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Liturgists and Dance in the Twelfth Century: The Witness of John Beleth and Sicard of Cremona1

  • Constant J. Mews


Dancing is not often associated with Christian liturgy, at least in modern experience. Yet according to the Mitralis de Officio of Sicard, bishop of Cremona (1185–1215), composed about 1200, the circular dance (chorea) provides a key metaphor for understanding the liturgy of Easter. Sicard here draws together two earlier discussions of the subject, both from the twelfth century and of enormously wide influence, manifesting a more positive attitude toward dance than found in many early medieval commentators on the liturgy: the Gemma animae (Jewel of the soul) of Honorius Augustodunensis, composed for a monastic audience in the early twelfth century, probably in Germany, and the De ecclesiasticis officiis of John Beleth, a secular cleric writing probably in Paris circa 1150–1160. While many scholars have observed the renewal of interest in the pagan authors within a literary context in the twelfth century, the witness of liturgical commentaries from the period has been little noticed. Sicard implies that the festivities of the pagan Saturnalia and its associated freedom of expression (the so-called “December freedom”) can legitimately be used to explain the festivities that take place at Easter:

All Christians ought to come together freely at the above mentioned daily offices to celebrate the glory of the resurrection, which will be revealed in us. This solemnity is therefore the jubilee of Christians, when quarrels are settled, offenses forgiven. Let those who had sinned be reconciled, let debts be canceled. Let work places not be opened, merchandise not displayed for sale except for those things without which a meal cannot take place. Let prisoners be freed, shepherds and servants not forced to service so that they are able to enjoy freedom and to delight in the festivity of future joy. Thus it is that in the cloisters of certain churches even bishops enjoy the December freedom with their clerics, even to descending to the game of the circular dance or ball (ludum choreae vel pilae)—although it seems more praiseworthy not to play; this “December freedom” is so called in that in the month of December, shepherds, servants, and maidservants were governed among the gentiles with a kind of freedom by their masters, so that they could celebrate with them after the harvest was collected. And note that the gentiles established circular dances to honor idols, so that they might praise their gods by voice and serve them with their whole body, wanting to foreshadow in them in their own way something of the mystery. For through the circling, they understood the revolution of the firmament; through the joining of hands, the interconnection of the elements, through the gestures of bodies, the motions of the signs or planets; through the melodies of singers, the harmonies of the planets; through the clapping of hands and the stamping of feet, the sounding of thunder; but what those people showed to their idols, the worshipers of the one God converted to his praise. For the people who crossed from the Red Sea are said to have led a circular dance, Mary is reported to have sung with the tambourine; and David danced before the ark with all his strength and composed psalms with his harp, and Solomon placed singers around the altar, who are said to have created sound with voice, trumpet, cymbals, organs, and other musical instruments.



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2 Sicard of Cremona, Mitralis de Officiis 6.15, ed. Gabor Sarbak and Lorenz Weinrich, Corpus Christianorum Continuatio Mediaeualis (CCCM) 228 (Turnhout: Brepols, 2008), 545–546; PL 213: 351D–352B. Thompson, Augustine draws extensively on the testimony of Sicard, including his comments about Easter, in Cities of God: The Religion of the Italian Communes, 1125–1325 (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2005), 335. Lorenz Weinrich suggests that the Mitralis, not widely circulated outside northern Italy, was written over several years, between 1191 and 1205: “Die Handschriften des ‘Mitralis de officiis’ des Sicard von Cremona,” in Felten, Franz J. and Jaspert, Nikolas, eds., Vita Religiosa im Mittelalter: Festschrift für Kaspar Elm zum 70. Geburtstag (Berlin: Duncker & Humblot, 1999), 865876.

3 Honorius Augustodunensis, Gemma animae, PL 172: 541D–738B; Flint, Valerie I. J. lists more than fifty surviving manuscripts in Honorius Augustodunensis, Authors of the Middle Ages (Aldershot, U.K.: Ashgate, 1995), 164. Beleth, John, Summa de ecclesiasticis officiis, ed. Douteil, Heribert, CCCM 41–41A (Turnhout: Brepols, 1976); Douteil describes over one hundred and eighty surviving manuscripts, CCCM 41: 75*–271*, assigning most of the ones he uses to the thirteenth century (CCCM 41: 13*).

4 Sicard of Cremona, Mitralis 6.15, CCCM 228: 545–546. The editors note that lines 472–486 are copied from Beleth, Summa de ecclesiasticis officiis 117a, 117d, 120a, ed. Douteil, CCCM 41, 219, 223, but not the dependence of lines 486–499 on Honorius, Gemma animae 139, PL 172: 587CD; in both cases copied phrases are cited in italics, here and in further notes: “Ad supradicta hodierna officia omnes Christiani debent libere conuenire ad applaudendum gloriae resurrectionis quae reuelabitur in nobis. Haec solempnitas igitur est iubilaeus Christianorum, in qua discordes pacificentur, offensae remittantur. Qui deliquerant, reconcilientur, debita non exigantur. Ergasteria non aperiantur, uenalia non exponantur, exceptis illis sine quibus caena duci non potest. Captiui relaxentur, pastores et serui ad seruitia non artentur, ut libertate ualeant perfrui et in festiuitate futurae laetitiae delectari. Inde est quod in claustris quarundam ecclesiarum etiam episcopi [Beleth adds: uel archiepiscopi] cum suis clericis decembrica libertate utuntur, descendentes etiam ad ludum choreae uel pilae, quamuis non ludere laudabilius sit [Beleth: Licet autem magne ecclesie ut Remensis hanc ludendi consuetudinem teneant, tamen non ludere laudabilius esse uidetur] et dicitur haec decembrica libertas, eo quod mense decembris pastores, servi et ancillae quadam libertate apud gentiles a dominis dominarentur [Beleth: festa agentes conuiuia post collectas messes], et collectis messibus cum eis conuiuarentur. Et attende, quod gentilitas ad plausum idolorum choreas instituit, ut deos suos, et uoce laudarent, et eis toto corpore seruirent, uolentes etiam in eis aliquid more suo figurare misterii; nam per circuitionem [Honorius: per choreas autem] intelligebant firmamenti reuolutionem, per manuum complexionem elementorum connexionem, per melodias cantantium harmonias planetarum; per corporum gesticulationes [Honorius: per corporis gesticulationem], signorum uel planetarum motiones [Honorius: motionem]; per plausum manuum et strepitum pedum crepitationes tonitruorum. Sed quod illi suis idolis exhibuerunt, cultores unius Dei ad ipsius praeconia conuerterunt [Honorius: Quod fideles imitati sunt, et in servitium veri Dei converterunt]. Nam populus de mari Rubro egressus, choream duxisse, et Maria cum timpano legitur praecinuisse, et David ante arcam totis uiribus saltauit et cum cithara psalmos cecinit, et Salomon circa altare cantores instituit, qui uoce, tuba, cimbalis, organis et aliis musicis instrumentis cantica personuisse leguntur.

