orders, along with the Poor Clares, who have clausura as part of their religious rules’: Medioli, ‘An unequal law’, 142. See also Herbert Grundmann, Religiöse Bewegungen im Mittelalter: Untersuchungen über die geschichtlichen Zusammenhänge zwischen der Ketzerei, den Bettelorden und der religiösen Frauenbewegung im 12. und 13. Jahrhundert und über die geschichtlichen Grundlagen der deutschen Mystik, 4th edn, Darmstadt 1977, 237.

65 Brundage and Makowski, ‘Enclosure of nuns’, 148. On the early stages of Dominican convent life and enclosure see Colette Moron, ‘Théorie et pratique de la clôture: l'exemple Dominicain’, in Les Religieuses dans le cloître et dans le monde des origines à nos jours: actes du deuxième colloque international du CERCOR Poitiers, 29 Septembre–2 Octobre 1988, Saint-Etienne 1994, 515–29 at pp. 519–22.

66 Brundage and Makowski, ‘Enclosure of nuns’, 148.

67 See Jordan of Saxony, De initiis ordinis seu vita beati Dominici primi patris, in B. Iordanis de Saxonia alterius Praedicatorum magistri opera ad res ordinis spectantia, ed. Joachim-Joseph Berthier, Fribourg–Switzerland 1891, 1–40 at p. 10. On the beginnings of the second order see, for instance, Grundmann, Religiöse Bewegungen im Mittelalter, 208–52.

68 See Edward Tracy Brett, Humbert of Romans: his life and views of thirteenth-century society, Toronto 1984, 74–9.

69 ‘Liber constitutionum sororum ordinis praedicatorum’: Analecta iii. 337–48.

70 Chapter xxviii of the constitution deals with the convent buildings: ibid. iii. 346–7. There had to be two or more keys of different shapes, one to lock the door from inside, the other/s to lock it from outside. The sisters were allowed several windows onto the outer world: One, in the convent church, made it possible for them to listen to sermons and to speak to laypeople if there was no separate locutorium. Two smaller windows in the church were the fenestrae confessionum. If there was a separate locutorium secularium it had to have its own window. The rota is described as follows: ‘Aptetur autem in aliquo loco convenienti ipsius clausure. in ipso muro inseparabiliter adherens. ipsi aliquod instrumentum rotundum. quod rotam vocamus: per quod ita possint res necessarie dari. Et accipi. Quod dantes et accipientes nullatenus possint videri’: ibid. iii. 347. This ‘wheel’ was a ‘revolvable, wooden cylinder, made to fit exactly into the convent wall. It was divided into two or three compartments into which goods could be placed and and transported to the other side of the wall by rotating the cylinder’: Uffmann, ‘Convent walls’, 94 and n. 34, following a description found in the Schwesterbuch of St Katharina, Wil, fo. 213r. Uffmann (pp. 91–104 passim), analyses the detailed descriptions of how the rules of enclosure had to be put in practice which are to be found in the letters from St Katherine's, Nuremberg, to the Dominican sisters at St Gall. The St Galler Statuten (Klosterarchiv St Katharina, Wil, ms M 32), which she quotes repeatedly, are a vernacular version of the official constitutions of 1259 and applied to all Dominican convents. To ensure accessibility for ‘illiterate’ nuns they had been translated from the Latin original in the thirteenth century. It is misleading to call them the St Gall statutes.

71 ‘At omnia detur opera. quod clausura sit valde alta et fortis: ita ut egrediendi vel ingrediendi per clausuram opportunitas nulli detur’: Analecta iii. 346.

72 ‘quod inter exteriores et interiores nullus possit intervenire contactus’: ibid. iii. 347

73 Ibid. iii. 342. The term extraneus actually refers to any person who did not belong to the convent in question or to the Dominican community. Chapter xxviii mentions the possibility of speaking ‘cum familia’: this seems to mean a sister's relatives. The Augsburg nuns, for example, were not isolated. They still saw their relatives despite living in a convent: Seitz, ‘Geschichte’, 66. According to the constitutions, however, these contacts had to be restricted and controlled. In this respect the community at St Katherine's did not comply.

