Love and reason from Hugh of Fouilloy to the Abbaye du Saint Esprit: changes at the top in the medieval cloister allegory.
The notion of virtue lies at the heart of medieval moral and spiritual teaching, with the proper ordering of virtues seen as providing a foundation for spiritual development. In this teaching, various systems of virtues were important tools. (1) The most familiar are straightforward classification schemas, such as the tree of virtues, which served as mnemonic devices. (2) But the more elaborate allegories of Hugh of St Victor and his fellow Augustinian canons, which employed such frameworks as the ark, the temple, and the cloister, were more than mere sets of boxes into which units of knowledge could be conveniently packed for later retrieval. They were complex sets of associations of mental and spiritual qualities and faculties mapped onto visual frameworks, which could then be used for further thinking. (3) Jeroen Laemers has described one of these, Hugh of Fouilloy's De claustro animae, as a model for creating a well-ordered mind--the basis, in Boethius's widely-used definition, for acquiring virtue. (4) We might expect, then, that these various orderings of virtue could tell us something about perceptions or theories of the importance of individual virtues and about the way they fit into the system being proposed. Christiania Whitehead has noted that in Hugh of Fouilloy's De claustro animae the significance of virtues is expressed through their interrelationship: 'A quality of behaviour is made intelligible through the statement of its moral parentage, siblings, and potential offspring. And within the closed circuit of the edifice, the interior grid of interrelations generates meaning.' (5) In this essay I will consider this question of making meaning through such an 'interior grid of interrelations' by tracing the use of the monastery as an allegorical framework from its emergence in the Latin monastic formation literature of the twelfth century to its uptake by the vernacular literature of spiritual advice that followed the Fourth Lateran Council. In particular I will compare the De claustro animae and the Latin cloister allegories that derive from it with an independently composed French text which draws on them. I will examine some differences between the Latin and vernacular texts in the ordering of the virtues, and try to make some comment on the significance of those differences.
I. The Latin Tradition
The allegorical monastery first appears around 1153, in Hugh of Fouilloy's De claustro animae. (6) Hugh was an Augustinian canon with a strong interest in the spiritual formation of his fellow-religious. He wrote a number of works for the instruction of novices, first at Saint-Laurent-au-Bois in Picardy, and then at the new foundation of Saint-Nicolas-de-Regny, to which he was sent as prior in 1132. In 1152 he was recalled to take charge of Saint-Laurent-au-Bois and carried out a successful reform there, to which he alludes in De claustro animae. (7) His writings reflect the concerns of the twelfth-century movement for monastic renewal: notably, that monastic life should not merely be a matter of outward observance, but observance should reflect and be nourished by an interior life that conforms to the spirit of the Gospels. In the first two books of his four-book treatise, Hugh deals with the practicalities of organizing and regulating a religious community, and in the third and fourth he attempts to give shape to the interior life of its members. The allegory of the cloister of the soul forms the third and most influential book of this work, while the fourth book describes the heavenly cloister. As Whitehead notes, the allegory provides a mnemonic framework for knowledge (in this case, lists of spiritual qualities and types of behaviour), at the same time investing the daily routine and its setting with deeper meaning. (8)
The success of the De claustro animae is attested by the high number of manuscripts in which it survives, and its influence on the later development of the cloister allegory is considerable. (9) It was widely appreciated as a manual of spiritual formation. The Dominican Humbert of Romans recommended it as reading for novices when he was master general of the order (1254-63), and it was summarized by Vincent of Beauvais in his Speculum historiale, in the mid thirteenth century. (10) In addition to being circulated, in whole or in part, in its original form, it was reworked by other authors. The canonist Durandus of Mende, in his Rationale divinorum officiorum written in the late thirteenth century, summarized Hugh and added some details of his own. (11) But the re-working of Hugh's text that had the greatest consequences for the uses of the allegory of the cloister in the vernacular was that made in the early thirteenth century by another Augustinian, John, prior of the abbey of Saint-Jean-des-Vignes near Soissons. (12) This text, sometimes also called De claustro animae, which begins with the line from the Song of Songs Introduxit me rex in cellam vinariam, ordinavit in me caritatem (Song of Songs 2. 4), is based on Book 3 and parts of Book 4 of the De claustro animae, condensing them considerably; it is short enough to be delivered as a sermon. (13) Others took up the idea of the allegorical cloister but wrote their own versions. In the late thirteenth century an anonymous Dominican of Toulouse used it as a model in his own instructional text for novices, modifying the details of the monastery to make it correspond to a Dominican convent. (14) The Paris theologian and later bishop, William of Auvergne (1180-1249), wrote his own De claustro animae, different in detail from Hugh's but probably inspired by it. (15) William of Auvergne's version was valued as an instructional text in the same way as Hugh of Fouilloy's, being copied alongside it in at least one collection of reading material for novices. (16)
