Ritual and Religion in the Medieval World

    Activiteit: Academic presentationAcademic


    Paper Abstract: Public liturgical celebrations of a routine or exceptional nature punctuated the lives of laity, clerics, and, of course, religious in the Middle Ages. Biblical narratives, sacred texts, and liturgical songs that were instilled in writers with the acquisition Latin literacy itself naturally shaped, embellished, authorized, filtered, and constrained historical writing about events and personages who were both actors and witnesses of such rites.

    But the viewpoint, experience, and knowledge of liturgical rites differs greatly according to one’s role within it. Clerical and monastic authors can draw on training and experience of responsibility for ritual performance and liturgical literacy that cannot be expected of a lay author. Yet lay authors are equally participants and observers in multi-layered ritual celebrations albeit from different perspectives, and compose writing in a Latin imbued by sacred texts similarly filtered by liturgical use and practices.

    This paper will ask how do these differing liturgical perspectives and the audiences for which they wrote shape the kinds of references made to liturgical celebration in historical writing. Our test case will be Southern Italy. The Chronicon Beneventanum composed by Falco Beneventanus, a lay notary and judge of Benevento (c.1070-1145), constitutes one of the earliest lay city chronicles of medieval Italy. It will be compared with liturgical references in near contemporary historical writing from the same city and region: the monastic Chronicon Sanctae Sophiae (Benevento, c.1119) of uncertain authorship; the Chronicon monasterii casinensis begun by Leo Marsicanus, librarian of Montecassino, and continued by his successors in that office (recounting the history of the monastery and region to the 1140s); Abbot Alexander of Telese’s, Gesta Rogerii regis Siciliae; and Amatus of Montecassino’s, L’Ystoire de li Normant (c.1080). How does the clerical status and differing ritual experience shape the historian’s employment of liturgical events, texts, and references in chronicle writing?
    EvenementstitelRitual and Religion in the Medieval World: A Conference in Honor of Professor Richard F Gyug
    LocatieNew York, United States
    Mate van erkenningInternational