74 The question of surveillance is an important topic in chapter xiii, ‘De silencio’ (Analecta iii. 342), and chapter xxix, ‘De ingressu et egressu domorum’ (pp. 347–8) which is concerned with the sisters' conduct in the rare event of visitors being allowed into the enclosure: ‘Regem. uel reginam. uel metropolitanum. uel dyocesanum. uel legatum. uel cardinalem. uel papam. uel patronum [...] licebit ingredi cum societate honesta et moderata. [...] Item magister. uel prior provincialis. uel visitator ad hoc missus. causa visitacionis’: Analecta iii. 346–7. Guests had at all times to be accompanied by three mature sisters and the prioress. They were only allowed to enter ‘honest locations’, like the church or the chapter. No other sister was to speak to the visitors. Similar precautions were in place for when a priest had to enter the enclosure in order to administer the sacraments: Analecta iii. 347.

75 Analecta iii. 347–8 (chapter xxix); see also chapter xiii, ‘De silencio’ (Analecta iii. 341–2).

76 See Moron, ‘Théorie et pratique’, 518–24.

77 This seems to have been the main reason for introducing enclosure, especially in female communities, right from the start. This was also the reason for Periculoso which for the first time defined enclosure as a necessary element of convent life: Jean Leclercq, ‘Clausura’, in Dizionario degli istituti di perfezione, ii, Rome 1974, cols 1167–71, and ‘Théorie et pratique de la clôture au moyen âge’, in Les Religieuses dans le cloître, 471–7 at p. 472; María José Arana, La clausura de las mujeres: una lectura teológica de un proceso histórico, Bilbao 1992, 79–82.

78 Jean Leclercq, ‘Le Cloître est-il une prison?’, Revue d'ascetique et de mystique xlvii (1971), 407–20 at p. 418.

79 Idem, ‘Le Cloître est-il une paradis?’, in Le Message des moines à notre temps, Paris 1958, 141–59 at p. 158.

80 ‘Cum enim lingua coercetur, ut sileat etiam a bonis, et alii similiter sensus custodiuntur ne vitiis obsequantur, tunc recte fores sunt clausae, ne hostes valeant irrumpere’: Casus monasterii Petrihusensis recogniti a.b.m. Ottone Abel et Ludowico Weiland, a. 1134–1154 et 1165, ed. Georg Heinrich Pertz, MGH, SS XX, Hanover 1868, 624–5 (enclosure) at p. 625, lines 25–7. Leclercq, ‘Le cloître est-il une prison?’, summarises (p. 416): ‘La clôture doit être pour eux le moyen de garder leur sens, leur langue, et le symbole de la garde du cœur.’

81 See Marie-Luise Ehrenschwendtner, ‘Creating the sacred space within: enclosure as a defining feature in the convent life of mediaeval Dominican sisters’, forthcoming.

82 ‘Verumtamen antequam stabilitatem et communem vitam promittat. et obedienciam ac professionem faciat’: Constitutiones sororum, chapter xiii (Analecta iii. 342).

83 ‘Ego N. facio professionem et promitto obedienciam deo. et beate Marie et beato Dominico: et tibi priorisse … secundum regulam beati Augustini et institutiones sororum’: ibid. p. 343 (chapter xvi).

84 See Ehrenschwendtner, Die Bildung der Dominikanerinnen, 14–22.

85 ‘Si qua … oculos vagos habens per claustrum uel domum ad vanitates sepe direxerit’: Analecta iii. 344 (chapter xvii).

86 ‘Si qua … uel dissolute riserit. uel alias ad ridendum concitaverit: uel in aliquo gestu. uel motu. uel statu. uel habitu. uel verbo reprehensibilis apparuerit’: ibid.

87 Ibid. iii. 345, chapter xx: ‘De graviori culpa’.

88 Ibid. chapter xxii ‘De apostatis’.

89 Ibid. iii. 347–8 (chapter xxix). See also chapter xiii, ‘De silencio’ (pp. 341–2). Another exception would be made if sisters had to be transferred to other convents by order of the master general, as occasionally happened in the context of the reform.

90 ‘Nulla que in communi tolerari possit habeat specialem locum ad iacendum. nisi forte propter rerum custodiam cum necessitas hoc requirit: in quo casu non minus quam tres iacent in loco predicto’: ibid iii. 341; chapter ix ‘De lectis’. No one should ever be alone or be in company with only one other sister; a minimum of three sisters is seen as a prerequisite to appropriate control. On cells see Thomas Lentes, ‘Vita perfecta zwischen Vita communis und Vita private: eine Skizze der klösterlichen Einzelzelle’, in Gert Melville and Peter von Moos (eds), Das Öffentliche und Private in der Vormoderne, Cologne–Weimar–Vienna 1998, 125–64.