These texts encompass more than the four cardinal and three theological virtues with all their ramifications: they include gifts of the Holy Spirit, spiritual qualities, and elements of religious practice, such as prayer, reading of Scripture, and contemplation. Their primary method of organizing these qualities is by mapping them onto the spaces of the monastery, and onto the activities that are performed within them. Thus, in Hugh's text, the four sides of the cloister are contempt of self, contempt of world, love of God, and love of neighbour. The guesthouse is compassion, and the dormitory is tranquillity of mind. (17)
The architectural framework provides a set of patterns for ordering the virtues, but those chosen by the authors of Latin cloister allegories are not, on the whole, hierarchical. (18) However, another framework afforded by the cloister metaphor to create the 'grid of interrelations' referred to by Whitehead does provide some degree of hierarchy, namely the monks themselves and the offices they hold. Personification was another important way of remembering virtues in medieval thinking, and it has a role in the De claustro animae, although the primary generators of meaning are the architectural spaces and the activities of the monastic day. While Hugh personifies virtues in a number of places, he only makes reference to the monastic hierarchy in the passage on the chapter house. Here he allegorizes not the building itself, but what happens inside it: the public confession of sins by the monks and giving of penance by the abbot. Hugh names the abbot as Reason, saying that just as the abbot calls the brothers to chapter, Reason calls the thoughts into the inner chamber of the heart (secretum cordis). Here a battle takes place between virtues and vices, echoing the battle in Prudentius's Psychomachia. (19) Just as in the real monastic chapter, where a monk may accuse himself or another of faults committed, the virtues accuse each other, each taxing the other with faults to which their qualities can easily lead. Mercy, for instance, accuses Justice of descending into cruelty, speaking with anger, and turning away from clemency. Justice in turn accuses Mercy of not putting on a severe face, allowing sins to go unpunished, and not even verbally reproving offenders. (20)
John of St-Jean-des-Vignes maintains this part of the cloister allegory in his condensed version, making a small change to the identity of the participants in the chapter: the abbot is intellectus, and Reason is now the prior. William of Auvergne also includes an allegory of the monastic chapter, but with some differences. In his cloister, the chapter is presided over by Justice, Zeal, Discipline, and Hatred of Vice, but they are guided by the abbot, who is Charity. William underlines the significance of identifying the abbot with love, saying: 'Q[ui] quidem abbas tot bona dilapidat quot amare negligit.' (21)
Another development of the Latin tradition gives greater space to the allegorical framework of the monastic officers. This first appears in a thirteenth-century Latin text, generally entitled Claustrum Animae cum dispositione officiorum et officialem suorum, in which the abbot is not one of the virtues, but God himself. (22) This may also go back to Hugh of Fouilloy, since in the fourth book of his treatise, God is the abbot of the heavenly cloister.
Thus in the Latin tradition derived from Hugh of Fouilloy, Reason or a related concept stands most often at the head of the hierarchy of virtues represented by the office-holders of the monastery, with the whole construction subordinate to God. Love nevertheless remains important in Hugh's work. Laemers has drawn attention to the social aspect of Hugh's teaching; he sees it as promoting the acquisition of virtue through the way in which the brothers in a monastery behave towards each other, and here charity is central. It is not personified as a member of the monastic hierarchy, but is present in much of the exhortatory material within the allegory and in the non-allegorical chapters, as Laemers demonstrates. He argues that 'Hugh's preferred form of applicatio is expressing fraternal love in good works'. (23) However, in the chapter-house passage Hugh seems to conceive of the ordering of the mind in virtue as primarily an intellectual process. By contrast, William of Auvergne carries the emphasis on the importance of love in the Christian monastic tradition into his chapter-house passage, insisting that discipline must be tempered by love. Although William's De claustro was not widely copied or translated, the primacy it gives to Love foreshadows the development of the cloister allegory for a new audience in the thirteenth century, to which we will now turn.
II. The Feminized Cloister
The abbey of the Latin tradition initiated by Hugh of Fouilloy is a male institution, designed to aid the spiritual development of monks and canons. There is no sign of the cloister allegory in the spiritual advice literature for religious women of twelfth and early thirteenth centuries. In spite of the frequent personification of virtues as women, from Prudentius onwards, the possibility of creating a female allegorical cloister does not seem to have been realized until the later part of the thirteenth century. From this period we have two cloister allegories, both of them associated with women's religious communities, and both possibly composed in the vernacular, by women. One occurs in the Latin Vita of the Cistercian nun Beatrice of Nazareth (1200-68) and the other in the writings of the Saxon beguine Mechthild of Magdeburg (1212-c. 1282).
In Part II, Chapter 7 of the Vita of Beatrice of Nazareth, the anonymous hagiographer describes a spiritual exercise practised by Beatrice: she built a cloister in her heart and peopled it with virtues. (24) This chapter may have been based on a vernacular text written by Beatrice herself, as was Chapter 12, which translated and adapted her Seven Manieren van Heiliger Minnen. (25) Its listing of the cloister's office holders is similar to that of the Claustrum Animae cum dispositione officiorum et officialem suorum, but Beatrice's abbess is Reason, like the abbot in the De claustro animae. The prioress of her abbey is Wisdom, and the sub-prioress is Prudence. The supreme authority, however, rests with the abbot, who is God.