5 Sachs, Curt, World History of the Dance, trans. Schönberg, Bessis (New York: Norton, 1965).

6 Mead, G. R. S., “Ceremonial Game Playing and Dancing in Mediaeval Churches,” in The Quest: A Quarterly Review (October 1912), reprinted in The Sacred Dance in Christendom, The Quest Reprint Series 2 (London: John M. Watkins, 1926), 91–110, alongside two other essays on sacred dance, originally published in The Quest: A Quarterly Review: “The Sacred Dance of Jesus” [October 1910]; “Ceremonial Dances and Symbolic Banquets in Mediaeval Churches” [January 1913]; Gougaud, H. in his entry, “Danse,” in the Dictionnaire d'archéologie chrétienne et liturgique [DACL] 4. 1 (Paris: Letouzey 1920), cols. 248258, summarizing his earlier study, “La danse dans les Eglises,” Revue d'histoire ecclésiastique 15 (1914): 1–22, 229–245. There is a rich summary in Rokseth, Yvonne, “Danses cléricales du XIIIe siècle,” Mélanges 1945 des Publications de la Faculté des Lettres de Strasbourg, 3. Etudes historiques (Paris, 1947), 93126. See also Foatelli, Renée, Les Danses religieuses dans le Christianisme (Paris: Editions Spes, 1947); Backman, E. Louis, Religious Dances in the Christian Church and in Popular Medicine (London: George Allen & Unwin, 1952); Daniel, Marilyn, The Dance in Christianity: A History of Religious Dance through the Ages (New York: Paulist Press, 1981). Davies, J. G., Liturgical Dance: An Historical, Theological, and Practical Handbook (London: SCM, 1984) is noteworthy for his scholarly caution, although there is very little account of the medieval literature, apart from a list of references to condemnation of dances (49–53). Schmitt, Jean-Claude comments on the importance of dance in scripture, as well as in medieval tradition, in La raison des gestes (Paris: Gallimard, 1990), 8692.

7 Sicard, Mitralis 6.15, CCCM 228: 546; PL 213: 352A preserves only the final phrase of Beleth, De eccl. off. 120a, CCCM 41A: 223: “Licet autem magne ecclesie ut Remensis hanc ludendi consuetudinem teneant, tamen non ludere laudabilius esse uidetur.”

8 Beleth, De eccl. off. 159r, CCCM 41A: 308.

9 For a thoughtful analysis of Horace's use of the December freedom image within Saturnalian convention, see Bernstein, Michael André, “‘O Totiens Servus’: Saturnalia and Servitude in Augustan Rome,” Critical Inquiry 13:3 (Spring 1987), 450474, developed within Bitter Carnival: Ressentiment and the Abject Hero (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1992). Bernstein, “‘O Totiens Servus,’” reports the widespread phenomenon of such a ritual practice, such as occurs once a year in the Ashanti tribe of northern Ghana (454).

10 John of Salisbury, Policraticus, Prol. l. 89, ed. K. S. B. Keats-Rohan, CCCM 118 (Turnhout: Brepols, 1993), 24, and Policraticus 7.225, ed. C. C. J. Webb, 2 vols. (Oxford: Clarendon, 1909), 2: 224–225.

11 Wright, Craig, The Maze and the Warrior: Symbols in Architecture, Theology, and Music (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2001), 129158, especially 139–151 on the dance at Auxerre, Sens, and Chartres, and 317 n. 35. See also Doob, Penelope Reed, The Idea of the Labyrinth from Classical Antiquity through the Middle Ages (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1990).

12 Wright, The Maze and the Warrior, 9, 29–37; cf. Isidore, , Etymologiae 15.2.36, ed. Lindsay, W. M. (Oxford: Clarendon, 1912): “Labyrinthus est perplexis parietibus aedificium, qualis est apud Cretam a Daedalo factus, ubi fuit Minotaurus inclusus; in quo si quis introierit sine glomere lini, exitum inuenire non ualet. Cuius aedificii talis est situs ut aperientibus fores tonitruum intus terribile audiatur: descenditur centenis ultra gradibus; intus simulacra et monstrificae effigies, in partes diuersas transitus innumeri per tenebras, et cetera ad errorem ingredientium facta, ita ut de tenebris eius ad lucem uenire inpossibile uideatur.” Plutarch, in his Life of Theseus, reports that the inhabitants of Delos celebrated a dance, celebrating how Theseus danced with other youth of his company who had been rescued from the Minotaur. The passage is alluded to by Victorinus, Marius, Ars grammatica, in Grammatici latini, vol. 6, ed. Keil, Heinrich (Hildesheim, 1960) 60: “Hoc genus in sacris cantilenis ferunt quidam instituisse Theseum, qui occiso Minotauro cum apud Delum solveret vota, imitatus intortum et flexuosum iter labyrinthi cum pueris virginibusque, cum quis evaserat, cantus edebat, primo in circuitu, dehinc in recursu, id est strophe et antistropho. Alii tradunt hoc sacrorum cantu concentum mundi cursumque ab hominibus imitari.”

13 Ibid., 19.8.1: “In fabricis parietum atque tectorum Graeci inuentorem Daedalum adserunt; iste enim primus didicisse fabricam a Minerua dicitur.”

14 Wright, The Maze and the Warrior, 13–16, 41–43.

15 Wright, The Maze and the Warrior, 50–59.

16 Durandus, William, Rationale diuinorum officiorum I–VIII, ed. Davril, A., Thibodeau, T. M., Guyot, B. G., CCCM 140–140B (Turnhout: Brepols, 1995–2000).

17 Durandus, Rationale diuinorum officiorum 1.5.14. CCCM 140: 62: “Si uero quis subito moriatur in ludis consuetis, ut in ludo pile, sepeliri potest in cimiterio quia nemini nocere intendebat; sed quia mundialibus occupabatur aiunt quidam quod sepeliri debet sine psalmis et sine ceteris mortuorum obsequiis” [words from Beleth italicized].

18 This translation is that of Wright, The Maze and the Warrior, 139–140, given without reference to the original Latin, supplied by Lebeuf, Jean within his study, “Remarques sur les anciennes Réjouissances Ecclesiastiques,” Mercure de France, May 1726, 911925, esp. 921–922: “Accepta pilota a proselyto seu tirone Canonico, Decanus, aut alter pro eo olim gestans in capite almutiam ceterique pariter, aptam diei Festo Paschae Prosam antiphonabat quae incipit Victimae Paschali laudes: tum laeva pilotam apprehendens, ad Prosae decantatatae numerosos sonos tripudium agebat, ceteris manu prehensis choream circa daedalum ducentibus, dum interim per alternas vices pilota singulis aut pluribus ex choribaudis a Decano serti in speciam tradebatur aut jaciebatur. Lusus erat et organi ad choreae numeros. Prosa ac saltatione finitis chorus post choream ad merendam properabat. Ibi omnes de Capitulo, sed et capellani atque Officiarii, cum quibusque nobilioribus oppidanis in corona sedebant in subselliis seu orchestra; quibus singulis nebulae oblatae, bellariola, fructeta, et cetera hujusmodi cum apri, cervi aut leporis conditorum frustulo offerebantur, vinumque candidum ac rubrum modeste ac moderate una scilicet aut altera vice propinabatur, lectore interim e cathedra aut pulpito Homiliam festivam concinente. Mox signis majoribus ex turri ad Vesperas, etc.” Lebeuf's article was reproduced anonymously in Leber, Constant, Collection des meilleures Dissertations, Notices et Traités particuliers, relatifs à l'Histoire de France (Paris, 1826), 9: 391401, under the title “Lettre curieuse sur le jeu de la pelote et la danse des chanoines du chapitre d'Auxerre.” Wright does not mention that the letter had been quoted and discussed by Mead, “Ceremonial Game Playing and Dancing in Mediaeval Churches,” in The Quest: A Quarterly Review (October 1912), reprinted in The Sacred Dance in Christendom, 91–110, esp. 96–98 (see n. 6 above). The Auxerre letter was also mentioned by Heers, , Fêtes des fous et carnavals (Paris: Fayard, 1983), 9295. See too Doob, Penelope Reed, “The Auxerre Labyrinth Dance,” Proceedings of the Eighth Annual Conference of the Society of Dance History Scholars, 15–17 February 1985 (Riverside, Calif.: Dance History Scholars, 1985), 132142.

