Medieval Allegory and the Building of the New Jerusalem

Ann R. Meyer


Medieval Allegory and the Building of the New Jerusalem

This book investigates the concept of the New Jerusalem, the City of God, as an architectural ideal during the Middle Ages, and the way in which it is represented allegorically in patristic writings, liturgy, building, and later literature. The author begins by examining its conceptual foundations in such sources as the Hebrew Bible, Bede’s exegesis, the religious philosophy of Plotinus, and Augustine’s theology. She then explores the influence and the expression of the New Jerusalem in liturgy and architecture, using the twelfth-century remodelling of the Abbey Church of St-Denis and its dedication liturgy to show how the building serves as an eschatological and apocalyptic landscape. The chantry movement in late medieval England is situated in this context, and leads to a demonstration of the movement’s associations with the highlywrought poem Pearl and its companion poems; the book analyses Pearl as medieval architecture, offering fresh perspectives on its elaborate construction and historical context. ANN R. MEYER is an Associate Professor in the Department of Literature, Claremont McKenna College.

The Construction of the Temple in Jerusalem. Paris Bibliothèque nationale de France, Department of Manuscripts, French 247 fol. 163 (Antiquities, Book VIII) Cliché Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris. Illumination by Jean Fouquet, c. 1465

Medieval Allegory and the Building of the New Jerusalem



Woodbridge. paper) 1. Brewer is an imprint of Boydell & Brewer Ltd PO Box 9. without the prior permission of the copyright owner First published 2003 Meyer. 2. USA website: www. S. UK and of Boydell & Brewer Inc. Suffolk . transmitted. adapted.5. Chantries. cm. performed in public. 6. Cambridge ISBN 0 85991 796 7 D. (Ann Raftery). NY 14604–4126.M485 2003 246'.© Ann R. broadcast. Suffolk IP12 3DF.boydell. 3. PO Box 41026. ISBN 0–85991–796–7 (hardback : alk. recorded or reproduced in any form or by any means. BT93. Allegory. Medieval. S. p. Includes bibliographical references and index. France) 5. Architecture. Pearl (Middle English poem) I. Brewer. 600–1500. Bury St Edmunds.55 – dc21 2003009644 This publication is printed on acid-free paper Printed in Great Britain by St Edmundsbury Press Limited. 4. 1963– Medieval allegory and the building of the new Jerusalem / Ann R. Ann R. A catalogue record of this publication is available from the British Library Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication data Meyer. Meyer 2003 All Rights Reserved. stored in a retrieval system. Jerusalem in Christianity – History of doctrines – Middle Ages. Title. Eglise abbatiale de Saint-Denis (Saint-Denis. Rochester. Except as permitted under current legislation no part of this work may be photocopied.

Philosophical and Theological Foundations 1 Foundations I: Plotinus’ Screen of Beauty 2 Foundations II: Augustine’s City of God II.Contents List of Illustrations Acknowledgments Editorial Note Abbreviations Introduction I. Liturgy and Architecture 3 Liturgy at St. Poetry 5 Taking Allegory Seriously: Ornament as Invitation in Pearl 6 “Þe nwe cyté o Jerusalem”: Pearl as Medieval Architecture Epilogue Bibliography Index 137 155 187 189 203 69 98 27 47 vi vii ix x 1 .-Denis and the Apocalyptic Eschatology of High Gothic 4 The Chantry Movement: An Intimate Art of the Medieval New Jerusalem III.

1340–49). 11. Chester Cathedral Percy Tomb (c. 6. 1395–97). 3. 12. Tewkesbury Abbey Warwick Chapel (1422). Lincoln Cathedral Tomb (detail) of Bartholomew Burghersh Tomb (detail) of Bartholomew Burghersh Shrine of Saint Werburgh. 8. Trinity Chapel. Tewkesbury Abbey Trinity Chapel (c. 14. 9. Tewkesbury Abbey Lierne Vault. 13. Tewkesbury Abbey Fitzhamon Chapel (c. 2. Tewkesbury Abbey Kneeling Effigy of Edward Despenser. 10. Chantry priests. 7. Beverley Minster Percy Tomb (detail) Percy Tomb (detail) Choir. 4.List of Illustrations Frontispiece: The Construction of the Temple in Jerusalem 1. Lincoln Cathedral Tomb (detail) of Bartholomew Burghersh. Works Chantry. Tewkesbury Abbey 116 118 119 120 121 122 123 125 127 128 129 130 131 132 vi . 1390–1400). 5.

Steve Davis. I am grateful to Jane Vadnal at the University of Pittsburgh for providing me with the image of the Kneeling Knight in his canopy atop Trinity Chantry in Tewkesbury Abbey.” 26 February 1999. Special thanks go my colleagues at Claremont McKenna College: Audrey Bilger. and Nicholas Warner. Gould Center for Humanistic Studies. and provided helpful suggestions for revision. I also thank the faculty and students who attended my presentation at the University of Chicago Medieval Workshop in December 1996. and to the Institut d’Études Augustiniennes in Paris. Judith Merkle. Jim Morrison. Robert Faggen. which was hosted by Nancy van Deusen of the Claremont Graduate University. For support of my research in England and France. Alison Stones. I especially wish to thank the following individuals at the University of Chicago: Michael Murrin. all of whom read the manuscript in its later stages. to medieval French architecture sur place. I also thank her colleague. and the Benjamin J. the Claremont Consortium for Medieval and Early Modern Studies.Acknowledgments I wish to thank the Mellon Foundation and the University of Chicago Division of Humanities for their generous support of this project in its earliest stages. Jim Nichols. Edward Foley of the Catholic Theological Union offered advice on liturgical sources of Saint-Denis. and the Institute for Antiquity and Early Christianity. Francis-Noël Thomas introduced me to the foundation scholarship of Émile Mâle and Louis Réau. Christina von Nolcken for critical bibliographic advice. Peter Dembowski for suggestions on translation of Froissart’s poetry. Anne Walters Robertson for expert advice on medieval French liturgy. whose seminar on Medieval Allegory provided the initial motivation and intellectual foundations for this project. John Farrell. and the late Michael Camille who gave valuable guidance on how best to incorporate the art-historical components of this project with my literary analysis. “Plotinus and His Visions: The Alexandrian Intellectual World in Transition. for permission to reproduce that image in this book. Projects such as my own could not be completed without the collections of vii . I am grateful to the University of Chicago’s Office of International Affairs. offered encouraging comments. I am also grateful to Connie Bartling and Sheri McCain for assisting with the xeroxing of the final manuscript. I read parts of Chapters Four and Six to the Medieval Guild Conference at Columbia University in 1996. David Bevington for discerning criticism and professional acumen. I presented parts of Chapters One and Three at a conference. to the Claremont McKenna College Dean of Faculty’s Office.

I am fortunate to have worked at the Joseph Regenstein Library at the University of Chicago. Pru Harrison and Michael Webb. and the Service reproduction of the Bibliothèque nationale de France. I am grateful to the Vicar and Churchwardens of Beverley Minster. and the Chapter of Chester Cathedral. and Thomas. and the Institut d’Études Augustiniennes in Paris. the Institute for Historical Research in London. I thank my colleagues at Boydell & Brewer. The anonymous reader for Boydell & Brewer provided expert suggestions for revision that guided me in unifying the various disciplinary areas of my subject and seeing this book through to its completion. For help with photographing medieval funerary monuments and for kind permission to reproduce photographs in this book. the libraries of York Minster and Lincoln Cathedral. the Honnold and Denison libraries of the Claremont Colleges. especially Derek Brewer. who have made the process of publishing this book a smooth and gratifying one for me. Vanda Andrews. the Huntington Library. For my research on this book. the Newberry Library. To my mother and father. Godfrey. for the love that builds Heaven on earth viii . Lincoln Cathedral. and Auntie Ann. my sister Patsy. Tewkesbury Abbey.Acknowledgments specialized libraries and the help of librarians. my brothers Bobby. Caroline Palmer. Finally.

Full bibliographical references for Augustine’s De civitate Dei and Confessiones (abbreviations listed below) are provided in the notes and Bibliography (Primary Sources). In order to achieve a degree of brevity in this wide-ranging study. ix .. I have provided key Latin terms and phrases. John Murphy Co. English translations of biblical passages are taken from the Douay (Rheims-Douay) Version (Baltimore and New York. such as those from the Vulgate and from Saint Augustine’s writings. biblical quotations in Latin are taken from the Vulgate (Biblia Sacra Iuxta Vulgatam Versionem. Bibliographical information on all other works by Augustine that I cite in this book may also be found in the Bibliography (Primary Sources). Unless otherwise noted. I have selectively omitted original Greek and Latin quotations except where a particular emphasis upon interpretation is crucial. 1969). 1899).Editorial Note This book relies extensively on quotations from writers of late antiquity and early Christianity. when I thought it especially helpful for clarification. Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft. All standard Greek and Latin sources are listed in the Bibliography. such as in my close analysis in Chapter Three of liturgical texts and commentaries.

: Newman.. trans. Dombart and A. C. Quasten and J. 1994) Patrologiae Cursus Completus. Migne (Paris. Eerdmans. 1947–) Library of Christian Classics. R.. B. The Confessions (Oxford. and H. I have used the English translation of this critical edition. ed. Augustine. Enn. Plumpe (Westminster.Abbreviations ACW ANF ANCL AugStud CCL CSEL civ. 1844–64) Recherches Augustiniennes (Paris: Études Augustiniennes) Revue des Études Augustiniennes (Paris: Études Augustiniennes. 1966–88). Rotelle (New York: New City P. J. Dei Ancient Christian Writers. Clark 1967–72) Augustinian Studies (Villanova: Villanova UP. Baillie. ed. Confessions (New York: Penguin. 1953–) Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Latinorum (Vienna: Tempsky. van Dusen (Philadelphia and London: Westminster P. 1951–) Ante-Nicene Christian Library: Translations of the Writings of the Fathers down to AD 325. Donaldson (Edinburgh: T. which appears in R. 1947–) The Works of Saint Augustine: A Translation for the 21st Century. S. 1964–1982). 1990) x conf. De civitate Dei (On the City of God). ed. 1998). Eerdmans. J. Plotini Opera. I use the facing-page English translation of this edition by A. Chadwick. ed.. MD. Verheijen. CCL 27. CCL (2 vols). Kalb. FC LCC NPNF PL RechAug REtAug SCM SPCK VigChr WSA .-R. W. A. J. P. in The Loeb Classical Library. 7 vols (Cambridge: Harvard UP. Plotinus. 1970–) Corpus Christianorum. and T. 1955–) Student Christian Movement: SCM/Canterbury Press Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge Press Vigiliae Christianae. Series Latina (Turnhout: Brepols. A Review of Early Christian Life and Language (Amsterdam: North-Holland Publishing Co. The City of God against the Pagans. 1946–) Ante-Nicene Fathers (Grand Rapids: William B. and ed. Henry and H. J. New York: Oxford UP. Roberts and J. and R. ed. Hillary Armstrong. Deferrari (Washington: Catholic UP. ed. 1991). L. Grand Rapids: William B. English translations I have consulted include H. 1865–) Augustine. The Fathers of the Church. Confessiones (Confessions). Series Latina. McNeill. Pine-Coffin. J. ed. 1961). E. Schwyzer (Oxford: Clarendon. J. T. repr. Dyson. P. P. The Enneads. Plotinus. 1953–66) A Select Library of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church (Oxford. Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought (Cambridge: Cambridge UP. ed.

. medieval theologians and artists chose allegory as the means of expression most effective and most worthy of communicating the relation between the divine world and human experience. Translated Texts for Historians Series. It is also an art form that is unsurpassed in its collective powers of expression. As a way of usefully limiting this investigation. ed. Revelation is what medieval church architecture aspires to and what medieval religious allegory unveils. including its manifestation in liturgy and literature. I have laid the foundation. Finally. allegory. revelation – and here I use the term to mean an intimate awareness of God’s presence – is the highest spiritual end. and aspirations. method. as a wise master builder. intellectual. There are many ways of studying these medieval accomplishments. architecture offers the most commanding visual sources of discovery. and revelation worked together in an effort to represent the New Jerusalem on earth. From Origen to the sculptors of Chartres Cathedral to Dante.10) The foundation of the temple is to be understood mystically. including its function as a location for secular and sacred liturgies. 21 (Liverpool: Liverpool UP. trans. and religious cultures of medieval Europe. Much recent scholarship has focused on technical. Hurst. and political questions including. Allegory in turn is one of the chief philosophical. and literary modes of medieval expression. a whole range of theoretical perspectives that have stimulated discussion on the contexts and meanings of 1 D. and revelation: these three words communicate in a remarkably wide-ranging and complementary way the artistic.1)1 Architecture. 1 . that has explored ways in which architecture and architectural motifs in other areas of medieval studies stand out as among the most pervasive and complex significations in medieval culture. 1995). especially in the last decade. and meaning – how architecture. I focus my attention on the architectural approach to divine revelation in the medieval west. (I Corinthians 3. sociological. religious. Seán Connolly. (Bede. De templo 4. This focus contributes to the tradition of scholarship. fears. This book is an investigation of how these aspects of medieval thought and expression functioned simultaneously as form. in the last twenty years. If one wishes to understand medieval beliefs. allegory. the definitive goal of human experience in the medieval world. and another buildeth thereon. Vol.Introduction According to the grace of God which is given unto me. CCL 119A (1969).

who identifies Saint Paul as his master in the craft and transformational spirituality of biblical exegesis.-Victor (1096–1141) also used alieniloquium to describe allegory. cites the passage from Galatians and glosses it with the phrase. Such approaches have come to be regarded as inadequate. Rather.” “to say other than that which is meant” (Lat. to fit the great variety and complexity of medieval architectural expressions into a restrictive or all-encompassing structure. The single use of the word (as a participle. these terms were not often clearly distinguished from one another in meaning. Dei XV 18–19. It is important to emphasize that in the historical periods I treat in this book.Introduction medieval art and culture.2 Isidore of Seville (c. suggest that allegory is the only method or that divine revelation the only purpose relevant for understanding medieval art and architecture. a whole range of other terms to designate identical or closely related meanings. or to impose from without artificial formulations. 347–420) translated Paul’s text as quae sunt per allegoriam dicta (“which things are said by an allegory”). architecture. symbolon (“symbol”). My focus is not meant to counter such approaches. quae sunt aliud ex alio significantia (“which things signify one thing by another”). since they risk underestimating the richness of purpose and meaning these accomplishments from our distant past offer. theology. These terms include hyponoia (“under-sense”). Other Latin uses of the word and its related forms appear in writings of major theologians in the medieval west. 2 .” “to say other things. the Latin equivalent of the Greek combination allos + agoreuein (other-speaking). The ancient and medieval writers used “allegory” and its related verbal and adjectival forms in conjunction with. my aim is to direct closer attention to the pervasiveness and complexities of an extraordinary intellectual and cultural achievement and to suggest a method of interdisciplinary research that reaches well beyond surface relationships between these disciplines. 560–636) used the term alieniloquium. is “to speak otherwise.24) to designate the relation between the Old and New Covenants. Augustine (354–430). allegoria). in other words. I do not. liturgy. eikon (“icon”). Jerome (c. The fundamental meaning conveyed by the word “allegory” (Gr. since aliud dicitur et aliud significatur (“one thing is said and another thing is signified”). see also civ. and aenigma (“enigma”). then. allêgoroumena) in the New Testament appears in Paul’s letter to the Galatians (4. figura (“figure”). imago (“image”). Augustine demonstrates great flexibility in his use of allegoria and figura in his biblical exegesis. The word itself combines two Greek words: allos (other) and agoreuein (to speak). and often as a substitution for. not taking care in a consistent way to distin2 De Trinitate XV 9. To cite one highly influential example in the western medieval tradition. Hugh of St. and literature. alia oratio). My use of the term “allegory” also requires qualification. by examining selected works from the disciplines of philosophy. signum (“sign”). to describe allegory as a grammatical technique.

Nature. Dawson observes. such as metaphor. 266. trans. only with reference to the Bible. Classic studies on ancient and medieval uses of words and concepts designating symbolic meaning.8. De Genesi ad litteram imperfectus liber 2. and Winthrop Wetherbee. mysteria. however. Classical Theories of Allegory and Christian Culture (Pittsburgh: Duquesne UP: 1981. 1999). and figura include Félix Buffière. figura in I Corinthians 10. Little (Chicago: U of Chicago P. MI and Cambridge. that there are instances when Augustine prefers figura to allegoria: “figura .” Allegoria emphasizes “the relationship between biblical words and their spiritual referents. 1976). so that these terms become part of my discussion not only of the biblical exegeses of Bede and Augustine. . Eerdmans. for example. XXIV. demonstrating an informed Augustinian flexibility.” “figure. as Dawson points out. architecture. in my use of words like “sign. K.3 Jon Whitman cites examples from Hellenic and Hebraic writers: “The rhetorician Heraclitus uses both hyponoia and allegoria to describe his interpretation of Homer. M.” Nonetheless.21ff. See David Dawson’s article.”5 In this book I follow the example of the ancient and medieval writers. 366–368.” “image. allegory. Brighton. 18. 1972). D. 1959–64). see especially Appendix I: “On the History of the Term ‘Allegory’.” One additional aspect of my own flexibility is that. 3 . Allegory.11) or from similitudo. preserves the significance of a historical reality. but also in my treatments of medieval liturgy. however.Introduction guish them from the Pauline terms typos (Lat. UK: Harvester. Les Mythes d’Homère et la pensée grecque (Paris: Les Belles lettres.”4 That these terms were used indiscriminately among major ancient and medieval writers indicates that for them there was great overlap in meaning. Man and Society in the Twelfth Century.” in Augustine through the Ages: An Encyclopedia. 1968). at about the same period. 1997). Allan D. As is well known. Platonism and Poetry in the Twelfth Century: The Literary Influence of the School of Chartres (Princeton: Princeton UP. “Figure.” The following sources have also been especially useful: Michael Murrin.38. 1981). the term “allegory” has often been used to designate a technique or system of interpretation. Jean Pépin. Allegory: The Dynamics of an Ancient and Medieval Technique (Cambridge: Harvard UP. not Homer.” and “symbol. 1956). unlike many of the ancient and medieval writers. and imago. See. Galatians 4. figura in I Corinthians 10. Philip Rollinson. Henri de Lubac. Chenu.37 and XXV. The Veil of Allegory: Some Notes toward a Theory of Allegorical Rhetoric in the English Renaissance (Chicago: U of Chicago P. I selectively apply the multiple terms of allegorical language across the disciplines. De utilitate credendi 3. 1969). Exégèse médiévale: les quatre sens de l’Écriture. So does the great Jewish exegete Philo. Jerome Taylor and L. and poetry.” and “anagogical” serving as specific designations for different levels of meaning. Conf. 4 vols (Paris: Aubier.5.” “tropological. Medieval theologians conceived a multi-leveled system of biblical exegesis. My interest in allegory also emphasizes the technique or system of conveying 3 4 5 Cf. sacramentum. for example. Dante famously adapted the allegorical system used by the theologians for interpretation of his own great poem. that for these writers all of the terms “involve the intention of conveying or constructing meaning. It is clear. Rollinson. Fitzgerald (Grand Rapids. Mythe et allégorie: les origines grecques et les contestations judéo-chrétiennes (Paris: Études augustiniennes. umbra. My discussion here on the historical background of the term “alllegory” and related terms is based primarily on Whitman’s study. with terms such as “typological. ed. Classical Theories. UK: William B. Augustine is inconsistent in his use of the two terms.6) and typikôs (Lat. .” but “omits the intermediate category of physical or historical reality. La Divina Commedia. integumentum.

I Cor. Richard K. 5.7 The apocalyptic eschatology of medieval Christianity was driven by a hope to be reborn after divine Judgment into the eternal presence of a loving God. chapters 21 and 22 of the Revelation to John. Ezekiel 40–42) – Paul’s teachings in the New Testament on allegoresis and. For Paul’s teachings on allegorical interpretation and on Pauline passages especially relevant for this study. who in his essay.” explains that the term “allows for a wide-ranging analysis restricted neither by disciplinary categories nor by such artificial distinctions as religious/secular or elite/ popular. 4 .2. 3. but it is also more specific: I focus on how the interpretive technique functions as an epistemological process. all pervasive” and its “imagery is limited neither to religious texts nor even to Christian settings. include a prophetic vision of the New Jerusalem and the state of being of its inhabitants: et civitatem sanctam Hierusalem novam vidi descendentem de caelo a Deo paratam sicut sponsam ornatam viro suo et audivi vocem magnam de throno dicentem ecce tabernaculum Dei cum hominibus et habitabit cum eis et ipsi populus eius erunt et ipse Deus cum eis erit eorum Deus et absterget Deus omnem lacriman ab oculis eorum et mors ultra non erit neque luctus neque clamor neque dolor erit ultra 6 7 The Apocalypse in the Middle Ages. Emmerson and Bernard McGinn (Ithaca and London: Cornell UP.”6 Visio pacis: Allegory and John’s Vision in the Book of Revelation The foundational biblical texts for the medieval building of the New Jerusalem include the description of sacred architecture in the Hebrew Bible – especially the desert Tabernacle (Exodus 25–40) and Solomon’s Temple (I Kings 5–8. I focus on the “screen” or veil of allegory itself in order to explore how it is philosophically and theologically possible to understand medieval architecture – including architectural forms and motifs in liturgy and literature – as eschatological landscapes and images of apocalyptic revelation. for example. II Cor.21ff.Introduction meaning. architecture.10–17. Gal. of course. and literature. Here I follow the example of Richard K. Emmerson observes. 16. Eph. my frequent use in this book of the term “medieval culture.” may also require clarification. ed. 294–95.19–22. 1992). to become a child of Heaven. Finally. 10. “is ubiquitous. and how it is manifested as a process – as a vehicle of spiritual transformation – in medieval liturgy. how specific philosophical and theological traditions define that process. see.” The influence of the Apocalypse in the Middle Ages. “The Apocalypse in Medieval Culture. Emmerson. 3. The last chapters of the New Testament.1–10. 4. John’s vision of the New Jerusalem in the Book of Revelation. a worshipper of the Lamb in the New Jerusalem. To clarify my interest even more specifically. cf. 2.

9–11). prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. its crystalline river and fruit-laden tree of life. And they shall be his people. for example. And I heard a great voice from the throne. and I will show thee the bride. drawing on a rich tradition of Jewish and Christian apocalyptic literature. its twelve jeweled walls and foundations. for the former things are passed away. as to the jasper stone. The exquisite complexity of John’s apocalyptic vision of the New Jerusalem has encouraged varied interpretations. and death shall be no more. And he that sat on the throne. since these 8 9 See editorial note for source details. I make all things new. for these words are most faithful and true. nor mourning. For a survey of some of the most influential medieval interpretations of the Book of Revelation. (Revelation 21. and in chapter 22. 5 . the wife of the lamb) (21. the multiple designations of the New Jerusalem. Explanations within the text itself – like the angel’s account of the woman sitting upon the scarlet beast with seven heads and ten horns (17. in fact. even as crystal) (21. said. less than helpful. Further. ed.2–5) [And I John saw the holy city. cited variously as the civitatem sanctam (holy city) (21. Richard K. The verses that follow describe the city’s measurements.5).3).]8 In verse nine of the same chapter an angel speaks to John: veni ostendam tibi sponsam uxorem agni (Come. when the New Jerusalem will descend onto a high mountain – have challenged believers in their efforts to distinguish literal from symbolic meanings. Emmerson and Bernard McGinn.9). and God himself with them shall be their God. see the collection of essays and accompanying bibliographies in The Apocalypse in the Middle Ages. both symbolic and historical.7–18) – are. saying: Behold the tabernacle of God with men and he will dwell with them. nor crying. since it was first compiled and written down sometime in the first century. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.2). And he said to me: Write. the detailed material descriptions of the New Jerusalem and the apparent imminence of the apocalyptic event – tempus enim prope est (for the time is at hand) (1. coming down out of heaven from God. Behold. the tabernaculum Dei (tabernacle of God) (21. The angel takes John up in spiritu in montem magnum et altum (in spirit to a great and high mountain) and shows him the New Jerusalem habentem claritatem Dei (having the glory of God) and lumen eius simile lapidi pretioso tamquam lapidi iaspidis sicut cristallum (his light like a precious stone. its twelve pearl gates. and the sponsam uxorem agni (bride.Introduction quae prima abierunt et dixit qui sedebat in throno ecce nova facio omnia et dicit scribe quia haec verba fidelissima sunt et vera. the wife of the Lamb). nor sorrow shall be any more. the new Jerusalem.3). Some of its interpretive difficulties include. have sought to understand the figurative limits of John’s account.9 Biblical commentators. the throno (throne) of God (21.

” Plotinus himself looked to Plato as the chief philosophic source of his own ideas. corrosion. and trans. ed. whose explanations of their mysterious adventures send them (and readers) on their way with only more questions. spring ab ovo in the contemporary world of the Middle Ages. like Bede in his commentaries on the Mosaic Tabernacle and on Solomon’s Temple. accounts that repeatedly emphasize an inseparable relationship between salvation. the intimate. trans. and he called himself not a “neoplatonist” but a Platonist. all provided nourishment for the medieval imagination in its impressive drive to make manifest a spiritual world. the supremely authoritative instructions.11 Earlier in the last century.12 Influential 10 The thirteenth-century Queste del Saint Graal demonstrates this technique well. sacramental liturgy. Knights from Arthur’s court in search of the Holy Grail seek guidance from “helpful” hermits. viewed the multiple significations that John ascribes to the New Jerusalem as a genuine experience of divine truth. 1969). The architectural expression of this spirituality and the complementary liturgical expression played out within the buildings’ stone surroundings did not. (Paris: Librarie Honoré Champion. the textures. In this Introduction I turn briefly and selectively to important sources of influence from ancient Rome and the Hebrew Bible. like Plotinus. the extant buildings – so many of them having survived neglect. In addition. One motivation for this focus in medieval architecture and related art forms stemmed in great part from biblical accounts or descriptions – not the least of which was Revelation 21–22 – of God’s elect community. 11 Throughout this study I use the terms “Platonism” and “Platonist” in a broad sense to refer comprehensively to the larger tradition that includes figures. The cultural and intellectual achievements of the medieval Christian world give prolific evidence of the pervasiveness of this apocalyptic eschatology. it was the church buildings and their liturgical programs that most comprehensively and dramatically manifested a hope for eternal union with God. Of course.Introduction explanations lead inevitably to still further questions. familiar quality of the vessels for liturgical service. 1984). both pagan and Christian. After more than six centuries. M. whom many modern scholars refer to as “neoplatonists. this method of literary narrative – in which questions arise that prompt explanations.. Abbot Suger on the Abbey Church of St.10 As we shall see later in this Introduction. The term “neoplatonism” can be misleading since it does not distinguish any particular development of Plato’s philosophy among many. one enduring subject of scholarship on the medieval period is the debate on the possible influence of Platonic ideas upon the design and symbolic programs of medieval church architecture. Yet. ed. aural splendor. Albert Pauphilet. The colors. art historians working within a scholarly tradition whose representatives included Erwin Panofsky and Otto von Simson argued that the great churches of the medieval period were visual manifestations of Platonic ideas mingled with Christian beliefs. the careful designs. of course. 12 Erwin Panofsky. and architectural forms. medieval Christian exegetes. Matarasso (London and New York: Penguin. which in turn lead to more questions – is a common feature of apocalyptic literature.-Denis and its Art Trea- 6 . P. through their liturgies. and various forms of desecration – remain among the world’s most remarkable spectacles of visual and.

These examples of scholarly directions in the last decade or so on medieval architectural history and musicology support a premise of my own study: the medieval conception of the church building as a symbol of the New Jerusalem was informed and strengthened by a Christian adaptation of Platonic teachings on the symbol. Gothic Song: Victorine Sequences and Augustinian Reform in Twelfth-Century Paris (Cambridge: Cambridge UP.15 These prominent examples of Platonically informed liturgies can only be fully understood. and architecture leads persuasively to the conclusion that “the application of geometry to architectural design was an expression of metaphysical beliefs and . as well. Robertson. and a subject to which I devote a chapter of this book. 2nd edn (Princeton: Princeton UP. Anne Walters Robertson gives evidence for the influence of Pseudo-Dionysius’ writings on medieval liturgy at the Royal Abbey of St. has studied Augustinian reform and the twelfth-century liturgy at the Abbey of St. In Part I of this study I provide a philosophical and theological foundation for my analysis of liturgy. It is my contention. . geometry. 39. 1991). 2nd edn by Gerda Panofsky-Soergel (Princeton: Princeton UP. however. 39. the philosophical focus is Plotinus’ masterful reworking of pre- sures. for example. in his recent study offers compelling evidence to support a reconsideration of Platonic philosophical traditions in studies not only of the design and symbolic programs of medieval church architecture. 7 . Scholars have continued. of course. these [beliefs] were fundamentally Platonic in content. in terms of Christian salvation history. musicologists provide liturgical evidence for the Platonic influence on the symbolic meanings of medieval churches. The Gothic Cathedral: Origins of Gothic Architecture and the Medieval Concept of Order. it was too general in its presentation and lacked sufficient practical or technical evidence to support it. 1993). represented in the writings of Plotinus (204/5–270). for example. In Chapter One. UK and Brookfield. but also of the relations between architecture and other medieval art forms. 14 Ibid. I argue. 13 The Wise Master Builder: Platonic Geometry in Plans of Medieval Abbeys and Cathedrals (Aldershot. is the medieval liturgy for the dedication of a Christian church. Nigel Hiscock. architecture. VT: Ashgate. 1962). The most sophisticated tradition of Platonism that is central to this adaptation is.-Victor in Paris.13 His study of medieval number theory.-Denis just outside of Paris. 2000). One clear liturgical confirmation of the apocalyptic and eschatological components of that history.”14 Complementing Hiscock’s work.Introduction as this thesis was to a generation of art historians. . 15 Fassler. that medieval liturgy facilitated the appropriation of Platonic thought by providing both a textual and a visual means for the builders and worshipers to qualify the Platonic symbol in terms of Christian faith. to study philosophical and theological traditions that can inform us of both the conception and the interpretation of medieval church architecture. 1979). Margot Fassler. and literature in the later chapters. The Service Books of the Royal Abbey of Saint-Denis: Images of Ritual and Music in the Middle Ages (Oxford: Clarendon. Otto von Simson.

Augustine’s mature teachings in De civitate Dei receive my primary attention.Introduction vious Hellenic ideas on art and the sensible world. collected and edited by his disciple Porphyry under the title Enneads. have received too little attention in studies of western medieval traditions. readings. architectural. therefore. or a community of the faithful. Plotinus’ teachings. This liturgy is a carefully crafted work of literary and dramatic art that serves to manifest its chief purpose as a model of applied theology.-Denis near Paris. visible realm. vital to an understanding of how Platonism was appropriated by medieval Christians in the conception and symbolic interpretation of their church buildings. whose members are full participants in the Christian drama of salvation history. the writings of Plotinus. The medieval liturgy at St. Augustine transforms the elaborate Plotinian journey of the soul to include an identification of the human being as a citizen of either one of two cities: the City of Babylon or the City of God. the chief figure in the transmission of Platonism to the medieval Christian west. The Church on earth serves as a sacramental sign. therefore. carrying out Christ’s incarnational mission. Augustine (354–430). Saint Augustine is the vital link between Plotinian metaphysics and western Christianity. I turn to an important application of this tradition: the thirteenth-century liturgy for the feast of the dedication of the Royal Abbey of St. sacred realm and the temporal. they are the most important source for an understanding of Augustine’s Platonism. and processions all work together to identify the church building as an eschatological and apocalyptic landscape.-Denis is an especially appropriate one to examine in this context. by contrast. and literary achievements that identify ecclesiastical buildings not only as sacred spaces. always on pilgrimage to a desired apocalyptic end. To further an understanding of medieval efforts to represent the New Jerusalem on earth. The prayers. Central to Augustine’s theology is a clear concept of Church. I focus on Augustine’s transformation of Plotinus’ sacramental view of the cosmos. Plotinus’ system. In Chapter Two. In Chapter Three. since it is in this work that Augustine presents the most extensive theological foundation for the medieval representation of the New Jerusalem. Plotinian and Augustinian teachings on the symbol provide a philosophical and theological foundation for later medieval liturgical. ritual gestures. yet. Plotinus’ teachings are. As influential as Plotinus’ philosophical system was on Augustine’s understanding of the relations between the invisible. but more specifically as earthy representations of the New Jerusalem. I begin this study. by returning to the main source of Augustine’s Platonism. it was nonetheless inadequate for Augustine the Christian theologian. learned from Plotinus how cognition of the sensory world moves the soul to recognize and return to its spiritual source. Part II of this book treats liturgical and architectural contributions to the medieval effort to build Heaven on earth. Abbot Suger’s famous writings on the twelfthcentury rebuilding of this church. objects. which include a commentary on its 8 . images. does not rely upon a concept of religious community.

even if Suger’s writings do not reveal.D. With the reforms. An outstanding exception to the near disappearance of the chantry movement’s architectural expression survives in the Decorated choir of Tewkesbury Abbey in Gloucestershire. Paris.Introduction dedication liturgy. MCXL vel MCXLI confirmata. in Panofsky. however. remain important documents for our understanding of St.19 What needs to be more widely recognized. Cook. a whole architectural sub-genre arose – the chantry chapels. remained a dominant strain of Christian piety until the religious reforms carried out under Henry VIII (1491–1547) and Edward VI (1547–53). most often built within existing churches. Abbot Suger. In England.18 My interest in medieval representations of the New Jerusalem led me to a study of private chapels. edn (London: Phoenix House. Medieval dionysii. The chapels were the private. which I treat in Chapter Four. is that this movement represents a unique stage in the evolving medieval view of how the living and the departed faithful enter into the sacred community of the Celestial City. As a result. H. Along with other superbly constructed funerary monuments.-Denis’ formative role in the development of the Gothic style. took formal – if not equivalent functional – inspiration from the royal chapels built in the Ile-de-France and in London. 1963). England. little visual evidence exists today of the chantry movement’s widespread popularity in late medieval England. Chantries and Chantry Chapels. Yet. rev.” The chapels were the specific locations in which worshipers practiced a distinct form of eschatology. a specialized. 40–137. they do demonstrate his familiarity with the liturgy celebrated in his church. 9 . The chantry movement in England. the chapels are clustered around the high altar. whose tombs are housed in them. the Despensers.-Victor in Paris. and most of the chapels were dismantled or destroyed. This widespread loss of visual evidence of the architectural past partly explains why the chantry movement has received so little scholarly attention.-Denis in France. as scholars have argued. miniature churches of the abbey’s medieval patrons. which were an especially prevalent architectural genre in the later centuries of western medieval Europe. the chapels and their accompanying spiritual components have been largely neglected in studies of architectural history and the literature of divine revelation. where Masses for the souls of the dead were sung or “chanted. facing a 16 Liber de rebus in administratione sua gestis. the chantry institutions were suppressed. and one in the fifteenth century. 1990). in Panofsky. Abbot Suger. These miniature churches. Switzerland: Fribourg UP. scholarly application of Dionysian Platonism such as we find in the writings of his monastic colleagues at the Abbey of St. (Fribourg. Libellus alter de consecratione ecclesiæ sancti 17 The First Ordinary of the Royal Abbey of St. two built in the fourteenth century. Ordinatio A.16 In addition.17 This familiarity is especially evident in Suger’s comments on the dedication liturgy itself. In Chapter Four I examine Tewkesbury Abbey’s three stunning chantry chapels. 19 A general account of the chantry movement was introduced in 1947 by G. Bibliothèque Mazarine 526 18 Libellus alter de consecratione ecclesiæ sancti dionysii.

and revelation began to take shape: the philosophical and liturgical contexts of the late fourteenth-century English poem Pearl and its three companion poems. and the architectural. I include discussion of the poem in Chapter Six. iconographic. 21 My study of the chantry movement. have inspired a large body of scholarship. Overlooked by literary medievalists as a cultural force associated with the creation of these poems is the all but vanished art and spirituality of the chantry movement. Cotton Nero A.-Denis. This book concludes where my interest in the relations between medieval architecture. x). These architectural. Specifically. Directly overhead is a brightly painted liern vault. poetry becomes a reader’s private New Jerusalem. Erkenwald (British Library MS. Not only does the Tewkesbury choir depend in part upon the earlier architectural innovations at St. Since their earliest editions were published in the nineteenth century. however. The other three poems of the manuscript provide further evidence of these associations. including its specialized architectural component. these poems. I provide evidence that links the author of Pearl with the Despensers of Tewkesbury Abbey and with the court of Richard II. whose intricate crossings resemble the patterns of a great rose window. and Cleanness (or Purity). I argue. which are written in a north Midlands dialect and exist in a single manuscript (British Museum MS. the main focus of Part III. and decorative features identify the church as a late medieval apocalyptic and eschatological landscape. its manifestation at Tewkesbury Abbey and in the literary art of the Pearl poet. I argue.21 20 The fourteenth-century alliterative poem St. just before the dreamer awakens. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. an unusually specific link with a late medieval literary tradition. Pearl describes the spiritual progress of a man grieving over the death of a beloved young daughter. remain obscure. uncovers specific political contexts that helped shape late medieval apocalyptic eschatology in England. it is a remarkable attempt to give literary expression to the chantry movement. allegory.Introduction fourteenth-century east window that depicts the Despensers standing alongside biblical figures at the Last Judgment. this special collection of fourteenth-century alliterative poems reveals the author’s immersion in the spirituality and architectural environment of the chantry movement. In a recent article. A masterfully crafted dream vision. The poem. placing this poet and at 10 . the liturgical. and revelation. it also provides. In Pearl. This association is revealed especially in Pearl. Its author attempted to push the boundaries of literature beyond the spoken and the written word. Near the end of the poem. Patience. to move literature aggressively into the realm of the visual. Pearl is a work of ecclesiastical architecture in literary form. drawing yet another area of human endeavor into the medieval world of architecture. he is granted a vision of the New Jerusalem that is modeled closely on the vision of John in the Book of Revelation. Most details about their creation. Harley 2250 fols 72v–25v) also demonstrates close association with the chantry movement. is a uniquely stunning and sophisticated literary example of the architectural approach to divine revelation in the medieval west. allegory.20 Taken together.

the eighth-century Northumbrian monk and scholar. Loeb Classical Library 25 (Cambridge: Harvard UP. allegory. Among the most powerful means Octavian used to convey these ideas were the public arts of architecture and literature. and trans. A. Julius Caesar. His completion of De architectura. 2 vols. 3. Vitruvius On Architecture. which allowed him time to study and write. Favro. Meyer. trans. and creativity – a period historians refer to as the Pax Augusta (or Pax Romana) – Octavian sought to create a new world order. 80/70 BCE) wrote his treatise De architectura libri decem (Ten Books On Architecture) during the first decade of the Pax Augusta (c. The Urban Image of Augustan Rome (Cambridge: Cambridge UP.23 He had been a staff architect under Octavian’s adoptive father. Virgil. and Bede The complex relations between medieval architecture. restoration.22 Vitruvius (born c. During the subsequent period of Roman peace. 22 P. 30–20 BCE). The Power of Images in the Age of Augustus. Vitruvius received a commoda. ed. Zanker. When examined together. Rowland. 1999). “The Despensers and the Gawain Poet: A Gloucestershire Link to the Alliterative Master of the Northwest Midlands.” Chaucer Review 35 (2001): 413–429.Introduction Architecture and Allegory: Vitruvius. not civil wars. 1996). Shapiro (Ann Arbor: U of Michigan P. 110–111. The Roman authors. D. Vitruvius: Ten Books on Architecture (Cambridge: Cambridge UP. and under Octavian. The Roman Authors After Octavian defeated Marc Antony at Actium in 31 BCE. these writings of Vitruvius. 1988). See Ann R. and Bede provide a conceptual way of entry into a vast and complex cultural achievement: the architectural approach to divine revelation in the medieval west. produced texts that have become fundamental to our historical understanding of architecture and allegory: Vitruvius’ De architectura and Virgil’s Aeneid.. Bede’s commentaries on the Mosaic Tabernacle (Exodus 25–40) and Solomon’s Temple (I Kings 5–8) initiated a rich medieval tradition of allegorical interpretations of the ancient Hebrew structures. which had plagued the Roman world for more than two decades. 23 Frank Granger. may have helped secure him a position as an architect on the cura aquarum. the system of least one of the alliterative masterpieces of the late English Middle Ages more firmly in a specific social and political context. 1970). For the most recent translation. He wished to show the Roman Empire that peace and prosperity were the hallmarks of his reign. Virgil. engaged the talents and ambitions of artists and public officials to restore Rome politically and culturally. esp. or stipend. which he dedicated to Octavian. both motivated by the leadership of Augustus (63 BCE–14 CE). soon to take the sacral title of Augustus. see Ingrid D. 11 . the victorious princeps. ch. on the sacred architecture of the Hebrew Bible. and revelation may be usefully introduced by the writings of two Romans of classical antiquity and by the exegesis of Bede.

. Rowland.Introduction Roman aqueducts. In Book VI Aeneas. According to one familiar tradition of interpretation. He meets the shade of his father. to the world of the dead and yet unborn. 26 Kruft points out that one plausible example of Vitruvian influence on a medieval building is the Ottonian architecture of St Michael’s. A History of Architectural Theory From Vitruvius to the Present. Vitruvius takes fond credit for being the first author to set out (producere) in a systematic. divi genus. super et Garamantas et Indos Proferet imperium. Elsie Callander and Antony Wood (New York: Princeton Architectural P. ed. Vitruvius’ work. Holdesheim (31). H. journeys to the underworld. Ronald Taylor. 1985). a place of peace enveloped with its own light and reserved for souls judged to have lived virtuously on earth. “the whole literature on architectural theory from the Renaissance onwards has been based on Vitruvius or on a dialogue with his ideas. led by the Sybil-prophetess at Cumae and with golden bough in hand. 25 See. jacet extra sidera tellus. but according to one architectural historian. Kruft’s work was originally published under the title Geschichte der Architekturtheorie: Von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart (Munich: Verlag C. whose chief representative is Virgil (70–19 BCE). ix–x. 1994). Callebat. Anchises reveals to Aeneas the spiritual composition of the universe and the progress of human souls from death through purgation to rebirth.25 Its influence in classical antiquity and the Middle Ages was limited. 12 . tibi quem promitti saepius audis.24 In his preface to Book IV. Anchises. a judgment that reflects scholarly consensus. for example.”26 The vibrant political and cultural environment in which Vitruvius worked also witnessed the great flowering of Augustan poetry. is a foundation text for a scholarly understanding of architectural history in the western world. trans. It remains the only complete treatise on architecture that survives from classical antiquity. Augustus Caesar. ubi caelifer Atlas Axem umero torrquet stellis ardentibus aptum. These mysteries are disclosed to Aeneas through images specific to his identity and to the nation he is to found. 20–29. 1973). coherent way the discipline of architecture “in its full order” (disciplinae corpus ad perfectem ordinationem). perhaps conservative in its architectural vision compared with the forms that emerged in the subsequent century. the Aeneid. Extra anni solisque vias. 11–13 and Hanno-Walter Kruft. who shows him the Elysian fields. Virgil’s epic poem. hic est. Beck. the golden age of Augustus is one of the most formidable glories of that destiny: Hic vir. (791–97) 24 L. In Virgil’s poetry. aurea condet Saecula qui rursus Latio regnata per arva Saturno quondam. Vitruve de l’Architecture (Paris: Les Belles lettres. is a literary monument to the glory and promise of Rome’s rebirth under Octavian’s leadership. He views a pageant of Roman heroes – his own descendants – and learns of the divinely ordained destiny of Rome to rule the world.

E. the offspring of a god. “Reckoning Time. Dante bestowed 27 Translation mine. 28 In the sixth century a Roman monk known as “Dennis the Short” calculated the birth of Christ to have occurred in 754 of the Roman era (ab urbe condita [AUC] “from the founding of the city” of Rome). their land lies beyond the stars. the article. for example. Allegory transformed Hebrew scripture into the Christian Old Testament. beyond the yearly course of the sun. See. is a book of prophecy and revelation where the mysteries of life.30 In the fourteenth century. present.” The New English Bible (New York: Oxford UP. and rebirth are unveiled to Aeneas. Vergil in the Middle Ages. in part. ch. Medieval Christians interpreted these verses as a prophecy of Christ’s birth. a preparation for the fulfillment of the Old Law through Christ and his Church. Virgil’s Fourth Eclogue and the Aeneid thus became among the most frequently allegorized works of secular literature in the Middle Ages. who again shall build up the golden age in Latium.28 Medieval Christians in the west viewed this historical correlation not as mere coincidence but as a sign of divine Providence. While the eclogue was interpreted as a prophecy of Christ’s coming. is a time so heightened by unseen forces that the advance of human civilization is suspended. and future. 35–37. 102–3. Their allegiance to papal Rome found justification in the view that the princeps of the Christian church was the rightful. F. M. VII. Dennis’ estimate has been proven to be inaccurate. modern scholars set the birth date of Jesus at about 6 BCE). of the historical association between the Pax Augusta and the birth of Christ. pp. the extraordinary influence that Virgil’s poetry had on medieval literature was a result. Whereas his time of love with Dido.Introduction [This. through lands once ruled by Saturn. trans. this is the man. which is generally fixed in terms of the Christian era at 753 BCE. the pivotal center of the poem. Aeneas’ journey to the underworld is a moment out of time when a beloved father discloses to his son the meaning of past.]27 Book VI of the Aeneid. 1997). and shall extend his empire over the Garamantes and Indians. Coinciding with the Pax Augusta in Rome was another revealed prophecy: the birth of Christ in Judea (7–6 BCE). Further. setting him in company with David and Isaiah. Benecke (Princeton: Princeton UP. corrective successor to the ancient Roman emperors. death. medieval Christians applied to it the same interpretive methods they used to read the Hebrew Bible. Virgil wrote verses that foretell the birth of a male child – a leader and savior. where heaven-bearing Atlas on his shoulder turns the heavens studded with burning stars. In his Fourth Eclogue. Augustus Caesar. the medieval west embraced the pagan Virgil as a prophet in the Hebrew tradition. medieval commentaries interpret Aeneas’ journey from Troy to Italy as an allegory of the soul’s ascent to divine truth. 29 Domenico Comparetti. I.29 To defend Virgil’s poetry against its own pagan roots. esp. 30 Bernardus Silvestris and Fulgentius produced two of the major medieval commentaries in this tradition. See The Commentary on the First Six Books of the “Aeneid” of Vergil Commonly Attrib- 13 . 1976). Queen of Carthage. Hence. whom often you hear is to be promised to you.

Rudolphos Helm (Leipzig: Teubner. Opera. 31 La Divina Commedia. philosophy. Singleton. For example. but he carries the lantern that Dante follows. music.3. Virgil provides the light of poetry that prepares Dante for his revelation of Christian mysteries. the summum templum architecturae (the loftiest sanctuary of architecture). 33 Trans. 1980). you my master and my teacher. Leslie George Whitbread. trans.Introduction upon Virgil the high honor of being the chief philosophical and literary guide for his own Christian literary monument: Or va. for a single will is in us both. Jones (Lincoln: U of Nebraska P. W. trans. Inferno II (139–40). trans. If the architect is to construct the ideal monument. Murrin. For a discussion of the history of allegorical interpretation of the Aeneid from antiquity through the Renaissance. while Vitruvius’ medieval influence may not have been greatly distinguished architecturally. including history.” He insists that the professional architect be a lifelong student. his ideas may be recognized in other forms of medieval artistic and intellectual expression. and above all. It was not until the Renaissance that Vitruvius’ treatise was widely read. 1970). 30–40. J. ed. 32 Kruft. he must be a master both in fabrica (craft or technical skill) and in ratiocinatione (theory or reasoning) (I. as Vitruvius himself was.32 Yet. [Now on. nature’s forms mirror cosmic designs. letters (I. in ways not unlike those that helped validate the pagan origins of Virgil’s poetry. Earl G. Rowland.11). in his treatise Vitruvius endorses architecture as a “liberal art.]31 For Dante the golden age of Augustus prefigured and prepared the world for the golden age of Christianity when Christ lived on earth and revealed to the faithful God’s mercy and His promise of eternal salvation. Bollingen Series LXXX (Princeton: Princeton UP. and immortalized in the buildings constructed by humanist architects. ch’un sol volere è d’ambedue: Tu duca.33 It is not only a result. Inferno. Fabius Planciades Fulgentius. of the encyclos disciplina. 1979). such a creation may be achieved because. 1971). The architect’s work is. Expositio virgilianae continentiae secondum philosophos moralis. an image of the architecture of the universe. In addition. 14 . The Allegorical Epic: Essays in its Decline and Fall (Chicago: U of Chicago P.1. and more fundamentally. in Vitruvius’ view. The Divine Comedy. Schreiber and Thomas E. however. the liberal arts. and E. interpreted. ed. ideally. tu segnore e tu maestro.1). see Michael M. of his broad education in the liberal arts that Vitruvius’ ideal architect achieves the summum templum architecturae. Vitruvius’ De architectura did not achieve the exalted status that Virgil’s poetry did in the medieval west. Charles S. F. 1977). you are my leader. In Book IX Vitruvius equates the laws that govern the cosmos and the planets with the rules of architecture: uted to Bernardus Silvestris. Virgil walks in the darkness of pre-Christian antiquity. Fulgentius the Mythographer (Columbus: Ohio State UP. Maresca (Lincoln: U of Nebraska P. 1898).

Vitruvius never explicitly states this analogy. This revolves ceaselessly around the earth and sea at the extreme hinges of the axis. but it also has literary and philosophical dimensions. 67–73. Rowland. a ninth-century inventory at Reichenau shows that Vitruvius’ treatise was first placed with works by the church fathers. and she has placed the hinges as central axes. Rowland. Indeed.38 The treatise. Speculum 76. 114. Stefan Schuler has recently shown. 3 (July 2001): 790–91. It was through Vincent’s encyclopedia that Vitruvius became “a widely diffused source of knowledge for the practice of a mechanical art” (8). Cited in a review of Schuler’s book by Christine Smith. 1999). 1. Id volvitur continenter circum terram atque mare per axis cardines extremos. Nonetheless. a technical handbook. in its reception and status as a hybrid work. and also the firmament. a mirror of the cosmos itself. it may be possible to discover Vitruvian influence – if not primarily in medieval architecture – in medieval literature. and Vienna: Böhlau. Schuler also argues that Vitruvius’ ideas were transmitted to the Middle Ages and to the Renaissance through Vincent of Beauvais’ Speculum maius. philosophy.]34 An architect’s summum templum architecturae is. later it appears with related arts such as geometry and astrology. how the physical location of Vitruvius’ work in a medieval library reveals much about the reception of that work’s ideas – how the work.36 De architectura is. for example. Weimar. For thus the power of nature has acted as architect.35 The aspects of Vitruvius’ thought that endow the architect and his work with absolute or ideal values also contribute to the treatise’s status as a hybrid genre. was thought to be useful. Kruft. these mirrored parallels between divine or cosmic creation and human artistry became familiar features of medieval aesthetic theory. which is formed of the constellations and the courses of the stars. 15 . 24. his identification of cosmic laws with the rules of architecture and his designation of nature as architect of the universe prepared later readers to make these extended associations for themselves. 453 nn.Introduction Mundus autem est omnium naturae rerum conceptio summa caelumque sideribus conformatum. and related disciplines. Ibid. nor does he include its tempting interpretive correlations: the corresponding analogies of God as architect and. no. of course. the human architect as imitator of God.37 Indeed. (2) [Now the cosmos is the all-encompassing system of everything in nature. giving scholars fresh insight into one fundamental feature of medieval artistic and intellectual culture: the boundaries between the medieval disciplines of 34 35 36 37 38 Trans. combines elements of literature and rhetoric with philosophy and the mechanical arts. Namque in his locis naturalis potestas ita architecta est conlocavitque cardines tamquam centra. then. Vitruv im Mittelalter: Die Reziption von “De architectura” von der Antike bis in die frühe Neuzeit (Cologne. in turn. in other words. Interestingly.

which had inherited Bede’s works. 260–261. Alcuin was an Anglo-Saxon monk and brilliant scholar from Northumbia. Architecture. Alcuin refers to Vitruvius’ text twice in his writings. 40 See Ogilvy. Of related interest are intriguing historical links between Bede’s monastic career and the manuscript tradition of Vitruvius’ treatise on architecture. together with its related arts. Its provenance is uncertain. read.39 Here Vitruvius’ treatise would have been copied. Books Known to Anglo-Latin Writers from Aldhelm to Alcuin (670–804) (Cambridge. England. where Bede spent his life as a monk and scholar. W. and circulated. D. Ogilvy. L. 1967. now in the British Museum Library (Harleian 2767). One source of such discovery may be found in the rich tradition of medieval exegesis on the Mosaic Tabernacle (Exodus 25–40) and Solomon’s Temple (I Kings 5–8). Modern scholarship credits the Venerable Bede (673–735) with initiating in a notably ambitious way this exegetical tradition. 1967).” Speculum 7 (1932): 64. Although we have no direct evidence that Bede read the treatise. Harleian 2767.Introduction learning and human expression were remarkably fluid and dynamic. see Jones. uniting the disciplines of literary criticism and philosophical inquiry with theology. gives special credibility to this fluidity. who commissioned Alcuin as the intellectual leader of what we now refer to as the Carolingian Renaissance. Biblical exegesis is also a hybrid genre. A. Born in the year Bede died. “The Provenience of the London Vitruvius. Nor is it surprising that Bede did so. Books Known to the English. Alcuin may very well have come into contact with De architectura through the close ties that existed between his monastic school at York and Bede’s 39 J. The oldest extant manuscript of De architectura. Alcuin became the most distinguished student and (later) master at the monastery school in York. 16 . but one familiar line of argument cites evidence that the treatise was carried by Abbot Ceolfrith (or Ceolfrid). Its brilliance was recognized by Charlemagne. we know that Alcuin (735–804). did. dates from the eighth century. 90. MA: The Mediaeval Academy of America. Bede’s younger monastic neighbor and intellectual colleague. from Italy to the joint monastic communities at Wearmouth-Jarrow. Allegorical expositions of biblical architecture may even provide evidence of Vitruvian influence and of the overall development and transmission of architectural theory during the medieval period. Sacred Architecture of the Hebrew Bible and the Exegesis of Bede One area of study that reflects this dynamic relationship between architecture and other forms of medieval artistic and intellectual expression is the tradition of medieval biblical commentary. 260–61. Ogilvy. a mentor to Bede.40 Like Bede. Under Alcuin’s direction the school became one of the most celebrated centers of learning in late eighth-century Europe. Jones has argued against the Wearmouth-Jarrow attribution of BM. 1936). 597–1066 (Cambridge. MA: Mediaeval Academy of America. given the interest he displays in architecture and allegory throughout his writings.

here a building. vol. Bede: On the Temple. CCL. but especially in architecture. ed. and the system of rational exposition one employs in interpreting it (quod significat).1. Holder. 42 De tabernaculo.41 In his commentaries De tabernaculo (c. 1995).Introduction scriptorium at Wearmouth-Jarrow.42 These commentaries are the first in the medieval tradition to provide complete allegorical interpretations of the sacred Hebrew structures. The church of Hagia Sophia in Constantinople was the architectural jewel of medieval Byzantium. “Some Introductory Remarks on Bede’s Commentary on Genesis. quod significatur et quod significat. trans. quod significatur as “the ‘passive’ work of architecture itself” and quod significat as the meaning “it ‘actively’ expresses” (135). there are two inherent categories: the signified and the signifier. 119A (1969). the emperor. attributed to himself 41 Rowland points out that Vitruvius’ use of the terms “signified” and “signifier” is derived from Epicurean philosophy. who took special pride in its technical and ornamental splendors. Translated Texts for Historians Series. D.” Vitruvius used these terms specifically to mark the difference between that which one speaks about (quod significatur). Hurst. Bede: On the Tabernacle. ed. trans. Bede: On the Tabernacle. of course. 119A (1969). 729–31) (on the Exodus Tabernacle and Solomon’s Temple respectively) Bede embraces a Christian allegorical method to lead the reader from the ancient Hebrew formulations to contemplation of the New Jerusalem. My suggestion here is that Bede anticipated modern critics by interpreting Vitruvius’ phrase. referring “to the necessity of beginning all scientific investigations with a clear definition of terms. 721–25) and De templo (c. xv. Holder. See also Arthur G. and they exemplify the Northumbrian scholar’s “exceptionally architectural approach to Revelation. see Charles W. xv. but an important point here is that the two authors are bound by a shared adherence to a single principle of interpretation. De templo. 18 (Philadelphia: U of Pennsylvania P. Translated Texts for Historians. 17 . trans. Its construction and partial reconstruction were carried out during the reign of Justinian (527–65). Vol.] Bede’s exegesis of biblical architecture elaborates upon the kinds of analogies Vitruvius makes between cosmic creation and human artistry. 43 On Bede’s architectural approach to Revelation. Jones. Liverpool UP.3) [In all things. tum maxime etiam in architectura haec duo insunt. 21 (Liverpool. Further investigation is necessary. At the church’s consecration ceremony in 537. (I.” Sacris Erudi 19 (1969–70): 115–98. on the question of Bede’s possible exposure to Vitruvius’ treatise. Seán Connolly. Quoted in Holder. one that Vitruvius also encourages in Book I of his treatise: Cum in omnibus enim rebus.”43 As such. CCL. Hurst. D. 1994). reveling in the achievement. these commentaries together with their biblical subjects serve as a fitting transition from this introductory discussion of ancient concepts of architecture and allegory to an examination in the chapters that follow on how Christian buildings in the medieval west were understood as great symbols of the New Jerusalem.

the ancient Hebrew buildings are no longer extant and can only be known through their biblical descriptions. Yahweh is the true architect. (I Corinthians 3. One passage that demonstrates well a Christian reworking of the traditional Hebrew images occurs in Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians: secundum gratiam Dei quae data est mihi ut sapiens architectus fundamentum posui alius autem superaedificat unusquisque autem videat quomodo superaedificet fundamentum enim aliud nemo potest ponere praeter id quod positum est qui est Christus Iesus .” On this subject.] Of course. 32. . For medieval Christians. . in accordance with New Testament teachings. But if any man violate the temple of God: him shall God destroy. but that which is laid. in which the ratio of length to width and of width to height was 3:1 and 1:15. this apparent limitation posed no difficulties of belief or understanding – quite the contrary. who. the Tabernacle and the Temple are works of architecture that necessarily require particular reverence from Christians. which is Christ Jesus . immodest as it may have been.”44 Justinian’s sense of material achievement.. Of even greater importance to medieval Christians is the biblical authority that identifies these edifices as earthly sanctuaries constructed by human hands. the divine genius behind it all. As a result. and another buildeth thereon. the Mosaic Tabernacle described in Exodus. the buildings’ uniquely scriptural existence ascribes to them an even higher sacred status than their earthly survival would have done.Introduction even greater success than that of the earthly architect of Yahweh’s Temple: “Solomon. I have laid the foundation. view the human body itself as a temple of the Holy Spirit. The sacred 44 It has been argued recently that “the Justinian building with its first dome corresponded in the dimensions of its plan and height to the traditional proportions of Solomon’s Temple. highlights a fundamental aspect of the medieval view of sacred architecture. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. but whose design. Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem and its original model. For the temple of God is holy.. 18 . si quis autem templum Dei violaverit disperdet illum Deus templum enim Dei sanctum est quod estis vos. function. are the supreme sacred places of ancient Hebrew worship. “I have surpassed thee.10–17) [According to the grace of God that is given to me. which you are. and contents were dictated by God. as the earthly fulfillment of Old Testament sacred architecture. For other foundation no man can lay.” he is reputed to have claimed. see Kruft. as a wise architect.

The Temple of Jerusalem. the representation of God’s testimony to His people. that Yahweh makes his permanent home: quoniam elegit Dominus Sion elegit eam in habitationem sibi haec requies mea in saeculum saeculi. design. The Tabernacle will be a site of liturgical ritual and sacrifice. In return.Introduction architecture of the ancient Hebrews exists in the mind’s eye alone. In Exodus. chapters 25–35. “facientque mihi sanctuarium et habitabo in medio eorum” (“And they shall make me a sanctuary. and contents. Here Yahweh descends. Yahweh’s availability to His people and His choice to make His home with them. of even more pronounced. God’s house will not be static. and I will dwell in the midst of them”) (Exodus 25. strikingly similar to the Tabernacle in its function. Its deepest and most sacred chamber. concentrated rest and worship after Israel’s exilic wanderings. therefore. a place where the human longing for peace and communication with God finds fulfillment.1) [Lord.8). it moves with the ancient Israelites in their exile. is a place of mutual contact between God and His people. It exists in the realm of faith. The structure is to serve as a sanctuary. a location that also recalls Yahweh’s revelation to Moses on Sinai. (Psalm 131. God’s people will obey and worship Him. This longing is simply and eloquently expressed by the Psalmist: Domine quis habitabit in tabernaculo tuo aut quis requiescet in monte sancto tuo. function. and that mission included the intent to move on from Sinai and wander in exile with Yahweh. the Holy of Holies. Yahweh instructs Moses on the design. and contents of a portable tent. will be separated from other chambers by a veil. Solomon’s Temple. The great theophany upon Mount Sinai was the necessary impetus for Moses’ mission. a tabernacle that is to be constructed and carried by the Israelites in their desert wanderings. The Tabernacle in its entirety will establish God’s presence among them: Yahweh says to Moses. was built on the summit of Mount Sion. The Tabernacle is a place where they can be assured of encountering divinity. in the Jerusalem Temple. who shall dwell in thy tabernacle? Or who shall rest in thy holy hill?] This longing for a home with Yahweh is to be partially appeased by the portable nature of the Tabernacle.] 19 .13–14) [For the Lord hath chosen Sion/ he hath chosen it for his dwelling. behind which will be kept the Ark of the Covenant. such as linen and gold. It communicates./ This is my rest for ever and ever. like the Exodus Tabernacle. beyond what is merely visible. It will contain objects made from the finest and most precious of earthly materials. It is here. (Psalm 14. Yet the Temple is meant to be a place of actual physical stability. a place of rest and worship. here worshippers find refuge.

