Rebirth and Responsibility: Cistercian Stories from the Late Twelfth Century

Cistercian monks at prayer at at work - University Library Cambridge Ms. mm 5.31. fol. 113

‘His face sadder, his look harsher, his speech more bitter, his movements slower…’ He was going from bad to worse.

Skirts and Politics: The Cistercian Monastery of Harvestehude and the Hamburg City Council

Medieval nun with skirt lifted

In 1482, Catharina Arndes lifted up her skirts in front of the archbishop’s chaplain. She was a respectable townswoman from Hamburg, and her action was carried out in defense of the Cistercian monastery of Harvestehude which was close to the city and where several of Catharina’s nieces lived as nuns.

Feminine Love in the Twelfth Century – A Case Study: The Mulier in the Lost Love Letters and the Work of Female Mystics

Heloise and Abelard - painting created in 1819

This article compares the twelfth-century writings of the secular mulier in the Lost Love Letters with the work of religious female ‘mystics’ to draw comparisons about the way these authors chose to express love.

A monastic landscape: The Cistercians in medieval Leinster

Clonmacnoise Monastery (Leinster, Ireland)

This study endeavours to discuss the Cistercian monasteries of Leinster with regard to their physical location in the landscape, the agricultural contribution of the monks to the broader social and economic world and the interaction between the cloistered monks and the secular world.

Saints’ Cults in Medieval Livonia

Medieval Saints

Saints’ cults played a crucial role in medieval society. Although we know very little about the beliefs and rituals of the indigenous peoples of Livonia, either before or after the thirteenth-century conquest, we may assume that the process of Christianization must have caused major changes in their religious practices.

Bernard of Clairvaux’s Writings on Violence and the Sacred

The Vision of St Bernard, by Fra Bartolommeo, c. 1504 (Uffizi)

Monk, exegete, political actor and reformer, Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153) was not just a man of his times; he was a man who shaped his times.

A shared imitation: Cistercian convents and crusader families in thirteenth-century Champagne

Cistercian Nuns 2

This article examines the relationship between Cistercian nunneries and the crusade movement and considers the role of gender in light of the new emphasis on penitential piety and suffering prevalent during the thirteenth century.

Charisma, Medieval and Modern

St Bernard in a medieval illuminated manuscript

Popularized by the mass media, Max Weber’s sociological concept of charisma now has a demotic meaning far from what Weber had in mind. Weberian charismatic leaders have followers, not fans, although, exceptionally, fans mutate into followers.

Networking Scribes

Detail of a miniature of a scribe writing the miraculous Gospels of Kildare - Royal 13 B.VIII, f.22

This was the keynote paper given at the Celtic Studies Association of North America Annual Conference at the University of Toronto April 18 – 21, 2013.

Reconstruction of the diet in a mediaeval monastic community from the coast of Belgium

Medieval food - cook serving food

The aim of the present article is to report the results of stable carbon and nitrogen isotope analysis on skeletons from a Belgian mediaeval population, and to look at variations in diet that may relate to age and social status.

The monastic contribution to mediaeval medical care

Medieval medicine - Détail d'une enluminure du Canon medicinae d’Avicenne

The function of hospitals and monasteries was roughly the same. Illness was regarded by most people as a form of divine punishment. The monasteries were founded on private initiative to intercede for the souls of the living and the dead.

Pilgrimage and Embodiment: Captives and the Cult of Saintsin Late Medieval Bavaria

Saint Leonard

Chief among the stories contained in these miracle stories are tales of escapes from captivity. Almost forty percent of the reports in the two Munich Latin miracle collections deal with liberations from imprisonment and escapes from captivity of various sorts.

Fishing with Monks – Padise Abbey and the River Vantaanjoki from 1351 to 1429

medieval fishing

How did the Cistercian Abbey of Padise in Estonia first come into possession of fishing rights for salmon in the River Vantaanjoki in Finland?

Queen Ermengarde and the Abbey of St Edward, Balmerino

Balmerino Abbey

This article is an examination of the role played by Alexander’s mother, Queen Ermengarde, in the founding of Balmerino.

Construction Methods and Models of Cistercian Abbeys in North-Western Italy between XII and XIII Century

Rivalta Scrivia

Studies on the so-called bernardine plan (plan bernardin, bernhardinischer Grundtypus), a rigid layout without bending elements (transept with squared chapels on the eastern and western sides, and a rectangular pro- jecting church), and the diffusion of this planning choice in the multiform world of the Cistercian architecture made remarkable progress in recent years, thanks to fine job of collecting and classifying examples of this in different European countries

Religious Orders and Growth through Cultural Change in Pre-Industrial England

Cistercians Harvesting

The central hypothesis advanced in the present study is that the cultural virtues emphasized by Weber had a pre-Reformation origin in the religious Order of the Cistercians, a Catholic order which spread across Europe as of the 11th century, and that this monastic order served to stimulate growth during the second millennium by encouraging cultural change in local populations.

A View of the Legal Profession from a mid-twelfth-century monastery

16th century view of Citeaux Abbey

This essay looks back quite a few years-certainly to before the time the living can remember-to the mid-twelfth century, an era that some have marked as the dawn of the modern legal profession in Western European culture.

The Great Beginning of Cîteaux

The Great Beginning of Cîteaux

It is a book of history and lore, often with miraculous stories, meant to continue a great spiritual tradition, and it is also a book meant to justify and repair the Order. The Exordium magnum was in part an effort to provide a historical and formative context for those who were to be Cistercians in the thirteenth century.

Perfect Virgins and Suicidal Maniacs: Monks in Early Thirteenth-Century Pastoralia

Cistercians Harvesting

This summary is of a paper that was the last in the English Cistercian series at Kalamazoo.

Aereld of Rievaulx and the Creation of An Anglo Saxon Past

Aelred of Rievaulx

This paper summary is part of a session on English Cistercians and focused on Aelred of Rievaulx and the abbey of Hexum.

Cistercian Spirituality and Emergence of the Coronation of the Virgin in the Late Middle Ages

Dietisalvi di Speme's depiction of Mary and Jesus in the 13th century

Along with the popular devotion to the Virgin Mary, the theme of the ‘Coronation of the Virgin’ acquired high popularity through the artistic representation of the Virgin.

Medieval treasures discovered in English abbey

Curator Susan Harrison with the Furness Abbey crozier - photo courtesy English Heritage

An archaeological investigation at Furness Abbey in northwest England has uncovered the grave of an abbot, which includes an extremely rare medieval silver-gilt crozier and bejewelled ring.

VAGANTES: Between Tradition and Change: Monastic Reform in Three fifteenth-century German Redactions of the Life of Saint Mary of Egypt

St. Mary of Egypt 3

Using the life of St. Mary of Egypt, this paper will consider three different Middle High German versions produced by reform communities and will analyze how the reform ideologies and goals manifest in the texts.

The debate on the Epistolae duorum amantium. Current status

Abelard & Heloise

The methodological questions at stake are much more important and interesting. To quote the initial words of P. von Moos’ monumental article, these documents represent a real challenge for medievalism.

The medieval monastery as franchise monopolist

Cistercians Harvesting

This paper continues a line of inquiry begun by Ekelund, HCbert and Tollison, (hereafter, E-H-T) which uses the theories of monopoly, rent seeking, and industrial organization to explain the economics of the medieval monastery…

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