19 Wright, The Maze and the Warrior, 140; Mead, “Ceremonial Game Playing,” 99–100, gently mocks the interpretation offered by Lebeuf that “the dean would catch hold of one of the canons by the hand and begin a dance, which was followed by the dancing of the other canons in a circle or in another mode, and of the ball being passed by the president to the players, and them passing it back to the president.” Mead writes that Lebeuf “proceeds to draw a comic picture of the grave church dignitaries breathlessly waltzing, with their violet cassocks tucked up to their waists and the ends of their amices fluttering in violent agitation behind them. He starts with a false notion of a jeu de paume, a secular merry game and dance at best, and then falls into quite unnecessary difficulties and contradictions” (100).

20 Lebeuf, Mercure, 915–916, and Fresne, Charles DuCange, Du, Glossarium Mediae et Infimae Latinitatis, 10 vols. (Niort: 1883–1887), 6:253 under pelota; see also documents identified by Wright, The Maze and the Warrior, 321 n. 35.

21 Mead, “Ceremonial Game Playing,” 101, and with further discussion of the feast at both Auxerre (where it was called grolia or la grolée) in “Ceremonial Dances and Symbolic Banquets,” 259–262 (n. 5 above).

22 Wright, The Maze and the Warrior, 80–86.

23 On this element of the Apostles’ Creed (known from the fourth century) and liturgical reenactment of the theme of Christ's descent in the second- or third-century Gospel of Nicodemus, see Wright, The Maze and the Warrior, 80–81, quoting a significant part of The Gospel of Nicodemus. On the medieval transmission and development of this text, see two works by Izydorczyk, Zbigniew, Manuscripts of the Evangelium Nicodemi: A Census (Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 1993) and The Medieval Gospel of Nicodemus: Texts, Intertexts, and Contexts in Western Europe (Tempe, Ariz.: Medieval & Renaissance Texts & Studies, 1997).

24 Wright, The Maze and the Warrior, 142.

25 See n. 12; Martianus Capella recalls that the “labyrinthine Daedalus” was believed to have created a woman of outstanding beauty, holding in her left hand a solid ball of clothing, from which the entire universe would be created, De nuptiis philologiae et Mercurii: 6.579, ed. J. Willis (Leipzig: Teubner, 1974), 204: “‘Nimirum’ inquam ‘ista, quae veniet, Apellen Polyclitumque transcendit; ita quippe memoratur posse omnia effigiare, ut labyrintheus Daedalus eam credendus sit genuisse.’ Et cum dicto prospicio quandam feminam luculentam radium dextera, altera sphaeram solidam gestitantem amictamque laevorsum peplo, in quo siderum magnitudines et meatus, circulorum mensurae conexionesque vel formae, umbra etiam telluris in caelum quoque perveniens vel lunae orbes ac solis auratos caliganti murice decolorans inter sidera videbatur.”

26 Wright, The Maze and the Warrior, 84, referring to earlier studies, notably Faulkner, Ann, “The Harrowing of Hell at Barking Abbey and in Modern Production,” in The Iconography of Hell, ed. Davidson, Clifford and Seiler, Thomas H. (Kalamazoo, Mich.: Medieval Institute, 1992), 141157. See also Young, Karl, The Drama of the Medieval Church, 2 vols. (Oxford: Clarendon, 1933).

27 Wright provides an image of what he calls “fashionable citizens of Chartres enjoying the pleasures of the maze, from an engraving of 1696,” in The Maze and the Warrior, 214, though he comments on an eighteenth-century reference to the maze at Sens taking two thousand steps (presumably on one's knees) to accomplish (47). In his article of 1912, “Ceremonial Game Playing,” 99 n. 2 (n. 6 above), Mead comments that pilgrims to Chartres were still practicing the devotion of the rosary when moving through the labyrinth.

28 Wright, The Maze and the Warrior, 51–52.

29 Wright, The Maze and the Warrior, 156–157 and 324 n. 100–101, quoting an anonymous report, “La Danse candiote,” Magazin pittoresque 6 (1838): 216.

30 Lucian of Samosata, The Dance, in Lucian with an English Translation [no. 45], ed. and trans. A. M. Harmon, vol. 5 (London: Heinemann, 1936), 209–289.

31 For example, Livy, , Ab urbe condita 1.20.4 (Leipzig: Teubner, 1982): carmina cum tripudiis sollemnique saltatu; 10.40.5: tripudium solistimum; 21.42.4: cum sui moris tripudiis; 23.26.9: tripudiantes more suo; 25.17.5: cum tripudiis Hispanorum; 38.17.4: et ululatus et tripudia. Petersmann, Hubert argues that the Romans were less involved in sacred dancing than the Greeks, “Springende und tanzende Götter beim antiken Fest,” reprinted in his collected papers, Lingua et Religio: ausgewählte kleine Schriften zur antiken Religionsgeschichte auf sprachwissenschaftlicher Grundlage, ed. Hessen, Bernd, Hypomnemata: Supplement-Reihe 1 (Göttingen:  Vandenhoeck und Ruprecht, 2002), 89104. He identifies the ancient tripudium as metrically equivalent to a short, followed by two longs. Isidore, defines chorea as referring either to songs or leaping, Etymologiae 6.19.6, ed. Lindsay, W. M. (Oxford: Clarendon, 1912).

32 Sicard alludes to Exodus 15.19: “sumpsit ergo Maria prophetis soror Aaron tympanum in manu egressaeque sunt omnes mulieres post eam cum tympanis et choris”; II Sam. 6.5, 16: “David autem et omnis Israhel ludebant coram Domino … Michol filia Saul prospiciens per fenestram vidit regem David subsilientem atque saltantem coram Deo”; I Par. [=I Chronicles] 13.8; 15.29: “porro David et universus Israhel ludebant coram Deo omni virtute in canticis et in citharis et lyris et tympanis et sistris et cymbalis … Michol filia Saul prospiciens per fenestram vidit regem David saltantem atque ludentem et despexit eum in corde suo.” II Par. [=II Chronicles] 5.12 etc.

33 Jerome, , Commentarii in prophetas minores, In Abacuc 2.3.10, ed. Adriaen, Marc, CCSL 76A (Turnhout: Brepols, 1970), 634: “tunc etiam superi, id est angeli in plausum suis manibus concreparunt, ut uictorem ueluti gestu quodam et tripudio eleuatarum manuum demonstrarent.” In Zachariam 2.8.5, CCSL 76A: 809: “gaudete, iterum dico gaudete, mentis laetitiam gestu corporis indicabunt, et tripudiante saltatu, dicent cum Dauid: saltabo et ludam in conspectu domini.” In Zachariam 3.12.10, CCCSL 76A: 868: “haec et alia illudentes, et quodam amentiae tripudio saltantes loquebantur.” Commentarii in iv epistulas Paulinas, Ad Ephesios 3, PL 26: 559: “certe tunc in populo dicta placuerunt, et quodam plausu ac tripudio sunt excepta.” Epist. 23.3, ed. I. Hilberg, CSEL 54 (Vienna, 1910), 213: “ille, quem ante paucos dies dignitatum omnium culmina praecedebant, qui, quasi de subiectis hostibus triumpharet, capitolinas ascendit arces, quem plausu quodam et tripudio populus romanus excepit, ad cuius interitum urbs uniuersa commota est.” Epist. 130.6, ed. I. Hilberg, CSEL 56 (Vienna, 1918), 181: “parum loquor: cunctae per africam ecclesiae quodam exultauere tripudio.”