. apart from their status as 20 ./ With the joy of the whole earth is mount Sion founded. . and Gregory the Great. adheres to a complex system of symbolic interpretation. but is a requirement of.. in his commentaries on these works of ancient Hebrew architecture. the sacred Hebrew structures signify a whole host of New Testament realities: the incarnate Christ. upon whom the ends of the world are come. in the city of our God: God hath founded it for ever. 9–10) [Great is the Lord. like Bede. the community of the Church on earth. Paul’s teaching explains in deceptively simple terms a fundamental concept of how this interpretive method works in reference to Old Testament events and images: haec autem omnia in figura contingebant illis. but Yahweh insists that His presence be represented architecturally.2–3./ As we have heard. For them. so have we seen. the individual soul. O God. the covenant between God and His people. Augustine./ We have received thy mercy. in the midst of thy temple. Sion and Jerusalem city: Magnus Dominus et laudabilis nimis in civitatae Dei nostri in monte sancto eius fundatur exultatione universae terrae montes Sion latera aquilonis civitas regis magni . on the sides of the north. sicut audivimus sic vidimus in civitate Domini virtutum in civitate Dei nostri Deus fundavit eam in aeternum suscepimus Deus misericordiam tuam in medio templi tui. in his holy mountain. enclosed space and liturgical worship is not only validated by. the city of the great King/.Introduction Yahweh chooses Solomon – whose name means “man of peace” – as Temple architect. The Tabernacle and the Temple are the designated places built by human hands under God’s guidance so that God’s people can experience His presence physically as well as spiritually.11) [Now all these things happened to them in figure: and they are written in our correction. scripta sunt autem ad correptionem nostram in quos fines saeculorum devenerunt.] Graven images of the deity are forbidden. The desert Tabernacle and the Jerusalem Temple. and exceedingly to be praised in the city of our God. Bede. . but his particular working out of a complex interpretive system was also inspired by Christian allegorists such as Origen. Ambrose. in the city of the Lord of hosts. (Psalm 47. The word for Temple itself becomes synonymous with its specific geographical location. the Heavenly City.] Bede quotes this passage from I Corinthians at the beginning of De tabernaculo. This association between a specific. (I Corinthians 10.

13. and Heb.11–12.Introduction historical. from Moses’ theophany on Sinai to the descent of the New Jerusalem at the end of time. emphasizing God’s constant availability and communication with His people – despite the geographical instability of the Israelites – and the contrasting material permanence of the Jerusalem Temple. Jones. xv. including Justinian’s Hagia Sophia. the living stones and pillars of the Church and. and all things therein.22.46 Christians themselves are. a veil that both reveals and conceals the true signification of the ancient Hebrew structures. and that God’s presence cannot be contained.1). He does take the literal sense of the Old Testament architecture seriously. liturgy. My purpose in this study is to examine a medieval interpretation of ecclesiastical architecture that chose rather to acknowledge the anagogical potential of material objects: the notion that actual churches were understood as earthly representations of the New Jerusalem. “Some Introductory Remarks. 9. which for Bede is the Christian revelation. See also Heb. of any material church – no matter how splendid. if our earthly house of habitation be dissolved. For Bede it is also true that no actual material building could function as God’s house on earth. eternal in heaven”). who made the world. 24. and earth my footstool: what is this house that you will build me?) (Isaiah 66. after all.” quoted in Holder.”45 Bede had Isaiah’s censoring voice at his ear: haec dicit Dominus caelum sedis mea et terra scabillum pedum meorum quae ista domus quam aedificabitis mihi (Thus saith the Lord: Heaven is my throne. Here it strikes me that the portable nature of the desert Tabernacle. the veil before the Holy of Holies (Exodus 26. 45 Charles W. but always for metaphoric purposes. 21 . he never interprets allegorically a non-literary building. at least. are also among the most powerfully symbolic images ever created by human hands. All of these meanings Bede attributed simultaneously to the ancient Hebrew structures. and despite his “remarkably architectural approach to Revelation. 46 New Testament passages that build upon this quotation from Isaiah include Acts 17.14. Heb. that we have a building of God. dwelleth not in temples made with hands”) and II Cor.24 (“God. Even while advancing his most enthusiastic allegorical flourishes. In his writings. a house not made with hands.1 (“For we know. This is where my project departs from Bede’s exegetical convictions. and the design of the architectural spaces themselves. divinely commissioned works of architecture. 12. For Bede. fully exploiting the architectural components and building materials. and a notion that was encouraged to a significant degree through images. therefore. This simultaneity is a natural compromise that results from the orthodox understanding that all significations of God are inadequate. he being Lord of heaven and earth. 5. since they are associated with almost the whole of Christian salvation history. may have been viewed by Bede as two complementary aspects of the divine presence on earth: God is both ubiquitous and eternally present.31–37) is the veil of allegory.

photographs by David Heald (New York: Harry N. by a theological consciousness. or classical. Whereas Suger seems to have taken literally the descriptions in the Book of Revelation of a lavishly ornamented New Jerusalem. Monastic Spaces and their Meanings: Thirteenth-Century English Cistercian Monasteries (Turnhout: Brepols. religious reflection. for example. Megan Cassidy-Welch. Suger’s interpretation of his new church is a famous medieval expression of this spirit: it reflects the abbot’s passion for rich ornamentation. especially as it applies to interpretation of the Old Testament.Introduction Of course. and poetry unite in the Christian expression of hope for eternal salvation. Catherine 22 . (250–51)50 47 For recent studies of medieval Cistercian architecture. in hymnis et canticis. 2001).”49 Virgil’s philosophical allegory. . for it is through liturgical worship that theology. others as late developments. architecture. Here he rebukes the council for their misunderstanding of the Christian revelation. patristic. Architecture of Silence: Cistercian Abbeys of France. see Terryl N. Vitruvius’ “intellectual apprehension of architecture.48 is a spirituality that has always censored the other branch of the human spirit: the love of the beauty of the physical world. the unembellished beauty that was typical of twelfth-century Cistercian churches was the appropriate setting for living a spiritual life and representing divine reality. I discuss other contributions to and versions of this concept. on geography. and all sources of information whether biblical. Bernard of Clairvaux’s vehement (and famous) reproach of his Benedictine colleague. Bernard accused the abbot of vulgarity and theological irresponsibility in his supervision of the twelfth-century rebuilding of St. there was great variety in the ways this concept was expressed. and Bede’s biblical exegesis of sacred Hebrew architecture all contributed to the interpretation of medieval churches as complex symbols of the New Jerusalem.47 The austere spirituality exemplified by the Cistercian architectural tradition. yet it is a passion that was qualified. 48 See. an especially vital point of convergence among them is the prayer and ritual of medieval liturgy. Abbot Suger. 24. love of learning and desire for God find perfect reconciliation. Stephen’s speech of disapproval before his martyrdom (Acts 7.47–50). the medieval liturgy was “the synthesis of all the artes”: it is in the atmosphere of the liturgy and amid the poems composed for it. revenues. Abrams. Kinder. of the literary techniques. detailed way. In the chapters that follow. . and the developments of architectural styles – to mention just a few possibilities. calls attention to one fundamental source for differences in expression. but I present them in a more historical and generically wide-ranging. and for which there is strong biblical precedent in such figures as the prophet Isaiah and Stephen the proto-martyr. . social and political influences. as well. for example. 50 The Love of Learning and the Desire for God: A Study of Monastic Culture. for Bernard of Clairvaux. trans. As Jean Leclercq eloquently expressed it. 2000).-Denis. differences that depended. 49 Kruft. some as formative influences. While each chapter focuses on a different domain of medieval culture. that the synthesis of all the artes was effected. In the liturgy.

236. Misrahi (New York: Fordham UP.Introduction Leclercq’s wonderfully penetrating observation lacks only the articulated awareness of how liturgy and medieval church architecture were conceived as reciprocal expressions of one another. 1982). To see that the medieval church was the most comprehensive of the artes of technique and religious reflection is to see it as a supremely sacred place that served primarily as the stage for liturgical drama. 23 . Originally published as L’Amour des lettres et le désire de Dieu: Initiation aux auteurs monastiques du moyen âge (Paris: Cerf. 1957).

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Part I Philosophical and Theological Foundations .

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Plotinus’ Screen of Beauty

Foundations I: Plotinus’ Screen of Beauty
[T]o those who object . . . [to the idea that] Hellenic philosophy is human wisdom, that it is incapable of teaching the truth . . . have not read what is said by Solomon; for, treating of the construction of the temple, he says expressly, “And it was Wisdom as artificer that framed it; and Thy providence, Father, governs throughout.” And how irrational to regard philosophy as inferior to architecture and shipbuilding. (Clement of Alexandria, Stromateis VI.11)1

Early Christian-Platonism: Introductory Remarks
HE influence of Platonism on the artistic culture of the medieval west remains a subject to which scholars return with renewed interest.2 Studies by musicologists within the last decade, for example, examine relationships between medieval liturgy and architecture and have opened up new lines of inquiry on how Christian-Platonism was displayed aurally and visually.3 Nigel Hiscock’s recent scholarship intends to “re-open the enquiry and engage once more in the debate about the symbolic content of medieval geometry and its possible role in medieval plan design.”4 Hiscock’s study uncovers new evidence for how medieval architects used Platonic teachings in the planning and design of church buildings. Although the “presence and influence” of Platonism are “well enough attested,” Hiscock argues, “insufficient weight seems to be given to it in much of the literature that challenges a Platonic connection with architectural design.”5
1 2 3 4 5


W. Wilson, trans. Stromata, in ANCL 12 (1869). For my use of the terms “Platonism” and “Platonist” see the Introduction, 6 n. 11. See, for example, Anne Walters Robertson, Service Books; and Margot Fassler, Gothic Song. The Wise Master Builder, 17. Chalcidius’ Latin translation of and commentary on Plato’s Timaeus was available to early medieval scholars. Parts of the Timaeus were translated by Cicero, to reappear in Macrobius’ Commentarii in Ciceronis Somnium Scipionis. The Summarium librorum Platonis is a thirteenth-century (Latin) partial synopsis of Plato’s works. It is also thought to be a copy of an early Carolingian codex from Corbie Abbey in France, based on a Latin translation of a second-century Greek text. On the subject of the availability of Plato’s texts in the Middle Ages, see Ramond


Medieval Allegory and the Building of the New Jerusalem With few exceptions, studies of Platonism in the medieval west have concentrated primarily on prominent Christian representatives of this tradition, including Clement of Alexandria (c. 150–c. 215), Origen (c. 185–254), Gregory of Nyssa (c. 332–95), Augustine (354–430), Pseudo-Dionysius (c. 500), John Scotus Eriugena (c. 810–77), and the twelfth-century theologians of the Abbey of St.-Victor in Paris, especially Hugh (1096–1141) and Richard (d. 1173). Among these figures, scholars have recognized the chief role of Augustine in the transmission of Platonism to the Christian west. Through his great literary output and extensive readership in western Christendom, Augustine became the primary channel of Platonism to the medieval west; he is also the main figure responsible for securing the acceptance of Christian-Platonism by the medieval Latin Church. Crucial to Augustine’s education and to his formulation of a Christian theology were quosdam platonicorum libros (“certain books of the Platonists”) that he read in Milan in the late 380s.6 The Platonici with which Augustine was familiar included the Latin translations by Marius Victorinus of writings by Porphyry (234?–301?) and Plotinus (204/5–270), and probably Cicero’s Latin translation of Plato’s Timaeus. The names of Plato, Porphyry, and Plotinus all figure prominently in Augustine’s great work, De civitate Dei, but among the chief Greek Platonists, Augustine judged Plotinus’ philosophy as superior to the rest.7 In 1962 David Knowles remarked upon the general scholarly neglect of Plotinus’ influence upon later medieval philosophy in western Europe. Plotinus’ “greatness and his importance as a thinker,” wrote Knowles, “are even now not widely understood.” The “legacy of what is loosely called Neoplatonism, has been widely recognized,” but “what has not been so fully grasped is the influence of . . . Plotinus himself upon those who were to be the sources of Western philosophy.”8 Knowles hoped to counter what he saw as an avoidance of Plotinus among scholars of the western tradition by emphaKlibansky, The Continuity of the Platonic Tradition During the Middle Ages, Supplement, Plato’s Parmenides in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance: A Chapter in the History of Platonic Studies (Munich: Kraus International Publications, 1981), esp. 6–7, 51–2. Conf. VII–X, XVI; VIII.2.3. De consensu Evangelistarum 1.22.35; civ. Dei I.22; VIII–XII; Augustine probably knew Plato’s Phaedo, Phaedrus, and the Republic through encyclopedias and doxographies. The questions surrounding Augustine’s familiarity with and use of Platonic sources continue to fascinate scholars. For an introduction to the subject, see A. H. Armstrong, Plotinian and Christian Studies (London: Variorum Reprints, 1979); P. F. Beatrice, “Quosdam Platonicorum Libros: the Platonic Readings of Augustine in Milan,” Vigiliae Christianae 43 (1998): 248–81; Stephen Menn, “Augustinian Wisdom,” Part One of Descartes and Augustine (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1998), 77; R. H. Nash, “Some Philosophic Sources of Augustine’s Illumination Theory,” AugStud 2 (1971): 47–66; R. O’Connell, Saint Augustine’s Platonism (Philadelphia: Villanova UP, 1984); F. Van Fleteren, “The Ascent of the Soul in the Augustinian Tradition,” in Paradigms in Medieval Thought Applications in Medieval Disciplines: A Symposium, ed. N. Van Deusen, Medieval Studies, vol. 3 (Lewiston: Edwin Mellen Press, 1991), 93–110; Van Fleteren, “Plato, Platonism,” Augustine through the Ages, 651–54. The Evolution of Medieval Thought, 2nd edn. Ed. D. E. Luscombe and C. N. L. Brooke (London and New York: Longman, 1988), 27–8.

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Plotinus’ Screen of Beauty sizing Augustine’s enormous debt to him: “if a reader of Augustine is in doubt as to the origin of a particular philosophical idea, he will usually find the answer in Plotinus.”9 Reasons for the neglect of Plotinus’ influence by scholars of western medieval traditions have included the presumption that his writings are too early to be relevant for studies of later medieval philosophic, theological, or artistic formulations. Further, although Plotinus’ metaphysics represents a careful synthesis and refinement of the Greek philosophic traditions that he inherited, the literary style of the writings seems more suited – according to some readers – to lyric poetry than to philosophic discourse. The “charismatic obscurity” of Plotinus’ expression stems in part from his favored use of complex paradoxes, highly concentrated metaphors, and enjambment.10 In addition, Plotinus’ writings do not give clear evidence that he was familiar with Christianity, and so scholars have been careful not to rely too heavily upon them for an understanding of early Christian-Platonism, especially in the west.11 Although Knowles made his comments over forty years ago, it is only recently that a scholarly consensus has emerged that identifies Plotinus as the chief influence upon Augustine’s Platonism.12 It was primarily in Plotinus that Augustine found a sophisticated and richly nuanced metaphysical world view, one that deeply appealed to his ever-questioning intellect. In its coherence as a philosophical system that synthesized and refined earlier traditions, Plotinus’ metaphysics also suited Augustine’s inclination to apply intellectual pursuits to practical matters, including those required by his pastoral vocation. Perhaps most importantly, however, Augustine recognized in Plotinus a superb analytical mind whose whole purpose in intellectual engagement was to find rest in spiritual contemplation, and in the summum bonum, or highest good. In his own writings, we observe Augustine responding to Plotinus as a fellow philosopher-mystic, a thinker who yearns for divine revelation and whose entire philosophic aim was directed toward spiritual conversion.
9 Ibid. 32. 10 John P. Kenny, Mystical Monotheism: A Study in Ancient Platonic Theology (Hanover and 11 Plotinus’ writings have gained the attention of scholars interested in the relationship between

London: Brown UP, 1991), 151.

Platonic thought and medieval Byzantine aesthetics. See, for example, André Grabar, Les origines de l’esthétique médiévale (Paris: Macula, 1992), 29–88. 12 See especially, Robert J. O’Connell, St. Augustine’s Early Theory of Man (Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard UP, 1968); O’Connell, St. Augustine’s Confessions: The Odyssey of Soul (Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard UP, 1969); O’Connell, 1984 ; O’Connell, The Origin of the Soul in St. Augustine’s Later Works (New York: Fordham UP, 1987); J. O’Meara, “Plotinus and Augustine: Exegesis of Contra Academicos II.5,” Review of International Philosophy 24 (1970): 321–37; John Rist, “Plotinus and Christian Philosophy,” in The Cambridge Companion to Plotinus, ed. Lloyd P. Gerson (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1996), 386–413; Menn (1998) discusses the major scholarship on the subject. He notes that “the crucial work in this project” was Paul Henry’s Plotin et l’Occident (Louvain: Spicilegium Sacrum Lovaniense, 1934). Peter Brown also cites studies that have treated the influence of Plotinus upon Augustine’s thought: Augustine of Hippo; a Biography (Berkeley and Los Angeles: U of California P, 1967), 95–98.


13–c. As we have seen in our discussion of Bede’s exegesis. Clement sought to reconcile Platonism with Christian theology.13 The quotation that begins this chapter reflects Clement of Alexandria’s (c. for example. 215) efforts to continue the ambitious process of synthesis and reconciliation that Philo Judaeus (c. It will be useful. logos. A. since Wisdom is the artificer of one of the great architectural monuments of the Old Testament: Solomon’s Temple (I Kings 5–6.Medieval Allegory and the Building of the New Jerusalem Augustine’s exposure to Plotinus’ religious philosophy allowed him to understand how it was possible for human beings to communicate with and hence participate in an invisible. ineffable divine realm. number.14 In addition to Solomon’s Temple and Moses’ Tabernacle. As he argues in the opening quotation. Noah’s Ark and the Ark of the Covenant also became prominent complex symbols for the early Christians. or Logos. 150–c. This transmitted to the Roman world and to the Latin middle ages the Greek concept 30 . H. In his writings. 14 See the Introduction. he was a relative latecomer to the tradition of early Christian writers who embraced and defended Platonism. The Gospel of John and Paul’s letters are two prominent examples of foundational Christian texts that also give evidence of having been influenced by Platonism. This is one important reason why Augustine found it possible to assimilate key features of Plotinian metaphysics with Christian doctrine. to introduce one major branch in the development of Christian-Platonism prior to Augustine’s reading of the Platonists.15 13 A standard survey of the development of Christian-Platonism from late antiquity through the early medieval period is The Cambridge History of Later Greek and Early Medieval Philosophy.1–17). Nigel Hiscock observes. and analogia. from Wisdom. which is Christ (John 1. of course. Indeed. like creation itself. “the Latin for both reason and ratio is ratio. The effort to assimilate Hellenic philosophical traditions with Christianity began much earlier. philosophy cannot be inferior to architecture or shipbuilding. therefore. with the earliest followers of Christ’s teachings. Armstrong (Cambridge: Cambridge UP. Clement defends Hellenic philosophy as a vehicle of truth within the Judeo-Christian tradition. In doing so he was especially attentive to what he viewed as elements of Hellenic philosophy in the New Testament teachings of John’s Gospel and the letters of Paul. 45/50) had begun with Hellenism and Judaism. Although Augustine became the figure primarily responsible for the transmission of ChristianPlatonism to the medieval west. the sacred Hebrew Temple atop Mount Sion was for the early Christians a prophetic symbol of the Church triumphant and the New Jerusalem. Textual and visual sources from late antiquity through the late medieval period provide evidence that these Hebrew structures were understood as symbols of a specifically Christian revelation. 1967). As both a philosopher committed to ancient Greek thought and a convert to Christianity. 16–22. 15 On the conceptual and etymological relations between reason. since they derive. Numerical ratios then are by definition rational. ed. these biblical structures received enthusiastic attention from exegetes and artists throughout the Middle Ages. Ezekiel 40–42).

or ‘the Word’. .Plotinus’ Screen of Beauty One of Clement of Alexandria’s students was Origen (c. In De civitate Dei and Contra academicos. And proportion is also [to Augustine] by definition rational. Greer (New York. Prayer and Selected Works. Plotinus’ concept of beauty is not just one idea. however. . by the Greeks. In the Confessions Augustine explains that it was Ambrose who introduced him to the books of the Platonists. Rowan A. VI. architectural. To Boethius. But what further unifies these expressions of the New Jerusalem is Augustine’s transformation of Plotinian metaphysics using his great eschatological framework of the two cities. 185–254). Greer has observed. Augustine provides more information on his Platonist education and identifies Plotinus as his greatest influence. the Platonist teacher of Plotinus. 28–31. and his mysticism is essential to an understanding of the western medieval effort to represent. Ambrose (c. In addition. whom he baptized in Milan at Easter 387. The Platonism of late antiquity had an extraordinary influence on Augustine’s formulation of a Christian theology. 339–97). Origen followed Clement’s efforts at synthesis between Platonic philosophy and Christian thought. 16 As Rowan A. . and literary expressions. See Augustine. According to Peter Brown. the New Jerusalem on earth. Plotinus’ concept of beauty “swept Augustine into the heart of the Platonic system. a framework that emphasizes his fundamental commitment to the sacramental role of the Church in the salvation of humankind. Augustine’s discovery in Plotinus of a religious philosophy that suited his intellectual rigor. but it needs some qualification. 95–98. it is an inseparable part of a complex metaphysical system.57. the product of reason. Ambrose used Origen’s allegorical methods of interpretation as a basis for his own exegesis of the Hebrew Bible.16 Perhaps the most vital historical connection between Origen and the transmission of Christian-Platonism in the west took place in Milan in the fourth century. Toronto: Paulist Press.” “Introduction.17.24. bishop of Milan. 17 Augustine of Hippo. Boethius. trans. Origen nevertheless influenced considerably the acceptance of Christian-Platonism by the Latin Church. De musica I. But it is Plotinus’ fifty-four philosophical treatises. 1979). 31 . De arithmetica 11–12. Ambrose shared his enthusiasm for Christian-Platonism with Augustine.” in Origen: An Exhortation to Martyrdom.12. Though his mutual commitment to philosophy and theology resulted in condemnations of his views. “The charges against Origen boil down to the accusation that his theology was adulterated by his [Platonic] philosophy. through liturgical. his pastoral vocation. read Origen’s writings in their original Greek and assimilated Origen’s Platonism with his own ideas on the development of Christian thought. a system that Augustine embraced and transformed according to his commitment to a specifically Christian revelation. a Biography.”17 Brown’s statement is a good point of entry into our analysis of Plotinus’ teachings. which also means both reason and ratio. proportion and ratio were interchangeable terms” (104). Ramsey.” Analogia means “proportion. arranged and edited in 301 by his disciple Porphyry of logos. who was also – it is likely – a student of Ammonius Saccus.

by A. Henry and H. wrote in 301. In about the year 253.” “levels of perception.Medieval Allegory and the Building of the New Jerusalem (233–305) under the general title Enneads.12. 3. Plotini opera (Paris and Brussels: Desclée de Brouwer. One key feature of his philosophy is the attempt to reconcile the Platonic conception of a hierarchy of reality with an Aristotelian concept of an organic universe. O’Brien in The Essential Plotinus (New York: New American Library. Enneads of Plotinus (Boston: Charles T. VI. 1966–88). Dillon.-R. 20 I use the phrases “levels of being. his disciple and editor. and trans. vol. but it is generally assumed that he was born in Lycopolis. ascend. Plotinus came to Rome to teach. Plotinus began to write down his ideas. My citations from Plotinus’ writings are taken from Armstrong’s Loeb translation. An examination of Plotinus’ teachings on these subjects prepares us for a fuller treatment in the next chapter of how Augustine adopted and transformed these teachings to serve his Christian theology of Church and salvation history. in Plotinus.2. that we turn to introduce the philosophical foundations for the symbolic representation of the New Jerusalem in poetry.9. Our only reliable source of information about the life of Plotinus is the biography that Porphyry. the means by which human beings may perceive. 19 Little is known about the early life of Plotinus. “Light above light”: Emanation and Image in Plotinus’ Religious Philosophy Part of Plotinus’ genius rests in his efforts to assimilate opposing elements of an immensely complex philosophical tradition. This edition is printed with a facing page English translation. the “light above light” (V. in seven volumes (The Loeb Classical Library. and return to the One. Schwyzer.” and “levels of reality” or hypostases. E. 1951–73). 8. It is through the mediation of partly-spiritual. 9. Armstrong. prayer.8. Harvard UP). the means by which the levels of being continuously interact. 1–87. Branford Co. III. 1964) translates Enneads I. with an introduction by J. allegory and revelation include his articulation of the symbolism of light. 1991. 1964–82). and one that is both more elaborate and more coherent than the philosophical systems he inherited. his aesthetic of spiritual transformation through images. Henry and Schwyzer also published a study version of the edition in three volumes: Plotini opera (Oxford: Clarendon. Hillary Armstrong. 1. therefore. after studying Platonism for eleven years in Alexandria under Ammonius Saccus. and. A. partly-sensible realms of light that an infinite. 6. unknowable One is brought into the created cosmos. The aspects of Plotinus’ thought that are most relevant for an understanding of the relations between medieval religious architecture. 1916). Plotinus’ theory of emanation makes this reconciliation possible. that are the vital links between a developed and complex Hellenic tradition and the tradition of Christian-Platonism formulated by Augustine. and stone. 32 . and his unique conception of a spiritually dynamic cosmos.18 It is to Plotinus. which supersedes that by Stephen MacKenna. IV.3. ed. which was reprinted in abridgment by Penguin Books. Plotinus (Cambridge: Harvard UP.20 18 The authoritative critical edition of the Enneads was published in three volumes by P. Egypt in 204 or 205 and died in 270..19 His achievement is an original philosophy inspired by an intense religious experience.1. V. 2. In 244. See Porphyry: On the Life of Plotinus and the Order of His Books. then.3.15). H.

and how spiritual passage between these realms is possible.Plotinus’ Screen of Beauty Plotinus’ writings are an extraordinary attempt to articulate precisely how the spiritual and sensible worlds are united organically. Menn. sacred reality. It is this method – this system of spiritual progression – that inspired Augustine in his own thinking about cognition of the sense world and the life of the soul. V and VII to provide authority. Plotinus describes in detail ascending levels of perception and sanctification. See. or to serve as points of departure for his own views. Armstrong.”22 Plotinus describes three hypostases. When he makes reference to the Republic. Intellect or Nous. Symposium. or levels of reality. It is through the soul's contemplation of the spiritual and material realms that the soul perceives. 213–14. this way of conceiving God is a “necessary and almost a sufficient condition for coming to understand how the Catholic doctrine of creation could be true. but within a hierarchy of being. of course. I believe. Plotinus’ spatial metaphors in his analysis of the levels. especially the Phaedo. is the main source for his understanding of the spiritual life and his conception of reality as a hierarchy. for him they are “only metaphors: the intelligible world is not above the stars.” Cambridge History. Plotinus ignores Plato’s politics. xx. may be said to be levels of perception through which the aspiring and governing soul moves. 111.” Cambridge History. beyond the visible world: the One or the Good. “Plotinus. VII. On the problem of using the phrase “levels of being” to describe Plotinus’ ontology. One ought not to take literally. that Augustine’s intellectual struggle. and Soul. Conf. 131. ix. 13. Phaedrus. 223. is his formulation of the One as infinite and beyond being – beyond the intelligible 21 22 23 24 throughout this discussion since Plotinus’ conception of the cosmos includes levels that are both “beyond” and “below” being. Hiscock. 26. he offers an analysis of how each stage functions in the soul’s ascent and a model of how one moves progressively from the visible world to contemplation of immaterial beauty. Plotinus draws most frequently on the dialogues of Plato. Plotinus’ systematic description of “progressive planes of spiritual existence”21 is a key feature of his teachings that allowed Augustine to embrace and adapt Platonism within a Christian theological framework. 56. whom Plotinus cites as his beloved authority on most matters. All levels. 75–77. “is primarily a struggle to conceive God as something real yet incorporeal. Indeed. including Plato. and Kenny. for example. 33 . selecting passages mainly from Books IV.” For Augustine.”23 Plotinus adopted these levels from the Platonic-Aristotelian tradition that he inherited and modified them according to his own vision of the cosmos. it is not in space at all. A fuller treatment of Plotinus’ teachings on the soul will be taken up later in this chapter. Armstrong makes this point as well in “Plotinus. and Timaeus. see Kenny. which he famously describes in the Confessions. on the other hand. His writings provide not merely a description. Stephen Menn observes rightly.24 One way Plotinus departs from his predecessors. consisting of the sensible and intelligible realms of perception. Plato. but a method – a system of thought – designed to aid humans in their effort to perceive and participate in an invisible.

The Architecture of the Intelligible Universe in the Philosophy of Plotinus (Cambridge: Cambridge UP. Aristotle.22.25 He is the first Greek philosopher to articulate clearly the ways in which the primary principle is thought to be both infinite and beyond the nature of Intellect. VII. 31). Kenny. In Ennead VI. or extra to.7.1. The One generates multiplicity. V. 9.8. 4. Armstrong. and the “Good” (VI. 430a. 5. the nature of Intellect. the origin of number. 99. the radiation from the One is spoken of as a “bloom” upon Intellect (VI. 11.8.7. 53). Armstrong. 132. 6. “love” (V.” in Mystical Monotheism.1072b. but is not itself multiple (VI. see Armstrong.22).21. 7.8. 34 .” 238. Architecture. self-thinking God of Aristotle.6.29 Plotinus also believes that there is no human expression that can adequately express the reality of the One. 17). A. VI. see Kenny. esp.” Downside Review 73 [1954–55]: 49–51. Plotinus presents the first clearly articulated concept of the One as not only the radiating source of the whole cosmos.”32 Plotinus’ positive terms for the One include “pure will” (VI. “Plotinus.4. and De Anima III. . VI. .6.7. The “Good” is an especially effective designation. he chooses terms and phrases that emphasize its positive quality. H. 14. Here.30 Armstrong has referred to this paradox of religious mystery as Plotinus’ “negative theology of positive transcendence. “The Mystical Monotheism of Plotinus. 27 28 29 30 31 32 in the material world.1. Plotinus’ conception of a first principle as the ground of existence higher than Intellect comes at the end of a tradition which attempted to assimilate the teachings of Plato and Aristotle. 1940). On this unique distinction.13. See Armstrong.6. V. since it literally conveys Plotinus’ belief in the goodness of 25 Enn. yet. This “negative” conception of the One derives in part from the Pythagorean philosophy of numbers in which the first principle is unpredictable unity. 429a. 56. 148–49. 115 and Kenny. Plato. III.Medieval Allegory and the Building of the New Jerusalem world of finite forms. Armstrong. Metaphysics. This departure from tradition is the subject of John Kenny’s 26 The Infinity of the Plotinian One is not to be confused with indefinite multiplicity or formlessness chapter. “only the One or Good is infinite and in the absolute sense in which we speak of the infinity of God” (Armstrong. VII.27 But Plotinus’ One is at once more elevated (metaphysically) and more accessible (spiritually) than either Plato’s “Idea of the Good” or Aristotle’s self-thinking deity. For Plotinus. 56. 29. Also. beyond all predication. I. III. Armstrong. 99. 143. Plotinus describes the effects of the One as something outside of. “Plotinus’ Doctrine of the Infinite. Architecture. Republic VI.6).26 The historical origins of this conception of the One can be traced to the mention of Plato’s “Idea of the Good” and the transcendent. 5.”31 John Kenny offers further insight on how to understand Plotinus’ paradoxical conception of the primary principle: the One can be conceived in negative terms “not because it is deficient in any respect but because it exceeds the capacity of finite description . 12. 91–149. In this system the One transcends all that it measures or limits.1. beyond space and time.508d. Kenny. Architecture. the negations stated are made to emphasize that the One positively transcends these descriptions. 101–2. but also as a primary principle different in kind – not merely in degree – from that cosmos.517b. 29–30.28 Plotinus’ One is beyond all classification of being.” 47.8. “Plotinus’s Doctrine of the Infinite and its Significance for Christian Thought. 21).8.

Plotinus’ Screen of Beauty the cosmos. a movement that is a corollary of the cosmos – that is. trans. 31. J. Michael Chase (Chicago: UP. Denis O’Brien. a Librairie Philosophique (Paris: J. it is essential to recall. Plotinus’ treatment of Plato on this fundamental point is less characteristic of his treatment of Platonic thought in general. 193ff. 35 .” he writes (IV. Markus (London: Variorum. but they can know of it through its radiation of light and a proper knowledge of its images.11). without the One being changed or depleted in any way. 108–123. Plato’s famous allegory in Book VII of the Republic (514a–518b). and it is a divergence which. Plato’s cave metaphor emphasizes. a profoundly optimistic effort to demonstrate how the visible. La Philosophie de Plotin. just as it is an expression of the positive aspect of the One. Typically. 34 Scholars have long recognized that Plotinus’ account of the goodness of the cosmos is. not only the difference but also the distance – and hence the rupture – between the visible world and the transcendent world of forms. Bréhier. in other words. but the boundaries are extraordinarily blurred. he does not overtly disagree with Plato. Pierre Hadot. A key feature of Plotinus’ system is his emphasis on the eternally dynamic nature of the sensible and the spiritual realms. A. however. E. “Plotinus and the Gnostics in the Generation of Matter. sets in motion the constant and necessary movement of the cosmos. The cosmos is good because goodness proceeds from the One. or the Simplicity of Vision. Plotinus’ divergence from Plato is striking. instead.34 Humans cannot know the Good in itself. provided a philosophical grounding for the treatment of medieval ecclesiastical buildings as images of the New Jerusalem. in part. In this case. to a remarkable extent. 1993). H. 24. Vrin. Plotinus. by proving to be central to the medieval understanding of the symbol. within this context.33 Plotinus’ whole project is. Blumenthal and R. A distinction between these realms exists. H. The continued existence of the cosmos depends. 25. This procession. While Plotinus is clearly identifying himself as a student of Plato in his use of such terms for the One. in 33 On the effacement of the contours of the hypostases see Emile Bréhier. response to the extreme Gnostic view that identifies the physical world with evil. “[f]or nothing is a long way off or far from anything else. Plotinus modifies and refines an idea that is understated or receives less emphasis in Plato’s writings. While Plato views the visible world as a shadow or illusion of intelligible truth. it makes possible the continued existence of the cosmos itself. sensible realm is a receptacle and reflection of the light and goodness of the One – how it too is good. for example. Here Plato describes the visible world as a cave and its inhabitants as prisoners. The fundamental communication between realms is described in terms of movement. 1961). Armstrong. La Philosophie de Plotin. xi. what is illusory for Plotinus is the concept of a drastic rupture or rigid boundaries separating the sensible realm from the intelligible. the things one sees in this world are dim shadows or illusions of intelligible truth. Plotinus’ theory of emanation is central to this concept of cosmic dynamism.” Neoplatonism and Early Christian Thought.3. Essays in Honor of A. ed. which Plotinus likens to an outward flow of light. See. 1981).

allowed the interior spaces to be flooded with light. The processions. Light is the means by which the transcendent. The radiative effects of fire.35 For Plotinus.8. unknowable One is brought into the cosmos and unifies that cosmos. Traditional Christianity in western medieval Europe recognized a God who entered history through the gift of Christ’s incarnation. The theory allowed Plotinus to reconcile apparently incompatible theologies of the first principle (negative and positive) and to make the paradox the central tenet of his religious philosophy: “[the divine] is by itself. light is the manifestation 35 The word “radiation” is. a movement of return or “conversion” to the One. 5.8. Plotinus’ rendering derives 36 .3. of course. The Gothic designs.” without being pantheistic. was the ontological nature of God. often encyclopedic in its variety. VI. material world has been described by scholars as “sacramental. While Plotinus’ visible. the re-enactments of Christian salvation history.4. and to look ahead to the events of the Eschaton.9).1. V. 6. or the One. I. Although. and the liturgical gestures reinforced and encouraged belief in a reciprocal communication between human beings and God. The imagery. a closer look at the inner dynamism of Plotinus’ cosmos will aid in furthering our understanding of these medieval presentations in poetry. the English term that best conveys Plotinus’ conception of divine emanation. Plotinus most often likens the relation between the One and Nous to the sun and its light. and is with the world while remaining separate” (IV. for example. prayer. 12. perhaps. Nonetheless. as Armstrong has pointed out. or Nous. snow. The first level of being to receive the One’s radiation is the intelligible realm of ideas.7. this English word is an approximation of the descriptions we find in the Enneads. and perfume are less frequently used as similes (Enn. the chanting.11).3. Plotinus never goes so far as to recognize such a direct and profoundly intimate presence of the One in the sensible world. upon a reciprocal movement. It is this concept of a blurred distinction between the visible and invisible realms – the concept of a metaphysical separation that is actually a passage – that medieval churches displayed in the multiple uses of those spaces that were designated not only as sacred but also as sacramental.Medieval Allegory and the Building of the New Jerusalem turn. served to keep alive in the minds of the living the memories of the dead.18. 9. The Soul’s Recognition of Beauty and the Cyclical Procession of the Cosmos Plotinus’ theory of emanation allowed him to assimilate the Platonic conception of a hierarchy of reality with an Aristotelian organicism model. Liturgy was especially important in manifesting the dynamic communication between the visible and invisible realms. A fundamental difference between the Christian and the Plotinian systems. and stone. The many features of the symbolic programs of medieval edifices called attention to the concept of a dynamic cosmos.

the level of the senses. 36 Plotinus follows the teaching about the sun in Republic VI–VII and the description of the divinity of the heavenly bodies in Timaeus 40B and in Laws 821B. Fire is the most incorporeal of the physical elements and thus is also the most simple and the most beautiful: fire itself is more beautiful than all other bodies. since it is the most appropriate physical receptacle for the incorporeal “light above light” (V. There is virtue in sense perception. he argues. being close to the incorporeal. In Enn.6. a sign and collection of signs which makes the spiritual world effectively present as far as it can be here below. Plotinus’ affirmation of the sensible world’s spiritual potential gives an extraordinary optimism and vitality to his religious philosophy.12). IV. (I. it has colour primarily and all other things take the form of colour from it.f.5. is not without value in Plotinus’ system. 37 .12. but it always was and will be” (V.1 Plotinus criticizes the materialism of the Stoics and in IV. but the others admit it: for it warms them but is not cooled itself. it is also a world rich with spiritual opportunity if perceived as a reflection of divinity. however. goes beyond what we find in Plato. “Natural things are imitations” (V. Architecture. there is virtue in bodies. Plotinian and Christian. II.” But the materialism of Stoic thought.4. but it is not merely physical.8. according to Plotinus. Plotinus’ formulation.6. 15). as well the Aristotelian concept of light as primarily a physical entity. and all that proceeds from the One is good. in shapes. it is the principle of form in the sensible world. The universe is. it is the standard of truth by which humans see images and desire to in part from the account of color in Plato’s Timaeus (67D) and from the late Stoic theory of a unified cosmos: at the center of the cosmos is the visible sun from which flows its “fiery breath. since these serve as stepping stones to higher vision. see Armstrong. IV.” Downside Review 75 (1975): 137. The realm of sense perception. “Salvation. For further discussion of this subject. because it has the rank of form in relation to the other elements. it is above them in place and is the finest and subtlest of all bodies. who emphasizes the incorporeality of light (Enn. The One is known. He might also have been influenced by a passage in the Hermetica. in so far as it can be known at all. Architecture.36 The light of the sun is the intermediary between material and immaterial realms of reality. Plotinus’ articulation of the soul’s movement toward divine radiance begins with his valorization of images. by its outward flow of radiance. Even the lowest level of perception.6–7).5. is nonetheless the world into which humans are born and.8.3.Plotinus’ Screen of Beauty of the spiritual realm. On this point. see Armstrong. The One is the source of spiritual motion in the cosmos.1. 37 Armstrong. It alone does not admit the others. So it shines and glitters as if it was a form. 52–54. 898D. and “as long as that higher reality gives its light. although limited.”37 It is Plotinus’ conception of divine emanation that makes possible the spiritual potential of the sensible world. “a sort of great sacrament in the wide sense. is unacceptable to Plotinus. Indeed. II. for Plotinus. the rest of things can never fail: they are there as long as it is there. 7. which is roughly contemporary with Plotinus.5.6–7. 56.7.1).3) The sun receives special status in Plotinus’ theory of emanation. I. the Aristotelian doctrine (De Anima 518A).3.6.

it is instrumental in passing from this world to that other.” writes Plotinus. (V.2) Plotinus arrives here at the second level of perception.6.5). it influences us.2): all the Forms we speak about are beautiful images in that [other] world. a conviction held by Plato.3) This submission of body to formative power is a coming into being (I. an impulse for movement between the visible and invisible realms. The job of the senses is to gather the multiple and dispersed parts of the visible object and present them as one – as form – to the soul: we do not yet see a thing while it is outside us.7. It acts as a dynamic. instead.8.6.” because it does not. or presentations of ideas. sees the form in bodies binding and mastering the nature opposed to it. in itself. Since matter is not a “true substance. lightning. instead. The unity and beauty of the visible realm is. VI. Form is “beauty everywhere. a submission to freedom. The image is not. The image without that standard is powerless in its capacity to reflect divinity. see Bréhier. but because they have been “coloured by the light of the Good” (I.8.22). Aristotle and the Stoics. colors. that “Beauty is what illuminates good proportions rather than the good proportions themselves. therefore. Plotinus held.2). stars. and virtue all derive their beauty not from excellent symmetry of parts. something to be contemplated in itself. which is shapeless.Medieval Allegory and the Building of the New Jerusalem see more than merely image. The observer perceives this divinity through forms. not naturalistic representations of things seen in the visible world. the level at which the soul is influenced by form and begins its ascent.7. not measurable.1.9). and this is what is lovable” (VI. The adequacy of images rests in the observer’s capacity and willingness to receive divinity emanating from the spiritual realm.22). therefore. But it comes in through the eyes as form alone. and [it sees] shape riding gloriously upon other shapes. images not painted but real.6. possess wisdom and beauty (V. since to yield to this power is to be released into a vision of primary beauty. this world requires a beauty “brought in from outside in order to appear and in any way to be beautiful” (V.8.38 An aesthetic of beauty based upon the concept of good proportion is inadequate for Plotinus. 38 . Here Plotinus departs from the widely accepted identification of beauty with good proportion. sounds.8. (I. The faces of living people. of the kind which someone imagined to exist in the soul of the wise man.8.” emanating from the “first immaterial one” (V. since 38 For a discussion of this distinctive feature of Plotinus’ conception of beauty.5) “Sense-perception. xvi. but when it comes within. (V. often emotional force.

Plotinus’ Screen of Beauty the beauty of the Good belongs ultimately to the realm of faith, not logic or physical measurement: “All that is here below comes from there, and exists in greater beauty there: for here it is adulterated, but there it is pure” (V.8.7). Every soul, according to Plotinus, desires an ascent to the beauty of the Good, since this beauty is the archetype and source of beauty in the visible world. Plotinus describes this ascent as one of divestiture and purification (I.6.7): as a soul rises it will “strip off” the “clothes” that were acquired in its descent to the material realm. But these “external additions” return each time the soul descends, that is, each time one is separated from divine light by “wanting to perceive too much” through the senses (I.6.7; V.8.11). Plotinus describes the soul’s ascent and its transformation of the sensible world with vivid expressions taken from sense experience. The soul, recognizing form as “something in tune with it and fitting it and dear to it” is moved by the recognition (I.6.3). It is “delighted and thrilled,” he says, for it “returns to itself and remembers itself and its own possessions” (I.6.2).39 The soul’s recognition of its likeness to the image is a recognition of form. The thing outside the soul, the image in nature, participates in the higher reality through form just like the soul does; as a result, the soul “knows” it. In other words, the soul recognizes as its own possession the thing that the image imitates. This recognition incites the soul to return to itself; it is a movement of remembrance, a re-identification of itself with Intellect and a recollection of its own beauty. The soul’s return to self after having recognized the beauty of form is simultaneously an ascent to Intellect, the third stage of perception:
First the soul will come in its ascent to intellect and there will know the Forms, all beautiful, and will affirm that these, the Ideas, are beauty; for all things are beautiful by these, by the products of intellect and essence. (I.6.9)

In as much as the soul divides its attention between two realms, Plotinus suggests that the soul has two parts, each part operating continuously and simultaneously on different levels of perception (II.1.5; VI.7.5). One part, the lower, perceives the visible world, and its job is to shape or govern that world.40 The material world without beauty of form – without the soul’s governance – is absolute shapelessness – a non-reality. The lower soul governs and creates the material world by contemplating its other part, the higher soul, which belongs entirely to the immaterial realm. The term “govern” in this context, however, needs some clarification: the soul does not act upon the sensible world “from the outside” as if it were painting a picture. Instead, all action of the soul depends upon contemplation of Intellect, just as

39 For a discussion of Plotinus’ description of the sensuality of the intelligible world, see Bréhier, 40 Hadot offers a somewhat different account of the soul’s divided attention in Plotinus’ system, one


that describes Plotinus’ formulation in terms of human psychology (29).


Medieval Allegory and the Building of the New Jerusalem the action of Intellect upon the soul depends, in turn, upon its contemplation of the One. As Armstrong has observed, the soul
springs from Intellect as the spontaneous result of Intellect’s contemplation of the One, and its own production of and action upon body is the spontaneous result of its return in contemplation to Intellect. . . . This applies at all levels.41

The job of the higher soul, then, is to receive light from Intellect and to shed this light upon its lower half. The result, it should be emphasized, is a crucial feature of Plotinus’ system: the movement or procession that makes possible the continued existence of the cosmos. In Plotinus’ system, the procession of beauty from the radiating One is a carefully conceived elaboration of the Platonic hierarchy of being. In Plato’s view, this hierarchy of being unfolds from Intelligible truth to dim shadows or illusions of that truth. The Plotinian One is also the source of the Intelligible world of the forms, but it is without form itself, since it is beyond all limitation. The form that is put into (or upon) the visible image by its maker, the “first immaterial One,” or by the mortal craftsman, is presented to the soul through the senses not as a natural representation, but as an idea. This presentation triggers a recognition of Intelligible beauty. What results is a cyclical transference from one realm to the other, extraordinary in its possibilities for vision. The spiritual experience of the individual soul is initiated by the presence and recognition of form, so that this recollection of beauty – this remembering – links the visible world of sense perception with eternity. For Plotinus, then, to experience the beauty of form in the visible world is to return to form and, therefore, to ascend.

The “Screen of Intellect” and the Artist’s Canvas
Plotinus makes clear in his writings that beauty of form present in the visible, natural world is not as great as beauty of form in the mind of the maker which the soul possesses in itself. It is for this reason that Plotinus places the beauty of the image wrought by the human artist on a higher level of beauty than the natural object. It may be said that for Plotinus, the artist improves upon nature. Here is another instance of Plotinus’ departure from Plato’s teachings in the Republic. In Book X Plato describes the artist as a maker of copies twice removed from truth. It is important to understand, however, that Plotinus’ departure from Plato on this point is a sophisticated modification and refinement of Platonic thought, and it is not a distinction isolated from the other innovations of his philosophy. There is a coherence to Plotinus’ system that
41 “Plotinus,” Cambridge History, 253–54. Armstrong also stresses the intellectual preparation of the

soul: “The supreme achievement of the intellect is to leave itself behind. But for Plotinus there is no way of passing beyond intellect other than through intellect ” (239).


Plotinus’ Screen of Beauty makes the valorization of images inevitable, especially those wrought by the artist. The departure from Plato arises naturally from his conception of the One, for the One is negative only in its supreme positiveness; this leads to the generation of its Goodness, and all of created reality is instilled with desire to return to it. Plotinus’ concept of the “rational forming principle” allows him to distinguish beauty of form in nature from beauty of form in the human mind. In nature, the rational principle is present as the “archetype” of beauty, whereas in the “nobly good” soul it is a more intensively active beauty, “already advanced” and “more beautiful than that in nature” (V.8.3). The rational principle is a qualifying feature of Intellect; it acts as an intermediary between the soul and the Good which is primary beauty:
That which is beyond this [Intellect] we call the nature of the Good, which holds beauty as a screen before it . . . but if one distinguishes the intelligibles [from the Good] one will say that the place of the Forms is the intelligible beauty, but the Good is That which is beyond, the “spring and origin” of beauty. (I.6.9)

The Good is beyond the realm of finite ideas and is, therefore, unknowable, but it holds beauty before it as a screen. This screen is the rational principle that “adorns” the soul, “giving it light from a greater light” (V.8.3). The light of the Good passes through the screen of Intellect and graces the soul, allowing the soul to see a likeness of the Good. The screen of Intellect “makes us deduce,”
by its very presence in the soul what that before it [the Good] is like, which is no longer in anything else but in itself.

“For this reason,” Plotinus continues,
it [the Good] is not an expressed forming principle at all, but is the maker of the first forming principle [the Intellect] which is the beauty present in the matter which is soul. (V.8.3)

In Plotinus’ teachings on the screen of Intellect, we find an articulation of how the soul perceives beauty and light from two directions. The sensible world and the rational principle serve as screens through which divine light passes. At one end is the sensible image, the visible object; at the other is the Good. Beauty in the object is presented to the soul in a form that the soul recognizes. This presentation of form is perceived initially through the senses, but it is recognized as form, because the soul receives divine light through the rational principle. In other words, the rational principle presents the light of the Good to the soul in a form of beauty that the soul can recognize in itself as well as in the object. This conception of Intellect as a qualifying principle that adorns the soul like a “screen” of beauty is the foundation for the medieval understanding of

Medieval Allegory and the Building of the New Jerusalem philosophical or apocalyptic allegory. Theology serves as the Christian “rational principle,” qualifying the image (i.e., the edifice, the painting, the poem) so that it may in turn be understood as an anagogical symbol. An effort to arrive at an understanding of the symbolic programs of medieval churches leads us back to Plotinus’ reworking of the complex philosophic tradition that he inherited. His valorization of images follows naturally from his unique conception of the radiating One: the colliding reflections upon the soul result in an anagogical ascent and, thus, make possible not only the communication between the material and the immaterial realms, but also the continued existence of the cosmos itself. This communication or transference takes place at the level of the image:
something like an imprint and image of that other [immaterial world] suddenly appears [to the soul], either by its direct action [the action of the rational principle] or through the assistance of the soul. (V.8.7)

When the observer succeeds in transporting “what one sees into oneself” the colliding reflections upon the soul become one, so that the soul dismisses the image and sees “the whole”:
there is no longer one thing outside [primary beauty] and another outside [the archetype of beauty in nature] which is looking at it [the soul], but the keen sighted has what is seen within. (V.8.10)

The colliding reflections give a unity to the cosmos that is different from the concept of unity found in the Aristotelian organicism model that Plotinus inherited. It is a unity achieved by the procession of light from the One and the return of the lower levels of being to the One through contemplation. This unity is always maintained within Plotinus’ revised Platonic hierarchy. Plotinus also makes clear, however, that these collisions, these “blooms” of color, are not equal in their powers of reflection. The primary beauty of the One “blooms on the surface,” or screen, of the intelligible world, where “all is colour and beauty to its innermost part; for its beauty is not something different from itself like a surface bloom (V.8.10).” In so far as the material image does not possess beauty “to its innermost part,” it cannot be said to act as an intermediary between the sensible and invisible realms. Instead, the adequacy of the image rests, on the one hand, in the soul’s capacity and willingness to receive light from above and, on the other, to be moved spiritually by the presentation of form by the senses. Plotinus’ analysis of the soul’s ascent, concerned as it is with definitions, instructions, and designated levels of perception, demonstrates not only an extraordinary effort to assimilate a complex Platonic-Aristotelian tradition, but also an intense religious desire to express what he clearly believes is ultimately inexpressible. The apophatic or negative aspect of the One is never canceled by its positive radiance, since the One “exists before research and before reasoning” (V.8.6). It is indeed remarkable that the philosopher who

.9). placed within the soul by the One even though that One is beyond human understanding: “the soul also loves that Good.42 Plotinus articulates the movement toward spiritual vision in emotionally charged language intended not only to stimulate the observer’s desire for spiritual ascent. He seeks to inspire in his listeners a “piercing longing” (I. “will be drawn from something worse. .6.6. nonetheless. they remain necessary images.” according to Armstrong.31). . that there should be no beautiful image of [intelligible] beauty and reality . Nonetheless. mastering it.8.8. 43 . It is also this yearning of the human soul that compels the artist to attempt to express the ineffable. futile as that project ultimately is. The soul’s yearning to be united with “[t]hat alone” (I. According to Plotinus. “the exaltation of the remoteness and transcendence of the Supreme with the passionate devotion to the ruling principle of the universe seems to be. moved by it to love from the beginning” (VI.7) is the most powerful manifestation of divinity within the human world.Plotinus’ Screen of Beauty broke from his tradition by placing the One beyond the realm of being is compelled.” It is the form or the idea that the artist transfers from his mind to the shapeless stone.” What drives this compulsion is an intense spiritual devotion. For “the arts. He believed that the artist improves upon nature by transferring the beauty of intellect to the object. for it [the image] has life and . it is this compulsion.8. “It is utterly unlawful. “every image” will be “a 42 Armstrong views this tone of intense religious devotion as “the most clearly un-Hellenic thing” about Plotinus. thereby bringing the object one step nearer to primary beauty.6)? What image created by the artist would be worthy even of the beauty of intellect in the mind? Even in his valorization of images. Plotinus’ philosophical solution provides a powerful justification for visual representation.” says Plotinus.12) Plotinus provides. or bounded by shape into littleness” (I. and bringing the stone “to beauty of form by art” (V.6. like the Egyptians.8.7. not measured by dimensions. an even more specific response to the artist’s dilemma: if one signifies wisely.1). this desire for vision that defines one’s humanity. and attributes it.3). to “signify our meaning. in contrast. but to mimic that ascent as well. Nonetheless. 33). than primary beauty (V. (V. but they run back up to the forming principles from which nature derives.7) to become one of the “exceedingly blessed spectators” (V.” Plotinus asserts. . however. do “not even want to be beautiful” since there is no lack of beauty in heaven. that is.8. But the artist must always wrestle with the paradox: “what image could the primary principle of beauty take?” How does one “manifest the non-discursiveness of the intelligible world” (V. The gods. “do not simply imitate what they see. to the influence of the religious passion of the Stoics.” he says. in part.5) and to share in a vision of “true light. refining it.” worse. Plotinus never dismisses their intrinsic inadequacy to represent the divine: “every image. “an original achievement of Plotinus” (Architecture. it has [as] its being beauty since it comes from that higher beauty.

. 43 Hadot has observed that Plotinus’ forms are like Egyptian hieroglyphics (40). so as to be visible. if you like. that the Intellect of the gods. all together in one” (V. is itself visible – visible. (V. But human intellect. is not readily available to the mind’s eye.3) Plotinus is suggesting. Plotinus’ religious philosophy is inseparable from his ethics. a subject of statements.44 Secondly. 239). In other words. and these icons will be taken from Intellect. then the “statue” of ourselves must be brought to “self-mastery enthroned upon its holy seat. since it is not so intensely active.” Cambridge History.6.9). purifying it in act or word by showing that not all this sample is gold. The purification of the soul begins with the individual’s self-conception. from the gods. that we apprehend what the intellect in them is like. perhaps. one is able to “cut away excess and straighten the crooked and clear the dark and make it bright . 44 .3) This passage should be understood within the larger context of three closely related tenets of Plotinus’ religious philosophy: first. till the divine glory of virtue shines out on you” (I. For the gods are majestic and beautiful and their beauty is overwhelming: but what is it which makes them like this? It is Intellect.8.Medieval Allegory and the Building of the New Jerusalem kind of knowledge and wisdom . because of its intense activity. .” Through virtuous acts and words. and. Finally. and it is because Intellect is more intensely active in them. Plotinian purification cannot be effectively thought through without being lived through: though it is also true that. like taking a piece of gold as a sample of all gold. Humans. therefore.8.43 The artist will make icons. since the formative power of Intellect can then shine its incorporeal light upon (or through) the object.8. to purify the soul is to purify what one sees in the visible world. it depends upon the viewer’s ability to see his or her own inner beauty. if the piece taken is not pure.” Plotinus continues. that is.” Plotinus explains that the action is. from the intellect in ourselves when it has been purified. . or. Plotinus does not believe that you can live through it without thinking through it” (“Plotinus.6). must take something that is materially visible. “so that one is not really apprehending it [primary beauty] through an image. that is. they must become “godlike” by purifying their souls. 44 Armstrong observes. you cannot have one without the other. instead. Words and actions must be extensions of Intellect so that the piece of gold can be purified and can function as a reflection of light from the Good. “the critical purification of the mind is inseparably linked with the moral and religious purification. if humans wish to see what primary beauty is like. but only this particular portion of the whole mass. “[H]ere it is. we have seen how this purification is actually a “coming into being” and a movement toward divinity through contemplation. to the mind’s eye. If one looks within and does not see the beauty of a good soul. Intellect acts as a qualifier of the Plotinian image. . in distinction from other less intellectualist mystics. (V.

15. as powerful invitations to share in the best of visions. the observer becomes a “fellow-lover. 146–47. iconography.10). X. Their construction. . We are one step closer. The Plotinian metaphysical process that Augustine adapted to serve his own spiritual vision is also the intellectual basis for the medieval understanding of the symbol.48 They provided Augustine with a sophisticated metaphysical plan that served his great formulation of a specifically Christian philosophy. decoration. S. Pine-Coffin. The medieval churches served. VII.9. because they naturally desire to perceive more than what is visible to the human eye alone. 82. I saw the Light that never changes casting its rays over the same eye of my soul. .14. V.1–2. The visible world – removed. 45 .47 Plotinus’ writings in particular made it possible for him to “take the first step of returning into himself” – of looking into his own soul and thus begin his journey to God. and qualify it in such a way that it can stand as an image of divine reality. . 47 Conf. It was above me because it was itself the Light that made me. R. to laying the foundation for the building of the New Jerusalem in the medieval west.11). but he also acknowledges that the Platonists provided an essential intellectual environment for his conversion to that Christian faith.8. 1961). human beings are naturally compelled to represent ideas through images.46 Augustine remains committed to his belief that his own conversion to the “light above light” was a gift from the Christian God.5).” filled with the color and the light that penetrates “through the whole of the soul” and shines “bright upon all” (V. 48 Menn.9–16. If it is seen as such. like the religious philosophy of Plotinus. According to Plotinus. . see also civ. and with the eye of my soul. and liturgy offered programs of anagogical transformation in which 45 Enn.10. over my mind. yet not separate from the divine realm – is a world radiant with possibilities for revelation.6.8. such as it was. then. and all who know this Light know eternity. V. Instead of one who sees. V. For Plotinus. It is at this state of spiritual perception that the “exceedingly blessed” spectator becomes sight itself (I. In I entered. . Conf. 46 Conf.8. the world itself is an icon.Plotinus’ Screen of Beauty like the piece of gold.12.3. . even though this was a light unavailable to the human eye:45 These books [of the Platonists] served to remind me to return to my own self. VII. . Saint Augustine: Confessions (New York: Viking Penguin. 20. trans. Augustine describes with joy his discovery that the Platonist articulation of a spiritually dynamic cosmos allowed him to perceive the light of divinity. . In the Confessions. . Dei. the observer becomes “an object of vision to another . . shining out with thoughts of the kind which come from that world” (V. All who know the truth know this Light. .

It was this effort to perceive and experience the divine realm through architecture and its accompanying arts that recalls the Plotinian desire to penetrate the screen of beauty that separates the observer from full revelation.Medieval Allegory and the Building of the New Jerusalem human desire for intimacy with an eternal goodness found direction and focus. 46 .

The Birth of Philosophic Christianity: Studies in Early Christian and Medieval Thought. his specifically Christian response to Platonist teachings on the soul. ed. 7 and 12. symbol- 1 2 3 Gen. A thorough treatment of them requires full discussion of early Christian responses to Greco-Roman philosophical traditions. R. De civitate Dei (On the City of God). Blumenthal and R. Under the one.27. eds. highly complex subjects.” into which he divides the human race: the civitas terrena (earthly city)..3 These features include his views on the relation between the sensible and invisible realms. that the earthly city has two aspects. 1981). J. A. Fortin. my English translations are taken from Augustine: the City of God against the Pagans. prayer. Markus.Augustine’s City of God 2 Foundations II: Augustine’s City of God We find. turning to key features of his thought that assist in our larger focus on the architectural approach to divine revelation in the medieval west. MD: Rowman & Littlefield. Brian Benestad (Lanham. see the Bibliography entries under Augustinus. and his great eschatological theme of the two cities or “orders. his sacramental theology. it displays its own presence. L. nn.2) Ad imaginem Dei:1 Christ and the Elevation of the Human Body A UGUSTINE’S transformation of Platonism according to Christian tconcepts of Church and salvation history is a necessary bridge between Plotinus’ screen of beauty and the medieval representations of the New Jerusalem in poetry. In addition to the bibliographical suggestions listed in Chapter One. 1996). (De civitate Dei XV. under the other it serves by its presence to point towards the Heavenly City. Neoplatonism and Early Christian Thought (London: Variorum. 47 . For Latin editions of Augustine’s works cited in this book. the following sources are especially helpful: E. Dyson. of course. Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought (Cambridge: Cambridge UP. 1. W. H. Unless otherwise noted. Augustine’s treatment of Platonism in general and his indebtedness to Plotinus in particular are. therefore. 1998). and trans. and stone. ed.2 My intention here is to concentrate primarily on Augustine’s mature and most ambitious theological work.

repr. but which for him had served as a preparation for the true religious philosophy. everything relevant to the question: how is a man to attain his ultimate fulfillment. especially in the Gospel of John and in the letters of Paul. and religious changes. it provides the most important theological foundation for the architecture of the New Jerusalem in the medieval west: Augustine grounds his encyclopedic presentation of theology in De civitate Dei in his interpretation of Jerusalem. To examine Augustine’s treatment of Platonism is to encounter his personal engagement with an age and place that experienced tremendous political. Augustine’s theological writings reflect. Saeculum: History and Society in the Theology of St Augustine (1970. wisdom.”5 that he read in Milan in the late 380s was one of joy and gratitude. J. Cambridge: Cambridge UP. he gained intellectual insights that prepared him to accept the authority of the Christian faith. Augustine believed. had been anticipated. 1987). with the exception of the Bible itself. conversion. cf. the chief source of his Platonism. The theology of love..4 Augustine’s response to the “books of the Platonists. is Augustine’s most comprehensive work. including the essential role of the Church in making that revelation accessible. Biographical Introduction: Christianity and Philosophy. Pelikan. in Plotinus’ intellectually informed religious devotion and in his carefully articulated metaphysics 4 5 R. It is one of the foundational texts of patristic literature and was one of the most widely read of Augustine’s works throughout western medieval Europe. 353. as a figura that points toward Heaven.Medieval Allegory and the Building of the New Jerusalem ized by Babylon. 334. that is ‘blessedness’ (beatitudo)?” “Augustine. the Christian faith. and transcendence that he found in the New Testament. works. VII. Markus observes that the modern distinction between philosophy and theology is inappropriate for an understanding of Augustine’s intellectual and religious environment: Augustine “included under [the heading of philosophy] everything that was of ultimate concern to man. however. especially earlier. an authority he recognized in scripture and in the early Christian tradition whose roots extend to Christ’s apostles. In his admiration and respect for certain aspects of Platonist thinking on the one hand and his steadfast commitment to a Christian revelation on the other. 48 . The Excellent Empire: The Fall of Rome and the Triumph of the Church (San Francisco: Harper & Row. and in many cases were motivated by. Conf. as one who belonged to a world that was crumbling. they do not all receive Augustine’s fullest attention in De civitate Dei. His life coincided with what historians identify as an age of great transition. From Plotinus. this collision of cultures and systems of belief.” in Cambridge History. and its antithesis. A. 1970).9–13. Nor are his teachings in this work always representative of his views in his other. we recognize Augustine as a transition figure in the best sense. the earthly city. when the early years of medieval Christianity were emerging from late pagan antiquity. On Augustine as a central figure for our understanding of this great age of transition. the civitas Dei (City of God). symbolized by Jerusalem. see Markus. De civitate Dei. Furthermore. intellectual. Compared with Augustine’s treatment of these subjects in some other of his major works. written between 413 and 427.

