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a work begun about 784, during the episcopate of Virgilius, and enlarged by copious additions, of which a few are later than 950.1 The earliest part follows a classification which may at once be compared and contrasted with that of the Durham book. In our Liber vitae no distinction is expressed between the living and the dead: there are no preliminary or concluding prayers, and the list of saints is wanting. If it was derived, as is very likely, from an early diptych with insertions, the characteristic features of the diptych have not been retained. The Salzburg MS., on the other hand, opens with a list of patriarchs and prophets, followed by one of apostles, martyrs, and confessors. After these (p. 5) comes the collect:
Memorare digneris domine famulos et famulas quique se nobis sacris orationibus vel confessionibus commendarunt et qui elymosinis suis se commendaverunt venerabile loca2 sanctorum quorum nomina sunt scripta in libro vitae et supra sancto altario sunt posita famulorum. famularumque tuarum.
The names of the living follow in this order: On p. 6 are (1) bishops and abbots, and (2) monks. Class (1) was reserved for bishops and abbots of Salzburg, and the only name which it contains in the original handwriting is that of Virgilius, afterwards erased. On p. 9 is (3) pulsantes3; on p. 10, (4) kings, and (5) dukes, with their respective wives and children, (6) priests, deacons, and clerks, (7) bishops, (8) abbots, both the last from other places and dioceses; on p. 11, (9) nuns and religious women, and (10) religious men. The dead begin on p. 14 with classes (1) and (2) as before. Class (3) on p. 19 includes pulsantes and religious
1 There are two editions of this, viz. (1) Karajan, Das Verbrüderungsbuch des Stiftes St. Peter in Salzburg, Vienna, 1852, and (2) by S. Hertzberg-Fränkel, in Necrologia Germaniae, vol. ii (M.H.G.), Berlin, 1904. Hertzberg - Fränkel's preliminary researches were communicated to Neues Archiv., xii, xiii. The
references in the text are to his edition.
The somewhat ungrammatical text of this and the collect below are printed as in Hertzberg-Fränkel's edition.
3 I.e. knockers at the door, a term applied to aspirants to the religious life, who were merely candidates for profession or novices.
men. (4) and (5) on p. 20 are followed by (7) and (8) combined under one head. (6) and (9) are on p. 21. On Pp. 22 and 23 is a long list of men (ordo communis virorum defunctorum), followed on p. 26 by a similar list of women. The blank spaces and pages were filled up as time went on. On p. 28, in the original hand, is the concluding prayer:
Dignare domine in memoriam sempiternam commemorare et refrigerare animabus quas de hoc saeculo pacifica assumptione migrare iussisti omnium Christianorum catholicorum quique confessi defuncti sunt quorumque nomina scripta sunt in libro vitae et supra sancto altario sunt posita adscribi iubeas in libro viventium ut a te domine veniam peccatorum consequi mereantur.
The Salzburg book is thus modelled on the lines of a diptych. Opening with the names of prophets and saints, it continues with classified lists of living and dead, preceded by a memento of the first, and concluding with one of the second. It provides a convenient receptacle for names which had outgrown the limits of the diptych, and so avoids the alternative course of filling the margins and vacant spaces of an altar-book with miscellaneous names. The opening prayer, it will be noticed, divides the persons commemorated into those who have deserved inclusion on the ground of their prayers and the witness borne by their holy lives, and those who have given alms to the church. These temporal and spiritual benefactors are rewarded by remembrance in the book of life which lies upon the altar of the church, a symbol of the book of the living in which their names are recorded in heavenly places.
While the continuation, however, proceeded partly on the same lines, its most important feature is the addition of lists of monks from specified monasteries which had entered into agreements of confraternity with the abbey at Salzburg. Such covenants between monasteries were made for purposes of mutual friendship guaranteed by reciprocal intercession. Practically, they supplied a bond of union which, without compromising the independence of the foundations involved,
reminded them of their community of aim and the fruitlessness of an isolated existence. The second Liber Vitae of St. Peter's, Salzburg, begun in 1004, is purely a confraternity book. A list of bishops and abbots of Salzburg is followed by catalogues of the chorepiscopi of Carinthia, and the bishops of Ratisbon, Passau, Freising, Seben (Brixen), and Eichstädt. After a few royal and ducal names come the monks of St. Peter's, living and dead, and members of, thirteen more religious houses. The last two pages are of a more general kind, and are devoted to clerks, men, and women who had been received into the prayers of the monastery and made use of the common bond which this involved (eadem communitate utentes). The list of clerks is headed by the patriarch of Aquileia, who came as a pilgrim; and doubtless the admission of secular clerks and lay-folk to fellowship was habitually a privilege given in return for offerings and larger benefactions.1 The custom of admitting outside persons into confraternity with a monastery became too general to need further comment. By taking this step, the monastery bound itself to intercede perpetually for the good estate of such associates while living and for their souls after death; they became, in a phrase which passed into a common form, partakers in the prayers and in the works of piety which were done among the brethren of the house.