Mechthild of Magdeburg, in the seventh chapter of The Flowing Light of Godhead, a work of theological reflection on her mystical experience, describes a vision in which virtues appear as nuns in a spiritual convent. (26)
Mechthild's allegory is quite independent from Beatrice's; although the basic framework is the same, the office-holders represent different virtues. In her abbey, the abbess is Love, the prioress is Peace, and the sub-prioress is Amiability. Like Beatrice's abbey, Mechthild's is ultimately subordinate to a male, divine authority, in this case a provost named Divine Obedience. While the identity of the abbess in this allegory might be said to reflect the importance in Mechthild's theology both of love of God experienced in union with the divine and love of neighbour expressed in imitation of Christ, it may have a more particular significance in this passage. (27) Overall, the emphasis of the cloister allegory is on harmony, restraint, and uncomplaining service. This chapter was written after Mechthild retired late in life to the Cistercian nunnery of Helfta, and it may reflect a new consciousness on her part of the virtues needed to maintain a harmonious community. (28)
The appearance of these two distinct versions of a feminized cloister allegory indicates that by the late thirteenth century it had become a productive framework for composing spiritual teaching for pious women. It is interesting that both versions come from Cistercian women's communities, given that in France at least, a number of Cistercian male communities possessed copies of Hugh of Foulloy's De claustro animae. (29) Both also have connections with beguines. Beatrice of Nazareth had been educated by beguines, and Mechthild had lived as a beguine for most of her life before joining the community at Helfta. These two contexts, Cistercian and beguine, will be seen again as we turn to the treatment of the cloister allegory in French.
III. The Allegorical Cloister in French
The cloister allegory has a rich and complex history in French. Two translations survive of the work of John of Saint-Jean-des-Vignes, one of which also includes some features of William of Auvergne's De claustro animae. (30) Interestingly, one of the points at which the translation draws on William of Auvergne's work is in the allegory of the chapter-house. The abbot is identified with charity, and the translator even expands William's remark on the importance of this virtue: 'li bons abes qui tot bien auance et tot mal destruit a son pooir est charitez et sachiez que en grant peril est labaiez y ordenez quant cil abes muert et perist' (BNF MS fr. 423, fol. 143v). At the end of this passage there is an intriguing addition, 'en abaie de dames doit estre raisons abbiessa', which may suggest why the translator had turned to William's version for the identity of the abbot. It looks as though the translator was using a manuscript close to Tours, Bibliotheque municipale, MS 396, which adapts the text for a female audience, replacing the abbot by an abbess and associating her with reason. (31) Having to hand a copy of William of Auvergne's De claustro, perhaps in the same manuscript, he was able to make his translation embrace both genders by supplementing one source with material from the other. (32)
In addition to these translations, an Anglo-Norman cloister allegory from the fourteenth century appears to be an independent working of the theme. (33) The most widely-copied French cloister allegory, however, was the anonymous work known variously as the Religion du cuer, the Cloistre de l'ame, the Sainte abbaye, and the Riule, or the Abbaye, du saint Esprit. (34) The earliest surviving copies come from Metz, Liege, and Paris, and date from the late thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries. (35) Over the next two centuries it was recopied and reworked several times and translated, with some success, into English. (36) The Abbaye du Saint Esprit addresses men and women who would like to enter monastic life but are prevented by circumstances such as marriage or poverty. Certain parts of the text, however, address a female reader exclusively and many of the manuscripts it is found in were clearly compiled for women. (37) It advises them to build a monastery in their conscience with the help of certain virtues. There are some parallels with Hugh of Fouilloy: the allegory begins with choosing a site, and associates monastic buildings with virtues. But the virtues are not the same ones, and the form of association is not always the same either; in some manuscripts the virtues are equated with the buildings themselves, while in others they are personifications who, like those in Christine de Pizan's City of Ladies, do the actual building. When the construction of the monastery is complete, it is to be peopled with virtues. As in the Claustrum Animae cum dispositione officiorum et officialem suorum and Beatrice's and Mechthild's cloisters, the officers of the monastery, from the abbess to the sacristan, are detailed; as in Beatrice's and Mechthild's cloisters, the female personifications of the virtues are represented as nuns. In most versions, there follows a narrative in which the monastery is infiltrated by four daughters of the Devil, who disrupt the community until the nuns call on the Holy Ghost to expel them. (38)
The qualities personified as nuns in the Abbaye are a mixture of virtues and related concepts (the gifts of the Holy Ghost, the beatitudes, the works of mercy); they are Charity, Wisdom, Humility, Discretion, Prayer, Jubilation, Devotion, Penitence, Temperance, Sobriety, Pity, Mercy, Fear of God, Honesty, Courtoisie, Simplicity, Reason, Loyalty, Generosity, Meditation, Zeal (Jelosie), and Love of God. Reason is indeed present in this list, as in Hugh's, but in the Abbaye du Saint Esprit Reason is not the abbess, but the proveresse, whose job is to provide all that is necessary and guard against shortages. The function assigned to Reason here seems more akin to prudence than to Hugh's and John's understanding of that quality.