91 Hillenbrand, ‘Observanzbewegung’, 264–5.

92 ‘Quod autem domunculas ad habitandum se erexisse gloriantur, si de hoc tacuissent, fortassis philosophi fuissent; quia per haec omnis Religionis destructio suborta est. Nam in talibus privatis habitaculis fiunt commessationes, ebrietates & rerum communitatis dispendia: vbi quilibet non communia propriis, sed propria communibus anteponit. … Hae sunt camerulae, quae in monasteriis nonnullis iam commune destruxerunt dormitorium et regulare refectorium, cellas euacuant, et quod deterius est, destituunt oratorium: quia omnes ibi, quae sua sunt, quaerunt, non quae Iesu Christi’: Johannes Nider, De reformatione religiosorum libri tres, Antwerp 1611, 113–14. See also Lentes, ‘Vita perfecta’, 142.

93 Some representatives of the reform movement did, however. seem to have been ambivalent about this kind of privacy. See, for example, the ordinance Johannes Nider addressed to the sisters of Schönensteinbach in 1436: ‘Item, ut nulla soror audeat specialem stubellam habere, nisi sicut nuper declaravi servandum’: Gabriel M. Löhr, Die Teutonia im 15. Jahrhundert: Studien und Texte vornehmlich zur Geschichte ihrer Reform, Leipzig 1924, 67.

94 Lentes, ‘Vita perfecta’, 145–9: ‘Jetzt war die Zelle der eigentliche Ort, in den sich die einzelnen Mönche und Nonnen zu ihren religiösen Übungen wie auch zur Suche nach religiösen Erfahrungen zurückzogen’ (p. 148). The solitude of the cell was seen as echoing the hermit's solitude in the desert: ‘Die Abgeschlossenheit und Einsamkeit der Zelle verlieh … ein eremitisches Gepräge’ (p. 147).

95 ‘Sie habend ainen schoenen dormtor. Und dar uff mer denn lxxx zellen’: St Katharina, Wil, Schwesternbuch, fo. 233r. See also fo. 174r. Although each sister had her own cell, it was forbidden to visit another sister in her cell, and the cells could not be locked. Dominican friars, on the other hand, who from the very beginning had their own cells in order to support their intellectual efforts, had keys to lock their rooms: Lentes, ‘Vita perfecta’, 141. The Nuremberg prioress especially stresses the advantages for the copyists who had originally been sharing with sisters who did manual labour. See the admonitions to Dominican nuns in Teutonia (after 1259): ‘Scriptrices sedent cum aliis laborantibus in communi domo’: Edmund Ritzinger and Heribert Christian Scheeben, ‘Beiträge zur Geschichte der Teutonia in der zweiten Hälfte des 13. Jahrhunderts’, Archiv der deutschen Dominikaner iii (1941), 11–95 at p. 37.

96 See Hamburger, ‘Art, enclosure and the cura monialium’. As he states (p. 109) ‘enclosure was hardly permanent or watertight’, but should be observed without any exception being made or violation. Superiors acted accordingly: whatever the actual state of affairs, the obligation to observe enclosure was always considered to be central to the sisters' way of life.

97 Philip Sheldrake, Spaces for the sacred: place, memory, and identity, London 2001, 100.

98 Juhnke, ‘Bausteine’, 82. See the testament of Anne Bächin who left her cell to one of her cousins: St Katharina Urk. 232, Bayerisches Hauptstaatsarchiv, Augsburg.

99 See Meyer, Buch der Reformacio, iv.7, p. 16: Conrad of Prussia had to realise ‘daz der orden gantz in ainer gemain von siner ersten ursprünglichen gaistlichen agegangen waz; er lass die regel und constitution, und sach an daz leben der brůdern und swöstren undverstůnd, daz diese zway gantz unglich warent und ver von an andren’.

100 Uffmann, ‘Convent walls’, 103. The prioress of St Katherine's, St Gall, willingly accepted the suggestions of the experienced superior of Nuremberg.

101 A similar case is the convent of Klingenthal in Basle where the community also rejected it; in order to avoid what they saw as an intolerable imposition the nuns left the Dominican order.

