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The Mendicant Orders and Sanctity in the Thirteenth Century:
A Bibliography

Compiled by Thomas Head
Hunter College and the Graduate Center, CUNY

Contents: 1) General historical studies; 2) General studies of religious history; 3) Hagiography; 4) Mendicant saints; 5) Preaching.

General historical studies.

A convenient, if idiosyncratic, summary of the political history and social development of Europe during the thirteenth century may be found in John Mundy, Europe in the High Middle Ages, 1150-1309, second edition (New York, 1991). See also Léopold Genicot, Le XIIIe siècle européen, revised edition (Nouvelle Clio, 18; Paris, 1984). More specifically on the central kingsdoms and their key monarchs, see: Maurice Powicke, The Thirteenth Century, 1216-1307 (Oxford History of England, 3; Oxford, 1962); Alan Harding, England in the Thirteenth Century (Cambridge, 1993); M. C. Prestwich, Edward I (London, 1988); Monique Bourin-Derruau, Temps d'équilibres, temps de ruptures, XIIIe siècle (Nouvelle histoire de la France médiévale, 3; Paris, 1990); Robert Fawtier, The Capetian Kings of France: Monarchy and Nation, 987-1328, trans. Lionel Butler and R. J. Adam (New York 1960); Elizabeth Hallam, Capetian France: 987-1328 (London, 1980); Jean Richard, Saint Louis, Crusader King of France, ed. Simon Lloyd, trans. Jean Birrell (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992); Alfred Haverkamp, Medieval Germany, 1056-1273, trans. Helga Braun and Richard Mortimer (Oxford, 1984); David Abulafia, Frederick II: A Medieval Emperor (Oxford, 1993).

General studies of religious history.

There are a number of surveys of religious history which provide trustworthy and interesting accounts of the thirteenth century: Colin Morris, The Papal Monarchy: The Western Church from 1050 to 1250 (Oxford, 1989); Richard Southern, Western Society and the Church in the Middle Ages (Harmondsworth, 1970); Friedrich Kempf, Hans-Georg Beck, Eugen Ewig, and Josef Andreas Jungmann, The Church in the Age of Feudalism (New York, 1982); Augustin Fliche, Christianne Thouzelllier, and Yvonne Azais, La Chrétienté romaine (1198-1274) (Paris, 1950); André Vauchez (ed.), Apogée de la papauté et expansion de la chrétienté (1054-1274) (Paris, 1993). The Morris and the Vauchez provide particularly good bibliographies. All treat provide at least summary treatment of the major changes in pastoral care and in religious orders, changes which shaped the concepts and audience of sanctity in this period. An excellent, if impressionistic, essay on the effect of those changes may be found in Guy Lobrichon, La religion des laïcs en Occident, XIe-XVe siècles (Paris, 1994). For more detail, one may consult studies in the following collections: La mort au Moyen Ages (Strasboug, 1977); Faire croire: Modalités de la diffusion et de la réception des messages religieux du XII au XVe siècle (Collection de l'Ecole Française de Rome; 51; Rome, 1981); La prière au Moyen Age (Senefiance, 10; Aix, 1981).

One of the most important developments of scholastic theology, in terms of its impact on the cult of saints, was the doctrine of purgatory. The fullest treatment of the topic is Jacques Le Goff, The Birth of Purgatory, trans. Arthur Goldhammer (Chicago, 1984), although many of his specific conclusions have been disputes. For various reactions, see: Graham Robert Edward, "Purgatory: 'Birth' or Evolution?" Journal of Ecclesiastical History, 36 (1985), pp. 634-46; E. Mégier, "Deux exemples de 'prépurgatoire' chez les historiens: A propos de La naissance du Purgatoire de Jacques Le Goff," Cahiers de civilisation Médiévale, 28 (1985), pp. 45-62; R. R. Atwell, "From Augustine to Gregory the Great: An Evaluation of the Emergence of the Doctrine of Purgatory," Journal of Ecclesiastical History, 38 (1987), pp. 173-86.