In the hierarchy of the French abbey, the abbess is Charity, the prioress is Wisdom, and the sub-prioress is Humility. This trio is important. They are the first nuns to be named, and a commentary glosses their significance for the interior convent. Charity is abbess, it is said, because she is the greatest and most valiant of the virtues. In some manuscripts this is supported by the well-known verse from I Corinthians 13. 13: 'nunc autem manet fides spes caritas tria haec maior autem his est caritas' ... The role of love in governing the virtues is then compared to that of the abbess: just as a nun should not do anything without the leave of her abbess, so, in a spiritual sense, we should do nothing without love. This is supported by the Pauline injunction 'Omnia uestra in caritate fiant' (I Corinthians 16. 14).
In some manuscripts, this injunction itself is glossed, in a passage critical of the 'real' religious. According to the gloss, this commandment to make all our thoughts, words, looks, and actions in love is difficult, but it is a good one that saves souls. There are some religious who do not observe it, however, and so their deeds, not having been done in love, are as nothing before God. (39) Finally, after introducing the prioress and sub prioress, the author concludes that the soul whose life is governed by these three virtues--charity, wisdom, and humility--will be blessed. (40)
As in the Latin tradition and in the female cloisters of Beatrice and Mechthild, in the Abbaye God is given a role of ultimate authority over the virtues. Rather than having a role in the religious hierarchy, however, God the Father is represented as founder of the abbey, with the Son 'ordaining' it, and the Holy Ghost acting as guardian and visitor. The Abbaye may be reflecting a wider vernacular tradition in assigning these roles to God. A narrative circulating in Germanic-speaking areas tells of a monastery built by the Holy Ghost for his daughters, who are all virtues. When they are safely installed, he goes away for a time, and the daughters of the Devil appear and are granted admission. The havoc they cause is only ended when the Holy Ghost returns and expels them. This narrative is clearly related to the Abbaye, although the nature of the relationship is not clear. In spite of the parallels between the daughters of the Devil episodes, there are many differences of structure and detail. The four surviving manuscripts, one from Brabant and the other three from Saxony, all date from the fifteenth century, so it is very possible that the French text inspired the German one. (41) On the other hand, the German text does have a very coherent narrative structure, and may reflect an older oral tradition which could also have been a source for the French Abbaye.
IV. Monastic and Lay Contexts
That a late-thirteenth-century work of spiritual advice should insist on the prominence of love is not surprising. Already in the twelfth century, love of God and its expression through love of neighbour had been presented as the governing principle of the quest for spiritual perfection in the writings of Bernard, Aelred, and other Cistercians. It underpinned the attempts of various groups, from the Premonstratensian and Augustinian canons to the mendicant orders and many lay groups, to live the apostolic life. As we have seen, love was already an important theme in Hugh of Fouilloy, and it was even aligned with the abbot in William of Auvergne's cloister allegory. More importantly for the Abbaye du saint esprit, it was also central to the spirituality of the women's religious movement commonly known as the beguines, which itself had much common ground with Cistercian spirituality and interaction with the Cistercian order. (42) There are strong reasons to connect the Abbaye with the beguine movement. Two of its earliest copies come from Metz and Liege, in manuscripts that are seen by scholars as collections of reading material for beguines. (43) Furthermore, within the text itself, the term saint beguinage is used in some manuscripts to refer to the allegorical abbey. (44)
The fit of the Abbaye with this spiritual context is best illustrated by comparing it with another late-thirteenth-century text from northern France, the Regle des fins amans, which is explicitly addressed to beguines. (45) This Regle, which presents itself as a rule for beguines, does not simply set out practical ordinances like the statutes of convent beguinages, but presents the ethos of beguine life. (46) It is worth noting that the Abbaye itself can be seen as a kind of rule--a guide for people living in the world who want to follow a regulated spiritual life. This is reflected in the titles used in some manuscripts, La religion du cuer and Le rieulle du benoit saint esprit.
