Book Series Sermo, vol. 13

The Sermons of William Peraldus

An Appraisal

Siegfried Wenzel

  • Pages: 219 p.
  • Size:156 x 234 mm
  • Illustrations:2 tables b/w.
  • Language(s):English
  • Publication Year:2017

  • ISBN: 978-2-503-56798-3
  • Hardback
  • Available
  • ISBN: 978-2-503-56799-0
  • E-book
  • Available

A study of the sermons by the thirteenth-century Dominican William Peraldus


“As a whole, Wenzel's book is a welcome contribution to medieval sermon studies. This book can function as a handbook for students working with medieval sermons, but also lays the foundation for scholars focusing on Peraldus. In future research it would be welcome for somebody to take into account all of Peraldus' works, for an increased understanding of both his moral and theological teaching and of his potential audiences.” (Erik Claeson, in H-Soz-Kult, 2018/2, 164)

“It is greatly to be hoped that other scholars will take up where Wenzel has left off here, and that they will approach the subject with the care and attention demonstrated in this short study. If Wenzel is right that Peraldus' sermons mark something new in sermon making by providing a treatise commenting on the lections for the liturgical year, and on the face of it the argument is convincing, then there is much valuable work to be done, and a solid foundation is here provided for future work.” (Sean Otto, in The Medieval Review, 18.09.36)

“In general, the author presents a convincing panorama of Peraldus’s sermons collections. (M. Verweij, in Scriptorium Bulletin Codicologique, 1, 2018, p. 91)

“This is a volume which will richly repay careful study and which thus deserves to succeed.” (Stephen Morrison, dans The Journal of Theological Studies, 70/2, 2019, p. 893)


The French Dominican William Peraldus or Guillaume Peyraut (died c. 1275), well known for his long summae on the vices and virtues, also produced several cycles of sermons, of which two deal with the Epistle and the Gospel readings for the Sundays of the Church year. This study analyzes the latter in some detail and argues that, rather than collecting sermons he had preached earlier, Peraldus wrote these sermons systematically for the use of other preachers. The Epistle sermons for the first Sunday in Advent and the Gospel sermons for the third Sunday in Advent are presented in their original Latin text together with an English translation in order to demonstrate how Peraldus dealt with the biblical text as well as his moral concerns and his literary style. The selected texts are then compared with several other major cycles produced in France in Peraldus’s time. Like his summae on the vices and the virtues, Peraldus’s sermons became very popular in medieval Europe, as is witnessed by selective copying and citations that can be seen in a number of instances primarily from the sermon literature of later medieval England. One aspect of this popularity is the adaptation of his material into a genuine sermon, as it can be found in the sermons attributed to Repingdon, of which one is here examined in detail.




A Note on References and Editorial Practices

Chapter 1. Sermon Collections, Sermon Cycles

Chapter 2. The Epistle Sermons

Chapter 3. The Epistle Sermons - Style

Chapter 4. The Gospel Sermons

Chapter 5. Peraldus and His Contemporaries

Chapter 6. Popularity

Chapter 7. From Biblical Exegesis to Sermon

Chapter 8. Epilogue

Appendix A. Epistle Sermons

Appendix B. Gospel Sermons

Appendix C. The Epistle Sermons for the First Sunday in Advent - Text

Appendix D. The Epistle Sermons for the First Sunday in Advent - Translation

Appendix E. The Gospel Sermons for the Third Sunday in Advent - Text

Appendix F. The Gospel Sermons for the Third Sunday in Advent - Translation

Appendix G. Peraldus in the Sorbon Manuscripts

Appendix H. Cambridge, Gonville and Caius College, MS 233/199

Appendix I. Cambridge, St  John's College, MS C.12

Appendix J. Repingdon on Cum audisset

Appendix K. The Redacted Sermon on Cum audisset

Works Cited

Index of Manuscripts Cited

General Index