medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture
sorry to be so long getting back to this topic and the kind responses from the
i asked (slightly re-written):
>>does anyone know of documented examples of scriptoria attached to
continental cathedral chapters producing *whole books* (pontificals, ordinals
and suchlike service books, or anything else, but not just charters) before
the 13th c.?
>>or, even after that time?
>>England, with its curious, peculiar and kinky institution of monastic
cathedrals, would not be relevant for comparison (it seems to me, but i'm
willing to be corrected if it's absolutely necessary).
From: Rochelle Altman <[log in to unmask]>
> St. Gall? Monastery + cathedral -- course it had AS links.
thanks, Rochelle, but John's existential question about there even being "a
cathedral, and hence a cathedral chapter, at Sankt Gallen before the
nineteenth century" aside, i'm afraid that i would have to exclude St. Gall on
the same basis as the English monastic chapters.
as Jon Cannon says:
>perhaps responders could in all cases confirm the nature of the chapter
involved at the time referred to? Christopher's comment about weird England is
right and would, I think, apply anywhere where the cathedral community was
From: Greta G Austin <[log in to unmask]>
> The scriptoria of the cathedral chapters of Worms and Freising, in the late
tenth and early eleventh centuries, produced entire books, in the area of
canon law in particular.
why (just?) Worms and Freising?
what was the nature of their chapters?
why the specialization in canon law?
in other words, were these some sort of special (albeit not unique) cases?
From: John Dillon <[log in to unmask]>
> A couple of fairly well studied examples from secular cathedrals
o.k., secular cathedrals.
>are Verona from the sixth century to the ninth and Albi from the seventh
century to the twelfth. The data come from codices with subscriptions
identifying the scribe as e.g. lector in a cathedral, deacon, or archdeacon;
from later codices that have copied such a subscription; and from contemporary
codices analyzed paleographically as having been written by a known episcopal
o.k., that's two.
four, counting Greta's two Imperial examples.
> See also Thomas H. Connolly and Jeanne Krochalis, "The Archdeacon Sicardus,
a Twelfth-Century Scribe of Albi ", _Manuscripta_ 24 (1980), 106-13.
thanks, but not immediately available to me.
anything else known about this fellow?
a monastic background? (unlikely, since the direction of career flow was
usually the reverse.)
> M. B. Parkes has some other examples in his _Their Hands Before our Eyes: A
Closer Look at Scribes_ (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2008), p. 11.
> Another possible instance is Vercelli, where however the existence of an
episcopal scriptorium is iffy for late antiquity and not clear even for the
episcopate of Atto in the tenth century (the student scribes of his canon
collection _Anselmo dedicata_ may have been working under monastic
my objection here (in addition to "iffyness," which is hardly objectionable,
in middlevil studies) is that i take late antiquity to be too
fluid/unstable/inconsistent from place to place.
so, five possibilities --out of, what, hundreds?
a bit of background: my assumption is that a scriptorium capable of producing
whole books is a quite different kind of institution from one which is only
concerned with (occasional) charter production.
the latter is the work of, say, a bishop's chaplain (as i have seen in the
"signatures" of some of the Chartres charters) --or, as the number of charters
required increased in the later 12th c., the institution of a "officialis"
(=Official Notary?) of the Chapter, who issued charters under his own name and
above his own seal.
whereas the latter --a book-producing scriptorium-- was a rather formidable
piece of infrastructure, requiring a permanent locale, and a professional
"staff" of highly trained/skilled guys *dedicated* to continual long-term,
daily effort (as well as the ancillary crafts of parchment production,
and my feeling is that, certainly with some exceptions, the demand for books
by a cathedral chapter was simply not sufficient to warrant the creation of
such an elaborate institution as a full-fledged scriptorium.
the chapter would --and could-- avail themselves of the (surely) pre-existing
local Benedictine house or, perhaps, a collegial of canons regular.
at Chartres, these would have been the abbey of St. Peter
("St-Pere-en-Vallé") and/or the collegial of St. John ("St-Jean-en-Vallé"),
the latter existing from the early 11th c. but reformed by Bishop Ivo c.
the service books needed by the cathedral would have been produced in the
scriptoria of the first of these from the earliest times and, perhaps, by the
latter after Ivo's regularization of it.
anyway, that's how i figure it --and i would welcome any corrections or
comments on the subject.
my thanks to Rochelle, Greta, John and Jon for sharing their thoughts and
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