Congratulations to our recent PhD Candidate David M. Foley!

David M. Foley: “PETRI COMESTORISGlosae super Iohannem glosatumProthemata et Capitulum IA Critical Edition with an Historical Introduction” (University of Toronto 2020).

Recent discoveries surrounding the twelfth-century schools of Northern France have begun to attract the attention of scholars to a vast corpus of unedited lecture materials (reportationes) emanating from the cathedral school of Notre-Dame. This dissertation encompasses the first partial critical edition and specialised study of one such series of lectures, Peter Comestor’s Glosae super Iohannem glosatum. Delivered in Paris in the mid-1160s, Comestor’s lecture course on the Glossa ordinaria’ on the Gospel of John has been preserved in the form of continuous transcripts taken in shorthand by a student-reporter. From this original set of reportationes, likely revised and authorised by Comestor prior to their diffusion, all of the sixteen extant witnesses to the text ultimately derive. Despite the impressively stable textual tranmission of the Glosae, each manuscript contains unique information about Comestor’s immediate teaching environment: interpolations in the main body of text, student annotations, marginal glosses reporting Comestor’s teaching in his other classes, and additions made (or dictated) by the master himself. Accordingly, I have selected ten of the best witnesses dating from between the last quarter of the twelfth century and the first quarter of the thirteenth to produce a critical edition of the prothemata (i.e. prefatory material) and the first chapter of Comestor’s lectures. In addition to the text of the original lectures, I provide two appendices containing the layered accretions made by Comestor and his students to the lectures, as well as a third appendix containing an edition of the corresponding portion of the textbook from which Comestor lectured, the Glossa ordinaria’ on John.

The second part of this dissertation, comprised of five chapters, serves to provide a wide-ranging introduction to the historical and intellectual context of Peter Comestor’s biblical teaching. Chapter One presents an outline of Comestor’s scholastic career and known works, a survey of the scholarship on his biblical glosses, and a general introduction to the text of the edition: its date, genre, and title. Chapter Two charts the intellectual landscape of Comestor’s lectures: namely, the tradition of biblical teaching originating at the School of Laon, preserved in the Laonnoise Glossa ordinaria,’ and subsequently developed in the classroom by Peter Lombard and a succession of Parisian masters. Chapter Three represents a critical study of the portion of the Glosae presented in the edition: an overview of its structure and narrative sequence, an examination of Comestor’s teaching method and scholastic setting, an outline of the sources (both patristic and ‘modern’) behind his biblical scholarship, and a survey of his engagement in contemporary doctrinal controversies. In Chapter Four, I provide a detailed description of the ten manuscripts selected for the edition together with a stemmatic analysis of their relations. Finally, Chapter Five specifies the editorial principles observed in the critical edition, its various apparatus, and the appendices.

Celebrating a Collaborative Effort!

Congratulations to Isabelle Cochelin and many CMS Faculty, alumni and students for a recent publication.

The book was a collaborative work of longue haleine with one sixth of the authors and the majority of the translators directly or indirectly related to CMS and the University of Toronto as Faculty, students, alumni or PIMS fellows: in alphabetical order Alessia Berardi, Jesse D. Billett, Elma Brenner, Lochin Brouillard, Adam Cohen, Albrecht Diem, Fiona J. Griffiths, Drew Jones, Christian D. Knudsen, Lauren Mancia, Matthew Mattingly, Alison More, Bert Roest, Tristan Sharp, and Michael Webb. All the articles of the two volumes can be read online at UofTLibraries.

cover Medieval Manasticism in the Latin West

A. I. Beach, I. Cochelin (eds), The Cambridge History of Medieval Monasticism in the Latin West

Date: February 2020
Format: Multiple copy pack
ISBN: 9781107042117

Monasticism, in all of its variations, was a feature of almost every landscape in the medieval West. So ubiquitous were religious women and men throughout the Middle Ages that all medievalists encounter monasticism in their intellectual worlds. While there is enormous interest in medieval monasticism among Anglophone scholars, language is often a barrier to accessing some of the most important and groundbreaking research emerging from Europe. The Cambridge History of Medieval Monasticism in the Latin West offers a comprehensive treatment of medieval monasticism, from Late Antiquity to the end of the Middle Ages. The essays, specially commissioned for this volume and written by an international team of scholars, with contributors from Australia, Belgium, Canada, England, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, and the United States, cover a range of topics and themes and represent the most up-to-date discoveries on this topic.