102 See Juhnke, ‘Bausteine’, 74–80.

103 See Registrum litterarum, 49, 87, 108, 113, 127. The names of twenty-one sisters are mentioned.

104 Gärtner, Römische Basiliken, 16–17.

105 Juhnke, ‘Bausteine’, 87–9, 92–4. In 1807, when the convent was finally dissolved, it still had twenty-three members (p. 94).

106 See Susanne Carell, ‘Die Wallfahrt zu den sieben Hauptkirchen Roms: Aufkommen und Wandel im Spiegel der deutschen Pilgerführer’, Jahrbuch für Volkskunde ix (1986), 112–50.

107 Ibid. 112; Miedema, Rompilgerführer, 4–5. Visits to the seven pilgrim churches are first mentioned in the vita of St Bridget of Sweden. From about the middle of the fifteenth century they can be found in several sources: Carell, ‘Wallfahrt’, 119–20. On the urge to embark on a pilgrimage for remission of penance see the vivid decription of the mindset of medieval man in Jonathan Sumption, Pilgrimage: an image of mediaeval religion, London 2002, 11–21. On relics and indulgences see, for instance, Flora Lewis, ‘Rewarding devotion: indulgences and the promotion of images’, in Diana Wood (ed.), The Church and the arts (Studies in Church History xxviii), 179–94. There are several contemporary accounts of pilgrimrages to Rome. See, for instance, Nikolaus Muffels Beschreibung der Stadt Rom, ed. Wilhelm Vogt, Tübingen 1876, and Ye solace of pilgrims: a description of Rome, circa A.D. 1450, by John Capgrave, an Austin friar of King's Lynn, ed. C. A. Mills, London–New York–Toronto–Melbourne 1911.

108 Miedema, Rompilgerführer, 5.

109 Idem, Die römischen Kirchen im Spätmittelalter nach den ‘Indulgentiae ecclesiarum urbis Romae’, Tübingen 2001, 1.

110 Despite the restrictions many nuns seem to have been keen to embark on pilgrimages since the Council of Friuli (796/7) found it necessary to decree that no abbess or nun should be permitted to go to Rome or to ‘other venerable places’: ‘Et nulla umquam tempore licentia sit abbatissae vel cuilibet monachae … Romam adire vel alia loca venerabilia adire’: Albert Werminghoff, Concilia aevi Karolini [742–842], pt i, Hanover 1906 [MGH, Legum sectio III Concilia II,1], p. 194. See also Giles Constable, ‘Opposition to pilgrimage in the Middle Ages’, Studia Gratiana xix (1976), 123–46 at p. 131, and Louis Carlen, Wallfahrt und Recht im Abendland, Fribourg–Switzerland 1987, 117–18.

111 A short overview of different kinds of spiritual pilgrimages is given in Nine Robijntje Miedema, ‘“Geestelike rijckdom”: over pelgrimsreizen en aflaten in de Middeleeuwen’, in W. P. Gerritsen, Annelies van Gijsen and Orlanda S. H. Lie (eds), Een school spierinkjes: kleine opstellen over Middelnederlandse artes-literatuur, Hilversum 1991, 123–6. See also Carlen, ‘Wallfahrt’, 118, and Miedema, Rompilgerführer, 401.

112 Constable demonstrates that despite the popularity of pilgrimages many churchmen had reservations: ‘Opposition’, 145. This is succinctly voiced in a poem by Theodulph of Orleans (c. 760–c. 821): ‘Non tantum isse iuvat Romam, bene vivere quantum, /Vel Romae, vel ubi vita agitur hominis’: Poetae latini aevi Carolini I, ed. Ernst Dümmler, MGH, Antiquitates i, Berlin 1881, 557.

113 ‘Haec Dei ancilla docuerat sorores ut spirituali devotione Romam ad diem qua ostenditur Facies Domini tenderent, legendo tot Pater noster quot milliaria inter Romam et ipsum locum essent. Quo cum pervenissent, summo Pontifici, Deo scilicet, omnia pecata sua in oratione confiterentur, accipientes ab eo remissionem omnium peccatorum’: Sanctae Mechtildis virginis ordinis sancti Benedicti Liber specialis gratiae accedit sorroris Mechtildis Lux divinitatis opus ad codicum fidem nunc primum integre editum Solesmensium OSB monachorum, Poitiers–Paris 1877, i.10, p. 33). See also Miedema, Rompilgerführer, 402.