The most thorough examination of hagiographic sources from the thirteenth century is Michael Goodich, Vita perfecta: The Ideal of Sainthood in the Thirteenth Century (Monographien zür Geschichte des Mittelalters, 25; Stuttgart, 1982). Summaries of the evidence may be found in articles by Goodich: "The Politics of Canonization in the Thirteenth Century: Lay and Mendicant Saints," Church History, 44 (1975), pp. 294-307 (reprinted in Stephen Wilson, ed., Saints and Their Cults [Cambridge, 1983], pp. 169-88); "A Profile of Thirteenth-Century Sainthood," Comparative Studies in Society and History, 18 (1976), pp. 429-37; "The Contours of Female Piety in Later Medieval Hagiography," Church History, 50 (1981):20-32.

Lest we think that "traditional" saints cults remained in a kind of stasis during this period, see Olivier Guyotjeannin, "Les reliques de saint Eloi à Noyon: procès et enquêtes du milieu du XIIIe siècle," Revue Mabillon, new series, 1 (1990), pp. 57-110 and Louis Carolus-Barré, "Saint Louis et la translation des corps saints," in Etudes d'histoire du droit canonique dediées à Gabriel Le Bras (Paris, 1965), pp. 1088-112.

Perhaps the most famous royal saint of medieval Europe-Louis IX of France-reigned and was canonized in this period. The main texts may be found in volume 20 of the Reueil des historiens de la France et de la Gaule, supplemented by R. Folz, "La Sainteté de Louis IX d'après les textes liturgiques de sa fête," Revue d'histoire de l'Eglise de france, 57 (1971), pp. 31-45; David O'Connell, The Teachings of St Louis: A Critical Text (Chapel Hill, NC, 1972); David O'Connell, Les Propos de Saint-Louis (Paris, 1974); Louis Carolus-Barré, Le procès de canonisation de Saint Louis (1272-1297). Essai de reconstitution (Collection de l'Ecole Française de Rome, 195; Paris/Rome, 1994). The bibliography on Louis is enormous, but on his sanctity the best treatment is that by Robert Folz in Les saints rois du Moyen Ages en Occident (VIe-XIIIe simcles (Brussels, 1984), supplemented by the views of E. R. Labande, "Saint Louis Pèlerin," Revue d'histoire de l'Eglise de france, 57 (1971) and Louis Carolus-Barré, "Saint Louis dans l'histoire et la legende," Annuaire Bulletin de la Société de l'histoire de france (1970-1).

Cults also developed in the thirteenth century which were truly "popular" in origin, that is beyond the control of, and sometimes opposed to, clerical authority. On the cult of a rebelllious baron in England, see John Theilmann, "Political Canonization and Political Symbolism in Medieval England," Journal of British Studies, 29 (1990), pp. 241-266; J. R. Maddicott, "Follower, Leader, Pilgrim, Saint: Robert de Vere, Earl of Oxford, at the Shrine of Simon de Montfort, 1273," English Historyical Review, 109 (1994), pp. 641-653; Claire Valente, "Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester, and the Utility of Sanctity in Thirteenth-Century England," Journal of Medieval History, 21 (1995), pp. 27-49. And on the relics of a canine saintly intercessor, see the highly entertaining and interesting, if also problematic, analysis by Jean-Claude Schmitt in Le Saint lévrier. Guinefort, guériseur d'enfants depuis le XIIIe siècle (Paris, 1979; ET: The Holy Greyhound [Cambridge, 1983]).

The Mendicant Saints.