34 The patristic debt to pagan debate about dance is usefully covered by Davies, Liturgical Dance (n. 6 above).

35 “Cassiodorus,” Historia tripertita 10.9.1, ed. W. Jacob and R. Hanslik, CSEL 71 (Vienna, 1952), 696; PL 69: 1171D, quoting Socrates, Historia ecclesiastica 6.8. Cf. Ignatius, Epistolae ad Ephesios 4, PG 5: 648B; Ad Romanos 2.2, PG 5: 688B.

36 Honorius, Gemma animae 140, PL 172: 621AB; expanding on Cassiodorus, Historia ecclesiastica 8.5, ed. Jacob-Hanslik, CSEL 71: 473–476. Sicard, Mitralis 5 Prol. CCCM 228: 292, repeating Beleth, De eccl. off. 58d, CCCM 41A : 106, but adding that antiphons were like a dance: “Legitur enim in Tripertita historia, quod beatus Ignatius patriarcha Antiochenus audiuit angelos cantantes antiphonatim super montem quendam et exinde instituit antiphonas in ecclesia cantari et psalmos secundum antiphonas centonizari [Sicard: cum psalmis in choro, quasi chorea cantari]. Vnde dicuntur antiphone in respectu ad psalmodiam, sicut responsoria ad hystoriam. Et cum prius confuse et quasi in chorea cantarentur psalmi et antiphone, statutum est a patribus, ut seorsum chorus sederet et alternatim psalleret, id est una pars chori cantaret unum uersum psalmi et reliqua alium.” This goes back to Cassiodorus (in fact a translation of Greek church historians, commissioned by Cassiodorus), Historia ecclesiastica 10.9.1.

37 Chrysostom, Homiliae in Matthaeum 48, PG 58: 492: “For where there is a dance, there also is the Devil. For God has not given us our feet to use in a shameful way but in order that we may walk in decency, not that we should dance like camels (for even dancing camels make an unpleasant spectacle much more than women), but in order to dance ring-dances with the angels. For if it is shameful for the body to behave thus, the more so is it for the spirit to do so. Thus dance the demons and thus dance the servants of the demons”: cited by E. Louis Backman, Religious Dances, 32.

38 Ambrose, , Expositio euangelii secundum Lucam 6, ed. Adriaen, Marc, CCSL 14 (Turnhout: Brepols, 1957), 177: “Docuit nos scriptura cantare grauiter, psallere spiritaliter; docuit etiam saltare sapienter dicente domino ad Ezechihel: plaude manu et percute pede; neque enim histrionicos fluxi corporis motus deus morum censor exigeret aut indecoros crepitus uiris plaususque femineos imperaret, ut tantum prophetam deduceret ad ludibria scaenicorum et mollia feminarum. Non congruunt resurrectionis reuelata mysteria et obprobria saltationis exacta. Est sane, est quidam proprius bonorum actuum factorumque plausus, cuius sonus in orbem exeat et bene gestorum resultet gloria, est honesta saltatio, qua tripudiat animus, et bonis corpus operibus eleuatur, quando in salicibus organa nostra suspendimus.”

39 Ambrose, , De paenitentia 2.6, ed. Gryson, Roger, Sources chrétiennes 179 (Paris: Cerf, 1971), 160162: “Et ideo cavendum ne qui vulgari quadam sermonis huius deceptus interpretatione putet nobis saltationis lubricae histrionicos motus et scenae deliramenta mandari; haec etiam in adulescentula aetate vitiosa sunt. Sed saltationem eam mandavit quam saltavit David ante arcam domini. Totum enim decet quidquid defertur religioni, ut nullum obsequium quod proficiat ad cultum et observantiam Christi, erubescamus. Non ergo illa deliciarum comes atque luxuriae saltatio praedicatur, sed qua unusquisque corpus adtollat inpigrum, nec humi pigra iacere membra vel tardis sinat torpere vestigiis. Saltabat spiritaliter Paulus cum se pro nobis extenderet et posteriora obliviscens, priora adpetens contenderet ad bravium Christi. Tu quoque, cum ad baptismum venis, manus elevare, pedes, quibus ad aeterna conscendas, velociores habere admoneris. Haec est saltatio fidei socia, gratiae comes.” Backman observes the ambiguity of these texts of Ambrose, Religious Dances, 28–30; Davies argues that they cannot be used as evidence of actual dance, Liturgical Dance, 36–43, observing comments of Greek authors in the fourth century b.c.e. that there was by then little or no dancing in Greek tragic choruses. The evidence of Lucian's dialogue on dance (n. 30 above), however, suggests that dancing was still an integral feature of theatrical performance in the second century c.e.

40 Augustine, , De libero arbitrio 2.16.166, ed. Green, W. M., CCSL 29 (Turnhout: Brepols, 1970), 266; De musica 1, 6, PL 32: 1099, 1175, 1177; De ordine 2.11.34, ed. Green, CCSL 29: 126.

41 Augustine, Enarrationes in Psalmos Ps. 149.7, CCSL 40: 2183 “Et chorus quid significat? Multi nouerunt chorum; et quia in ciuitate loquimur, prope omnes norunt. Chorus est consensio cantantium. Si in choro cantamus, concorditer cantemus.”

42 Ambrose, , De patriarchis 10.44, ed. Shenkl, C., CSEL 32.2 (Vienna, 1897), 149: “exibunt et tripudiabunt sicut uituli resoluti uinculis”; De fuga saeculi 4.20, ed. Shenkl, CSEL 32.2: 180: “Qui enim delectatur hoc mundo et tripudiat in uoluptatibus corporis obnoxius est sensuum passionibus atque in his habitat et deuersatur.” Explanatio psalmorum xii 79.3, ed. M. Petschenig, CSEL 62 (Vienna, 1919), 134: “quasi interesset ipsis Christi et ecclesiae nuptialis copulae sacramentis, ita tripudiat et gaudet.” Cf. Augustine, Contra Iulianum 5, PL 44: 800–801, alluding to Julian of Eclanum, Libri iv ad Turbantium 3, ed. L. De Coninck, CCSL 88 (Turnhout: Brepols, 1977), 377.

43 Sermo 311, PL 38: 1415: “Numquidnam in hoc loco, etsi Psalmus cantandus est, ab aliquo saltandum est? Aliquando ante annos non valde multos etiam istum locum invaserat petulantia saltatorum. Istum tam sanctum locum, ubi jacet tam sancti Martyris corpus, sicut meminerunt multi qui habent aetatem; locum, inquam, tam sanctum invaserat pestilentia et petulantia saltatorum. Per totam noctem cantabantur hic nefaria, et cantantibus saltabatur. Quando voluit Dominus per sanctum fratrem nostrum episcopum vestrum, ex quo hic coeperunt sanctae vigiliae celebrari, illa pestis aliquantulum reluctata, postea cessit diligentiae, erubuit sapientiae.”