The Lord Jesus Himself shows this. He infers from the beauty of flowers and leaves that providence extends downward even to these earthly things from the supreme God. and his equally committed acceptance of early Christian teachings that identify the Church as the mystical body of Christ. In one passage that demonstrates well how he often moves with ease between Plotinian and Christian thought. refine. an affirmation that was a natural corollary of his belief in the positive aspect of the One. we find extended discussions of what Augustine identifies as profound differences between the systems of belief.29) For Augustine. . to Whom belong the intelligible and ineffable beauty. and ascension of Jesus Christ. for example. spiritual transformation can be achieved only through belief in the historical reality of the birth. Platonism. 6. In one passage addressed to the Platonists. but you do not hold fast to the way that leads to it. and transform this tradition so that it served what he believed was the true philosophy. Augustine explains. by which we are saved and through which we are able to come to the things we believe or in some small way understand. . You see after a fashion.28ff. 49 . how they grow.” (X. Plotinus’ philosophical affirmation of the essential goodness of the visible. death. In his own intellectual journey from Manicheism. sensible realm. although at a distance. Augustine’s belief in the scriptural account of Jesus’ earthly history. Augustine uses Jesus’ teachings on divine Providence to gloss Plotinus’ religion of the cosmos: The Platonist philosopher Plotinus indeed discusses providence. and with clouded vision. was clearly. resurrection. a powerful message that motivated his desire to achieve some harmonious understanding of Platonism and Christianity. where he says. however. and he holds that all these lowly things which fade away so quickly could not exhibit such an utter perfection of form were they not formed by Him Whose intelligible and immutable form endures in all things together. . For Augustine. While he valued certain achievements of the pagan Platonists. (X. which is blessedness. but in its teachings on how to achieve that aim. wish to acknowledge the incarnation of the immutable Son of God. you do to some extent see as it were a kind of shadowy image of what we should strive towards. and finally to Christianity. the inadequacy of pagan Platonism rested not in its philosophical aim. [T]hough your use of words is incorrect. You do not. are the key points of reference which he repeatedly invokes in his response to the Platonici. especially the philosophical mysticism of Plotinus. despite what he sees as striking parallels between those systems.Augustine’s City of God of light. In De civitate Dei. “Consider the lilies. for Augustine. Augustine worked to correct.14)6 6 Matt. Augustine discovered a special kinship with Plotinus as one whose entire philosophical enterprise was directed toward the summum bonum. the country in which we should abide.

human beings are always responsible for choosing to live according to the scriptural teachings on the redemptive love of Christ and as members of the City of God on earth (De dono perseverantiae. he transforms that model with Trinitarian theology. especially on matters of election and damnation. In other words. but in order to do so. 22–60). For some of his most important works on this subject. Spiritual conversion and eternal salvation is made possible. Nonetheless. even though Plotinus’ elaborate metaphysical apparatus places the One beyond the realm of being. the specific source and fully accurate expression of this teaching is the incarnation and resurrection of Christ. spiritual conversion and eternal salvation for humankind is made possible. For Augustine. guaranteed. see De dono perseverantiae. but it is not. lest his audience misunderstand his ontology and assign too direct a communication between the One and the sensible world. When Plotinus uses language that might suggest a radical intimacy between the One and the created cosmos. he turns to passages in the New Testament to gloss Plotinus’ teachings. I do not take up further discussion in this book of Augustine’s views on predestination. and the sacramental role of the Church. for Augustine. the saving grace of the Resurrection. Through the loving sacrifice of the Cross. as we have seen.7 What is most important for Augustine are not the parallels between the two traditions. De gratia et libero arbitrio. In Augustine’s writings on predestination. The Word (verbum) proceeds from the Father through the Holy Spirit and entered history with the birth of Christ. Dei X. Augustine invokes Jesus’ authority to support what he understands as a Plotinian theory of divine Providence. 50 . even while acknowledging the value of those teachings: 7 8 civ. most of which are specific responses to the Pelagian controversy. indeed. sets in motion the spiritual dynamism of the cosmos.Medieval Allegory and the Building of the New Jerusalem With a remarkable lack of hesitation or awkwardness. we find Augustine accepting a fundamental feature of a Platonic model.29. he stresses the inability of human beings to ever fully grasp the mysteries of God’s Providence. beyond Intellect. he provides sufficient qualification to counter this possibility. Yet this passage is just one example of many in De civitate Dei and in other works of how Augustine often stresses fundamental agreements between the two great traditions. The goodness that proceeds from the Plotinian One. this radiation of goodness is the source of life itself and upon which the cosmos is wholly dependent. and De praedestinatione sanctorum. To a certain degree. which Plotinus likens to an outward flow of light.8 The doctrines of the resurrection of Christ and of the resurrection of bodies at the end of time made it necessary for Augustine to emphasize further a fundamental departure from Platonist teachings on the sensible world. Augustine’s acceptance of traditional Christian teaching gave him proper justification for his attraction to Plotinus’ thought. XIV. What is also striking about this passage is Augustine’s special emphasis on the “downward” extension of the Plotinian One. In order to do so. but the complete dependence of the sophisticated pagan model upon the Christian revelation – a dependence that is necessary if that model is to have any significance at all.

” is to be 9 I Cor. which.3. it will not be a burden. “[T]hose who suppose that the ills of the soul derive from the body are in error. is a sacrifice when it is used rightly. it is not the fault of the body.”11 Augustine’s commentary on the biblical passage. 12. . but to be clothed with its immortality. then. 10 civ. is strikingly Plotinian: If. the soul uses as a servant or instrument. because it will not be corruptible. Dei XIV. pleasing unto God. 5. and scripture teaches that we will be reunited with our bodies on Judgment Day. for they do not detest earthly bodies as the natural substance of evil. “We are pressed down by the corruptible body . your reasonable service.16–end. Nonetheless.” Augustine states. . then.10–17. see civ.8.5) Augustine insists that Platonist optimism toward the visible. “there will still be a body . and being remoulded in the image of permanent loveliness? (X. or soul. by the mercy of God. 51 . how much more does the soul itself become a sacrifice when it offers itself to God. like Plotinus’ piece of gold. the body. sensible world does not give adequate attention to the human body. losing the shape of earthly desire.” To be clothed with a body is to be given the gift of spiritual opportunity. 4. but. and their properties. being inflamed by the fire of His love. they attribute all the elements of which this visible and tangible world is composed. 3.6) The body. (XIV. in order that.”10 Augustine’s discussion in De civitate Dei on the necessary elevation of the human body also demonstrates how his apocalyptic eschatology is a key feature of his transformation of the Platonist view: “we do not wish . that you present your bodies as a living sacrifice.9 When human beings sin. .3 11 Rom. To have a body. yet we know that the cause of our being pressed down is not the nature and substance of the body.1–10. 12 Enn.Augustine’s City of God The Platonists are not. Indeed. . V. which he quotes. so foolish as the Manichaeans. 44–5. . Dei XXII.1. II Cor. can be reshaped or remolded to serve as a sacrifice. it may receive of His beauty and become pleasing to Him. 15. The body is the temple of the Holy Spirit.” At the end of time. being inferior. it is God’s visible invitation to his children to imitate Christ. but of the will. whose job it is to subject the body to proper governance. XIII. to God the Creator. since human beings are made ad imaginem Dei (in God’s image). is to be a living sacrament in the Pauline sense: “I beseech you.35–54.16. brethren.12 To be “clothed with a body.20–26. For Augustine’s theology on the resurrection of bodies. but its corruption. they [the Platonists] hold that souls are so influenced by earthly limbs and dying members that they [the souls] derive from them [their bodies] their unwholesome desires and fears and joys and sorrows. indeed. See Chapter One. holy. I Cor. . and with reference to God. it is the human body that must be the primary focus of such optimism. therefore. On the contrary. to be divested of the body. as a living sacrament.

Medieval Allegory and the Building of the New Jerusalem colored.3. of course. It is to live the earthly life as an opportunity for revelation. Dei XIII. The process of being “clothed” in this sense is actually a lifting off. The Pauline teaching that Augustine quotes. St. do groan.”13 This process of being “clothed upon” with immortality. a process in which the merely naked – or mortal – body is purified and subjugated to the soul. 117.17 Augustine knew intimately the liturgies that designated the buildings in which they were 13 civ.. a process whereby communication with the divine is made possible. Rev. We desire Heaven. with the light that radiates from heaven and which illuminates the body as an “earthly tabernacle. that we have a building of God. 52 . being burthened. or adorned. Stephen’s Chapel in London’s Westminster Palace.” civ. or the Sainte Chapelle in Paris and its now-lost English counterpart. churches like Notre Dame of Chartres and St. an unveiling.-Étienne in Bourges.6. 118. belonging to. susceptible to corruption through a misdirected will.21 Plotinus. 119.8. not hindered or prevented. 5. since the body adorned with heaven is “sight itself. that that which is mortal may be swallowed up by life. and it is this corruption that is mere nakedness – the nakedness that is our mortality and hence our burden. this building up of our bodies as “houses” from.” In expressing his eschatology. Yet so that we be found being clothed not be naked. Augustine quotes II Cor. as Augustine himself realized.” or adornment. See my discussion in Chapter Four. Plotinian terms are remarkably useful. ethically speaking. 21. Augustine mixes Paul’s architectural metaphors with the exuberance of Plotinus’ mysticism. Dei XIV. that “we earnestly desire to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven” recalls John’s apocalyptic visio pacis: “And he took me up in spirit to a great and huge mountain: and he showed me the holy City of Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God. it is instead a screen of intellect or beauty in the Plotinian sense – a “location” and opportunity for higher vision. because we would not be unclothed. are not found in Augustine’s theology but in a pervasive application of Christian-Platonist apocalyptic eschatology: the building of the New Jerusalem in poetry. prayer.14 In other words. and turning towards Heaven is.”15 Perhaps the finest medieval expressions of this spiritual “adding on. if our earthly house of this habita- 14 15 16 17 tion be dissolved. 113–16.9. therefore. Enn. I. who are in this tabernacle. eternal in heaven. and stone. For we also. Once again. a training or education of the mind (exercitatio animae). especially in the Augustinian sense.1ff: “For we know.”16 One wonders how Augustine would have responded to the remarkable building projects of western medieval Europe.10: et sustulit me in spiritu in montem magnum et altum et ostendit mihi civitatem sanctam Hierusalem descendentem de caelo a Deo. It is to be clothed with Heaven’s light. a house not made with hands.5. For in this also we groan. The body is. desiring to be clothed upon with our habitation that is from heaven. with a veil that is neither burdensome nor a source of resistance. V. to shed its bloom upon the body: we “earnestly desire to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven. but clothed upon. it is a sacramentum.

Augustine does not consciously advocate these kinds of achievements. it is Christ who restores the possibility for the soul’s ascent (acies mentis) to God.Augustine’s City of God performed as sacred spaces. to do injustice to our Creator by accusing the nature of the flesh. The architectural expressions were reciprocal responses to John’s visio pacis in the Book of Revelation – earthly elevations designed to meet. or soul. prayer.” Augustine writes.”18 In this passage we see Augustine struggling with the linguistic constraints of the hierarchical model he adopted.8. 53 . however. Genesis teaches.26. De Trinitate XIV. are made in God’s image. which.11. “in the matter of our sins and vices. therefore. and stone.19 The body is a created good. Genesis also teaches that the human will. Christiana libertas: Christian Freedom and the Soul’s Journey to God Augustine used the hierarchical model that he inherited from the Platonists in ways that supported his Christian faith. despite that model’s theological deficiencies. of its own kind and in its due place.” Since human beings consist “of both soul and flesh” the “whole” human being “can be signified by either ‘soul’ or ‘flesh’ alone. He provided. Human beings. is good. 19 civ. at the level of the qualified image. It is only through Christ that bodies become endowed with new opportunity for sanctification. Could he have imagined. Dei XIV. Plotinus’ efforts to synthesize a Platonist hierarchy of being with an Aristotelian organicism model would have been appreciated by Augustine. Dei XI. “There is no need. and he demonstrates in his frequent citations of ancient authors. yet a strictly otherworldly perspective must be maintained: “it is not good for anyone to forsake the good Creator and to live according to a created 18 civ. but he did transform the Plotinian screen of beauty according to Trinitarian theology and a specifically Christian apocalyptic eschatology. For Augustine. but this struggle is also one that arises from his efforts to express a religious mystery. especially Virgil. the Second Coming of Christ. a great fondness and sensitivity towards poetry. who wrestled with the linguistic difficulties of formulating a coherent theology that fully accepts the mystery of the incarnation and yet insists upon a subordination of the body to an otherworldly spirituality. however. is responsible for the turning away from the source of our likeness. Augustine’s Christology made it essential that he adjust the status of the Platonist body by rejecting the idea that a human body is in itself the source of human corruption. a great sacramental poem like Dante’s La Divina Commedia or a great liturgical painting like The Seven Sacraments by Rogier van der Weyden? In his writings. a fully articulated theological foundation for the architecture of revelation in poetry.5.

In his disobedience. Dei XIV. We have seen that Augustine corrects the Platonist emphasis on the body as a source of spiritual corruption. an icon. owe much to this Plotinian formulation. although fully dependent on the One for its continued.Medieval Allegory and the Building of the New Jerusalem good. but he refines Plotinus’ validation of the sensible world to serve his views on the possibility of the soul’s sanctification. by contrast. For the Christian.13. Marcus Dods. The soul’s position in the hierarchy of being is the pivotal one. 54 . Nor is it a journey that can be completed in this world. The journey of the Christian soul. whether infernal or paradisal. since its job is to govern the lower self. The Christian belief in the inherent corruptibility of the soul is a fundamental divergence from Plotinus’ teachings. Plotinian and Christian. 2000). “he would himself have become light. souls are created and are not in themselves divine. is one of restoration. achieved only through the intervention and saving grace of the Trinitarian God. 21 Conf. offers a meticulous account of the soul’s central role in maintaining an otherworldly perspective. De Trinitate XII. 24 Armstrong. Adam’s sin. “a sort of great sacrament in the wide sense. Dei XX. indeed. Dei XIV .”20 To a degree.”22 Human beings have been given the gift of Christ as the redeemer. the soul neither sins nor suffers. 6. It is the soul that is the source of corruption. it is in itself divine. Plotinus. Introduction by Thomas 23 For Augustine’s distinction between the first Judgment.”24 Augustine’s teachings on the sensible world.11. will come at the Last Judgment. But for Augustine. see civ. including his sacramental theology. he acted “as if he were himself light. was a turning away from the light. 20 civ. or divinization. Merton (New York: Random House.23 Augustine rejects Plotinian teachings on the natural divinity of the soul. “Salvation. the end of the pilgrimage.” 137. It is the job of the Plotinian soul to qualify the sensible world through the rational principle so that the world can become a screen of beauty.” Had he followed that light instead of turning from it. immutable. and the Last Judgment. Those occasions of inadequate governance are occasions of sin. Christianity profoundly transforms that sacramental world view: the redemptive love of Christ restores the human being to its elevated condition as an image of God and makes the ascent possible. directing its attention “upwards” in recognition of its participation in the invisible light of the One and “downwards” in its governance of the sensible world. then.21 For Plotinus. 22 civ. after death. Saint Augustine: The City of God. Trans. which is the archetype of all subsequent human sin. a location for spiritual transformation. Augustine also recognized a special affinity between Platonic and Christian teachings on the soul. they bear the heavy burden of sin. XII. and impeccable existence.5. as we have seen.

1992). For an extended analysis of Augustine’s sacramental theology. the temporal and eternal. Nor does the Church guarantee salvation to all its professed members. but it is unlike other signs in that it is also that very presence. 1990). the Church.37–40.25 The Augustinian Church is. 55 . the mystical body of Christ (corpus mysticum). see H. especially the Eucharist and baptism. Jn. a journey that human sin hinders or prevents. Jn. especially letter 55. Res.43. 26 27 28 29 30 31 from the City of God.2.70. civ. I shall draw all people to myself. 151. 25 civ. Dei X.5. It is the most profound likeness of all. Epistulae 98.20. as one scholar has correctly expressed it.-M. 13.2.3. or sign.9. Augustine does not exclude virtuous people. It is the sacrifice of the crucifixion. XI. since it is itself the reality it signifies. For Augustine.”28 It is a sign of the divine presence. letters 54–55). that is Ecclesia. and its members are bound in a community of love: God’s love for humankind and the two great commandments to love God and neighbor. Féret. XVIII. in Augustine the transformation of the soul must also take place through the great sacramental signum.1.1. 22. “Memoria Mortuorum: Commemoration of the departed in Augustine. civ. visible and invisible. Heikki Kotila.29 The boundaries – even those as fluid as Plotinus’ colliding reflections of light – between the visible and invisible.27 Augustine defines the sacrifice of the Eucharist as “the visible sacrament (sacramentum) or sacred sign (signum) of an invisible sacrifice. see I. simply and profoundly expressed in Christ’s foretelling of his own death: “And when I am lifted up from the earth. the Church assists in preparing the faithful for elevation to a state of sanctification. Augustine’s Ad inquisitiones Januarii (Epistolae 54–55) (Responses to Januarius. XX.32. and other church observances during the Easter liturgies. dans la langue théologique de Saint Augustin. Matt.” Revue des sciences philosophiques et théologiques vol. are erased in the miracle at the altar. with the rational principle qualifying that image as the screen of beauty. The translation is from The New Jerusalem Bible (New York: Doubleday. Dei. institutional and spiritual. Sermones 228B.”26 The Church is the eucharistic community. Conf. Dei XX.9. 29 (1940): 218–43. Enarrationes in Psalmos 33.”30 Augustine understood the sacraments of the Church as sacrificial ways of furthering the journey toward the summum bonum. unaware of the Christian revelation.35.9. 229. “simultaneously historical and eschatological.1.Augustine’s City of God Ecclesia et sacramenta: Augustine’s Church and the Sacramental Signa Whereas in Plotinus the transformation of the soul takes place at the level of the image. For Augustine. Also of importance for Augustine’s sacramental view of reality is Enarrationes in Psalmos 105.49. Dei X. 12. civ. and Sermones 4. Dei 17.” Studia Ephemeridis Augustinianum 38 (Rome: Institutum Patristicum Augustinianum. “Sacramentum. the Eucharist is the radically intimate communication between God and human beings.34–35. In civ. 10. is an important work for our understanding of Augustine’s views on the ecclesiastical sacraments.31 The sacraments reopen paths toward sanctification. offering forgiveness of sins and the hope of resurrection to eternal life.

Dei XIV. Without the Eucharist. 35 Augustine treats the Latin words caritas. 1996). Jackson. which is love of anything other than God for its own sake. at worst it is idolatrous. and it is also to be understood as a complex figura with simultaneous significations. Jacob’s stone in Genesis (28. Augustine presents his theory of signs as a theory of the acquisition and conveyance of knowledge through language. Augustine’s De Doctrina Christiana.35 Scripture teaches nothing other than caritas and condemns nothing other than cupiditas. devoid of meaning. D. including Beth’el (an “abode of God”). According to Augustine’s theory. The divine pedagogy of scripture. they signify something beyond (other than) the literal meaning. literally. the City of God on earth. signs are figurative. as Augustine concedes. Ex. the Plotinian religion of the cosmos is ultimately. Markus (New York: Doubleday. 426–27) and De magistro (398). includes two kinds of word-signs: first. H. which receives its most sustained and formal treatments in De doctrina Christiana (396. since signification refers to itself as a literal reality. as his dream teaches. 23. Harvard UP. and at best. “St. more thorough scholarly treatments of Augustine’s theory of signs. therefore. that is. it is presented as a theory of language applied to scripture. 1996). it is the religious mystery through which human beings must perceive all visible reality. My discussion here is meant to provide fundamental tenets of the theory that are necessary for my larger discussion of sacramentum and Ecclesia. It is to be understood literally as a detail in Genesis.” In the second category. for Augustine. Solomon’s Temple.32 For this reason. Christian Faith and Greek Philosophy. Sin is a perversion of caritas. or “cosmic religion” of the pagans.24. Jacob’s stone has multiple significations. a stone on the ground where he lays his head. Augustine explains. but figuratively. ed. A. Armstrong and R.12.” Augustine turns to his Latin translation of the New Testament for his authority on this treatment of the terms. be readily apparent. 1972). R. indeed. Brian Stock. Augustine the Reader (Cambridge: Belknap.. amor.Medieval Allegory and the Building of the New Jerusalem providing avenues of blessedness. The figurative meaning (or meanings) may not. For a discussion on the early Christian opposition to the sacramental cosmology.10–19) is signified literally by the Hebrew word for “stone. and the visio pacis. it must be corrected or else rejected. or Heavenly Jerusalem. Markus. In doing so. Specifically. In civ. Among the many. since 32 Conf. 1964). Jacob himself marks the place as a sacred sign when he anoints the stone with oil. 56 . Sacramental signs (signa) are a sub-category within Augustine’s theory of signs. 33 A full critique of Augustine’s theory of signs is beyond the scope of this study.27.7 he rejects the idea “that dilectio is to be taken in a good sense and amor in a bad.34 The essential interpretive principle in the divine pedagogy of scriptural signa is caritas: love of God and neighbor. Hence. see A. “The Theory of Signs in St. 92–147. he formally identifies the place as a location for communication between God and his people. I Kings 8. and dilectio as synonyms. VII. Knowledge through Signs: Ancient Semiotic Theories and Practices (Turnhout: Brepols. ch. Ecclesia.” in Augustine: A Collection of Critical Essays.” and B. 61–91.33 In these works. It is. The greatest sacrament is the Eucharist. ed. A. 34 Cf. the literal signs whose meaning is clear. Markus. esp. especially useful are Giovanni Manetti. 4 (New York: Sheed and Ward. Augustine on Signs. it is a stairway to Heaven.

and all readings must be worthy of God’s love for human beings. Augustine understood the ecclesiastical sacraments as powerful signa of sacred reality. for example. 38 For important studies of Augustine’s sacramental theology. to any feature of God’s creation that. like Jacob’s stone. Studer. Markus. is the way of our affections motivated by caritas. The Eucharist. To sign properly is to be motivated by caritas. Since the sacramental process is inherently reciprocal. Its sacral status depends upon its communicative function as a sign of a sacred reality beyond itself. it is a miracle of the Word’s actual presence. “Sacramentum et mysterium dans l’oeuvre de Saint Augustin. Indeed. One must also be aware of the inverse abuse of signs: one must not mistake a sacred sign for a mere thing. with Plotinian-like inclusiveness. not only to scriptural interpretation. see C. is not to be deified as a thing (res) sacred in and of itself. Rondet et al. 57 . an opportunity for moral choices.39 Sacraments are 36 De doctrina Christiana III. may be understood as one understands the Hebrew term pasch. evidence of a lack of precision in his thought or of sympathy with a pantheistic religion of creation. to understand that a mere thing (res).Augustine’s City of God sinners substitute their own objects of love for love of God. (Paris: Aubier. suggests. is unique: it is not merely a sign that hints at. Augustine often refers to sacraments as visible words (verba visibilia).”37 Augustine’s broad application of the term is not.9. however. as the greatest of the sacramental signa. Courtier. 12. The sacrament of the altar. 37 Kotila. an opportunity to engage in acts of love. but also to liturgical rites and gestures. to miracles and theological mysteries. however. The perverse deification of the res on the one hand and the demystification of the sacred sign on the other. ed. meaning “passage” from bondage to freedom. “Sacramentum et exemplum chez Saint Augustin. from death to life. he applies the term “to all things” that have “some spiritual meaning” and that are “externally visible. but more importantly. scholars have observed his “very indefinite” use of the word sacramentum. of a carnal engagement with God’s means of communication.38 Sacramental signa assist in the recovery from the fall into cupiditas. are both examples. The freedom with which he uses the term certainly demonstrates his special affinity for Plotinus’ philosophical mysticism. if perceived properly. B. 118. H. it is Augustine’s faith in the Church as the eucharistic community that allows him to exercise that freedom. 1972. according to Augustine.” Études Augustiniennes.36 Interpretation of scripture is. Although Augustine formally presents his theory of signs as a theory of language applied to scripture. such as the Trinity and the resurrection of Christ – indeed. It is the sacrament that allows Augustine to apply his theory of signs. to God’s creation as a whole.5. 39 Ex. we see that he applies it as well. therefore. or points to a reality beyond itself. in an analogous way. 1953).” RechAug 10 (1975): 87–141. C.

especially as it relates to scriptural interpretation.Medieval Allegory and the Building of the New Jerusalem vehicles for communication with God. or it speaks through a mutable creature: either to our spirit by spiritual images. or to our corporeal sense by corporeal voices” (civ. Prayer is at once a human assertion of faith – often through linguistic formulations – and a receptivity to the Word. God uses signs to communicate with human beings. to further our sacramental journeys. Augustine insists. we must learn to read the words of scripture properly as a sacramental activity. Mark. Prayer. 26. 19. as well. In one of the most 40 The synoptic Gospels (Matthew.7–8). Both meals are. therefore. Since God gave us scripture to reflect upon and taught us to pray through Christ. Jesus spoke “in words of human speech.36 and I Cor. as a living temple of God. whose purpose is to elevate the human soul.15. commemorated in the eucharistic liturgy. Liturgical prayer is an especially appropriate way of acknowledging both God’s gift of creating humankind in His likeness – the now tarnished gift of Genesis – and the gift of restoration through Christ. therefore. which is the sacrificial love of Christ. Mk. cf. but in His own nature He speaks not in a bodily but in a spiritual way. to be anointed. there is mere nakedness of body and stagnation of soul. 22.7.40 Oratio et laus: Prayer and Liturgy as Sacramental Actions Augustine’s theory of signs. Lk. an edification of the soul. 41 civ. Without the sacrificial love that joins Christ with the Church. 14. where the death of Jesus is described as the Passover sacrifice. giving to each its brief moment of passing time. like Jacob’s stone. so that the faithful themselves may be restored as temples of God.”41 Scripture is a unique textual fulfillment of the Word. given of Himself through the human voice in Christ. therefore. “For the immutable Truth either speaks by itself. 58 . They are invitations to participate in the redemptive sacrifice. sacramental signs are occasions of divine eloquence. nonetheless. that although it is impossible for human beings to articulate anything truly worthy of God – since God is beyond any merely human predication – God has. Liturgy is a service of the faithful offered to the Master Builder. we are to understand that God gave us language so that we may experience the joy of praising Him (laus) and be comforted in our prayers of petition (oratio). teaches how words may serve as signa of holy realities. Liturgical worship is a public act of sacred recognition and. and Luke) present the Last Supper as a Passover meal (Mt.6). to the minds of rational creatures. is also a sacramental activity that gives special emphasis to an articulated love in all communication between God and human beings.12. syllable by syllable. See Jn. Successful communication with God through prayer or through reflection upon the inspired Word in scripture depends upon this mutual love. 5.17. ineffably. Dei XVI. Augustine argues. This is how Augustine understands Christ’s own words that he spoke on earth and which scripture records. Dei X. And so.

. It is a willingness to reciprocate. The pilgrim’s journey is formally recognized and celebrated in the sacred drama. 59 . Ibid. (De civitate Dei X. “when we devote and render to Him ourselves and His gifts in us. is taught to offer herself through Him.3. The liturgical organization of the life of the Church supported Augustine’s commitment to tradition and his faith in the Church as an authority of revealed truth. 10. Dei X. Augustine describes this service in architectural terms: To Him. to return. and He is the goal of all our desires. X. and resurrection of Christ. For we are His temple. of the Mass.” and “the sacrifice which is offered.” Christ is at once the mediator. is more than a belief. civ. . we owe the service which in Greek is called latreia. being the body of which He is the Head. Dei X. ungrateful forgetfulness should steal upon us. Heb. For he is the fount of our blessedness. and are consecrated in His name.”43 The Church. as Augustine conceived it. it is a pilgrimage to the City of God.” It is a dramatization in a public setting of the Plotinian journey of the soul. of carrying out in visible form Christ’s saving grace.” But liturgy is more than a reminder of God’s gifts.3) The worshipers become “His altar” when their hearts are lifted “up to Him. is called in service to present scriptural signs in ways that are nourishing to that community. kindled by the fire of love. “we consecrate to Him the memory of His benefits.” Augustine writes. Dei X. lest. whether this be expressed through certain sacraments or performed within our own selves. 42 43 44 45 civ. the celebration and commemoration of the life. “By solemn feasts on appointed days. death. as time rolls by. One of the most important ways the Church carries out this service is through its great formulation of liturgies. Augustine writes. with the profound difference that Christ is the mystical priest that makes that journey possible. therefore. civ. imitate Christ in their offering “upon the altar of [their] hearts.” What they offer is “the sacrifice of humility and praise.20. or sacramental mystery. so that we may cling to Him .”45 Christianity. to be part of a community that publicly asserts a desire to participate fully in God’s love. each of us and every one of us together. . Liturgy is a communal sacramental activity that invites worshipers to “see Him. . since He deigns to dwell both in the whole harmonious body and in each of us singly. with its central role in administering the ecclesiastical sacraments to the eucharistic community.”44 Worshipers.3. insofar as He can be seen .11ff. Indeed.”42 The love that joins Christ with His Church is symbolized visually in the liturgical burning of incense.20. Christ “intended that there should be a daily sign [of his offering] in the sacrament of the Church’s sacrifice. For the Church. “the priest who offers.Augustine’s City of God extended discussions of liturgical worship in De civitate Dei.

The liturgy of the Mass is a formalized expression of the sacramental – and therefore sacrificial – experience of human life lived in and through Christ: “This is the sacrifice of Christians: we. the monastic community of St. instead. X. verses 5–6. he rejected millenarist ideas that identified the collapse of Rome as an apocalyptic sign. eschatological landscapes. in expectation of completion in God at the end of time.Medieval Allegory and the Building of the New Jerusalem In his writings. Seigneur!” (As my prayer rises like incense before You. to conclude this examination of Augustine’s transformation of pagan Platonism in the service of the Christian faith. What is most important./ let the elevation of [my] hands be an evening sacrifice. the Church affirms its role as the conveyor of that expectation and hope. only to be hoped for in its completion at the Last Judgment. Dei V. “the most excellent empire. First.47 Chapter Three of this book will look more closely at how medieval liturgy defines the church buildings as eschatological landscapes and how they are understood as sacramental signa in the Augustinian sense.-Gervais–St. Augustine provides no systematic discussion of liturgy. dispersed throughout his works./ l’élevation de [mes] mains soit un sacrifice du soir.-Protais in Paris: “Que ma prière s’élève comme l’encense devant Toi.48 One does not gain knowledge of this event by interpreting historical events as if they were apocalyptic signa. typically church buildings. a pilgrimage not to be completed in this world.”46 The sanctification of the eucharistic community is. Hear me./ Exauce-moi. Psaumes: Hymns et Cantiques de Jérusalem (Paris: Fratérnités de Jérusalem. for Augustine. but to be understood as figura that rise. 60 .15. Ecclesia et Hierusalem: Allegories of Church and City Augustine wrote De civitate Dei in response to pagan adversaries of Christianity who blamed the new religion for the collapse of Rome in 410. The liturgical settings themselves. In the daily celebration of the eucharistic liturgy. a process. is the extent to which his views on liturgical worship are fully integrated into his concept of human life itself as a sacred drama. we turn to his apocalyptic eschatology as he presents it in his great theme of the two cities. is not a signum of the City of God. however. since the ultimate aim of perception through signs is union with God (facies ad faciem). Secondly. like the liturgical burning of incense. 316. not to be equated with the New Jerusalem.” Augustine argued. Lord). Liturgical subjects are. being many. he presented the Christian faith as the true philosophy. The end will remain a mystery 46 Ibid. Sacramental signs are fundamentally eschatological. 1993).6 47 This point is beautifully expressed in the Lucernaire sung at vespers by the Fratérnités de Jérusalem. Rome. But first. therefore. 48 civ. and so its collapse contributes nothing to our knowledge of the Eschaton. are. whose religious aims are not in conflict with respectable political aims of any earthly state. are one body in Christ. Augustine responded to the crisis with two major arguments.

Welkhuysen. It is the Church that is the sacramental sign of the New Jerusalem.35.2. not Rome or any other secular body politic. but a 49 On Augustine’s rejection of imperial eschatology. Daniélou. W. The Church cannot guarantee salvation. see for example. XIII. Orosius.50 Rome has no significance in salvation history.” Vigiliae Christianae 45 (1991): 151–83. wholly on the unknowable future – at least not directly. To see in the fall of Rome the immanent event of the New Jerusalem coming down from the heavens. rather.” is to be blind to the great signum that God has given in his love for humankind: the Church. therefore. his most ambitious theological work.49. Dei I. “La typologie millénariste de la semaine dans la christianisme primitif. and what it signifies. how it serves. 50 For specific identification of the Church with the City of God. 1986). It is important to remember. Markus 1970/1979. but it offers preparation and hope in the expectation of the Last Judgment. it is Ecclesia that journeys forward in pilgrimage until the completion of history at the end of time. XV. Pelikan.9).34–41). 51 Ibid. see B. Verbeke. and other proponents of the “imperial theology. A. The Church has a special role to play for the Christian pilgrim.16. “Apocalypse and Redemption: From John of Patmos to Augustine of Hippo. 1991). Verhelst.18. Just as Augustine’s Ecclesia replaces even the best of the Greco-Roman pagan philosophies. Its members are incomplete.” Vigiliae Christianae 2 (1948): 1–16. since a mere res (Rome) is mistaken as a sacramental signum. Here Augustine expresses his eschatology in specifically apocalyptic terms. XVIII. The Mystery of Continuity: Time and History. XX. Daley. J. 1988). J. as did Eusebius. however.24. The Use and Abuse of Eschatology in the Middle Ages. that Augustine’s Church on earth neither guarantees eternal membership in the Celestial City nor is it fully representative of God’s chosen on earth. begotten of faith in the resurrection of Christ. and XVI.1. civ.49 This misinterpretation of a historical event is nothing less than a perversion of caritas. The Hope of the Early Church: A Handbook of Patristic Eschatology (Cambridge: Cambridge UP. but matters of Divine election and damnation are ultimately beyond human understanding (civ. As the mystical body of Christ.Augustine’s City of God until Christ comes down from heaven to judge the living and the dead (Matthew 20. Augustine did not reject millenarist interpretations of Rome’s collapse in order to turn readers’ attention away from the recent historical catastrophe and to have them focus. Meaning and Eternity in the Thought of Saint Augustine (Charlottesville: U Press of Virginia. Paula Fredriksen. his most ambitious pastoral project.”51 Augustine’s De civitate Dei. Mediaevalia Lovaniensia 15 (Leuven: Leuven UP. the Church serves its faithful by offering channels for salvation. XI. he emphasized instead the role of the Church as a sacramental sign. always on pilgrimage: “the Church is not a congregation of the holy here and now. is also. it also replaces the “most excellent” of earthly empires. His aim is to identify what the Church is here and now: who its members are. instead. In rejecting an apocalyptic view of Rome’s collapse. 61 . as the eucharistic community made up of human beings who remain incomplete in their spiritual journeys: “it is in hope that the City of God lives while it is a pilgrim here. Dei VIII. D.

in their lust for power and selfsufficiency (libido dominandi) live in bondage. The one lifts up its head in its own glory. Dei XIX. or of two Churches within one Church.3. the other says to its God. As a pastoral work. It is where the members of the community hope to become worthy of citizenship in the Celestial City. Augustine presents his moral theology as an inseparable feature of his teachings on the Church. Augustine quotes Psalm 3. may be applied to the place. Dei XIV. the Church exists in the same precarious present as the human soul: it is a mixture of otherworldly yearning (caritas) and carnal misdirection (cupiditas). Its antithesis. uncreated. 62 . Augustine calls Babylon. (civ. the earthly by love of self extending even to contempt of God. . or building. . and the heavenly by love of God extending even to contempt of self . He identifies these competing directions as the opposing activities of two societies or cities. meaning “vision of peace” (De Genesi adversus Manicheos II.28)53 Augustine refers to the city that lives for God as Jerusalem (Ierusalem or Hierusalem). have been created by two loves: that is. The activity itself – as Augustine defines all activity. is fully informed by his apocalyptic eschatology. where they may shape themselves as temples of God. the other makes shadows where there should be light.Medieval Allegory and the Building of the New Jerusalem corpus permixtum. one city perceives the visible world as a screen of divine beauty. 52 53 54 55 De doctrina Christiana I. and the place. Civitas refers to the society itself. civ. then. 7. In Augustinian terms. citizens of Babylon. the other (ab)uses creation as a good in itself. civ. civ. or Ecclesia. whose individual members share in common the object of their devotion. The term civitas is not. In Plotinian terms.55 The term civitas. Augustine translates “Jerusalem” from the Hebrew. and the lifter up of mine head. may be understood as a signum of the eucharistic community. The holiness of the Church is due to its essential relationship to the heavenly city. Dei XIV. a community. one enjoys the goodness of creation as a sacramental sign through which one experiences the true. . A church building is a setting in which the community gathers to reaffirm and manifest its beliefs through worship. Kotila.24. then. a matter of hope rather than of possession. fundamentally pastoral. Dei XV. As a corpus permixtum. 127. the city that lives for self. in turn. It designates a group of people. and immutable goodness that is God alone. where the community gathers. human and divine – is love: Two cities . a designation for a defined or isolated group of edifices built for the various needs of a society. Citizens of Jerusalem look forward in hope and humility for eternal freedom with God.13).”52 Augustine’s theology of Church. for Augustine. and it is.1. 9. as well. cf. “Thou art my glory. .10.54 Augustine’s civitas engages in a common pilgrimage toward a common destination – the visio pacis – only to be achieved at the end of time.35.

not as being the exact likeness of the truth which is yet to come.”59 According to Augustine. “Sign. are to be understood as allegories of the two covenants.57 The ancient city is “a kind of shadow and prophetic image of” the City of God.5.8).38. see C. per allegoriam dicta) in Galatians 4:24. 121. indeed.” “free. 366–68.56 The application of the term civitas to designate a single architectural structure is adopted by Augustine. N. figura) in I Corinthians 10:6. cf. J. when he prefers figura to allegoria: “figura .Augustine’s City of God The terms and their applications are interchangeable. to distinguish them from one another or from other related terms such as “similitudo. indicates to us how we are to understand the Scriptures of the two covenants. because they all participate in the common bond of caritas: the bond of sign and reality is so close that the signifying thing takes the name of the thing signified.” Allegoria emphasizes “the relationship between biblical words and their spiritual referents. 1944). Ages.18–19. L’Église céleste selon Saint Augustin (Paris: Études augustiniennes. Conf. 8.8. and typikôs (Lat. 124. . 59 civ.2. quoted from Michael Cameron. whose reward is God Himself. Enarrationes in Psalmos 119. God’s covenant to Israel is “without doubt .37 and 25.” Augustine through the 57 For important studies on Augustine’s treatment of Jerusalem in De civitate Dei.”60 56 Quaestiones Evangeliorum 573. in his figurative interpretation of Solomon’s Temple. “Jerusalem” is. (XV. De Genesi ad litteram imperfectus liber 2. Brill. J. typos (Lat.21ff. umbra. . figura) in I Corinthians 10:11 (De utilitate credendi 3. and the new one. and that which contains [houses] is named by that which is contained. mysteria. as we shall see. and imago. Christianity and Classical Culture: A Study of Thought and Action from Augustus to Augustine (New York: Oxford UP. Augustine’s division of the human race into two “orders” or cities is based upon his figurative understanding of Jerusalem. cf. David Dawson. 795. for example.” Augustine demonstrates great flexibility in his use of these terms. Dei XV. Augustine “appeals to Pauline precedent: allêgoroumena (Lat.” and the Sources of His Doctrine of the Two Cities (Leiden and New York: E. The Jerusalem of the Hebrew Bible is “also called the Holy City. however. a prophecy concerning Jerusalem on high. preserves the significance of a historical reality. Émilien Lamirande. which comes down to us by the authority of the apostle.” Augustine through the Ages.2) Abraham’s two sons. 58 civ.” See. . Allegory. the old one “from Mount Sinai” that “answereth” to the historical Jerusalem. In his exegetical use of the terms allegoria and figura. 4. the controlling signum for his theology of the two cities. Gal. See also Dawson’s extended bibliography on this subject. the biblical city. but by reason of its pointing towards that other City. In Johannis evangelium tractatus 11. . Cain and Seth. 63 . 24. 1963). van Oort. Cochrane.” There are instances.” but “omits the intermediate category of physical or historical reality. not taking care. Dei XV.”58 Augustine cites Paul as his teacher in the craft and transformative spirituality of allegorical interpretation: [t]his mode of interpretation. sacramentum. the Old and the New. which is Jerusalem “above.” and mother of us all. Heb. 1991). “Figure. in a consistent way. 60 Cf. Jerusalem and Babylon: A Study into Augustine’s “City of God.8–10.

20. then. Noah’s Ark.61 is. 89 and Six. and spiritual growth must also be accompanied by suffering and labor.”66 But 61 civ. 6. For. 199. Dei XV. by extension.63 As a good Plotinian.62 Is it possible for Augustine’s City of God to exist on earth? If Plato’s ideal republic had been Augustine’s model. as an architectural symbol of the historical Jerusalem – as a city within a city – serves “to point toward the Heavenly City” and so serves. holds and professes the belief that Christ will come down from heaven to judge the living and the dead. 48.” a presence that is to be taken seriously as prophecy and as an invitation for higher vision. But this was not only an event in the history of earthly Jerusalem: it was also a sign of the heavenly Jerusalem. Fortin makes this point in his article.2. as on the threshing floor.” Augustine through the Ages. 16. they are eschatological landscapes: “the glory of this house does not yet appear as fully as it will in time to come. when everyone who is there will be there forever. De. as a house of God that is “a part” of the earthly city.3) Augustine’s elaboration upon the Pauline allegory completes the theological foundation for the architecture of revelation in medieval poetry. XVIII. on the one hand. not in perfect form. then the answer would be no.2. since Plato’s city exists only in thought and in speech. The church buildings themselves are houses of God where “the broadness of the nations dwell.34–41. of course. “Civitate Dei. and Jacob’s dream are all 63 64 65 66 signa at work in Augustine’s allegory of Jerusalem (civ. 84–6. civ. XVI. This is what we call the last day. Ibid. 62 Ibid. Dei XVI. XV. our vision of God is obscured. The Temple itself.2. 64 . (XVII. Earnst L. the desert Tabernacle. 4. as an archetype for the medieval projects. 170.”65 The medieval façades of France’s great churches illustrate Augustine’s emphasis on the Eschaton: “the whole Church of the true God.” Hence. 169. and hence living temples of God. The Ark of the Covenant. to be understood as a figura of the New Jerusalem: But when Jerusalem is called City of God and it is said that the House of God is to be built there. The earthly image “displays its own presence.26. Augustine’s answer must be an emphatic yes: Augustine sees this world as a dramatic opportunity for spiritual growth.1. as well. and stone. 11. Ibid.38).”64 and so they are “full of those who will be separated by winnowing. 18 and in Chapters Three. as a profound invitation for human beings to become living sacraments. Dei XV. XX. 168. prayer. however. The earthly extension of the heavenly realm is.Medieval Allegory and the Building of the New Jerusalem This affirmation of prophecy leads Augustine to identify Solomon’s Temple as an architectural fulfillment of God’s promise to the Hebrews. Matt. this prophecy is seen to have been fulfilled when King Solomon built his most noble temple there. the day of divine judgment. a twofold reference is intended. See my discussions of these biblical images as models of the New Jerusalem in the Introduction. Solomon’s Temple.

65 . As figura of pilgrimage. and as the gathering places of the eucharistic community. xviii.” all of human history “is concerned with one work only: the building and perfecting of this City of God. trans.”67 67 “Introduction.” Saint Augustine: The City of God. that. as settings for liturgy.Augustine’s City of God heaven begins on earth. 2000). expressed eloquently by Thomas Merton. “since the ascension of Jesus in heaven. Marcus Dods (New York: Random House. the medieval edifices may be understood as visual affirmations of Augustine’s belief.

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Part II Liturgy and Architecture .

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prayer and stone in the medieval west. (De civitate Dei XVIII. Augustine drew upon the pagan Platonists of late antiquity. an apocalyptic vision of the end of time. death. Merton. Thus. As a transitional figure. Augustine did not find in the pagan Platonists a formal theory of the relationship between religious philosophy and historical events. 69 . because the rock of which he spoke certainly symbolised Christ. to formulate a theology that makes the birth. the glory of this house. developed above all from the inspired pages of St. the new covenant. In response. as well. the religious philosophy of Plotinus had evolved. . and resurrection of Christ the means by which the cosmos is sanctified. the apostle says. having read and transformed Plotinus’ metaphysical system. 10. The importance in Christianity of the historical event of Christ separates the Christian from the Hellenic philosophic tradition.4. a communal finality when all salvation history will be 1 2 A Augustine cites I Cor. is greater than the glory of the former house. and it will appear even greater when it is dedicated. Augustine. by the early Middle Ages.Liturgy and Apocalyptic Eschatology 3 Liturgy at St. into a Christian-Platonism that embraced the conception of a spiritually dynamic cosmos based upon a theology of light.48)1 Abbot Suger and the Dionysian Tradition: An Overview UGUSTINE is the bridge between Plotinus’ metaphysics and a properly tChristian foundation for the architecture of revelation in poetry. xv. “That Rock was Christ”.-Denis and the Apocalyptic Eschatology of High Gothic For instance. John’s Apocalypse. the old covenant.”2 Through Augustine. Paul’s epistles and St. especially Plotinus’ sacramental philosophy of the cosmos. but the Christian concept of history includes. God entered history. . Augustine provided what Thomas Merton has called a “monumental theology of history . with the incarnation. secured the acceptance of Christian-Platonism by the Latin Church. built on revelation.

The famous verses that Suger had inscribed on the bronze doors at the church’s central west portals identified Christ as the “true door” to the “True Light”: Bright is the noble work. The Royal Abbey of Saint-Denis in the Time of Abbot Suger (1122–1151).” the “circular string of chapels. and completed by Pamela Z. ed. see Panofsky. The great Gothic churches of the Middle Ages are. Plotinus never emphasizes a particular building or locus as an appropriate setting for communicating with the divine realm. it is also an anagogical program giving expression to the possibility of progression for the faithful to a state of sanctity. (New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art. in seeing this light. But the church is not merely a passive theology. perhaps. and cosmos had evolved and were fused with the Christian concepts of history and Church.Medieval Allegory and the Building of the New Jerusalem revealed and fulfilled through Christ. exhibition catalog. Trans. and the writings of Abbot Suger (c. just outside of Paris. 1987).-Denis. Abbot Suger. This concept of history has no place in the mysticism of Plotinus. an earthly representation of the New Jerusalem. Blum (New Haven: Yale. is resurrected from its former submission. by virtue of which the whole [church] would shine with the wonderful and unin- 3 4 On Suger’s twelfth-century building campaign at St. the work Should brighten the minds. The abbey church of St. image. Panofsky. Furthermore. 70 . glass. nor do his writings include an articulated concept of Church or an insistence on a system of rites or sacraments. in so far as it was possible. The Royal Abbey of Saint-Denis from its Beginnings to the Death of Suger. use of light and liturgies – functioned together to an extraordinary degree to create. To the True Light where Christ is the true door. For a study of work completed on the abbey under Suger’s direction. 475–1151.-Denis that were carried out during Suger’s abbacy (1121–55) – and which Suger claims in his writings to have supervised – helped to inaugurate the Gothic style. so that they may travel through the true lights.-Denis (now a cathedral). but. continue to hold a central place in our understanding of the development of Gothic architecture. 46–49. What distinguishes these edifices from other forms of medieval sacred art is that all their components – architectural design. The twelfth-century rebuilding of the Royal Abbey of St. In what manner it be inherent in this world the golden door defines: The dull mind rises to truth through that which is material And. edited by Sumner McKnight Crosby et al.-Denis has been described as a work of theology expressed in material things: stone. a description. being nobly bright. jewels. and precious metals. 1081– 1155) which record that building campaign. iconographic programs. or a creed. see Sumner McKnight Crosby. the most conspicuous examples of how Platonic concepts of light. 1981).4 The architectural innovation that best describes this aesthetic of radiance is “that elegant and praiseworthy extension.3 The architectural innovations at St.

1990). ed. “Negati Affirmatio or the World as Metaphor. Light from the eastern sky passed through the colored windows and penetrated the church’s interior. 1986). Panofsky. trans. 1990–91). ed.-Denis remains an important focus for scholars interested in possible relations between Platonic traditions and the innovations of Gothic architecture. D. 101.Liturgy and Apocalyptic Eschatology terrupted light of most luminous windows. 73–74. in his architectural and decorative planning of the church. . 1–37. The Royal Abbey of Saint-Denis from its Beginnings. 1995).” Conrad continues. 62–64. Otto von Simson discusses Suger’s relationship with the French Crown and how his mingling of the theological drama with the political found expression in the church’s artistry: “Gothic . however. esp. is so closely tied to the destinies of the Capetian monarchy .” 41–56. McGinn. Patristische Texte und Studien. “Suger. my work supports Bernard McGinn’s emphasis on the strong Augustinian background of the celebrated “Dionysians” of the twelfth century. is on the medieval liturgy at St. 140). Bernard McGinn’s essay. Abbot Suger’s Program and the Early Twelfth-Century Controversy Over Art (Princeton: Princeton UP. Gothic Cathedral. “It seems that it was largely the pressure of opposition Suger faced [from 71 . . As is well known. which I do not discuss here. St. “From Admirable Tabernacle. Crosby.” in Abbot Suger and Saint-Denis. Classics of Western Spirituality (New York: Paulist Press. falling upon the abundance of jewels used to adorn the liturgical fixtures and panels of the main altar.6 As a result. 117–18.-Denis and on Suger’s familiarity with that liturgy. “From Admirable Tabernacle to the House of God: Some Theological Reflections on Medieval Architectural Integration. 1984). 1989). Biblical and Liturgical Symbols Within the Pseudo-Dionysian Synthesis (Toronto and Ontario: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies. that we must assume that Gothic was considered the expression of the ideas with which the crown wished to be associated” (The Gothic Cathedral 64. For discussions of the Dionysian influence expressed in Suger’s writings (especially through John Scotus Eriugena or Hugh of St. 108–11. Corpus Dionysiacum.8 My particular focus. as we shall see. Moran. and Peter Draper (Toronto. see also 62. Conrad Rudolph. 500) had been a treasured possession of the abbey since the ninth century. notes. 1987). see Werner Beierwaltes. See also the collection of essays in Artistic Integration in Gothic Buildings. Indeed. have also been the subject of much scholarship.”5 Suger removed the walls that obstructed light filtering through the colored glass. Artistic Change at St. mimicking the intended spiritual transformation of the observer. Ritter. although.” 47–8. Pseudo-Dionysius: The Complete Works. Otto von Simson.9 5 6 7 8 9 Trans. and translation collaboration by Paul Rorem. was consciously (and responsibly) motivated by some formal representation of Christian-Platonism. Suger’s political motivations. Virginia Chieffo Raguin. pervading the interior beauty. . a formidable body of scholarship exists that investigates the question of whether Abbot Suger. vols 33 and 36 (Berlin and New York: Walter de Gruyter. A Foundation for Medieval Aesthetics from the Writings of John Scotus Eriugena.” Dionysius 1 (1977): 127–59. Panofsky. 33–40. ed. Gunter Heil. visible energy and movement. Conrad Rudolph has argued that Suger’s primary goal was to “maintain claims of contemporaneity amid the controversy over monastic life. Kathryn Brush. . and the Pseudo-Dionysian Tradition. and A. The Philosophy of John Scottus Eriugena: A Study of Idealism in the Middle Ages (Cambridge. The colored reflections within the building must have given the impression of a pervasive. Paula Lieber Gerson (New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art. forward. the mystical writings of Pseudo-Dionysius (c. Theology. Abbot Suger.-Victor). Beate Suchla. Buffalo and London: U of Toronto P. 144–46.7 My contribution to this question differs from studies that have sought to identify or refute a specific Dionysian influence in Suger’s writings. Paul Rorem. 2 vols. Grover Zinn. Colm Luibheid. M.-Denis. Cambridge UP.

I supplement this focus by examining twelfth-century commentaries by Bernard of Clairvaux and Hugh of St. My analysis here is a more ambitious study and one I apply to a particular edifice. so that when Suger became abbot of St. See also Lindy Grant.-Victor on church dedication liturgies. In addition. 1998). the Areopagite who was converted to Christianity by Saint Paul (Acts 17. the mystical writings of PseudoDionysius were the most influential early Christian adaptations of Platonic thought. dont 10 11 12 13 14 Bernard of Clairvaux] .Medieval Allegory and the Building of the New Jerusalem Specifically.13 As Anne Walters Robertson has shown. 235–48. as Panofsky described it. Bibliothèque Nationale. This confusion of identities persisted well into the Middle Ages.-Denis on 8 October 827. The medieval liturgy for the dedication of a church has been mentioned in studies on church symbolism. that Denis the martyr was both the author of the mystical treatises and a disciple of Saint Paul. .34). Grec. when examined together with associated commentaries. “no less than were the ‘Oriflame’ and the relics of the Holy Martyrs.-Denis. The Dionysian formulation of the presence and unveiling in this world of God’s absolute light has been eloquently described by historian Georges Duby as “contient la clé de l’art nouveau.”11 In the year 827 the Byzantine emperor presented Louis the Pious with a codex containing Pseudo-Dionysius’ works. The Dionysian corpus was. de l’art de France. the medieval liturgy at St. 4. The Royal Abbey of Saint-Denis from its Beginnings. My purpose is to demonstrate how the liturgy for the feast of St.-Denis attests to the central role of this legendary Denis in the daily life of the abbey throughout the Middle Ages.14 Apart from the works of Augustine. he believed. 46–9.-Denis’ dedication. 74–75). Between 835 and 840 Abbot Hilduin translated these texts into Latin.-Denis in 1122 and began rebuilding the church. rather than Pseudo-Dionysian light mysticism – that provided the major stimulus toward the meaning and means of Suger’s program” (33. and Laurence Hull Stookey offers a general examination of the liturgical and theological sources for the concept of the church as the Heavenly Jerusalem: “The Gothic Cathedral as the Heavenly Jerusalem: Liturgical and Theological Sources. This codex is now Paris. 437. Abbot Suger of St-Denis: Church and State in Early Twelfth-Century France (London and New York: Longman. 18. Panofsky.-Denis as a literary art informed by Christian-Platonism and put to use as a drama of revelation. the author of the mystical writings had been identified incorrectly with the biblical Dionysius. Service Books.10 The tradition of scholarship that argues for specific connections between medieval Christian-Platonism and great church architecture has long recognized the importance of Pseudo-Dionysius’ mystical writings. incorrectly identifying Pseudo-Dionysius with Saint Denis. . a revered possession of the Abbey. I treat the liturgy for the feast of the dedication of St. provides an especially rich and important body of evidence for the eschatological and apocalyptic symbolism of the medieval edifices. 72 .12 The book was transferred to the Abbey of St.” Gesta 8 (1969): 35–41. the eve of the feast of Saint Denis. Crosby. especially their possible influence upon Abbot Suger and the twelfth-century rebuilding of St. along with most of his contemporaries.

19 “From Admirable Tabernacle to the House of God. The Complete Works.”19 15 L’Europe des cathédrales 1140–1280. 73 . 1993). 1173) informed the thought of Suger and the symbolic programs of his new church. 239. “can be best described as “Augustinianized. an occasion to experience the immaterial. Jr. He argues further that there has been “an over concentration on the Dionysian aesthetic tradition” in studies of Gothic architecture. Suger and the twelfth-century theologians. 1978). and Jean Gerson all “singled [this treatise] out for special attention. The reception of the most divine Eucharist is a symbol of participation in Jesus. McGinn argues. Grover Zinn.”16 In an early chapter of this treatise. (121D. Pseudo-Dionysius presents a Platonic conception of the sensible world that has been adapted for biblical interpretation and Christian worship. vol. Pseudo-Dionysius presents his understanding of how the sensible world is to be interpreted as an anagogical symbol: Material lights are images of the outpouring of an immaterial gift of light. 16 Pseudo-Dionysius. He revealed all this to us in the sacred pictures of the scriptures so that he might lift us in spirit up through the perceptible to the conceptual. 78–9.18 Bernard McGinn has called Hugh of St. . From Iamblichus to Eriugena: An Investigation of the Prehistory and Evolution of the Pseudo-Dionysian Tradition (Leiden: Brill. from sacred shapes and symbols to the simple peaks of the hierarchies of heaven.-Denis.Liturgy and Apocalyptic Eschatology l’abbataile de Suger institue le modèle exemplaire. John Sarracenus. emphasizes how the twelfth-century Victorines. 124A)17 In this blending of light metaphysics with scriptural allegory and sacramental theology. Suger of St. and the Pseudo-Dionysian Tradition. “Suger. A Commentary on the Texts and an Introduction to Their Influence (Oxford: Oxford UP. 1966).” (239).. cf. 17 Pseudo-Dionysius. especially Hugh (1096– 1141) and Richard (d. Hugh of Saint-Victor. were “steeped in Augustine’s thought.” and the “Dionysianism” that characterizes the ideas of Hugh of St. See also Stephen Gersh’s important study.” Nonetheless. and correctly I believe. Theology. those associated with The Celestial Hierarchy were distorted the least.-Victor and his pupil Richard. . 146–7. And so it goes for all the gifts transcendentally received by the beings of heaven. Paul Rorem also points out that John Scotus Eriugena. sacred realm.-Victor “the great Dionysian of the twelfth century. that Augustine was the most important influence upon twelfth-century Christian-Platonist thought. 18 Grover A. Order and rank here below are a sign of the harmonious ordering toward the divine realm. to use Augustine’s language – and the liturgical rites of the Church that are the most important visual manifestations of the divine realm. but it is the word-pictures of the Bible – the sacramental signa.” 47–8. gifts which are granted to us in a symbolic mode. Much scholarship has been devoted to identifying other possible Christian-Platonist influences upon Abbot Suger. Zinn. .”15 Paul Rorem makes the additional argument that “[o]f all the Dionysian themes in the Middle Ages. The sensible world is an invitation. McGinn points out. . 14. . . 2 of Le Moyen Age (Genève: Skira. for example. Robert Grosseteste.” 33–40. Art de clartés et d’irradiation processive.

Andrew W. the founder of a new kind of Neoplatonism.”20 Eriugena saw a fundamental agreement between Pseudo-Dionysius and Augustine in their understanding of how the visible world can be read as a manifestation of the divine realm. 23 The church was consecrated on 5 May 877. by emphasizing. Eriugena combined these.” “palaces. Eriugena (Oxford: Clarendon.” or “heavenly” (sidereae) “courts. . more explicitly than Dionysius ever did. In Eriugena’s main work. The God-Word willed to restore and give us back our former seats. see John J. written for the consecration of the church of St. As Edouard Jeauneau has observed. Because he viewed existence or being itself as a theophany and the world as metaphor. Mellon Lectures in Early Christian Studies.23 In it we find a concise illustration of how Eriugena interpreted the Platonic system of timeless procession and return in terms of Christian salvation history. For the Latin text of the poem and an English translation.”21 One work of Eriugena’s that is especially relevant for the specific focus of this chapter is his poem of one hundred lines entitled Aulae sidereae (starry halls). “becoming.22 It is an occasional poem. offering a model of spiritual movement that has been transformed and is made possible by the incarnation of Christ: 20 “Pseudo-Dionysius.” “glittering. 1988).. O’Meara. Eriugena formulates a symbolic aesthetic by adapting many Dionysian themes. 1983). 177–89. Verbum namque deus processit virginis alvo Lucis in augmento.” or “dwellings” (aulae). Eriugena writes. especially the concept of theophania and the Platonic framework of procession and return. with the teachings of Augustine.. 74 . typically medieval. 22 Other possible translations include “gleaming. he also could view art as anagogy. Eriugena was the first figure to synthesize the teachings of Pseudo-Dionysius and Augustine. Eriugena elaborates upon their formulations. ed. (22–23. how art objects can serve as embodiments or vehicles of divine ideas. not unlike Plotinus. 146. quam noctis vicerat umbra . Uta-Renate Blumenthal (Washington: Catholic U of America P. 80. therefore. . 21 Rorem. Pseudo-Dionysius. 30) [For the God-Word proceeded from the womb of the Virgin in an increase of the light that the darkness of night had over-come. . and Maximus the Confessor in the Works of John Scottus Eriugena.” in Carolingian Essays. the Periphyseon. Mary of Compiègne.Medieval Allegory and the Building of the New Jerusalem Others have argued that Suger was influenced by Pseudo-Dionysius through the Latin translation and commentary by John Scotus Eriugena (850–77). Gregory of Nyssa. in turn. however. This church was one of the first to be modeled on the church built by Charlemagne at Aix-la-Chapelle. Restaurare volens priscasque reducere sedes. Eriugena “could speak of God as the artist and the world as art.] Verses later in the poem draw even more explicitly on the Platonic vocabulary of procession and return. and in his subsequent commentary on Dionysius’ Celestial Hierarchy.