Lester Little provides a provocative treatment of the rise of the mendicant orders which places them in their social context in Religious Poverty and the Profit Economy in Medieval Europe (Ithaca, NY, 1978). For a summary of modern scholarship and translation of the most important primary sources, see Rosalind Brooke, The Coming of hte Friars (London, 1975). General surveys in English of the histories of the two most important mendicant orders may be found in J. R. H. Moorman, A History of the Franciscan Order (Oxford, 1968) and William Hinnebusch, The History of hte Dominican Order, 2 vols. (New York, 1965-73). On the development of the tertiary orders of lay penitents or disciplinati associated with the mendicants, see G. G. Meersseman, Dossier de l'ordre de la péitence au XIIIe siècle (Fribourg, 1961); Mariano d'Alatri (ed.), I frati penitenti di San Francesco nella società del due e trecento (Rome); André Simon, L'Ordre des pénitentes de Ste Marie-Madeleine en Allemagne au XIIIe siècle (Fribourg, 1918).

There are surprisingly few considerations of mendicant hagiography as a genre. But one may consult the following excellent works: Raoul Manselli, "Agiografia Francescana tra interpretazione teologica e religiosità," Agiografia nell'occidente cristiano, secoli XIII-XV (Atti dei convegni Lincei, 48; Rome, 1980), pp. 45-56; Alain Boureau, "Vitae fratrum, Vitae patrum. L'ordre dominicain et le modele des Peres du desert au XIIIe s," Melanges de l'Ecole francaise de Rome. Moyen Age - temps modernes, 99 (1987), 79-100; Roberto Taciocco, Da Francesco ai 'Catalogi Sanctorum.' Livelli isituzionali e immagini agiografiche nell'Ordine Francescano (secoli XIII-XIV) (Collectio Assisiensis, 20; Assisi, 1990); the essays collected in André Vauchez, Ordini mendicanti e società italiana, XIII-XV secolo (Milan, 1990). On hagiography associated with the disciplinati, see Fausta Casolini, "I penitenti in 'Leggende' e Cronache," in I Frati Penitenti (see above), pp. 69-85. The rise of the mendicants did not only change models of hagiography, but other modes of seeking access to the sacred. See, inter alia, Daniel Russo, "Saint François, les Franciscains et les représentations du Christ sur la croix en Ombrie au XIIIe siçcle. Recherches sur la formation d'une image et sur une sensibilité esthétique au Moyen Age," Mélanges de l'Ecole française de Rome, Moyen Age, 96 (1984), pp. 647-715. On new liturgical forms, see William Bonniwell, A History of the Dominican Liturgy, second edition (1945) and Stephan van Dijk, "Ursprung und Inhalt der franziskanischen Liturgie des 13. Jahrhunderts," Franziskanische Studien, 51 (1969).

