Book Series Europa Sacra, vol. 16

Bruno the Carthusian and his Mortuary Roll

Studies, Text, and Translations

Hartmut Beyer, Gabriela Signori, Sita Steckel (eds)

  • Pages: 326 p.
  • Size:156 x 234 mm
  • Illustrations:4 b/w
  • Language(s):English, German
  • Publication Year:2014

  • ISBN: 978-2-503-55009-1
  • Hardback
  • Available
  • ISBN: 978-2-503-55808-0
  • E-book
  • Available

The present volume offers the complete text of the mortuary roll of Bruno of Cologne († 1101), founder of the Carthusian order, in an English and German translation, and five studies contextualizing this unique medieval source.


"Diese Edition ist sehr benutzerfreundlich gestaltet und die Übersetzungen sind gelungen, weil sie eine gute Transkription begleiten und ergänzen." (Coralie Zermatten, in: Sehepunkte, 15 (2015), Nr. 9)

"Das Editionswerk mit seinen nützlichen Übersetzungen und begleitenden Untersuchungen ist ein wertvoller und innovativer Beitrag zur mittelalterlichen und humanistischen Literatur- und Liturgiegeschichte sowie zur Geschichte des Wissens und der Scholastik. Obwohl einige Aspekte ein wenig vernachlässigt werden, liefert das Buch exzellente Beiträge für die weitere Forschung." (Annick Peters Custot, in: Historische Zeitschrift, 302, 2016, p. 181-183)

«Ce travail d’équipe s’est concentré sur Bruno de Cologne (…) Plusieurs études complémentaires, regroupées en trois sections, se sont livrées à une profonde analyse de ce document nécrologique dont apparaît toute la valeur historique.» (G.Michiels, dans le Bulletin Codicologique Scriptorium, 2, 2015)

"(...) der Totenrotel Brunos, die nun in vorbildlicher Weise zugänglich gemacht worden is." (Christoph Galle, in Mittellateinisches Jahrbuch 51, 3, 2016, p. 463-465)

"The volume covers every aspect of Bruno’s Roll and frames it within the context of other documents of the same genre." (David Daintree, in Parergon, 33/2, 2016, p. 182)

“Das Buch eröffnet den Zugang zur schwierigen Quellengattung der Rotuli,…” (Franz Neiske, dans Francia-Recensio, 1, 2018)

« (…) l’ouvrage vaut par ces traductions et par le soin qu’il apporte à retracer les contextes documentaire. Littéraire, intellectuel et religieux qui entourent la genèse du rouleau comme la seconde vie que lui confère l’impression de 1515. Il mérite donc de susciter l’intérêt bien au-delà du seul cercle des spécialistes de l’histoire cartusienne. »(Sylvain Excoffon, dans Revue d’histoire ecclésiastique, 116/3-4, 2021, p. 939-940)


As founder of the Carthusian order, Saint Bruno of Cologne († 1101) is known as a leading figure in the twelfth-century religious renewal. As recent research has emphasized, he was also one of the first proponents of a new intellectual culture of the French schools as a teacher at Reims before his conversion and retreat to the Italian hermitage of La Torre.

Various contrary aspects of his life are commemorated in his mortuary roll, a unique document that was sent around churches and monasteries of Europe upon his death by his fledgling hermit community. Over 150 entries by individuals and monastic or clerical communities in Italy, France, and England, mostly in verse, survive in an early sixteenth-century text witness.

In celebrating Bruno’s life and saintly death, the many-voiced entries comment upon intellectual and religious ideals, illustrating literary practices and intellectual and spiritual values as well as the pragmatic workings of memoria. The present edition includes all materials accompanying the sole surviving sixteenth-century print of the roll. It offers complete translations into English and into German, and includes five studies by experts debating the most important aspects and contexts of this singular and multi-faceted medieval text.


List of Illustrations

About this volume

Part I - The Mortuary Roll

Introduction: The Rotulus  — GABRIELA SIGNORI

Background and Production of the Early Modern Print — DAVID J COLLINS SJ

Tituli – Versus – Epitaphs: The Form und Topology of Mortuary Roll Poems — HARTMUT BEYER

Part II - Bruno the Carthusian in Context

Bruno of Reims and the Evolution of Scholastic Culture in Northern France, 1050–1100CONSTANT J. MEWS

Doctor doctorum. Changing Concepts of ‘Teaching’ in the Mortuary Roll of Bruno the Carthusian († 1101) — SITA STECKEL

Part III - Text and translations

About the edition

Text and translation