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MEDIEVAL-RELIGION  April 2006

MEDIEVAL-RELIGION April 2006

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Subject:

Re: ''Palpitam miri decoris construxit''? <''Ad augmentandam tabulam altaris...C modii vini''

From:

Christopher Crockett <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

medieval-religion - Scholarly discussions of medieval religious culture <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 26 Apr 2006 11:37:01 -0500

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text/plain

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medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

many thanks for those the good responses to my querry from Jim & John; i've
been working through them and will have something to say about them shortly.


From: Jim Bugslag <[log in to unmask]>

>> Nobody addresses the "congregation" from the choir screen in a medieval
cathedral.   

> I am happy to stand corrected, at least partially, about the direction of
preaching, etc., from the pulpitum.  In any case, it still seems clear to me
that the congregation was often addressed from the pulpitum.  I quote from
Jean Mallion, Chartres. Le jubé de la cathédrale (Chartres, 1964), who cites
as a reference here the Abbé J.-B. Thiers (a 17th-century canon of the
cathedral), Dissertation sur les jubés (1688): 


since DuCange offers this simple definition for "PULPITUM: Ambo Ecclesiae",
i've been reading Henri Leclercq's typically mind-bogglingly erudite, 17
column article, AMBON, in the Dictionnaire d'Archeologie Chretienne et de
Liturgie.

right out of the box he cites Thiers as well, with the same title.

but, you'll not find it anywhere under that title, i believe.

full title: 

Dissertations ecclésiastiques sur les principaux autels des églises, les
jubés des églises, la clôture du choeur des églises, par M. Jean-Baptiste
Thiers,... Paris : A. Dezallier, 1688.  3 parties en 1 vol. in-12.

not on Gallica, alas.

though there are other works of his which are:

http://gallica.bnf.fr/scripts/catalog.php?Mod=i&Titre=&Auteur=Thiers%2C+Jean-Baptiste&Sujet=&RPT=

note that he is styled "carnotensis" and did a " Dissertation sur la sainte
larme de Vendôme" which is on-line.

and this one which looks interesting:

Dissertation sur les porches des églises, dans lesquelles on fait voir les
divers usages auxquels ils sont destinez, que ce sont des lieux saints &amp;
dignes de la vénération des fidèles, et qu'il n'est pas permis d'y vendre
aucunes marchandises, non pas mesmes celles qui peuvent servir à la piété
[Document électronique] / par M. Jean-Baptiste Thiers, curé de
Champrond,...
247 p.
Reproduction :  Num. BNF de l'éd. de, Cambridge (Mass.) : Omnisys, [ca 1990]
(French books 1601-1700 ; 216.2). 1 microfilmReprod. de l'éd. de, Orléans :
chez François Hotot, impr. ordinaire du roy, 1679.



> "Le jubé est souvent mentionné dans l'histoire ecclésiastique de la
cathédrale et il joue un rôle important dans de nombreuses cérémonies
liturgiques.  Il servait tout d'abord à la lecture de l'évangile.  Les
chantres y chantaient aussi divers psaumes: des antiennes, des répons, des
versets.  On y prechait à certaines fêtes de l'année.  Le sous-diacre y
faisait lecture au peuple [italics mine] des nouvelles ecclesiastiques
importantes: jeûnes à observer, fêtes à célébrer, etc.  On y publiait
les miracles, et les nouveaux convertis venaient y faire leur profession de
foi.  L'absoute y était donnée le mercredi des cendres et le jeudi saint. 
On y bénissait les rameaux et les cierges, le jour de la Purification et des
Cendres.  On y exposait aussi les reliques des saints." (p. 17)  


is there any indication here that these practices reflect anything beyond
those of Thiers' own time?

> This clearly shows that it was the people in the nave who were addressed, 

in Thiers' time, yes.

>and this is also claimed by Fabienne Joubert, Le jubé de Bourges (Paris,
1994), p. 17: "Dans les cathédrales, une nombreuse assemblée de chanoines
... participait ainsi au culte divin dans le sanctuaire, tandis que seules les
lectures de l'Epître et de l'Evangile étaient destinée aux fidèles.  La
clôture devait, pour le temps de ces lectures, servir de chaire à prêcher:
ainsi, sur toute la largeur de la nef, se transformait-elle en une véritable
tribune, le jubé, dont le nom fut d'ailleurs inspiré par les premiers mots
de Jube, domine, benedicere (Ordonne, Seigneur, de bénir), prière par
laquelle les diacres et les lecteurs demandent à l'évêque ou aux prêtres
leur bénédiction avant de chanter l'Evangile."  She also cites Thiers.


no source for this speculation in this quote, other than Thiers, and Thiers
speaks of his own time, presumably.

> But Mallion also cites the 17th-century account of Souchet, another canon
[of Chartres], of the election of a new bishop in 1507: "Les heuriers et
habitués de l'église estant venus avec la croix levée, le doïen et tous
les chanoines s'en allèrent en la nef d'icelle, où ils chantèrent le Te
Deum, alternativement avec l'orge [sic] et firent sonner toutes les cloches,
et tandis ledit de Gannais publia ladite élection au pulpitre, premièrement
du côté du choeur au clergé, puis au peuple vers la nef."  


a 17th c. account of an early 16th event.

>He also cites [Bishop of Chartres] Nicolas de Thou's account of the
coronation of Henri IV in Chartres Cathedral, in 1594, for which a platform
was erected on the jubé: "Sur cette plate-forme fut posée la chaise du Roy,
en telle sorte que lui estant assis, pouvait estre veu depuis l'estomach en
haut par ceux que seroient en choeur et depuis la ceinture par ceux que
seroient en la nef de l'église."

an eyewitness account of a late 16th c. event.
 
> From instances such as these, it would appear that we were both partly
right.  My perspective here, obviously, is French, while yours is English, but
can practices really have been that different between England and France?  I
wouldn't have thought so but am open to the possibility.



the problem is a typical one.

we have plenty of documentary evidence for events or usages from the late
m.a.

the question is, how can we reliably extrapolate back in time (and, from
England to France, forward in geography) to try and figure out what was meant
by the entry in St. Ivo's obituary, "pulpitum miri decoris construxit"?

Leclercq's excellent AMBON article, of course, only treats the subject up
through the Carolingian period, and so he only talks about some very fancy
"pulpits" (in English).

from the visual evidence which we have from Chartres and elsewhere it appears
that, by the early part of the 13th c., we have "jubé"s, upon which was
(sometimes?) a _pulpitum_.

but, what did Ivo's "pulpitum miri decoris construxit" look like?

i don't think that we can answer that question with any degree of certitude.

c

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