Book Series Studies and Texts, vol. 135

The Necrology of San Nicola Della Cicogna

(Montecassino, Archivo della Badia, 179, pp. 1-64)

Charles Hilken (ed)

  • Pages: 188 p.
  • Size:175 x 260 mm
  • Language(s):English
  • Publication Year:2000

  • ISBN: 978-0-88844-135-5
  • Hardback
  • Available


The present work, an edition and study of the necrology of the monastery of San Nicolo della Cicogna, a dependency of the abbey of Montecassino, is part of the Monumenta Liturgica Beneventana, a project devoted to bringing to light the rich medieval liturgical tradition preserved in books written in the Beneventan minuscule of southern Italy. A medieval monastic necrology was a liturgical record of death anniversaries announced by the monks in their daily meeting in the chapter room after the office of prime. It was the natural complement to a martyrology, which also called the monastic community to prayerful remembrance of the Church that had preceded them. The necrology of San Nicola, preserved in the monastery's chapter book, is written into the empty spaces following the daily entries of the martyrology, an Italian recension of Bede and the oldest martyrology at Montecassino. The introduction seeks to reconstruct the history of San Nicolo, using literary and documentary evidence from the abbey of Montecassino. In addition to a discussion of the Bedan martyrology and an analysis of the names contained in the necrology, it includes a description of the other parts of the chapter book, including identifications of items within the capitular homiliary, and the incipit and explicit of each homily. The book also provides an index of names of the dead as well as a small register of documents, including census records, land transactions, and spiritual contracts, which survive from the monastery. The study reveals that monasticism at Cicogna was still heavily lay, that is, non-clerical. Secondly, the monastic community bound itself, by spiritual confraternity, to the larger Benedictine brotherhood, especially with the nearby abbey and its other local affiliated monasteries. The number of names in common with the necrology of Montecassino makes the present edition an important tool in the study of that much larger work.