According to my notes taken from the Catholic Encyclopaedia of 1911, the
Ostiarius or Doorkeeper was the lowest of the Minor Orders (and therefore an
official at a Cathedral rather than a monastery ???). One would in any case
expect him to remain on the job as door-keeper and not go travelling with
even the entourage of a Bishop or an Abbot.
Possibly it is the ambiguity of the English word "Porter" that is giving
A porter can *either* be someone who stands in a specific location ie the
entrance of an hotel or a railway station and carries the bags &c of
customers -[an increasingly rare species ...] ,
*or* he can be employed by a traveller to carry that person's baggage for
the duration of the journey. [One thinks of "native porters" on trecks up
the Himalayas or into the interior of Africa.]
The Ostiarius would seem to equate with the former definition, the Bajulus
with the latter.
Perhaps the alternative word for Ostiarius is "janitor" ? In the sense of
someone who stands at the door and also does some care-taking ?
----- Original Message -----
From: "Christopher Crockett" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Wednesday, January 03, 2001 11:45 AM
Subject: Abbatial "households" [<Bajulus]
"Ferzoco, G.P." <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>the _Bajulus_ of the abbey (an office mentioned in the Rule??)
i don't know from Rules, but had it in my mind that the "Porter" of the
monastery might have been one of those monastic "officials" specifically
defined by St. B.
and, indeed, he is/was
LXVI DE OSTIARIIS MONASTERII
1 Ad portam monasterii ponatur senex sapiens, qui sciat accipere
responsum et reddere, et cuius maturitas eum non sinat vagari. 2 Qui
cellam debebit habere iuxta portam, ut venientes semper praesentem inveniant
quo responsum accipiant. 3 Et mox ut aliquis pulsaverit aut pauper
Deo gratias respondeat aut Benedic,
4 et cum omni mansuetudine timoris Dei reddat responsum festinanter cum
fervore caritatis. 5 Qui portarius si indiget solacio iuniorem fratrem
for the Latiniacally Challenged
Of the Porter of the Monastery
Let a wise old man be placed at the door of the monastery, one who
knoweth how to take and give an answer, and whose mature age doth not permit
him to stray about.
The porter should have a cell near the door, that they who come may
always find one present from whom they may obtain an answer. As soon as
knocketh or a poor person calleth, let him answer, "Thanks be to God," or
invoke a blessing, and with the meekness of the fear of God let him return
answer speedily in the fervor of charity. If the porter
hath need of assistance, let him have a younger brother."
curiously, i was so busy building my mare's nest in the wrong tree that i
never made the connection between "porter" and "portam"; and, in any event,
the monastic fellow is styled "ostiariis" --as well as "portarius"-- but not
different color horse all together.
thus, it would seem that the fellows with Abbots Bernard and Bernerius in
Brenda's charters were, indeed, the Abbot's own servants, rather than the
officers of the abbey.
(btw, i believe that the fact that the Bajulus is listed among the witnesses
"de monachis" in that second charter ["...De monachis,
Garnerius abbas majoris Monasterii, Reginaldus abbatis bajulus...]
doesn't mean, necessarily, that he was, literally, a monk --rather simply
he was witnessing "_ex parte monachii_," and was to be found in
so much for nesting in trees.
from now on i'm going to do my sleeping on the ground.
best from here,
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