Alta domus pulcre centeno normate facte. Everything sparkles with precious stones and gleams with gold. Intus picturas.] M. the regular joinings of the sides. that in this poem Eriugena applies his vision of art to the church edifice. I think. Carnis et in verbum sublima bimata nosse? Ut deus aeternus factus caro lapsus ad ima. what power. Qui tibi mirifice praeclaram fabricat aedem. Pallia and hangings clothe the temple everywhere. a church constructed with variety on marble columns. Sic caro facta deus vere levis evolat alta. the capitals. the bases. the light-holders full of torches. Compages laterum similes. 180–81. Look at the bendings of the polygon and the unrolling of the arches. the embrasured windows. liturgical. and royal tribute to God: Proxima sis Karolo tutrix. and know the ascents sublime of the flesh to the Word? As God eternal become flesh. Omnia collucent gemmis auroque coruscant. quae virtus. armaria. and lofty crowns. and everywhere around porches. drinking in light through the glass. is truly born lightly up on high.24 The occasion of the consecration of a church would have been an ideal opportunity 24 “Aulae sidereae. 75 . design. Foussard has argued correctly. capitella basesque Turres. Lampadibus plenas faros altasque coronas. Inside see the pictures. the crafted roofs. See also O’Meara. and sacristies.] The last seventeen lines of Eriguena’s poem describe the church edifice in all its artistic splendor. Pallia. daedala tecta. munimen et altum. a lofty house. Aspice polygonos flexus arcusque volutos. it is simultaneously an architectural. pastaforia. ialini lulminus haustus. the towers. what created wisdom of those above can describe the descent of the Word into flesh. seeing it in all of its detailed parts – structure. Obliquas tyridas. light. and liturgy – as an image of the New Jerusalem. superum quae facta sophia In carnem poterit descensum dicere verbi. cortinae circumdant undique templum. the people going up and down around the altars. (85–97) [Charles who builds wonderfully for you a shining church. so flesh. Circum quaeque stoas. lapidum pavimenta gradusque. become God.” Cahiers archéologiques 21 (1971): 79–88. Aedes marmoreis varie constructa columnis. Sursum deorsum populos altaria circum. the paneled ceilings. beautifully made on the basis of a hundred. luriculas. the pavements and steps of stone. (67–71) [What mind. closets. laquearia.Liturgy and Apocalyptic Eschatology Quae mens. descended to the lowest. the balusters.

Medieval Allegory and the Building of the New Jerusalem for Eriugena to express such a vision of art – a vision that is both Plotinian and apocalyptic. This essential point has been largely overlooked by scholars arguing for a Dionysian influence in the development of Gothic. See Panofsky. or general lack of interest in. communal or private.5. I Cor. the symbolism of place. hay. God forbid that this love should be consumed as wood. Eriugena.25 As a scholar familiar with both the Dionysian and the Augustinian traditions of Christian-Platonism. [he] consciously or unconsciously seems to have ignored the differences in order to stress the common tradition (145). Jeauneau argues that Eriugena seems not to have noticed.”29 Maximus 25 Panofsky argued that Suger used the writings of Eriugena to derive certain words and phrases of 26 27 28 29 his own poetry. cf. however. 24. however. For the church building to function as a symbol of the New Jerusalem. Jeauneau. 52–3. Pseudo-Dionysius. 7.-Victor. This absence of an articulated apocalyptic eschatology in the Dionysian writings recalls a similar Plotinian indifference to. The absence in Dionysius is more notable than that in Plotinus. Pseudo-Dionysius places no emphasis on this particular theme in his discussions of divine symbols. Other scholars disagree. Dionysius closer to Proclus . . . In fact. “the Dionysius whom John Scottus read was a Dionysius revised and corrected by Maximus. would have sufficed: [A]s for one who loves . the entire Dionysian corpus is devoid of eschatology. Eriugena would have found proper theological justification for this kind of celebration of the material building. given the sixth-century writer’s focus on Christian formulations of liturgical and ecclesiastical symbolism. civ. Paul Rorem. except for one passage (592C).28 Jeauneau has shown that among the Greek writers Maximus exerted the most influence on Eriugena – even more so than Dionysius. silver and precious stones! For how can a man love those more than Christ.26.27 While eschatological and apocalyptic themes are lacking in PseudoDionysius’ writings. the Christian formulation must include a perception of the edifice as an eschatological and apocalyptic landscape. 147. or stubble. and Hugh of St. and not rather be deemed a building of gold. John Scotus’ admiration for Dionysius seems to have led him to read and translate 76 . . according to Christ . or had deliberately overlooked this “striking” contrast between the world views of Dionysius and Augustine.-Denis is a material translation of Plotinian aesthetics having passed through the minds of some of the most prominent and influential early Christian-Platonists: Augustine. Paul Rorem agrees. these themes are prominent in the writings of Augustine. Dei XXI. . Jeauneau writes. . is a notable exception: “The Ecclesiastical Hierarchy contained not a hint of such eschatological typology or correlation of the events of the liturgy with the future glory of heaven. Interestingly. “Augustine is closer to Plotinus and Porphyry. . whom he loves only for Christ’s sake?26 One conclusion that may be drawn from the history of scholarship on possible sources of Abbot Suger’s Christian-Platonism is that the Royal Abbey of St. 32. with Panofsky’s claim. The following passage from Augustine’s De civitate Dei. Maximus the Confessor (580–662) and Eriugena. however. for example. however. Jeauneau writes.

Robertson. as a locus where the faithful gather. ed. Maximus’ interpretive method is remarkably creative and original. Among the works of Maximus that Eriugena translated were the Ambigua ad Iohannem and the Quaestiones ad Thalassium. Libellus alter de consecratione ecclesiæ. by one or more of the Christian-Platonists who have been discussed briefly in this chapter. These interpretations all contribute to his understanding of the sacred edifice as way of passage from the material realm to the spiritual and as a preparation for the celestial feast at the end of time.-Victor in Paris are testimonies to how the study of liturgy can assist in our understanding of the interaction between theological concepts and medieval church architecture. Selected Writings (Mahwah. showing no signs of Dionysian influence. 4–6. See especially. “The Church’s Mystagogy. either directly or indirectly. prepare for.30 He ascribes a symbolic meaning to each part of the building and to the liturgical participation of the faithful.” 48. As stated above. and the human being. See Jeauneau. As Rorem observes. 1985).31 The Abbey Church of St. Ann Matter.33 the liturgy for the dedication of a church makes masterful use of these themes. Thomas J. Gothic Song. the material world. 122. Berthold. is how Abbot Suger’s familiarity with the monastic liturgy celebrated in his own church would have taught him to understand the building as a tabernaculum admirabile.” trans. See the excellent collection of essays in The Liturgy of the Medieval Church. But he thought the author of this work was Gregory of Nazianzus. and participate in the joys of the Celestial City. however. Medieval Institute Publications (Kalamazoo: Western Michigan University. 181–225.-Denis and the Feast of the Dedication Scholarship strongly suggests that Abbot Suger’s understanding of sacred art and architecture was influenced. He also translated Gregory of Nyssa’s De hominis opificio.32 While the concept of the church building as a habitation of God and as an apocalyptic and eschatological landscape has its roots in the Bible.-Denis.35 Art historians and literary medievalists are also discovering the riches that liturgical sources can provide. the universe. I borrow the phrase tabernaculum admirabile from Bernard McGinn: “The humanly constructed beauty of a church building is meant to form an ‘admirable tabernacle’ which will lead to God. see Panofsky.” “From Admirable Tabernacle. What I emphasize in the remaining pages of this chapter. NJ: Paulist Press. Pseudo Dionysius. George C. it was Eriugena’s Latin translation of the Dionysian corpus that Suger would have read. 141–42. and Margot Fassler’s work on the twelfth-century liturgy at the Abbey of St. which Eriugena called De imagine. 2001). Abbot Suger. See the Introduction. Maximus Confessor.Liturgy and Apocalyptic Eschatology the Confessor interprets the church building variously as images of God. Fassler. Service Books.36 Although a wealth of 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 Maximus and then Gregory of Nyssa. Heffernan and E. also called the Theologian.34 Anne Walters Robertson’s study of the service-books of St. 77 . and it is also the subject of one of Suger’s celebrated treatises.

-Denis to be published in its entirety. ed.” in Artistic Integration of Gothic Buildings.39 Libri ordinarii were auxiliary liturgical books. and a variety of liturgical objects. Storey and Niels Krogh Rasmussen (Washington. see Cyrille Vogel. the number of ministers to serve in a given rite. is an especially 37 “Liturgy and Monument.40 This ordinary. 27–8. they also mention architectural and decorative features of the churches in which the liturgies were performed. 39 The First Ordinary of the Royal Abbey of St. 63. Reynolds has therefore urged medievalists not to “wait for the handful of living liturgiologists to publish these texts. The manuscript mentions processions. chapters 21 and 22). Foley (Fribourg. 1990). record the thirteenth-century liturgy for the feast of the church dedication. That this was the primary meaning of church buildings is clear from the service for their consecration. they provided instead the essential texts and directions for celebrating the offices. and trans. fols 111v–113r. 78 . An Introduction to the Sources. calls attention to the language of church dedication liturgies for evidence of the building’s function as an apocalyptic symbol. was an evocation of the heavenly Jerusalem.Medieval Allegory and the Building of the New Jerusalem medieval liturgical books survives in libraries.38 As is well known. William G. in his study of the technical aspects and stylistic developments of medieval church architecture. The First Ordinary of the Royal Abbey of St. Mazarine 526 is a particularly rich liber ordinarius. 38 The Gothic Cathedral.37 Christopher Wilson. 496–98.” many of which could demonstrate important associations between the design and decoration of the monuments and the theology that informs the liturgies themselves. and customaries. however. 1981). ordines. Switzerland: Fribourg UP. Roger E. The liturgical sources that Reynolds especially recommends are the medieval pontificals. rev. however. relatively few of these have been edited and published. where frequent allusions are made to St John’s vision. “Every medieval church. and the local rites that were arranged according to the church year for a specific community. Medieval Liturgy. Unfortunately.-Denis in France (Paris. these contain not only extensive ceremonial directions and prayers.-Denis (Mazarine 526) does. 8. the Mass. not to be used during the liturgies themselves. Edward B. the abode of the saved to be established after the completion of the Last Judgment (Revelation.” Wilson writes. Abbot Suger describes the consecration ceremony of his new church with fond enthusiasm for liturgical objects and elaborate celebration. In its descriptions for ceremonies it often mentions specific locations within the building where segments of the liturgy were to be carried out. no liturgical document contemporary with Suger’s abbacy survives that describes this ceremony in detail. Bibliothèque Mazarine 526. The Architecture of the Great Church 1130–1530 (London: Thames and Hudson. 1990). the first major liturgical manuscript of St. For an introduction to liturgical books and manuscripts. gestures. 40 See Foley. DC: Pastoral Press. vestments.

In the following year. 5th edn. “Dedicace des églises.” in Dictionnaire d’archéologie Chrétienne et de liturgie. that Christians were given freedom to worship publicly. Oulto. from the time of the early Christians to the medieval period.42 The Liturgy for the Dedication of a Church: Early Christian Developments In the first three centuries after the death and resurrection of Christ.” in The Secular Use of Church Buildings (London: SCM. specifically with the chevet. P. trans. It is also an excellent textual source by which to evaluate Abbot Suger’s comments on the symbolism of the new church. with Constantine’s Edict of Tolerance. Catholic University of America Canon Law Studies. X. 374–406. XX. Heffer and Sons. Duchesne. 1968). the lustration.Liturgy and Apocalyptic Eschatology rich source for reconstructing liturgical practices at St. 1930). the dedication of churches became commonly associated with the deposition of saints’ relics. or anointing of the 41 Foley cites architectural evidence for this claim that the ordinary be used to reconstruct twelfth-century. A Historical Synopsis and Commentary. 43 For Eusebuius’ early description of the cathedral dedication see his Historia ecclesiastica. that we turn to gain a greater appreciation of how liturgy identifies the medieval church as an image of the New Jerusalem. The Loeb Classical Library.. This introduction. Alcuin Club Collections.-Denis in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. Lake and J. . M. Davies. since fear of Roman persecution discouraged them from worshiping in public places. de Puniet. Further Essays in Early Roman Liturgy. Furthermore. G. Patralogiae Cursus Completus. though copied a few years after the beginning of the reconstruction.-Denis in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. Christians gathered for communal worship in private homes.” Doctor of Canon Law diss. 2 vols (New York: G. 395. L.847. Ziolkowski. 249–64. it seems that the reconstruction began in the east end. 1919). vol. 42 For a fuller history of the dedication ceremony. K. A History of the Consecration of Churches and Churchyards (Cambridge: W. no. however. 1920). and trans. R. see John G. . it will be helpful to introduce briefly the main features of the history of the dedication ceremony from the time of the early Christians to the Middle Ages. no. 339–418. which were carried into the building in procession and then enclosed in an altar before the celebration of Mass. as well as thirteenth-century. Before turning to the liturgical text itself. L. 79 . 2. G. Thaddeus S. It was not until 313. and it would remain so for the next two centuries. is meant to provide the necessary historical context for the dedication liturgies at St.41 It is to this document. “The Consecration and Blessing of Churches. Series Graeca. “The Consecration of Churches. W. liturgical practices at St. 4 pt 1 (Paris: Librairie Letouzey et Ané. A [Mazarine 526] presumes virtually the same arrangement of the chevet as that which is found in the writings of Suger. then. . Putnam’s Sons. In the eighth century. Willis.3–4. ed. P. Therefore. 1968).43 At the end of the sixth century.-Denis began in 1231 and was completed before the consecration in 1281. Christian Worship: Its Origin and Evolution. 50 (London: SPCK.-Denis: “It is generally agreed that the thirteenth-century reconstruction of St. 1943). The celebration of the Eucharist is the only essential feature of this liturgy. 187 (Washington: Catholic U of America P. McClure (London and New York: Macmillan. 1926) vol. A reflects none of the changes in the chevet which that reconstruction produced” (59–60). we find the first mention of the dedication of a church: Eusebius describes the dedication of the Cathedral of Tyre in 314. Muncey. while not a full summary of the work that has been completed on this topic by liturgical scholars.

1931–61). it concludes with a dedication Mass. 1700–6). with added modifications such as the inclusion of the seven penitential Psalms (Pss.48 Most of the liturgical texts the Abbot cites for the dedication of his church and those listed in the Mazarine ordinary for the thirteenth-century feast of the dedication also had become part of the standard liturgical tradition by the tenth century. Behourt.44 By the ninth century. 180–81. 4. Here and elsewhere I cite Psalms according to the Vulgate. the features of the Roman dedication rite consisted of the carrying of relics in procession and their deposition in the altar. See Panofsky. to be repeated through an octave. A detailed description of the Roman rite from the second half of the eighth century is found in Michel Andrieu’s Ordo XLII. 37. See also Andrieu. Andrieu. 50. This fused rite gave prominence to the deposition of relics. but it also retained much of the lustration practices and the alphabet ceremony of the Gallican rite. The Gallican Ordo XLI (775–800) contains an added feature to the dedication ritual: the inscribing of the alphabet on a St. 129. the anointing of the building. which displays clear Eastern Orthodox influence (Byzantine and Syrian) and also borrows directly from ancient Hebrew rituals described in Exodus 29. the splendid processions intus et extra. 800). and the celebration of Mass. which provides instructions for enclosing the relics in the altar. 244–72. 397–402. 4 (Louvain: “Spicilegium sacrum lovaniense” bureaux. with the altar serving as a tomb for the saint whose relics were deposed there. Medieval Liturgy. 112–21. Apart from this Mass. 101. 80 . The main elements of the Gallican rite are found in the Angoulême Sacramentary (c.47 The twelfth-century dedication ceremony for Abbot Suger’s new church would have reflected this fusion of the Roman and Gallican traditions. the blessing of the altar. the Roman and Gallican rites were fused in the compilation of the Romano-Germanic Pontifical at Mainz (950–62).49 44 Gregory the Great required the lustration of pagan temples that were to be converted and used for 45 46 47 48 49 Christian worship. the lustrations of the altar and building takes precedence. or medieval system of numbering. and 141) was retained by the Roman Catholic Church until 1961. and the lustration of the church.46 In the tenth century.12–13. Edmond Martène. vol. 31.Medieval Allegory and the Building of the New Jerusalem edifice with holy water became another feature of the dedication ceremony. 2. One recognizes in the Roman rite its funerary character. Suger describes many of these traditional dedication rituals in his writings.45 The rites of baptism and confirmation served as the primary models for the Gallican dedication ritual. the dominant element in Ordo XLII is the elaborate burial of the relics. 339–47. Les Ordines. and the concordant celebration of Masses in the upper choir and the crypt. including the transfer and deposition of relics. when it was simplified and abbreviated. vol. See also Vogel. Although the deposition of relics is also a common feature of the Gallican ritual. Andrew’s cross that has been traced on the pavement of the nave with sand or ashes. The fundamental structure of this fused rite. Les Ordines Romani du haut moyen âge. 4 vols (Rouen: G. 6.11. An Introduction to the Sources. 18 and Leviticus 8. anointing the altar. De Antiquis Ecclesiae Ritibus. This is the origin for the term aqua Gregoriana for the type of lustral water used in the dedication ritual. the lustration of the church’s walls.

none. but is. prime. a theme that acquires additional nuances as the celebration rituals proceed: Sanctificavit Dominus tabernaculum suum: quia hæc est domus Dei. of course. lauds. there is the accompanying thematic progression from the concept of the building as the house of God to the identification of human beings as the “living stones” of the church.-Denis’ liturgy for the feast of the church dedication began at vespers on the vigil of the feast. more accurately. and (4) proper antiphons. and St. Eugene (Foley 169).-Denis consisted of prayers and hymns that were chosen and arranged to demonstrate how a church building functions as a sacred space and how it is to be understood as a complex symbol. sext. with a sequence at the latter. Foley has demonstrated that the feasts of Dagobert and the Dedication of the Church of St.-Denis as a duplex feast. dicit Dominus.-Denis and the Thirteenth-Century Dedication Liturgy The thirteenth-century Mazarine Ordinary shows that the liturgy for the feast of the dedication of St. for all the major hours.-Denis. (3) the morning and principal Mass of the feast. sext.52 50 Foley has identified the feast for the dedication of St. de quo scriptum est: Et erit nomen meum ibi. drawing directly from the Psalms and other Old Testament passages pertaining to the historical city of Jerusalem or Sion. This category of feasts includes: (1) twelve lessons at matins. as is the practice for all liturgical documents of this kind. an elaboration on biblical teachings. The opening antiphon of vespers on the vigil defines the church as a habitation of God. followed by lauds. These readings were clearly selected to teach theological concepts that complement and refer to one another. Denis. (2) first and second vespers of the feast.Liturgy and Apocalyptic Eschatology The First Ordinary of St. the Invention of St.-Denis were the most important of the duplex feasts (169–73). passages from the New Testament Apocalypse. Winchester: II (London: Henry 81 . etc. Hilary. For the complete texts. Tolhurst. the following sources have been helpful: John B. responses. terce. The New Jerusalem theme both unifies the entire liturgical celebration and serves as the frame within which other themes are introduced and developed. hymns. This thematic progression follows what Christians understood as the evolving emphasis in the Bible itself. in qua invocabitur nomen ejus. 52 Mazarine 526 provides only the incipits for the prayers and hymns of the liturgy. primarily biblical. the anniversary of Dagobert. the Dedication of the church of St.50 The liturgical language is. and at the very end of vespers on the feast day. 51 St. and continued with first and second nocturns of matins. St. Monastic Breviary of Hyde Abbey. 23 February. readings. at the beginning of matins. and readings from I and II Corinthians. As the liturgy progresses from vespers on the vigil. Eustace. This liturgical emphasis does not directly follow biblical precedent. concluding with vespers on the 24th.51 The chief theme that recurs throughout the liturgy for the feast of the dedication is the concept of the church building as a figure of the New Jerusalem. from descriptions of Moses’ Tabernacle and the Jerusalem Temple to New Testament interpretations of the ancient Hebrew structures. with partial propers for the Little Hours. Out of the 112 feasts in the Ordine. Passages from John’s Revelation are placed at the beginning of vespers on the vigil. there are six duplex feasts: St. to vespers on the feast itself.

the liturgy returns to the concept of the church as the house of God.] O quam metuendus est locus iste: vere non est hic aliud. After the apocalyptic theme is introduced early in the vigil. in which His name will be invoked. and the gate of heaven: and it will be called the court of God. immediately introduces the symbolic relation between the Heavenly Jerusalem and earthly church. 70. nisi domus Dei et porta cæli. Compline (York: Sidney Lee. [This is the house of the Lord solidly built. it is well founded on solid rock.-Denis the passage was repeated twice more. paratam sicut sponsam ornatam viro suo. or court. Vespers.2) [I saw the holy city. coming down from heaven from God. 2. as it is written: and my name will be there.] Immediately following the opening antiphon. et porta cœli: et vocabitur aula Dei. for this is the house of God.Medieval Allegory and the Building of the New Jerusalem [The Lord has sanctified His tabernacle. bene fundata est supra firmam petram. The following response. and antiphon introduce these images. New Jerusalem. a chapter is read from Revelation: Vidi civitatem sanctam. Terce. Jerusalem novam.] Hæc est domus Domini firmiter ædificata. once at lauds and again at the end of vespers on the feast. Here it is presented with added emphasis on the physical building and its stone foundation. made ready as bride adorned for her husband. vol.] This image of the New Jerusalem descending from heaven before John’s eyes and placed so prominently near the start of the liturgy. 82 . Roman Catholic Church. Martène. De Antiquis Ecclesiae Ritibus. says the Lord. [How terrible is this place: here is the house of God. descendentem de cælo a Deo. Benedictine Hours for Sundays and All Feasts of First or Second Class Rank. Additional passages that were read from Revelation and from other New Testament writings served as interpretive glosses on this central image of the New Jerusalem descending from Heaven. 1932). (Genesis 28. (21. 244–72. This chapter from Revelation served as a standard reading in virtually all consecration rites and feasts for the dedication during the Middle Ages and continues to be central to dedication ceremonies today. vol. 1934). of God.17) Bradshaw Society. together with the image of the church not only as the gate to Heaven but as a palace. which are drawn from Old Testament readings: Terribilis est locus iste: hic domus Dei est. verse. During the anniversary liturgy at St.

Wills cites Ordo XLI. each emphasizing the importance of Jerusalem and the Temple. Tollite portas principes vestras [Ps. Jesus. but five additional psalms. portas principes vestras. such as the psalms known collectively as the Songs of Sion. O Princes. Jacob. 17–18. portæ æternales: et introibit rex gloriæ. crying out. is sung. . et adduxerunt in montem sanctum tuum.” Further Essays. Andrieu. the Psalmist. 54 G. The liturgy for the feast of the dedication of St. Ps. a bishop stood before the doors of the church to be consecrated and recited this verse. for example.7] and the whole of Psalm 23. contains the following verse: Emmitte lucem tuam et veritatem tuam. The liturgical voices represented in this interpretive history include Yahweh. Les Ordines Romani. The ancient biblical idea of a temple as the resting place. and 121. et elevamini. 45. eternal gates: and the King of glory will come in. is a liturgical psalm that was sung by the ancient Israelites upon entering the Temple on Mount Sion and was probably used in connection with a procession of the Ark of the Covenant. 47.53 Psalm 23. the matins liturgy presents a succinct history of interpretation of ancient Hebrew architecture according to Jewish and Christian traditions. 83. throne. for example. Domini est terra.-Sophia. IV. 2. (7. 161. 23. Indeed. On Justinian’s response to the reconstruction of St.] The phrase montem sanctum refers to the site of the Temple and recurs often 53 The psalms known collectively as the Songs of Sion are Pss. by the Patriarch Eutychius in the presence of Justinian the Emperor .-Denis employs Pss. 45.54 Psalm 23 marked the beginning of the first nocturn of matins on the feast. and was performed on 24 December 562 at the rededication of St Sophia at Byzantium after the reconstruction of the dome. ed. and to your tabernacles. (3) [Send forth your light and your truth. and they have brought me to your holy hill. 86. 9) [Lift up your gates. Wills provides historical background for this ritual: “The ceremony of receiving the bishop at the church door is Byzantine in origin. 340. 83. G. et in tabernacula tua. and 86.Liturgy and Apocalyptic Eschatology [How awesome is this place. The following verse from Psalm 23 was perhaps sung by a choir outside the temple gates. or palace of God serves as the conceptual basis for the use in the matins liturgy of specific psalms that extol Jerusalem.] The liturgy for matins introduces links between Solomon’s Temple and the New Jerusalem.] At the dedication ceremonies in the Middle Ages. Psalm 42. 47. 75. see my Introduction. 121 is read during vespers on the feast. and rise up. ipsa me deduxerunt. 83 . requesting to be admitted: Attollite. were also included during matins. . Truly this is none other than the house of God and the gate of heaven. they have led me. and Michael the Archangel. When the bishop arrives he knocks three times with his staff on the church door.

summitas ejus cælos tangebat.56 By adopting for the dedication of their churches the ancient Hebrew concept of the Temple as the house of God. of course. Solomon’s Temple was thought to be the historical archetype of the Heavenly Jerusalem. But matins also presents a series of antiphons and responses. 56 See Georges A. 959–60.” are other sources that influenced medieval concepts of the Celestial City. Christians assured the prophetic and symbolic continuity of the Old and New Testaments. ed. and angels descending. 57 Otto von Simson made this observation on the connection between the New Jerusalem and the vol.57 Among the liturgical hours for the feast of St. George A. it extols Sion as the city most favored by God: Fundamenta ejus in montibus sanctis: diligit Dominus portas Sion super omnia tabernacula Iacob.10–22). matins is unique in its emphasis on the relation between the earthly sanctuaries of the Hebrew Bible and apocalyptic visions of the montem sanctum. Ezekiel’s vision (40–44) of the ideal temple.] Although “Sion” refers to the montem sanctum upon which the Temple was built. description of the palace in the Book of Enoch (Gothic Cathedral. as well as in such New Testament passages as Hebrews 12. occurring at different intervals throughout the liturgy. 84 .22 and Revelation 14.1. which tell the story of Jacob’s ladder and his subsequent erection of a shrine at Beth-El (Genesis 28. but only in matins do we find such a complete collection. Ps.-Denis’ dedication. rarely so precise. Many of these prayers appear again in the liturgical hours that follow. 1962). Buttrick. According to prophecy. Barrois. (1–3) [The Lord loves the gates of Sion more than all the dwellings of Jacob. 47. 1–2. the montem sanctum is an image of Heaven and will be the location for the consummation of history. 11). [Jacob saw a ladder with its top reaching to the heavens. they are often used interchangeably to designate the ancient city capital.] 55 See for example. Here are a few of the examples: Vidit Iacob scalam. also inspired by the Temple of Solomon.55 Psalm 86 was sung during the second nocturn of matins for the feast. 4 [R–Z] (Nashville: Abingdon Press. et descendentes Angelos. But this historical designation acquires an additional meaning in the prophetic books of the Hebrew Bible. and “Jerusalem” refers to the historical city. and he said. “Zion” The Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible. et dixit: Vere locus iste sanctus est. the uses of these terms in both the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament are. truly this place is holy.Medieval Allegory and the Building of the New Jerusalem in the Songs of Sion. In the psalms. Her foundations are laid upon holy hills. “built of crystals” and having walls “like a mosaic crystal floor. and the description of the heavenly palace in the Book of Enoch.

fearful place. local foundation for his shrine to God. announcing His covenant with Jacob’s descendants. . was the same stone that he used to erect the shrine at Beth-El. and the Church. It also represents the gate of Heaven. an awesome. 48. intended to show us a house built up of the elect. and I did not know it. [How awesome is this place. For the Master Builder Who said.22). together with his subsequent words and actions. second. the word ‘place’ is a symbol. Between the first and second references to the stone.59 58 Andrieu shows that a selection of these quotations from Genesis on Jacob’s dream and verses from Psalms 45 and 86 were part of the Roman dedication liturgy in the eighth century. 59 civ. then. when Jacob chose it for a pillow (Genesis 28. et ego nesciebam. votum vovit Domino: Vere locus iste sanctus est. the pillar or shrine – will be a house of God (Genesis 28. which henceforth shall fear no ruin. the locus of revelation is inseparable from the revelation itself. fundens oleum sesuper. See Les Ordines Romani. . nisi domus Dei et porta cæli. And so the re-building ‘in this place’ stands for the Church which was to be built by Christ . and shortly afterwards when he proclaims that the stone – that is. In other words.Liturgy and Apocalyptic Eschatology Mane surgens Iacob erigebat lapidem in titulum.11). and by it we are to understand that which it symbolizes. just before dreaming of the ladder stretching from earth to heaven. . when he set it up as a pillar and poured oil over it (Genesis 28. 18). Augustine provides commentary on the multiple. plays an essential role in the organization and symbolic meaning of the story. Jacob receives his vision of the angels going up and down the ladder and of God standing beside him. ‘Many are called. Jacob set up the stone as a memorial pillar and poured oil over it. Jacob’s dream is a revelation of divine presence and of passage between the sacred and the temporal realms. IV. 85 . Truly this is none other than the house of God and the gate of heaven. The stone on which Jacob rests his head. Jacob’s stone is at least as important as the ladder. local frame within which Jacob receives his vision. but few are chosen’ . It is a holy place. It serves as the physical. 336.]58 Jacob’s dream. He made a vow to the Lord: “Truly this place is holy. This stone is mentioned three times: first. offered a special element to Jewish and Christian interpretations of their sacred buildings. [When he arose in the morning. symbolic meanings of biblical ideas of “place”: [W]hen God said . In realizing this presence and in participating in this passage. the house of God. Dei XVIII. The stone. .”] O quam metuendus est locus iste: vere non est hic aliud. Ordo Romanus XLI (750–75). and it becomes the physical. . ‘And I will give peace in this place’. .

liturgy. 86 . The organization of its main elements – stone.47–51 61 In Panofsky. When Jacob poured oil over the stone he was not committing idolatry. Rather this was a symbolic act conveying a great mystery. 102. [All of your walls are precious stones. “Verily. et turres Jerusalem gemmis ædificabuntur. we know that the Saviour Himself recalls this to our memory in the Gospel . revelation. Place and salvation are. for the name of “Christ” is derived from “chrism. that the shrine will act in the same way as the dream: as an occasion for revelation. Augustine makes clear the distinction and highlights the specifically Christian allegory: This was an act to which prophetic signification belongs. but as a sacramental signum. The implication is. .38)60 The story of Jacob and his ladder appears frequently in the iconographic programs of medieval churches. it becomes a concise expression of how the church was conceived as both the fulfillment of the ancient Hebrew Temple and a figura 60 Jn. This is clear from his quotation of a prayer in connection with the consecration of St. as if making a god of it. I say unto you. Light. shrine – provided the Christians with a simple. yet efficient model for their own building projects. Jacob does not worship the stone as a res. By including the prayer in the dedication liturgy. which is also part of the communal place that is the Church. 1. or sacrifice to it. but to serve as a complex symbol of the sacredness of the place where he had laid his head. .] This prayer was appropriate for Suger. and art conveyed the divine presence and provided the opportunity for apocalyptic vision. and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man. Hereafter ye shall see heaven open. ancient gesture that confirms this sacred status. of course. The soaring nave of the great Gothic church was the Jacob’s ladder of the Middle Ages. This place they build is their own. The pouring of oil on the stone is the formal. and the towers of Jerusalem will be built with jewels.” As for the ladder. and vespers: Lapides preciosi omnes muri tui.-Denis. for he did not bow down to the stone. In De civitate Dei.Medieval Allegory and the Building of the New Jerusalem Those few who are chosen are the builders of a place that they inhabit for all time. which would be a perversion of caritas. inseparable concepts. verily.” which means “anointing. terce. Jacob’s shrine is not intended to limit the presence of God.61 At the feast for the dedication it was introduced during matins and was repeated at lauds. therefore.” (XVI. In Augustinian terms. Abbot Suger understood the importance of the ancient models for the symbolic program of his own church. who insisted that his new church be lavishly decorated with jewels and precious stones. represented materially by the church building.

62).45–48.] Jesus was a Jew who worshipped in the Temple. says the Lord. accipit. and he who seeks. commonly said on 29 September. invenit. A verse is taken from Matthew 21. everyone who asks. 19. I find no other evidence for its use in other dedication ceremonies during or after the 87 . sardius. 12. Christians embraced the ancient concept of the Temple as a locus for divine presence and as an opportunity for passage between the temporal and the sacred realms. Michael the Archangel holds a special place in the Christian vision of the Second Coming. but for Christians the coming of Christ is the irrevocable rupture in human history. 12. Rev. while assuring their prophetic.12. crisolitus. Archangelus Michael tuba cecinit: Ignosce Domine Deus noster. carbunculus et smaragdus (Panofsky. it will be opened. or eschatological agreement. 11.66 62 Suger also cites Ezekiel’s description of the temple when referring to the decoration of his own 63 64 65 66 church: lapis preciosus operimentum tuum. or Michaelmas. Et pulsanti aperietur. the Feast of St. receives. whose chief limitation was the stone frame – essential but undeniably temporal. onix et berillus. [My house will be called a house of prayer. In it. Dan. Lk. Rev. Michael the Archangel. Suger’s genius was to make the most of this limitation by removing walls to let in light. Jesus Christ and Michael the Archangel are the representatives of the new Church. 10.1. His cleansing of the Temple in Jerusalem can be understood.64 The liturgy for matins on the feast of St. 21. qui aperis librum et solvis signacula ejus. In the Bible he is presented as the champion and protector of Israel and the supreme symbol of justice destroying evil. it appears as an antiphon for vespers on that day.-Denis’ dedication includes a prayer based on passages from Revelation that describe the sounding of the seventh trumpet and Michael’s war in Heaven against the dragon:65 Dum sacrum mysterium cerneret Joannes. Matins also includes two short passages from the New Testament that are clear attempts to distinguish the ancient law from the new. and still is. But he also made abundant use of special stones.13 in which Jesus enters the Temple at Jerusalem and drives out the money changers:63 Domus mea domus orationis vocabitur.15–19. jaspis. topazius. Jude 9–10. stones that in their reflective properties seemed to possess more immaterial than material qualities.13. et qui quærit. And to him who knocks. the Hebrew Temple was an ossified eschatological landscape. The liturgy for matins for the feast of the dedication of St. in the context of the dedication liturgy. 11. as a gesture symbolizing this rupture. saphirus. finds.-Denis is especially rich in its references to the sanctuaries of the Hebrew Bible. In the Roman Catholic Breviary.Liturgy and Apocalyptic Eschatology of the New Jerusalem. This is a prayer that was. Also in Mk. dicit Dominus: in ea omnis qui petit.62 From the Christian perspective.

nonetheless. 88 . who was already the messenger of heaven. not in chivalric armor. at St. Michael. one example of such an influence. It spread rapidly through the south. 1966). See also Mâle. Religious Art in France: the Thirteenth Century: A Study of Medieval Iconography and its Sources. 67 This scene had been transmitted to southern France from the east through the intermediary of illuminated manuscripts. Nor does the appeal for forgiveness appear in the biblical text. Bollingen Series XC: 2 (Princeton: Princeton UP. on a capital of St. Émile Mâle explains. but dressed in a long. Michael as the angel of the dead. At his feet is a dragon or devil-like creature. awaiting a verdict.7). There is an eleventh-century representation on a capital in the museum of Toulouse. Etude sur l’origine de l’iconographie du Moyen Age (Paris: Armand Colin. In these scenes he is shown standing. on a portal of St. Yet. a banner (often both). attempting to tip the scale in his favor with one finger. He holds the authority to judge the good from the bad and to introduce them to the other world.] This prayer has little precise biblical authority. This image of Michael is a late medieval convention. or a great sword.-Denis. you who open the book and who unloosen its seals. Perhaps it was not unique to St. the legend that is depicted on façades and capitals of many medieval churches. Michael is the principal actor in scenes of the Last Judgment. that the cult of St. Suspended from his hand is a balance that he uses to weigh the actions of the trembling soul that has come before him. Michael is most familiar to us as he is portrayed in late medieval illuminated manuscripts: he is shown as a knight in armor holding a lance. can be traced to the first century of Christianity.Medieval Allegory and the Building of the New Jerusalem [While John was beholding the sacred mystery. but to no avail. Perhaps St.67 Matins for the feast of the dedication of St. 413–414.-Trophime at Arles. trans. In Revelation. Marthiel Mathews. and at Bourges. Etude sur l’iconographie du moyen âge et sur ses sources d’inspiration (Paris: Armand Colin. but was rarely included for dedication liturgies. at Chartres. It is a masterfully constructed liturgy combining the Middle Ages.-Nectaire in Auvergne.-Pon. too. the textual sources for the medieval legend surrounding St. like Mercury. and hence the principal actor in the judgment of the dead. the conductor of the dead. whom Michael has vanquished. pleated robe. The devil is also present. leading them before the great tribunal of God. Other locations in France include a capital at the Abbey of St. I think.-Denis succeeds in illustrating how the medieval church building is to be understood as an eschatological and apocalyptic landscape. but it is not clear if Michael actually blows this trumpet. Michael the Archangel sounded the trumpet: Forgive us Lord our God. especially in France. L’art religieux du XIIe siècle en France. 1984). 377.-Eutrope at Saintes. since he is first mentioned in the following chapter waging war against the dragon. L’art religieux du XIIIe siècle en France. It is often difficult to measure the extent to which existing iconographic conventions influenced medieval liturgy. Mercury: “Michael.” See Mâle. on the portals of Notre-Dame-de-la-Couture at Le Mans. Michael attributes of the pagan god. the blowing of the seventh trumpet (11. became.5) announces the consummation of God’s kingdom (10. In the earlier iconographic programs of medieval churches. but the prayer cited above is. when the Church ascribed to St. 1958). 380–88. the biblical references were. at Amiens. not appearing until after the thirteenth century.

et habitabit cum eis. for example. Vidi civitatem sanctam. interrelated meanings of the sacred edifice and establishes the historical and symbolic foundation for the concept of the church as an image of the New Jerusalem. which first appeared near the beginning of the vigil.Liturgy and Apocalyptic Eschatology poetry of the Songs of Sion with passages taken from some of the most memorable and dramatic moments of the Bible: Jacob’s dream and his building of the shrine. Lapides preciosi. Vespers on the feast day is a celebration of Jerusalem. perhaps. because it succeeds in conveying multiple. Jerusalem novam descendentem de cælo a Deo. paratam sicut sponsam ornatam viro suo. At terce we find a prayer from Isaiah 11. recurs at lauds and just before the closing antiphon of vespers. The prayer that Suger cited in connection with the consecration of St.] This is just one of the numerous additional features of the liturgy that conveys the relationship between the earthly church and the New Jerusalem. Jesus’ cleansing of the Temple. is repeated at lauds. employing Psalms 121. The arrangement and presentation of this liturgy is most impressive.. Mane surgens. “liturgy is and clearly was an art form.”68 The remaining liturgical hours for the feast of St. and 147. Psalms 95 and 98) that celebrate the kingship of God are included during the second nocturn of matins. are repeated. the progression of meanings. the quotation from chapter 21 of Revelation includes verse three: Et audivi vocem magnam de throno dicentem: Ecce tabernaculum Dei cum hominibus. especially in its use of St. Enthronement hymns (i. O quam metuendus. 89 . terce. It also shows signs of having been enriched by the iconographic programs of the churches themselves. and he will dwell with them.3) [And I heard a great voice from the throne saying: “Behold the tabernacle of God with men. and God himself will be with them.-Denis’ dedication repeat each of the themes first introduced during the vigil and at matins.e. Michael as the spokesman for matters of Final Judgment. and vespers. Interestingly. et ipsi populus eius erunt. (Revelation 21. and the sounding of the seventh trumpet in The Book of Revelation. and they will be his people. and the symbolic continuities among the hours. The second verse of Revelation 21.-Denis. It is an excellent attestation to Roger E.1 describing the Tree of Jesse. At sext. Each canonical hour of the feast is a liturgical unit that emphasizes a particular theological concept.” 60. 123. et ipse Deus cum eis erit eorum Deus. We have seen that in matins 68 “Liturgy and Monument. Reynolds’ statement. Psalm 98 is used as well in Chronicles 19. which was also an iconographic subject of one of Suger’s famous windows. and the response. particularly the antiphon. but prayers are repeated and new ones added to demonstrate the conceptual relationships. A number of passages from the story of Jacob.23–24 on the occasion of the movement of the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem. their God.

Qui autem efficit nos in hoc ipsum. an appropriate length for such a purpose:70 Scimus enim quoniam si terrestris domus nostra hujus habitationis dissolvatur. Deus. scientes quoniam dum sumus in corpore. Ordines XXXV–XLIX. would have included more than verse ten. The third monastic hour traditionally has been the hour devoted to the Holy Spirit. non nudi inveniamur. sive malum. The liturgy for terce is quite different. 1922). ut absorbeatur quod mortale est a vita. a house not made. IV. ed. sive bonum. ut referat unusquisque propria corporis.69 This theme identifies the physical. 162–4). Nam et in hoc ingemiscimus. that has been used so extensively in the Roman Church (The Hymns of the Breviary and Missal. The epistle that was read at Mass during terce provides the most complete illustration of these features. peregrinamur a Domino: Per fidem enim ambulamus. It begins most appropriately with the hymn Veni creator spiritus. æternam in cælis. as well. with the exception of the Te Deum. longing to put on our 69 This hymn has been ascribed to Rabanus Marus (776–856). ingemiscimus gravati: eo quod nolumus expoliari. quæ de cælo est.-Denis was a Benedictine monastery). prout gessit. St. there is no other hymn. perhaps verses one through ten. For indeed we lament our habitation here. Andrieu does not list it in his Les Ordines Romani du haut moyen age. qui dedit nobis pignus spiritus. superindui cupientes: Si tamen vestiti. Ambrose. Nor is it listed as a reading for the feast in Tolhurst’s edition of the Benedictine breviary of Hyde Abbey (St. however. 70 The Latin text is from the Vulgate. terce for the feast of the dedication may also be understood as an invocation to the Holy Spirit. quod ædificationem ex Deo habemus. Nam et qui sumus in hoc tabernaculo. [For we know that if our house of this earthly habitation should be destroyed.Medieval Allegory and the Building of the New Jerusalem special care was taken to illustrate the historical significance of the ancient sanctuaries of the Hebrew Bible and their role in the symbolic understanding of the Christian church. an understanding of how individuals in the community of worshippers participate directly in the apocalyptic vision. Omnes enim nos manifestari oportet ante tribunal Christi. but eternal in the heavens. Audemus autem et bonam voluntatem habemus magis peregrinari a corpore.-Denis represents a rare usage. It is the traditional hymn for vespers and terce on Pentecost and throughout the octave. Charlemagne. Audentes igitur semper. and to Gregory the Great. et non per speciem. domum non manufactam. habitationem nostram. vol.2–4).10. As a liturgical unit. temporal building with the spiritual realm and it includes. According to Britt. Perhaps its inclusion in the dedication ceremony at St. sed supervestiri. Matthew Britt (New York: Benziger Brothers. Unusquisque propriam. This reading is not found in the Breviarium Romanum for the dedication feast. Edward Foley has identified the biblical text to which this direction refers as II Corinthians 5. since this was the hour when the Spirit descended upon the apostles at Pentecost (Acts 2. 90 . Et ideo contendimus sive absentes sive præsentes placere illi. The incipit given in the manuscript to inform us of which epistle was to be read at terce is simply. The full reading. we possess a building from God. et præsentes esse ad Dominum.

and not through the sight of our eyes. we who are oppressed in this earthly dwelling: not because we wish to be unclothed. who has given to us the Spirit as assurance. 52 n. adorning the soul with light from the One while facilitating passage between the temporal and spiritual realms. but it is not illusory. In Dedicatione Ecclesiæ. Both Bernard and Hugh were especially interested in the central question raised in the passage quoted above from II Corinthians: how can the building (or body) be sacred. be they good or bad. resolved. He. Paul describes the domum æternam as a putting on of clothes. instead. Sermo I.-Victor.] Paul’s teaching in this passage. So that if we are thus clothed. We are brave. just as John says: Vidi civitatem sanctam.”72 Twelfth-Century Commentaries on the Dedication Liturgy Bernard of Clairvaux and Hugh of St. is God. which. according to what he has done. and we possess the good inclination to wander. wrote commentaries on the liturgy for the dedication of churches. as we have seen. rather. Because of God’s gift of the Holy Spirit. so that each individual may account for all the deeds peculiar to the body. Heaven comes down. who has formed us thus. old clothes are not shed. be it that we are at hand or away. Augustine also quotes and comments upon at length. 72 I Cor. 16. 52. Abbatis Claræ-Vallensis. a covering over of the mortal self. For indeed we lament. from the body. For we all must be exposed and brought before the tribunal of Christ. despite its inherent limitations?73 Bernard addresses the question directly: 71 See Chapter Two. we strive to please Him. we shall not be found naked. we wander from God: For through faith we walk. Therefore we are always eager. 517–21. 73 Sancti Bernardi. however. 91 . Jerusalem novam descendentem de cælo a Deo (Revelation 21.71 The possibility of transformation and passage is presented from the perspective of the lamenting. where the Spirit of God dwells. therefore. but to be covered over. and to be in God’s presence. both contemporaries of Abbot Suger. 13. striving human being who wanders from God but who possesses the faith and good will to be in God’s presence sive absentes sive præsentes. contains many images evoking movement to and from certain places or certain states of being.2). The “covering” is invisible. This image recalls the action of Plotinus’ rational principle. With a longing to be clothed in the heavenly dwelling. And.Liturgy and Apocalyptic Eschatology habitation which is from heaven. As we have seen. to be in the presence of God. the faithful possess within themselves the kingdom of God: “[s]urely you know that you are God’s temple. one recognizes the Spirit within. however. knowing that while we are in the body. it is also the controlling image of Augustine’s commentary on the elevation of the human being as an image of God and the Church as a sacramental signum. so that what is mortal may be absorbed by life [eternal]. PL 183.

(519 D) [God is completely marvelous amidst his holy ones. sancta est etiam propter corpora domus. sancta sunt corpora propter animas.) 75 Appendix ad Hugonis Opera Dogmatica. 74 Quando enim domus ista per manus pontificum dedicata est Domino. who could be earthly as well as heavenly. 92 . Speculum de mysteriis Ecclesiæ. on account of us it was done without doubt. but on account of our bodies.] Here Bernard teaches. on account of the bodies. because human beings worship inside it. bodies are holy on account of souls. however. were the stones able to have sanctity so that we celebrate their solemnity? They certainly have sanctity. quæ templum sancti Spiritus sunt. God is not limited by being present in the building through the worshipers: Mirabilis plane Deus in sanctis suis. sed etiam in terrenis. (518–19 D) [In what respect.-Victor the ceremony for the dedication of a church becomes a preparation for the visio pacis. non modo in cœlestibus.Medieval Allegory and the Building of the New Jerusalem Quid enim lapides isti poterunt sanctitatis habere ut eorum solemnia celebremus? Habent utique sanctitatem. For Hugh of St. In truth. De Dedicatione Ecclesiæ anagogice. she remembers the Appendix ad Hugonis Opera Mystica. celestial liturgies: Ad hunc regem immortalem videndum facie ad faciem præparat se præsens Ecclesia. a commemoration and earthly manifestation of eternal. (When moreover that house was dedicated to God through the hand of the high priests. Furthermore. who doubts that your bodies are holy. with Augustinian optimism. ut sciat unusquisque possidere vas suum in sanctificatione? Itaque sanctæ sunt animæ propter inhabitantem Spiritum Dei in vobis. the stone building is holy. Sermo III.74 The human presence in the church together with the communal effort to serve and worship God render the stone edifice sacred. patriæ suæ festiva et æterna recolit gaudia. sed et quicunque usque in finem sæculi Domino sunt in hoc loco militaturi (520 A). PL 177. the Church below prepares herself: and while she celebrates here the temporal feasts. propter nos sine dubio factum est. I. non solum qui tunc præsentes fuimus. sed propter corpora vestra. so that each individual understands to possess his own vessel in holiness? Therefore souls are holy on account of the dwelling of the holy spirit in you.] For Bernard. PL 177. An vero corpora vestra sancta esse quis dubitet. Bernard suggests. in fact. ubi sponsus angelicis laudatur organis. 905–7. it is holy. et dum hic agit festa temporalia. ready to serve God until the end of time. but also all those who are in this place. Cap. not only we who were at hand at that time. which are the temple of the holy spirit. Speculum Ecclesæ. 338. that heaven begins on earth.75 [To behold this immortal King face to face.

PL vol. the soul sanctified. quia multa templa unum templum. lapides suos. et civitas Sancti. its own wall. 338–39. which is built like a city. quae sicut civitas aedificatur. 177. ubi fides fundamentum facit. Like Paul in II Corinthians and Bernard of Clairvaux. where faith makes the foundation. To sanctify the church. Cap.] Since individual souls make up the Church community. and since each soul is the temple of God. 177. things in the church made of ivory represent those who are chaste. Ipsa etiam Ecclesia catholica. where the bridegroom is praised by angelic instruments. and charity finishes it. The faithful members of the community are the living temples of God – the ornaments of the New Jerusalem. therefore. hope raises [the building]. Hugh maintains that the soul is the true temple of God. its own towers. PL vol. is the temple of God. Hugh’s teaching demonstrates his debt to Augustine: [A]nd a house is indeed now being built for the Lord in all the earth: the City of God. ædificia sua.76 [For those things that are done here visibly. omnia in anima per invisibilem virtutem Deus operatur.] Every visible liturgical act corresponds to an invisible movement of the soul. Hugh believes. Habet hæc civitas sancta. murum suum.] Hugh identifies each part of the building with a particular feature of the members of the Church: the walls represent a fortress of good morals. the towers signify the sublime contemplatives. quorum unus Dominus et una fides. Therefore the house must be dedicated. because many temples make one temple. following Augustine. its own buildings. charitas consummat. turres suas. Domus ergo dedicanda est anima sanctificanda. et ædificata diversis ornamentis ornatur. 77 Sermo III. of which there is one Lord and one faith.Liturgy and Apocalyptic Eschatology festivals of her native home and of eternity. templum Dei est. after that captivity in which demonic forces 76 Speculum Ecclesiæ. Also the catholic Church herself. Once again. is the holy Church. This holy city. and the structure is adorned with various ornaments. II. sancta Ecclesia est. God works all through invisible power in the soul. that the Church – the community of worshippers – signifies the New Jerusalem on earth. and so on. that is the Church. is to sanctify the soul: Quæ autem hic fiunt visibiliter. possesses its own stones.77 [The holy city Jerusalem. spes erigit. which is holy Church. a movement prompted by the Holy Spirit. quæ verum templum Dei est. 905. id est Ecclesia. made one from many stones. its own gates. una ex multis lapidibus adunata. portas suas. 93 . which is the true temple of God. The people are its living stones: Jerusalem civitas sancta. and the city of Saints.

from the scholars and religious faithful on their respective pilgrimages to St. the location for a possibility of passage between the temporal and sacred realms. et assure la continuité d’un Testament à l’autre et. a confirmation and celebration of the events of Christ’s life. the iconography of the western entrance depicting scenes from Matthew’s Last Judgment and the Book of Revelation. The architectural features of the new church. from one temple to another. the living stones. have become living stones in His house.80 In his treatise De consecratione.-Denis. He quotes frequently from prayers and psalms that were sung 78 civ. the sacramental signa of the Church.78 The medieval liturgy for the dedication of a church is a masterfully crafted elaboration upon biblical teachings and upon the allegorical readings of early Christian exegetes. 79 Le Symbolisme du Temple Chrétien (Paris: Vieux Colombier. from this concept follow all other significations.-Victor are twelfth-century inheritors of this exegetical tradition. The liturgy itself identifies the building progressively as the habitation of God. and the abundant use of jewels and precious metals “radiant as the sun” are some of the prominent ways in which Suger’s church gave shape and color to the idea of the Heavenly Jerusalem. 26–7. and [it] assures the continuity from one Testament to the other and. a reminder and preparation of the Last Judgment. and finally. 1962). as a result. par conséquent d’un temple à l’autre. especially the choir with its crown of adjacent chapels. because they believed in God.24. Dei VIII. then it must be flooded with colored light. to the novice tourist entering the great nave for the first time. whose individual members are the true temples. At the center of this liturgy is the concept of the church building as an image of the New Jerusalem.Medieval Allegory and the Building of the New Jerusalem held prisoner those men who. 107. Bernard of Clairvaux and Hugh of St. Suger believed that if a church was meant to be an image of the New Jerusalem. Jean Hani eloquently expresses the synthesizing richness of the New Jerusalem image: “la Jérusalem céleste synthétise l’idée chrétienne de « communauté des élus » et « corps mystique » et l’idée juive du temple résidence de Très-Haut. a community of worshippers.”79 Abbot Suger and the Dedication of his New Church: Concluding Remarks The unprecedented role of light in the design of Abbot Suger’s new church is a subject that never ceases to impress and stir the imaginations of specialists and non-specialists alike.) 80 Panofsky. (The Heavenly Jeru- salem synthesizes the Christian idea of the elect community and the mystical body and the Jewish idea of the Temple [as the] residence of the Almighty. 94 . Suger expresses his exhilaration for what must have been one of the most festive and splendid liturgical events of the Middle Ages.

Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone which joins one wall to the other. quanto aptius materialiter aedificare instamus. the more loftily and fitly we strive to build in a material way. he writes that the attending nobility had “believed themselves to behold a chorus celestial rather than terrestrial. too. in which Paul describes the faithful as “the saints and household of God.]84 Panofsky argues that Abbot Suger twists “St. Suger mentions the chanting of Psalm 86. in Whom all the building – whether spiritual or material – groweth unto one holy temple in the Lord. Mazarine 526 shows that his chapter was sung during none. The biblical text Suger quotes is italicized. ipso summo angulari lapide Christo Jesu. are taught to be builded together for an habitation of God through the Holy Spirit by ourselves in a spiritual way. tanto per nos ipsos spiritualiter coaedificari in habitaculum Dei in Spiritu sancto edocemur. and when describing the magnificence of the ceremony itself. [Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners. Panofsky’s translation. crescit in templum sanctum in Domino. In quo et nos quanto altius. 16. qui utrumque conjungit parietem. 95 . Ibid.”82 In the same treatise Suger also cites a passage from Ephesians 2. Paul’s metaphor into a justification of superesplendent architecture” with his qualification of the word “building” by the phrase “whether spiritual or material. and 86) the great antiphon.81 He specifically mentions the reading of the office of matins the night before the consecration ceremony.”85 Surely. All these are Songs of Sion that were sung during the feast for the dedication of the church.” and Christ as the “chief cornerstone” of the temple. Lapides preciosi omnes muri tui (Panofsky.-Denis.11. In that passage. As I mentioned previously. 102).19–22. But Suger elaborates upon the biblical passage. sive spi – ritualis. when the bishops laid the first stones for the new church. sed estis cives sanctorum et domestici Dei. however. quod est Christus Jesus 82 83 84 85 (Panofsky. In Whom we.Liturgy and Apocalyptic Eschatology during the consecration liturgy. and the passage from I Corinthians 3. and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets. He also cites from Psalms 45 and 47. In De consecratione. superaedificati super fundamentum Apostolorum et Prophetarum. 88). a ceremony divine rather than human. and which I discuss earlier in this chapter. but fellow citizens with the saints and of the household of God. the heavenly habita- 81 Fundamentum aliud nemo potest ponere præter id quod positum est. in quo omnis aedificatio. says he. Paul used the earthly edifice as a metaphor for human bodies: the earthly edifice refers both to the church building and the human body. adding phrases of his own so that Suger’s text reads:83 Jam non estis. 115. Fundamenta ejus in montibus sanctis. 105. in particular from the Songs of Sion (Psalms 45. Panofsky. inquit. Suger was also familiar with the passage from II Corinthians that was read during Mass for the feast of the dedication of St. following Panofsky. sive materialis. Lapides preciosi omnes muri tui. hospites et advenae. 47. Suger cites the antiphon from the dedication liturgy.

From Suger. Suger may very well have used Paul’s own teachings to interpret the passage from Ephesians. the burning of candles and incense – these actions all had a specific function within each liturgical celebration. Nonetheless. It was Otto von Simson’s view that at no time has the effort to create the Heavenly Jerusalem on earth been more successful than in the achievements represented by the great churches of twelfth. settings for an action and that action was a liturgical action. the movement of the soul from the earthly realm to the heavenly. Suger was sufficiently aware of this tradition to envision a more effective setting for the Platonic drama of procession and return. or as convenient and grand gathering spots from which to convey political agendas. a Sunday Mass. however. One need not be an architectural historian to appreciate the merits of such a claim. The material elements of the churches’ building programs are the static attributes of a spiritual movement. The buildings were. in almost all respects. exterior communication to an interior. within each liturgical expression of the eschatological and apocalyptic drama of Christian history.-Étienne at Bourges. a baptism. In all likelihood.Medieval Allegory and the Building of the New Jerusalem tion is both the New Jerusalem and the Holy Spirit. is the extent to which he did comment upon the liturgical celebrations within that church and how these comments implicitly relate to the greater design of the building. settings for a liturgy. a space for a sacred action that was a visual and aural manifestation of a movement. one need only to stand inside Notre Dame at Chartres on a bright morning or to walk through the vast space at St. then. it must be remembered that these buildings were never built to be admired for their material achievements alone – for the material shaping of color and light. Suger was more intimately familiar with the monastic liturgy of his own abbey than he was with the tradition of Christian-Platonism represented in the writings of the authors discussed earlier in this chapter. Architectural historians have often expressed frustration over how little Abbot Suger actually had to say in his writings about the physical attributes of his church – about the building itself and his precise role in its design – preferring. that movement is expressed through the prayer and spectacle of liturgical worship. but the setting for that liturgy was new. Suger understood that through liturgy the participants enter into mystery and mystery enters into the participants. above all. that cannot be seen. participation in the drama changes from one of physical. whether the liturgical occasion was the dedication of a church. The liturgy for the dedication of Suger’s church was. Yet. they were. it is indeed possible to gain a greater historical appreciation for how these great churches functioned not merely as picture bibles for the illiterate. to be sure. both anagogic and apocalyptic.and thirteenth-century France. above all. that he would have had rather less to say about his fondness for jewels. What has not been sufficiently appreciated. As liturgy proceeds. not new. The processions. In our attempt to gain a historical appreciation for the interaction between 96 . or a funeral. the chanting. invisible communication until there is no longer anything to see or hear.

light. In fourteenth-century England. or “chanting. 97 . the most celebrated of which is the Sainte-Chapelle in Paris. others were part of the interior of an existing building. particularly in terms of how this spirituality was displayed in art. In the later Middle Ages.Liturgy and Apocalyptic Eschatology medieval church architecture and liturgy. but important context for late medieval apocalyptic eschatology. usually for a donor or members of a donor’s family. and color. The religious and architectural expressions of the chantry movement provide a little-studied. or a parish church. As concepts of piety changed in the later Middle Ages the buildings in which that piety was expressed changed as well. both visual and literary. glass. personal scales. It is to the English chantry movement. First kings and then – following the royal example – the nobility built their Heavenly Jerusalems on intimate. therefore. like a royal palace. Even people of far lesser means were able to enjoy a more private liturgical setting by joining a guild. in particular among the laity. that I now turn. The desire for a more personal form of worship among the faithful. Some of these chapels were free-standing buildings. the private chapel became the preferred setting in which to worship. it is no less important to remember that the great churches that were built in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries were just one stage of development in the medieval effort to manifest the Heavenly Jerusalem in stone.” built expressly for the singing. led to a different notion of how best to create a liturgical space using stone. a great number of these private chapels were called “chantries.” of soul Masses. a monastery. where each member contributed to the establishment and maintenance of a common chapel.

. New York: Columbia UP. . ed. 1957–75).. 5.”1 Holinshed records the historical event. 958 n. (295–302) 1 T Geoffrey Bullough. Than from it issued forced drops of blood.i. after his coronation. ed. 1377–99) moved “with all funerall dignitie convenient for his estate. And on it have bestowed more contrite tears. who had obtained the crown by murdering Richard II (IV. 7 vols (London: Routledge and Paul. and I have built Two chauntries. . .293–302). They are part of a prayer in which Henry asks God to “think not upon the fault” of his father. Who twice a day their wither’d hands hold up Toward heaven. 281. but Shakespeare gives us a glimpse. in a “solemn toome erected and set up at the charges of this king. where he was buried with his first queen. . of the religious belief and a whole set of liturgical practices associated with Henry’s actions. Blakemore Evans. 98 . . where the sad and solemn priests Sing still for Richard’s soul. Shakespeare is probably drawing on Holinshed who says that Henry V (r. The Riverside Shakespeare (Boston: Houghton Mifflin. 295. 1413–22). Here is a more complete citation from Henry’s speech: I Richard’s body have interred new. had the body of Richard (r. . to pardon blood. as well. cited from G.” from King’s Langley to Westminster Abbey. Henry of Lancaster. Narrative and Dramatic Sources of Shakespeare. . Anne of Bohemia. and I have built Two chauntries where the sad and solemn priests Sing still for Richard’s soul.. HE verses quoted are from one of the king’s speeches in Shakespeare’s Henry V.The Chantry Movement 4 The Chantry Movement: An Intimate Art of the Medieval New Jerusalem Private Worship and the Eschatology of Chantry Rites I Richard’s body have interred new. 1974). vol. Five hundred poor I have in yearly pay.

