Book Series Sermo, vol. 9

Sermo doctorum

Compilers, Preachers, and their Audiences in the Early Medieval West

Maximilian Diesenberger, Yitzhak Hen, Marianne Pollheimer (eds)

  • Pages: 454 p.
  • Size:156 x 234 mm
  • Illustrations:2 b/w, 5 tables b/w.
  • Language(s):English, German, French
  • Publication Year:2014

  • ISBN: 978-2-503-53515-9
  • Hardback
  • Available
  • ISBN: 978-2-503-54325-3
  • E-book
  • Available

This collection of essays focuses on a wide range of topics related to the composition, transmission, and dissemination of sermons and homiliaries in the early medieval West.



"This volume sustains the invitational tone that Diesenberger sets at the start, as each contributor acknowledges the difficulty of discerning early medieval societies in their sermons while together offering a coherent set of methodologies to work through them." (Jamie Kreiner, in: The Medieval Review, January 2015, [15.01.14])

"(...) the excellent case studies in this volume (...)" (M. Cré, in: Scriptorium 2015/01, nr. 254)

"(...) einen Band, den man reich belehrt aus der Hand legt." (H. S., in: Deutsches Archiv für Erforschung des Mittelalters Band DA 71-1, 2015, p. 283-286)

«The richness and diversity of sources, approaches, and lengths of the studies make it difficult to generalize about the whole collection, but it is easy to say that this collection consists of uniformly strong essays of certain interest to students and scholars of early medieval Europe, the history of Christianity, manuscript studies, or the history of preaching. Owen M. Phelan.»  (John T. Slotemaker, in Religious Studies Review, 41.2, 2015, p. 84)

“As Maximilian Diesenberger notes in his introduction to the volume, there is a paucity of recent publications on early medieval sermons and, as such, Sermo Doctorum provides a valuable vade mecum of recent scholarship on the subject.”(Joanna Thornborough, in Early Medieval Europe, 25/2, 2017, p. 230-231)


Despite their large number and their potential significance for our understanding of the genesis of Christian thought and practice, early medieval sermons have been conspicuously neglected by modern scholarship. Taking their lead from recent studies that transformed our understanding of the post-Roman world, the various contributors to this collection of essays explore a wide range of topics related to the composition, transmission, and dissemination of sermons and homiliaries in the early medieval West. Some papers focus on individual sermons in an attempt to identify their authors and aims; others examine the manuscript evidence for the compilation and transmission of composite homiliaries; and a few question our concept of early medieval sermons as a peculiar genre that merits special attention. By bringing early medieval sermons into the centre of discussion this volume, which is the first book dedicated to early medieval sermons and homiliaries, makes an important contribution to our understanding of the religious culture of the early medieval West. This multi-lingual collection of papers examines a plethora of texts which, in the past, were pushed to the margins of historical research, and offers a fresh look at these works in their own cultural, religious, and social context.



Introduction: Compilers, Preachers, and their Audiences in the Early Medieval West — MAXIMILIAN DIESENBERGER

Orators, Authors, and Compilers: The Earliest Latin Collections of Sermons on Scripture — MARK VESSEY

Prudentius’s Eloquent Martyr: Some Observations on Peristephanon 10 — KURT SMOLAK

Der Augustinuscento Sermo Mai 66: Mit einem textkritischen Anhang zu Predigten auf Perpetua und Felicitas — CLEMENS WEIDMANN

The Homilies of Avitus — IAN N. WOOD

Publikumskonstruktionen in den Predigten des Caesarius von Arles — KARL BRUNNER

The Content and Aims of the So-Called Homiliary of Burchard of Würzburg — YITZHAK HEN

Winithar in Sankt Gallen (um 760–?) und der Versus Winitharii — WALTER BERSCHIN UND BERNHARD ZELLER

Cambridge, Corpus Christi College MS 334 and its Implications: A Source for Paul the Deacon’s Homiliary — ROSAMOND MCKITTERICK

Hrabanus Maurus – the Compiler, the Preacher, and his Audience — MARIANNE POLLHEIMER

Inmaculata, Incorrupta, Intacta: Preaching Mary in the Carolingian Age — CLARE WOODS

A Preaching Bishop: Atto of Vercelli and his Sermon Collection — ROB MEENS

The Preacher’s Audience, c. 800–c. 950 — JAMES MCCUNE

Sermones ad diem pertinentes: Sermons and Homilies in the Liturgy of the Divine Office — JESSE D. BILLETT

Sermons sous forme de centons dans deux recueils de Freising — FRANÇOIS DOLBEAU

The Old French Sermon on Jonah: The Nature of the Text — DAVID GANZ