The Chrodegang Rules: The Rules for the Common Life of the Secular Clergy from the Eighth and Ninth Centuries. Critical Texts with Translations and Commentary, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Chrodegang Rules

The Rules for the Common Life of the Secular Clergy from the Eighth and Ninth Centuries. Critical Texts with Translations and Commentary, 1st Edition

By Jerome Bertram


304 pages

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Since its earliest days, the Christian Church sought to draw up rules by which its members could live together in religious communities. Whilst those of Augustine (c.400 AD) and Benedict (c.530 AD) provided detailed guidance for monastic life, it took another two centuries for equivalent rules for secular clergy to become accepted on a wide scale. The earliest surviving set of comprehensive rules for canons are those written in the mid-eighth century by St Chrodegang (c.712-766), Bishop of Metz. Writing initially for secular clergy at Metz Cathedral, this work shows how Chrodegang's rule borrowed much from the Benedictine tradition, dealing with many of the same concerns such as the housing, feeding and disciplining of members of the community and the daily routine of the divine offices. At a time when there was no consensus on how clergy should live - whether they should marry or were eligible to own property - Chrodegang's rule provided clear guidance on such issues, and inspired reformers across Europe to consider how clergy lived and interacted with wider society. Although his work was superseded within a generation by the Rule of Aachen, Chrodegang succeeded in setting the agenda for subsequent rules for canons and as such his rule deserves to be given more weight by Church historians than has hitherto been the case. Providing the Latin texts and English translations of the three surviving versions of Chrodegang's rule, (Regula Originalis Chrodegangi, Institutio Canonicorum, Regula Longior Canonicorum) this volume provides an invaluable resource to scholars of medieval Christian communities. Substantial introductions to each text provide historical context and bibliographic details, allowing them to be understood in a much fuller way than has hitherto been possible.


'… provides a useful and accessible place in which to study some important but often neglected early medieval documents.' Catholic Historical Review 'Students and teachers of medieval history will find this work a welcome source for the changing milieu of clerical common life in the early Middle Ages… The Latin is carefully translated into clear and comprehensible English, with many footnotes to satisfy the scholar.' American Benedictine Review

Table of Contents

Contents: Foreword; Acknowledgements; List of abbreviations; The common life of the secular clergy; The Rule of Chrodegang; The Council of Aachen and the Canonical Institute; The Longer Rule; Bibliography; Index.

About the Author

The Reverend Jerome Bertram is an Independent Scholar from Oxford, UK.

About the Series

Church, Faith and Culture in the Medieval West

Church, Faith and Culture in the Medieval West

The series Church, Faith and Culture in the Medieval West reflects the central concerns necessary for any in-depth study of the medieval Church - greater cultural awareness and interdisciplinarity. Including both monographs and edited collections, this series draws on the most innovative work from established and younger scholars alike, offering a balance of interests, vertically through the period from c.400 to c.1500 or horizontally across Latin Christendom. Topics covered range from cultural history, the monastic life, relations between Church and State to law and ritual, palaeography and textual transmission. All authors, from a wide range of disciplinary backgrounds, share a commitment to innovation, analysis and historical accuracy.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General