If you are currently working on early medieval monastic texts in their manuscript contexts or if you are interested in picking up one of the research suggestions provided below, please contact us. We would be happy to add a description of your project to this page.

1. Current Projects

2. New Manuscript Descriptions

3. Observations and ideas for new projects

  • Chapter 15(16) of Fructuosus’ Regula monachorum imposing strict punishments for sexual contacts with novices and adolescents is transmitted separately from the rest of the text and appears in at least two Carolingian manuscripts in the context of child oblation and education. A revised version, addressed to priests enters collections of Canon law.

  • It would be worthwhile to work systematically on the transmission of excerpts and framents of texts such as the Regula Benedicti, John Cassian’s works or the Synonyma and Sententiae of Isidore of Seville. Those fragments were often more widespread than the texts themselves and give insights into their use and appropriation to new contexts. An interesting example would be the use of the Regula Benedicti (especially chapter 4 and 7) for pastoral purpose. The Monastic Manuscript Project will pay special attention to these partial transmissions.

  • The Monastic Manuscript Project may be used to re-assess traditional genre ascriptions. One example is a Vita Pachomii, which appears first as the only narrative text in four collections of monastic rules but from the 11th century appears in numerous vitae patrum-collections. This indicates that the text was originally regarded as a monastic rule expressed in a narrative form but later as an ‘authentic’ life of an eminent desert father.

  • Augustine's De opere monachorum is perserved in a great number of manuscripts (more than 70 are listed). It would be worthwhile to investigate which role this text played in medieval monastic reform movements and how this role is reflected in its manuscript transmission and its combination with other texts.

  • There are numerous texts and authors that do not play a significant role in monastic research despite the fact that they were widespread in early medieval monastic manuscripts and probably part of the textual repertoire of medieval monks and nuns. Examples are the works of (Ps.-)Ephrem, Evagrius Ponticus or Ps.-Macharius. The Monastic Manuscript Project will pay special attention to these ‘hidden treasures’ and hopefully incite projects to provide new critical editions of these works.