The early beguines

While most documents pertaining to male or female beguines date from the early thirteenth century onward, evidence for lay claims to the apostolic life date from the eleventh century in the Low Countries, which constituted a centre for religious dissent. Lambert le B gue, erroneously considered a sort of founder of the beguine movement, rebuked the clergy for greed and simony and was arrested for heresy in 1175, a charge rebutted in 1177 by Calixtus III. Lambert's apologia asserted that all...

Lesley Smith

The thirteenth century was one of the most theologically vibrant periods in the history of the Christian church. It was in this period that the subject matter of theology (usually called by contemporaries sacra doctrina or sacra pagina) was more closely defined, and that theology became a subject for study in educational institutions. Yet the ideas that made up the doctrines of theology were, for the most part, static. How could they, indeed, be anything else Christian doctrine was largely...

Anthony Perron

The history of the bishops of Rome in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries is inseparable from their often bitter conflicts with lay rulers. The era, after all, commenced with the last phase of the Investiture Controversy and witnessed continuing quarrels with the Hohenstaufen emperors and other princes in England, Hungary, Norway, Denmark, France and Iberia, involving not only church-crown disputes, but problematic royal marriages as well. Yet, while the rhetoric of Roman supremacy over the...

Contributors

John Arnold, School of History, Classics and Archaeology, Birkbeck, University of London, UK Alan E. Bernstein, Department of History, University of Arizona, Tucson, USA Peter Biller, Department of History, University of York, UK Alain Boureau, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris, France Susan Boynton, Department of Music, Columbia University, New York, USA Marcus Bull, Department of Historical Studies, University of Bristol, UK Janet Burton, Department of History, University of...

Traditional monasticism

This period in Western Europe brought about a reform of traditional monas-ticism, with the formation of new orders, both contemplative and pastoral. Military life was combined with the monastic vocation in the foundation of military orders. After 1200 forms of religious life appeared that built on earlier manifestations of pastoral life in community but now reflected the concerns of their founders, especially Dominic and Francis. The twelfth and thirteenth centuries manifest an embarrassment of...

The papacy and holy war

There were of course other areas in which the power of the papacy was made manifest between 1100 and 1300. One that must not be overlooked was crusading. Though Christian Holy War had roots in the era before the rise of the Gregorian papacy (in the Christian imperial ideology of Charlemagne and his forced conversion of the Saxons, for example, as well as in the Peace of God and Truce of God movements of the tenth and early eleventh centuries), 23 See P. A. Munch, ed., Pavelige nuntiers...

University Press

CaMbridGe university press Cambridge, New York, Melbourne, Madrid, Cape Town, Singapore, Sao Paulo, Delhi Cambridge University Press The Edinburgh Building, Cambridge cb2 8ru, UK Published in the United States of America by Cambridge University Press, New York www.cambridge.org Information on this title www.cambridge.org 9780521811064 This publication is in copyright. Subject to statutory exception and to the provisions of relevant collective licensing agreements, no reproduction of any part...

The twelfth century

The complex reasons for this religious revival included economic growth, population increase, social change, a widespread ecclesiastical reform movement, the burgeoning of schools and monasteries, and the flowering of literature in Latin and the vernacular. As Herbert Grundmann first observed, an extraordinary religious fervour manifested itself in the search for the apostolic life among increasingly literate groups inside and outside the church.6 Growth of such magnitude took root in the...

The Augustinian canons success in modesty

The Rule of Saint Augustine was 'discovered' in the second half of the eleventh century. Various writings about living a monastic life were placed together with a letter of Augustine to some nuns.16 Even more so than the Rule of Saint Benedict, Augustine's recommendations were very general, but they had the prestige of his name and reputation. Augustine's own way of life after he became bishop in common with fellow priests provided a pattern for canons of cathedrals and other churches. As...

Janet Burton

Throughout the Middle Ages the religious orders and the society that they shunned exhibited a mutual dependency. From the early days of Western monasticism, those who entered the cloister spent much of their day engaged in the opus dei, the work of God, the continuous, and communal, round of prayer and worship. This not only enabled them to fulfil their own personal spiritual aspirations, but, increasingly, to perform the social function of intercession for humankind. Monks and nuns prayed...