The Regle des fins amans, as one would expect from the title, has love at its centre. It contains sections outlining the nature of pure love (Qu'est fine amors) and the twelve signs of a pure lover (Li xii signes par quoi on connoist les fins amans). These deal with love for God and are couched in the language of courtly love, but elsewhere we find love as charity, referred to in terms that are very close to those of the Abbaye. Charity is one of the four pillars which support the order of fins amans (the others being purity, poverty, and humility). It is the pillar which can withstand anything and support everything, its supremacy being ultimately derived, as in the Abbaye, from the gospel commandment of love, here mediated by Augustine. (47) An even closer parallel to the role Charity occupies as abbess of the Abbaye du Saint Esprit is found in the introduction to some practical recommendations within the Regle (Li coumandement selonc quoi se doivent riuler li fin amant): 'Nos ordenons et establissons de par Jhesucrist, l'abe des fins amans, en l'obedience de sainte charite, par la vertu d'amors que li cuer soient estable et joint ensanble en l'amour de Jhesucrist'. (48) Although charity is not explicitly personified here, the reference occurs in a context of monastic hierarchy and obedience, and places the virtue of charity in a very similar position in relation to the order of fins amans to the one it occupies in the Abbaye.
Love is thus the ruling principle of both orders. The parallels between the Regle des fins amans and the Abbaye du saint esprit suggest that the Abbaye participated in the same lay religious culture as the Regle. This was a culture that eagerly took elements from both traditional monastic spiritual advice and secular literature, and had a vision of love at the heart of religious life. It was also a culture predominantly associated with religious women. But while the gender of the primary audience of the Abbaye may account for the replacement of the abbot Reason by the abbess Charity, for the change from God as supreme abbot to founder we also need to consider the other audience shift involved, namely from monastic to lay.
The Latin tradition deals with ordering the interior life of monks, who are physically living in the monastery. The texts of this tradition are about ordering the mind and acquiring virtue, but also about ordering the monastery itself. The first and second books of Hugh's text operate on the literal level, and in Hugh's allegory it is above all the spaces and the daily activities of the monastery that provide the grid of interrelations that generates meaning.
On the other hand, the Abbaye du Saint Esprit, as Whitehead notes, was envisaged for an audience of pious laity and para-monastics. (49) While Whitehead's observation occurs in a discussion of the English translation, the opening statement she refers to--that not everyone who would like to join a monastery is able to--is already present in the original French. Further evidence of the predominantly lay audience of the text comes from the history of the manuscripts. Three were made for aristocratic lay patrons, and at least two for beguines. (50) For this audience, the spaces and activities that frame the allegory do not form part of their physical surroundings; they must be imagined using whatever prior knowledge is available. This audience's relationship to the idea of a monastery differs from that of the monks. A monk sees the monastery from inside; it is where he works out his salvation, and he participates in its inner workings. A lay-person sees it from outside, and interacts with it by exchanging temporal goods and services for spiritual benefits. This different relationship necessarily leads to a simplification of the allegorical framework, removing some of the more specialized elements of daily monastic life and keeping those more salient to outsiders. (51)
This casts light on the French texts' introduction of the founder's role. At the pinnacle of the spiritually directed transactions with the monastic world that a lay person with the necessary means could engage in was the act of foundation itself. Founders of monasteries could expect to accrue spiritual merit in this world and the next, and to be remembered and honoured beyond their death. A lay person may in fact have regarded the founder as more important than the abbot. The reflection of common monastic-lay interactions can be seen even more clearly in the German allegory, where the action of the Holy Ghost resembles that of a nobleman who founds a religious house to provide for his daughters.
The transmission of the cloister allegory from twelfth-century monastic formation literature to thirteenth-century works of spiritual advice entailed a number of shifts, notably from Latin to the vernacular, from a monastic to a lay context, and often from a male to a predominantly female audience. The changes resulting from this transmission reflect theological and spiritual developments that took place between the mid-twelfth and late-thirteenth centuries, but they are also related to changes in the audience and function of the allegory in its later, vernacular form.
The comparative study set out in this essay, focusing on the identification of a governing virtue, has shown that the changes occurring in the
transmission of the cloister allegory amount to more than a simple shift in 'top virtue' along gender lines. Some of the variations clearly take the gender of the audience into account, but the choice of Love or Reason as most appropriate for the role of abbot or abbess is not always the same. The feminized cloister of Beatrice of Nazareth makes Reason abbess, as does the version for nuns of the Introduxit me rex and the French translation, while William of Auvergne prefers Love as abbot of his male cloister. In the case of the Abbaye du Saint Esprit, it does seem that the privileging of Love is related to a predominantly female religious culture, but other factors are important too. This text is the product of an adaptation to the needs of a devout lay public experimenting with new forms of religious life. In the process of this adaptation, the allegory has been simplified and its content changed. Above all, it is no longer concerned with the acquisition of virtue in a real monastic community, but with creating a mental structure which individuals can remember and reflect on through their daily life. With the shift to an audience outside the cloister, the significance of the architectural framework has changed, and this entails a greater role for the personified virtues who inhabit it. In this context, Charity comes to play a central role. In the Latin tradition, the principle of charity governed the monks' fraternal relations in the literal monastery, while Reason, personified as abbot in a section of the allegory representing the examination of conscience, could be said to govern their inner life. In the Abbaye du Saint Esprit, however, Reason is relegated to a housewifely role and Charity has command of the whole community of virtues.
