“Die Mediävistik muss dem Editor zu großem Dank verpflichtet sein, dass die Erschließung der für viele Fragen wichtigen Gattung der Bußbücher fortgesetzt wird..” (Karl Ubl, in Deutschen Archiv, 74/2, 2018, p. 764)
Adriaan Gaastra earned his PhD at Utrecht University. His thesis on the Italian penitentials of the eleventh and twelfth centuries was part of a project on Penitentials of the tenth and eleventh centuries. This project, "Building a Christian society: penitentials of the tenth and eleventh centuries" was funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) and supervised by Dr. Rob Meens.
In the eleventh and early twelfth centuries South and Central Italy witnessed a comparatively late flowering of penitentials. Although the genre of handbooks for confessors originated in the sixth century, it is only in this period that a substantial number of penitentials were compiled in this region. Some of these texts have been published in antiquated, nineteenth-century editions, while others have never appeared in print. This volume attempts to do justice to this penitential literature by providing a new edition of the penitentials compiled in this period. The Italian texts edited in this volume are the Paenitentiale Casinense (ms. Montecassino, Archivio dell’Abbazia, 372), the Paenitentiale Vaticanum (ms. Vatican, Archivio di San Pietro, H. 58), the Paenitentiale Vallicellianum E. 62 (ms. Rome, Biblioteca Vallicelliana, E. 62), the Paenitentiale Vallicellianum C. 6 (ms. Vallicelliana, C. 6), and the Paenitentiale Lucense (ms. Lucca, Biblioteca Statale, 1781). These texts, which are closely related, constitute an important source for the religious, social and intellectual history of this region. This volume also contains the first edition of the Frankish Paenitentiale in II libris, which was an important source for the Italian penitentials of this period.