Francis of Assisi. On the writings by and about Francis, see John Moorman, The Sources for the Life of S. Francis of Assisi (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1940); Sophronius Clasen, Legenda antiqua des Heiligen Franziskus (Leiden, 1967); Kajetan Esser (ed.), Die "Opuscula" des hl. Franziskus von Assisi: Neue textkritische Edition (Grottaferrata, 1976); Rosalind Brooke (ed. and trans.), The Writings of Leo, Rufino, and Angelo: Companions of St. Francis (Oxford, 1970). For English translation, see Marion Habig (ed.), St. Francis of Assisi: Writings and Early Biographies: English Omnibus of the Sources for the Life of St. Francis (Chicago: Franciscan Herald Press, 1973). For an interesting comment on the history of hagiographical scholarship concerning Francis, see Guy Philippart, "Les Bollandistes et le dossier de S. François," Gli studi francescani dal dopoguerra ad oggi, ed. Fr. Santi (Spoleto, Centro Italiano di Studi sull'Alto Medioevo, 1993), p. 47-71. There is an extraordinary amount of scholarship on Francis, most of it based in part on hagiographic sources. Among the universe are the following: John Moorman, Saint Francis of Assisi (London, 1950); Hilarin Felder, Die Ideale des hl. Franziskus von Assisi, 6th ed. (Paderborn, 1951); Francis De Beer, La conversion de Saint François selon Thomas de Celano: Etude comparative des texts relatifs à la conversion en Vita I et Vita II (Paris, 1963); Omer Englebert, Saint Francis of Assisi, trans. Eve Marie Cooper, 2nd ed. (Chicago, 1966); T. S. R. Boase, St. Francis of Assisi (London, 1968); San Francesco nella ricerca storica degli ultimi ottanta anni (Todi, 1971); Edward Armstrong, St. Francis, Nature Mystic: The Derivation and Significance of the Nature Stories in the Franciscan Legend (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1973); Heinrich Tilemann, Studien zur Individualität des Franziskus von Assisi (Hildesheim, 1973); Morris Bishop, Saint Francis of Assisi (Boston, 1974); Lawrence Cunningham, Saint Francis of Assisi (Boston: Twayne, 1976); Anthony Mockler, Francis of Assisi: The Wandering Years (Oxford, 1976); Stanislao da Campagnola, Francesco d'Assisi nei suoi scritti e nelle biografie dei secolli XIII-XIV (Assisi, 1981); Stanislao da Campagnola, "Le prime 'biografie' del santo," in Roberto Rusconi (ed.), Francesco d'Assisi: Storia e arte (Milan, 1982), pp. 36-48; Hester Gelber, "A Theater of Virtue: The Exemplary World of St. Francis of Assisi," in John Stratton Hawley (ed.), Saints and Virtues (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1987), pp. 15-35; Rona Goffen, Spirituality in Conflict: St. Francis and Giotto's Bardi Chapel (University Park, 1988); Raoul Manselli, Saint Francis of Assisi, trans. Paul Duggan (Chicago: Franciscan Herald, 1988); K. Reblin, Freund und Feind: Franziskus von Assisi im Spiegel der protestantischen Theologiegeschichte (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1988); Richard Trexler, Naked Before the Father: The Renunciation of Francis of Assisi (New York: Peter Lang, 1989). For further bibliographical guidance, see O. Schmucki, "Quellen und studien uber den Hl. Franziskus von Assisi (1987-1990)," Collectanea franciscana, 60 (1990), pp. 255-310. On the iconography and cult of Francis, see George Kaftal, St. Francis in Italian Painting (London, 1950); Isidoro Gatti, Il tomba di San Francesco nei secoli (Assisi, 1983); James Stubblebine, Assisi and the Rise of Vernacular Art (Cambridge, 1985).

Dominic Guzman. There is much less literature on Dominic, particularly on the much smaller hagiographic dossier. The standard life is M.-H. Vicaire, Histoire de S. Dominique, new ed. (Paris, 1982; ET of earlier edition, London, 1964), although William Hinebusch's The History of the Dominican Order (see above) is also useful. For a guide to the hagiography, see Christopher Brooke, "St. Dominic and his First Biographer," Medieval Church and Society (London, 1971), pp. 214-32. On vernacular versions of the lives, consult W. F. Manning, "Les Vies médiévales de Saint Dominique en langue vulgaire," and "Les Manuscripts et miniatures des Vies en langue vulgaire," Cahiers de fanjeaux, 1 (1966), pp. 48-69 and 69-73. For translations of the sources, see Jordan of Saxony, A New Life of Saint Dominic, trans. Edmond Ceslas McEniry (Columbus, Ohio: Aquinas College, 1926) and Francis Lehner (ed.), Saint Dominic: Biographical Documents (Washington, D.C., 1964).