1971). H. in which Mowbray tells Richard that if he were considering resigning his throne. “Chantries and Colleges. Joan Evans. R. Chronicles of the Revolution 1397–1400. one of the chroniclers of the Lancastrian revolution of 1399 and a monk at Saint Albans. “ ‘A Chaunterie for Soules’: London Chantries in the Reign of Richard II. 1947). printed in the nineteenth century under the title of Annales Ricardi Secundi et Henrici Quarti. 99 . and the building of the chantry chapels to have Masses said daily for Richard’s soul are some of the religious and cultural features of the chantry movement that require brief consideration before proceeding to a fuller consideration of the movement’s architectural expression.3 But even while Richard II was alive (over a century before Henry VIII) the chantry movement had come under attack by the reformers of the fourteenth century.1580 (New Haven and London: Yale UP. Chronica Maiora. A. Perpetual Chantries in Britain (Cambridge: Cambridge UP. H.’ To this list the act of Edward VI’s first Parliament (1547) – which was most methodically put into effect – added priests for terms of years. Medieval Chantries and Chantry Chapels rev. 1965). The revenues generated by these institutions became the possession of the Crown and hundreds of chantry chapels that had been built throughout England in the later Middle Ages were dismantled or destroyed. see especially the chapters. and stipendiary priests having perpetuity for ever.. and his reason for doing so is worthy of note: Richard says that he would never yield the crown to Bolingbroke. Georges Duby includes a brief discussion of the chantry chapels in his chapter “La Chapelle” in Le Moyen Age: Fondements d’un nouvel humanism 1280–1440 (Genève. 1992). at the dead king’s tomb. while exempting the hospitals” (Alan Kreider. hospitals. Skira.1400–c. edn (London: Phoenix House. anniversaries. F.” The English Clergy and Their Organization in the Later Middle Ages (Oxford: Clarendon. Cook. 172–220. free chapels. trans. 1984). he would want to destroy the Church. The Reign of Richard II (Manchester and New York: Manchester UP. 1993). the Suppression Acts of Henry VIII (1545) and Edward VI (1547) had dissolved the chantry institutions entirely.. 1599).” The Reign of Richard II: Essays in Honor of May McKisack. 17. gives an account of a conversation between Richard II and Thomas Mowbray. perhaps. The chantry movement is included as part of the general discussion of Eamon Duffy’s The Stripping of the Altars: Traditional Religion in England c.4 2 3 4 The chantry movement is treated in the following studies: G.2 Approximately fifty years before Shakespeare wrote Henry V (c. Hamilton Thompson. 1963). Alan Kreider. Richard immediately dismisses this suggestion. L. brotherhoods. fraternities. Wood-Legh. Du Boulay and Caroline M. Edward VI completed the second wave of dissolutions and confiscations that Henry VIII had begun. Barron (London: Althone Press. obits. English Chantries: The Road to Dissolution (Cambridge and London: Harvard UP. The tears of contrition shed. K. chantries. 93–96. 242–55. 1307–1461 (Oxford: Clarendon. “The chantry act of Henry VIII’s last Parliament (1545) – which was never carried out systematically – placed at the king’s disposal all ‘colleges. in Chris Given-Wilson.The Chantry Movement Shakespeare’s portrayal here of Henry V’s response to the death of Richard II provides a rare as well as sympathetic description of the piety associated with the late medieval chantry movement in England. and ed. the poor mourners who have been hired by Henry to pray twice a day for the atonement of his father’s guilt.” Oxford History of English Art. and lights. he ought to hand over power to Henry Bolingbroke. ed. because if Henry became king. 1979). 1949). “Chantries and Colleges of Chantry Priests. “Last Things” (301–37) and “The Pains of Purgatory” (338–76). Rosalind Hill. guilds. 5). 132–60. Thomas Walsingham.

for example.7 5 6 7 “Et quantum vel cantarias perpetuas per mundi divites fabricatas. qua cupiunt nomen suum in terris perpetuari. and done no profit to the soule. the design of private liturgies. for example.5 Such presumption about the benefits to be gained from founding a chantry was self-deception and harmful to one’s soul: Many men ben disseyved in founding of chauntries. in coostli sepulcris. as well as the number and character of liturgical objects that were to be used.6 A great many English people in the late Middle Ages did not. See especially the chapters. patet.Medieval Allegory and the Building of the New Jerusalem A prominent feature of this Church that Richard feared losing was the chantry movement. but as thei harmen men lyvynge. about the vanity of rich men who believe that God would find favor by means of tales cantarias and that to desire one’s name to be remembered forever on earth is the way to the devil. Rodolf Buddensieg I (Wyclif Soc. 305. not to Paradise. cited in K. The practice of endowing chantries (temporary or perpetual) by members of the clergy. quod fundatores in fide primo deficiunt ac si crederent deum sibi et suo generi per tales cantarias singulariter suffragari. so thei done harm to the soul.” John Wiclif’s Polemical Works in Latin. and in solempne sepulturis. But it was in the design and decoration of the private tombs and chantry chapels that the aspirations of an individual founder were most clearly and enthusiastically displayed. Eamon Duffy. and the guilds was the most remarkable manifestation of religious belief in late medieval England. for example. The chantry movement provided an unprecedented opportunity for religious and laity alike to participate in the organization of the church. Et raro vel numquam deficit eis lucifernia superbia. Duffy’s purpose is to show that the religious reforms of the late Middle Ages and early Renaissance in England were resisted by the great majority of English people. 272–73. The Stripping of the Altars: Traditional Religion in England c. It was remarkable not only because of its popularity in all regions of England. and alle thes feden the world. 1883). and the decoration of ecclesiastical monuments all for the purpose of facilitating personal salvation. share this view. the royal family. The establishment of private liturgies and the adorning of ecclesiastical monuments as a means of perpetuating the memory of the deceased and securing the prayers of the living was seen by these early reformers as vain and spiritually corrupt attempts to buy one’s way into Heaven. 100 . however. but also because of its importance as a form of individual religious expression. Depending upon the wealth of the chantry endowment. “Last Things” (301–37) and “The Pains of Purgatory” (338–76).1580. Wyclif wrote. The personal intercessory piety of the chantry movement drew stern condemnation from Wyclif and his followers in the late fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries. 305. the founder of a chantry was free to choose the number of Mass priests and specific prayers that were to be recited during the liturgies. the nobility. L. 1400–c. Cited in Wood-Legh. Wood-Legh. ed. See. where religious awareness frequently mingled with a fondness for worldly ideals of wealth and authority.

101 . underestimated the centrality of the movement in the daily lives of medieval English people. Those who have given the chantry movement some treatment. Cyprian wrote his treatise De mortalitate in 252 “to console his flock during a dreadful plague”. Cyprian of Carthage (d. The practice of saying prayers for the souls of the dead is at least as old as the third century AD. each monastery kept a register known as Liber Vitae. 173. on the whole. sought to secure the prayers of the clergy by presenting alms and making endowments to monasteries and parish churches. see Kotila. on feast days. when St. and it was left to Augustine to lay the theological foundations of burial and the commemoration of the departed in his work De cura pro mortuis” (35). Cook. Evans. As Kotila has observed. Wood-Legh.11 Members of the laity. The names were announced at Sunday liturgies. For the biblical texts that have served to justify Christian practices of praying for and paying funerary homage to the dead. sometimes over a number of consecutive days. 160–c. In the parish churches it was called a “bede-roll” and was placed on the high altar.12 In England. promising further Masses at the anniversaries of their deaths. ix. 35–36. which contained the names and anniversaries of the benefactors for whom soul Masses were to be said. wishing to receive the spiritual benefits of soul Masses. and during requiem Masses for individuals.13 The monasteries of England became wealthy through the great expenditure 8 9 10 11 12 13 Wood-Legh.9 The writings of Tertullian (c. After the Synod of Attigny in 762. 225) and Gregory I (540–604) also record a tendency to observe the death of members of religious orders by celebrating Masses on their behalf. 258) is reported to have offered the celebration of the Eucharist for the repose of a soul of a recently deceased Christian.10 The feast of All Souls’ Day was instituted by Abbot Odilo of Cluny in the eleventh century as an annual day of remembrance for all the souls of the faithful departed. 3–5. The clergy were expected to recompense these temporal gifts by celebrating one or more soul Masses for individual benefactors at the time of death. not unlike the liturgical feast days celebrated annually in honor and remembrance of the saints and martyrs of the church. 2–3. it became common practice within religious communities to celebrate a specified number of Masses for the souls of departed brethren. The liturgical commemoration of the dead “was an established part of the liturgy of Jerusalem during the later part of the fourth century” (42–43). Lacking “the idealism of the monastic movements” and “the romance of the crusades. Medieval Chantries and Chantry Chapels. Endowments often included provision for Masses to be recited on the anniversary of the benefactor’s death as well. have.The Chantry Movement The chantry movement was part of an epoch in English culture and civilization that was destroyed in the sixteenth-century politically-directed church reforms of Henry VIII and Edward VI.”8 the movement has attracted far less interest among modern historians than one might expect. it is “the first known work entirely devoted to the question of death. 2–3. Wood-Legh.

Such private services were often performed for people at their own expense living at an inconvenient distance from the parish church. Alan Kreider has identified 2. in the form of endowments of land. or group of people. household. since the wish for soul Masses had become so great. these bequests came to be known as chantries. “In view of the heavy toll exacted of medieval institutions by the ravages of time. the monks were under legal obligation to recite more than seven thousand soul Masses annually. 7. cantaria. the founder’s family members. or members of a guild or fraternity. but of these the great majority had been founded in the fifteenth century and include only those that survived until the dissolution. Medieval Chantries and Chantry Chapels.14 The parish priest was similarly limited in his capacity to celebrate a daily. The focal point of the church’s liturgy of supplication for the dead. but in the fourteenth century they became the most common and most widespread form of individual religious expression in England. continuous succession of soul Masses. money. was used in England to describe any ecclesiastical service performed by a private chaplain for the personal needs of an individual.182 intercessory institutions capable of supporting at least one priest each at the time of their dissolution. on occasion. and.” writes Kreider. Evans. however. 102 . rents. Historians estimate that over two thousand chantries were dissolved under the reforms of Henry VIII and Edward VI in the sixteenth century. other kinds of possessions.Medieval Allegory and the Building of the New Jerusalem of grants by members of the laity hoping to benefit from the intercessory prayers of the monks. the monk-priests could not meet the liturgical requests of their benefactors. Eventually it became common to make bequests either to a monastery or to a secular church for a private priest. weekly. 16 Ibid. were called the week’s. 9. Duffy has observed. and annually by a succession of priests for the good-estate (pro bono statu) of particular individuals during their lifetimes and for the repose of their souls after death. Wood-Legh. month’s. whose primary liturgical obligation was to say Masses for the repose of the soul of a benefactor. 1–2. for private liturgies to be performed at a designated altar in a church or in a chantry chapel built specifically for the purpose. At Durham. monthly.16 Chantry foundations did not replace completely the monasteries as intercessory institutions. “The language of memory pervaded the cult of the dead: the obsequies celebrated for each departed soul on the seventh and thirtieth day after burial. for example.” derived from the Latin. 175. and year’s ‘mind’ or remembrance. the term “chantry” came to refer exclusively to an ecclesiastical benefice whose founder made provision. was properly called the ‘Commemoration of All Souls’ ” (328). 15 Cook. After the middle of the fourteenth century. But by the thirteenth century. and on the first anniversary.15 In England. since meeting the private liturgical needs of benefactors was just one of his pastoral duties. “the number of chantries 14 Evans. All Souls’ Day. These private liturgies were celebrated daily. 178–79. In the thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries the word “chantry.

Kent. Edward III. King Richard’s favorites. 89. for whom the monks were obliged to celebrate soul Masses: The chantry of Richard II. etc. 38. a wish to find some way to keep the dead alive in the minds of the living are the features of late medieval piety that found renewed expression in the private liturgical rituals of the chantry movement. The reign of Richard II saw a great multiplication of chantry foundations in England. and famine had devastated the population of England. above all. for which they were under obligation to sing masses perpetually for the souls of Richard. He established chantries at Carthusian. a belief in the intercessory power of the saints and the healing power of their bodily remains.The Chantry Movement actually founded in the fourteenth century must have been even greater than appears from surviving documentary evidence. daily encounter with the divine. At one of the Carthusian institutions. The King gave the advowson of Edlesburgh church to the brethren. the London Charterhouse. however.18 Richard also founded chantries at Mount Grace priory. Anne his Queen. for his soul. Ibid. the nobility.20 Richard did not build a chantry chapel at Westminster Abbey even though he had great admiration for the Benedictine monks there and even though so many of his ancestors and successors were buried in that church. where he made provision for daily Mass to be said for its Dominican nuns. and. Cited in Cook. plague. with Richard II founding many of his own.19 In 1385 Richard II established a college of twelve chantry priests at St. merchants. were abundant. Medieval Chantries and Chantry Chapels. 1431. the desire for a personal. c. Paul’s in London to pray for his soul. His endowed gifts to the abbey. 36. Dominican. and Benedictine institutions. Yorkshire – also a Carthusian house – and at Dartford priory. Evans. a belief in the spiritual power of the prayers of the living. civil servants – responded to this daily encounter with death by giving new force to already established forms of Christian piety. and for their ancestors. Fear of the sufferings of Hell and Purgatory. 35. English people of all social classes – royalty. These were mostly in the form of property and made for the purpose of securing the prayers of the monks for 17 18 19 20 Kreider. and for the priory’s other benefactors. ecclesiastics. the soul of Queen Anne. 103 . 188.”17 Endowments for Masses to be sung for a living benefactor or for the repose of the soul of a dead one increased greatly in the second half of the fourteenth century after war. The austere Carthusian establishments. whose preaching friars did much to stir the fears of the people with their warnings of post-mortem punishment. Richard II is recorded in a list of benefactors. were no less willing to pray for the souls of their benefactors than were the mendicant orders. his brother Edward. his father Edward (the Black Prince) and Joan his mother.

23 Most people in late medieval England could not afford to found personal chantries and to build chapels for individual members of their families. in the ville of Hendon and Hamstede with appurtenances.”24 Since the main purpose of chantries was to secure prayers for the souls of the dead. H. 174. In the late fourteenth century. Wood-Legh.26 21 22 23 24 25 26 Cook. Cook cites a record of such an endowment shortly before Richard’s deposition and murder in 1399: for his healthful estate while he lived and for the health of his soul after his death. especially in the north and northwest of England. These additions to the liturgy were chosen by the founder and were recited together with the collect. and post-communion prayers of the day. The first King of England to erect a chantry at Westminster was Henry V. Corpus Christi. At the very least. Ibid. Ibid. Cook. all lands. the Secret. [Richard II gave] to God and the church of S. rents and services called Hoddeford and Cowhous. G. the requiem Mass was most frequently celebrated. 290.Medieval Allegory and the Building of the New Jerusalem himself and for his queen. Henry IV chose to be buried at Canterbury Cathedral. See 98–99. the cantarist was always instructed to include special prayers for the benefit of souls. from securing prayers in the form of organized soul Masses and from erecting some chantry structure – however simple – for the purpose. who died in 1422. alternating at times with the Mass of All Saints. Medieval Chantries and Chantry Chapels. and for the health of the soul of his consort.25 But no matter which Mass was being said. but historians have found that a lack of financial means did not deter a great many laity. the Trinity. and the collective material contributions of the guilds’ individual members were used to establish “co-operative chantries. according to the Use of Sarum. Peter. also the burial church of the Black Prince. Westminster. tenements. 104 . a martyr.21 Apparently not wishing to compete with Richard for the prayers of the monks at Westminster Abbey. 284–85. Such Masses were especially common if a chantry had been established during the lifetime of the founder. in the county of Middlesex and elsewhere. late queen of England. 25. the Virgin Mary. Medieval Chantries and Chantry Chapels. both monastic houses that Henry himself had established in 1414. membership in the religious guilds rapidly increased. or the Mass of a given feast day. a special altar would be designated for use by a particular religious guild. The chantries that he established for Richard to atone for the guilt of his father – and to which Shakespeare refers in Henry V 22 – were founded in the Carthusian priory of Shene in Surrey and the Bridgetine nunnery of Syon in Middlesex.

301. despite – or perhaps on account of – its earthly ties. 28 Ibid.”28 It was believed that this safe transition depended upon one’s preparedness at the time of death and the extent to which the deceased would be remembered in the prayers of the living. 105 . they “offer evidence not of shallowness but of overwhelming social consensus in religious convictions and priorities. from the building of the most elaborate chapel to the burning of the smallest candle at an altar where soul Masses were said. These two concerns – preparation and remembrance – were the primary motivating sources for all features of the chantry movement. upon entering the late medieval English church. of ritual. according to the precise wishes of the benefactor. in the blessedness of heaven. and of artifact to establish an eternal communication with the sacred world and to prepare to take one’s unique place in Paradise. typically crowded with private funerary chapels. but also of the overwhelming belief among medieval people from all ranks of society in the efficacy of prayer – particularly of the Mass – to assist in the “safe transition of the souls from this world to the next.”27 The elaborate instructions for private liturgies that exist in foundation documents and wills is evidence not only of the desire for the liturgies to be carried out conscientiously. it was believed. this journey after death began in Purgatory and concluded. 27 Duffy. the medieval church building. finally. For medieval Christians. entered the space of the dead in order to speak to God on their behalf and to reflect upon the fate of their own souls after death.The Chantry Movement Historians of the medieval English church have commented upon the formulaic and apparently shallow nature of the wills and other documents that contain instructions for the founding and maintenance of chantries. 335. For most of the departed. using their tombs as altars. and erecting private chapels for them – as if to carve out their individual spaces in the Heavenly Jerusalem. deliberate effort to take full spiritual advantage of life.” Despite their formulaic character. The chantry movement was an organized. If Purgatory was thought to be the “antechamber” (Duffy’s term) of Heaven. It is as if there was an unceasing effort to remain in constant communication with the dead. The liturgies for the dead and their special architectural settings bound the two communities together for eternity: the living. the living. the Platonic journey of the soul did not end after death: the chantry movement was an expression of the potential of this world to assist in the ascent of the soul after death. particularly in late medieval England. But Eamon Duffy has rightly emphasized the ways in which these documents are fundamentally religious: they are the “concrete and practical expression of the testator’s belief in the importance of providing for prayer and good works for the health of one’s soul. to speak for them through their intercessory institutions and to be near them physically as well as spiritually by burying them in their churches. must have been conceived as a location decidedly “closer” to Paradise.

the liturgical and architectural features of the chantry movement do not obviously express such fear. professing one’s faith. the chantry movement was “the most remarkable manifestation of religious belief” in late medieval England. The Burghersh chantry (founded 1332) in 29 Duffy. and the northwest Midlands. In the words of G. xii. This late medieval religious movement – this heightened state of eschatological awareness – was expressed in England not only by the great number of chantry endowments. but in the late fourteenth century. 30 Medieval Chantries and Chantry Chapels. the wills which give proof of the widespread religious beliefs of late medieval people offer no evidence of a morbid obsession with death or hysteria over punishments that were thought to await most people in Purgatory. The chantry movement also provided many children with the only schooling they ever received. that a fear of Purgatory was a motivating source for the intercessory institutions of the Middle Ages. for example. Chantry Chapels and the Architecture of Late Medieval English Gothic The practice of saying prayers for the souls of the dead had been common throughout medieval Europe for centuries. but also through the widespread building of private funerary chapels where soul Masses were sung and which often contained the tomb of the donor. 347. The donors of chantry foundations.29 It is also true. they are an elaborate valorization of this world as an opportunity to prepare for one’s place in Paradise. since the chantry priests – in addition to performing their daily liturgical duties – commonly served as school teachers. Those medieval people who could not afford to endow a chantry foundation were familiar with the movement as a set of popular beliefs and liturgical practices. purging.30 By the Reformation more than two thousand chantry foundations had been established throughout England with particularly strong concentrations in London. particularly in England. Cook. H. however. using their chapels as classrooms. 303. Interestingly. this practice had evolved into an elaborate and pervasive religious movement that was driven by late medieval people’s assertive confrontation with death. 106 . On Sundays and liturgical feast days the scores of people who filled the naves and aisles of English churches and who were kept separated from the sanctuaries by choir screens could hear and observe the soul Masses being sung in the chapels that crowded the churches’ interiors. Instead. an organized effort to make this world an occasion for penance. regularly employed the poor to serve as mourners and to come daily to the tombs to pray for the souls of the deceased. and for revelation.Medieval Allegory and the Building of the New Jerusalem According to Duffy. Yorkshire. however.

The rich purchased the soul Masses and built the monuments. Works chapel.” 77. istius ecclesie. learned their alphabet from the chantry priests. The Purchase of Paradise: Gift Giving and the Aristocracy. Edward. for example. The Lincoln Records give 1133–35. As an expression of personal display and material privilege on the one hand. H. The chapel was originally dedicated to St. 1311). “Notes on the Medieval Altars and Chapels in Lincoln Cathedral. In the late Middle Ages those who could afford to build private chapels did so in order to provide a setting for the liturgies they had purchased. G. For Wyclif and the early reformers this effort to “buy” one’s way into heaven was worse than vanity or ignorance: it was the work of the devil.32 The chapel is enclosed by a stone screen. Peter Binnal dates the chantry foundation to 1183–85 or 1203. and Robert Burghersh. 134. each about six inches tall (fig. and over its entrance reads the inscription. Medieval Chantries and Chantry Chapels. Medieval Chantries and Chantry Chapels. The chantry was founded on behalf of the church’s benefactors. Henry (bishop of Lincoln). looked on. Subsequently it was rededicated to St. The founders of this chantry were Bartholomew. the poor listened. Katherine in the northeast corner of the choir. The chantry movement was a curious blend of private devotion and public display. liturgies that they believed would help them to avoid post-mortem suffering and exclusion from the divine realm. was his clear consciousness of the limitations of this world – of the dangers of lingering too long and too often on this side of the material threshold. Binnal.33 Seen from a historical perspective and as an expression of 31 This chantry was kept at the altar of St. 1307–1485 (London and Toronto: Routledge & Kegan Paul and U of Toronto P. Also essential to Suger’s understanding of his building as an apocalyptic and eschatological landscape. 107 . Binnal. then to St. and G. See Peter B. and G. 1). by John of Gaunt. On each side of the screen’s entrance are two kneeling figures of chantry priests at prayer. Edward. Cook. Rosenthal. Three of these figures are original. 137–38. 32 The Works chapel is located in the most northern bay of the south transept. Guthlac. and were hired to pray for the souls of dead men and women who enjoyed material privileges while living. was served by five priests who were obliged to instruct six poor boys in grammar until they reached the age of sixteen. See Peter B. 1972). the chantry movement also expressed the anxious belief that the prayers of the materially impoverished could transform wealth into a means of worship and entrance into Heaven. benefactorib. This notion is not unlike Abbot Suger’s belief that to construct a building filled with jewels and permeated with colored light for the purpose of liturgical worship was an appropriate way for humans to show reverence for God: only the most beautiful materials of this world were worthy of the human effort to show such reverence and could serve as potential “locations” for spiritual awareness – invitations for the soul’s movement from the earthly realm to the divine. “Notes on the Medieval Altars and Chapels in Lincoln Cathedral.The Chantry Movement Lincoln Cathedral. 1399) added a fourth figure when he rededicated the chantry to St. or 1203–6. hence the name. Oremus p. Cook.31 The priests who served the early Works chantry of Lincoln Cathedral were bestowed with special recognition for carrying out their duties. G.” The Antiquaries Journal 42 (1962): 74. martyr. H. Anne (c. John of Gaunt (d. 33 See Joel T.

1987). 37 The Gothic Cathedral. Cook concluded. and statuary that have disappeared were integral features of the larger architectural settings. of course. England 1200–1400. their decorative features have almost completely disappeared. I have found no evidence in subsequent scholarship that disproves his findings. 1949). and restoration. 76–77.” Le Moyen Age: Fondements d’un nouvel humanism 1280–1440 (Genève: Skira.” incorporating diverse “microarchitectural” genres that distinguished the English Decorated and Perpendicular styles within the larger Gothic tradition.” as Christopher Wilson put it. there has been only one attempt at a major study of the chapels by an art historian. monstrances. H.38 No scholar has suggested a hypothesis for why this phenomenon may be so.36 The interior of the larger edifices were “transformed. 1984). however. breviaries and books of hours. the chantry movement is an unusual combination of beliefs and practices: beliefs about how to confront death and divine Judgment. 39 Less ambitious studies that are largely derivative of Cook’s are Joan Evans.Medieval Allegory and the Building of the New Jerusalem medieval eschatological awareness. 173–200. “The present atmosphere of an English Protestant church. and the like) and statuary. indeed. ed. unique to England. vandalism. most were dismantled or destroyed along with the removal or destruction of an untold number of liturgical objects (altarpieces. Georges Duby’s chapter. When the Chantries Act was passed under Edward VI. not least of all.37 It is a curious fact of medieval architectural history that the widespread building of these chapels was a phenomenon almost entirely unique to England. that the building of chantry chapels within existing edifices specifically for this purpose was unique to England. 92.” The Oxford History of English Art 1307–1461 (Oxford: Clarendon.39 Cook’s study is divided equally between a general discussion of 34 Cook. having sustained various degrees of erosion. and. “Chantries and Colleges. G. the beheaded and defaced figures of the mortuary tomb of Bartholomew 36 “The Kingdom of Heaven: Its Architectural Setting. It is difficult for the modern observer of English churches to imagine the extraordinary architectural and decorative impact the chantry chapels had upon the churches in which they were built. “would have been wholly alien to medieval people. bright color. Medieval Chantries and Chantry Chapels.” since the decorative detail.” in The Age of Chivalry: Art in Plantagenet Berghersh (d. H. 35 See. “La Chapelle. 93–96. A chapter on chantry chapels in English parish churches 108 . the chantry endowments became a significant source of revenue for the Crown. for example. reliquaries. about how to participate in the sacred realm through prayer and liturgical worship.” writes Nicola Coldstream. by the additions of these “elaborate internal fittings. Cook’s Medieval Chantries and Chantry Chapels. 1355) in Lincoln Cathedral (figs 2–4). about the appropriate architectural setting for such worship. Jonathan Alexander & Paul Binski (London: Royal Academy of Arts. G. 213.34 Of the hundreds of chantry chapels that were built throughout England in the late fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. 190. 38 Ecclesiastical benefices founded for the purpose of securing Masses for the souls of the dead were not.35 Of the seventy chapels that do survive.

and Cook is especially instructive in his effort to see the architectural expression as inseparable from the religious beliefs and practices that took hold of late medieval England with such fervor. 1981). however.” in Fondements d’un nouvel humanisme. such as tombs and shrines. The Historical Growth of the English Parish Church (Cambridge: Cambridge UP. includes a reference to the English chantries and is an attempt. Furthermore. 1911). For the remainder of this chapter.41 Robert Branner is included in A. is any attempt to understand how this movement may have penetrated other kinds of artistic and cultural achievements. Thompson. These edifices were built to convey a particular religious devotion. but this devotional expression became inseparable from the patrons’ desire to display earthly ambitions and prestige. the individuals who helped spread the popularity of the chantry movement. 109 . is an attempt to examine how the chantry monuments function within the symbolic program of the larger edifices. “La chapelle. 77–92. The Stripping of the Altars. however abbreviated. I examine their relationship to micro-architectural genres and to other kinds of funerary monuments. The Cult of the Saints: Its Rise and Function in Latin Christianity (Chicago and London: U of Chicago P. See also Peter Brown. It is a reliable introduction to the chantry movement. Absent.40 no one has argued strongly enough for the importance of the architectural settings in conveying that belief – the importance of a particular space for the efficacy of that communication. 95. turning to their function (both practical and symbolic) as ecclesiastical edifices within the larger Gothic architectural tradition. I focus on the monuments themselves. The extant chantry monuments are at least as important as the chantry foundation documents as sources to which we can turn to understand the movement itself and to come closer to understanding this movement’s influence on other kinds of artistic and cultural endeavors. and Patrick J. 41 Vol. A study of the chantry monuments can lead to a greater awareness of the lives and aspirations of the individuals who built them.The Chantry Movement the chantry movement as a form of religious belief and descriptions of the architectural and decorative features of many of England’s extant chapels. were without doubt also responsible for the creation and dissemination of other cultural and artistic achievements. To understand the chantry movement in its entirety is to see it as a distinctive late medieval English phenomenon that incorporated evolving concepts of earthly images of the New Jerusalem. 24–50. H. What this study lacks. including medieval literature. to see the architectural expression of the chantry movement within the larger tradition of private royal chapels. Although Eamon Duffy and other historians of late medieval English religion have argued persuasively that prayers for the dead and soul Masses constituted a major expression of the belief in the close relation between the living and the dead. Geary. too. 3 of Le Moyen Age. 1994). especially the royal families and members of the nobility. Living with the Dead in the Middle Ages (Ithaca and London: Cornell UP. 40 Duffy. Georges Duby’s brief chapter.

These royal chapels were personal shrines for secular rulers. who was named patron saint of the French monarchy. vol.e. and Five. work in soft metals vation is noted in the phrase I quoted. as much as in the harder gilt-bronze” (Jean Bony. 45 The shrine of Saint-Taurin at Evreux. 4 (Paris: Presse 44 In the medieval period. Universitaires de France. 59. complete with gables. a place for private worship for an anointed king and his family. This exchange of expertise among specialists extended to other artistic domains as well.-Denis. was considered by the Merovingian kings to be the most precious of all relics. 55). “metalwork commonly meant goldsmith’s work. completed by 1255. embroidery – even literature. The private royal chapels were spaces large enough to serve as settings for liturgy. is a well-known example of a reliquary conceived in imitation of the most recent architecture. Louis Réau explains the specific link between the term “chapel” (capella) and the piety associated with the medieval cult of relics. esp. 400–1. (in malleable sheets of gold and silver). On the sharing among craftsmen and artists of different specializations. for example. Indeed. The royal chapel was something less 42 St Louis and the Court Style in Gothic Architecture (London: A. yet small enough to exploit the technical virtuosity and material preciousness of the metalworker’s craft. French Gothic. Private chapels for royalty were originally conceived as the central place of worship within a palace or castle. 50. as I will demonstrate later in this study.” The term chapelle originally designated the place where the chape of Saint Martin was kept. French Gothic Architecture of the 12th and 13th Centuries [Berkeley.Medieval Allegory and the Building of the New Jerusalem points out a stylistic alliance between the jewel of French Rayonnant.45 The mason’s craft was likewise transformed by the decorative detail and technical virtuosity that is characteristic of the metalworker’s micro-architectural projects. Branner makes no further mention of the chantries. chapters One. i. See. as reliquary buildings. and flying buttresses. 530 n. Zwemmer. Jean Bony. particularly in France. silver. pinnacles. 1958). Los Angeles and London: U of California P. 1983]. They often served. and bronze. 529 n.”42 These references to the social and stylistic foundations of chantry monuments have served as a starting point for my own analysis which treats Louis IX’s Sainte-Chapelle and the succession of Sainte-Chapelle “imitations” as the conceptual and architectural prototypes of the English chantry chapels. as was the case with the Sainte-Chapelle in Paris. Louis IX’s Sainte-Chapelle. and “the miniature Gothic architecture in chantry chapels. a national safeguard (“un palladium national”) analogous to the oriflamme of St. Four. The cape (Fr. manuscript illumination. The obser43 “Martin de Tours (11 novembre). see also Michael Camile. 110 . 1965).” Iconographie de l’art chrétien. like wall painting. 902.43 This theme of private chapel as giant reliquary was manifested both conceptually and stylistically by the shared accomplishments of the medieval mason and the metalworker. chape) of Saint Martin (326?–397).44 By the middle of the thirteenth century we find the metalworker applying the mason’s architectural forms to his own craft so that reliquaries resembled miniature churches made of gold. 1996). woodwork. Gothic Art: Glorious Visions (New York: Abrams. too.

48 The striking. St Louis. radiating effect was produced by tracery compositions that divided the surface of a window or wall into a series of repetitive. . 387.-Denis (New Haven and London: Yale UP. such as those on the transept façades of Notre Dame in Paris. The upper chapel served both as the private space of worship for the king and his family and as a shrine for the Crown of Thorns. see Caroline Astrid Bruzelius. 124. the Lance. the name given to the architectural style that appeared in northern France in the mid-thirteenth century. 357. The chapel was begun 48 49 50 51 before 1244 (perhaps as early as 1241) and dedicated in 1248. 362.”51 It was an effort that included the slenderization of columns. Wilson. The term “Rayonnant” was first used by nineteenthcentury archeologists who found the “radiating” rose windows. 64–5 and Jean Bony. to be the style’s most distinctive feature. as we shall see. Bony. cf.”49 The repetition of linear motifs in the clerestory windows at Amiens and in the windows of the thirteenth-century nave at St. The 13th-Century Church at St. a miniature Heavenly Jerusalem. the merging of triforium and clerestory mullions. lace like patterns. On the renovations at St. but German: Cologne Cathedral: “The choir of Cologne . Christopher Wilson argues that the “most splendid” Rayonnant church is not French. Ibid. and for other relics of the Cross that Louis IX had acquired from Constantinople after the chapel was completed in 1248. Louis IX’s Sainte-Chapelle is one of the outstanding achievements of French Rayonnant.” writes Jean Bony. Gothic Cathedral. Nicholas in the Parisian palace. . French Gothic.-Denis” (Gothic Cathedral. is essentially a version of Amiens updated in the light of [the thirteenth-century renovations] of St. 111 . 375.46 The Sainte-Chapelle in Paris is the most familiar example of an ecclesiastical edifice that was at once a reliquary and a private royal chapel. yet something more than a shrine or liturgical ornament. and the multiplication of gabled porches and canopied niches on the exterior of buildings such as Saint-Nicaise in Reims. “In this new architecture conceived entirely as filigree work. the north façades of Notre Dame in 46 Charlemagne’s palace chapel at Aachen is an early medieval example of such a royal edifice. The influence of Rayonnant upon all stages of late Gothic architecture is well known.The Chantry Movement than a great church. the removal of interior supports to create more surface area for windows. 47 There is controversy surrounding the precise dating of the Sainte-Chapelle.50 The network of tracery typical of thirteenth-century French Rayonnant was an “effort toward the immaterial. It was commissioned by Louis IX in 1240 to house the relic of the Crown of Thorns which he bought from the Emperor of Constantinople in 1239.47 It is a two-storied structure and replaced the old chapel of St.-Denis are “paragons” of the Rayonnant style and were meant to give the interior of the buildings a greater sense of lightness and insubstantiality. 1985). 125 and 190). “all forms become almost indefinitely repetitive. French Gothic.-Denis. it was. but nowhere is this influence more evident than in the Decorated and Perpendicular styles of late medieval England. 362 Ibid. 361–63. See Branner. The lower level was used as a place of worship for the king’s retainers and was dedicated to the Virgin.

were reliquary buildings that enshrined fragments of the Cross (given as gifts from Louis IX and his 52 Ibid.54 It was a monument where concepts of kingship. and Wilson. New York and Toronto: Oxford UP. private space of Rayonnant brilliance.” by another as a “multifaceted diamond” and by still another as “fictive metalwork. 130–31. Tournai Cathedral and the Sainte-Chapelle. the pious crusader-king and future saint of the Church. Most of these chapels. channeled their creative energy into achieving expert combinations of ornament and proportion. The interior of the upper chapel has been described by one art historian as “a casket of light. 46. Pope Innocent IV said that Christ had crowned Louis with His Crown. 54 The presence of the Passion relics invested the building and Louis with divine status. 386–400. At the level of the arcade beneath the windows are twelve gilded statues of the apostles set against the piers. made his Sainte-Chapelle the ecclesiastical jewel of the Ile de la Cité. open space uninterrupted by aisles and transepts and bounded on four sides by expansive. shimmering screens of stained-glass windows that depict narrative images of the stories of Moses. See Branner. and the church as a representation of the Celestial City were perfectly blended in a single. with each apostle bearing one of the church’s consecration crosses. sacredness. A choir of censing angels is carved on the spandrels of the arcade. 53 Ibid.Medieval Allegory and the Building of the New Jerusalem Paris. imago Dei and patronus ecclesiae. canopies. Stephen’s chapel in Westminster Palace as a deliberate imitation of the Sainte-Chapelle in Paris. 1241) believed that Christ had chosen France “for the more devout veneration of the triumph of His Passion. 112 . Art in Medieval France 987–1498: A Study of Patronage (London. The bays of the vault are painted with golden stars against a dark blue field. The English kings. 46. Their capitals depict a great variety of carved representations of flora and fauna. no longer impeded by the technical cruxes that challenged the builders of the earlier great Gothic buildings. Louis IX. 1948). the monumental proof that Paris was to be seen as the new holy land. also Michael Camille. The relics of the Passion were displayed under an ornate. the Books of Kings. 411.52 Like the growing complexity of tracery patterns in windows.”55 It is a single. 373–75. Gothic Art. the gables.” and in 1244. like the Parisian model. and niches on the exterior of French churches were designed to emphasize systems of progressive subdivisions or small-scale forms set within larger frames. 56–57. 195. St Louis. Gothic Cathedral. 55 Joan Evans. Louis IX’s Sainte-Chapelle became the revered model for a succession of chapels built by members of royalty and nobility in France throughout the later Middle Ages. Louis became rex christianissimus. and the Books of Esther and Judith – all framed within gilded medallions. built St. and a rose window adorned the western end. for example. suggesting the celestial canopy. raised canopy in the apsidal sanctuary. The Sainte-Chapelle is perhaps the monument that best displays the Rayonnant expression of the Heavenly Jerusalem. Gothic Art. Archbishop Gautier Cornut of Sens (d. The slender piers that support the vault are set against the walls and painted in colorful geometric patterns. Michael Camille. 363–64.53 The Rayonnant craftsmen.

Mary’s church in Warwick and the Warwick chantry (erected 1422) at Tewkesbury Abbey (fig.The Chantry Movement successors) or other relics of the Passion. 48–49). The History of the King’s Works (London: Her Majesty’s Stationery Office. In 1379. “Nowhere in the world. First he built a Sainte-Chapelle at Bourges to house a fragment of the Cross that had been a gift in 1372 from Charles V. Colvin. 197. The builders of these SainteChapelle “imitations” sought to rival the Parisian original in architectural virtuosity and precision on a small scale. but work resumed and was completed under François I and Henri II. 1439) in St.” Three early examples are the chapel added to the Benedictine abbey church of Saint-Germer to house a fragment of the Cross.56 Jean. Each of these chapels was as much a tribute to the duc himself and to members of his family as it was a private setting in which to worship. Stephen’s was begun in 1292 by Edward I and became the most important ecclesiastical building project of the Plantagenet royal household for fifty-six 56 Joan Evans studied several of the French Saintes-Chapelles that were closely modeled on the Pari- sian monument. St. for the nobility to depict family members alongside biblical prophets and angels holding heraldic shields.”57 It became customary. for example. was built to house the relics and regalia belonging to the Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV (r. 113 . just outside of Paris. which does survive and resembles the Parisian model with the addition of two small side chapels. The chapel of the Holy Cross at Karlstein Castle. and the reliquary and chapel at the abbey of Maubuisson commissioned by Louis IX’s great niece. near Prague. “nowhere else in Europe is the claustrophobic opulence of sacro-political power made more manifest” (Gothic Art. and H. M. where “the portrait of the individual had invaded the iconography of the church. one at Rion.” she observed. Duchess of Bourbon and daughter of Louis XI (1423–83). like the chantry of Richard Beauchamp (d. It does not survive. to house the bones of her deceased uncle. St Stephen’s Chapel and its Place in the Development of Perpendicular Style in England (Cambridge: Cambridge UP. Charles V founded a college of fifteen canons to serve a Sainte-Chapelle at the Vincennes château. “is the mature Gothic that makes the walls of a building a succession of splendid windows of fairy lightness better exemplified than in the Saintes Chapelles. Bastard of Orleans. 196–98). 58 One was begun in 1451 at Châteaudun by Dunois. was especially fond of emulating the Sainte-Chapelle tradition. built one at Bourbon-l’Archambault (Evans.59 St. 12). Especially in these late medieval reliquary chapels. Camille has observed. This chapel also served as the duc’s mausoleum. Stephen’s chapel in the Palace at Westminster. the Lady Chapel of Saint-Germain-des-Prés. in lavish decoration. 1963). The building of the Saintes-Chapelles continued in France into the fifteenth century. 1355–78). and another at Mehun-sur-Nièvre. 57 Evans. we find a conspicuous mingling of secular and sacred iconography. Art in Medieval France. Louis I of Bourbon built a Sainte-Chapelle at Aigueperse and Anne. Mahaut d’Artois. Art in Medieval France. (Art in Medieval France. 197–98). Jean built two other Saintes-Chapelles. 510–27. France’s war with England halted building activities around the year 1400. Duc de Berry (1340–1416). Work on this Sainte-Chapelle began in the early years of Charles VI reign (1380–1422).58 But more to our purpose is the great English rendition of the Paris Sainte-Chapelle. 1955). This was the practice in Jean’s chapel at Bourges and in the more elaborate chantry chapels in England. 59 See Maurice Hastings. but a miniature replica is on display at the Palais Jacques Coeur in Bourges. and especially in their efforts to saturate the chapels’ interiors with colored light.

and geometric patterning. 523. Albans. verdigris.62 It was a two-storied structure like its French predecessor. had initiated England “into the delights of microarchitecture. Colvin. Stony Stratford.65 The Eleanor Crosses. and 65.61 The English chapel was approximately ninety feet long and thirty feet wide. the lower chapel was badly restored by Sir Charles Barry and his son.Medieval Allegory and the Building of the New Jerusalem years of their reign.24 feet high (20. The Decorated Style: Architecture and Ornament 1240–1360 (Toronto.64 a pioneer of the English Decorated style who had been employed previously by Edward I to build one of the twelve memorial crosses for his queen. The History of the King’s Works. The architectural features of the upper chapel are known to us from drawings. Michael of Canterbury worked on St. Stephen’s from 1292 to 1297. The Ste. Its secular use as a chamber for the Commons led to gradual deterioration and destruction of its medieval architectural forms. St.5m). and ochre” and that “[e]very available surface was painted. besides considerable quantities of silver. Colvin reports that between 1351 and 1360 “many thousand foils of gold were used in the chapel.-Chapelle is 131. diapered or stenciled. Stephen’s was Michael of Canterbury. Waltham. Gothic Cathedral.70m). In the 1860s. Eleanor of Castile (d. vermilion. Stephen’s chapel became the property of the House of 62 63 64 65 Commons. Stephen’s chapel in 1297. 479. 1290). since the English wars with Scotland and France and the political crisis at the end of Edward II’s reign halted progress on St. See Colvin.2 feet long (40m). 1994). which were small-scale. Building activity progressed for more than twenty years. and the lower chapel for the use of members of the Plantagenet court. Northampton. Elaborate memorial crosses were erected at each stage of the cross-country funeral: at Lincoln. See Colvin. the Plantagenet kings sought not merely to imitate the Paris monument. their wish was to convey to the world an English royal sanctity and political prestige surpassing that of the Capetian rulers.24 feet long (33m). like St. the main.36 feet wide (12m). who wished to concentrate his resources on the wars in Scotland and France. Michael of Canterbury was commissioned to make the memorial cross at Cheapside. imagery. Stephen’s chapel. Stephen’s chapel. The interior of the upper chapel was a marvelous display of color. threedimensional polygons. white and red lead. West Cheap in the City of London.”63 The first master mason at St. The building was completed in 1348 following Edward III’s victories at Crécy and Calais. 192. building activity at St. In 1834 a fire destroyed the upper chapel and left the lower chapel in ruins. Of the twelve crosses. 39. Dunstable. Stamford. 519.” They were. 484. For comparison. Woburn. Progress was halted again in the winter of 1325–26 during the final crisis of Edward II’s reign (Colvin 510–18). 519–20. and in 1334. Edward I ordered her body to be carried in procession from Lincoln to Westminster in twelve stages. and 67. during the reign of Edward VI. gilded. the royal manor of Geddington. 1320. St.6 feet high (20m). 511.-Chapelle at Vincennes is 108. and Wilson. 35 feet wide (10. 1325–26. Stephen’s ceased on 4 July 1297 and was resumed on Michaelmas. once again under the direction of Michael of Canterbury.60 In their building of St. only three survive today (at Waltham. but the decoration of the chapel’s interior continued for another decade and a half. and the King’s mews at Charing. the children of Capetian 60 Colvin. 114 . 510–18. Grantham. upper chapel for the private use of the king and his family. 510–11. Buffalo: U of Toronto P. 61 In 1548. 96. On the orders of Edward I. Northampton and Geddington). the Paris Ste. Upon Eleanor’s death on 28 November 1290. azure. See also Nicola Coldstream.

70 The second mason in charge of St. Stephen’s was Thomas of Canterbury. The English Decorated Style: Gothic Architecture Transformed 1250–1350 (Ithaca: Cornell UP. Stephen’s they became prominent features of the upper chapel’s interior space. when the king’s affairs with Scotland caused progress on the building to cease (Colvin 510–17). Geoffrey Webb viewed these stylistic tendencies as the defining features of the “illuminated architecture” of Westminster Abbey.67 The ogee arch (a reversed.73 The term “illuminated architecture” calls attention to the interior. Twenty years earlier similar monuments were erected in honor of 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 Louis IX and were used “to mark the funeral procession which carried the bones of St. as well as windows and walls) with “highly ornamented. Edward III appointed Thomas of Canterbury as chief mason at St. 1260–80). 521. Coldstream. probably Michael’s son. Architectural historians tend to see Decorated as a style that combined the concept of the reliquary building with an increased emphasis on interior figure sculpture and imagery enshrined by canopies.66 This new phase of Gothic style emphasized further the concept of the ecclesiastical monument as a sacred space made up of many smaller. 1987). Stephen’s.71 Thomas was also the main architect in charge of remodeling the south transept of Gloucester Abbey (now a cathedral). Denis” (Colvin. see Jean Bony. 115 . Wilson observes that the double-curved or ogee arch appeared on the west portals of Auxerre Cathedral (c. writes Paul Crossley. Gothic Cathedral. Batsford. sacred spaces – an earthly manifestation of “heaven’s many mansions” (John 14. the earliest examples of ogees as an element of window tracery appeared in the lower chapel at St. Gothic Cathedral. For a book-length study of Perpendicular. S-shaped curve) was one of the style’s principal motifs. “could be made a more comprehensive image of Heaven by multiplying these niches throughout the building. The church. For book-length studies of the English Decorated style. T. 66. “English Gothic Architecture. Thomas directed building activities at St.The Chantry Movement monuments. Wilson. Wilson. 1978). Wilson. The Decorated Style. 194. chromatic brilliance of the late medieval English monuments. The Perpendicular Style 1330–1485 (London: B.2). which has much in common with Decorated and is considered to be “the ultimate development of Rayonnant.” in The Age of Chivalry: Art in Plantagenet England 1200–1400 (London: Royal Academy of Arts. Stephen’s chapel in 1331. Nicola Coldstream describes Decorated as a “fusion” of increasingly complex patterns of tracery (on vaults. a project that began around the year 1331. see John Harvey. Gothic Cathedral. The architecture of the south transept is the earliest example of Perpendicular. Louis from Paris to St. See also Colvin. 92. 208–10. coloured and burnished 66 Wilson. Stephen’s from 27 May 1331 until autumn 1334. but one that views Decorated as inferior to Perpendicular. 1979) and Nicola Coldstream. Decorated. 514.”72 Both the English Decorated and Perpendicular styles were refinements and elaborations of French Rayonnant.68 Another principal motif of the style was the canopied niche. 191–92. 12–13.”69 Both of these forms had appeared on the exterior of French churches as elements of portals and buttresses. but at St. Gothic Cathedral. 484–85).

Lincoln Cathedral. 9. By permission of the Chapter Office.” According to Coldstream.”74 In the middle of the fourteenth century.” that is. Lincoln Cathedral. Works Chantry (detail. Chantry priests. she describes one of its principal innovations. 116 . interior[s]. Perpendicular appeared in the south transept of Gloucester Abbey under the direction of Thomas of 74 Ibid. the S-shaped ogee curve. Indeed. 7. with structural problems or with structural unity. early thirteenth century). “Decorated is not primarily concerned with structure. as “anti-structural.Medieval Allegory and the Building of the New Jerusalem 1.

Edward III also appointed William of Ramsey as master mason of the king’s castles Architecture from 1350 to the Advent of the Renaissance (Ithaca: Cornell UP. 1349). 79 Ibid. for example. Gothic Cathedral. Gothic Cathedral. 78 Wilson. than the “surge” of geometric patterns produced by the fan vault of Gloucester’s east cloister. Gothic Cathedral. Paul’s Cathedral. and Guy de Brien (c. who like Ramsey was from the English Midlands.” “restrained. Paul’s Cathedral. When contrasting Perpendicular with Decorated. “embodied” the architectural style or “system” of Perpendicular.79 Edward II’s tomb was set up in the choir after the fall of Mortimer in 1330 and became a site of veneration befitting a saint’s shrine. The Late Middle Ages: Art and 76 Wilson. . Cook. Wilson. Paul’s small chapter-house and double. destroyed by the Great Fire of 1666).78 Although a good deal of scholarship has been devoted to distinguishing between the Decorated and the Perpendicular styles of late medieval English Gothic. From 1360 until his death in 1400. Yevele. along with most of the chantry chapels that crowded the interiors. multi-tiered canopy was imitated at Tewkesbury Abbey for the tombs of Hugh Despenser (d. in addition to owning a tombmaking business. History. 516). Stephen’s chapel between 1340 and 1348 was William Ramsey of Norwich. The elaborate. the second husband of 75 Ibid. 212. or painted and gilded statuary was a prominent part of monuments now known for their Perpendicular “purity. 26–7.The Chantry Movement Canterbury. . along with the innovations at Gloucester. Henry Yevele. Ramsey was also the master mason in charge of Old St. this style prevailed in the work of one of the greatest masters of the period. On Old St. “accompanied by a marked concentration of figure sculpture near altars and other focal points and . whose architectural features.76 The mason who had been in charge of the final stage of construction at St.”75 Above all. 77 Ibid. we must remember when we visit the monuments that much of the decorative features has disappeared. Lavish ornamentation.77 From the second half of the fourteenth century to the beginning of the Renaissance.storied cloister (begun in 1332. south of the Trent (Colvin. Old S.” and “pure” aesthetic. Perpendicular seems to have been a kind of “belated acceptance” of the unifying principles of Rayonnant. 212. see G. 1977). 1390). 10. see also Wim Swann. 1360) with its famous fan vault. Paul’s Cathedral: A Lost Glory of Medieval London (London: Phoenix House. the remodeling of the south transept by Thomas of Canterbury converged with the display of two of the most ornate structures in medieval Europe: the east walk of the cloister (begun c. 206–7. 1955). whether in the form of traceried stained glass. by the use of more and lighter stained glass. 213. and the canopied tomb of Edward II. elaborate canopy work. H. 207–8. architectural historians describe the former as the more “austere. 117 . had been the chief royal architect to Westminster Palace and St. “There are few more poetic effects in Gothic architecture” writes Christopher Wilson. Here the traceried patterns of Rayonnant rose windows are transferred to stone and repeated overhead in a series of trumpet-like conoids.” In Gloucester Abbey.

80 Joan Evans. Erkenwald’s shrine in Old St. and the choir in which they were built is one of England’s finest examples of early Decorated. Paul’s Cathedral was designed according to Perpendicular principles and stood just a few yards away from one of the most lavishly decorated chantry chapels in England. 1325). 165. Lincoln Cathedral.”82 were brightly painted and gilded. 171. Stephen’s chapel was carried out during the careers of William of Ramsey and Henry Yevele. Oxford History of Art. Hugh’s widow. often under the supervision of the same craftsmen.Medieval Allegory and the Building of the New Jerusalem 2. the lavish decoration of the interior of St. which have been described as “delightful specimen[s] of Perpendicular. Lincoln Cathedral.80 St.81 The chantry chapels at Tewkesbury Abbey. 81 The chantry chapel of Roger de Waltham (c. H. 118 . Tomb (detail) of Bartholomew Burghersh (d. These English tombs served in turn as the models for the tomb of Pope John XXII at Avignon. the “pioneers” of English Perpendicular. By permission of the Chapter Office. Indeed. Cook. for now I wish to emphasize that the two stylistic tendencies existed and developed within the same edifices. I will have more to say later about these monuments. Medieval Chantries and Chantry Chapels. 82 G. 1355/6).

Liturgical furnishings and objects (sediliae. choir screens. paintings. or were buildings like the Sainte-Chapelle and St. embroideries. foliage. Evidence for the conscious transfer of motifs across traditional artistic boundaries is abundant. the original pattern of the south transept rose window is reproduced on a floor tile. and embroidery. “Micro-Architecture as the ‘Idea’ of Gothic Theory and Style.” Gesta 15 (1976): 83. and that their archi83 François Bucher. Tomb (detail) of Bartholomew Burghersh. and monstrances. manuscript illumination. ogee arches. 10) is flower-like in design and is said to evoke paradise symbolically. fauna. like goldsmithing. Scholars disagree over the primary direction of influence: did imitation travel from the buildings to the so-called minor arts. fonts. shrines and tombs. diaper. choir stalls. In the Chapter House of Westminster Abbey. and niches. and ivory carvings all became “façades” for tracery. canopies. woodworking. The principal architectural and decorative motifs of French Rayonnant and its English derivatives were applied with great enthusiasm across all domains of visual media. stained glass. it too is an example of how the radiating tracery of rose windows was adopted for display in other visual media. Stephen’s chapel simply “full-scale embodiments” of micro-architecture?83 Jean Bony argues that the “shrine treatment” of the chapels is applicable only to the chapels’ interior. 119 . The lierne vault of the choir at Tewkesbury (figs 9. for example. for instance).The Chantry Movement 3.

400–3. “was probably more current in England than in France. tectural forms did not reflect metalwork. “The actual influence of metalwork on architectural forms.”85 84 French Gothic.”84 Other scholars argue that this process of imitative exchange was more fluid. According to François Bucher.” 71. 120 . “[t]he only major work of architectural composition that was truly treated in a shrine like spirit in its relief and modeling was the glorious west façade of Reims Cathedral” designed in the mid-1250s.” Bony continues. According to Bony. Tomb (detail) of Bartholomew Burghersh. “[s]tylistic inventions were often developed in small works and transferred to architecture. Bony uses Wells Cathedral as an example. the “idea” of Gothic is most fully expressed in the “exemplary models” of micro-architecture. 85 “Micro-Architecture.Medieval Allegory and the Building of the New Jerusalem 4. 83.

121 . Buildings became settings for increasingly smaller “versions” of themselves in the form of chapels. precious quality” of the metalworker’s craft became “a fundamental part of the Court Style of Gothic architecture. 86 St Louis and the Court Style in Gothic Architecture. the Sainte-Chapelle is “more precisely based upon the forms of a reliquary than the earlier buildings. relics. By permission of the Chapter of Chester Cathedral.-Denis). the transept porches at Chartres. the façade of Angoulême Cathedral. contributed to the concept of the church as the New Jerusalem by becoming one of “heaven’s many mansions” (John 14. for each served as a sacred enclosure for a Christian mystery. or the eucharistic meal. shrines. Shrine of Saint Werburgh (early fourteenth century). whether as a setting for liturgy or as a shelter for imagery. liturgical vessels. and the dado arcade at St. 93.2). but conceptually as well. and niches.The Chantry Movement 5.”86 No matter what the primary direction of influence. Robert Branner points out that while the alliance between these media – the crafts and the architecture – appears “in all periods of western art” (for example. reliquaries. however small. in thirteenth-century France. not only structurally and stylistically. in Nero’s Golden House in Rome. Chester Cathedral. Each space. it is clear that the confines between architecture and other visual media were merging with one another and that the respective projects (large and small) were mutually illuminating to their craftsmen. the triforium at Amiens.” Indeed. These edifices reflected one another. Dagobert’s decoration of the sanctuary of St. the “metallic.-Denis.

By kind permission of the Vicar and Churchwardens of Beverley Minster. namely that the crown of England will pass not to the sons of Edward III but to the House of Lancaster.and small-scale forms (figs 2–4). 470.Medieval Allegory and the Building of the New Jerusalem 6. 1355/6) at Lincoln Cathedral displays well this conceptual interaction of large.87 Lord Burghersh’s canopied tomb niche is built into the north wall 87 Chronicles. 1340–49). Beverley Minster. Froissart 122 . 1968). by Geoffrey Brereton (New York: Viking Penguin. Bartholomew Burghersh fought with the Black Prince at Crécy and is celebrated by Froissart as the old knight who repeated to Queen Phillippa’s maids Merlin’s prophecy from Layamon’s Brut. ed. The mortuary tomb of Bartholomew Burghersh (d. Percy Tomb (c. and trans.

just a few yards from the site of the Burghersh Chantry. The first angel group stands with wings resting against a miniature church edifice that is the same height as the angels themselves (fig. at his head two angels hold his shield. 4). below the first window from the east. but sources indicate that Lord Bartholomew died in 1355/6.The Chantry Movement 7. Bartholomew’s armored effigy rests on top of the tomb slab. and at his feet two more angels receive his soul in a shroud (figs 2. of the aisle. 123 . The wings of the angels merge with the miniature reports that he heard this conversation in 1361. The façades of the tiny structure are adorned with linear tracery and quatrefoils below bulbous clusters of foliage. Froissart seems to have made the dating error. 3). Percy Tomb (detail).

and reliquaries. Constructed between 1340 and 1349. baptismal fonts. the process of imitative exchange among craftsmen was stimulated by political crises and by the patronage of nobles and clergy. It is located on the north side of the sanctuary between a pier of the chancel and the enclosed spiral staircase attached to the altar screen. which probably served as the reliquary proper. Its enclosed lower level. 5).” 74. but their intercessory gifts extend to the inhabitants of the larger edifice. 234–35. Stephen’s chapel. sophisticated treatment of materials and daring designs. The corner piers of the shrine display arch and gable arcading at mid-level and capitals of canopied niches with gilded statuary. The shrine was built in the early fourteenth century to house the relics of the popular.88 Masons and other craftsmen who had been (or would otherwise have been) employed at the Westminster workshops found professional opportunities at the parish churches and households of noble families. suggesting perhaps that the divine realm in which they dwell is embodied by this varied collection of edifices: they are the guardians of Bartholomew’s canopied space from which they convey his soul to Heaven. Holy Sepulchers. The wars with Scotland and France. is a recognized masterpiece of English Decorated art. In fourteenth-century England. see Colvin. the miniature image of which they support upon their wings.” 93 and Bucher. is a excellent example of an English shrine-reliquary constructed to resemble a small chapel (fig. The small size of these projects “was counterbalanced by enrichment of details. the canopied tomb is traditionally thought to have been erected by Idoine. Yorkshire (figs 6–8). as well as the ineffective and grim intervals of Edward II’s reign. like chantry chapels.Medieval Allegory and the Building of the New Jerusalem church so completely that they form a single unit. Werburgh. Lord Percy. has six deeply recessed niches framed under ogee arches. 124 . It is a two-storied. free-standing structure.”89 The cults of the Virgin and the Eucharist. now open at the top.” Certain liturgical innovations grew out of or coincided with this professional movement among court craftsmen to other civic or “privately financed architectural environments. into an increasing number of small-scale projects. for example. canopied tombs. Creative energy became channeled. The tomb chest is flat and could have served as an altar – perhaps as an Easter sepulcher. The shrine of St. “Kingdom. this was the case. therefore. caused royal building activities to cease periodically. 89 See Coldstream. were stimulated or reinforced by the building of the Lady Chapels and the ornate designs of Easter sepulchers and liturgical objects. like the fortification of royal castles located on the Welsh and Scottish borders. is bounded on two of the four sides by traceried screen arches. wife of Henry. The upper story. With its location in the church. as we have seen. “Micro-Architecture. with intermittent building progress on St. In times of crisis the Crown’s resources would be reserved for essential building projects. late seventh-century saint. rood screens. its possible function as 88 For example. now in the Lady Chapel at Chester Cathedral. The Percy tomb in Beverley Minster.

an altar. The finial of the gigantic nodding ogee is a figure of Christ in Majesty receiving a shrouded. altarpieces. where benefactors and family members sought to be remembered each day. and to the tradition of chantry architecture. Werburgh’s in Chester. Percy Tomb (detail). Emmerson and Ronald B.90 90 For an excellent treatment of the medieval merging of personal with the “universal” or “cosmic” eschatology and apocalyptic spirituality. like St. The Apocalyptic Imagination in Medieval Literature (Philadelphia: U of Pennsylvania P.The Chantry Movement 8. The late medieval chantry monuments provide visual evidence of a unique phase in the evolving concept of the church as an earthly representation of the New Jerusalem. 8). Two larger angels holding instruments of the Passion flank the central group. and its remarkable sculptural features. Unlike reliquaries. individually. the chantry monuments embody the defining characteristics of late English Gothic. and other liturgical objects. The whole scene is crowned by a pinnacle which is a great cluster of fruit and foliage. 1992). the tomb is a kind of intermediary structure. They are framed from behind by a richly crocketed gable. see Richard K. 8). however. the chapels were private settings for funerary liturgies. linked both to the free-standing shrines. female soul from two angels (figs 7. Herzman. for example. as participants in the eschatological and apocalyptic drama of Christian history. In their chapter on Dante. As a special variety of small-scale architectural monuments that incorporate micro-architectural genres. the authors write: “As is typical of the apocalyptic imagina- 125 . Enclosed within the cusps under the ogee are figures of knights in armor bearing heraldic shields (fig.

see Maurice Hastings. Saint Erkenwald (Philadelphia: U of Pennsylvania P. the corpse turns to dust. ed. The geographical areas that have been most often associated with the Pearl poet are the northwest Midlands and London. 1325) and was located just a few yards away from St. Pearl. Paul’s Cathedral: A Lost Glory of Medieval London (London: Phoenix House. 59. One of the earliest and most elaborately decorated chantry chapels in Old St. and the judge’s soul is received into heaven. can be dated to 1313. late Gothic church.93 It was a three-tiered struc- tion throughout the Middle Ages and particularly in Dante. which some scholars also attribute to the author of Pearl and Sir Gawain. Paul’s. I will take up a more detailed discussion of the fascinating links between the chantry movement and the poems later in this study. which is represented in the poem. When the bishop sheds tears upon the preserved corpse of a judge who – since he lived in pre-Christian days – endures the torments of Limbo. 91 Clifford Peterson. But before leaving the subject of chantries and poetry altogether. the fourteenth-century alliterative poet who wrote Pearl and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight must have benefited from precisely this kind of patron. Paul’s belonged to Roger de Waltham (c. these regions. See John M. also contained the greatest concentration of chantry foundations in the late Middle Ages. H. Paul’s Cathedral that had begun around the year 1250. 93 The spectacular reception that took place in August 1392 to celebrate the reconciliation between London and Richard II. to make provisions for soul Masses. The poem. And as a poet of the court or of a prominent household. Paul’s Cathedral in London was the English church that contained the greatest number of chantry foundations. 126 . Erkenwald. 92 On the shrine of St. St. and to furnish their miniature heavenly Jerusalems with ornate liturgical objects were the same individuals who were patrons of other cultural endeavors. perhaps as part of the king’s newly formed principality of Cheshire. 124 and n.91 Early in the poem is a description of renovations to St. 40–41. the tears act as baptismal water. Erkenwald in Old St. In addition. scholars have recently offered compelling arguments that link this poet (or small group of poets) to the court of Richard II. Stephen’s Chapel.Medieval Allegory and the Building of the New Jerusalem Many of the people who could afford to build chapels. included a procession that ended at the shrine of St. like literary art. 1977). the universal and the individual are here [in cantos 14–18 of the Paradiso] merged with those of personal conversion” (143). Erkenwald’s shrine. Bowers. St. 129–30. 1955).. he would have traveled frequently between the northwest regions and London. For example. Old St. the same monument whose commemorative saint inspired the alliterative poem named after him: St. This “New Work” was dedicated in 1314.92 It was one of the most revered shrines in England and was built to resemble a miniature. Erkenwald. Cook. The shrine of St. 6. tells the story of a miracle performed by Erkenwald who was made bishop of London in 675. and G. Paul’s Cathedral deserve special mention. Interestingly. along with Yorkshire. Erkenwald. the fourteenth-century funerary monuments in St.