School of Historical Studies
(1) The range of qualities included in these lists went beyond what we commonly think of today as virtues. While the four cardinal and three theological virtues were the basis of many classifications, their subdivisions could include a variety of other concepts, such as modesty, joy, confession, fear of God, memory, and intelligence.
(2) Richard Newhauser, The Treatise on Vices and Virtues in Latin and the Vernacular, Typologie des sources du Moyen Age occidental (Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols, 1993).
(3) See Mary Carruthers, The Craft of Thought. Meditation, Rhetoric, and the Making of Images (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998), especially p. 3.
(4) Jeroen W. J. Laemers, 'Claustrum Animae: The Community as Example for Interior Reform', in Virtue and Ethics in the Twelfth Century, eds Istvan P. Bejczy and Richard G. Newhauser (Leiden: Brill, 2005), pp. 119-30.
(5) 'Making a Cloister of the Soul in Medieval Religious Treatises', Medium AEvum, 67 (1998), 1-29, (p. 6).
(6) Hugh of Fouilloy, De claustro animae, PL 176: 1017-182. The dating of the work is from Ivan Gobry, 'Hugues de Fouilloy', in Dictionnaire de spiritualite ascetique et mystique (Paris: Beauchesne, 1969), pp. 882-38 (col. 880), as is what follows on Hugh's career.
(7) 'Nosti, charissime, quod ea, quae de ordinatione claustri materialis diximus, non solum scripta, sed etiam pro loco, et tempore, et personis sunt ordinata, et exsecutioni apud nos mandata' (De claustro 3. Prol. PL 1085D-1086D). The identification of this reference is from Ivan Gobry, '"De claustro anime" d'Hugues de Fouilloy. Edition critique avec traduction, introduction et notes' (These complementaire de la Sorbonne, 1965).
(8) 'Making a Cloister of the Soul', pp. 4-5.
(9) There are 176 surviving manuscripts (Gobry, 'Hugues De Fouilloy', pp. 882-38, col. 882).
(10) M. Michele Mulcahey, "First the Bow Is Bent in Study...." Dominican Education before 1350, Studies and Texts, 132 (Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies, 1998), p. 110. The recommendation is made in Instructiones de officiis ordinis, which is thought to have been composed by Humbert during his generalate. See Edward Tracy Brett, Humbert of Romans: His Life and Views of Thirteenth-Century Society, Studies and Texts, 67 (Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies, 1984); Vincent of Beauvais' transmission of the De claustro is signalled by Whitehead, 'Making a Cloister of the Soul', p. 5.
(11) Whitehead, 'Making a Cloister of the Soul', p. 9. See also Paul Meyvaert, 'The Medieval Monastic Claustrum', Gesta, 12 (1973), 53-59, p. 58.
(12) Edited by G. Oury from three manuscripts: 'Le "De claustro animae" de Jean, prieur de Saint-Jean-Des-Vignes', Revue d'Ascetique et de Mystique, 40 (1964), 427-42. There is also an edition by Gerhard Bauer, who provides variants from thirteen manuscripts, in Claustrum Animae: Untersuchungen zur Geschichte der Metapher dem Herzen als Kloster (Munich: Wilhelm Fink Verlag, 1973), pp. 359-400.
(13) Bauer, Claustrum Animae, p. 289.
(14) Although approved by the general chapter in Montpellier in 1283, this work does not seem to have spread beyond Toulouse. See Mulcahey, "First the Bow Is Bent in Study", pp. 113-23.
(15) Paul Viard, 'Guillaume d'Auvergne', in Dictionnaire de Spiritualite, pp. 1182-92 (col. 1185).
(16) Paris, Bibliotheque nationale de France (BNF), MS lat. 14413, a manuscript composed of fourteenth- and fifteenth-century elements, which belonged to the Abbey of St Victor in Paris.
(17) De claustro 3. 5, PL 176: 1091D; 3. 9, PL 176: 1101C.
(18) Sometimes spatial relationships are used: for example in Introduxit me rex, the soul ascends to the dormitory (peace of mind) via seven steps.
(19) Mary Carruthers notes that the Psychomachia was a foundational text for moral allegory throughout the Middle Ages (The Craft of Thought, p. 143). Reason, although not often included in lists of virtues, did fight on the side of the virtues in Prudentius's text.
(20) 'Accusat enim misericordia justitiam, quod manus usque ad crudelitatem extenderit, quod iracundiae verba protulit, quod mansuetudinis vultum mutaverit. Justitia vero misericordiam accusat, quod severitatis vultum non induerit, quod peccatum impunitum dimiserit, quod delinquentem saltem verbis non increpaverit' (De claustro 3. 6, PL 176: 1093D-1094A).
(21) BNF MS lat. 14413, fol. 177.
(22) The manuscripts are listed in Bauer, Claustrum Animae, p. 313, n. 11.
(23) 'Claustrum Animae', p. 126.