Henrietta Leyser

The Cistercian monk Caesarius of Heisterbach (C.1180-C.1250), scourge of the unchaste, tells the story of a 'libidinous' priest attempting to celebrate mass at the moment of consecration a snow-white dove flies down to the altar and drinks up the whole contents of the chalice before flying away with the bread in its beak. This happens not just once but at the three consecutive masses the priest tries to celebrate. Terrified, and finally contrite, the priest confesses to his sin - he has had sex...

The mendicant orders the able Dominicans

The foundation of the Franciscans and the Dominicans shortly after 1200 resulted from a new surge of religious feeling and desire for vita apostolica, in imitation of the lives of the apostles. The story of Dominic is less extraordinary - and thus more easily understandable - than that of Francis. Dominic was a canon who followed his bishop, Diego of Osma, into the Midi, where both of them were shocked by the success of the Cathar heretics. The only opposition to these preachers came from...

Christianity

The Cambridge History of Christianity offers a comprehensive chronological account of the development of Christianity in all its aspects -theological, intellectual, social, political, regional, global - from its beginnings to the present day. Each volume makes a substantial contribution in its own right to the scholarship of its period and the complete History constitutes a major work of academic reference. Far from being merely a history of Western European Christianity and its offshoots, the...

Soldiermonks and hermits seeking the perfect life

The Cistercians were more positive in their dealings with the Templars. In 1119 Hugh de Payns, a knight from Champagne, organised his companions into soldier-monks. Their first duty was to protect pilgrims in the Holy Land, but they also had an office to sing. The Knights of the Temple found their vocation in fighting Muslims by day and praying at night. Bernard of Clairvaux considered them worthy to be celebrated in his De laude novae militiae (In Praise of the New Knighthood). Here he...

The Cathars

The Cathars, as criticised by Evervin of Steinfeld and later writers, demonstrated remarkable austerity and command of Scripture. Calling themselves simply 'good Christians', or the 'Poor of Christ', according to Evervin's report, the Cathars constituted a counter-church of believers, clergy and bishops, which shared certain basic elements of belief, organization and ritual with the Bogomils who emerged in Bulgaria in the early tenth century. Western Cathars differed from Rome in beliefs on the...

The Cistercian challenge

In 1098 a group of monks left the Burgundian monastery of Molesme in 1098 and established what they called Novum monasterium, the New Monastery. Their goal was to follow the Rule of Saint Benedict more carefully, but they apparently had no intention of starting what would become the first independent monastic order of their era.6 By the time the founders in 1119 or 1120 began calling the New Monastery Citeaux, they had acknowledged that they had done more than found a monastery. In the...

Anders Winroth

The legal underpinnings of the Western church experienced a major transformation during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. This was a period in which papal legislation found its stride, in the form of conciliar decrees and papal decisions. Papal jurisdiction was much expanded and produced a rich body of case law which became systematically collected. The law of the church, 'canon law', became a subject of study in the emerging universities of Europe, which produced an expanding and often...

Miri Rubin And Walter Simons

Medieval Christian Europe has long been acknowledged as a place and a time central to the formation of the Christian heritage. Until recently it was still described in popular and learned books alike as the 'age of faith', a time of intense religious feeling and extravagant action in the pursuit of religious goals crusade, inquisition, scholastic theology and mysticism. It was an age characterised by an imposing public Christian art and the institutions of the papacy in the lead. Until recent...

The Cistercians

Bernard of Clairvaux stands out as the most prominent monk of the Cistercian order, which had its beginnings when Robert of Molesmes led a group of monks to a new monastery in 1098, aspiring to return to the purity of Benedict's Rule, which they felt had been lost with the growth of Cluniac monasticism. The Cistercian Order epitomized the spirit of reform through its emphasis on work, austerity, simplicity and withdrawal from the world. Cistercians revised the daily schedule to allow more time...

The rise of universities and the elaboration of the papal bureaucracy

The emergence of papal power as an international force in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries could not have happened without the parallel development of two characteristic high-medieval institutions the university and the administrative apparatus of the papal curia. Higher learning in the eleventh century was the preserve of cathedral and monastic schools, loosely organized and guided by prominent individual teachers. The articulation of more systematic institutions of higher learning came...