By permission of the Vicar and Churchwardens of Tewkesbury Abbey. Choir (fourteenth century).The Chantry Movement 9. Tewkesbury Abbey. 127 .

Ogival figures appear in the tympanum of the gable and in the heads of the trefoil blind tracery. A chantry foundation was added to the shrine in 1323. which is set in a niche in the east wall of the south transept of Westminster Abbey. At the dissolution of the monasteries the canopy was 128 . ture supported by miniature flying buttresses and decorated with blind tracery. In its overall conception the shrine was constructed according to Perpendicular principles: the pronounced vertical lines of the large. Lierne vault. ogees. A colored. Some of the least elaborate chantry chapels were canopies that had been erected over tombs in the aisles or transepts of churches. although it is not clear if this tomb structure was ever used as a chantry.Medieval Allegory and the Building of the New Jerusalem 10. Chaucer’s supposed tomb. central tier are extended by the arcade behind the gable and are made even more conspicuous by the iron grill. the tombs themselves serving as altars. The chest. By permission of the Vicar and Churchwardens of Tewkesbury Abbey. The Percy tomb (figs 6–8) is an elaborate example of such a canopied. or feretrum. since they were specific locations for private liturgies and were seen as smaller reflections of the churches in which they were built. iron grill standing nearly six feet tall and crenellated with fleur-de-lis enclosed the shrine. Tewkesbury Abbey. and crocketed pinnacles. is adorned with a canopy that was originally part of a chantry tomb at one of the Mendicant churches of London. gilded. containing the saint’s relics was lavishly decorated with images and precious gems. The niches and canopies of the “chantry tombs” rendered sacred the spaces they enclosed. funerary monument. The three compartments of blind tracery were probably filled with colored glass.

Bradley-Birt. His World (New York: E. Ernest 129 . Howard. P. M. Medieval Chantries and Chantry Chapels. These include (listed in order of publication date): John Henry Blunt. Chaucer: His Life. Edward Foord. 1898). B. 190. Tewkesbury Abbey. Massé. Dent & Sons. F. The Abbey Church of Tewkesbury with Some Account of the Priory Church of Deerhurst. 93–132. J. Tewkesbury: The Story of Abbey.94 The more elaborate chantry chapels resembled small churches – miniature sanctuaries for private worship within public settings. something which can hardly ever be said of the component elements of 12th. Marshall. see Donald R. J. As Christopher Wilson has observed. 1925).and 13th-century Gothic great churches.96 94 Cook. On the question of Chaucer’s burial in the tomb at Westminster Abbey. L. 481–82. 95 Gothic Cathedral.The Chantry Movement 11. 1395–97). Kent & Co. There are a number of publications that provide general descriptions of the abbey and historical information. the latter has received little scholarly attention.. Gloucestershire (London: George Bell & Sons. Tewkesbury and District (London and Toronto: J. By permission of the Vicar and Churchwardens of Tewkesbury Abbey. Town. H. removed from that church and in 1555 was set up in Westminster to adorn the tomb we call Chaucer’s. Fitzhamon Chapel (built c. these chapels “are frequently important works of architecture in their own right. 1931). and Neighborhood (Worcester: Phillips & Probert. fourteenth-century funerary monuments in England. Tewkesbury Abbey and its Associates. including three exquisite chantries of the stone-cage type surrounding the high altar (figs 9–14). His Works. 2nd edn (London: Simpkin. Gloucester. 96 Compared with other medieval English churches that were comparable to Tewkesbury in artistic and ecclesiastical importance. 86. Hamilton. 1906). Dutton).”95 Tewkesbury Abbey in Gloucestershire contains one of the finest collections of extant.

“Tewkesbury Abbey: The Despenser Mausoleum. R. By permission of the Vicar and Churchwardens of Tewkesbury Abbey. 9). the Despensers. See also Tewkesbury Churchwardens’ Accounts. Tewkesbury Abbey. C. K. James Bennet. Although the church’s fourteenth-century choir and funerary monuments survive relatively undamaged and physically integral. vol.. Scholarly publications on Gothic architecture at Tewkesbury Abbey are. R.97 In the fourteenth century the Despensers rebuilt the east end of the abbey in the Decorated style and used it as their mausoleum. K. Newman. Tewkesbury (Chichester. 2nd edn (Tewkesbury: R. Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society. 97 On possible ties between the fourteenth-century Despensers of Tewkesbury and the Pearl poet’s art. placing themselves in an architectural and iconographic Paradise (fig. Anthea Jones. “Tewkesbury Abbey in the Later Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries. A. Morris. The History of Tewkesbury (Dursley. Philip McAleer.” Transactions of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society 110 (1992): 77–86.” in Medieval Art and Architecture at Gloucester and Tewkesbury (1985): 93–98. “The Despensers and the Gawain Poet: A Gloucestershire Link to the Alliterative Master of the Northwest Midlands. ed. vol. 35. Most of the funerary monuments in the choir originally served the spiritual needs of the medieval lords of Tewkesbury. Sussex: Phillimore & Co. Gloucestershire: Alan Sutton. no. Morris. Warwick Chapel (built 1422). 4 (2001): 413–29. Smith. these features of the building reflect a variety of medieval English thought and culture that has almost completely disappeared. “Early Gothic Architecture at Tewkesbury Abbey. see my article. 1934). 1987). Litzenberger. The stone lierne vault of the F. 130 .” The Chaucer Review: A Journal of Medieval Studies and Literary Criticism. 1976). J.Medieval Allegory and the Building of the New Jerusalem 12. 1563–1624. Gloucestershire Record Series. J. 7 (1994). Tewkesbury Abbey.” Transactions of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society 93 (1974): 142–155.

131 . cusping. the shepherds. choir is a wonderful example of early Decorated work (figs 9. scourging. Ascension. Progressing eastward. the magi. and carved bosses of foliage. by that date the image of the Paradise Garden had been thoroughly developed in Flemish and German painting” (“Tewkesbury Abbey. They are divided into three groups of five. Christ’s betrayal. is a symbolic representation of the Paradise garden and is thought to be an early forerunner of later flamboyant flower vaults like the German examples at Annaberg or Most. Trinity Chapel (built c. beginning at the west end with the nativity. however. The iconography and architecture of the choir. Pentecost. the magi worshipping the Christ child. This vault. the Coronation of the Virgin. the second group depicts the events of Holy Week: the entry into Jerusalem. 10). and the finding of Christ at the temple. The carved bosses of the central rib along the nave vault illustrate the main events of the life of Christ from birth to heavenly King. with its gigantic. flower-like pattern. radiating pattern of intersecting ribs with tracery. Tewkesbury Abbey. By permission of the Vicar and Churchwardens of Tewkesbury Abbey.The Chantry Movement 13. and Christ in Majesty.” 145). concentrate not on 98 Richard Morris observes that the symbolic meaning of the German vaults “has been more commonly observed” than that of Tewkesbury. The final group of bosses at the church’s east end leads the observer visually to the divine realm and Last Judgment: Resurrection. the Last Supper. “because. it is an elaborate.98 The iconography of the nave vault and the stained glass of the east end are further evidence of this symbolic intent. 1390–1400). and crucifixion.

Richard Beauchamp of Warwick (hence the name. each screen consisting of two rectilinear windows. in the second bay from the west (fig. on His right the Virgin. and who was responsible for completing the fourteenth-century renovations of the choir.Medieval Allegory and the Building of the New Jerusalem the life of Christ but on the Despenser family’s participation in the drama of Christian salvation history. is also located on the north side of the choir. Below the screens are paneled bases with niches. Among them are the three stone-cage chantry chapels. of which Elizabeth Salter made particular mention in her reference to the “Decorated art” of Pearl. and the whole is crowned with oak-leaf cresting. and on His left Michael the Archangel. whose wealth Despenser partially inherited through marriage to Eleanor. patriarchs. 1326). which are small but exquisite demonstrations of the Perpendicular style. 132 . The chapel is divided into two stories. and the first lord of Tewkesbury to assume the earldom of Gloucester. earl of Gloucester. the dead are summoned from their graves. one of Gilbert’s three daughters. 12). Immediately east of this group are images of Old Testament prophets. In the north window of the west bay Despenser is shown with Robert Fitzhamon. which is roofed with an early fan vault. Most of the outstanding funerary monuments in Tewkesbury Abbey are clustered around this sanctuary. son-in-law of Fitzhamon. The Warwick chapel. underneath.” Modern Philology 64 (1966–67): 236. The fourteenth-century windows of the choir are among the finest in England of that period. both roofed with intricately 99 “The Alliterative Revival II. In the center of the rose at the top of the window is a representation of the Coronation of the Virgin. and kings. 11). Fitzhamon’s tomb stands in the middle of the chapel’s interior. All of the secular figures depicted in these windows are clad in fourteenth-century armor and are given sacred standing by the ornate canopies that shelter them. John the Baptist. a son of Henry I. wife of Hugh Despenser the Younger (d. in the bay immediately to the west of the Fitzhamon chapel (fig. She is depicted here as she requested – simply dressed in white. and on the extreme right is the kneeling figure of Lady Eleanor de Clare. the founder of the abbey and cousin of William the Conqueror. which was built between 1395 and 1397. It is simultaneously a display of self-glorification in the Paradise garden and a confrontation of death and Judgment. They are miniature. The chapel is enclosed by walls of stone screens. The stained glass of the choir clerestory depicts Hugh Despenser in company with figures of secular and biblical authority. Warwick chapel). To Despenser’s right is Gilbert de Clare. The chapel of Robert Fitzhamon is located at the sanctuary’s north side. At the sides are the apostles and St. rectangular enclosures made by stone screens rising to a height of approximately eight feet and erected between the Norman piers of the choir. Also shown is Robert Fitzroy. The east window is a representation of the Last Judgment: in the center is Christ.99 Isabella Despenser erected this chapel in 1422 for her first husband. Fitzhamon’s remains were transferred to this chapel.

Trinity Chapel. Kneeling Effigy of Edward Despenser (1335/6–1375). Tewkesbury Abbey. Photograph © Alison Stones.The Chantry Movement 14. 133 . By permission of the Vicar and Churchwardens of Tewkesbury Abbey.

here one finds a depiction of the Coronation of the Virgin and a representation of the Trinity. On the exterior corners are figures of angels bearing scrolls. The Despensers portrayed themselves as the companions of prophets and saints in a Paradise garden both to display their temporal power and privileges and to express their hopes beyond the grave: to secure a place among the elect on Judgment Day and to complete their pilgrimage to the New Jerusalem. This effigy is unique in that position. A distinctive feature of this chapel is the ornate canopy that was constructed on its roof (fig. The private chapel in England had extended beyond the boundaries of the royal palace and become more than a showcase for regalia and sacred relics. and sculpture. Below the screens are panels of niches displaying figures of angels holding heraldic shields. it is enclosed by stone screens of two windows with five lights each. Stephen’s chapel. One additional oddity is that while the raised canopy can be easily seen if one stands at a short distance from the chapel. the effigy itself is almost completely hidden behind the canopy columns and other architectural obstructions. glass. The chapel’s interior is roofed with one of England’s earliest fan vaults. 13). is thus one of the most intriguing examples of medieval display that was meant for God’s eyes only. Edward Despenser (1335/6–1375) (fig. 14). fully clad in armor. Opposite the Fitzhamon chapel on the sanctuary’s south side is the Trinity chapel built between 1390 and 1400 by Elizabeth Despenser for her husband. In both the Fitzhamon and Trinity chapels one can detect remnants of mural paintings. covered with tracery in a web-like pattern and with pendants. but with the added interest of having been built specifically for funerary liturgy and by a noble family. whose charm we can appreciate only with the assistance of ladders and wide-angle camera lenses. The chantry monuments surrounding the sanctuary in Tewkesbury Abbey provide a late fourteenth-century English expression of the Sainte-Chapelle or St. The kneeling knight. These chapels were the private dwellings of the dead. but the iconography can be recognized only in the Trinity chapel. The symbolic intent of the architectural motifs and the iconography is unmistakable. The Trinity chapel resembles the Fitzhamon chapel. 134 . whose memories were kept alive by soul Masses and portraits created in paint. Below these screens is a paneled base with a series of niches and above is a cornice with foliage cresting.Medieval Allegory and the Building of the New Jerusalem designed fan vaults. He kneels with his hands together at prayer facing the altar. The chapel’s lower level is enclosed with stone screens of rectilinear windows. Within is a stone figure – probably a portrait – of Edward Despenser. like the Norman piers – depending on where one stands.

Part III Poetry .

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see also Stanbury’s article “Space and Visual Hermeneutics in the Gawain-Poet. and Sarah Stanbury. 1970). and scarlet twice dyed. The Gawain Poet: A Critical Study (Cambridge: Cambridge UP. fourteenth-century English poem. To say that Pearl is a dream vision. Stromateis V. and fine twisted linen. in ANCL 12 (1969). See also. Wilson. A. Spearing and Patricia M. which themselves also shall be overlaid with gold. 215. Seeing the Gawain-Poet: Description and the Act of Perception (Philadelphia: U of Pennsylvania P.2 My view is quite different.” The Chaucer Review 21 (1987): 476–89.9)1 HE anonymous. A Study in Medieval Poetic Symbolism (University Park and London: Pennsylvania State UP. 1983). (Clement of Alexandria.Taking Allegory Seriously 5 Taking Allegory Seriously: Ornament as Invitation in Pearl Thou shalt make also a veil of violet and purple. (Exodus 26. Kean. see Theodore Bogdanos. while true according to conventional categories of genre. and within it thou shalt put the ark of the testimony. W. And the veil shall be hanged on with rings.31–34) [E]ven those myths in Plato . For scholars who are in general agreement with my own view. wrought with embroidered work. The Pearl: An Interpretation (London: Routledge. and goodly variety: And thou shalt hang it up before four pillars of setim wood. but sockets of silver. is conventionally said to be a dream vision. 1967). 218. The nearly literal incorporation of the dreamer’s vision of the New Jerusalem from the Apocalypse of John has been viewed by some scholars as one of its least interesting features. And these we shall find indicated by symbols under the veil of allegory. 137 . Stromata. Spearing. John Finlayson. . C. helps to obscure the poet’s unusual emphasis on its presentation as an artifact: a local frame placed around a vision of the New Jerusalem in an attempt to give that vision renewed force T 1 2 Trans. are to be expounded allegorically. and the sanctuary and the holy of the holies shall be divided with it. not absolutely in all their expressions. Pearl. . but in those which express the general sense. Kean are among the scholars of Pearl who have expressed a dissatisfaction with either the quality of the poetry in the portions describing the New Jerusalem or with its adherence to the biblical text. 165–66. 1991). and shall have heads of gold. “Pearl: Landscape and Vision. Pearl: Image of the Ineffable.” Studies in Philology 71 (1974): 314–43. 210.

Pearl: A New Verse Translation (New York and London: Norton. UK: D. liturgical. particularly for people of means. that the late fourteenth-century alliterative poem. Erkenwald (London: Oxford UP. Erkenwald (British Library MS Harley 2250. “at the deepest. shares with the others – often remarkably so – features of language. 1975). fols 72v–75v) was written by the same author of the Cotton Nero poems. Oxford: U of California P. In the later Middle Ages. 138 . Erkenwald. to be the work of one man’s imagination. Saint Erkenwald (Philadelphia: U of Pennsylvania P. Erkenwald (Cambridge and Totowa: Rowman & Littlefield. as John Bowers and others have suggested. St. 1993).4 Another position to take on these questions of authorship. they were architectural. Some scholars have argued.Medieval Allegory and the Building of the New Jerusalem and immediacy. 1977]). kings.. Scholars remain uncertain whether one or more poets wrote these four poems. ed. For the most up-to-date scholarship on questions of authorship. Savage. is that a small school of poets with a common literary language. ed. Patience. themes. ecclesiastics. Erkenwald. shared stylistic techniques. 1977). lvi–lviii. London: H. Those scholars who have argued in favor of the theory of common authorship include Henry L. One might well argue that the great medieval efforts to give the vision of the New Jerusalem a local and dramatic immediacy were not mainly literary. liv–lxv. and nobility built their own miniature New Jerusalems. then certainly for the four in the Cotton Nero manuscript.. and Larry Benson. Milford. if indeed written by a different poet. 1926). facing page Middle English texts edited by Malcolm Andrew and Ronald Waldron (The Poems of the Pearl Manuscript [Berkeley and Los Angeles: U of California P. Recent scholarship. Oxford UP. Sir Israel Gollancz. and similar thematic interests were responsible for the creation of these poems. the private chapel replaced the great church as the preferred setting in which to worship. 15–23. Los Angeles.. that could become symbols of the New Jerusalem by shaping light and color within a space designed for liturgical celebration. 1997).5 My own experience in working closely with the poems has led me to accept a view of common authorship. 45–8. St. Saint Erkenwald (New Haven: Yale UP. The other poems in this manuscript are Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. for most scholars. ed. Among the scholars who reject the theory of common authorship for the five poems are Ruth Morse. Erkenwald [Philadelphia: U of Pennsylvania P. Pearl appears as the first of four poems in a unique manuscript dated not later than 1400. ed. style 3 4 5 Marie Borroff.. and as we have seen. Brewer. 1978]) and by Clifford Peterson (St. Casey Finch.” Journal of English and Germanic Philology 64 (1965): 393–405. 1932). trans. most scholars also agree. were written during the later years of Richard II’s reign (1377–99). Derek Brewer and Jonathan Gibson (Cambridge.”3 Pearl and Sir Gawain. however. St. if not for all five. Indeed. The five poems have been published in one volume under the title The Complete Works of the Pearl Poet (Berkeley. and Cleanness (or Purity). 1977). to begin with. and imagery. and the historical background of these poems see the essays in the Introduction to A Companion to the Gawain-Poet. as well. ed. manuscripts. vii. S. seems almost unanimous in discounting this possibility. St. a view based upon close similarities of dialect. x. “The Authorship of St. and Clifford Peterson. this presentation of a literary work as an apocalyptic artifact may be thought to be an unusual ambition in a poem. now in the British Museum where it is catalogued as MS Cotton Nero A. It was the great churches. but they are all written in a dialect of the northern Midlands and seem. most intimately sensed level of meaning.

122–25. but since a tradition of scholarship does exist that argues for common authorship for all five poems. there is indeed a common conceptual outlook and a common architectural sensibility. especially those in the following chapter. Arriving independently at Salter’s suggestion that Pearl and its companion 6 7 8 “The Alliterative Revival II. 1350). Stephen’s Chapel. be a matter of coincidence. The fan-vaulted cloister at Gloucester is famous for its “longitudinal surge” of trumpet-like conoids. and given the striking ways in which St.” Modern Philology 64 (1966–67): 236.8 The Percy tomb in Beverley Minster and the Warwick Chantry in Tewkesbury Abbey. 1365 during the reign of Edward III (1327–77). are both recognized masterpieces of late English Gothic. it is fitting that I include the poem as part of my analysis. Literary medievalists have long recognized the exceptional workmanship of these poems. the fan-vaulted cloisters of Gloucester Cathedral (1351–1407). among the finest representatives of the late English Gothic style.7 St. Wilson. Erkenwald coincides with the Cotton Nero poems in matters of architectural interest and familiarity with some of the most important ecclesiastical monuments in late medieval England. completed c.6 Salter’s point is that although the dialect of the Cotton Nero poems suggests that their author was probably from the northern Midlands. 112–19. as we have seen. See Chapter Four. In 1967 Elizabeth Salter even suggested an architectural itinerary that would assist readers in understanding more precisely the artistic and cultural background of the Pearl poet: we have only to look at some of the wall paintings in St. Salter’s suggested itinerary is specific as well as justified. he demonstrates through his poetry a sophisticated familiarity with the tastes and practices of an aristocratic culture and seems clearly to have participated in a “sensibility” that is represented in the widespread achievements of late medieval English Gothic. Gothic Cathedral. Stephen’s chapel. 130–34. Even without assuming common authorship for all the poems. and have made casual connections between them and the visual arts. Westminster (1350–63). funerary monuments built within larger church buildings. or for a small school of poets responsible for their creation. Erkenwald may. 208.Taking Allegory Seriously and theme that support my arguments. of course. This supporting evidence in St. especially Pearl. 139 . or the Warwick Chantry in Tewkesbury Abbey (1422) to see one thing clearly: even the most elaborate alliterative poem [and here Salter is referring to Pearl] is central to one very important area of fourteenth-century sensibility. the Percy tomb in Beverley Minster (ca. And this “area” has no firm geographical boundaries: there is nothing provincial about it. was meant to be an English rival of the Sainte-Chapelle in Paris. the monuments she mentions are.

to the chantry movement that took hold in England with such fervor in the late fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.” of philosophical allegory and how that mechanism serves as the theoretical foundation for the poem as architecture. The author of Pearl demonstrates an awareness of how architectural space. like a dream vision. The poem is explicitly apocalyptic in its detailed descriptions of the earthly Paradise and the Heavenly Jerusalem. however. I was surprised that she stopped short of pursuing possible. can best be understood by viewing its author as a master builder whose aim was to create. as well. specific and deliberate. and the rich tradition of reliquary and chantry chapels in western medieval Europe. The Pearl poet was. based not merely on ornamental or decorative qualities. demonstrating precisely how Pearl is to be understood as a literary edifice. including its eschatological perspective and conspicuous workmanship. Abbot Suger’s new church. standing before the screen 140 . and medieval architecture are. but he was fully immersed in the religious and artistic culture of late fourteenth-century England when the chantry movement and the building of chantry chapels flourished. to the anagogical potential of Pearl. and it incorporates concepts that found their major symbolic expression in Gothic architecture. The poem considers the limitations of the human spirit and takes seriously the possibility that human beings. serves as an occasion for revelation. I begin my analysis in this chapter with an examination of how Pearl works as an epistemological process. But the architectural connection is even more precise: Pearl responds specifically. I argue. elaborates upon these models. The focus of my study thus far has been some of the more important philosophical. These traditions are most important. The symbolic program of Pearl in particular. in poetry. theological. of course. or what I will call the “mechanism. like Plotinus’ screen of beauty and Augustine’s sacramental signa. a literary expression of the church as a complex symbol of the New Jerusalem. as we shall see. liturgical. its companion poems.Medieval Allegory and the Building of the New Jerusalem poems ought to be viewed within the context of late medieval English architecture. I examine how the author uses poetry to display the veil. Augustine’s Ecclesia. as a display of the allegorical process. although these qualities are essential. The poem.” The relations between Pearl. more specific interactions between the Pearl poet and his architectural environment – interactions that extend beyond a general participation in a common Gothic “sensibility. not a member of the religious culture that is represented by the great churches of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. for understanding the apocalyptic eschatology of Pearl and the poem as a whole as a literary response to the religious and architectural expressions of the chantry movement. in my view. My analysis in the next chapter builds upon this foundation. in its unusual dramatization of the transformational power of the image from a psychological perspective. and architectural traditions that have contributed to the medieval expression of the church as a symbol of the New Jerusalem. The poet’s presentation of the image as a location for spiritual movement makes Pearl a poetic descendant of Plotinus’ religious philosophy.

textual. Fulgentius. ed. 1898). tertium vero ornare quod regis. and the medieval art of the goldsmith. With the legions of angels worshipping the Lamb in the New Jerusalem and the poem’s final image of the consecration of bread and wine. Expositio. Expositio virgilianae continentiae secundum philosophos moralis. an art form that crosses visual. I follow the translation of Fulgentius’ Expositio by Leslie George Whitbread. a division that actually serves as a conduit between poetry. 140.” in Fulgentius the Mythographer (Columbus: Ohio State UP: 1971). The words were also used to convey the final stage of that progression. C. deinde regere quod habeas. In my effort to demonstrate the poet’s sophisticated understanding of his architectural environment – the understanding with which he proceeded to build his own jeweled. that which gives us life. literary space – I treat each of these images as “ornaments.” [a device made by pools between delights]. 139.. and aural boundaries. is marked by frequent use of words like “ornament” and “adornment. c. primum habere.” Pearl (Oxford: Clarendon. The poet’s complex presentation of the image as a location for spiritual movement includes a variety of interconnected symbolic forms: the poem itself as a structural and thematic whole. or believes.” Fulgentius writes: [t]rifarius in uita humana gradus est. 1041.Taking Allegory Seriously of beauty and yearning for intimate communication with the divine. the pearl maiden.” since it is ornament that serves as the medium by which Pearl becomes its own “deuyse/ Bytwene myrþes” (139). 124. V. for example. Emphasis is mine. like eucharistic liturgy. 52 nn. Fulgentius. and the rich and complex word patterns that function as the linguistic frame of his literary architecture. ecclesiastical architecture. the jeweled images within the poem (such as the Paradise garden. Rudolfus Helm (Leipzig: Teubner. he hopes. never fully grasping. E.9 The “makellez perle” and the Ornamental Veil The craft and transforming spirituality of allegoresis. 1953). while we live. the poem becomes. 1420) might alternatively be ‘device.’ referring to an artificial conduit. uses them to describe the process of perfecting one’s power of judgment through learning and then arriving at a state of “ornamentation. Hereafter cited as. fail nonetheless to pass beyond. Gordon notes that “deuyse (used in the sense ‘division’ in Wyntoun’s Chronicle vi. 89. from antiquity through the Middle Ages. that the water is a “deuyse/ Bytwene myrþez by merez made. 9 141 . “The Exposition of the Content of Virgil According to Moral Philosophy. an image that is meant to be both temporal and sacred.” These words were often used to portray the progress of human perception from an ignorant or profane state to a state of perfection or sanctity. The poet also incorporates the teachings and spectacle of liturgy.10 As the dreamer in Pearl looks into the jewel-filled stream in the Paradise garden. 10 Fabii Planciadis Fulgentii V. in Opera. and the New Jerusalem).

secunda doctrina quae naturam ornat cum proficit. and. is a process of refinement or purification that “adorns nature” in the same way that the piece of gold “advances to its perfect state” as the craftsman works upon it. The mysteries and ineffable truths of Christian faith were represented by objects thought worthy of such representation. elaborate tracery patterns. third. . ut est aurum. like the piece of gold or the human being. uirtus animi naturaliter data quae proficiat . and colored glass are the most obvious examples of such ornamentation. the gold is not “ornamental” until it is qualified by a process of “adornment” or purification. there is the learning which adorns nature as it advances.] Learning. for it is the nature of gold to be improved and to become ornamental.] “Pay close attention to these stages. second. as Fulgentius understands it. Note the paradox here: when we think of ornament or adornment we usually think of something added. and it advances to its perfect state through the workman’s beating it out with his hammer. and so on. since what is “added on” actually corresponds to a process of disclosure. something applied. sed ad perfectionem malleo proficit excudentis. an adornment that is actually an unveiling of the object’s more perfect or truer self.Medieval Allegory and the Building of the New Jerusalem [there is a threefold progression in human life: first. est enim natura in auro productionis et decoris. to ornament what you control. Expositio 90. This allegorical process of simultaneous adding on and disclosing is a fundamental feature of the transformational power of Plotinus’ screen of beauty and Augustine’s sacramental signa. worthy by virtue of their lovely appearance. objects in nature. then to control what you possess. According to Pseudo-Dionysius. refining it and mastering it until the object corresponds – in as much as it can correspond at all – to the idea in his mind. The aesthetic properties. to possess. there is given by nature that courage of soul which may serve for advancement . just like gold. precious gems. however. 142 . According to Fulgentius. paintings. But Fulgentius invests these words with an additional figurative meaning. these “positive affirmations” are less successful in assisting the soul in its ascent than are base or “dissimilar” representations: 11 Fulgentius. together with the philosophic or anagogic potential of ornaments as images of perfection and sanctification stimulated the craftsmen and literary artists of the Middle Ages.” he continues. ornament is the representation or image of the idea itself. can qualify as images of a more perfect state only in so far as they are refined. . their monetary value. The decoration of churches. and liturgical books with statuary. . Adornment is the progression toward an idea.11 [first. . In other words. their rareness.

for example. ornament served as the physical representation of the screen – or veil – of allegory. . for primarily decorative purposes. described by Bernardus Silvestris: a type of exposition which wraps the apprehension of truth in a fictional narrative. or that they have other similar beauties with which the word of God has fashioned the heavenly minds. since they are part of God’s creation. or collected. Ornament was.Taking Allegory Seriously a manifestation through dissimilar shapes is more correctly applied to the invisible. in Pseudo-Dionysius: The Complete Works. then. In other words. The allegorical ornament functions as the veil in essentially two ways: first. it is the material image through which multiple realities are thought to be absorbed. To put the matter in terms more typically literary. 14 Commentary on the First Six Books of Virgil’s Aeneid. or integument. “for as scripture rightly says. glamorous. 1979). medieval art commonly emphasizes secular – even whimsical – themes. a showcase for the soul’s movement through sensible and invisible realms of light. and thus it is also called an involucrum. Dionysius is quick to add. a cover. In my initial discussion of Fulgentius’ understanding of ornare. Schreiber and Thomas E.13 What I am suggesting. It is like the involucrum. Maresca (Lincoln and London: U of Nebraska P. which is self-knowledge. trans. it stimulates the observer’s mind to move between disparate realities or realms of meaning. confirms the notion that even the grotesque figures of demons and beasts on the exterior of medieval churches may adorn the Christian soul with desire to communicate with God. ‘Everything is good. often employed in medieval art as a means to display secular authority or. more generally. See. 143 . The ornament. The Celestial Hierarchy. as in liturgy. conceals as well as reveals. and released. or poem) sacramental in the Plotinian and Augustinian sense. . . painting. One grasps the utility of this work. the cover needs to be removed for the meaning (or 12 This understanding of “dissimilar” images is an important element of Pseudo-Dionysius’ Negative Theology. High-flown shapes could well mislead someone into thinking that the heavenly beings are golden or gleaming men.14 Figuratively speaking. 13 The observer could also be a reader or auditor who responds to the ornamental features of oral poetry and music. 150. of course. I explained how “ornament” is at once an “adding on” and a disclosure. Earl G. 5. Second.’ ”12 Dionysius’ understanding of images. however. wearing lustrous clothing. however. is an additional rendering of the ornament’s dual properties. What I wish to emphasize. then. is how ornament in medieval art and literature was employed as a means to make the adorned object (whether church. like the veil. giving off flames which cause no harm. that even “shameful” images possess a share of beauty.

16 “Adornment” is a word used to describe this progression. as opposed to the “lower” or “horizontal” levels. it would be a new beginning. directly a medium that serves as both separation and passage. therefore. theological. ought not to be considered something complete. but the allegory remains within earthly time. while at the same time limiting the movement of the ignorant. “the golden ornament of learning.18 Vertical allegory – which Pearl strives to be – passes between temporal and eternal realms. puns. of course. “Ornament” is the representation or image of that idea. or apocalyptic allegory from the many lower levels. the screen is at once an invitation and a limitation. is how the poet displays through ornament the mechanism of philosophical allegory. By treating ornament as a physical representation of the screen. hence. In both cases. I am concerned primarily with philosophical. Simply put. vision is reserved for those who aspire to perfection and sanctity through “the jewel of learning. sought a more lucid way of distinguishing philosophical. 19 “If a critic concerns himself with the literal content of a story. 17 I favor the word “screen” rather than veil. one may explore medieval concepts of the symbol by focusing directly upon the level of the screen. is at once a separation between realms and a stimulus for passage between them. Horizontal allegory is. curtain. the allegory requires interpretation. in theory. the open-endedness of this allegory is infinity itself. but the number of interpretations will depend. The screen.17 Ornament. 1969). The potential unveiling of a perfect or sacred state. and other plays on etymology. how the poet presents symbolic meaning. like the screen. which in turn may signify future events. even infinite. he produces a literal interpretation 144 . Expositio. since it participates in both realms. cover. upon the number of questions one asks. it is. I reserve the latter approach for the next chapter. however. What is of special interest. Without the screen. open-ended as well. or static. but because I ical Rhetoric in The English Renaissance (Chicago and London: U of Chicago P. or the unwilling. which is a progression toward an idea – a gradual unveiling of nature’s perfect or true self.15 The possibility of multiple meanings is essential to the act of interpretation. The lower levels are primarily historical. 97. the separation between realms would be absolute.” as Fulgentius put it. and so on. irony. past events may prefigure the present. and the number of those possibilities remains open-ended.” Pearl is a literary example of how this relationship is displayed in a spectacular way. then. or veil of allegory.19 15 Michael Murrin makes this point in The Veil of Allegory: Some Notes Toward a Theory of Allegor16 Fulgentius. allows the ineffable to be perceived in so far as it can be perceived at all. final. rather than what those meanings may or may not be.Medieval Allegory and the Building of the New Jerusalem meanings) to be disclosed. a new life in eternity. 101. such as moral fable. The veil is removed through a process of purification – through the ornatum aureum studii. therefore. or what I will call “vertical” allegory. because it suggests more 18 I introduce the terms “vertical” and “horizontal” not to confuse the system further. theological. the profane. the necessary barrier that absorbs dual realities and permits – even facilitates – movement between them.

In Pearl. . though not in theory. 68. it is not clear how far the observer’s desire will take her in the ascent.” Instead. and E. The modern English translations of passages from Pearl are my own. Cleanness. are inherent to the nature of that reality. not out of any desire to conceal A.20 Bishop’s definition is useful because it emphasizes the necessity of the screen (B) in the manifestation of divine mystery (A). 21 Unless otherwise noted. for example. the moral allegory. Nor is it clear how much the observer wishes – or is able – to perceive when she is faced with the possibility of full revelation. the invitation of the ornament can lead to terror – perhaps rejection. Malcolm Andrew and Ronald Waldron (Berkeley and Los Angeles: U of California P. for he cannot ask an infinite number of different questions” (Murrin.Taking Allegory Seriously In his study of Pearl. dealing with “the invention of any modern critical predilection for ‘tension’ and ‘paradox’” or “a modern attempt to rescue medieval literature from its dullness. (965–68)21 [That (dwelling) God will shield. to the number of levels which a critic could find in a work.] The dreamer must view the “bylde” (963) from without. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. we are not. especially in representations of divine reality. When the dreamer asks the pearl maiden to take him to see her heavenly dwelling. V. 20 Pearl in its Setting: A Critical Study of the Structure and Meaning of the Middle English Poem (Oxford: Basil Blackwell. all quotations from Pearl are taken from The Poems of the Pearl Manuscript: Pearl. if A is the ineffable One. there is no way of knowing how much A “wishes” to reveal or be concealed. as Theodore Bogdanos has observed. you may not enter within His stronghold. By treating Pearl as philosophical allegory. at a distance. Bogdanos continues. . The invitation of the ornament remains before him. moral questions . with assistance from the glosses and notes in Andrew and Waldron. the dreamer wakes up. for example. but the “desire to conceal A” raises a new set of issues. The possibilities of meaning and subsequent tensions that occur at the level of the screen. Veil 102). as in Pearl. but because there is no other way of speaking of it: we are confronted here with genuine mystery rather than deliberate mystification. But there is a limit in fact. Further. it seems that neither full disclosure nor full concealment of A is possible. 145 . she responds: Þat God wyl schylde. still earthbound. 1953). . but I have gained permission through great favor from the Lamb for you to have a glimpse of it. but it does not lead to a state of perfection or sanctity. Bishop explains. beckoning. Þou may not enter wythinne Hys tor. . 1968). . Ian Bishop uses the term “Apocalyptic symbolism” for what I have chosen to call vertical allegory. A is spoken of in terms of B. 1978). Bot of þe Lombe I haue þe aquylde For a syȢt þerof þurȢ gret fauor. ed. Patience. 53–110. To put it another way. Gordon’s edition of Pearl (Oxford: Clarendon.

From the medieval perspective. and it is at the level of the image. that the spiritual transformation takes place. such as Ezekiel’s temple (40–44) and the New Jerusalem in Revelation 21 “becomes the essence of its 22 Pearl: Image of the Ineffable. instead. .22 Although God cannot be seen directly. In recent times. it is a way of passage. is that the image permits reciprocal – though not identical – movement between A and the reflection of A. and painting to be “immobile by nature. As Jill Mann has observed. and painting were immobile by nature. What I wish to stress. . 1981). She discusses their unstable foundations. the visible world is the image or reflected space that allows the observer to participate in the divine realm.Medieval Allegory and the Building of the New Jerusalem It finds its philosophical and . It is not just that the building does not do anything of itself. sculpture. trans. other than to attach labels to its various parts which will identify them with appropriate abstract qualities. writers on allegory such as Rosemond Tuve or Morton Bloomfield have insisted that the complexity and originality of allegory lie in narrative action rather than in the figures or objects which appear in that action – in other words.” Medium Aevum LXIII (1994): 192.24 Mann argues that literary edifices “from Ovid’s House of Fame to Chaucer’s” defy “the notion of stability” through their “fantastic” and “anarchic” qualities. She argues further that the “frigid symmetry” of visionary buildings. . since it served as a grand setting for ornament and for the spectacle of processions and rituals that were part of medieval liturgy. the ostensibly “static” nature of these art forms has created difficulties for modern scholars – especially literary medievalists – who seek to understand their allegorical qualities. and the way they whirl about. Pennsylvania State UP. . just as it is in the Plotinian system. A Study in Medieval Poetic Symbolism (University Park and London: 23 The Age of Cathedrals: Art and Society 980–1420. 1983). The mimesis is not.23 As modern observers. Eleanor Levieux and Barbara Thompson 24 “Allegorical Buildings in Medieval Literature. The movement itself is of a spiritual nature but initiated through the senses. but that it seems difficult for the writer to do anything with it. for example. we consider architecture. It moved with God’s own movement . their many open doorways. . . they too had a mission to convey the universal movement. 78. . . however. 5. artistic justification in the medieval notion of analogy . straight imitation. their glittering jewels. (Chicago and London: U of Chicago P. as Georges Duby explains: the universe did not stand still. concentrated imitation of this movement. and although architecture. in other words. it deals in ontological terms with the capacity or inadequacy of human similitudes to represent divine reality.” Indeed. 146 . The Gothic edifice presented a visual. that its metaphorical strength lies not in the noun but in the verb. sculpture. or screen. .

instead. 147 . twelve-line stanzas combine with a complex rhyme scheme (a b a b a b a b b c b c). like a jasper. splendor).” and “Jerusalem” gather the structural parts into a self-contained unit.11). instead.] The linking of stanza groups by key words such as “adubbemente” (adornment. can point the way toward higher vision. The alliterative. 25 Ibid. or the sounds made in heaven by the “Legyounes of aungelez” who “Al songe to loue þat gay Juelle. 192–93. to imitate the “swete asent” of the birds’ song in the Paradise garden (94). and Pearl displays clearly the influence of these ideal mimetic traditions. “jueler.”25 I must disagree. perhaps. together with its display of brilliant images and liturgical features. that the virtues of heaven made for joy. as artifact. suggesting that the poem. they were believed to be inherently mobile.” the Lamb (1121). The mingling of alliteration. Abbot Suger’s use of ornament found justification in the metaphysics of light that informed his theology. These religious models point to the glorious possibilities of breaching the distance between realms through mimetic reflection. that not only literary descriptions of objects. The music of voices becomes an additional ornament that serves as a conduit between different realms of the universe: Þe steuen moȢt stryke þurȢ þe vrþe to helle Þat þe vertues of heuen of joye endyte. so that the church becomes an ornament on a grand scale. its radiance like a most rare jewel. calls to mind the design and purpose of the Gothic edifice. qualifies the ornament in the same way that Plotinus’ rational principle and Augustine’s incarnational logos qualifies or “adorns” the image. “having the glory of God. are complex programs of transformation in which the observer’s longing for perfection and sanctity finds direction and focus. and the church buildings as they were defined by the liturgies celebrated within them. bringing together sound patterns of early English verse and poetic elements from continental traditions.Taking Allegory Seriously mystery” by suggesting “the stillness of a world beyond time. (1125–26) [The sound might strike through the earth to hell. To adorn visual objects and literary descriptions of objects was only the most obvious method of conveying their participation in the sacramental movement of the cosmos. As we have seen. but also the visible objects themselves were understood by their medieval observers as neither frigid nor still. encouraging the observer to look for and to see this world as an opportunity for revelation. or the pearl itself. and end-rhyme creates rich sounds that are meant. his theology. These are ideal mimetic models. clear as crystal” (Revelation 21. The meticulous craftsmanship of Pearl. in turn. it is my view. the teachings of Plotinus and the early ChristianPlatonists.” “blysse. assonance. which suggests a sphere.

emotional. is the sustained exhibition of symbolic meanings in material form. for which the jeweler gave all his goods. however. is applied variously (and symbolically) to a lost child for whom the jeweler grieves. By implication the poem itself is an ornament designed to move the minds of readers and listeners. Is lyke þe reme of heueness clere – (733–35) [This matchless pearl. 740) – an adornment that she associates with the merchant’s “perle of prys” (746) in Matthew’s parable (13. is a “location” that manifests both realms and serves as a point of departure for increasingly complex meanings. in every breast was firmly fastened the blissful pearl with great delight. The poem’s central ornament. (155–56) [Then a new thing (the pearl maiden) came before me that moved my mind more and more. þat boȢt is dere. and spiritual perception. In vchonez breste watz bounden boun Þe blysful perle with gret delyt. Þe joueler gef fore alle hys god. gives shape to the verbal surface where opulent images become channels of physical. In its artistic representation of movement between the spiritual and temporal realms. and to Heaven itself: This makellez perle. therefore.] the New Jerusalem: 148 . A similar pearl is also worn by the virgins in “prosessyoun” in the Celestial City: Depaynt in perlez and wedez qwyte. in turn. just as the dreamer’s mind never ceases to be stirred at the sight of a daunting “meruayle” (157). since readers (or listeners) of the poem may respond with the dreamer to psychological tensions created at the level of the screen. for example.45–6). its central ornament. is like the realm of bright heaven –] What is especially intriguing about this poem. to the grace of God that is the reward of Heaven. a “wonder perle” is set like a great brooch “Inmyddez hyr breste” (221–22. Pearl conveys the mystery of the ineffable better than doctrine or straight exposition. and the twelve gates of the New Jerusalem are all adorned with “A parfyt perle þat neuer fatez” (1038). As the poem progresses. be it the approaching pearl maiden: Þenne nwe note me com on honde Þat meued my mynde ay more and more. to the maiden who is beyond the dreamer’s reach in the Paradise garden.] The ground upon which the dreamer treads in the “Paradyse erde” (248) is made of “precious perlez of oryente” (82). the pearl. (1102–4) [Adorned in pearls and white garments. In addition to the maiden’s pearl-encrusted crown and garments. that is priceless.Medieval Allegory and the Building of the New Jerusalem This design.

I. terror and ecstasy.” was. but is never grasped. It is both the material stimulus for higher vision and the screen through which divine light shines. even while the work is presented as philosophical allegory.] or the Lamb: Delit þe Lombe for to deuise With much meruayle in mynde went. The Gothic Visionary Perspective (Princeton: Princeton UP. counsayle. a torment that arises from the frustration of not being able to know completely what is beyond the screen – even with the help of allegorical ornament or.Taking Allegory Seriously An-vnder mone so great merwayle No fleschly hert ne myȢt endeure As quen I blusched vpon þat bayle. The poem presents. As Barbara Nolan has observed. Ornament is the site of both invitation and deficiency: the image always beckons.7. see 313–15) and which he glosses as “castle wall” is preferred to Andrew and Waldron’s “baly.6. moved by it to love from the beginning. a recognition that the ascent to higher vision cannot be sustained. still plagued by earthly desire. the intellectual solace of ancient philosophy and Virgil’s epic poetry. It is ornament. as (I saw) when I gazed upon that castle wall. Although she rebukes him for his misdi26 Here I follow Gordon’s edition: his “bayle” (rhymes with dayly.26 (1081–83) [No mortal heart under the moon would be able to endure so great a marvel.] In Pearl. for Plotinus and the Christian-Platonists the most powerful manifestation of the divine within the human world. Enn. most notably the pearl.31. 58 nn.”28 The dreamer’s yearning in Pearl for the maiden is a similar expression of this idea.” See Gordon. that stimulates this emotional drama. for “the soul also loves that Good. 149 . This distance is also the spiritual and psychological torment of Dante’s Limbo. “So madde Ȣe be!” The Dream of Getting on the Other Side of the Screen As the dreamer responds to the opulence that he sees before him. the dreamer “must be content with partial vision and partial knowledge. 1977).”27 Pearl stresses the distance between realms. as in Dante’s case. 28 Plotinus. 313–15.7. therefore. VI. 27 Barbara Nolan. The soul’s yearning for vision. yearning and resentment. ornament is the literal manifestation of the screen – or veil – of allegory. (1129–30) [My delight in gazing upon the Lamb was coupled with much wonder in my mind. fayle. his emotions fluctuate between sorrow and joy. 201. to be united with “that alone.

Þe fyrre I stalked by þe stronde. 150) but senses again that the dangers are too great to cross over: Bot woþez mo iwysse þer ware. invites. The jeweler-dreamer travels gradually through his eschatological and apocalyptic landscapes. The marvelous fragrance of these flowers causes him to slip into a “slepyng slaȢte”(59). sanctity. The poem. however. the farther I walked by the shore. and oþer gemme gente.” is a landscape rich with fragrance. and light. but sees that it is too deep and that he “dorst not wade” (143).Medieval Allegory and the Building of the New Jerusalem rected passion. He sees the “schymeryng schene” of light reflecting off the “bornyst syluer” of leaves (78. and ever I thought that I should not shrink from harm. It suggests. instructing him in Christian doctrine. The “erber grene” (37). He looks all about him for a “forþe” (ford.” and “bryȢt” trees with trunks “as blwe as ble of Ynde” (74–76). she stands glittering before him as an image of Heaven. treads upon the pearl-gravel (82). It does so not by dismissing the image as a poor copy of the ineffable – and here. In structure. It displays an additional view of what it might be like for the observer to stand before the screen. where “Blomez blayke [yellow] and blwe and rede/ Þer schyne ful schyr agayn þe sunne” (27–8). Here the dreamer encounters “crystal klyffez. and encourages wonder. but at the same time illustrates the limits of both image and mind. and when he looks into the water his gaze is met with an abundance of precious stones: “emerad. and absolute glory.] The water cannot be crossed. is the genius of the Pearl poet – but by considering what it might be like for the observer to actually take that very image seriously. pigment. yearning to accept its invitation. in which the jeweler mourns over the loss of his “precious perle. And euer me þoȢt I schulde not wonde For wo þer welez so wynne wore. and imagery it displays a yearning for higher vision.” that shone as “ÞurȢ glas þat glowed and glyȢt” (114. He hopes or believes that this water is a mere “deuyse” (139) that he can cross. yet fearful too of the greater “maruaylez” (64) beyond the “bonkez brade” (138). 80). 118). where there were such delights. It acts like a screen placed between desire and fulfillment. from the burial mound to the Paradise garden to the hill upon which he gazes at the New Jerusalem. His yearning for her is at once a human inclination and a manifestation of the divine within him. saffer. (151–54) [But indeed there were more dangers. and comes to a stream that separates him from “paradyse” (137). 150 . The banks of the stream are made of “beryl bryȢte” (110). theme. in my view. it makes the dreamer strangely aware. and in his dream he finds himself in an unearthly garden whose precious materials and chromatic brilliance resembles the accomplishments of the medieval metalworker. uses the ideal mimetic models to suggest possibilities other than the ascent to perfection. only looked into.

. . . . . . . whom he recognizes as his lost pearl (156).] There is the constant peril as well of the dreamer being distracted by the beauty of his vision. More than I wished my dread arose: I stood completely still and dared not call out. Wyth yȢen open and mouth ful clos I stod as hende as hawk in halle. At other moments. I knew hyr more and more. . Þe lenger. from a sense of glory to that of fear or dread: On lenghe I loked to hyr þere. the marvelous “adubbemente” makes him forget his grief (87). . before God allows him over this water. With eye open and mouth shut tight I stood as still as a hawk in a hall.] Finally. (323–24) [Through cruel death must every man pass. . . . . For all its glory. . there are several terrifying aspects of his vision: fear of the unknown nature of the spiritual reality. however. the dreamer sees a maiden with a “vysayge whyt as playn yuore” (178). he wonders about death. Several details in the maiden’s appearance are borrowed from literary and visual portraits of ideal feminine beauty at the time: her 151 . and our unclear relations with God. the dreamer fears that the vision will escape him: I dred onende quat schulde byfalle. Er ouer þys dam hym DryȢtyn deme. . (186–88) [I was afraid about what would happen. Such gladdening glory glided over me as I had never known before. This “meruayle” moves his “mynde ay more and more” (156–57). Suche gladande glory con to me glace As lyttel byfore þerto watz wonte. (167ff) [For a long time I looked at her there. Lest ho me eschaped þat I þer chos. lest she whom I beheld there escaped me before I could stop and meet her. . . More þen me lyste my drede aros: I stod ful stylle and dorste not calle. the longer I looked I knew her more and more. .] At times the dreamer grieves deeply over his isolation and distance from the maiden. as when he finds himself in the shining “londe” where there “[n]is no wyȢ worþé þat tonge berez” (100). destiny.Taking Allegory Seriously Standing upon the threshold of divine reality. Er I at steuen hir moȢt stalle. and fear of the death that must precede that confrontation: ÞurȢ drwry deth boz vch man dreue. fear of getting beyond the screen and staring into the face of eternity.

He sees her there and takes the allegory seriously. And juelez wern hyr gentyl sawez. the church). and her noble words were jewels. to believe that you can rupture the screen and attain what it holds out to you – to 152 . the poem. Dressed in the white robes of the Apocalypse virgins. for wanting his love for her returned – or to put it in aesthetic terms – for taking the visual spectacle too seriously. Thus she presents him with the austere realization that nothing on earth partakes completely of the sacred world. Augustine’s sacramental signa. But she rebukes him for his “tale mysetente” (257) and says that it is a “mad porpose” (267) to be thus concerned about transitory things. because he now sees her. which transcends time and space. she presents herself as an invitation for higher vision.” for she is a reflection of the theology that qualifies her own imagery. her golden hair. She is wholly unsympathetic to his responses and says that his error is fit for mockery. (277–78) [A jewel to me then was this guest. except through death. The observer’s absorption in that artifact ultimately betrays the transcendent aim. is represented by its contradiction: an image that is an artifact of time and space (the painting. even her “HiȢe pynakled” crown “of cler quyt perle” (207). indeed. “Why do you jest? You are quite mad!”] As the maiden stands before him. She functions as a screen of beauty. and he urges her to let him pass beyond the stream. The pearl maiden belongs to the sacred realm and is an image of the perfection and permanence of that world. her very words are ornaments: A juel to me þen watz þys geste. But here is the paradox: the sacred world. and it is this belief that the maiden calls madness: “Jueler. She accuses him of mortal pride. but complete passage to her is impossible. her gray eyes. The dreamer has erred in thinking that. and Fulgentius’ “jewel of learning. the music. For now.] The dreamer explains to her how he has suffered great “dystresse” (280) for having lost his pearl. In other words.” said þat gemme clene. except that the dreamer has difficulty understanding and accepting that qualification. the maiden is covered with pearls.” said the bright gem. she is a kind of literary predecessor of Jan van Eyck’s jeweled Virgin of the Annunciation. The dreamer believes that what he sees is available to him. he must replace his grief with greater spiritual awareness: he must recognize the limitations of earthly love and believe in God’s gift of Christ. for on earth she was “bot a rose/ Þat flowred and fayled” (270). So she guides him to the hill where he will be granted a glimpse of “Þe nwe cyté o Jerusalem” (792). he can dwell with her. “Wy borde Ȣe men? So madde Ȣe be!” (289–90) [“Jeweler.Medieval Allegory and the Building of the New Jerusalem ivory skin.

for if you had been able to see everything.] 29 Purgatorio III 34–9. Bollingen Series LXXX (Princeton: Princeton UP.]29 When the dreamer sees the maiden in procession in the “nwe cité” he is overwhelmed with “luf-longyng” (1152). so mad arayd. mestier non era parturir Maria. 153 . and trans. human race.] At the moment when he thinks that nothing can prevent him from crossing the stream and attaining what he desires. no need was there for Mary to give birth. My manez mynde to maddyng malte. ed. Virgil (or rather Dante) said it too: Matto è chi spera che nostra ragione possa trascorrer la infinita via che tiena una sustanza in tre persone. abandons himself to the image. Be content. State contenti. ché. al quia. dissolving my mortal mind to madness. with the quia.] And it is a madness that does not find favor with the Lamb of heaven: Hit payed Hym not þat I so flonc Ouer meruelous merez. from all those sights so vivid and pleasant. (1165–66) [It did not please him that I flung myself over marvelous waters in so mad a manner. Fro alle þo syȢtez so quyke and queme. [Foolish (or mad) is he who hopes that our reason may compass the infinite course taken by One Substance in Three Persons.” as “foolish. the image betrays him.Taking Allegory Seriously abandon yourself to the painting and think that you can get on the other side – is “madde” – just as the maiden says it is. (1177–79) [It displeased me greatly to be turned out of that fair region so suddenly. the dreamer awakens with his head resting on the “hylle” where his “perle to grounde” had “strayde” (1173). and tries to cross the water. umana gente. The dreamer himself describes this abandonment as madness: Delyt me drof in yȢe and ere. and in the end he shows considerable resentment over being “outfleme”: Me payed ful ille to be outfleme So sodenly of þat fayre regioun. Charles S.” but “mad” is also correct. The Divine Comedy. (1153–54) [Delight entered into my eye and ear. In a sense. Singleton translates “Matto. 1973). Singleton. se potuto avest veder tutto.

grounded as it is in jeweled brilliance and finely articulated craftsmanship. as the dreamer knows. Still. All earthly loves must eventually bear the frustrations of human inadequacies – the inadequacies of language. one that belongs to both worlds.Medieval Allegory and the Building of the New Jerusalem Love for his “perle” limits him to this world. apathy. if solemnly. it is a poem about the very best we are able to muster before we turn away – for whatever reason – or before we die. more perfect. it was a love worthy and powerful enough to reflect – if inadequately – that other. one might say. of mind. Rather. or sickness of any kind. the more crushing to one’s spirit these inadequacies can become. this world is where we live and shape our lives until death. Free from all inherently human weaknesses. it recognizes brilliantly. free from disappointment. And the more deeply one loves. and of course the inevitable separation through death. And so it is fitting that it should end with an image of bread and wine. therefore. More simply put. that is. it is an expression of human desire for perfection. is a poem about the devastating limitations of human love and our yearning for it to be otherwise – the need for it to be something more permanent. even if this desire can only be partly fulfilled through images. 154 . of body. the simplest visual and physical expression of Christian desire for perfect and permanent love in our midst and. even if the potential of images remains unrealized. that now we live here. betrayal. Still. But the poem is not by any means a rejection of this world. Pearl.

visibly drawing the plan of a building. trans. as he says. Garland Library of Medieval Literature.3 1 2 3 T Dante Alighieri. As I have argued. (Gerald of Wales. De rebus a se gestis)2 HE Pearl poet’s conception of the image as a location for spiritual movement and his use of ornament as the screen. Cape. It is to fourteenth-century England. namely the point and the circle – and I mean “circle” in the broad sense of anything round. Richard H. 1990). Il Convivo (The Banquet). I borrow the phrase “Gothic visionary perspective” from the book of the same title by Barbara Nolan (Princeton: Princeton UP. 1977). that one must turn in order to understand more precisely the Pearl poet’s Gothic visionary perspective. one that embodies a specifically fourteenth-century religious. John. artistic. The Autobiography of Giraldus Cambrensis (London: J. . . of allegory is the foundation for his presentation of the poem as a literary edifice. ser. In H. or veil. and political environment. the point is its beginning. vol. Lansing. in my view. But the Gothic vision of Pearl is. the circle is its most perfect figure which must therefore be conceived as its end. which is called Perspective. appearing as though he were about to found a church. the poet’s sophisticated allegorical techniques establish remarkable affinities between Pearl and the symbolic programs of the great churches of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. Geometry is furthermore most white insofar as it is without taint or error and most certain both in itself and in its handmaid. 65. whether a solid body or a surface.13)1 For I seemed to myself to behold the King’s son. . Il Convivio II. . and. 155 .Pearl as Medieval Architecture 6 “Þe nwe cyté o Jerusalem”: Pearl as Medieval Architecture Geometry moves between two things antithetical to it. he marked the turf making lines on all sides over the surface of the earth. Butler. for as Euclid says.” (Dante. after the fashion of surveyors. These affinities are established further with a recognition of these edifices as figures of the New Jerusalem. in a green plain. B (New York and London: Garland Publishing. therefore. 1937). 89. . .

John M. the fourteenth-century group of Apocalypse wall paintings in the Chapter House at Westminster Abbey. architecture was the most important visual medium used to display the political aspirations of Church and Crown. 1997). 233–35). Coopland (Liverpool: Liverpool UP. Class and Careerism: Cheshire and Lancashire Society in the Age of “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight” (Cambridge: Cambridge UP. literary. in demonstrating that the author of Pearl was an inspired participant in the court culture of Richard II. esp.” 114. Burrow. Bowers. “Pearl in its Royal Setting: Ricardian Poetry Revisited. Bennett. Philippe de Mézières. W. Bennett.4 Bowers’ evidence consists of an impressive variety of documentary. Barbara Hanawalt (Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P. and Thorlac Turville-Petre (Oxford: Clarendon. and even though the architectural works sponsored by the Plantagenet rulers were their grandest efforts to manifest visually the power and prestige of their courts.” The Pearl Poet Revisited (New York: Twayne. A.”9 In addition. Community.” “Pearl in its Royal Setting. Michael J. even though the poet displays an explicit interest in his architectural environment. Thomas. and essays in A Companion to the Gawain-Poet. 1994). 156 . Bowers. although the poet’s courtly tastes certainly reflect an Edwardian influence as well. 128. The Plantagenet kings.” Journal of Medieval History 5 (1979): 63–88. “Pearl in its Royal Setting: Ricardian Poetry Revisited. ed. 1992.” See also the important collection of essays in Essays on Ricardian Literature in Honour of J.6 Bowers’ argument succeeds.Medieval Allegory and the Building of the New Jerusalem In his recent scholarship on Pearl. “The Court of Richard II and the Promotion of Literature. for example. have made use of late medieval architecture for assistance. 130–35. John Van Engen (Notre Dame and London: U of Notre Dame P. Edward III’s “influence on English culture and society was powerful enough that much of late fourteenth-century England is at least as ‘Edwardian’ as it is ‘Ricardian’. 1994). 4. “Medieval Studies and Medieval Art History. ed. This “archive. ed. commissioned a series of architectural projects that displayed 4 5 6 7 8 9 The Politics of Pearl: Court Poetry in the Age of Richard II. and artistic components of Ricardian court culture. G. Morse. Ibid. however. The most influential studies on the historical (especially Ricardian) background of the Cotton Nero poems include. pp. ed. Edward III’s reign lasted for fifty years (1327–77). The Politics of Pearl. A. duke of Gloucester (the contents of which form the literary background of the Pearl poet). 1975).” as he calls it. Bowers. Charlotte C.8 As Jeffrey Hamburger observes: architecture in the Middle Ages “provided the governing context for sacral and liturgical performance as well as an overarching metaphor for the sacred. As Sandra Pierson Prior has observed. Bowers attempts to place the poem more firmly within a precise historical and cultural context. “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and the Literary Achievement of the North-West Midlands: The Historical Background. written to secure peace between England and France and to promote a crusade to the Holy Land. Letter to King Richard II. Bennett. and trans. 1983). the Wilton Diptych. J. Minnis.” Chaucer’s England. and Philippe de Mézières’ allegorical Epistre to Richard II. 126. I believe. 386.” in The Past and Future of Medieval Studies.7 Neither Bowers nor other recent scholars who have sought to understand the social and political context of Pearl. wishing to proclaim to the medieval world an English royal sanctity and political prestige surpassing that of the Capetian rulers. 122.5 includes the library of Richard II’s uncle.