(24) L. Reypens, Vita Beatricis. De autobiografie van de Z. Beatrijs van Tienen O. Cist. 1200-1268 (Antwerp: Ruusbroec-Genootschap, 1964), pp. 81-83.
(25) Else Marie Wiberg Pedersen, 'Can God Speak in the Vernacular? On Beatrice of Nazareth's Flemish Exposition of the Love for God', in The Vernacular Spirit. Essays on Medieval Religious Literature, eds Renate Blumenfeld-Kosinski, Duncan Robertson and Nancy Bradley Warren (New York: Palgrave, 2002), pp. 185-208 (p. 191). The author of the Vita claimed to have based his text on Beatrice's writings, and Pedersen identifies the cloister chapter as one of the passages whose style differs from the hagiographer's own.
(26) Mechthild of Magdeburg, The Flowing Light of the Godhead, trans. Frank Tobin (New York: Paulist Press, 1998). The interpretation of the work as theological reflection is Amy Hollywood's, in The Soul as Virgin Wife: Mechthild of Magdeburg, Marguerite Porete, and Meister Eckhart (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame, 1995), p. 57.
(27) For this characterization of Mechthild's theology, see Hollywood, The Soul as Virgin Wife, p.84.
(28) Christiania Whitehead, Castles of the Mind: A Study of Medieval Architectural Allegory (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2005), p. 71.
(29) Henri Peltier, 'Hugues de Fouilloy. Chanoine regulier; prieur de Saint-Laurent-au-Bois', Revue du Moyen Age latin, 2 (1946), 25-M, (p. 35, n. 34).
(30) The translation that uses elements of William of Auvergne's De claustro is found in London, British Library, MS Additional 15606, fol. 156, and Paris, Bibliotheque nationale de France (BNF), MS fr. 423, fol. 142. The other translation is found in London, British Library, MS Royal 16.E.XII, fols 148-52.
(31) Oury ('Le "De claustro animae"', p. 435) suggests that the version of Tours MS 396 (a fourteenth-century manuscript) was revised for nuns. The variant given by Bauer, Claustrum Animae, p. 382, is 'hic est abbatissa racio', while Oury ('Le "De claustro animae"', p. 439) has 'hic est abbatissa ratio intellectus'. The French translation also reproduces some other details that are unique to Tours MS 396.
(32) None of the surviving manuscripts contains both the female adaptation of Introduxit me rex and William's De claustro. However, the manuscripts which do contain De claustro and the one that has the female adaptation are closely related, both in content and in the features of the Introduxit me text, so it is possible that such a manuscript once existed. See the descriptions of MSS R, T1, and T2 in Bauer, Claustrum Animae pp. 362-63, and the stemma on p. 372.
(33) In London, British Library, MS Additional 46919, published by Tony Hunt in 'An Allegory of the Monastic Life', Neophilologus, 87 (2003), 3-10.
(34) The manuscripts are listed in Kathleen Chesney, 'Notes on Some Treatises of Devotion Intended for Margaret of York', Medium Aevum, 20 (1951), 11-39. To this list should be added Paris, Bibliotheque nationale de France (BNF), MSS fr. 2095 and 19397. Quotations in this article will be from MS Royal 16.E.XII (fols 132v-139v) and the work will be referred to as the Abbaye du Saint Esprit, or Abbaye. The text is summarized and discussed in Leo Carruthers, 'In Pursuit of Holiness Outside the Cloister: Religion of the Heart in the Abbey of the Holy Ghost', in Models of Holiness in Medieval Sermons. Proceedings of the International Symposium (Kalamazoo, 4-7 May 1995), eds Beverly Mayne Kienzle and others (Louvain-la-Neuve: Federation Internationale des Instituts d'Etudes Medievales, 1996), pp. 221-27, and Whitehead, 'Making a Cloister of the Soul', pp. 14-17. One of the French versions is compared with its English translation in Nicole R. Rice, 'Spiritual Ambition and the Translation of the Cloister: The Abbey and Charter of the Holy Ghost', Viator: Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 33 (2002), 222-60.
(35) The manuscripts are Metz, Bibliotheque municipale (Metz), MS 535, Louvain, Bibliotheque de l'Universite (Louvain), MS G.53 (from the abbey of St Jacques in Liege), and London, British Library, MS Yates Thompson 11 (formerly Addit. 39843). The Metz and Louvain manuscripts were destroyed in the Second World War, but are described in Paul Meyer, 'Notice du ms. 535 de la Bibliotheque municipale de Metz', Bulletin de la Societe des anciens textes francais, 12 (1886), 41-76, and A. Langfors, 'Notice des manuscrits 535 de la Bibliotheque municipale de Metz et 10047 des nouvelles acquisitions du fonds francais de la Bibliotheque nationale', Notices et extraits des manuscrits de la Bibliotheque nationale, 42 (1933), 139-288.