44 Augustine, , Sermo 305A, Sancti Augustini sermones post Maurinos reperti, ed. Morin, G., in Miscellanea Agostiniana, vol. 1 (Rome, 1930), 58: “Qui erant, et quorum filii erant, quorum saltatione recenti et prope hesterna memoria de loco sancti martyris Cypriani prohibitae sunt? Certe saltabant ibi, et gaudebant ibi; et sollemnitatem ipsam, quasi gauderent, magnis uotis expectabant, et ad eum diem semper uenire cupiebant. Inter quos numerandi sunt? Inter persecutores martyrum, an inter filios martyrum?”

45 Sermo 326, PL 38: 1449; Backman, 34.

46 Rebillard, Eric, In hora mortis: évolution de la pastorale chrétienne de la mort aux IVe et Ve siècles dans l'Occident latin (Rome: Ecole française de Rome, 1994); see also Saxer, Victor, Morts, martyrs, reliques: en Afrique chrétienne aux premiers siècles: les témoignages de Tertullien, Cyprien et Augustin à la lumière de l'archéologie africaine (Paris: Beauchesne, 1980).

47 Caesarius of Arles, Sermo 13.4, ed. G. Morin, CCSL 103 (Turnhout: Brepols, 1953), 67.

48 Caesarius of Arles, Sermo 55.2, ed. Morin, CCSL 103: 241–244; 242: “Sunt et alii, qui pro hoc solo desiderant ad natalicia martyrum convenire, ut inebriando, ballando, verba turpia decantando, choros ducendo et diabolico more saltando, et se subvertant, et alios perdant; et qui deberent exercere opus Christi, ministerium conantur implere diaboli.” There is very similar wording, with extra comment about women, in Collectio canonum in V libris 3.60, ed. M. Fornasari, CCCM 6 (Turnhout: Brepols, 1970), 342: “Sunt quidam et maxime mulieres quae festi ad sacris diebus atque sanctorum nataliciis non pro eorum quibus debent delectantur desideriis aduenire, sed ballando, uerba turpia decantando, choros tenendo ac ducendo, similitudinem paganorum aduenire curant.”

49 Translations of a number of such texts are included in Medieval Handbooks of Penance, trans. John T. McNeill and Helena M. Gamer (New York: Columbia University Press, 1938), 273 (ballare vel saltare during any festival, in Iudicium Clementis, ed. Wasserschleben, Die latinischen Poenitentialbücher der Angelsachsen, 176ff), and 289 (ballare vel saltare in relation to marriages, Penitential of Silos. Burchard of Reims, Decretum 134, PL 140, 648B: Presbyteri, diaconi, subdiaconi, vel deinceps quibus ducendi uxores non est licitum, etiam alienarum nuptiarum evitent convivia, neque his coetibus admisceantur, ubi amatoria cantantur et turpia, aut obscoeni motus corporum choris et saltationibus efferuntur).

50 Medieval Handbooks of Penance, 333, quoting Burchard, Decretum 9.5 (PL 140, 963C): “Observasti excubias funeris, id est interfuisti vigiliis cadaverum mortuorum ubi Christianorum corpora ritu paganorum custodiebantur, et cantasti ibi diabolica carmina, et fecisti ibi saltationes quas pagani diabolo docente adinvenerunt; et ibi bibisti, et cachinnis ora dissolvisti, et, omni pietate et affectu charitatis postposito, quasi de fraterna morte exsultare visus es?” 10. 34 (838A) [from Council of Arles]: “Laici qui excubias funeris observant, cum timore et tremore et reverentia hoc faciant. Nullus ibi praesumat diabolica carmina cantare, non joca et saltationes facere, quae pagani diabolo docente adinvenerunt.”

51 Sermo 192.4, CCSL 104: 782.

52 Isidore of Seville, De ecclesiasticis officiis 1.41 CCSL 113, ed. C. W. Lawson (Turnhout: Brepols, 1987), 46–47: “Ieiunium kalendarum ianuariarum propter errorem gentilitatis instituit ecclesia. Ianus enim quidam princeps paganorum fuit a quo nomen mensis ianuarii nuncupatur. Quem inperiti homines ueluti deum colentes in religione honoris posteris tradiderunt, diemque ipsum scenis et luxoriae sacrauerunt. Tunc enim miseri homines et, quod peius est, etiam fideles sumentes species monstruosas in ferarum habitu transformantur alii femineo gestu demutati uirilem uultum effeminant; nonnulli etiam de fanatica adhuc consuetudine quibusdam ipso die obseruationum auguriis profanantur; perstrepunt omnia saltantium pedibus, tripudiantium plausibus; quod que his turpius nefas, nexis inter se utriusque sexus choris, inops animi, furens uino, turba miscitur.”

53 In the sixth century, Martin of Braga reports the continuing struggle over enforcement of the Kalends of April [25 March] over the Kalends of January as the beginning of the new year, in On the Castigation of Rustics (c. 574), translated within Christianity and Paganism, 350–750: The Conversion of Western Europe, ed. J. N. Hillgarth (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1986), 57.

54 Damian, Peter, Epist. 80, ed. Reindel, Kurt, Die Briefe des Petrus Damiani, MGH, Briefe, 4 vols. (Munich, 1983–1989), 2: 413.

55 Gratian, , Concordantia discordantium canonum 2.26.7, ed. Friedberg, E. (1879), 1045.

56 Gemma animae I.140, PL 172: 587D–588A. Quoted within n. 4.

57 Plato, Timaeus, Chalcidio interprete, ed. J. H. Waszink (London, 1975), 31, 33.

58 Dox, Donnalee, The Idea of the Theater in Latin Christian Thought: Augustine to the Fourteenth Century (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2004), esp. 7485 on Honorius.

59 Gemma animae 3.11–14, PL 172:646B–647A.

60 See above n. 4.

61 Michaud-Quentin, Pierre, “Les évêques de Paris dans la seconde moitié du XIIe siècle,” in Huitième centenaire de Notre-Dame de Paris, ed. Bras, Gabriel Le (Paris: Vrin, 1967), 2630.

62 De eccl. off. c. 54Ag, 54Bi, CCCM 41A: 95, 96, c. 110 (CCCM 41: 92), c. 130d (CCCM 41A: 246), c. 138 g (CCCM 41A: 272–273).

63 The limited evidence relating to Beleth's life is assembled by Douteil, CCCM 41:29*–31*.

64 De eccl. off. 54Ag, 54Bi, CCCM 41A: 95, 96: uoluit dici … ; 110zb, CCCM 41: 92: dicebat … ; 130zd, CCCM 41A: 246: probat … ; 138 g, CCCM 41A: 272: respondet … ; 138ga, CCCM 41: 129: dicebat … ; 147d, CCCM 41A: 287: ut magistro Gilleberto placuit.

65 Douteil (CCCM 41.30*–31*), commenting on references to bishop Maurice in c. 134 Bs and Bu (CCCM 41A: 258, 260) and Elisabeth of Schönau in c. 146 (CCCM 41A: 282).