Congratulations to our recent PhD Candidates

Congratulations to our PhD students Bogdan Smarandache, Matthew Mattingly, and Morris B. Tichenor who defended their theses in September 2019:

Bogdan Smarandache: “Frankish-Muslim Diplomatic Relations and the Shared Minority Discourse in the Eastern Mediterranean, 517-692 AH/1123-1293 AD”

This dissertation examines the special link between Christian-Muslim diplomatic relations and the conditions of confessional minorities in the medieval Eastern Mediterranean. It begins with a preliminary analysis of the legal and ideological frameworks that guided Christian and Muslim rulers in their policies towards minorities. It then surveys how these rulers involved minorities in their negotiations, upholding or challenging these frameworks, from the earliest Christian-Muslim encounters in the first/seventh century to the Norman and Seljuk invasions of Sicily and Anatolia in the fourth/eleventh century. The dissertation then shifts focus towards the Frankish Coastal Plain (Arabic: al-Sāḥil; Old French: Outremer) and Islamic Greater Syria (Arabic: Bilād al-Shām; Latin: Majora Syria) from the First Crusade (488-492/1095-1099) to the conquest of the last Frankish stronghold of Acre by the Mamlūk sultan al-Ashraf Khalīl (689-693/1290-1293) in 690/1291. This dissertation offers a new analysis of Christian-Muslim relations that considers post-crusade developments in diplomatic practices as part of a continuum originating with relations between Byzantine emperors and Umayyad caliphs and their concerns over the welfare of minorities. It shows how rulers projected their authority by including minorities in their negotiations and how changes in the relations between rulers directly brought about the improvement or worsening of minority conditions throughout Mediterranean history. It also argues that the expressive (or symbolic) actions used to target minorities, or challenge the ability of rulers to protect them, were mutually intelligible across confessional divides. Thus, Frankish and Muslim rulers shared a common language of diplomacy that involved diplomatic conventions, such as gift-exchange, and they also shared a common conceptualization of authority tied to their treatment of minorities and their ability to protect minorities that evolved out of earlier discourses.

Matthew Mattingly: “Living Reliquaries: Monasticism and the cult of the saints in the Age of Louis the Pious”

At the genesis of this dissertation is the observation that numerous Carolingian monasteries of the ninth century were more than just enclaves for a spiritual elite following the Rule of St. Benedict but also functioned as popular religious shrines. These communities almost invariably identified with a patron saint particular to their institutions, whose bodily remains they protected and memorialized, and whose cults they actively promoted. This contrasts sharply with the early Merovingian period when monasteries and the shrines of the saints were mostly separate endeavors. My study aims to understand how and why this development came about, and what, if anything, the cult of the saints and their relics had to do with the monastic life and its ideals. It also serves to complicate the prevailing view that Carolingian monasteries were essentially “Benedictine” and functioned foremost as “powerhouses of prayer” for the aristocratic society that supported them.

A preliminary chapter provides historical context and introduces key themes by analyzing Queen Balthild’s decision, ca. 650, to organize the premier saints’ shrines of the Frankish realm as monasteries. The remaining chapters are then devoted to detailed case studies of the iii monastery-shrines of Saint-Wandrille, Saint-Denis, and Saint Gall, and are based on close readings of hagiographical works composed during the early decades of the ninth century in the midst of major institutional transformations. While scholars have previously focused on the adoption of the Rule of St. Benedict by these communities in the context of an imperially sponsored monastic reform, the changes are shown here to have been much more comprehensive, entailing large-scale building projects, artistic enhancements, liturgical renewal, and the production of new hagiographic literature. The larger aim, it is argued, was to create integrated complexes of sacred space, more worthy of the relics housed within, as the basis for Christian communities that comprised more than just their monks. The reformed monasteries themselves are represented, in effect, as living reliquaries, whose sacred duty was to protect, honor, and mediate the power of the relics entrusted to their care.

Morris B. Tichenor: “Cicero’s Incomplete Orator: The Transmission and Reception of the Mutilus Text”

This dissertation traces the tradition of Orator, Cicero’s late work on oratorical style, through the Middle Ages. During that time and due to mechanical losses, the text circulated in a reduced or mutilus form consisting of only the middle half and tail-end of the treatise. An early chapter (1) covers the tradition of the text as fragmentary quotations in other Classical and Late Antique authors. The core of my project, however, is a full codicological examination and catalogue (Appendix C) of the fifty-six surviving manuscript witnesses to this mutilus text. Proceeding from that research, I present the stemmatic relationships of the manuscripts, the geographic and chronological spread of the text, and the creation of two separate vulgate versions by early Italian humanists (Chapters 2 and 3). I present an edition of and commentary on a version of the text created by the early 15th c. schoolmaster Gasparino Barzizza, whose conjectures have long been praised by editors (Appendix A). I edit and classify the marginal and paratextual additions made by medieval readers to show how and why they read the text (Appendix B). Beyond the obvious contributions to textual criticism and the history of rhetoric, my dissertation demonstrates, through the lens of a single text, many of the various Ciceronianisms and Ciceros that existed in Latin intellectual history in the over millennium and a half following his death.