In confraternity books of this type the division of persons according to rank, followed in the earliest parts of the Salzburg and Durham books, is naturally superseded by local headings referring to specific convents. The names of the lay-folk received into fellowship are grouped together without distinction, or under merely general titles, as in the books of St. Gall, Reichenau, and Pfäfers.2 In this
1 See, e.g. Ordericus Vitalis, H.E., vi, 5, upon gifts made to the abbey of Saint-Evroult in return for participation by the donors in spiritual benefits. For the text of letters patent of fraternity issued by the prior and convent of Durham, see
those on behalf of John de Warenne, earl of Surrey, printed in Scriptores Tres, app. pp. cxii, cxiii.
2 See Libri Confraternitatum Sancti Galli Augiensis Fabariensis, ed. P. Piper (M.H.G.), Berlin, 1884.
respect there is a difference between the Salzburg and Durham Libri vitae. The lay-folk of the Lindisfarne MS. are of the highest station, kings, dukes, and queens. On the other hand, the Salzburg book admits a communis ordo of men and women of different ranks. In process of time, the lay element became the prevailing feature in the confraternity system. At first, that system was one of mutual intercession between religious houses. From the beginning, however, lay benefactors had claimed some share in the prayers of the monasteries which they had helped to endow, and it was natural that the admission of laymen should become more frequent, until these associations assumed a mixed character. Brotherhood with other monasteries was a stable feature which was taken for granted.1 Its general recognition is shown by the custom of sending mortuary rolls from monastery to monastery, on the death of the head or some prominent member of a house, asking for the prayers of other convents on his behalf. Each individual layman, on the other hand, was a new accession, bringing fresh friends to the house, and adding something to its goods and to its burden of spiritual responsibility.
How far the monastic liber vitae, in its earliest form, represented a system of confraternity actually in existence is open to doubt. It seems rather to embody the names of those for whom the members of a religious house naturally felt that they were bound to pray, than to record any special covenants into which they had entered with individuals. The existence of the liber vitae, in which the names of benefactors, as the collect in the Salzburg book indicates, were added to those of persons whose devout lives deserved commemoration, may have exercised a powerful influence in
1 For a covenant of alliance between two religious houses, including temporal as well as spiritual privileges, see that between Peterborough and Ramsey, printed in Monasticon, i, 395.
2 For the obituary rolls at Durham see Surtees Soc., vol. 31, which
also includes a calendar of letters of fraternity granted to various persons by the prior and convent between 1315 and 1534. See also L. Delisle, Rouleaux des Morts, Paris, 1866, and W. H. St. John Hope, The Obituary Roll of John Islip (Vetusta Mon.), London, 1906.
the formation of confraternities of intercession. In its later development, the liber vitae became the record of the names of associates who had entered into the confraternity which, on this theory, was its consequence rather than its cause.
There is a natural affinity between the liber vitae, with its more specialised form, the liber confraternitatum, and the official necrology which was kept by each monastery.1 At the same time, there was a fundamental difference between the two types of book. The necrology was a calendar, arranged according to the months of the year, which recorded the 'obitdays of persons specially remembered by the convent. It was employed, not in church, but in the chapter-house, where the reading of the entry for the day followed the versicle Pretiosa in conspectu Domini, and its response, Mors sanctorum eius, at the opening of chapter. The liber vitae, on the other hand, followed no fixed chronological arrangement, and was a book for use in church. It lay upon the altar, in the sight of the congregation and ready to the celebrant's hand. Although the long and evergrowing list of names which it contained could not be read publicly, and it was probably seldom opened save for the purpose of inscribing additions, it was a silent reminder to the priest and to the assembled convent of the living and departed, whose prayers were joined with their own, and of the duty of remembering collectively at the most solemn moment of the service those whose individual names were written in its pages.
It is not intended to discuss the growth of the Durham Liber Vitae here, or to distinguish between the various handwritings in it. These questions will be left for another volume. Attention may be called, however, to some of its outstanding features, and more especially to its witness to the history of the church of Durham.
1 On necrologies see Ebner, op. cit., pp. 130 sqq., and the various
volumes of Necrologia Germaniae (M.H.G.).
* See the quotation from Rites of Durham, below.