66 De eccl. off. Prologus, CCCM 41A : 1–2: “In primitiua ecclesia prohibitum erat, ne quis loqueretur linguis, nisi esset qui interpretaretur. Quid enim prodesset loqui, nisi intelligeretur? Inde etiam inoleuit laudabilis consuetudo in ecclesia in quibusdam partibus, ut pronuntiato litteraliter euangelio statim in uulgari populo exponeretur. Quid autem in temporibus nostris est agendum, ubi nullus uel rarus inuenitur legens uel audiens qui intelligat, uidens uel agens qui animaduertat? Iam uidetur esse conpletum, quod a propheta dicitur: Et Erit sacerdos quasi e populo unus [cf. Is. 24.2: et erit sicut populus sic sacerdos]. Videtur ergo potius esse tacendum quam psallendum, potius silendum quam tripudiandum. Sed ne claudantur ora canentium: Ad te, Domine, Deus meus, Deo auxiliante contra hoc dampnum triplicis lectionis adhibeamus remedium et primo dicamus de ecclesiasticis institutionibus, secundo de expositionibus diuersorum sermonum, tertio de rationibus dierum.”

67 De doctrina christiana 4.10, l.18, ed. J. Martin CCSL 32 (1962), quoted by Abelard, Theologia “Scholarium” 2.35, ed. Eligius-Marie Buytaert and Constant J. Mews, CCCM 13 (1987), 424; Peter Abailard. Sic et Non Prol. ll. 37–40, ed. Blanche Boyer and Richard McKeon (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1976), 90.

68 De eccl. off. 69, CCCM 41A: 130–131: “a) Sequitur de festiuitatibus sequentibus natiuitatem. Vespere natalis debent primo celebrari tote, postea conueniunt diaconi in tripudio et cantant Magnificat cum antiphona de sancto Stephano, et sacerdos dicit collectam. Nocturnos et officium crastinum celebrant ipsi diaconi, quia Stephanus diaconus fuit, et benedictiones super lectiones dabunt. Missam celebrabit ebdomarius. b) Vna autem collecta potest sufficere ad matutinas et ad missam et ad uesperas. c) Sic et diem modo facient sacerdotes de festo beati Iohannis, quia sacerdos fuit Iohannes, et pueri de festo Innocentum.”

69 De eccl. off. 72, CCCM 41A: 133–134: “De festo subdiaconorum. Festum subdiaconorum, quod uocamus stultorum, a quibusdam fit in circumcisione [Parisian MSS add: ut in Parisiensi ecclesia], a quibusdam in Epiphania uel in octauis Epiphanie. Fiunt autem quatuor tripudia post natiuitatem Domini in ecclesia: leuitarum, sacerdotum, puerorum, id est minorum etate et ordine, et subdiaconorum, qui ordo incertus est. Vnde quandoque adnumeratur inter sacros ordines, quandoque non adnumeratur, quod exprimitur in eo, quod certum diem non habet et officio celebratur confuso.”

70 Heers, J. writes on the Feast of Fools, but with little detail about the period before the later Middle Ages, Fêtes des fous et carnavals (Paris: Fayard, 1983), 105189.

71 De eccl. officiis 120a, CCCM 41A: 223.

72 De eccl. officiis 136a, CCCM 41A: 262: “Mos enim erat, ut in festiuitatibus uenirent homines cum uxoribus et filiabus suis ad ecclesiam et ibi cum cereis et luminaribus uigilarent. Sed frequenter contingebat in hiis uigilis puellas uirgines corrumpi et ad maleficia explenda maiorem opportunitatem haberi. Propterea factum est, ut uigilie in ieiunia conuerterentur.”

73 De eccl. off. 137, CCCM 41A: 267–269: “Aa) Nunc dicamus de tripudiis, que in hoc festo fieri solent, quorum sunt tria genera, In uigilia enim beati Iohannis colligunt pueri in quibusdan regionibus ossa et quedam alia inmunda et insimul cremant, et exinde producitur fumus in aere, Faciunt etiam brandas et circumeunt arua cum brandis. Tertium est de rota, quam faciunt uolui. Ab) Quod autem inmunda cremant, hoc habent ex gentilibus. Antiquitus enim dracones in hoc tempore excitabantur ad libidinem propter calorem et uolando per aera frequenter spermatizabant puteos et fontes, ex quo inficebantur aeque, et tunc erat annus letalis, quia quicumque inde bibebant, aut moriebantur aut grauem morbus patiebantur. Quod attendentes philosophi iusserunt fieri ignem frequenter et passim circa puteos et fontes et inmunda ibi cremari et quecumque inmundum redderent fumum. Nam per talem fumum scibant fugari posse dracones, sicut elefantes per grunitum suum fugantur. Quod bene nouit Alexander. Nam cum pugnare uellet contra Porum regem Indorum, qui elefantes plures adduxerat et desuper turres et propugnacula fecerat, unde milites bellarent, ut illa machinamenta obrueret, Alexander multitudinem adduxit porcorum. Et tunc cepit unum procellulum et eum fortiter fecit eiulare, quod audientes sues grunnire ceperunt, et audito grunnitu suum elefantes fugerunt et, quecumque sibi superposita fuerant, diruerunt. Et ita uictoriam obtinuit Alexander. Ac) Vel potest hoc referri ad nouum testamentum. Abiciunt enim pueri uetera et comburunt, ut per hoc significetur, quod adueniente noua lete ueteris ritus debent cessare. Dictum est enim in lege: Vetera ueterum comedetis et superuenientibus nouis uetera proicietis. Ad) Brande siue faces significant Iohannem, qui fuit lumen et lucerna et precursor uere lucis, que illuminat omnem hominem uenientem in hunc mundum. Vnde illud: Erat lucerna ardens et lucens ante Dominum et cetera. Ae) Rota uoluitur ad significandum, quod sol tunc ascendit ad altiora sui circuli et satim regreditur. Ad quod innuendum uoluitur rota.”

74 De eccl. off. 137, CCCM 41A: 267: “Ba) Comburuntur ossa mortuorum animalium in antique institutionis obseruantia. Sunt enim animalia que dracones dicuntur. Vnde in psalmo: Laudate Dominum de terra, dracones, non tracones, ut quidam mendosi dicunt, scilicet meatus terre. Bb) Et ista animalia in aere uolant, in aquis natant, per terram ambulant et quandoque in aere concitabantur ad libidinem. Vnde sepe spermatizabant in puteis et in aquis fluuialibus, et inde sequebatur letalis annus. Contra hoc ergo inuentum est remedium, ut de ossibus fieret rogus et ita fumus fugaret animalia huiusmodi. Et quia hoc tempore maxime fiebat istud, modo etiam fit ab hominibus. Bc) Est et alia causa, quare conburunter ossa animalium, quia ossa sancti Iohannis in Sebaste ciuitate a gentilibus conbusta fuere. Bd) Feruntur etiam facule ardentes, quia Iohannes fuit lucerna ardens. Be) Et rota vertitur, quia tunc sol descendit in circulo et quia inuenitur: Me oportet minui, illum autem crescere. Dicunt: Eo, quia tunc incipiunt dies decrescere, in natiuitate crescere, ideo dictum est. Sed dicimus, quod quandoque ante festum sancti Iohannis decrescunt et ante natale Domini crescunt, Sed intelligendum est de natiuitate in matre, quando scilicet conceptus et uterque, scilicet Christus et Iohannes. Conceptus est Iohannes in decrescentibus diebus ut in Septembri, et Ihesus in crescentibus ut in Aprili.”

75 Honorius, Gemma animae 3.41, PL 172: 685B. On the shortening of the days, see his Speculum ecclesiae, Sermo de sancto Iohanne Baptista, PL 172: 968B.