114 Die Offenbarungen der Adelheid Langmann, Klosterfrau zu Engelthal, ed. Philipp Strauch, Strasbourg–London 1878, 52, lines 8–16: ‘und auch di menschen di niht dar gent mit wallen, di dar gent mit irem gepete und gern dar gingen, und torsten si oder mohten si, und sunderlichen geistlich leut di nit uz türrent (‘especially religious people who are not allowed out’ [to leave their convent]), di haben als grozzen lon und an dem teil grozzern, daz si des heiligtums niht sehent und ander ding, di dis sehen, und doch ir hertz und ir begirde do noch stent und wolten al müe und arbeit gern leiden, di do zu gehört, daz si dar sollten und gent mit irem gepet dar andehticlichen'. See also Miedema, Rompilgerführer, 403–5.

115 ‘Es gab nun Pilger ohne Weg’: Francis Rapp, ‘Neue Formen der Spiritualität im Spätmittelalter’, in Klaus Hebers and Robert Plötz (eds), Spiritualität des Pilgerns: Kontinuität und Wandel, Tübingen 1993, 39–58 at p. 56.

116 Miedema, Rompilgerführer, 410.

117 For information about places of substitute pilgrimage within the Augsburg area see Gärtner, Römische Basiliken, 21–2, and Schawe, Rom in Augsburg, 14–15. For other examples see Miedema, Rompilgerführer, 432–56, and Gisela Goldberg, ‘Zum Zyklus der Augsburger Basilikabilder und zur Existenz von Stellvertreterstätten römischer Hauptkirchen’, in Bayerisches Jahrbuch für Volkskunde, 1986/7, 65–75.

118 Miedema, Rompilgerführer, 417.

119 Ibid. 416. Sometimes an additional element was provided by linking the holy places, especially the Roman ones, to incidents in the life of Christ in order to further the imitatio Christi.

120 Among nuns, the desire for pilgrimage was obviously widespread, as is also evident from the writings of Felix Fabri, a Dominican friar of Ulm. Some of his writings, which are reflections on his own journey to the Holy Land, offer guidance on how to embark on spiritual pilgrimages. The audience he had in mind were reformed Dominican sisters: Felix Fabri, Die Sionpilger, ed. Wieland Carls, Berlin 1999, 22–51.

121 The Poor Clares of Villingen also used perpetual enclosure as an argument in their supplication to persuade Innocent viii to grant them a privilege: Chronik des Bickenklosters zu Villingen 1238 bis 1614, ed. Karl Jordan Glatz, Tübingen 1881, 95.

122 See n. 1 above.

123 ‘Alle gegenwertige erwirdige vätter … sahen die grosse andacht und zalbare zeher, auch die grosse begirt noch disem gnadenschaz … Als nun dis alles fürüber, füelen die andechtigen frauen samtlich uf ihre knüe und von grossen freüten und hocher dankbarkeit wurden sie wortlos und könden nichst, dan wainen’: Chronik des Bickenklosters, 85–6. See also Miedema, Rompilgerführer, 427–9.

124 Miedema, Rompilgerführer, 431.

125 Schawe, Rom in Augsburg, 8–12; Gärtner, Römische Basiliken, 202–3.

126 If the sisters had used Latin, it would have been much more difficult to gain indulgences, since many would have needed translators. On Latin and the vernacular in late medieval Dominican convents see Marie-Luise Ehrenschwendtner, ‘Puellae litteratae: the use of the vernacular in the Dominican convents of southern Germany’, in Diane Watt (ed.), Medieval women in their communities, Cardiff 1997, 49–71.

127 Miedema, Die römischen Kirchen, 93–4.

128 See Schawe, Rom in Augsburg, 7–13; Gärtner, Römische Basiliken, 18–22.

129 Schawe, Rom in Augsburg, 10.

130 ‘Eben dieselbe ablass [i.e. the indulgences to be acquired through a pilgrimage to Rome] auch erlangen mögen, da sye in Ihre Kloster trey orth so ihnen durch die zu sollicher Zeit anwesende Priorin bestimmt werde besuche’: ibid. 21.

131 Gärtner, Römische Basiliken, p. 20.

132 Miedema, Rompilgerführer, 428. In Rome, the convent's custodian bought a printed Latin book which informed the sisters – as it is said – about all stations, indulgences, churches and places of worship in Rome and Jerusalem (‘kauft sein erwirden gleich ein gedruckts lateinin biechli, in dem ortenlich geschriben stunden alle stationungen, ablas, stött und ort der ganzen statt Rom und Jerusalem, darumb dass wir ortenlich wissen mochten, was fir gnadt mir jeden dag hetten’: Chronik des Bickenklosters, 81). The editor of the Chronik supposes this book to have been the Mirabilia Romae (see n. 1 above).