Other early (male) mendicant saints. Anthony of Padua (+1231): Ernest Gilliat-Smith, Saint Anthony of Padua According to His Contemporaries (London and Toronto, 1926); Jacques Toussaert, Antonius von Padua: Versuch einer kritischen Biographie (Cologne, 1967). Peter the Martyr (+1252): A. Dondaine, "Saint Pierre Martyr," Archivum Fratrum Praedicatorum, 23 (1953), pp. 66-162. Hyacinth of Cracow (+1257): Fabyan Windeatt, Northern Lights: The Story of Saint Hyacinth of Poland and His Companions (London, 1945). Bonaventure (+1274): Efrem Bettoni, Saint Bonaventure, trans. Angelus Gambatese (Notre Dame, Ind., 1964). Thomas Aquinas (+1274): Ch.-D. Boulogne, Saint Thomas d'Aquin: Essai biographique (Paris, 1968); Willehad Paul Eckert (ed. and trans.), Das Leben des heiligen Thomas von Aquino, erzählt von Wilhelm von Tocco, und ander Zeugnisse zu seinem Leben (Düsseldorf, 1965); Kennelm Foster (ed. and trans.), The Life of Saint Thomas Aquinas: Biographical Documents (London, 1959). Philip Benizi (+1285): D. B. Wyndham Lewis, A Florentine Portrait: Saint Philip Benizi (London, 1959). Nicholas of Tolentino (+1305): Carlos Alonso, Saggio bibliografico su San Nicola da Tolentino (Tolentino).

On the cultivation of saints cults by the mendicants, see André Vauchez, "La commune de Sienne, les ordres mendiants et le culte des saints. Histoire et enseignements d'une crise," Mélanges d'archéologie et d'histoire publiés par l'école française de Rome, 89 (1977), pp. 757-767 and Chiara Frugoni, "The Cities and the 'New' Saints," in Anthony Molho, Kurt Raaflaub, and Julia Emlen (eds.), City-States in Classical Antiquity and Medieval Italy (Ann Arbor, 1993).


Preaching was, of course, one of the most important and characteristic activities of the mendicants. David d'Avray provides an excellent introduction to the topic in The Preaching of the Friars (Oxford, 1985). For more general context, see the essays collected in Jacqueline Hamesse and Xavier Hermand (eds.), De l'homélie au sermon: Histoire de la prédication médiévale (Louvain, 1993). For preaching about the saints, see C. Piana, "I sermoni di Federico Vixconti arcivescovo di Pisa (+1277)," Rivista di storia della Chiesa in Italia, 6 (1952); Carlo Delcorno, "Il racconto agiografico nella predicazione dei secoli XIII-XV," Agiografia nell'occidente cristiano, secoli XIII-XV (Atti dei convegni Lincei, 48; Rome, 1980), pp. 79-114; O. Schmucki, "Zur Uberlieferung der Vogelpredigt des Hl. Franziskus von Assisi," Theologische Zeitschrift, 45 (1989), p. 142-151; Nicole Bériou, "La madeleine dnas les sermons parisiens du XIIIe siècle," Mélanges de l'Ecole Française de Rome, Moyen age, 104 (1992), pp. 269-340; Katherine Jansen, "Mary Magdalen and the Mendicants: The Preaching of Penance in the Late Middle Ages," Journal of Medieval History, 21 (1995), pp. 1-25. On a particular topic of earlier interest, see Christoph Maier, Preaching the Crusades: Mendicant Friars and the Cross in the Thirteenth Century (Cambridge, 1994). For one movement in which both preaching and eschatological imagery were essential, see Augustine Thompson, Revival Preachers and Politics in Thirteenth-Century Italy (Oxford, 1992).

