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Editor: E.A. Jones

This source book offers a comprehensive treatment of the solitary religious lives in England in the late Middle Ages. It covers both enclosed anchorites or recluses and freely-wandering hermits, and explores the relation between them. The sources selected for the volume are designed to complement better-known works connected with the solitary lives, such as the anchoritic guide Ancrene Wisse, or St Aelred of Rievaulx’s rule for his sister; or late medieval mystical authors including the hermit Richard Rolle or the anchorite Julian of Norwich. They illustrate the range of solitary lives that were possible in late medieval England, practical considerations around questions of material support, prescribed ideals of behaviour, and spiritual aspiration. It also covers the mechanisms and structures that were put in place by both civil and religious authorities to administer and regulate the vocations. Coverage extends into the Reformation period to include evidence for the fate of solitaries during the dissolutions and their aftermath. The material selected includes visual sources, such as manuscript illustrations, architectural plans and photographs of standing remains, as well as excerpts from texts. Most of the latter are translated here for the first time, and a significant proportion are taken from previously unpublished sources.

Abstract only
Mayke de Jong and Justin Lake

this place ( locus ) – so that they might serve as a warning for correction, if not for us, then at least for future generations. Chapter 2 Pascasius: We cannot deny that this is the case, yet we must not pass over what our Arsenius set forth in the presence of all, including the loftiest magnates, 22 because these matters and others of this sort had driven him to reveal to everyone, on divine authority, like another Jeremiah, in what ways they had all offended God. And from the duty of charity he constantly admonished them to destroy, scatter and eradicate

in Confronting crisis in the Carolingian empire
E.A. Jones

celebration of the mass of the day, as monastic professions were, and with none of the rhetorical and symbolic elaboration of the corresponding rite for anchorites [ 5 ]. The two essential elements are the hermit’s vow, which is both made orally and recorded in writing, and his vesting in the habit of a hermit. The prospective hermit, before he reached this stage, would need to have satisfied the authorities of his suitability for the

in Hermits and anchorites in England, 1200–1550
C. E. Beneš

—so that, as its spiritual authority began to grow, so too its secular power increased, so that it began to be more glorious in riches and power, and these were made more sublime by the dignity of the archbishopric. Thus from then on it increased greatly in riches and glory, and expanded its dominion. 24 It grew so much, in fact, that its magnificence has challenged the power of kings, the Saracen people, the city of the Venetians, and

in Jacopo Da Varagine’s Chronicle of the city of Genoa
C. E. Beneš

Saint Paul the apostle named bishops for all the cities which he converted, by which he made Timothy bishop at Ephesus and Titus [bishop] in Crete. Furthermore, we demonstrated above [in part 4 ] via authorities and logic that the city of Genoa was the first city of Italy, or one of the first, in which the faith of Christ was publicly adopted and in which the sacrifices of God were first publicly celebrated, for it was converted to the faith of

in Jacopo Da Varagine’s Chronicle of the city of Genoa
C. E. Beneš

Thus it was the first city in all of Italy, or one of the first, which publicly received and publicly confessed the faith of Christ. 21 We intend to prove this point both through authorities and through reason. By ‘authorities’ here, we mean histories and legends of the saints: for a certain history that deals with the cities of Italy mentions Genoa among other cities, asserting that it was the

in Jacopo Da Varagine’s Chronicle of the city of Genoa
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C. E. Beneš

chronicles The demographic landscape of medieval Italy ( fig. 2 ) differed from most of the rest of Europe in its relatively high percentage of urban-dwellers, even after the end of the Roman Empire. Economic growth, especially from trade, from the eleventh century on expanded the urban middle classes, while the decline of imperial authority in Italy at the end of the eleventh century made room for the rise of communes: citizen

in Jacopo Da Varagine’s Chronicle of the city of Genoa
C. E. Beneš

Diogenes did not seem to fear his authority, since he was speaking so boldly to him, Diogenes responded: ‘I do not fear your authority, because either it was in the past and so no longer exists, or else it is in the future and thus it is doubtful and uncertain; or else it is in the present, and thus it is brief and fleeting’. Alexander's soldiers became indignant at these words; they wished to attack the philosopher and beat him severely, but

in Jacopo Da Varagine’s Chronicle of the city of Genoa
Abstract only
Mayke de Jong and Justin Lake

controversial Wala continued to undermine his authority as an abbot, both in Corbie and at the court. This is one explanation for his adding a polemical second book to his Epitaphium at this later stage: that these old grievances against Wala still mattered, and that they affected Radbert as well. On the other hand, it gave him the opportunity to address some more recent controversies. Wala’s speeches on the use of ecclesiastical wealth by secular rulers are a good example of such contemporary resonance and relevance. These are presented as delivered to Louis the Pious and

in Confronting crisis in the Carolingian empire
E.A. Jones

the authorities. Any bishop presented with an intending anchorite would want to satisfy himself of the character and spiritual preparedness of the candidate, the suitability of the proposed place of enclosure, and that sufficient provision had been made to guarantee the candidate’s material needs once enclosed – not least because canon law made any inadequately supported anchorites the financial responsibility of the bishop

in Hermits and anchorites in England, 1200–1550