133 Chronik des Bickenklosters, 73, 78.

134 Ibid. 89–92.

135 Kathryn M. Rudy describes ‘a book for private and stationary devotion’: ‘A guide to mental pilgrimage: Paris, Bibliothèque de L'Arsenal Ms. 212’, Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte lxiii (2000), 494–515. ‘The textual and pictorial contents and arrangement of the book create an entirely livresque pilgrimage experience’ (p. 496). Rudy sees a connection with the paintings in Augsburg and Villingen; ‘other monasteries and convents … had constructed various types of textual and visual means to make available an experience normally denied their members’ (p. 513).

136 For the placing of the pictures in the square chapter house see Gärtner, Römische Basiliken, 38, plate 10.

137 Ibid. 20.

138 Schawe, Rom in Augsburg, 16.

139 Ibid. 19; Gärtner, Römische Basiliken, 42–4. See also Goldberg, ‘Zum Zyklus der Augsburger Basilikabilder’, 65–75.

140 Gärtner, Römische Basiliken, 241–304. The appendix to this book and the CD-ROM accompanying it allow a close examination of the Basilikabilder. They have been used in the following examination of the details of the images.

141 Schawe, Rom in Augsburg, 24.

142 Ibid. 71. See also Nikolaus Muffels Beschreibung, 28: ‘do gesegneten die heyligen zwei haubt der kirchen [an] einander und halsten und küsten do mit weinten augen’.

143 ‘Item auch sind do XIIII seulen, die im tempel salomonis gestanden sind, die al einer arbeit sein und sten bey der Fronika altar, do die gulden porten vermaurt ist’: Nikolaus Muffels Beschreibung, 21.

144 In the diocese of Augsburg there were at least three copies of the Mirabilia Romae in the updated versions produced by the Roman printer Stephan Plannck in the years 1489 (German) and 1492 (Latin): Gärtner, Römische Basiliken, 42. On Plannck see Victor Scholderer, ‘A piety of printers’, The Library 4th ser. xix (1938), 156–66 at p. 161. On the updating of the Libri indulgentiarum see Germano Buccilli, ‘L'aggiornamento riguardante reliquie ed indulgenze in alcune edizioni Romane di Libri indulgentiarum a stampa del secolo xv’, in Quellen und Forschungen aus italienischen Archiven und Bibliotheken lxx (1990), 328–47. Buccilli mentions the Plannck versions, among others, as ‘presentando al pubblico delle guide il più possibile “aggiornate”’ (p. 341). An edition of Plannck's 1489 German version was produced by Christian Hülsen: Mirabilia Romae: Rom, Stephan Planck, 20. November 1489: ein römisches Pilgerbuch des 15. Jahrhunderts in deutscher Sprache, Berlin 1925.

145 Gärtner (Römische Basiliken, 43) assumes that the manuals were not known to the artists: ‘Eine unmittelbare Beziehung zwischen den zeitgenössischen Pilgerführern und den Basilikabildern gibt es nicht.’ In concluding that the nuns were not interested in naturalistic depictions of the sacred locations, she does not take into account that the Roman places of worship were largely known to contemporaries by way of oral and written propaganda.

146 Ibid. 45–9; Schawe, Rom in Augsburg, 18–19. See also Cuneo, ‘Basilica cycle’ who assumes that the donors themselves decided which saints should be included. She contends that they consciously chose female saints who, by virtue of their ‘spiritual legitimacy’ and power (both spiritual and temporal), provided the sisters with exemplary figures (p. 23). She concludes that ‘The nuns saw in the images of their spiritual sisters women of strength and power who provided justification for their own activities and ideas’ (p. 24). Gärtner sees connections between the imagery of the Basilikabilder and the developing devotion of the rosary which was promoted in Dominican circles of the fifteenth century: Römische Basiliken, 49–51.