(36) The English translation, which survives in twenty-four manuscripts, has been given a critical edition in an unpublished doctoral thesis: Rev. D. Peter Consacro, 'A Critical Edition of the Abbey of the Holy Ghost from All Known Extant English Manuscripts with Introduction, Notes and Glossary' (Dissertation Abstracts International, 32 (1971), 3244A (Fordham)). There are three published editions from a single manuscript: G. G. Perry, Religious Pieces in Prose and Verse, EETS OS, 26 (London: Early English Texts Society, 1914), Carl Horstmann, Yorkshire Writers: Richard Rolle ofHampole, an English Father of the Church, and his Followers (London: S. Sonnenschein, 1895), pp. xiv, 442, and Norman Francis Blake, Middle English Religious Prose (London: Arnold, 1972), pp. 88-102.
(37) MS Yates-Thompson 11, made for the Cistercian nunnery of Maubuisson in the last decade of the thirteenth century; BNF MS fr. 2095, made for Franciscan nuns early in the fifteenth century and owned by the Poor Clares in Amiens; Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Douce 365, made for Margaret of York; and Brussels, Bibliotheque Royale Albert I (BRA), MS. 9555-58 and London, British Library, MS Additional 29986, two copies of an anthology of spiritual advice for an aristocratic woman.
(38) This episode is absent from the version found in BNF MSS fr. 2095 and 19397.
(39) 'Hee comment a ci fort commandement. Mes il est bon et si sauue les ames. Il dist que totes nos pensees, paroles, regars, uenues, alees, soient faites en charite. Je uoi mout de gent en religion qui sont mout po religieus et mout de choses font et dient et uont en mout de lieus, et mout de choses prennent et dient contre le commandement ma dame charite et cest tot perdu deuant Dieu' (fol. 134v).
(40) 'Or gardez comme ci a noble abaye, et sainte religion ou il a si saintes si dignes si soufisanz personnes a garder l'abaye com est charite l'abeesse, la prieuse sapience, la sousprieuse humilite, et benoites soient teles nonnains' (fol. 135r).
(41) The manuscripts in which this text is found are listed in Gerhart Bauer, 'Herzklosterallegorien', in Kurt Ruh, Die Deutsche Literatur Des Mittelalters Verfasserlexicon, eds W. Stammler and K. Langosch (Berlin, New York: Walter de Gruyter, 1981), cols 1153-67. Greifswald, Universita'tsbibliotek, MS Batava No 1, 4 [degrees] is now Greifswald, Universita'tsbibliotek MS. 636. Three of the manuscripts belonged to women's religious houses, but at least one of these was first owned by a lay married couple.
(42) See Simone Roisin, 'L'Efflorescence cistercienne et le courant feminin de piete au xiiie siecle', Revue d'Histoire Ecclesiastique, 39 (1943), 342-78 (pp. 361-78). More recently, Wybren Scheepsma has discussed the provision of spiritual support for beguines by the Cistercian abbey of Villers, in The Limburg Sermons: Preaching in the Medieval Low Countries at the Turn of the Fourteenth Century, trans. David F. Johnson (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2008), pp. 83-84, 89-90.
(43) Metz MS 535 and Louvain MS G53. See the studies by Meyer and Langfors cited above, n. 35, and Scheepsma, The Limburg Sermons, pp. 373-74.
(44) MSS Yates-Thompson 11 and Royal 16E.XII; MS Douce 365; Vesoul, Bibliotheque municipale. MS 91.
(45) K. Christ, ed., 'La regle des fins amans, eine Beginenregel aus dem Ende des XIII. Jahrhunderts', in Philologische Studien aus dem romanisch-germanischen Kulturkreis: Karl Voretzsch zum 60. Geburtstage und zum Gedenken an seine erste akademische Berufung vor 35 Jahren, ed. B. Schadel and Werner Mulertt (Halle an der Saale: Max Niemeyer Verlag, 1927), pp. 173-213, and analysed by Barbara Newman in 'La Mystique Courtoise: Thirteenth-Century Beguines and the Art of Love', in From Virile Woman to Womanchrist: Studies in Medieval Religion and Literature (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1995), pp. 137-81, (pp. 139-143). The manuscript edited by Christ was from Picardy, although the text may have been composed in Paris (Christ, 'La regle', p. 183).
(46) Newman, 'La Mystique Courtoise', p. 137.
(47) 'Ce dist S. Augustins qu'amors fait tout', Christ, 'La regle', p. 199.
(48) Christ, 'La regle', p. 199.
(49) 'Making a Cloister of the Soul', p. 15.
(50) MS Addit. 29986 and BRA MS. 9555-58 were both commissioned by Jean of Berry (Millard Meiss, French Painting in the Time of Jean de Berry. The Limbourgs and Their Contemporaries, 2 vols (London: Thames and Hudson, 1974), I, pp. 408, 409). MS Douce 365 was made for Margaret of York. For the beguine manuscripts, see above, n. 45.
(51) This observation is made by Bauer, Claustrum Animae, p. 305, of German vernacular adaptations of the cloister allegory.
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