Pearl as Medieval Architecture this intention in an unmistakable and spectacular way. The grandest projects included Henry III’s renovation of the interior of Westminster Abbey (1245–72), which was carried out to emulate – under one roof – the symbolic programs (both sacred and political) of the two royal churches of France: the Abbey Church of St.-Denis and Notre Dame Cathedral in Reims; the twelve memorial crosses erected by Edward I after the death of his queen, Eleanor, in 1290; St. Stephen’s Chapel, begun in 1292 by Edward I and completed in 1348 by Edward III to rival the Sainte-Chapelle in Paris; the extensive building and renovation of castles in England, Scotland, Wales, and Normandy; and the elaborate funerary monuments constructed for Eleanor of Castile, Edward II (c. 1330), Edward III (c. 1386), and monuments for Richard II and his queen, Anne (1395–97), which Richard had ordered built before his death.10 By building their own private chapels and elaborate tombs, members of the nobility shared in the sacral, social, and political performance that medieval architecture yielded. Elizabeth Salter is a notable exception to the scholarly neglect of architecture as a source for understanding the craftsmanship and symbolism of Pearl, as well as the poet’s social standing and political affiliations.11 Salter’s suggestion in 1967 that we treat the poems of the Cotton Nero manuscript within the context of late medieval English architecture was based on her conviction that the author of Pearl and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight was in no way provincial, even though the poems were written in a dialect of the northern Midlands. Instead, she argued that the anonymous author demonstrates through his poetry a mature understanding of late medieval art, especially English architecture.12 As we have seen, these architectural achievements were promoted enthusiastically by the English rulers, either through projects they commissioned for themselves and their families or through projects carried out by masons, carpenters, and metalworkers who, if hired by members of the clergy or nobility, were trained either in court workshops or by masters of those workshops.13 My aim in this chapter is to demonstrate how the symbolic program of Pearl, including its apocalyptic and eschatological perspectives, its finely wrought craftsmanship, and its political associations can best be understood by viewing this poet as a master builder, a literary architect whose aim was to create, in poetry, a late fourteenth-century expression of the Church as a figure of the New Jerusalem.14

10 See H. M. Colvin, The History of the King’s Works: for Henry III’s renovation of Westminster

11 12 13 14

Abbey, see pp. 130–57; on the Eleanor crosses, see pp. 479–85; on St. Stephen’s chapel, see pp. 510–72; for the funerary monuments, see esp. pp. 481–88. On the royal castles see esp. pp. 110–19, 228–41, 293–433, and 553–894. “The Alliterative Revival II,” 233–37. See Chapter Five, 139–40. Ibid. 236. See, for example, Chapter Four, 103–4, 113–18, 124. The scholarship on the apocalyptic and eschatological features of medieval English literature is


Medieval Allegory and the Building of the New Jerusalem

“figures of ferlylé shappes”: Architectural Virtuosity and Exchange in the Cotton Nero Poems and St. Erkenwald
In his study of the distinctive role of micro-architecture within the larger Gothic tradition, François Bucher provides a short list of what he considers to be the basic tenets of Gothic architecture: “dazzling structural dexterity, intensely geometric complexity and a hypnotic dissolution of the structure through light.” It was micro-architecture, Bucher argues, that provided the “exemplary models” of Gothic, combining “formal bravado with theological complexity in a small space.”15 Bucher’s understanding of Gothic – while perhaps not accepted universally among architectural historians – corresponds closely, I believe, with the Pearl poet’s understanding of his own craft and of the poem’s participation in a tradition that views the ecclesiastical edifice as an apocalyptic landscape. Bucher argues that fantastic descriptions of buildings in medieval literature stimulated the craftsmen’s efforts to build micro-architectural expressions of the New Jerusalem, since it was impossible to construct large-scale renditions of the imaginary edifices. Micro-architecture resolved “the dilemma between the poetic and the realizable building.”16 Bucher’s argument is a compelling one for this study, since it supports the hypothesis of a close interaction between literature and late medieval architectural developments. But Bucher appears to restrict his understanding of this influence to the view that it was carried forward in one direction only: from literature to architecture. If fantastic verbal buildings did provide an impetus for late medieval architectural developments, it is also plausible that a literary artist attempted to reproduce the conceptual and stylistic elements of late medieval architecture so that

vast. For excellent introductions to the subject and bibliographies, see Richard K. Emmerson and Ronald B. Herzman, The Apocalyptic Imagination in Medieval Literature (Philadelphia: U of Pennsylvania P 1992); Emmerson and Herzman, “The Canterbury Tales in Eschatological Perspective,” in The Use and Abuse of Eschatology in the Middle Ages, ed. Verbeke, Verhelst, and Welkenhuysen, Mediaevalia Lovaniensia 15 (Leuven: Leuven UP, 1988), 404–24; Emmerson, “The Prophetic, the Apocalyptic, and the Study of Medieval Literature,” in Poetic Prophecy in Western Literature, ed. Jan Wojcik and Raymond-Jean Frontain (Rutherford: Fairleigh Dickinson UP, 1984), 40–54; Morton Bloomfield, Piers Plowman as a Fourteenth-century Apocalypse (New Brunswick: Rutgers UP, 1961); Barbara Nolan, The Gothic Visionary Perspective; Mary J. Carruthers, “Time, Apocalypse, and the Plot of Piers Plowman,” in Acts of Interpretation, ed. Mary J. Carruthers and Elizabeth D. Kirk (Norman, OK: Pilgrim Books, 1982), 175–88; Douglas Bertz, “Prophecy and Apocalypse in Langland’s Piers Plowman, B-Text, Passus XVI–XIX,” Journal of English and Germanic Philology 84 (1985): 312–27; Kathryn Kerby-Fulton, Reformist Apocalypticism and Piers Plowman (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1990). 15 “Micro-Architecture,” 83. 16 Ibid. 72. Verbal buildings of “fantastic architectural daring” include, Bucher argues, the tombs described in the Roman de Troie, the domed vault and throne of Cosdroe in the Norman epic Eracle (1164), and the Grail temple in Albrecht von Scharffenberg’s Younger Titurel (c. 1270).


Pearl as Medieval Architecture literature would work in conjunction with the visual arts to convey the eschatological and apocalyptic symbolism of church buildings. As a group, the Cotton Nero poems and St. Erkenwald demonstrate an interest in all aspects of medieval architecture, from the laying of the groundwork for a medieval cathedral, to the ornamental creativity of micro-architectural structures, to the sacred edifice as an Apocalyptic landscape.17 At the extremes of these architectural portraits, we find in St. Erkenwald an appreciation for the technical difficulties of building a great Gothic church, where particular care must be taken to construct a foundation strong enough to support the massive weight of the completed edifice:
Mony grubber in grete þe grounde for to seche Þat þe fundement on fyrst shuld þe fote halde.18 (39–42)

[Many dug in the earth to make the groundwork for the building, so that the foundation from the start would hold the structural supports.]

This humble beginning of the ecclesiastical edifice as a large hole in the ground reaches its anagogic fulfillment in the vision of the New Jerusalem in Pearl:
As John þe apostel hit syȢ wyth syȢt, I syȢe þat cyty of gret renoun, Jerusalem so nwe and ryally dyȢt, As hit watz lyȢt fro þe heuen adoun. (985–88) [As John the apostle saw it with his own eyes, I saw that city of great renown, Jerusalem so new and royally adorned, as it descended down from heaven.]

The Pearl poet had a particularly keen eye for the ornamental detail and technical virtuosity of micro-architectural forms. Bertilak’s castle in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is a faithful rendition of the late medieval style, represented in the latest fairy-tale fashion where the old need for defense has given way to a profusion of little turrets and decorative ornaments:
And innermore he behelde þat halle ful hyȢe, Towres telded bytwene, trochet ful þik, Fayre fylyolez þat fyȢed, and ferlyly long, With coruon coprounes craftyly sleȢe. Chalk-whyt chymnées þer ches he innoȢe, Vpon bastel rouez þat blenked ful quyte. So mony pynakle payntet watz poudred ayquere
17 For a discussion on the authorial status of St. Erkenwald and why I choose to include it as part of 18 St. Erkenwald, ed. Clifford Peterson. Unless otherwise noted, all citations from the Cotton Nero

my literary analysis, see Chapter Five, 138–39, 138 n. 5.

poems are taken from Malcolm Andrew and Ronald Waldron, eds., The Poems of the Pearl Manuscript, 1978.


Medieval Allegory and the Building of the New Jerusalem
Among þe castel carnelez, clambred so þik, Þat pared out of papure purely hit semed. (794–802) [And further in, he (Gawain) beheld that very high hall, (with) towers erected, evenly spaced, thick battlements, fair pinnacles that were fitted, and exceedingly tall, with carved, ornamental tops skillfully made. He perceived there many chalk-white chimneys, upon roofs of towers that gleamed all white. So many painted pinnacles were scattered everywhere among the embrasures of the castle, clustered so thickly, that it seemed to be cut out of paper.]

The best-known model for this kind of castle, and one that was contemporary with the poet, was the Hôtel des Tournelles in Paris (built about 1388, now destroyed), one of the seven Parisian residences of the kings of France.19 The Pearl poet, as a member of Richard II’s court or of the retinue of a noble family, may very well have seen the Parisan monuments, not unlike his literary contemporary, Chaucer, who traveled on the continent as courtier, poet, and soldier. The description of the “halle ful hyȢe” in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight shows striking similarities to descriptions of miniature edifices in Cleanness. The author describes a collection of elaborately carved canopies, or “logges,” for instance, that were placed over silver platters of food at the banquet in Baltazar’s palace:
Lyfte logges þerouer and on lofte coruen, Pared out of paper and poynted of golde, Broþe baboynes abof, besttes anvnder, Foles in foler flakerande bitwene, And al in asure and ynde enaumayld ryche; (1407–12) [Raised canopies over them and carved on top, cut out of paper and painted with gold; grotesque gargoyles above, beasts underneath, birds in foliage fluttering between, and all in azure and indigo, richly enameled;]

What the poet is describing here is an exotic genre of late medieval micro-architecture: table decorations at sumptuous feasts.20 But unlike Bertilack’s castle, these raised “logges” seem actually to be made of paper. The poet employs the identical simile in Sir Gawain in order to emphasize the elaborate workmanship of the castle.21 Taken together, the two architectural descriptions are of particular interest, since they demonstrate the poet’s awareness of how larger medieval edifices, by incorporating micro-

19 See, for example, André Devèche, Les 7 Résidences Parisiennes des Rois de France (Paris: 20 See Andrew and Waldron, 168 nn. 1407–12. 21 This observation was noted by Tolkien and Gordon, eds, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, 2nd

Tourelle, 1986), 19–24.

edn, by Norman Davis (Oxford: Clarendon P, 1967), 100 n. 802.


Wyth alle þe syence þat hym sende þe souerayn Lorde. to have them perfectly made. The structural details of Bertilack’s castle come clearly to mind in the extended description of vessels in Cleanness. the poet seems especially determined to convey a sophisticated familiarity with his architectural environment. Pinacles pyȢt þer apert. and ewers to match. one imagines a mason in charge of constructing Bertilack’s castle in Gawain as one inspired by the micro-architectural details of elaborate table ornaments. And al bolled abof with braunches and leues. very bright covered cups. and carved out in figures of marvelous shapes. þat on þe cuppe reres Wer fetysely formed out in fylyoles longe. Þat wyth so curious a crafte coruen watz wyly. pinnacles set there skillfully. Indeed. which projected at intervals. Pyes and papejayes purtrayed withinne.22 In Cleanness. perhaps. 83. For to compas and kest to haf hem clene wroȢt. enameled with azure. 161 .] The poet is. Enbaned vnder batelment with bantelles quoynt. refined gold. as casteles arayed. For þer were bassynes ful bryȢt of brende golde clere. and eweres of sute. while the sacred vessels at Baltazar’s feast are said to be “as casteles arayed” (1458). but this description may be applied with equal visual effect to medieval church architecture: The coperounes of þe cauacles. Enaumaylde with azer. imagining a workshop whose masons and metalworkers delight in an exchange of decorative creativity and structural techniques. may rival smaller structures in “structural dexterity” and ornamentation. Salamon sete him seuen Ȣere and syþe more. (1451–60) [Raised upon this altar were noble vessels that had been cleverly shaped with such elaborate skill. A passage that describes a collection of liturgical vessels reads like an article on medieval art treasures in an exhibition catalogue: Houen vpon þis auter watz aþel vessel. Solomon had given himself seven years and a bit more. in order to plan and to create. And fyled out of fygures of ferlylé schappes. adorned like castles. Couered cowpes foul clene. As þay prudly hade piked of pomgarnades.Pearl as Medieval Architecture architectural elements. þat profert bitwene. fortified under battlements with skillfully made bantels. with all the knowledge that the sovereign Lord had sent to him. 22 Bucher. for there were very bright basins of clear. (1461–66) [The tops of the covers that rose on the cups were artfully formed into long turrets.

Penitotes. his treasurer retrieves the vessels by unlocking these “coferes” – elsewhere called “kystes” – with keys (1438). as we shall see. and magpies and parrots portrayed within. and how afterwards they were hidden in “coferes” (1428). and pynkardines. Þe gobelotes of golde grauen aboute. and emeralds. And safyres. and excellent topaz. And alle þe fruyt in þo formes of flaumbeande gemmes. ay perles bitwene. and sardian stones. and carnelian stones. and clear rubies. and semely topace. Alabaundarynes. sends a chilling warning to Baltazar and his guests: 162 . on every beaker and bowl. but also as one who advocates the use of adorned objects to convey ideas of sanctity that are applied to a specific object or place: So trayled and tryfled atrauerce wer alle. Erkenwald. and sapphires. the goblets of gold were engraved round about. and God.] The poem further unflolds how Baltazar’s father.] The poet adorns these vessels with an extraordinary variety of gems and jewels. and amethystine stones. and ammaffised stones. (1474–77) [(the vessels) were all traced and ornamented with trefoils from side to side. and clere rubies. with pearls always in between. (1467–72) [For all the blooms of the boughs were gleaming pearls. all around the rims.Medieval Allegory and the Building of the New Jerusalem and were completely embossed above with branches and leaves. to enjoy their wine from the “jueles out of Jerusalem” (1441). almandines. peridots. NabugondenoȢar. and all the fruit was in the form of glowing gems. Bi vche bekyr ande bolle. On Baltazar’s orders. in order to demonstrate his great displeasure with the festivities. and chrysolites. chalcedonies. an image that. þe brurdes al vmbe. and the cups were adorned with flowers and butterflies of gold. and amaraunz. And fyoles fretted wyth flores and fleez of golde. and crysolytes.” or concubines. creating objects whose chromatic brilliance rivals even the most elaborate medieval reliquary: For alle þe blomes of þe boȢes wer blyknande perles.] What is especially striking about these descriptions is that the details identify the poet not only as a keen observer of the stylistic motifs of French Rayonnant and English Decorated. Thus the consecrated vessels become “fouled” (1495). Everything was arrayed alike upon that altar. as if they proudly had pecked on pomegranates. and sardiners. Vpon þat avter watz al aliche dresset. Casydoynes. It is Baltazar’s wish for his knights and “ladyes. is repeated in St. had taken these vessels from the sancta sanctorum (1491) of Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem.

portrayed letters. and because of its importance as the ecclesiastical center of London. who cut hard stones with sharp tools. In Cleanness the sancta sanctorum of Solomon’s Temple and the liturgical vessels are presented.”26 The architectural character of St. the shared images are specifically linked in both poems to either a larger or a smaller architectural form or setting.27 The shrine was famous for the miracles that were said to have occurred there. Stephen’s Chapel and its Place in the Development of 25 The shrine of St. its tremendous popularity as a site of medieval pilgrimage.Pearl as Medieval Architecture Þer apered a paume.] The reconstructed building was dedicated in 1314. runish writings are both repeated in St. 118. in 1323. and its association with the English chantry movement has been discussed in Chapter Four of this study. Paul’s Cathedral stood as a rival to many of the great churches of medieval Europe. and grymly he wrytes. (39–42) [Many a happy mason was made to work there. many dug in the earth to make the groundwork for the building. As the edifice where Perpendicular Gothic was introduced. Old S. Paul’s. 126.24 St. Mony grubber in grete þe grounde for to seche Þat þe fundement on fyrst shuld þe fote halde. so that the foundation from the start would hold the structural supports. See also. Cook. Harde stones for to hewe wyt eggit toles. St. Furthermore. and 23 See G. In St. H. Þat watz grysly and gret. Maurice Hastings. and sternly it writes. Erkenwald records the building activities: Mony a mery mason was made þer to wyrke. 38. See Hastings. A chantry was added to the shrine 26 Peterson. 163 .23 Around the year 1250 a reconstruction program was begun at St. Perpendicular Style in England. 6. no other form but a fist. St. Erkenwald. Non oþer forme bot a fust faylande þe wryste Pared on þe parget. 27 Pp.] Baltazar is stunned with fear as he watches the floating hand carve mysterious “runisch sauez” (runish writings) (1544–45) in the wall. Paul’s Cathedral in London and an elaborate tomb within that church appear. St. 5–12. St. lacking the wrist. 128. wyth poyntel in fyngres. Erkenwald had begun the year before in 1313. 33–36. purtrayed lettres. 24 Ibid. cut into the plaster. The image in Cleanness of the treasurer unlocking with keys the “coferes” where the sacred vessels are kept and the motif of the mysterious. Erkenwald’s shrine.25 The author of St. that was horrible and great. Erkenwald was sufficiently familiar with the architectural history of this edifice to refer to it in his poem as the “New Werke. with a stylus in its fingers. (1533–36) [There appeared a hand. Erkenwald. Erkenwald. Paul’s Cathedral.

while ‘New Work’ was the name regularly given to a period of reconstruction at St. Men vnclosid hym þe cloyster wyt clustrede keies. . not as unlikely as the apparent anachronism of placing thirteenth-century work in the seventh century would make it seem. . decorated all over with gargoyles made of gray marble. he proceeded quickly to the tomb.19). . Hit was a throghe of thykke ston thryuandly hewen. . Paul was built by King Æthelbert in the time of Bishop Mellitus.29 In the three poems we have been discussing. . Erkenwald. if inexact. Sir Gawain and the Green 28 Clifford Peterson explains the anachronistic coupling in this poem about Erkenwald. who was made bishop of London in 675.28 The building activities that the poem recounts lead to the uncovering in the church of a marvelous tomb that contains the preserved corpse of an ancient judge who suffers in Limbo for having lived and died as an unbaptized pagan: For as þai dyȢt and dalfe so depe into þe erthe Þai founden fourmyt on a flore a ferly faire toumbe. See T. 36–37. the bishop arrives at the tomb and baptizes the judge with his tears. mysterious. is the image announcing Erkenwald’s arrival at the tomb: As riche reuestid as he was he rayked to þe toumbe.” Peterson concludes that a connection between St.Medieval Allegory and the Building of the New Jerusalem the author of the poem St.” Studies in Philology 67 (1970): 164 . McAlindon. . “Hagiography into Art: A Study of St. Bot pyne wos wyt þe grete prece þat passyd hym after. local references in order to give his poem a general sense of place. or rune-like. and for its similarity to a passage in Cleanness. (45–8) [For as they worked and dug so deep into the earth. It was a coffin of thick stone excellently cut. was widely regarded as the man who had set the original ecclesiastical foundation on a steady footing. Erkenwald seems to have conflated a legend about a miracle performed by the seventh-century saint with his knowledge of the thirteenth-century New Work and the fourteenth-century shrine. (139–40) [Arrayed in rich vestments. Erkenwald. Erkenwald.] One can hear in the alliterative stresses of this passage the clanking sound of the keys against the iron grate surrounding the shrine. thus providing for his passage into Heaven. . an exceedingly beautiful tomb. and the New Work “may have been in the poet’s mind when he associated the bishop with the New Work. it may as well have been that the poet simply included familiar. Erkenwald’s association with the New Work is . . Paul’s Cathedral: “The first cathedral in London dedicated to St. Erkenwald. men unlocked the cloister for him with keys in a cluster. a miracle that occurred at the saint’s shrine in 1087. 29 The keys that are used to unlock the grating are perhaps representative of the keys of the kingdom of Heaven that Christ gives to Peter to act as minister of his Church on earth (Matt.” St. Of interest from an architectural perspective. Paul’s that began in the mid-thirteenth century. After hearing High Mass. built on the floor.] The lid of this tomb is embellished with “bryȢt golde lettres” (51) whose “resones” or sentences were “roynyshe” (52). that is. and the thirteenth-century reconstruction of St. However. they found. But pain was with the great throng that went after him. 16. Wyt gargeles garnysht aboute alle of gray marbre. however.

where human contact with architectural forms (canopied table settings. Further. Los Angeles. Coldstream. By repeating images of micro-architectural detail in a variety of structures. Cleanness. Erkenwald. I will discuss these linguistic connections at greater length below.. shrine) provokes God’s favor or displeasure. 1993). These poems are a literary record of a medieval artistic phenomenon that has been the subject of scholarly research for some of the most prominent architectural historians of our day. The Decorated Style. and divine Judgment. Landscapes. 165 . perhaps. The Complete Works of the Pearl Poet (Berkeley. The castle in Sir Gawain is not an architectural setting that conveys a sense of sanctity. The special association of architecture with these themes is particularly evident in Cleanness and St. Wilson. Dwellings. and Oxford: U of California P. a marble tomb embellished with gargoyles and enclosed with a gate as if “cloystered. These forms range in scale from canopied serving platters. and trans. the poet records the imitative exchange of ideas and techniques that occurred among medieval craftsmen of the visual arts. and Circles: Laying the Foundation for the Apocalyptic Drama While the Pearl poet uses images of architecture in his poems as settings through which to convey concepts of sanctity. but also to the castle in Gawain (804) and to the New Jerusalem in Pearl: “Þat clene cloyster” (969). The English Decorated Style. on a Parisian royal residence. by its designation as a chapel and by the act of penance staged before it upon Gawain’s arrival and subsequent trial with the Green Knight. but it is an edifice shrouded with the mystery of Gawain’s quest for the Green Knight. Gothic Art: Glorious Visions. see Jean Bony.” and a late medieval castle modeled. and Casey Finch. Michael Camille. and a concealment of God’s will. a revelation of divine presence. liturgical vessels. Robert Branner. French Gothic Architecture. This imitation and interaction of styles and concepts is underscored by common designations for different architectural spaces in the poems. St Louis and the Court Style in Gothic Architecture. we find a series of architectural forms and settings that mimic one another in ornamentation and structural detail. rune-like message is an emblem of sacred mystery. that is. and it is – like all the edifices in the Pearl poet’s works – a setting for a moral drama that will lead to a confrontation with death.Pearl as Medieval Architecture Knight. it must not be forgotten that the aim of Gawain’s quest is to find an edifice that is sacred – sacred. for now let it suffice to point out that the word “cloyster” is applied not only to the shrine in St. 140. 30 For example. mystery. and divine Judgment. Erkenwald. and St. Erkenwald. Symmetries. liturgical vessels stolen from the Temple of Solomon.30 With a fond awareness of his architectural environment. The Gothic Cathedral. it is in Pearl itself that the poet’s fond awareness of architectural form and its 489. The shared motif in the two poems of the engraved. mystery. Bony. 403 n. each edifice becomes an alternative setting for the display of sanctity. ed.

its complexity is “unmatched in English poetry before or since. Second. ed. who employed them regularly in their fluid network of architectural metaphors. that is. Pearl: A New Verse Translation. “Numerical Composition in Pearl. often as part of a refrain. Finally. the other two. becomes the link-word in the last stanza-group. Bernard S. This configuration is ornamented throughout by a combination of 31 John V.”31 The poem’s twenty sections each contain five stanzas of twelve lines. most justly famous. Levy and Paul E. John Fleming. Kean. The stanzas in a given section are connected to one another by link-words that are repeated in the first and last lines of the stanzas.” and according to Marie Borroff. relates to the architecture of the New Jerusalem (1029–32). which equals 144. “The Centuple Structure of the Pearl. Szarmach (Kent.” or hortus conclusus. and he takes careful measures to exploit it for his own ambitions as a poet-architect. the “erber grene.Medieval Allegory and the Building of the New Jerusalem potential as an anagogic symbol is most enthusiastically and carefully displayed. rather than stone. The anonymous author of Pearl demonstrates a familiarity with this exegetical tradition. “paye” (pleasure). The sections themselves are joined by “concatenation. and rich sound patterns. number schemes. the last word of the opening line. instead of five stanzas.” or overlapping repetition. There are two principal ways in which the poet demonstrates his architectural ambitions in Pearl. See also P. The conspicuous and complex design of Pearl has received highest praise from scholars of the poem. thus joining the beginning with the end in a near-perfect enclosure. M. In short. But this edifice – or complex of edifices – is only the grandest and most architecturally obvious of the three landscapes in the poem. Marie Borroff ed. xvi. The first of these ways is the feature for which the poem is. 166 . 82.” in The Alliterative Tradition in the Four- teenth Century. containing six. 12 x 12.” Notes and Queries 12 (1965): 51. for example. and there are 144. and the Paradise garden were favorite motifs for medieval exegetes. One-third of the poem is devoted to a detailed description of the most revered literary edifice in Christian history: the walled city of the New Jerusalem.000 virgins in the heavenly procession (869–70). but one who chose words. with section XV as the one exception. Even the exceptions to this overall scheme seem to be deliberate. and who looked to fourteenth-century funerary monuments for his architectural “scale” and presentation of eschatological themes. called it “the most structurally complex of the great vernacular masterpieces of the later Middle Ages. as his building medium. perhaps. the poet presents his eschatological drama through a series of landscapes that in the Middle Ages were laden with architectural significance. The extra stanza (lines 901–12) of Group XV makes Pearl end with 1212 lines. namely its complex structure with a network of word links. OH: Kent State UP). what we find in Pearl is a sophisticated demonstration of the poet’s ambitions as a master builder. the link-word of a given section appears in the first line of the first stanza of the following section.. Fleming.

and apocalyptic symbolism. and ornament is the medieval ecclesiastical edifice – a parallel strengthened further by the poem’s liturgical character. Louis Blenkner has described the poem as tripartite. “Pearl as Diptych. sees in its patterns of symmetry a medieval diptych and divides the poem not into three sections. NY: Whitson. and Britton J. Heather Phillips. My own view. 1394–96).”37 These readings of Pearl call attention to its fine craftsmanship and succeed in demonstrating how the author sought to expose himself as a keen observer. jeweled circle that was taken to represent the Heavenly Jerusalem. itself “a gilded. This unusually deliberate and minutely controlled craftsmanship is the frame within which the poet describes his eschatological landscapes with stunning.”32 The closest medieval parallel to this combination of structural complexity. end-rhyme scheme.36 John M.33 One aspect of the poem’s structure that has attracted considerable scholarly attention is the poem’s cyclical nature. Harwood.Pearl as Medieval Architecture alliterative techniques and a complex. as John Gatta observed. xix. 37 “Pearl in its Royal Setting. and theme. or a corona candelabrum. and stained-glass windows. 35 “The Theological Structure of ‘Pearl’. The structural and decorative qualities of Pearl that I have put forward as evidence for the poet’s ambitions as a master builder have prompted some scholars to argue for connections between the poem and medieval art objects such as altarpieces.” Florilegium 6 (1984): 195–215. Borroff. 167 .” in Text and Matter. with a middle section – the “homiletic center” – flanked by two descriptive sections. 1968). Blanch.”34 But the poem is clearly symmetrical as well as circular. admirer. 29–30. New Critical Perspectives of the Pearl-Poet. Bowers goes a step further. and imitator of objects and images of the visual arts. with its repetition of “echo” words that link the stanzas and the first and last lines. Harwood. reliquaries. ornament. Wasserman (Troy. This circularity corresponds metaphorically to the roundness of the poem’s central symbol. Imagery of Glass in Pearl. “emphatically ornate. 1991). the garden landscapes and the New Jerusalem. Robert J.35 Britton J.” 126. (1973): 248. arguing that the themes and style of the Wilton Diptych (c.” Traditio 24 (1968): 44. The author’s fondness for describing physical detail and his appeal to the senses through the sounds and images of his poetry make Pearl. sound. creating rich patterns of sound to accompany the visual brilliance of the poem’s imagery. “Mediaeval Glass-Making Techniques and the 34 See Ian Bishop. “closely match those of Pearl. eds. the pearl. luminous detail. on the other hand.” Modern Philology 71 33 See. 36 “Pearl as Diptych. but into two halves of ten groups. just as the music and spectacle of medieval sacred liturgy served as an aural and visual complement to the structure and decoration of the stone edifices in which those liturgies were celebrated. Miriam Youngerman Miller and Julian N. and comparisons have therefore been made between the poem and a kind of garland of linked units.” 61–78. 61. eschatological subject matter. Pearl in its Setting (Oxford: Blackwell. for example. 32 “Transformational Symbolism and the Liturgy of the Mass in Pearl. Sound and symbolism are completely integrated with structure.

Medieval Allegory and the Building of the New Jerusalem however, is that the poet’s ambitions as a craftsman exceeded the desire to imitate in Pearl a corona candelabrum or a medieval diptych, while wishing to include such objects metaphorically in his architectural repertoire, as a way of suggesting further his active participation in the exchange of ideas and techniques of the visual arts. In order to appreciate fully the poet’s ambitions as a master builder in Pearl, it is essential to view this poem not as an isolated expression, but as a mature work within the small group of alliterative poems we’ve been discussing, a work whose pathos and artistic refinement surpass those of the other poems in its unusually sophisticated exploration of eschatological themes and architectural motifs. We observe in each of the related poems a fascination with geometric patterning and with finely crafted shapes and enclosures, both as images within the poems and as architectural frames for an interior drama. This drama is always driven by an assertive confrontation with death and divine Judgment. Furthermore, the liturgical influence upon these poems is great indeed, one that has been noted in the scholarship; but there has been no attempt to see this liturgical influence in conjunction with the poet’s interest in eschatological space, enclosure, and ornament. The great interest we find in these poems in the human confrontation with death and divine Judgment is expressed through a series of interconnected landscapes, and I use the term “landscapes” broadly to mean enclosed spaces, buildings, and communities typically fraught with eschatological meaning. Some of the most obvious of these include the Ark of Noah, Solomon’s Temple, and the historical Jerusalem in Cleanness – a poem about divine Judgment. In Pearl, we have the “erber grene,” the Paradise garden, and the New Jerusalem based on the account in John’s Apocalypse. The cathedral setting and elaborate tomb of St. Erkenwald add significantly to this network of eschatological landscapes. In his four–volume study, Exégèse Médiéval, Henri de Lubac includes a chapter, “Symboles architecturaux,” in which he reviews the tradition of architectural motifs in medieval exegesis. Lubac writes,
la métaphore de l’édifice occupe une place privilégiée dans la littérature religieuse, doctrinale ou spirituelle. ‘Pas de figures plus utilisée par les maîtres médiévaux de l’allégorie, que celles de la cité, du château, de la maison, du temple.’ Ce sont là, d’ailleurs, déjà des images bibliques, évangéliques et pauliniennes, dont les Pères avaient fait grand usage.38 [the metaphor of the edifice occupies a privileged place in religious literature, doctrinal or spiritual. “There are no figures more utilized by the medieval masters of allegory, than those of the city, of the château, of the

38 Exégèse Médiévale; Les Quatre Sens de L’Écriture, Seconde Partie II (Paris: Aubier, 1962), 44.

Lubac cites Ford Lewis Battles, “Hugo of Saint Victor as a Moral Allegorist,” Church History XVIII (1949): 229. For a Pauline example, Lubac cites I Cor. 3.9.


Pearl as Medieval Architecture
dwelling, (or) of the temple.” We recognize these already in the biblical images, in the Gospels and in Paul, of which the Church Fathers made great use.]

Among his many examples of exegetical authorities on this subject, Lubac cites St. Augustine who, as we have seen, used the edifice metaphor in his commentary on Psalm 95. For Augustine, to sing the new song was, in fact, to build: ipsum cantare, aedificare est.39 In his discussion of the popular motif of Noah’s Ark, Lubac cites Hugh of St.-Victor, who interprets the structure as a symbol for what the Christian must build in his heart. Hugh also identifies the Ark both as a symbol of the world’s axis and the tree of life. Saint Avit de Vienne delivered a homily on the Ark in connection with the dedication of the basilica of Saint-Ireneus in Lyon, the liturgy which, as we have seen, identifies the church building as a figure of the Heavenly Jerusalem.40 St. Ambrose saw in the construction of Noah’s Ark the figure of the human body,41 while Augustine, elaborating upon Ambrose’s ideas, interpreted the Ark as the edification of the Church:
Without doubt this [ark] is a symbol of the City of God on pilgrimage in this world: that is, of the Church which is saved through the wood upon which hung “the Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.”

To emphasize the complex symolic relationship between the Ark, the human body, and the Church, Augustine continues:
Now the dimensions of the Ark, its length, height and breadth, symbolize the human body. . . . And all the other details mentioned in connection with the building of the Ark are signs of things in the Church. (De civitate Dei XV.26)

The Temple of Solomon, as we have discussed in various parts of this book, was interpreted similarly as an edifice that the Christian was to recognize metaphorically (and alternatively) as the temple of Christ’s body, the origin of the Church on earth, and a prefiguration of the Heavenly City.42 But the metaphorical interpretation of the edifice extended even further, beyond biblical architecture, to include the human body, the Christian soul, and the spiritual life. The female body, for example, was “destiné à représenter l’Église” through Mary, the mother of Christ. The soul is commonly interpreted as the temple or the house of God, and the spiritual life is “un édifice ou

39 40 41 42

Exégèse Médiévale, 44. See Chapter Two of this book. See Chapter Three of this book. Exégèse Médiévale, 41–42. Exégèse Médiévale, 42–43. Solomon’s Temple is the subject of discussions in the Introduction, 16–21, Chapter Two, 56, 64, and in Chapter Three, 83–4.


Medieval Allegory and the Building of the New Jerusalem une ‘structure’ céleste, qui s’élève dans le silence, comme jadis le temple de Salomon.”43 This last example is particularly interesting, for it combines the idea of the spiritual movement of the soul toward God with the image of the construction of a historical edifice. The great Gothic church, with its pointed arches, soaring naves, and liturgical processions seems to have been an attempt to manifest visually this conflated image. But the principal construction, observes Lubac,
celle qui command toutes les constructions spirituelles, c’est la construction de l’Église: universa spiritualis fabricae structura. . . . Le symbole en est à la fois la maison de la Sagesse, l’arche de Noé, le tabernacle, le temple, la maison des noces de la parabole évangélique. L’Église, qui est à la fois de la terre et du ciel, c’est Jérusalem; c’est le temple d’Ezéchiel, qui est à lui seul une cité; c’est la cité de l’Apocalypse, qui est tout entière un temple.44 [the one that commands all spiritual constructions, is the construction of the Church: universa spiritualis fabricae structura. . . . The symbol is at the same time the house of Wisdom, Noah’s ark, the tabernacle, the temple, the house of the wedding from the gospel parable. The Church, which is at the same time of earth and of heaven, is Jerusalem; it is the temple of Ezekiel, which is itself a city, it is the city of the Apocalypse, which is in all its entirety, a temple.]

And of this great Church, “l’église visible et matérielle est le signe.”45 As we have seen in Chapter Three, the rituals and prayers for the dedication of a Christian church supply what is perhaps the most comprehensive and artfully designed demonstration of this play of metaphors, all pointing directly or indirectly to the concept of the church as a figure of the New Jerusalem. It is indeed striking how many of the most common architectural motifs found in the medieval exegetical tradition are included or referred to in the Cotton Nero poems: Noah’s Ark, Solomon’s Temple, the house in the Gospel parable of the wedding feast, the historical and the Heavenly Jerusalem.46 The two garden landscapes in Pearl also have architectural connotations that were promoted by the medieval exegetes. The green “erber,” for example, described in the poem’s opening stanzas is an enclosed space that the jeweler-dreamer must enter:

43 Exégèse Médiévale, 7. (Trans. An edifice or a celestial structure, which rises in silence, like in 44 Ibid. 50. 45 Ibid. 53. (The church visible and material is the sign.) 46 Not unlike Dante, then, the poet has created not merely a literary extension but a literary imitation

former times the Temple of Jerusalem.)

of biblical texts. Ronald B. Herzman explores the question of whether Dante saw the Apocalypse as a model for his Commedia. This chapter is one way of investigating the extent to which the Pearl poet used the Apocalypse as a model for his own literary art. See Herzman, “Dante and the Apocalypse,” in The Apocalypse in the Middle Ages, 398–413.


Pearl as Medieval Architecture
To þat spot þat I in speche expoun I entred in that erber grene. (37–8)47 [To that spot that I describe in speech, I entered into that green garden.]

By calling this enclosed garden “a spot of spysez” (25) and referring later to the pearl maiden as “Þat special spyce” (235, 938) the poet links both garden and maiden to the hortus conclusus, the enclosed spice garden from the Song of Songs (4.12).48 The location and physical attributes of the “erber” stimulate the jeweler’s recollection, grief, and longing for his lost pearl. The maiden is an inhabitant of the heavenly realm; through her divine intercession, the “spot of spysez” takes on sacred associations and becomes an addition to the system of mixed metaphors related to the biblical hortus conclusus. As Andrew and Waldron point out, the enclosed garden of the Song of Songs “was variously interpreted as allegorically representing the Virgin Mary, Christ’s human nature, Christ’s resurrection, and the Church.”49 The “erber” is a locus in which the jeweler’s bereavement and longing for the pearl are isolated and concentrated, but the “erber” itself “does not exist in isolation,” since it is a prefiguration of both the Paradise garden and the New Jerusalem.50 Medieval conceptions of Paradise were part of the complex system of metaphors that included architectural motifs. The garden of Eden, for example, was seen as a prefiguration of the Church, Heaven, and the Paradise of the Christian soul. The Heavenly Paradise was understood by medieval exegetes as a kind of interpretive force, or standard, that transformed the scriptural events of Christian history into a panorama of sacred symbols, with the New Jerusalem as the edifice that spans all meanings, earthly and spiritual.51 The Pearl poet’s metaphorical treatment of this impressive collection of architectural motifs is excellent evidence that the poet was familiar with not
47 “The precise use of the prepositions should be observed: the poet goes into the herb garden to the 48 See P. M. Kean, “The Pearl: An Interpretation (New York: Barnes & Noble, 1967), 16; C. A.

spot in that garden where the grave is.” Gordon, 47 nn. 37–8.

Luttrell, “Pearl: Symbolism in a Garden Setting,” Neophilologus 49 (1965): 160–76; Marie P. Hamilton, “The Meaning of the Middle English Pearl,” Proceedings of the Modern Language Association 70 (1955): 805–24. The tradition of medieval gardens as representatives of the terrestrial paradise or the garden of love can be traced to the classical conception of the locus amoenus; see Ernst R. Curtius, European Literature and Middle Ages, trans. Willard R. Trask, Bollingen Series 36 (Princeton, Princeton UP, 1973), 192–200; and Derek Pearsall and Elizabeth Salter, Landscapes and Seasons of the Medieval World (Toronto and Buffalo: U of Toronto P, 1973), 56–118. 49 The Poems of the Pearl Manuscript, 53–54 n. 9. 50 Pearsall and Salter, Landscapes and Seasons, 103. My discussion here of the symbolic relationship between the garden landscapes and the New Jerusalem in Pearl owes much to the excellent observations of Pearsall and Salter, 59, 102–3. 51 Derek Pearsall and Elizabeth Salter summarize this medieval perspective: “The teaching of the Church on Paradise provided writers and artists, as it did preachers and students of theology, with a range of alternatives, rather than with a straightforward choice between literal and spiritual truth, between history and exegesis. Above all, it provided for the simultaneous holding of beliefs which to later ages might seem mutually exclusive,” Landscapes and Seasons, 59.


to the “spot of spycez” where the jeweler lost his pearl. 1991). Ann Matter (Kalamazoo. therefore. Clark and Julian N. Thomas J. the poet is thought to have conceived of space abstractly. novel. U of Pennsylvania P.” The Southern Quarterly XVI (1978): 297–309. see Evelyn Birge Vitz. a kind of late medieval ecclesiastical edifice – a literary church in miniature form – is. The New Jerusalem in Pearl is the architectural space that emits a light brighter than the sun. 551–618. the overarching symbol of the poem. yet the poem’s complex structure. It is. Stanbury. which is presented as a kind of exotic grave for Jonah. eschatological themes. Seeing the Gawain-Poet. except in a very general way.” 300–1. Wasserman on the Pearl poet’s city imagery. ornamental qualities. therefore. recent survey on the uses of liturgy in medieval literature.54 52 A study by S. one may include in this catalogue of enclosures the curtained bed and the green chapel in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Stanbury. chests. 54 For an excellent. ultimately. Beyond a general acknowledgment of the poet’s delight in describing the external details of literary edifices. The wide range of architectural motifs included in the Cotton Nero poems has not gone unnoticed by literary medievalists. and ornament by taking a careful look at late medieval English architecture. to the poem itself.” The Chaucer Review 21 (1987): 476–89. and eschatological landscapes – informed by the themes and imagery of the other poems – suggest this possibility. L. “Visions of Space: Acts of Perception in Pearl and in Some Late Medieval Illustrated Apocalypses. large and small. There has been no attempt. ed. houses. Further. and arks. therefore. “Space and Visual Hermeneutics in the Gawain-Poet. a light that penetrates the Paradise garden and beyond. Previous studies on the poet’s use of enclosed spaces treat the subject primarily from a theoretical perspective. “The Pearl Poet’s City Imagery. the Pearl poet liturgists and the literary space theorists do not seem to have benefited from their respective studies. graves. Description and the Act of Perception (Philadelphia. 172 . Lot’s house in Cleanness. with Pearl. like the boxes. “The Liturgy and Vernacular Literature. the edifice that gives “shape” to the garden landscapes and.52 Scholars have drawn attention to ways in which smaller enclosures. Michigan: Medieval Institute Publications. as in the case of Elizabeth Salter’s observations on the poem. in other words.” Mediaevalia 10 (1988): 133–58. no one has examined the role of liturgy in conjunction with the poet’s interest in architectural forms. interest in the architectural projects of his own day. 53 Clark and Wasserman. Heffernan and E. or specifically learned. and Sarah Stanbury’s work on space and visual perception in the poems are two prominent examples of this scholarship: “The Pearl Poet’s City Imagery. without any specific.”53 Besides the architectural motifs already mentioned. My suggestion that the poet was attempting to build. Western Michigan U). function as “microcosms of the larger enclosures of temples and cities.Medieval Allegory and the Building of the New Jerusalem only their biblical significance but with how these motifs were treated allegorically by medieval exegetes. and the whale’s belly in Patience. see also Sarah Stanbury.” in The Liturgy of the Medieval Church. to understand the poet’s interest in architectural motifs.

Sion. “Allegorical Buildings in Mediaeval Literature. I. precious stones.60 55 For examples of instances when the poet refers to the New Jerusalem as a city. It is a “château-fort” as Lubac observes. “The Figurative Castle.” 198. See Roberta D. lines 1029 and 1083.55 In the Middle Ages the terms used to denote cities and buildings were used interchangeably.”57 As Jill Mann has pointed out. it will be helpful to examine some of the terms the poet uses to describe his landscapes. see lines 957. Cornelius. a walled city or a castle is first of all a community. the point being that she is the protective sanctuary of God made flesh and from her springs the Church on earth and Heaven. XV. “Allegorical Buildings. For references to the New Jerusalem as a castle or medieval manor see. was not so much an individual dwelling as a centre of population.” 37–48 and Jill Mann. and conversely. the “house” of which Christ is the foundation and which has both spiritual and material representations. even Virgil “imitates” scripture when he calls the Romans “the house of Aeneas. Jerusalem: “it is the same thing” – “tout entière un temple” For further evidence of the poet’s awareness of the forms and symbolic meaning of Gothic architecture and of his ambitions as a master builder. see lines 861–62.Pearl as Medieval Architecture Burial Mound. and 1119–26. 1093–96. a city or a kind of castle. 1930). and the river of life. For the New Jerusalem as a setting for liturgy. and a locus for liturgical celebration. Aeneid. 10–13. the body of the Virgin is a figure of a castle. “The Figurative Castle: A Study in the Mediæval Allegory of the Edifice with Especial Reference to Religious Writings” (Ph.” since in the Bible the Hebrews are called “The house of Jacob.58 In other words. The Church itself is the exemplary community. (De civitate Dei. The middle English versions of Grosseteste’s poem have been edited by Kari Sajavaara.97.20. its walls. Eph.” Medium Aevum LXIII (1994): 193.D. 1023. See Cornelius. Exégèse Médiévale. Cf. Bryn Mawr. for example. a castle.56 Augustine was an influential guide to this linguistic flexibility in descriptions of sacred buildings: It does not matter whether we call this house [of which Christ is the foundation] the House of God or the Temple of God or the City of God. 53. since it remains standing – even flourishing – while enduring besiegement on every side by the enemy.19) According to Augustine. Roughly one-third of Pearl is devoted to a detailed description of the New Jerusalem..59 In Robert Grosseteste’s Chasteau d’Amour.284. The Middle 173 . It is presented as an elaborate architectural space. diss. and none of these names is at odds with customary Latin speech. 56 57 58 59 60 1048. foundations. III. 2. which we might think of as a single building. the walls of a city bound it into a single architectural entity. as well as the close links between these terms and medieval ecclesiastical structures.

we find a conscious adherence to this tradition of mingling medieval concepts of city. and cloisters. 1967). or hill. because there is no need for one. Chapel ne temple þat euer watz set. a celebration of the Mass: Þe Lombe vus gladez. It is also the spot to which the dreamer returns after he awakens and where he makes reference to the eucharistic liturgy. Erkenwald.12 (“ceté of God” and “syght of pes”) that denote the Heavenly City (950–52). she speaks of the historical city of Jerusalem and uses designations from Hebrews 12. Alternatively. dwelling. 174 . “Clot” incidentally is the same word used to identify the spot where the jeweler-dreamer lost his pearl. In the Cotton Nero poems and in St. that semly clot” (789) (the hill of Sion. she describes the New Jerusalem as the “hyl of Syon. a grave. shrines. one must not err in believing that the New Jerusalem can be understood completely in human terms. the sacrifice to refresh (the inhabitants) there. The AlmyȢty watz her mynster mete. eloquently observed by Lubac. In the maiden’s conversation with the dreamer. This practice is especially evident in Pearl.61 This conception of the New Jerusalem as a temple “tout entière” is also clearly demonstrated in Pearl: Kyrk þerinne watz non yȢete. 170 above. that fair “clot”). the Lamb. as we have seen. and temple. the city is. Although he describes its architectural and decorative features in great detail. The pearl maiden’s activity in the New Jerusalem is identified as a specific liturgical activity. ultimately.22 and Revelation 3. it is “tout entière” a temple through the everlasting presence and worship of Christ. Þe Lombe þe sakerfyse þer to refet. Although the church built by human hands is a representation of the New Jerusalem. Heaven does not contain a church. oure care is kest. for example. He myrþes vus all at vch a mes. (862) English Translations of Robert Grosseteste’s ‘Château d’Amour. in other words.’ Mémoires de la Société Néophilologique de Helsinki 32 (Helsinki: Uusfilologinen yhdistys. 61 See p. castle. the temples of Solomon and Ezekiel. the Almighty was her noble minster.] The poet qualifies his sacred city in this way so that his audience may not interpret it as kind of earthly edifice. earth. with “clot” denoting clay. the poet expresses these concepts with terms denoting tombs or grave-sites. In addition. beyond human imagination.Medieval Allegory and the Building of the New Jerusalem The medieval fondness for viewing the Church. no chapel nor temple was ever built there. (1061–64) [Yet there was no church in that place. and the historical and Heavenly Jerusalem as alternative expressions of one another is. this is a location associated with a burial mound.

was a blended space designed to accommodate a display of sacramental ornament and for commemorative. communal worship.2. In Pearl. . 32.] In St. embellished with every device of language in order that it may be worthy of its contents. he (Christ) delights us all at every Mass. “An analogy becomes irresistible: the verbal artifact called Pearl is itself a kind of painstakingly crafted container. (1027–28) [The dwellings within (the Heavenly city) were adorned with all precious stones that could be gathered there. is welcomed into Heaven (336). which some editors have glossed as “city” or “city wall. cloyster.”64 The latter meaning of the word refers the reader back to the opening “clot” where the pearl is buried. 973). the last term meaning “dwelling(s) or abode(s).” the upper chamber or room. Pl. Erkenwald is called a “cloyster” (140). xix. the maiden tells the dreamer that she is enclosed in a “cofer so comly clente” (259) meaning the earthly Paradise. 149). after having been baptized by the bishop. like the dreamer’s vision in Pearl. Syon (Sion). locations for liturgy. and Jerusalem are all. . as a patterned object.13–14. the same word is used in Cleanness for Noah’s Ark. Borroff adds. Other synonyms the poet uses for the Celestial City in Pearl are “bylde” (963). where the holy spirit descended upon the apostles. “mote” (936–37. castle. 63 Acts 1.Pearl as Medieval Architecture [The Lamb makes us glad. and as the crowning image in this network of architectural motifs. .63 The cenacle is where the judge. the New Jerusalem in Pearl is at once coffer.] The Burial mound. . therefore. Erkenwald. The display of ornament and 62 Jn.62 Þe wonez withinne enurned ware Wyth alle kynnez perré þat moȢt repayre. (149). our care is removed. In Pearl. 948–49. shrine. 14. 924. city. 1027). the vision of the pearl-maiden and the precious teachings she imparts . 917. and “wone(z)” (1049.” The word “lome” in St. and pearl (735). The gate-enclosed space that contains the tomb in St. Heaven is also called a “cloystor” (969). “cenacle” (336) relates to the Latin “coenaculum. [Pearl] can be contemplated . The garden landscapes are metaphors for Paradise. cofer could also mean “coffin. From Burial “huyle” to Apocalyptic Vision: The Shaping of Scripture and Light in Pearl The medieval ecclesiastical edifice. 64 Pearl. Erkenwald is used for coffin (68.” One occurrence of “wonez” seems to be a reference to the concept of Heaven as an abode of many mansions.” 175 . but as Marie Borroff points out.

Fro spot my spyryt þer sprang in space. and penance. . the banks of the stream that separate him from the maiden are 65 On Suger’s description of the church building as a blended space. and the eastern choir and sanctuary. and the vision of the New Jerusalem – correspond to the three main elements of a typical medieval ecclesiastical edifice: the main entrance (frequently the west portal). 70–71. observation. 66 In the fifth century. Sainte Geneviève is believed to have persuaded the priests to build a chapel over the tombs of Denis and his companions. Rusticus and Eleutherius. as Andrew and Waldron do. . and this chapel became what was to be the mausoleum of the kings of France. The “erber” is the location of entrance and exit. Gordon retains the MS reading “spenned” (as opposed to Andrew and Waldron’s “penned. such odor rushed to my head.” (20) “huyle” (41). central portion of Pearl is a place of instruction. I felle vpon þat floury flaȢt. where all the elements of the landscape are described in terms of medieval metalwork: rocks are crystal.” 53). see Chapter Three. as a space existing halfway between the sacred and the temporal realms. St. on a quest where marvels take place (literally. (53–64)67 [I mourned for my pearl that was imprisoned there . Gordon’s edition of Pearl.Medieval Allegory and the Building of the New Jerusalem liturgical worship was contained within an architectural frame that was perceived. were buried.. Pearl adheres to this tradition of shaping an apocalyptic vision on a burial site. ecclesiastical edifices were constructed upon burial sites. .66 As we have seen. it is the gate that leads to the vision and it will be the spot to which he will return at the end of the poem. The long. Suche odour to my herneȢ schot. My goste is gon in GodeȢ grace In aventure þer mervayleȢ meuen. the dreamer’s path is made of pearls. . 475–1151. From that spot my spirit rose after a time. My body on balke þer bod in sweuen.] The three main landscapes of Pearl – the “erber.65 From ancient times... . where marvels “move” or “stir”).. My spirit rose up in God’s grace. 3–7.. The jeweler enters the enclosed “erber” and his vision rises up from or out of the “clot. or mound that covers the pearl and where the dreamer laments his loss: I playned my perle þat þer waȢ spenned . Also Gordon does not insert terminal punctuation between “bod” and “in” (62). 95. I slode vpon a slepyng-slaȢte . The Royal Abbey of Saint-Denis from its Beginnings to the Death of Suger. my body remained there on the ground in sleep. leaves are silver. See Sumner McKnight Crosby.” the Paradise garden. 176 . for the medieval church is thought to have been built on the site where the third-century remains of Denis and his martyred companions. as Abbot Suger described it.-Denis outside of Paris is a famous example of this practice. V. the nave. I slipped into a deep sleep. I fell upon that flowery turf. 67 Here I follow E.

and the stream itself is filled with gems. too precious to appear outside the limits of Jerusalem: Haf Ȣe no wonez in castel-walle. to the pearly gravel. Bot in Judée hit is. She seems. no mansion where you may meet and live? You tell me of the royal kingdom of Jerusalem. to him. for it positions the dreamer’s spiritual journey as one that moves from west to east. and is opposed to the eastern orientation of all the sacred figures in the poem.] The word “westernays” is probably a form of the Old French “bestorneis. The most interesting aspect of the dreamer’s response to this landscape – interesting. to the original locus of departure.. 69 n.” that is. and responds to the maiden’s instruction. Pearl.”68 The dreamer’s vague understanding of doctrinal matters is “westward” looking. 57 n. 307 and E. Gordon ed. where 68 See Andrew and Waldron eds. The Poems of the Pearl Manuscript. serves as a poetic rendering of the medieval altar screen.Pearl as Medieval Architecture made of gold. returning. V. 177 . (you) who believe nothing unless you see it.” meaning “awry” and modified by the poet “as a result of its application to churches facing west instead of east. The stream. hears. the glittering stream is the boundary that separates him from the maiden and the divine realm she represents. from an architectural perspective – is that the dreamer thinks he sees Paradise beyond the stream: Forþy I þoȢt þat paradyse Watz þer ouer gayn þo bonkez brade. (307–308) [You set his words completely awry. and finally to the pearls of the New Jerusalem – are all said to be from the “oryente. Ne maner þer Ȣe may mete and won? Þou tellez me of Jerusalem þe ryche ryalle. þat noble note. that is.] When the dreamer encounters the maiden. Þer Dauid dere watz dyȢt on trone. Although the dreamer sees. The association of Paradise with the east was a common medieval convention. (137–38) [wherefore I thought that paradise was over against the broad banks. from the east. Bot by þyse holtez hit con not hone. but its application here is particularly significant. on the “west side” of which the dreamer must remain: Ȣe setten Hys wordez ful westernays Þat leuez noþynk bot Ȣe hit syȢe. he wonders why he does not see a walled city. finally. The various images of pearls – from lost child and maiden. as boundary. 307. (917–23) [Have you no dwellings in a walled-castle.

represented by the poem’s carefully proportioned. divided by eight angles (I call the 69 The exchange here is. proves instead to be a metaphoric exchange of the spice garden for a vision of the earthly Paradise. that is. provide near-perfect architectural parallels with the design of Pearl. the abundant use of ornament and color. the fusion of circular and symmetrical geometric patterning.Medieval Allegory and the Building of the New Jerusalem worthy David was set on a throne. it is in Judaea. “the two gardens. nonetheless. The individual bays of a Gothic vault are. If we allow ourselves to recognize the structural similarities of Pearl with the typical. particularly in the literature of the Alexander legends” (Landscapes and Seasons. which has its figure completed throughout. linked stanzas. the two concepts” merge. explaining the relationship between the Platonic fusion of geometric forms and the design of sacred architecture: The form of the chapel is a cross. What appears at first to be a misunderstanding of the maiden’s habitation. It is not a sustained vision. but in the “nwe” (943). the “web of reference and change” comes full circle. but it is. the patterns of concatenation that link the poem’s stanzas begin to look like the tracery patterns in late Gothic windows or the cross ribs of a Gothic vault. “a familiar medieval variation upon the walled garden of Genesis. 70 Ibid.69 With the maiden’s explanation that she lives not in the “olde Jerusalem” (941). but by these woods it is not situated.] The dreamer is disturbed by the thought that the maiden and the “motelez meyny” (925) who are her companions “schulde lyȢ þeroute” (930. a Paradise that should – in all due respect for the “pakke of joly juele” (929) that dwell there – be a castellum. such as we find in the following passage by Gregory of Nyssa. the poet must have been familiar with Christian adaptations of Platonic number theory. The lierne vault of English Decorated and the fan vault of English Perpendicular (such as those in the choir and chantries at Tewkesbury Abbey) reproduce the radiating patterns of Rayonnant windows on ceilings and. that noble structure. 178 . 104). Indeed. as you would expect. 105–6. were precisely the features of late English Gothic that the Pearl poet adopted and applied to his own art. where “glory and blysse schal ever encres” (959). as we see everywhere in the cruciform pattern. perhaps.70 At the apex of the dreamer’s vision is the Heavenly City. according to Pearsall and Salter. therefore. by four structures. which serves as the poem’s eastern window. Given these striking similarities in both design and artistic purpose. for such a large retinue would require the shelter of “gret ceté” (927). But within the cross there lies a circle. The junctions of the buildings intercept one another. and the presentation of smaller enclosures as microcosms of the larger edifice in which they stood. a long moment in which God’s presence is apprehended and commemorated in the image of bread and wine at the poem’s closing. the two cities. medieval church building. sleep out of doors).

in such a wise that the two pairs of sides of the octagon which are diametrically opposed to one another. 179 .73 Drawing on Geoffrey of Vinsauf’s Poetria nova (1202) in which he discusses the poetic craft in terms of constructing a building. castles. (Epistolae XVI. Cambridge UP. and the Making of Images. the structural and metaphoric circularity combined with a symmetry akin to a frame or progression of distinct symmetrical units. ladders. Cited in Nigel Hiscock. mappa mundi. Rhetoric. towers. 889. this work is conceived “with a circular structure in mind.” 882. all leading toward a vision of the New Jerusalem. which lie between the quadrilateral buildings.” 882. unite by means of arches the central circle to the adjoining blocks of the building.” such as trees.” and that these builders were the writers themselves. . 75 Ibid. of the sort a master builder would use in laying out the plan of a building. a common shape. . the interior string of linking words and phrases. measures out the work. . things are enclosed as in a recess. “The Poet as Master Builder: Composition and Locational Memory in the Middle Ages. but upon each of them will be described a semicircle like a shell. is a particularly intriguing parallel to Pearl. The mappa mundi. 890. side by side. Carruthers writes: in the memory.Pearl as Medieval Architecture octagonal figure a circle in view of its circumference). 400–1200 (Cambridge: Library in Florence. The Wise Master Builder. Erkenwald that lends even stronger credibility to the poet’s envisioning himself as an 71 Gregory of Nyssa’s Epistolae XVI survives in an eleventh-century manuscript in the Laurentian 72 The Craft of Thought: Meditation. and by their means the quadrilateral and the semicircular buildings will be connected. a stronghold. . which depicts the New Jerusalem at the center of the world. often subclassified as a ‘rose’ or other sort of wheel. 31)71 Mary Carruthers has treated literary buildings as occasions for “mnemonic technique” and “meditational recollection.74 According to Geoffrey of Vinsauf. Another characteristic feature of the Cotton poems and St. and “smaller-scale forms.”72 She argues that literary descriptions of churches. cloisters or enclosed gardens were perceived as having been “built by an architectus or master builder. the verbal building. while the other four sides of the octagon. 131. or box (the words commonly used for the idea of memory as a “storage chest” in which memorial things are placed and contained. monastery buildings. with the central structure. [a]n interior string. 73 Carruthers. 1998).”75 It is striking how closely Geoffrey’s conception of poetic composition resembles the structural techniques in Pearl: the series of interconnected enclosures. terminating in an arch above: so that the arches will be eight in all. 74 Ibid. “The Poet as Master Builder. will not themselves be carried to meet the buildings. 886. amphitheaters. Composition begins with the laying out of a mental diagram or picture: “intrinseca linea cordis” . or .

and gazed at it as I went forward. simply put. with its painstaking attention to geometric form. Alle þe worlde with þe welkyn. God is He “Þat eres alle made” (123). who recreates the vision for his listeners and readers: Tyl on a hyl þat I asspyed And blusched on þe burghe. Erkenwald. that shone with shafts of light brighter than the sun.Medieval Allegory and the Building of the New Jerusalem architectus is the poet’s repeated designation of God as a craftsman or builder. As deuysez hit þe apostel John. He is the “MaȢty maker of men” (283). as I forth dreued. “Þe Welder of wyt. In þe Apokalypce is þe fasoun preued. its refrains and echo-words. in another. (206–8) [That Person I worship. to be a jeweler in the sense that Christ and the New Jerusalem are jewels. God is “Þe WyȢ þat wroȢt alle þinges” (5). we find the following description: Þat WyȢe I worchyp.” was revealed to John and passed on to the poet. þat wroȢt alle þynges. indeed. the wind. perhaps. on the other it is the task of the dreamer. Pearl proves to be a grand exemplar of the medieval imaginative. in other words. and the stars. That the poet states repeatedly his allegiance to the biblical text suggests. become the craftsman of his own soul. and in St. Patience. And alle þat wonez þer withinne. and all that live in it.] If we apply the architectural qualities of Pearl to Carruthers’ theory of medieval ekphrasis. In Cleanness. where the word of God. iwysse. a poem about remembrance. contains the greatest number of references to God as builder. (979–84) [Until on a hill I caught sight of the city. that wrought all things. after he has received his homiletic instruction and is shown the vision of the New Jerusalem. by a single word. as the Apostle John describes it. that he saw himself as a participant in a kind of divine workshop. One could argue that Pearl is. “Þe Welder of wyt” (129). In the Apocalypse is the fashion of it shown. He must. 180 . beyond the brook. þe wynde and þe sternes. at a worde one. to remember how to act on his own behalf. the poem that contains the least number of explicit architectural motifs. for example. Þat schyrrer þen sunne with schaftez schon. ByȢonde þe brok. fro me warde keued. having descended (from Heaven) at a distance from me. its great variety of architectural motifs and mingling of architectural terms and concepts.] The supreme model for the dream vision in Pearl is John’s vision in the Book of Revelation. all the world with the sky. In Pearl the deity is called “Þe Fader of folde and flode” (736). and in an ardent speech by Jonah. On the one hand it serves as an architectural elegy – a shrine to the maiden. mnemonic plan. In one passage.

