Medieval Handbooks of Penance: A Translation of the Principal Libri Poenitentiales and Selections from Related Documents

By John T. McNeill; Helena M. Gamer | Go to book overview
Save to active project

CHAPTER IV
Penitentials by Irish Authors Which Were Apparently Compiled on the Continent

1. THE PENITENTIAL OF COLUMBAN (ca. 600)

[THE TEXT of the Poenitentiale Columbani, or S. Columbani abbatis de poenitentiarum mensura taxanda liber, was published in 1667 by Th. Sirinus from the till then unpublished collection of Columban's works made by Patrick Fleming in 1626. This collection--Patricii Flemingi collectanea sacra seu S. Columbani acta et opuscula--was republished by Migne.1 The text may also be found in Wasserschleben2 and in Schmitz.3 The best edition is by O. Seebass.4 The document is extant in two Bobbio manuscripts now in the National Library of Turin, G V 38, and G VII 16, respectively, the former of the tenth, the latter of the tenth or eleventh century. The text of Fleming is apparently taken from a third manuscript, now lost.

The penitential is in two parts, A and B. The offenses in A are apparently those of monks alone. In an introduction to the document,5 Seebass combats the view of Schmitz that Columban is not the author of the book and cannot be credited with any penitential. The references in Jonas Life of Columban6 to the exercise of penance among the people of the district around Luxeuil, while somewhat general,7 show that a generation later there was an awareness of the penance aspect of Columban's work. Schmitz thought the absence here of specific reference to a penitential book was evidence against such a compilation. But the fact of penitential discipline in an age when Irish abbots were writing penitential books may rather be taken as presumptive evidence that Columban prepared such a book. The close resemblances of the work to the Penitential of Finnian, Columban's Irish predecessor, also accord per

____________________
1
P.L., LXXX, 209 ff.; the Penitential begins with col. 223.
2
Bussordnungen, pp. 353-60.
3
Schmitz I, pp. 588-602.
4
"Das Poenitentiale Columbani," in Zeitschr. f. Kirchengesch., XIV ( 1894), 430 ff.; text, pp. 441-48.
5
Ibid., pp. 430 ff.
6
The Vita Columbani written by Jonas of Bobbio has been edited by Bruno Krusch in M. G. H., Scriptores rerum Merovingicarum, IV, 64 ff. An English translation by Munro is contained in the Pennsylvania Translations and Reprints, II, 7.
7
"The people," says Jonas, "flocked together from all sides for the medicine of penance."-- Vita, 17.

-249-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Medieval Handbooks of Penance: A Translation of the Principal Libri Poenitentiales and Selections from Related Documents
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 478

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?