Patterns of Liturgical Prescriptions - Data-driven Comparisons

Patterns of Liturgical Prescriptions - Data-driven Comparisons

Tillmann Lohse (Humboldt-Universität, Berlin); Miklós István Földváry (Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest); Jerzy Pysiak (University of Warsaw)
Staatsbibliothek / Humboldt-Universität
Vom - Bis
17.09.2019 - 18.09.2019
Tillmann Lohse

From the Early Middle Ages onwards liturgical prescriptions have been transmitted not only verbally, but also literally in Western Christendom. A major breakthrough was achieved by the invention of a text genre that was exclusively devoted to the collection of performative instructions for the celebration of Holy Mass and Divine Office. Based on older precursors, for instance pontificals, such texts came into being during the 11th/12th century all over Europe. Since their main function was to organize/arrange (Latin: “ordinare”) the use of liturgical textbooks, such as lectionaries, antiphonaries etc., these texts were usually called ordinals.

Ordinals and related documents are very important sources for our understanding of how the non-centralized liturgy of the Roman Churches prior to the Council of Trent (1545-63) developed locally, i.e. within a specific religious order, bishopric, parish, secular chapter or the like. By comparing documents from different entities, it becomes possible to identify the general dissemination of certain liturgical uses as well as the evolution of individual rites.

Furthermore, ordinals are very important sources for our understanding of how the invention of new techniques of reading and writing changed the knowledge management of Latin Christendom. This is because performative prescriptions in ordinals may be interpreted as some kind of medieval metadata with which the primary texts of liturgical readings, prayers and chants were augmented by competent intellectuals. By comparing documents from different entities, it becomes possible to identify general strategies and individual solutions for encoding and nesting given data with metadata long before the digital age.
Although both academic approaches outlined above are obviously looking for distinct scientific findings, they share the interest in searching for patterns by comparison.

Now, when such research becomes more and more based on digital editions of medieval texts, it is high time for scholars of different disciplines to share their knowledge in preparing datasets. There is an urgent need to discuss the possibilities of multimodal encoding strategies by defining a TEI based xml-scheme that covers all sorts of liturgical instructions and informational nesting structures which occur in ordinals and related documents.

Therefore, the workshop aims to bring together experts from four hitherto rather isolated fields of research: liturgical studies, manuscript studies, history of knowledge and digital humanities. Scholars from different nations shall exchange views on the current state of research and develop ideas for future collaboration.

Due to limited seating capacity we kindly ask for registrations via


17.9.2019 - Berlin State Library, Unter den Linden 8 (entry: Dorotheenstr. 27)

16:00 The organizers: Welcome and introduction
16:15 Tillmann LOHSE (Berlin): Pre-digital markup technologies: reading liturgical ordinals now and then
17:00 Falk EISERMANN (Berlin) / Oliver DUNTZE (Berlin): Liturgical incunabula from the collection of the Berlin State Library (presentation of selected treasures)

18.9.2019 - Humboldt University, Unter den Linden 6, room 1066e

09:30 Jerzy PYSIAK (Warsaw): The oldest extant breviaries from the Saint-Chapelle relative to the Veneration of the Crown of Thorns and the Exaltation of the French kingship in liturgy
10:00 Balázs HORVÁTH (Budapest): A revolution of rubrics: from early sacramentaries to late medieval Spanish missals
10:30 coffee break
11:00 Grzegorz PAC (Warsaw): Gertrude and her saints: the ideology of power in her liturgical calendar between East and West
11:30 Johannes HEYMANN (Berlin): Comparing the ordinals of Camin and Magdeburg: a case study on the feast of St Florentinus
12:00 Tomasz DALEWSKI (Warsaw): Prayers for the ruler in the charters of Charles III the Simple and Robert of Neustria
12:30 lunch break
14:00 Paweł KACZMARSKI (Warsaw): The state of current research on the mediaeval liturgical manuscripts in Poland
14:30 Katalin SABO (Budapest): The shaping of sacred places: rubrics, architecture, art history
15:00 Sophie ECKENSTALER (Berlin): How to encode handwritten corrections in liturgical incunabula? A study project concerning GW M28223


PD Dr. Tillmann Lohse

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