Info

Anxiety that sex polluted and the concomitant insistence on clerical celibacy have, of course, a history that long pre-dates the pontificate of Innocent III already in the fourth century these were topics that caused impassioned debates in ecclesiastical circles and which opened up differences of opinion between East and West The East adopted a compromise that demanded a celibate episcopate but that allowed those priests and deacons who were married before ordination to continue thereafter to...

Brigitte Resl

The thirteenth century saw the triumph of the Gothic style in architecture in the building of great cathedrals all across Europe, a phenomenon much celebrated by modern art historians. 'The Gothic Image' seems to capture the spirit of the 'Age of Cathedrals' with its intellectual ambitions, artistic development and the craftsmanship available in twelfth- and thirteenth-century Europe.1 But who paid for it all The material support offered to ecclesiastical institutions is probably most often...

The mendicant orders the problematic Franciscans

The Franciscans, like the Dominicans, came to experience problems in university and parish life, but their difficulties were much more fundamental. They had a founder whose words and impact were controversial and disturbing. Everything that Francis of Assisi said and wrote was a challenge to the way the Christian Church had functioned until that time. In marrying Lady Poverty he insisted that the imitation of Christ meant a literal abandonment of all worldly goods. To become a follower of...

Councils

The twelfth century witnessed the first large 'general' synods since the seminal councils of the fourth to the ninth centuries. Most notable are the four Lateran councils 1123,1139,1179 and 1215 and the two Lyon councils 1245 and 1274 , the largest of them attended by over a thousand prelates from throughout the Latin Church and beyond, though representation from each country was by no means proportional, and observers from the Byzantine sphere were rare.1 Important as the example of the great...

Canonization of saints

Another procedure that added further to the business of the curia and to the prestige and authority of the papacy involved the canonization of saints. Like provisions, the rise of this institution was passive before it was codified as an exclusive power of the apostolic see. Ulrich of Augsburg is often credited as the first saint canonized by the papacy. In 993 Pope John XV declared that his memory should be revered and 'consecrated to divine worship'.11 Ulrich's canonization and other early...

The Benedictines and the canons

Bernard of Clairvaux and the Cistercians at times dominate the telling of twelfth-century religious history and overshadow Benedictine monasticism. Some scholars even argued that the black monks experienced a 'crisis', but as John Van Engen asserts, this false perception was based on too literal a reading of the Benedictines' critics without sufficient consideration of the context. The black monks suffered no decline in numbers during the first half of the twelfth century and only later lost...

Beverly Mayne Kienzle

'Our order is abjection it is humility it is voluntary poverty, obedience, peace, joy in the Holy Spirit', wrote the Cistercian abbot Bernard of Clairvaux 10901153 to the monks of St Jean d'Aulps who had affiliated with Citeaux. Bernard further explained in a sermon that voluntary poverty, like the fortified city into which Jesus entered Luke 10.38 , defends its inhabitants from envy, within themselves and from others. Advising Atto, bishop of Troyes, Bernard asserted that, 'The reward for...

The papacy on the periphery

An aspect of papal power in the High Middle Ages which is often overlooked involves the interactions between Rome and such 'fringe' regions as Iberia, Ireland, Scandinavia and Eastern Europe. Popes of the eleventh century were acutely aware of the importance of cultivating relationships with the expanding periphery. Politically, it was advantageous to encircle the often troublesome realms of Germany and France with sympathetic churches on their borders. Such a policy also continued a...

Monasticism

Monastic spirituality centres on the struggle for spiritual perfection, as the Prologue to the Rule of Benedict reads 'monks must prepare themselves in body and soul, to fight under the commandments of holy obedience'.12 A life of reading, prayer and meditation aspired to mystical union with God and citizenship among the number of the chosen in the heavenly Jerusalem. In monastic thought, the heavenly city's closest earthly parallel was the monastery, which contained, in so far as possible for...

Abbreviations

Acta Sanctorum, 3rd edn, Paris Palm , 1863-CCCM Corpus Christianorum Continuatio mediaevalis CCSL Corpus Christianorum Series Latina CFS Cistercian Fathers Series CSEL Corpus scriptorum ecclesiasticorum latinorum MGH Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Hanover et al. Hahn et al., 1826- PG Patrologiae Cursus Completus, Series Graeca, ed. J.-P. Migne, Paris PL Patrologiae Cursus Completus, Series Latina, ed. J.-P. Migne, Paris Migne, 1844-64 SBO Sancti Bernardi opera Unless otherwise specified,...