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THE WORDLISTS IN THE "ARS FACIENDI SERMONES' OF GERALDUS DE PISCARIO The Ars Faciendi Sermones of Geraldus de Piscardo, O.F.M., was edited in 1944 by Fr. Ferdinand Delorme.1 The treatise had hitherto been known only in an abridged and adapted version (by one Astasius, O.F.M., who was bishop of Sarlat from 1361-1368). Delorme discovered the author of the original version, and edited it from MS. Todi 57. He included a valuable introduction to the author's life, and to the work itself. The seventh of the eight principal chapters of this work can only be described as bizarre. It is an intricate mechanism, the purpose and working of which deserve to be analyzed. Delorme was not directly concerned with it, and summarised it in a few words. Following the language of the author himself, he explained that the section was designed to show how 'les mots propres' could be found and employed, and, to this end, how to combine adjectives with substantives, substantives with each other, and adverbs with other parts of speech.2 This is a good description of one of the functions of the chapter, in which long passages are devoted to showing how the same words could be combined in different grammatical relations to say the same thing. At one point, for instance, the author explains how formulae of the type : Dominica passio fuit expressiva amoris vel dilec/iowis, repressiva carnalis fervoris vel delecta/iowis, impressiva doloris vel ¦passionis, depressiva hostilis impugnaiiowis' — could be transformed, first by replacing the adjectives with the verbs from which they derive, and secondly, by turning the verbs into the 1 "L'Ars Faciendi Sermones de Géraud du Pescher," Antonianum, 19 (1944), 169-198. 2 "Il y est montré comment les mots propres se trouvent et s'emploient, et pour cela comment se combinent les adjectifs avec les substantifs, puis les substantifs entre eux, enfin les adverbes..." art. cit., p. 175, n. 2. Wordlists in the Ars Faciendi Sermones185 passive.8 This concern to give alternative forms is reminiscent of the Conversio doctrine of Geoffrey de Vinsauf.4 It would not, therefore, be inaccurate to call the chapter a manual of grammar and style for preachers. The strangest feature of the chapter, however, cannot be so easily labelled. Most of the chapter is taken up with wordlists, and the precise function of these lists is not immediately clear. The problem is to explain how they were meant to be used. The following extract, which is typical, will serve to illustrate their somewhat enigmatic character : Inexpressibilis : malorum punitio, miseria, calamitas, incendium, luctus, dolor, jactura. - Optabilis: Dei dilectio, divina gratia, proximi caritas, Christi amplexus, Dei subsidium, divinus amor, rectitudo ; eadem optanda. - Odibilis: culpe transgressio, superbia, iniquitas, defectus, excidium, severitas, mors; eadem odienda. - ...5 A clue may be found in the ars praedicandi of Thomas Waleys. The context is his discussion of 'colores rhythmici.' Waleys criticises preachers who fill whole sermons with 'bilis et trilis, et osus et bosus,' and says that such rhymes ('rhythmi') should not be used when preaching to the people in the vernacular.6 He concedes however that they may be used in sermons to the clergy, 'ad tollendum fastidium auditoribus.' He then proceeds to advise those who wish to use 'rhythmis ' to adopt the following procedure : multas summas verborum colligere quae simili modo terminentur, et eas habere in scriptis semper in promptu, ut ad eas possint recurrere quando volunt.7 Waleys is in effect recommending a dictionary of rhymes, to help preachers to compose the rhymed divisions and subdivisions which are so characteristic of sermons from the thirteenth century 8 "Ars Faciendi Sermones," pp. 192-3. 4 For a modern interpretation of Geoffrey's doctrine of Conversio, see Ernest Gallo, The "Poetria Nova" and its Sources in Early Rhetorical Doctrine (Mouton, The Hague-Paris 1971), p. 209 seqq. 5 Ars Faciendi Sermones, p. 190. 8 Thomas Waleys, De Modo Componendi Sermones cum Documentis in Th.-M Charland, O.P., Artes Praedicandi, Publications de l'Institut d'Etudes Médiévales d'Ottawa, VIl, 373. 7 De Modo Componendi Sermones, p. 374. l86D. L. d'avray on.8 He goes on to say that...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1945-9718
Print ISSN
0080-5459
Pages
pp. 184-193
Launched on MUSE
2015-07-01
Open Access
No
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