HIST 203 Lecture Outline (Fall 2016 – Week 11)

Week 11



Gregorian chant, by the Benedictine nuns of Barroux, France (4:26 min.):

Gregorian chant, by monks of Stift Heiligenkreuz, Germany (4:24 min.):

Plan of abbey of St. Gall (Switzerland), 820:

Typical monastic buildings:

  • Church and cloister of abbey of St. Riquier, also called “Centula,” dedicated 799 (engraving, dated 1612, of an 11th-cent. sketch)
  • Church
  • St. Cyriakus, Gernrode, Germany, 961-973: exterior, and interior
  • nave and plan of St. Michael’s, Hildesheim, c. 1001-31, with crossing, transept, choir, apse or chancel, altar)
  • Cloister
  • Chapter house
  • Scriptorium and/or library
  • Dormitory (dorter)
  • Refectory
  • Infirmary

Benedict of Aniane (c. 750-821), a Visigoth from S. France who had been educated at Pepin the Short’s court and served as cup-bearer to Pepin and to Charlemagne, later became a monk and founded a monastery on his own estate at Aniane. Louis the Pious put him in charge of reforming all the Carolingian monasteries with a re-edited and revised version of the Benedictine Rule (Capitulare monasticum), that emphasized liturgical and intellectual work over manual work for the monks.



Private confession and penitential manuals are introduced by monks from British Isles

Churches become places of legal asylum

Monasteries house pilgrims, retirees, and paupers

787 Council of Nicaea rehabilitates cult of religious paintings (vs. Iconoclasm in Byzantine Empire, c. 730-843); religious statuary not restored until late 9th cent., with reliquary busts and figures. (Click here for a page showing scenes from Genesis from the Grandval Bible, written at Tours in 834-43 (London, Add. MS 10546, f. 5v)

Liturgy elaborated in 9th cent., including:

  • New use of incense
  • Gregorian (Roman) chant (required but often not known)
  • Musical notation re-invented: click here to see a German liturgical manuscript of c. 950-1050
  • (Stanford University Library, Philip Bliss collection, M389.)
  • New saints’ days introduced (e.g., Feast of the Assumption of the Virgin, 15 August; Feast of All Saints, 1 November)

910 foundation of abbey of Cluny in Burgundy by Count William (Guillaume) the Pious

Some common ecclesiastical abuses in the early middle ages:

  • Bishoprics and abbacies granted as patronage
  • Clerical marriage or concubinage
  • Ill-educated parish clergy