147 See n. 9 above.

148 See, for instance, Jeffrey F. Hamburger, The visual and the visionary: art and female spirituality in late medieval Germany, New York 1998, 427–67, and Thomas Lentes, ‘Bild, Reform und Cura monialium: Bildverständnis und Bildgebrauch im Buch der reformacio Predigerordens des Johannes Meyer († 1485)’, in Jean-Luc Eichenlaub (ed.), Dominicains et dominicaines en Alsace XIIIe–XXe s: actes du colloque de Guebwiler 8–9 avril 1994, Colmar 1996, 177–95, and ‘Inneres Auge, äusserer Blick und heilige Schau: ein Diskussionsbeitrag zur visuellen Praxis in Frömmigkeit und Moraldidaxe des späten Mittelalters’, in Klaus Schreiner with Marc Müntz (eds), Frömmigkeit im Mittelalter: politisch-soziale Kontexte, visuelle Praxis, körperliche Ausdrucksformen, München 2002, 179–220. Lentes's description of the nature of enclosure in terms of restriction of the eyesight is most illuminating. None the less it should not be the only angle from which to explore ‘enclosure’, a concept which affected every single aspect of the sisters' lives.

149 The best-known verdict on images may be Bernard of Clairvaux's rejection of extravagant decoration of churches to which the Dominican reformers referred: Apologia ad Guillelmum abbatem xii.28–9, in Bernhard von Clairvaux: sämtliche Werke lateinisch/deutsch, ed. Gerhard B. Winkler, ii, Innsbruck 1992, 145–204 at pp. 192–6.

150 Lentes, ‘Bild’, 180, and ‘Inneres Auge’, 196.

151 Lentes, ‘Bild’, 179–80, and ‘Inneres Auge’, 196–7.

152 Meyer, Buch der Reformacio, ii.9, p. 35. Hamburger, The visual and the visionary, 448–51, refers to further examples taken from Meyer's chronicle.

153 Schawe suggests that the image of a pope carrying the head of St Paul in procession may be a homage to Innocent viii, included in the picture of San Paolo Fuori le Mura to manifest the sisters' gratitude for the privilege: Rom in Augsburg, 72.

154 Cuneo, ‘Basilica cycle’, 24, recognises the subversive potential of the Basilikabilder: ‘The basilica cycle thus functioned as an articulation of female community and as a justification of the Saint Katherine community in particular. The rituals performed within the chapter hall support this theory … They were read the rules of their order and were asked to examine their own lives in relation to those rules. In fundamental ways, such as the possession of personal property and the transgression of claustration, their lives digressed from that rule. The basilica cycle legitimized and even heroized this digression by creating a tradition of powerful and holy women that the convent incorporated into its community. By recourse to that tradition, the logic of reform was thus resisted and disarmed.’ However, in arriving at this conclusion she assumes that the sisters managed to avoid reform altogether. It was, however, never intended that the community at St Katherine's should adopt the full range of changes involved in a fully reformed convent. The nuns were forced to live in strict enclosure; they endured but never accepted it. The idea that the images ‘heroised’ consistent and successful opposition to reform is therefore speculative and far-fetched.

155 Heidrun Stein-Kecks, ‘“Claustrum” and “capitulum”: some remarks on the façade and interior of the chapter house’, in Peter K. Klein (ed.), Der mittelalterliche Kreuzgang; The medieval cloister; Le Cloître au moyen âge: Architektur, Funktion und Programm, Regensburg 2004, 157–89 at p. 169.

156 Ibid. 181.

157 See Schawe, Rom in Augsburg, 90–1, and Gärtner, Römische Basiliken, 297. Gärtner reproduces (p. 291) a fragment which once was part of the painting of the San Paolo Fuori le Mura, which shows the prioress, Veronica Welser, in Dominican habit. On the imagination being triggered by prayer and devotion in front of images see, for instance, Hans Belting, Das Bild und sein Publikum im Mittelalter: Form und Funktion früher Bildtafeln der Passion, Berlin 1981, 94–6, and Bild und Kult: eine Geschichte des Bildes vor dem Zeitalter der Kunst, 6th edn, Munich 2004, 464–6. Belting claims that images were thought to have a spiritual effect on the onlooker, transforming them according to the model presented; the depiction guided their imagination and made it possible for them to experience the scenes which triggered the contemplation. In the case of St Katherine's there are images which combine representations of holy places, scenes from the passion of Christ and saints' lives. By contemplating the paintings in the chapter house the sisters were not only drawn into the drama of Christ's passion and of the saints' testimony, but were also transferred from the enclosed space of their convent to the (imagined) holy places where these events were depicted as taking place. See also Lentes, ‘Inneres Auge’, 191–2.

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