76 De eccl. off. 3, CCCM 41A: 8–9.

77 Ibid. 12, CCCM 41A:31: “In ritu templorum erant archiflamines, flamines, sacerdotes in utroque sexu. Namque apud gentiles, sicuti modo apud nos est, erant et mulierum et uirorum religiosi conuentus. Inter poetas erant carminum iudices, comedi, tragedi, historiographi.”

78 De eccl. officiis 149b, CCCM 41A: 149; cf. Honorius, Gemma animae 3.24, Sacramentarium 94, PL 172: 649B, 798A.

79 Gemma animae 3.6, PL 172: 644CD; see Gratian, Decretum 3.3.2, ed. Friedberg 1:1353. Theodulf of Orleans repeats this in relation to fasts established to reduce drunkenness at vigils of great feasts like Christmas, c. 45, PL 105: 205CD; PL 138: 231–236, 243–245.

80 c. 11, CCCM 41A: 25.

81 PL 200: 746BC; Denifle, Heinrich, Chartularium Universitatis Parisiensis (Paris, 1899; reprinted Brussels: Culture et Civilisation, 1964), no. 5, 1:5–6: “Audivimus ex transmissa conquestione quorumdam scholarium qui in burgo S. Remigii consistunt, quod cum I. presbyter de Burgo S. Remigii in die Dominico coram clericis et laicis, postposita modestia clericali, choreas duceret, scholaribus ipsis eumdem presbyterum exinde increpantibus et deridentibus, idem presbyter quorumdam favore cum furore et impetu ostium et fenestras scholarum ausu temerario fregit, et in quosdam ex ipsis scholaribus violentas manus injecit; et his injuriis non contentus, absque conscientia venerabilis fratris nostri Henrici Remensis archiepiscopi et officialium suorum, in ipsos non citatos nec confessos, proxime sequenti die excommunicationis sententiam promulgavit, quam idem archiepiscopus fecit, prout debuit, relaxari… . Et si inveneritis praedictum presbyterum choreas in conspectu clericorum et laicorum duxisse, et pro tali causa tantam praefatis scholaribus injuriam intulisse, aut ipsos ita incaute anathemati subjecisse, ipsum, auctoritate nostra, sublato appellationis remedio, de tanta levitate, praesumptione, et audacia dure et aspere puniatis.”

82 P. Michaud-Quentin, “Les évêques de Paris,” 30–32. Oeuvres de Rigord, Guillaume le Breton, historiens de Philippe Auguste, ed. H. F. Delaborde, 2 vols. (Paris, 1882–1885), 1:137: “Huic successit Odo natione Soliacensis, frater Heinrici Bituricensis archiepiscopi, longe a predecessore moribus et vita dissimilis.”

83 Peter of Blois, Epist. 126, PL 207: 375, reprinted Chartularium, ed. Denifle no. 3, 1:36: “Parisius, ubi magis unctione quam eruditione magistra puer litteras rapiebat.”

84 PL 212:70D–71A: “Ex fideli relatione quamplurium didicimus quod in festo Circumcisionis Dominicae in eadem Ecclesia tot consueverunt enormitates et opera flagitiosa committi, quod locum sanctum, in quo gloriosa Virgo gratam sibi mansionem elegit, non solum foeditate verborum, verum etiam sanguinis effusione plerumque contingit inquinari; et eatenus adinventio tam perniciosae temeritatis invaluit, ut sacratissima dies, in qua mundi Redemptor voluit circumcidi, festum Fatuorum nec immerito generaliter consueverit appellari.”

85 PL 212: 73AC.

86 Fassler, Margot, “The Feast of Fools and Danielis Ludus: Popular Tradition in a Medieval Cathedral Play,” in Plainsong in the Age of Polyphony, ed. Kelly, Thomas Forrest (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992), 6599.

87 Rationale diuinorum officiorum 7.42.15 (CCCM 140B: 112–113): “Illud autem sciendum est quod, in quibusdam ecclesiis, in die Natalis Domini dyaconi, uesperis finitis, in honorem beati Stephani qui eximius dyaconus fuit, in tripudio conuenientes cantant antiphonam de sancto Stephano et sacerdos dicit collectam. Nocturnos etiam et officium crastinum celebrant et etiam benedictiones super lectiones dant, quod tamen facere non deberent. Et eodem modo faciunt sacerdotes in festo beati Stephani in uesperis, in honorem beati Iohannis quia ipse sacerdos fuit; et pueri in festo sancti Iohannis in honorem Innocentum. Subdyaconi uero faciunt festum, in quibusdam ecclesiis, in festo Circumcisionis, ut ibi dictum est, in aliis in Epiphania, et in aliis in octauis Epiphanie quod uocant festum stultorum. Quia enim ordo ille antiquitus incertus erat, nam in canonibus antiquis quandoque uocatur sacer et quandoque non, ideo subdyaconi certam ad festandum non habent diem, et eorum festum officio celebratur confuso.” See n. 74 above for a very similar passage in Beleth.

88 Rationale diuinorum officiorum 1.9.8. CCCM 140: 115: “Porro, secundum beatum Ysidorum, femine dum maritantur ideo uelantur ut nouerint se semper uiris suis subditas esse, et quia Rebecca uiso Ysaac se uelauit.” 

89 Rationale diuinorum officiorum 5.3.6, CCCM 140A: 54–55: “Porro in memoriam illius laudabilis consuetudinis et deuotionis antiquorum, in tempore estiuali celebrat Ecclesia nocturnum officium in tempore prime nocturne, licet quandoque tempestiuius—quod quidam uigilias sub antiquo nomine uocant [omitting Beleth: Fit autem hoc duplici de causa … quorum plurimi iam radiante sole ad illud officium surgere pigritamur, ymo quod uerius est, ut nocturnum preteream, diurnum officium non curamus.]—et specialiter in festiuitatibus beatorum Iohannis Baptiste, Petri et Pauli, et Assumptionis beate Marie que sunt precipue illius temporis sollempnitates et hoc facere incipiunt in ipso festo beati Iohannis in crepusculo pro eo quod ipse fuit finis ueteris testamenti et initium noui.” Abbreviated from Beleth, De eccl. off. 20e–f, CCCM 41A: 43–44.

90 Rationale diuinorum officiorum 6.86.9, CCCM 140A: 445.

91 Rationale diuinorum officiorum 6.86.10, CCCM 140: 445: “Hiis tribus primis diebus, sollempniter est feriandum; in sequentibus uero, licet uiris ruralia opera, que magis sunt necessaria, exercere; sed feminis non licet nere, nunquam autem choreas ducere, quia, secundum Gregorium, melius est fodere et arare quam choreas ducere.” This expands on Beleth, De eccl. off. 120, CCCM 41A: 223.

92 Les statuts synodaux français du XIIIe siècle, ed. Odette Pontal, Collection de Documents inédits sur l'histoire de France 9, 4 vols. (Paris: Comités de travaux historiques et scientifiques, 1971–1995), 1: Les statuts de Paris et le Synodal de l'Ouest, 52.

93 Les statuts synodaux, ed. Pontal, no. 64, 1:74.

94 Les statuts synodaux, ed. Pontal, no. 88, 1:86: “Prohibeant sacerdotes ne fiant choree maxime in tribus locis, in ecclesiis, in cimiteriis et processionibus.”