Preaching served as an effective tool of pastoral care and lay education because it was at least in part carried out in the vernacular. On the language of sermons, see such work as Giles Constable, "The Language of Preaching in the Twelfth Century," Viator, 25 (1994), pp. 131-52; Michel Zink, La prédication et langue romane avant 1300 (Paris, 1982); Carlo Delcorno, "Predicazione volgare e volgarizzamenti," Mélanges de l'Ecole Française de Rome, Moyen age, 89 (1979), pp. 679-89; Zelina Zafrana, "Predicazione francescana ai laici," in her Da Gregorio VII a Bernardino da Siena (Perugia, 1987); Siegfried Wenzel, Macaronic Sermons: Bilingualism and Preaching in Late-Medieval England (Ann Arbor, 1994). Large amounts of Latin literature was produced, however, to serve as guides and aids in preaching. The genre of exemplary stories or exempla was closely connected to hagiography: a good introduction and survey may be had from C. Bremond, Jacques Le Goff, Jean-Claude Schmitt, L'exemplum (Typologie des sources du moyen âge occidental, 40; Turnhout, 1982) supplemented by the essays collected in Rhétorique et Histoire: L'exemplum et le modèle de comportement dans le discours antique et médiéval (Mélanges de l'Ecole française de Rome, 92; Rome, 1980). Jacques Berlioz has studied how heroic examples other than the saints could be used in the exempla in "'Héros' païen et prédication chrétienne: Jules César dans le recueil d'exampla du dominicain Etienne de Bourbon (mort v. 1261)," in Exemplum et Similitudo: Alexander the Great and Other Heroes as Points of Reference in Medieval Literature, ed. W. J. Aerts and M. Gosman (Medievalia Groningana, 8; Groningen, 1988), pp. 123-41. An important reference guide to the primary sources is found in F. C. Tubach, Index Exemplorum: A Handbook of Medieval Religious Tales (Suonmalainen Tiedakatemia-Academia Scientiarum Fennica, Folklore Fellows Communications, 204; Helsinki, 1969). One may also usefully consult several standard folkloric sources: Stith Thompson, Motif Index of Folkliterature: A Classification of Narrative Elements in Folktales, Ballads, Myths, Fables, Mediaeval Romances, Exempla, Fabliaux, Jest-books and Local Legends, 6 vols. (Suonmalainen Tiedakatemia-Academia Scientiarum Fennica, Folklore Fellows Communications, 106-109 and 116-118; Helsinki, 1932-36) and A. Aarne and Stith Thompson, The Types of the Folktale: A Classification and Bibliography, third edition (Suonmalainen Tiedakatemia-Academia Scientiarum Fennica, Folklore Fellows Communications, 184; Helsinki, 1973).

Collections of saints' lives were also compiled during this period, in part to serve as aids in preaching. The most famous was the Golden Legend of James of Varagine. No truly critical edition of the Latin version of this text has ever been prepared. It was subsequently translated into virtually every European vernacular. A good modern English translation of the Latin original may be found in Jacobus de Voragine, The Golden Legend: Readings on the Saints, trans. William Granger Ryan, 2 vols. (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1993). The most accessible introduction to the work in English is Sherry Reames, The Legenda Aurea: A Reexamination of Its Paradoxical History (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1985). Probably the most profound interpretation has been provided by Alain Boureau, La Légende dorée: Le système narratif de Jacques de Voragine (+1298) (Paris: Éditions du Cerf, 1984) and L'evenement sans fins: Récit et christianisme au moyen âge (Paris, 1993). Other studies include: Sister Mary Jeremy, "Caxton's Golden Legend and Varagine's Legenda Aurea," Speculum, 21 (1946), 212-21; Giselle Huot-Girard, "La justice immanente dans la Légende dorée," Cahiers d'études médiévales 1 (1974), pp. 135-147; Marie-Christine Pouchelle, "Répresentations du corps dans la Légende dorée," Ethnologie française, 6 (1976), 293-308. Also see the essays collected in Brenda Dunn-Lardeau (ed.), Legenda aurea: Sept siècles de diffusion (Cahiers d'études médiévales, Cahier spécial, 2; Montréal, 1986). For the effect of the work on popular art and religion in one limited region of Europe, see the entrancing catalogue Légende dorée du Limousin: Les saints de la Haute Vienne (Limoges, 1993). There were other similar collections prepared by mendicant preachers, see Albert Poncelet, "Le Légendier de Pierre Calo," Analecta Bollandiana, 29 (1910), pp. 5-116; Jean de Mailly, OP, Abrégé des gestes et miracles des saints, trans. Antoince Dondaine (Paris, 1947); Brigitte Cazelles, Le corps de sainteté d'après Jehan Bouche d'Or, Jehan Paulus et quelques vies des XIIe et XIIIe siècles (Geneva, 1982).

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