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322BOOK REVIEWS The work on penitentials by Kottje's 'school' has been characterized over the years by (1) an indefatigable search for new manuscripts containing penitentials ; (2) a careful and perceptive comparison ofpenitentials and their canons, a laborious task given their simUarities; (3) an unusual care in the presentation of texts; and (4) detaUed studies on the contexts in which the different penitentials appeared, their character and tendencies, and the use to which they were put. AU of these qualities are found in Körnigen's superbly researched volume, placing it firmly in the now distinguished tradition of penitential studies originating at Augsburg and Bonn with Professor Kottje. Roger E. Reynolds Pontifical Institute ofMediaeval Studies, Toronto The Celtic Monk: Rules and Writings of Early Irish Monks. By Uinseann Ó Maidín, O.C.R. [Cistercian Studies Series, Number 162.] (Kalamazoo, Michigan , and Spencer, Massachusetts: Cistercian Publications. 1996. Pp. 216. $35.95 hardcover; $17.95 paperback.) This attractive Uttle volume gives us in translation a number of early Irish monastic rules, together with "a random coUection of poems, Utanies, and Latin hymns" (the latter not translated). The editor's hope is that the result will be to make the doctrinal (sic; 'edifying'?) content of these documents "more widely known, understood and used." The world thus presented to us is very much a male one (hagiography and other archival material might have been exploited to 'explain' female Irish cénobites, a Brigit or a Samthann); and the book rather perpetuates the outmoded idea that the early Irish church was (purely) monastic . Monasticism of the Celtic (Uthe word be allowed) type lasted in Ireland from the sixth century to the twelfth, and religious had avaUable a variety ofworks— liturgical, biblical, legal, hagiographical, and so on—to encourage devotion and scholarship. The present collection would not perhaps claim to be representative . But the writings of the culdee reform movement of the eighth and ninth centuries, which make up the bulk of the misceUany, left a profound mark on Irish spirituality, literature, and art. Included also are earlier—such as the Apgitir Crabaid, most probably (the editor is hesitant about this) by Comían EIa (d. 611)—and later compositions. The translations draw on sound scholarship (if the proper attribution is not always made) and are carefully annotated. Illustrations of sites and crosses embellish the work, e.g., the striking Moone cross, one of the biblical sermons in stone associated with the culdee movement. We are reminded of Ireland's major rôle in the evangelization of barbarian (including Anglo-Saxon) Europe in the centuries after 600 and of the debt repaid by the Carolingians, in areas as diverse as inspiration for Irish figure sculpture, learning , poetry, and kingship. BOOK REVIEWS323 Riagol meant both 'rule' and 'tract,' and the editor includes a most interesting twelfth-century treatise on the Eucharist. The 'rules' are reaUy primers ofmonastic piety. They do, of course, presume organized communities (with allowance for hermits), and these documents throw a great light on Irish monastic spUituality . The Rule of Columbanus, the only surviving rule of Irish origin in Latin, might have been included, and perhaps also a cáin (e.g., that ofAdomnán). The cana were ordinances of great interest to monasteries, for not only did they seek to raise the moral tone of society, but they were imposed when the abbot went on circuit, thus generating taxes. So c«w=law=tax. The life of the founder was also treasured and read in the monasteries of his or her federation, and an excerpt or two from vitae might have warranted inclusion. The Celtic Monk could weU serve as a reader for an introductory course on early medieval Ireland. There are rather too many errata, and for the next edition the editor might submit the text to the scrutiny of a competent historian. John J. Silke Portnablagh, County Donegal The Deeds of God through the Franks. A Translation of Guibert ofNogenfs "Gesta Dei per Francos." Translated and edited by Robert Levine. (Rochester, NewYork: The BoydeU Press. 1997. Pp. v, 166. $63.00.) Abbot Guibert of Nogent's Gesta Dei per Francos is an account, in Latin, of the First Crusade from its...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-0708
Print ISSN
0008-8080
Pages
pp. 322-323
Launched on MUSE
2016-10-05
Open Access
No
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