95 Les statuts synodaux, ed. Pontal, nos. 82, 100–101, 1:87–89.

96 Les statuts synodaux, ed. Pontal, no. 29, 1:156: “Prohibeant sacerdotes sub pena excommunicationis choreas duci in cimiterio vel in ecclesiis: monant etiam ne alibi fiant, qui ut dicit beatus Augustinus, ‘melius est festivis diebus fodere et arare quam choreas ducere.’ Quam grave peccatum sit in loco sacro choreas et balationes ducere, perpendi potest ex penitentia secundum rigorem canonum talibus injungenda: si quis balationes ante ecclesias sanctorum fecerit aut duxerit, emendatione pollicita, tribus annis peniteat.”

97 Enarrationes in Psalmos, Ps. 32.2, En. 2.1.6 l.13, ed. E. Dekkers and J. Fraipont, CCSL 38 (Turnhout: Brepols, 1956), 251.

98 Les statuts synodaux, ed. Pontal, no. 60, 1:176.

99 Les statuts synododaux, ed. Pontal, vol. 2. Les Statuts de 1230 à 1260 Manuale Henrici 87, ed. Pontal (Paris, 1983), 223; Liber Synodalis of Nîmes, Arles, Bezières etc. No. 98, 2:346.

100 Chartularium, ed. Denifle, no. 230, 1:230: “Ibit ad sepulturam scolarium diebus festivis, quando sciat, et feriatis diebus, quando fuerit citatus. Intererit omnibus congregationibus sue nascionis. Non sustinebit choreas duci in principio suo extra domum. Leget vel legi faciet psalterium magistro actu regente mortuo.” The phrase Non sustinebit choreas … domum is slightly misplaced from its original context when these statutes were repeated in 1280, no. 501, 1:586.

101 Ibid., ed. Denifle, no. 470, 1:540: “choreasque et alia nephanda exercere ludibria nichilominus presumentes.”

102 Gerald, of Wales, Itinerarum Kambriae 2, ed. Dimock, James F., Rolls Series, 21/6 (London: HMSO, 1868), 32: “Videns enim hic homines seu puellas, nunc in ecclesia, nunc in coemeterio, nunc in chorea que circa coemiterium cum cantilena circumfertur, subito in terram comere, et primo tanquam in extasim ductus et quieus, deinde tanquam in phrenesim raptus exsilientes, opera quecunque festis diebus illicite perpetrare consueverant, tam manibus quam pedibus coram populo repraesentantes.” The passage is mentioned without a bibliographic reference by Sachs, World History of Dance, 252.

103 Gerald of Wales, Itinerarum Kambriae 2, 33: “Demum vero intra ecclesiam cum oblationibus ad altare perductos, tanquam experrectos et ad se redeuntes obstupescas. Sic itaque divina miseratione, quae peccantium conversione magis gaudet quam eversione, multos, ultionem hujusmodi tam videndo quam senteniendo, festis de cetero feriando diebus, corrigi constat et emendari.”

104 Slim, H. Colin, “Mary Magdalene, Musician and Dancer,” Early Music 8:4 (October 1980): 460473, quoting Knoll, F. O., Die Rolle der Maria Magdalena im geistlichen Spiel des Mittelalters (Berlin, 1934), 86; Hartl, Eduard, Das Benediktbeurer Passionspiel. Das St Galler Passionspiel (Halle, 1952), 55.

105 Pierre Aubry, La Musique et les musicians d’église en Normandie au XIIIe siècle d'après le « Journal des visites pastorales » d'Odon Rigaud (Paris, 1906; rep. Geneva: Minkoff, 1972), 24–25.

106 Charrier, Charlotte summarizes events, Héloïse dans l”histoire et dans la légende (Paris: Champion, 1933), 308309.

107 Concilia Oecumenicorum Decreta, ed. Alberigo, Giuseppe et al. Concilium Uiennense 22 (Bologna: Istituto delle scienze religiose, 1973), 373, 378. There is limited comment on these moralists in a study that focuses on sixteenth-century debate, by Arcangeli, Alessandro: “Dance under Trial: The Moral Debate 1200–1600,” Dance Research: The Journal of the Society for Dance Research 12:2 (Autumn 1994): 127155.

108 Concilia Oecumenicorum Decreta, Concilium Basileense, sessio 21, ed. Alberigo, 492: “Turpem etiam illum abusum in quibusdam frequentatum ecclesiis quo certis anni celebritatibus nonnullis cum mitra baculo ac vestibus pontificalibus more episcoporum benedicunt alii ut reges ac duces induti quod festum fatuorum vel innocentum seu puerorum in quibusdam regionibus nuncupatur alii larvales et theatrales iocos alii choreas et tripudia marium ac mulierum facientes homines ad spectacula et cachinnationes movent alii comessationes et convivia ibidem praeparant haec sancta synodus detestans statuit et iubet tam ordinariis quam ecclesiarum decanis et rectoribus sub poena suspensionis omnium proventuum ecclesiasticorum trium mensium spatio ne haec aut similia ludibria neque etiam mercantias seu negotiationes nundinarum in ecclesia quae domus orationis esse debet ac etiam coemeterio exerceri amplius permittant transgressores que per censuram ecclesiasticam alia que iuris remedia punire non negligant.”

109 “Dum cantatur in choro … precentor in his duobus locis in chirotecis et annulis cum baculo debet ballare, et non plus per annum.” Quoted by Chailley, Jacques, “Un nouveau document sur la danse,” Acta Musicologica Acta Musicologica 21 (1949): 1824, esp. 20; see too Ducange, “ballare.”

110 Chailley, “Un nouveau document,” 21–24.

111 Rokseth, see above, n. 6.

112 McGee, Timothy argues that a carol was the same as a ductia, Medieval Instrumental Dances (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1989), 1920. In the Ars musice, however, Johannes de Grocheio describes ductia as a kind of song, sung in choreis, namely in a carol or round dance, and as effective in leading the hearts of the young away from lovesickness, Die Quellenhandschriften zum Musiktraktat des Johannes de Grocheio. In Faksimile herausgegeben nebst Übertragung des Textes und Übersetzung in Deutsche, dazu Bericht, Literaturschau, Tabellen und Indices (Leipzig: Deutscher Verlag für Musik, 1972), 132: “Ductia vero est cantilena levis et velox et ascensu et descensu que in choreis a iuvenibus et puellis decantatur. sicut gallice. Chi encor querez amoretes. Hec enim ducit corda puellarum et iuvenum. et a vanitate removet. et contra passionem que dicitur amor hereos valere dicitur.” 

113 See the anonymous essay from the Mercure de France (1742) reprinted by Leber, “Lettre sur une danse ecclésiastique qui se faisait à Besançon le jour de Pâques; avec un supplément, par l’Éditeur”: Collection, 420–440.

114 Brooks, Lynn Matluck, The Dances of the Processions of Seville in Spain's Golden Age (Kassel: Edition Reichenberger, 1988).

115 Morris, J., “Dancing in Churches,” The Month (December 1892): 493518, supplies a valuable description of the practice, supported by his summary of an account by Anton Joseph Binterim, , De saltatoria quae Epternaci quotannis celebratur, supplicatione: cum praeviis in choreas sacras animadversionibus (Düsseldorf: Schaub, 1848).

116 Morris, “Dancing in Churches,” 503.

1 I am indebted to Dawn McGann for originally awakening my interest in liturgical dance, and am grateful to Donnalee Dox, Bruce Holsinger, and many others for discussing issues and translations in this paper.

Constant J. Mews is professor of history and director of the Centre for Studies in Religion and Theology at Monash University, Australia.


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