Clerics in the Early Middle Ages: Hierarchy and Image, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Clerics in the Early Middle Ages

Hierarchy and Image, 1st Edition

By Roger E. Reynolds


346 pages

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Hardback: 9780860788089
pub: 1999-12-23
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This volume covers two closely related themes. Essays in the first section deal with the varieties of clerics and their hierarchical arrangements in the churches of western Europe in the early Middle Ages, the formative period in which the ordering of clerics in the Western Church evolved. The number and numbering of clerics was debated and then established, as was their status as minor and sacred orders. In one of several hitherto unpublished pieces in this collection the significance of the elevation of the subdeacon to a sacred order in the later 11th century is examined, together with its effect on the status of the highest grades of priest and bishop, often seen to be one in order but distinct in office. In the second section, visual depictions of clerics in early medieval manuscripts are shown to have reflected their hierarchical ordering, especially in their ordinations, in the vestments and symbols assigned them, and in their functioning at conciliar gatherings.

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface; Clerics in the Early Middle Ages: hierarchies and functions; Christ as cleric: the ordinals of Christ; ’At sixes and sevens’ - and eights and nines: the sacred mathematics of sacred orders in the early Middle Ages; The subdiaconate as a sacred and superior order; Patristic ’Presbyterianism’ in the early medieval theology of sacred orders; Clerical liturgical vestments and liturgical colors in the Middle Ages; The portrait of the ecclesiastical officers in the Raganaldus Sacramentary and its liturgico-canonical significance; Image and text: the liturgy of clerical ordination in early medieval art; Rites and signs of conciliar decisions in the early middle ages; Addenda and corrigenda; General Index; Index of Manuscripts.

About the Series

Variorum Collected Studies

The first title in the Variorum Collected Studies series was published in 1970. Since then well over 1000 titles have appeared in the series, and it has established a well-earned international reputation for the publication of key research across a whole range of subjects within the fields of history.

The history of the medieval world remains central to the series, with Byzantine studies a particular speciality, but the range of titles extends from Hellenistic philosophy and the history of the Roman empire and early Christianity, through the Renaissance and Reformation, up to the 20th century. Islamic Studies forms another major strand as do the histories of science, technology and medicine.

Each title in the Variorum Collected Studies series brings together for the first time a selection of articles by a leading authority on a particular subject. These studies are reprinted from a vast range of learned journals, Festschrifts and conference proceedings. They make available research that is scattered, even inaccessible in all but the largest and most specialized libraries. With a new introduction and index, and often with new notes and previously unpublished material, they constitute an essential resource. 

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General