“Transformational Symbolism and the Liturgy of the Mass in Pearl.] 76 See John Gatta. But it is also a highly liturgical poem. and divine Judgment. in parable he “aptly conceives it” and likens it to a bright Heaven. Pearl incorporates through imagery and scriptural teachings the fundamental divisions of the Mass: the liturgy of the Word and the liturgy of the Eucharist. even within a concept of human existence that looks to the spiritual realm beyond earthy experience and beyond time. death. the dreamer. The emotions of mourning and yearning that the poem expresses are not effaced.13–16).76 These divisions are complemented by displays of liturgical spectacle. As an intermediary between the sacred and the earthly realms. Scripture is her primary authority for instruction.29). the Book of Wisdom (10. who lives in the world of human logic.” Modern 77 See Chapter Three. allusions to specific Christian rites.15–17. and especially the Book of Revelation. which. The liturgy of the Mass is an explicit point of reference for the pearl maiden in her role as intermediary and instructor: As Mathew melez in your messe In sothfol gospel of God almyȢt: In sample He can ful grayþely gesse And lyknez hit to heuen lyȢt. Pearl offers a conception of individuality that is an inescapable part of human experience. and to the liturgies of actual feast days.77 The maiden’s biblical references also include Isaiah 53.Pearl as Medieval Architecture Prayer. the Gospel of John (1. must be reminded again and again of what gives meaning to his world in the first place. in the true Gospel of Almighty God. 83–4. were recited as part of the medieval liturgy for the dedication of a Christian church and cited by Abbot Suger in his commentary on the consecration of his new church. (497–500) [As Matthew tells you in your Mass. like liturgy. where death is not a loss and a degeneration but a spiritual birth into a resplendent relationship with the divine.13–15. as we’ve seen. and Procession: Liturgical Drama and the Literary Chapel Pearl is a poem that literary medievalists have categorized as being simultaneously elegy. Philology 71 (1973): 249–50. Like the liturgy itself. The pearl maiden is the poem’s homiletic voice. including Psalms 14 and 23. 181 . she teaches the tenets of Christian faith relating to repentance. Homilies.3–10). and dream vision. consolatio. the Beatitudes (Matthew 5. Mark 10. which is presented and re-presented in an enduring artistic form. Matthew 19. the synoptic Gospels (Luke 18. with references or allusions to readings in both the Old and New Testaments.10). not even by the knowledge conveyed to the dreamer by the maiden and in his vision of the Heavenly Jerusalem.

In Pearl. In Patience. This design alone would qualify the poet as something of a liturgist. whose celebrant is the Lamb of the Apocalypse: Þe Lombe vus gladez. He rises “ful erly” (506) to hire his laborers. (861–62) [The Lamb makes us glad. at a hyȢe masse” (9). our care is removed. a program that commences with the jeweler clasping his hands in prayer in the opening stanzas (49).Medieval Allegory and the Building of the New Jerusalem The “sample” referred to here is the parable of the vineyard.78 All Saints’ Day is also the last day that Sir Gawain is at Camelot before he sets off to find the green chapel. “The Audience of Pearl.] The Lamb is also the beloved recipient of continuous worship by the 144. “Þat gay Juelle” (1124).” sing “ful cler” the “nwe songe” (881–82). 182 . as well. but also in Patience (11–28) and Cleanness (23–28). and converses with the “ydel men ful stronge” at “evensonge/ On oure byfore the sonne go doun” (529–31). whose lord in Pearl tends to his daily activities with an hourly precision reminiscent of a monk’s liturgical schedule. oure care is kest. He myȢes vus alle at vch a mes. he delights us all at every Mass. the offering of incense. The theme of this feast corresponds remarkably well with 78 Ordelle G. as Ordelle Hill and others have pointed out. or nones. The “halyday” referred to here is probably All Saints’ Day.000 virgins who “harpen in her harpe. “ ‘Bot mylde as maydenes seme at mas’: The Feast of All Saints and Pearl. correspondences with the liturgies of specific feast days and with the funerary liturgy for children. and pass in “prosessyoun” before the Lamb’s throne (1093–96). the poet paraphrases the Beatitudes from Matthew 5 and says that he heard the text “on a halyday. An important liturgical model for the Pearl poet was the liturgy for the Feast of All Saints’ (1 November) whose readings and themes are employed not only in Pearl (675–84). To be an inhabitant of Heaven in Pearl is to participate in an eternal liturgy. continues with scriptural instruction. since after the eighth century the text of the Beatitudes served as the Gospel reading for that feast.” Bulletin of the John Rylands University Library of Manchester 74 (1992): 141–42. the third hour. procession. but we find. The explicit reference to the blessing of bread and wine in the poem’s final stanza completes the liturgical program of the poem. goes to the market place “[a]boute vnder” (513). and voices raised in song. Hill. Susan J. This liturgical spectacle is completed by the “aldermen” who prostrate themselves before the Lamb (1119–20) and by the “Legyounes of aungelez” (legions of angels) who offer “ensens of swete smelle” (sweet smelling incense) (1121–22) and sing a “songe to loue” the Lamb. Rastetter.” Modern Philology 66 (1968): 104. the author uses the readings from John’s Apocalypse that served as the epistles for All Saints’ Day. and ends with the eucharistic meal.

The poem. argues Oakden. 342. 334–36. since both commemorate the dead who have been granted the reward of heavenly salvation. The pearl maiden was a child no more than two years old when she died (483). P. Schirmir. see Peterson (45. ed. are rich with passages from the Book of Revelation.” Chaucer und Seine Zeit: Symposium für Walter F. Furthermore.” in The Liturgy of the Medieval Church. Pearl. that 79 Rastetter also makes this point (141).80 Oakden has demonstrated how the funeral rites that were held on the occasion of the death of a child “under the age of discretion” were adopted by the Pearl poet. M.84 Furthermore. Ibid. Arno Esch. For additional arguments on the liturgical background of the poems. see also Gordon. the dreamer’s grief over her death “pervades the whole texture” of the poem. Ibid. 104–6. “Pearl: The hyþ seysoun. J. 183 .82 while white is the poem’s most pervasive color. with modern rendering together with Boccaccio’s Olympia (London: Chatto & Windus. see William J. 134. Knightley. Erkenwald. and instead of a requiem there is a votive Mass of the holy angels.’ which [the poet] has transferred from the Requiem to the rite of infants.Pearl as Medieval Architecture that of the poem. flowers that adorn the altar. as well. “The Liturgical Influence in Pearl. Elizabeth Petroff. 132–33). Ibid. P. Santha Bhattacharji. “is all-pervading. 348. 337. 343. For my discussion of the liturgies of the chantry Masses. There is no absolution performed. “The Liturgical Influence in Pearl. and the priest’s vestments are all white to symbolize the innocence of the deceased. Andrew and Waldron. ed. Evelyn Birge Vitz. The discussion which follows is based on J. Zeitschrift für Englische Philologie 14 (Tübingen: Niemeyer.” Modern Language Notes 76 (1961): 97–102.81 In these rites. “is a long ‘De profundis. Clifford Flanigan has shown that the influence of John’s Apocalypse upon medieval liturgy is especially rich (“pervasive” and “complex” are words he uses) in the liturgies for All Saints’ Day and the Feast of the Holy Innocents. the child’s coffin. “Pearl and the Liturgical Common of the Virgins.” The Apocalypse in the Middle Ages. 50. 1968). 101–2. C. Buchreihe der Anglia.” Proceedings of the Modern Language Association 70 (1955): 37–59. especially the liturgy for the Feast of All Saints’. Oakden’s study. Oakden. “Landscape in Pearl: The Transformation of Nature. 567–68. ed. they were the most common liturgies celebrated in chantry chapels built in the English churches in the later Middle Ages. 339. “The Meaning of the Middle English Pearl. see Chapter Four. Pearl. It should be recalled.. The sadness that one encounters in reading Pearl is the sadness of the bereaved dreamer. eds. P. See Israel Gollancz’s Introduction and notes to this passage in his edition of Pearl: Pearl: an English Poem of the XIVth century. “The Liturgy and Vernacular Liturgy. 350–51. Hamilton.” Medium Aevum LXIV (1995): 37–50.” Chaucer Review 16 (1981): 181–93. 1921).79 While the liturgy for the Feast of All Saints’ figures prominently in the Pearl poet’s works – a liturgy that fits well with the eschatological themes represented in them – the funerary liturgy for children seems to have been an even greater source of liturgical influence in Pearl. “The Apocalypse and the Medieval Liturgy.” 337–53.” The influence of burial rites” Oakden continues. much of the pearl maiden’s discussion with the dreamer is an account of why she was able to bypass post-mortem suffering and ascend after death to the Heavenly Jerusalem. There are a number of other feast days that scholars have 80 81 82 83 84 recognized as possible influences in the Pearl poet’s work. For the liturgical features of St.”83 These liturgies for the dead.

” 900. between the chantries and Pearl could not be more explicit.87 The elaborate workmanship of the poem is the architectural frame. forcing him to confront the inevitable Judgment of his own soul. and his urgent desire to somehow keep her – who is beyond his reach – close to him. for instance. perhaps. the communication. the chapels’ wall paintings and sculpture) exists which shows evidence of a fear or hysteria over sufferings in Purgatory. that scholars detect Dante’s influence on the Pearl poet though the Purgatorio: Dante’s meeting with Beatrice (XXX 31–99) bears strong resemblance to the dreamer’s encounter with the pearl maiden (160–94). to create a literary alliance with the metalworker and the mason. penance. the northwest Midlands. like the choir of Tewkesbury Abbey. that he sought. 128. 88 I quote “prescriptions” and “mental task” from Carruthers. That he has a glimpse of the New Jerusalem is no guarantee of his own future place in it. The implication is that liturgical ritual and eschatological landscapes are the necessary “prescriptions” for the “mental task” of the dreamer to construct himself as a sanctuary – of being his own chapel dedicated to the salvation of his own soul. and the apocalyptic vision take place. the chantry foundation documents also contain no references to fear of Purgatory. and his poem as a minutely controlled. the regions of England most often associated with the author of Pearl and its companion poems. the “material” setting within which the remembrance.86 He is burdened by anxieties and frustrations resulting from his loss. 127. In addition. presents his dreamer as a jeweler. an occasion for honoring. he describes his gardens using the aesthetic vocabulary of metallurgy. and communicating with the dead. While there is no evidence in Pearl of a morbid fear of death or hysteria over the sufferings in Purgatory – and this would be the case in the death of young child – nor is it unequivocally an occasion of unqualified hope and pure ascent for the dreamer. 86 Historians stress the close connection between the medieval chantry movement and fear of Purga- tory. Victor.85 The liturgical connection.Medieval Allegory and the Building of the New Jerusalem the chantry movement was most popular in the North. But it is also an occasion for instruction.” See Carruthers. Just as liturgy is an intrinsic part of the ecclesiastical edifice. It should be noted. who applies these terms to the “picturae and formae which we encounter in twelfth-century literature. This is why. The poem is. therefore. the preparation. like the late medieval chantry movement. Gloucestershire. It is significant. so too is the Pearl poet’s presentation of liturgical features intrinsic to the architecture of his poem. 184 . in particular. that no visual evidence associated with the chantry movement (for example. “The Poet as Master Builder. remembering.88 It is my view that the author of Pearl wished to participate fully in the structural and stylistic exchange among craftsmen of the late Middle Ages. however. the instruction. such as in the meditations of Hugh and Richard of St. 126. akin to the experience of a medieval person’s participation in the liturgy of a Mass for the dead within a setting designed to be a figure of the New Jerusalem. 106. 87 See Chapter Four. however. but it is. his confusion over the maiden’s spiritual standing. 129–34. It is thus a preparation for the dreamer’s own death. only with remembering the dead and the wish to be granted entrance into Heaven. and in London. richly ornamented frame for liturgy and a 85 See Chapter Four. and revelation for the dreamer himself.

the poet would have had ample opportunities for such travel. especially compelling subjects for studies that seek to gain a more accurate understanding of the Pearl poet’s local courtly culture and architectural environment. and exemplary way.90 When we consider the Cotton Nero poems and St. I argue.” but traveled to London and in the Midland regions between Cheshire and the southeast. He was keenly aware of the potential of architecture to express Christian beliefs and practices in an intense. as well as read and heard. and in the description of the New Jerusalem. Erkenwald in light of the architectural developments in late medieval England. then.” The Chaucer Review 35 (2001): 413–429. for example (the abundant pearl imagery and the poetic structure itself). such as the Sainte-Chapelle. Erkenwald were conceived by a poet (or small group of poets) whose life was touched daily by the chantry movement and whose creative efforts conveyed the same preoccupation with death. providing more detailed evidence for these assertions that point in a specific way to the poet’s likely travels and exposure to medieval ecclesiastical architecture. The poem is a literary expression of the Sainte-Chapelle. is not general or superficial. was by no means “provincial. and material preciousness. concentrated. the large and small edifices reflecting one another stylistically and conceptually. Stephen’s chapel.”89 The argument I maintain is that the poet was familiar with some – perhaps all – of the monuments I have discussed in this study. The courtly poems of the Cotton Nero manuscript and St. but updated in light of English architectural developments and the chantry move89 Bucher. As a member of the court of Richard II or a member of the household of a noble family. 90 I discuss the historical background of the Pearl poet in a recent article. therefore. or chantry. Pearl especially seems to be an effort to combine the ornamental richness of Decorated with the structural unity of Perpendicular. for he conceived of his own poem as an architectural genre combining lavish ornamentation with “structural dexterity” and “geometric complexity. 185 . it is a literary project that is meant to be seen. St. Paul’s.Pearl as Medieval Architecture vision of the New Jerusalem. and Tewkesbury Abbey. The exquisite chantry chapels in the Decorated choir of Tewkesbury Abbey are. 83. of late medieval England. See my article. for he understood his craft as he understood his architectural environment: systems of mutually illuminating spaces. especially his familiarity with chantry architecture. The meticulous craftsmanship of the poem and the landscapes defined within the structural framework are presented in a Platonic language of geometric form: in the metaphor of the circle. it is meant to be recognized as an alliance with a specific ecclesiastical setting. divine judgment. Gloucester Abbey. namely the private chapel. Further. in the numerical symmetry of the stanza groups. the author of Pearl was wonderfully sensitive to the stylistic refinements that took place in the middle of the fourteenth century in churches like Gloucester and Old St. “The Despersers and the Gawain Poet: A Gloucester link to the Alliterative Master of the Northwest Midlands. As we have seen. The Gothic influence upon the poem. The poet. probably to France and perhaps as far as Italy.

and symbolic features to his own art. that is. goldsmithing. the Pearl poet was conscious of the function of ecclesiastical architecture as the setting for the dramatization of Christian mysteries.Medieval Allegory and the Building of the New Jerusalem ment. which helped to transform the private chapel from a space of worship for royalty to a liturgical space desired by all who could afford one. The beliefs and rituals that were expressed through medieval liturgy are essential to an understanding of the symbolic programs of the edifices and the stylistic developments that those edifices portray. In short. It is a minutely controlled presentation. My aim has been to understand the monuments from the perspective of a fourteenth-century English poet who attempted to apply their ornamental. as an invitation to spiritual transformation. It is a demonstration of how the image may be perceived as an artifact of philosophical allegory. in poetic form. There is a balanced emphasis on ornament and controlled structure or space – equal contributors to the concept of the poem as an eschatological landscape and as a setting for a vision of the New Jerusalem. 186 . Finally. Pearl is a “nexus” between architecture. In Pearl. The nineteenth-century scholars who devised the architectural categories of Decorated and Perpendicular were largely interested in identifying differences between styles. 91 Bucher had used the term “nexus” to describe the symbiotic relationship between architecture and goldsmithing in three-dimensional. of Platonic light metaphysics.91 These eschatological themes are presented through the personal experience of the dreamer. ornament and structural unity – prominent stylistic features of the Decorated and Perpendicular styles respectively – are not presented as competing systems of expression. and so their divisions are perhaps more rigid than the medieval perspective. and literature. architectural. drawing on images and concepts that have unmistakable affinities with the symbolic programs of medieval church architecture. and where the daily confrontation with death was given a spatial and liturgical expression on an intimate. but it is at the same time a dramatization of an action that derives its eschatological force from the liturgical commemoration of the dead and a concern with the fate of the soul after death. private scale. micro-architectural objects (73). it is this “private” eschatology that links the poem so closely with the chantry movement of late medieval England and to the chapels that stood as its architectural expression. The spiritual journey in Pearl is described in a visually precise and elaborate manner.

but my main interest has been the religious motivations that stood behind the architecture of revelation in the medieval west. theological. we come closer to understanding the spirituality that inspired these medieval achievements. I studied at the Bibliothèque of the Institut d’Études Augustiniennes. and historians of art and architecture make the church of Saint-Germain-des-Prés one of their priorities when visiting Paris to see its medieval achievements. By studying some of the most important philosophical. and onto the church’s nave. including all aspects of the Augustinian theological tradition and. the feast day of Saint Barnabus. as remarkable. as it does now. and by becoming familiar with some of the great literature of the period.000 volumes is dedicated to the study of Saint Augustine. The readers’ work areas are all in one small room and placed adjacent to open stacks of reference materials. the oldest in the city.1 In it I read (and was reminded) that the great consecration of Abbot Suger’s new church had taken place on 11 June 1144. There is space enough for only about twelve readers. of course. and liturgical traditions. This library is located in what was the medieval Abbot’s Palace of the Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés. the story Abbot Suger told of the building of his new church. sociological. This striking continuity of time and place had been established by the accidental convergence of a variety of stories and buildings: the story of a saint’s life. because it had connected my experience with something that happened so long ago. located in one of the few remaining sections of Paris’ Latin Quarter that retains the medieval pattern of streets. by visiting some of the extant buildings themselves. On 11 June 2002. 1973). one of the most important intellectual communities in western medieval Europe. Later that afternoon. The collection of approximately 45. The coincidence struck me then.Epilogue This book has explored how modern men and women are to understand the remarkable medieval effort to build Heaven on earth. on the feast of Saint Barnabé. but most desks are situated so that one may look out at eye-level to the church’s famous Romanesque bell tower. and political motivations have entered into discussions in each of the chapters. One of the books I pulled from the shelves that day was the Histoire de L’Abbaye Royale de Saint-Denys en France. Sometimes one arrives at a greater understanding by accident. Technical. The Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés was. I attended a noon liturgy in the Chapelle Mansart in the church of Saint-Séverin. to the history of Christianity from late antiquity. more broadly. 187 . exactly 858 years before. the story of Augus1 Michel Félibien (Paris: Éditions du Palais Royal.

The sacred architecture of the Hebrew Bible and the Book of Revelation provided the transformational image of the New Jerusalem. and with a religious sensibility that belonged to a whole set of cultural practices that have all but disappeared. and literature so fluidly interacted with one another in the medieval effort to represent the New Jerusalem on earth. The poem. in the twelfth century as in the present. demonstrates this fluidity and convergence of medieval forms of expression with exquisite care and imagination. however. extant in a single. liturgy. Medieval liturgy dramatized in a spectacular way the Christian-Platonic pilgrimage of the soul and qualified the architectural spaces in which those liturgies were celebrated as Plotinian screens of beauty and Augustinian sacraments. theology. light-filled chapel in Saint-Séverin. and what is left at the end of the poem is the burial mound and the sacrament itself. the simple. Pearl. 188 .Epilogue tine’s conversion and the monumental theological history that his works and influence represent. liturgists. whose medieval flèche stands out as a precious sign of one of the most intellectually vibrant and culturally rich cities in the world. An anonymous poem about death and love places us at the apocalyptic threshold of the divine realm and asks us to take the sacramental allegory seriously. and artists responded to that image in ways that have never been surpassed. unimpressive manuscript and written in a dialect of English that was becoming obsolete even while it was being written. In the beginning was the Word. architecture. late medieval poem. One of the many gratifying results of this project has been the insight I have gained on how the “disciplined” distinctions between philosophy. and medieval theologians. I remain especially impressed by the anonymous. The Hellenistic world that informs the teachings of St. and the church of Saint-Germain-des-Prés. the abbey church of Saint-Denis whose crown of chapels inaugurated medieval French Gothic. Paul and the fourth Gospel provided the metaphysical foundation for the craft and transformational spirituality of medieval allegory.

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142–4. Saint 20. Paradise. 74. Venerable: exegesis of biblical architecture. liturgy 182–3 All Souls’ Day. theophania analogia 31 n. Plotinus architectural history renaissance 12 traditions of scholarship in (medieval) 1–2. 180 ideal. 4 n. 121 Ammonius Saccus 31. architecture (Gothic). 51 adornment/ornament as terms in allegoresis 141–2 as unveiling of ideas/perfection/ revelation 51–2. Book of apocalyptic eschatology see eschatology apocalyptic literature. Jerusalem (historical city). Venerable. 155.15 Angoulême Cathedral (St-Pierre) 121 Anne of Bohemia. 6–7 and Vitruvius 12 architectural theory and biblical exegesis 16–17 and Vitruvius 12. 147–8. 146 see also adornment/ornament. New Jerusalem. architecture (medieval church). interpretive complexities of 6 architect God/logos/Wisdom as 15.19 anagogy 42. 64 as a term in New Testament 2–3 veil/screen of 4. soul. 73 allegorical level of 3 art/architecture. terminology for 27 n. 186 in Virgil’s poetry 13. exegesis. queen of England (under Richard II) 98. Plato see also Bede. St. 18. as means to 96. 30. 22 see also under architecture (biblical). Erkenwald.-Denis. 143–6. as means to 70. allêgoroumena. Abraham 63 ad imaginem Dei 47. 32 n. Augustine of Hippo. Plotinus: sacramental cosmology.Index Page numbers in bold type refer to illustrations and their captions. 74. liturgy 101–2 allegory (allegoria. 3 as epistemological process 4 etymology of the term 2 God’s Covenant as 63–4 in Homer 3 interpretive and compositional traditions of 2–4. screen of beauty.5. 146 liturgy. New Jerusalem Ambrose. Christian interpretations using 13 Philo Judaeus. 17 and the liberal arts 14 Paradise as 171 Virgin Mary as 173 see also under Cotton Nero MS: poems. use of 1. 52. 31 on Ark of Noah 169 Amiens Cathedral (Notre Dame) 111. 19. 21. imago. symbolism in. 91. Paul’s teachings on 4. Jacob’s vision. 157 Apocalypse see Revelation. liturgy. alieniloquium) Dante. Venerable: exegesis of biblical 203 . veil/screen of allegory Alcuin 16–17 All Saints’ Day. 144–5 in Latin and Greek grammarians and rhetoricians 2–3 Old Testament.7. 22 architecture/architectural motifs and burial sites 176 Cistercian 22 Garden of Eden as 171 humanist 14 as image of cosmos 14. 52 related terms in ancient and medieval texts 2–3 requires interpretation 144–5 St. 103. titles of poems in the Cotton Nero MS see also architecture (biblical). 140. alia oratio. architecture (medieval church). 28 Plotinus’ screen of beauty as veil of 41–2. Bede. Dedication liturgy at St-Denis: architecture/architectural motifs in. 155 see also Augustine: sacramental theology. 18 see also art/artist under Eriugena. revelation. in Vitruvius 14–15. Bede. movement/journey/pilgrimage. Pearl. Dedication liturgy at St. A note is normally indexed only if the topic for which it is cited is not mentioned in the corresponding discussion in the body of the text.

chapels. 117. 91 and caritas/cupiditas 56. royal. 64 n. 111. 94. 76 eschatology in 51. Erkenwald. Pearl/Gawain poet see also architecture/architectural motifs. 125 in Cotton Nero MS poems 160–2 literary edifices. 64–5. genre of 108. 165. Venerable: exegesis of biblical architecture. 55. 119. 31. 168. Aristotle/aristotelianism 32. 3 n. 146 and craftsmen. chapels. 173 civitas (city). chantry. 87. 57. figure of 86 role of 55. 138 inadequacy of 21–2. 83–4. 34. St. influenced by 74. 17–20. Ark of Noah. 147 cities (Jerusalem and Babylon). 60–5. literary edifices. 62. 64 n. 115–17. 147 as micro-architecture 108.62.35. Ark of the Covenent. 128. role of 40 Plotinus. 87 see also architecture/architectural motifs. A. 134. chapels. royal. figure of 169 as corpus mysticum 49. 178. 115 see also under Pearl/Gawain poet. Saint 187–8 use of allegoria. 87 sacred Hebrew 4. Covenant (biblical). 55. 169. 93–4 as settings for communication with the dead 109 see also under Pearl. 57 204 . 124 see also Dedication liturgy at St. royal. 47–8 and liturgy 23. 55 as corpus permixtum 62. 92 theological foundation for 8. 162. 130–1. Jerusalem. 119–21. 185 French Rayonnant. response to 158–9 nave as Jacob’s ladder 86 Perpendicular. 132.28). 94. 178 and light/Illumination 36. 53 evolving concepts of 125. 60. chantry. 124. 88–9 as God’s house 82–4 as image of the New Jerusalem biblical sources for 4. 73. 91. architecture (medieval church). 185–6 and Platonism 6–7. New Jerusalem: church building. 110. New Jerusalem. 47–8. names/locations of individual buildings.28) 85–6 Church (Ecclesia) Ark of Noah. Abbey of see also architecture/architectural motifs. 36. Pseudo-Dionysius. 64 and eschatology 61–2 as eucharistic community 55. 64 Eriugena. Bede. imago. chapels. 27. 61. 61. 178–9 politics. genre of 108. 70. chapels. Pearl. Tabernacle architecture (Gothic) Decorated. literary edifices. 188 and liturgy 6. 156–7 reliquary buildings 110–11. 83. Augustine: Jerusalem/Babylon. 64 Ethics in 52 on the eucharist 55–6. theology of 8. Jacob’s vision. genre of 110–12. 70–3. 8. architecture (Gothic). chantry movement. 124 features of (general) 158. chapels. displayed through 96. in exegesis 30. 114–17.59 on Ark of Noah 169 on body/being (human) 51–4. names/locations of specific buildings architecture (biblical) Christian allegories of 20–1.-Denis parts of. figura. 114. 184–5 Eriugena. Solomon’s Temple. 56. 185–6 developement of 9. literary edifices. theory of 43–4 see also adornment/ornament. St. influenced by 71–2 on divine Judgment 54. theory of 74–5 Plato. building. 161. 37 n. 168. New Jerusalem. 170–1. 40 art/artist anagogical experience through 70. 86 and church (building) allegories of 173 Jacob’s stone as (Gen. 188 Christology in 49–53. 111. as allegory 63–4 and Dionysians (twelfth-century). symbol of see also architecture/architectural motifs under Cotton Nero MS: poems. titles of poems in Cotton Nero MS architecture (medieval church) anagogical potential of 146 as blended space 175–6 and cosmic dynamism 36 distinguished from other art forms 70 eschatology of 4. 42. 61–2 as sacramental signum 8. names/locations of individual buildings. allegorized 76–7. and related terms 2–3. as a term 62–3 Covenant (biblical). 119. 63. 162.3. 118. John Scotus. chantry. 60–2. 89 Ark of Noah. 88–9. exegesis. 158–9. in exegesis 30. 54. 53 Ark of the Covenant. 74. 173. 69. 62. 178. 118.Index architecture. 170 Armstrong. literary edifices.62. act of. 94. enchange of ideas/techniques with 110. liturgy/liturgical worship: as art/ synthesis of artes Augustine of Hippo. 77–8. 115. 63 n. 112–13.-Denis. H. 62 Jacob’s vision (Gen. 89–90.

54 and Virgil 53.7 platonism/platonists reading of 28–9. Plotinus: hyposteses Bernard of Clairvaux on Dedication liturgy (commentary) 72. to medieval west 8. 123. 90–1. 61 n. 55 n. Venerable and allegorical tradition 20 exegesis of biblical architecture 6. cognition of 33. 55 on Solomon’s Temple 64 on soul ascent of.3 1. 137 Exodus 29 80 Ezekiel 40–5 4. 84. 84. 60–5. 85 Beverly Minster 122. influenced by 73 Trinitarian theology in 50. 53 Plotinus. 86 sin. through Christ 53–4 corruptibility of 54 St Paul as authority on allegory 2. influence on/treatment by 8. 60–5. 147 signs (signa).16 91 Corinthians II. 45. 173 light/Illumination in 45. Saint. 128 Bible. 86. 54. 30 Kings I.Index Hebrew pasch. 52 on prayer (oratio. 53. 188 Acts 2 90 Acts 17 72 Chronicles 19 89 Corinthians I. 13 55 John 14 115 Jude 9–10 87 n.64 Kings I. 173 De civitate Dei 31 in age of transition 48 and architecture of revelation. 30. feast of 187 Bede.10 3. 173 on liturgical worship 59 as a pastoral work 61–2 as a patristic work 48 Platonism in 28. 47–8 and Jerusalem. 95 205 . 91–2 reproach of Abbot Suger by 22 Beth’el/Beth-el 56. 64 Matthew 21 87 Matthew 22 55 Psalm 3 62 Psalm 14 19. 69 treatment of 47–51. 85 Hebrews 8 63 Hebrews 10 59 Hebrews 12 84.64 Ephesians 2 19–22 Exodus 12 57 Exodus 23 56 Exodus 25–40 4. 11. 52. 140. 50–1. 45 transmitter of. 16–21. theology of 69 and imperial theology 61 on Jerusalem/Babylon. 95 Psalm 86 84. Abbot.8 56 Luke 18 181 Matthew 5 181 Matthew 6 49 Matthew 13 148 Matthew 19 181 Matthew 20 61. laus) 58–60 on predestination 50 n. known to 28 n. 12. 51 Genesis 28 56. 21 87 n. 30. 11. term and concept in 57 and history. 52 liturgical worship in 58–60 and Manicheans 51 Plato’s works. 93 Daniel 10. 63–4 Suger. theory of 55–8. 11. see Plato: hierarchy of being. 181 John 12. 16. 31. 16. 31. 28. 18. the New Testament allegorical terminology in 2–3 Hellenism in 30. 181 Psalm 42 83 Psalm 45 95 Psalm 47 20. 181 Psalm 23 83. 31. 48 and Rome.50 on Psalm 95 169 and religious mystery. 147 on salvation 55. levels of. 22 and Vitruvius 16–17 De tabernaculo 17 De templo 1. linguistic struggle with 53 sacramental theology in 55–60. 28–31. defined by 54. collapse of 60 Confessiones 31. 17 being. 142. 33 Contra academicos 31 De doctrina Christiana 56 De magistro 56 Barnabus. 53 and sense-world. 20. 84. allegories of 48. theological foundation for 8. 95 Corinthians I. 174 Isaiah 11 89 Isaiah 53 181 Isaiah 66 21 John 1 30. 47–8. 19 Exodus 25 19 Exodus 26 21.5 4. 124–5. theology of the two cities 8. 69 Corinthians I.5 52. 146 Galatians 4 2 Genesis 1 47.8. 48–9.25 and screen of beauty 52.

Louis 167 Bloomfield. 115. 91. 96. Despenser family. 110. Marie 166. Paul’s Cathedral) 118 n. Mary 179. 133. Richard tomb and chapel of (St. Paul’s Cathedral: chantry foundations/chapels in.5 chantry. Saint: tomb of. 139 Burghersh. 139 Works Chantry (Lincoln Cathedral) 107. Morton 146 body/being (human) church (building) as metaphor of 90–1. 116 religious and cultural features of 9. 130. 118. Geoffrey 160 tomb of 128–9 Chester Cathedral 121. 95 Revelation 1 5 Revelation 3 174 Revelation 10 88 Revelation 11 87. 116 see also architecture (Gothic). 125 architectural styles of 108. 121 Chaucer. François 120–1.35. Theodore 145–6 Bony. 52. Paul’s Cathedral: chantry foundations/chapels in chapels. Erkenwald. 134 Fitzhamon chapel (Tewkesbury Abbey) 129. 64. 107. see literary edifices burial sites. 108 n. Jean 111. 107–8 geographical areas of 106. 109 eschatology of 9. 180 Chalcidius 27 n. 121 Brown. 120. 134. 184 and Richard II 98–100 and Shakespeare 98–9. 122–4 and church interiors 108 as English phenomenon 108 eschatological features of 109. chantry. John 138. as terms 110 chapels. 52. 171. Robert 109–10. 134. 125. art/artist. 146. 126 Trinity chapel (Tewkesbury Abbey) 131. chantry. as a term 102 chantry movement 97 documents pertaining to 105. 99. 134.Index Psalm 95 89 Psalm 98 89 Psalm 121 89 Psalm 123 89 Psalm 131 19 Psalm 147 89 Psalms (Songs of Sion) 83–4. 183–4 priests’ role in 106. 175 Bourges Cathedral (St-Étienne) 52. 6. 167 Branner.64 Revelation 14 84 Revelation 17 5 Revelation 21–2 4–5. 183–4 and language of memory 102 n. soul Masses. 132. 126. 134. chapel of (St. 125. Ste-Chapelle: imitations of. 124. 99–108. royal 52. 156. anagogy. 88 Revelation 12 87 n. 119. and church buildings 176 Cain and Seth. Peter 31 Bucher. 128–9. St. 102.81. architecture (medieval church). 91. 90–1 as temple of God 18. chapels. 89. 142–4 see also adornment/ornament. Bartholomew chapel and tomb of (Lincoln Cathedral) 106–7. Warwick) 113 chapel of (Tewkesbury Abbey) 113. architecture (medieval church). 104–6. Paul’s teachings on 18. 97. king of France 113 Chartres Cathedral (Notre Dame) 1.5 as sacrament 51–3. Mary’s church. 147 Romans 12. St. 51–3. 158 building. 95 as living stones 21 Manichean hatred of 51 resurrection of 51 n. Pearl/Gawain poet. 108. act of as unveiling of ideas/perfection/revelation 51–2. St. 173 206 . titles of poems in the Cotton Nero MS see also chapels. 109. allegories of 63 Canterbury Cathedral 104 Capetian kings of France 114. 132 Beauchamp. Tewkesbury Abbey: chantry chapels and tombs in chapel/chapelle/capella/chape. 119–20 Borroff. 108 see also under Cotton Nero MS: poems. 110–13 and chantry movement 9 see also architecture (Gothic). 132 inconography of 113 Roger de Waltham. Ian 145 Blenkner. 91–2 Bogdanos. chapels. 134 Warwick chapel (Tewkesbury Abbey) 113. 125 Church (Ecclesia) as symbol in exegesis 170. Stephen’s Chapel (Westminster Palace) Charles V. Erkenwald. revelation buildings. 51 Song of Songs 4 171 Wisdom 10 181 Bishop. 97. chantry 9. 104 and suppression acts 9. royal. 156–7 see also individual monarchs Carolingian Renaissance 16 Carruthers. Ste-Chapelle (Paris). 134 and fourteenth-century reformers 99. 130.16 and liturgy 101–2. 52. 64 St. in literature. chantry movement. 132. 51. 96 Bowers. St.

Saint. St. 69 see also movement/journey/pilgrimage. Trinitarian theology. 28. 28. Abbot Duby.50 Enthronement hymns in 89 and First Ordinary of St. and Pax Augusta/Romana as hortus conclusus 171 and Jerusalem temple. G. 175 terminology for 175 authorship/dialect/manuscript 138 and chantry movement 10 divine Judgment in 165. theology of 70. 32. 149 late ancient. 92–4 symbolism in. 106. Augustine of Hippo. PseudoDionysius.-Denis. Richard of St-Victor Cicero 27 n. liturgy.-Denis 7. 104. Eamon 105. 91–4 early history of 79–8 types of (Gallican. 117–18. 108–9 corpus mysticum 55 cosmic dynamism 35–6. platonism/platonists/ neoplatonism. 114 Cook. 69–70 as pilgrimage 59 Christian-Platonism. Plotinus. Erkenwald Clement of Alexandria 27. 168 see also Cotton Nero MS: poems. Paul 115 Dante Alighieri. 62–3 see also Augustine of Hippo: cities (Jerusalem and Babylon). Bernard of Clairvaux. summarized 94 terce 90–1 thematic progression in 81 Tree of Jesse in 89 vespers (vigil) 81–2 Despenser family (fourteenth-century) tombs and chantries of 9–10. Aristotle/aristotelianism. 172. Richard of St. H. 31. Plotinus: sacramental cosmology Cotton Nero A. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight) architecture/architectural motifs in 165. Pearl/Gawain poet. 72. 40.10–22) in 84–6. 9. 109. Gregory of Nyssa. 28 civitas (city) 47. prayer Dedication liturgy at St. 88–9 architecture/architectural motifs in 83–4. cleansing by 87 and light/Illumination. M. Dedication liturgy at St. 48. Plato. John Scotus. 146 Duffy. 130–4. 182–3 moral dramas in 165 see also titles of poems in Cotton Nero MS.-Victor. 153 Il Convivio 155 Dedication of churches. 89 Jerusalem (historical city) in 84 matins 83–9 Michael the Archangel in 87–8. 168. early medieval 27–32 and liturgy 7. Hugh of St. Pearl. 115–16 Colvin. invocation to 90 Jacob’s vision (Gen. soul. 133 see also Tewkesbury Abbey Dionysians (twelfth-century) 71–3 see also Christian-Platonism. St. 72 see also under Suger. Pseudo-Dionysius.Index Virgin Mary.-Victor. 137 Coldstream. Romano-Germanic) 80 see also Augustine: sacramental theology. 8. John Scotus: church consecration. Jerusalem (historical city) Cleanness (Purity) architecture/architectural motifs in 160–2. 147. 170–2 architectural terminology in 173–5 and chantry movement 185 eschatology in 165. 106. 181 apocalyptic/eschatological language of 78. Abbot see also Ambrose. Origin. 89 and the New Jerusalem/Visio pacis (Rev. Roman. 182–3 God as architect in 180 liturgy in 168. liturgy Ark of Noah in 169 commentaries on 72. 3 and sacramental poetry 53 and Virgil/limits of reason 14. 27. as symbol of 167 see also under Augustine of Hippo Christ birth of. God. logos Christiana libertas 53 Christianity divergence from Platonism 36. Hugh of St-Victor. 21–2) 82. 149 use of allegory 1. 74 and verbum (the Word) 50 and Virgil’s Fourth Eclogue 13 see also Augustine of Hippo: Christology. 172. 109 207 . 87. John Scotus.5. x MS authorship/dialect 138 poems in (Cleanness. Eriugena. Suger. Eriugena. 30. Erkenwald Covenant (biblical) allegories of 63–4 and sacred architecture 20 Crossley. Eriugena. Maximus the Confessor. 168. H. 94 network of metaphors 170 chief theme of 81 duplex feast 81 n. Nicola 108.-Denis (Marazine 526) 78–9 as fusion of Roman and Gallican traditions 80 Holy Spirit. Patience. Georges 72.

142. 43. 99. absent in 76 see also under architecture (medieval church). 108 ekphrasis 180 Eleanor of Castile.46. liturgy: commentaries on Fassler. religious suppression acts of 9. Poetria nova 179 Gilbert de Clare 132 Giraldus Cambrensis (Gerald of Wales) De rebus a gestis 155 Gloucester Abbey (now Cathedral) 115. Pope. 102 Heraclitus. 3 see also Augustine of Hippo: use of allegoria. 4 enigma (aenigma) relation to allegory (as a term) in ancient and medieval texts 2 Enoch. earl of Gloucester 132 Fleming. Ark of Noah. 124. 96 Holy of Holies (sancta sanctorum) in Cleanness 162–3 veil of allegory before 21 Homer 3 Hôtel des Tournelles (Paris) 160 Hugh of St.-Victor 28 and allegory (as a term) 2 on Ark of Noah 169 208 . influenced by 74. king of England 104 see also Shakespeare. 102. 18. Venerable. king of England. 77 n. John Scotus art/artist. Margot 7. 128. 170–1 as hybrid genre 16 see also under Ark of the Covenant. 83 n.Index Eden. 157 tomb of 117 Edward III.54 Hamburger. divine/Last Eschaton. translated by/commentary by 74 Aulae sidereae 74–5 Periphyseon 74 Erkenwald. theory of 74–5 Augustine. John 166 Foley. 104 Henry V. 99. king of England 114. 27 history. chantry: eschatological features of. 19. 144 Gawain poet. 102. 104 Guy de Brien. Trinitarian theology in. St. cannot be represented 21.30. Augustine of Hippo: Christology in. Edward 90 Foussard. 117. 157 Emmerson. Cotton Nero MS: poems. king of England. Robert. influenced by 76–7. reflection of. Jeffrey 156 Harwood. Nigel 7. figura. Saint (the great) 20 Gregory of Nyssa 28. Britton 167 Henry III. Old/New 63–4 and the Tabernacle 19–20 and sacred world. 114. 99. 77 n. king of England. 79 exegesis and architectural theory 16 architecture/architectural motifs in 168–9. subject of a poem by 74–5 Gregory of Nyssa. 139. see Pearl/Gawain poet Geoffrey of Vinsauf. 139. 92 see also Christ. 185 God as architect/artist 15. Dedication of churches. theology of 69. king of England 157 Henry IV. M.29 Pseudo-Dionysius (Celestial Hierarchy). and related terms Fitzroy. Richard K. 157 Eleanor de Clare 132 Eleanor Crosses 114. Chasteau d’Amour 173 guilds 97. 126. see Judgment. Book of 84 Eriugena. religious suppression acts of 9. 178–9 Grosseteste.90 and Pseudo-Dionysius. divine/Last Eusebius 61. 143. king of England 113. 30. king of England 114. Augustine of Hippo. Saint legend of 164 shrine of 118. Garden of.29. Ordelle 182 Hiscock. 157 Edward VI. chantry movement. 76 church consecration. 180 and Covenant. 74. imago: inadequacies of. as architectural motif 171 Edward I. chapels. Bede. 77 figura (“figure”) relation to allegory (as a term) in ancient and medieval texts 2. translated by 77 n. Pearl/Gawain poet see also allegory: interpretive and compositional traditions of. 157 Edward II. 75 Fulgentius. duke of Lancaster (Bolingbrooke) 98. Robert. Maximus the Confessor. tomb of 117–18 Hagia Sophia 17–18. Erkenwald see also Judgment. on allegory in Homer 3 Hill. 21 n. Fabius Planciades 13 n. queen of England (under Edward I) 114. Plotinus: on the One/Good Gregory I. Pearl.29 Maximus Confessor. 163–4 eschatology and medieval Christianity 6 merging of personal with universal/cosmic 125–6 n. imago: divinity. William: Henry V Henry VIII. Augustine of Hippo. logos.

168 knowledge of (in Augustine) 60. 124 as art/synthesis of artes 22–3. Alan 102 Lady chapels 124 Lancastrian revolution 99. 147. 183–4 and Christian-Platonism 7. 147 metaphysics/theology of 45. 61 n. Dedication liturgy at St. role in 87–8 see also eschatology. Plotinus: screen of beauty. 122–4 literary edifices influence upon architecture 158–9 and sacramental view of reality 146–7 see also architecture/architectural motifs. St. 45. signs (signa). Duc de Berry 113 Jeauneau. and Hellenism 30 Judgment. 27. images (validated by) integumentum 3 n. 107.Index Dedication liturgy.50. Revelation. Augustine: sacramental theology. prayer. 170. Bede: exegesis of biblical architecture. types of 78–9 liturgical painting and poetry 53 liturgy/liturgical worship as applied theology 8 and architecture 23. censor of images 21. Bede: exegesis of biblical architecture. God Louis IX. 87 locus amoenus 171 n. 88–9. 108 n. 147. 70–3. 84. art/artists.4 involucrum 143 Isaiah.15 see also Christ. New Jerusalem. Erkenwald. John 34 Knowles. 72 and cosmic dynamism 36 and drama of revelation/movement of soul 72. David 28–9 Kreider. 3 icon (eikon) 44 relation to allegory (as a term) in ancient and medieval texts 2 iconography. Dedication of a church.35. 146 early Christian 79–80 and iconography 88–9 and material weath 107 and personal piety 97 as sacramental activity 58–60 see also under Augustine of Hippo. 134. temple (Jerusalem) John of Gaunt 107 Judaism. 92. 91. 104–6. and architecture 14 light/Illumination logos as 74 and medieval architecture 36. 94. exegesis see also architecture/architectural motifs under Cotton Nero MS: poems.54 Kenny. 142 and divinity/cosmos. 122 Last Supper 58 n. 89 and chantry movement 101–2. saint 111. relation to allegory (as a term) in ancient and medieval texts 2. 92–4 as a Dyonisian 73 hyponoia (“under-sense”). relation to liturgy 88–9 imago (“image”) anagogical potential of 140. 173 in Cleanness 168 in Dedication liturgy at St. represented by 14.48 logos as architect 30 as light/Illumination 74 and number/ratio/proportion 31 n. 112 love 154 209 . 152–4 relation to allegory (as a term) in ancient and medieval texts 2. Dedication liturgy at St. screen of beauty. Saint 2 Jerusalem/Hierusalem/Ierusalem (historical city) allegories of 48. 120. 3 see also adornment/ornament. 77.-Denis. E. chantry movement. architecture (biblical). Solomon’s Temple. 186 see also Plotinus: light/Illumination Lincoln Cathedral 106. commentary on 72. titles of poems in the Cotton Nero MS see also All Saints’ Day. 60–5. 52. titles of poems in Cotton Nero MS liturgical books. 38. 17. 89 Jan van Eyck 152 Jean. 112–13. 85–6. All Souls’ Day.-Denis 83–4.62 in Dedication liturgy 84–6. 186 inadequacies of 149. 76 Jerome.10–19) 56. 22 Isidore of Seville 2 Jacob’s vision (Gen. New Jerusalem: church building as symbol of. 118. 170 see also Augustine of Hippo: Jerusalem/Babylon. 94. 70–3. Cotton Nero MS: poems. king of France. liturgy. Book of Justinian. divine/Last in Cotton Nero MS poems 165. 43. Pearl: architecture/architectural motifs in. 9. 28.-Denis. 83 n. 64 n.40 Leclercq. 96. soul Masses locus/place/setting as anagogical image 140 and communication with the dead 109 essential to revelation 70. Jean 22 liberal arts. 119. 64 Michael the Archangel. 93. 32. and Hagia Sophia 17–18. 87. 72. 116. 58. 77–8.

96. Bede. 56. 4 n. 93. 47–8 as Church (Ecclesia) 60–1. Bernard 71. Gregory of Nyssa. Revelation. 13 Pearl allegorical technique in 144–5. St. biblical and medieval traditions of 87–8 Michael of Canterbury. 176–8 terminology for 174–5 210 . relation to allegory (as a term) in ancient and medieval texts 3 neoplatonism as misleading term 6 n. 149 see also anagogy. J. 91. cosmic dynamism. 172. titles of poems in Cotton Nero MS Paul. John Scotus. Augustine of Hippo: sacramental theology. platonism/platonists. 21–2) 4–5. Hugh of St. 140.-Victor. Virgin as castle/sanctuary 173 as Church (Ecclesia) 167 cult of 124 as hortus conclusus 171 Maximus the Confessor 76–7 McGinn. 73 medieval culture. Thomas 65. 28. 174. 31. 62.Index Lubac. Jerusalem (historical city). mason 114 mimesis. 134. 60–5. Venerable: exegesis of biblical architecture. Saint.5 Mann. 95 Paradise as architectural motif 171 as castellum 178 and the East/orient 177–8 Paris Cathedral (Notre Dame) 111. 173 church building as symbol of biblical sources for 4. 92–4 in exegesis. liturgy. 166. 151–2. Suger. Erkenwald. 52. P. 140. 137–8. architecture (Gothic). 147–8. literary edifices. Richard of St. 180. 4. 183 Octavian (Ceasar Augustus) 11 Origen 1. 20.-Victor. 69 Michael the Archangel. 53. Christian-Platonism.7. 21 Mount Sion 19–20 movement/journey/pilgrimage of the soul 71 in Augustine 53–4 in liturgy 72. 95 on human body/being as sacrament/holy temple 18. 90–1 on God as architect 18 Pax Augusta/Romana 11. Stephen 33 Merton. Pseudo-Dionysius. Barbara 149 Oakden. 138 inadequacy of 21–2. Cotton Nero MS. 12. 53 evolving concepts of 125. revelation. 176–8. 188 apocalyptic/eschatological features of 137. 105 in Plotinus 38–42. 188 and adornment/ornament 91 in Augustine 8. 155.-Denis Nolan. Paradise. Plato. 176–8 as architecture 10. Saint. as controlling metaphor in 168–9. 170–1 as New Covenant 63–4 and Pearl 10 as temple 170 traditions of interpretation 5 see also architecture (biblical). Henri de. 171. Exégèse Médiéval 168–9. Dedication liturgy at St. Abbot New Jerusalem (Visio pacis: Rev. Eriugena. 51. 184–6 architecture/architectural motifs in 165. cape of 110 Mary. Plotinus. 173–4 Macrobius 27 n. Saint on allegorical interpretation 2. 188 eschatological landscapes 150. 58 n. Barnard of Clairvaux. 184–6. use of term 4 medieval studies distinctions between disciplines in 188 theoretical approaches in 1–2 Menn. 31 Palais Jacques Coeur (Bourges) 113 Panofsky. Augustine of Hippo. 146 in Platonism 96. saramental cosmology musicology 7 mysteria. Philo Judaeus. 52. 178. 112 pasch/Passover 57–8. 170 in Dedication liturgy 82. 20. 165. dynamic/complex vs mere copy 146–7 Mount Sinai 19. 92 theological foundation for 8. Plotinus: light/Illumination. Origin. Aristotle/aristotelianism. 52. 47–8. Jill 146. 63–4 on church (building) as metaphor for human body 90–1. 173 mappa mundi 179 Martin. Erwin 6.40 Patience architectural motifs in 172 authorship/dialect/manuscript 138 and chantry movement 10 see also Pearl/Gawain poet. 176. Book of see also architecture/architectural motifs under Pearl.11 see Ambrose.

184–5 as mixed genre 137. 148.4 Plantagenet kings of England architectural projects of 113–14. 126. Richard of St-Victor. 160. 184. 181–2 light metaphysics in 186 liturgical features of 141. modern distinction between 48 n. 156. validated by 37–8. Latin translations of 27 n. Suger. 27. 45 Aristotle/aristotelianism.36 Timaeus. Erkenwald.5. 40. 174–5. 147–8. 186 inadequacies of the veil 149. 123. 151–4. 180–1 mnemonic plan of 180 and ornament as veil/screen/mechanism of allegory 140. 69 and Egyptian heiroglyphics 43–4 Ethics in 44 and Forms 38. 70. 140. influenced by 6–7. evidence of 7. Philo Judaeus. Origin. 42–3. 10 exchange of ideas/techniques with artists/craftsmen 168. 32. 184 political and geographical associations of 126 and Ricardian court culture 10. 184–6 and exegesis 165 and Geoffrey of Vinsauf (Poetria nova) 179 homiletic center of 167. 185–6 identity. 172. knowledge of itinerary 157. 40. 41–2. 40. 178–9 medieval liturgy. 28 Republic allegory of the cave in 35 role of artist in 40 see also Aristotle/aristotelianism. 149 scholarship. 42 hyposteses in 32 n. English Gothic.11 as religious mystic 34. Augustine of Hippo. Pseudo-Dionysius. 128. 44–5. 160. titles of poems in Cotton Nero MS Percy Tomb (Beverly Minster) 122. 53 negative (apophatic) theology in 34 Plotinus.20. Erkenwald. 69 negative (apophatic) theology in 42 as (neo)Platonist 6 n. 41–5 and Intellect/Nous/rational forming principle 36. 96. 32. Saint. 31. 155. St. Abbot Plotinus. synthesis by 30 Philosophy. 124–5. 183–4 and Ricardian court culture 156. 38. 178. 161–2. Plato. 72 as terms 6 n. Gregory of Nyssa. Christian-Platonism. theory of 40–5 Byzantine aesthetics. 156–7 see also individual monarchs Plato hierarchy of being in 32. 76. Plotinus. 139–40 and Augustine’s sacramental signa 140 and chantry movement 10. 36.34 hierarchy and organicism models united by 33. Hugh of St-Victor. 185 see also Cotton Nero MS. 168. 149. neglect of 28–9 on the One/Good 33–5. questions of 138–9. knowledge of 171–2 and Gothic architecture. 188 as love poem 153 madness in 153 and mappa mundi 179 and metalurgy 176. 37. 180 and chantry movement 9. theoretical perspectives on 172 structural and ornamental features of 139. 37 n. 39. 48–9 and art/artist. Eriugena.11 see also Ambrose. 186. St. 105. 147–8. 185–6 forms/techniques/symbolic programs of 159.5. 35–6. platonism/ platonist/neoplatonism platonism/platonist/neoplatonism Christian divergence from 69–70 drama of the soul (procession/return) in 38–42. 181–4. 147 life of 32 n. 188 and exegesis. 152–4 pearl symbolism in 141 and Platonic number theory/geometry 185 and Plotinus’ screen of beauty 140 psychological tensions in 140.19 light/Illumination (emanation theory) in 32–7. 149 medieval church architecture.35. 42–3. 91. 28 Hellenism and Judaism. links with 132. Aristotle/aristotelianism. influence in 37 n. 27. influenced by 33–5. Maximus the Confessor. 28–9. 178. Enneads Augustine’s Platonism.11 Christian adaptation of 7–9.Index architecture. John Scotus. titles of poems in the Cotton Nero MS Pearl/Gawain poet as architect 157. 145. 40 and the Gnostics 35 n. 50 optimism in 37 211 . informed by 8. 139 Philippe de Mézières 156 Philo Judaeus allegorical terminology in 27 n. 42. 160 and space. 186 see also Cotton Nero MS. Pearl/Gawain poet. 39–42 images. 45–6 concept of beauty in 31 cosmic dynamism in 35–6. 50. 40. and theology. 9. 33. 165–7 and visual arts 167–8. influenced by 29 n. Christian-Platonism.

Dedication of churches. 157 relics. 62. Jacob’s vision. Book of 188 medieval religion and culture. theophania Revelation. 102. 118 Réau. 165. Louis 110 Reformation. 111. 28. 103–4 Pearl/Gawain poet. liturgy: as sacramental activity. 104 signum (“sign”) relation to allegory (as a term) in ancient and medieval texts 2 see also Augustine of Hippo: signs (signa). Plotinus see also veil/screen of allegory sense-world and anagogy 73 see also under Augustine. Revelation. 99. Roger E.30 proportion theory of beauty 38–9 Protestant Reformation 106 chantry movement. 72 mistaken identity of 72 negative (apophatic) theology in 142–3 sacramental theology in 73 Suger’s writings. connections with court of 10. Dedication liturgy at St. 126. cult of 110. 31–2 prayer for the dead 101–2. soul Masses Pythagorean philosophy of numbers 34 Quest del Saint Graal. 113 revelation building (act of)/adorning. 184 see also chantry movement.42 Porphyry 8. 112. William.35. theology of 72–3 liturgy at St. 78. Anne Walters 7. 108 Pseudo-Dionysius and Christian adaptation of Platonism 72–3 on dissimilar similitudes 142–3 eschatology. Pseudo-Dionysius: sacramental theology Salter. 71–4 writings of. 172 authorship/dialect/manuscript 138 moral drama in 165 212 . as authority for/departure from by 33 n. influenced by 73 and light/Illumination. 89 Richard II. soul Masses prophecy 12–14 in Aeneid 13 n. 140. 91. 41. liturgy/liturgical worship. 56 and sense-world cognition of 35. 36–7. 157 Richard of St. as means to 51–2. influenced by 7. 49–50. 143 similitudo relation to allegory (as a term) in ancient and medieval texts 3 Sir Gawain and the Green Knight architecture/architectural motifs in 159–61. 142–4 locus/place/setting. see Protestant Reformation Reims Cathedral (Notre Dame) 120. 146. Henry V and the chantry movement 98–9. 52. essential to 70. as apocalyptic literature 6 n. soul. 72.-Denis.-Denis.-Victor 28. Paul 73. 172 Schuler. 37–8. 104–6 as oratio/laus 58 see also All Saints’ Day. involment in 98–100.36 proportion theory (for beauty). movement/journey/ pilgrimage. All Souls’ Day. anagogy. Stefan 15 screen of beauty. 54 incorruptibility of 54 purification of 44 and Stoicism 37 n. 53. veil/screen of allegory Shakespeare. 139–40. in Aeneid 12 Rorem. Plotinus: sacramental cosmology. 188 on the soul ascent/decent of 38–42. suppressed by 9.-Denis 71–2 Celestial Hierarchy commentary on/Latin translations of 74 themes in 73 Purgatory 105–6. imago Silvestris. liturgy. king of England chantry movement. 43 n. Bernardus 13 n. absent in 76 Gothic architecture. possesion of St. 73 Robertson. imago. 77 sacramentum relation to allegory (as a term) in ancient and medieval texts 3 see also Augustine of Hippo: sacramental theology. Augustine of Hippo: sacramental theology. influenced by 4 see also New Jerusalem Reynolds.24. 35. 46. 138.10 Ramsey. New Jerusalem. 142. see under Augustine of Hippo. Plotinus see also art/artist. Elizabeth 132. influenced by 9. Book of. 147 and screen of beauty (Intellect) 41. 149 dual nature of 39–41. mason 117.30. rejected by 38 sacramental cosmology in 8.Index and Plato. 77 Rogier van der Weyden 23 Rome. 85–7 as a term 1 see also adornment/ornament. body/being (human): as sacrament. William. 157. 37 n.

71–4 writings by 8. 188 St. 121. 121. Saint. 168 terminology of 175 authorship/dialect/manuscript 138 and chantry movement 10 n. 126 “New Work” of 126. liturgy/liturgical worship.-Gervais–St.62. 112.-Séverin church (Paris). 164 and Cotton Nero MS poems general connections with 138–9 eschatological features of 165. 18 purpose and construction of 19–20. 169 see also under Augustine. as image of 18 significations of in exegesis 4. 25–40) 6. 87. Erkenwald’s shrine in 118 St. prayer. 96 and liturgy. 118 n. Plotinus see also anagogy. architecture (medieval church). 94–6. 188 as New Jerusalem 94 and Pseudo-Dionysius 7. cosmic dynamism. reproach of 22 and Christian-Platonism. 147 Pseudo-Dionysius. 107. 16. 71–2 and Westminster Abbey. 56. passion for 22. 187 De consecratione 94–6 see also St. 181 and material opulence. Abbey of anagogical program of 70 on ancient burial site 176 as applied theology 70 chevet 94 choir 70–1 and consecration of Suger’s new church 187 Gothic style of 8. 139. Paul’s Cathedral (London) chantry foundations/chapels in 103. 168 in Cleanness 162–3 Hagia Sophia. 146 and platonic drama of procession and return 38–42. Abbey of (Paris) 187. 64. Dedication liturgy at St-Denis. exegesis. 185–6 and Cleanness. 168 moral drama in 165 and Ricardian court culture 10 n. 76–7. 9. 188 St. chapels. 134 imitations of 112–13 see also architecture (Gothic). Tabernacle soul journey of. 87. Abbot St. mirrored in liturgy 72. platonism/ platonist/neoplatonism. political counterpart to 157 see also architecture (Gothic). titles of poems in Cotton Nero MS Solomon’s Temple 6. as qualifyer of 42 Tabernacle (Exod. Abbey of (Paris) and Christian-Platonism 9 medieval liturgy at 7 see also Hugh of St-Victor. 78.-Victor. Bede. 119 chantry chapels. 96. 11. 175 Bernard of Clairvaux. 170 213 . 105. 118.-Denis. 134 belief in efficacy of 105 early Christian tradition of 101–2. 185 chantry chapels. 70. Sophia. 11. 71–2. Abbey of.-Protais (Paris) 60 n. 97. 124 as imitation of the Ste-Chapelle (Paris) 52. 30. Erkenwald 126 architecture/architectural motifs in 159. Erkenwald. Stephen’s chapel (Westminster Palace) architectural styles/decoration of 114–15. 165. 169–70 in Dedication liturgy 83–4 purpose and construction of 19–20. 21 see also architecture (biblical).81. 94. Abbot. chantry movement: liturgies for. 111–12. 114 as Plantagenet display of power/authority 157 St.47 St. Dedication liturgy at St-Denis symbol (symbolon) relation to allegory (as a term) in ancient and medieval texts 2 theology. 128 and Perpendicular Gothic 163 in St. 21 as symbol 4. 77. 96. see Hagia Sophia St. Erkenwald. 71–4. Pearl: liturgy in. Erkenwald 163–4 St.20. architecture (medieval church). 117. Chapelle Mansart in 187. Venerable: exegesis on biblical architecture.-Germain-des-Prés. 70–1. 111. as censor of images 22 Suger. royal Stephen. Saint. knowledge of 9. associations with 110. 70. 119. 149 as temple of God 93. architectural/linquistic links with 162–3. 16. 104 see also All Saints’ Day. Richard of St-Victor Ste-Chapelle (Paris) 52. 118.Index see also Cotton Nero MS.21 see also Cotton Nero MS. purgatory St. influenced by 9. 96. titles of poems in the Cotton Nero MS St. associations with 134 construction history of 113–14. 91–4. 163–4. All Souls’ Day.-Denis. 30. Mary’s church (Warwick) 113 St. Pearl/Gawain poet. 105. 64 n. knowledge of 9. Suger. 93. literary edifices.-Nicaise church (Reims) 111 St. 168 liturgical aspects of 164. soul Masses soul Masses 9. St.

Grover 73 214 . Jon 3 Wilson. literary edifices. hymn 90 Vincent of Beauvais 15 n. imago Victorinus. royal architect 117. Thomas 99 Webb. 130 and Pearl/Gawain poet 10. 52. 178 chantry chapels and tombs in 9. Rosemond 146 typikôs/typos. 153 as imitator of scripture 173 and Pax Augusta/Romana 12 Aeneid 11 Christian allegories of 13. shrine of (Chester Cathedral) 121. Bede. as terms in the New Testament 3 typological level of allegory 3 umbra.41 and medieval aesthetic theory 15 De architectura 11. Christ’s cleansing of 87 Tewkesbury Abbey (Gloucestershire) 185 choir 9. 51–3. Venerable: exegesis on biblical architecture. John 100. Geoffrey 115 Wells Cathedral 120 n. 95 New Jerusalem as 170 soul as 93. 14–17 and architectural theory 22 von Simson. Christian allegories of 13 Visio pacis.38 Virgil and Augustine 53. 169 see also architecture (biblical). Marius 28 Veni creator spiritus. 64. 173 and Dante 14.Index see also architecture (biblical). Solomon’s Temple temple (Jerusalem). 129 Wilton Diptych (National Gallery. 117–20.-Denis and Reims Cathedral 157 Whitman. 127. Plotinus see also adornment/ornament. see New Jerusalem Vitruvius career of 11–12 and Epicurian philosophy 17 n. 143–4 before Holy of Holies 21 and mimesis (dynamic/complex) 145–46 psychological effects of 145–6 see also under Pearl see also screen of beauty under Augustine of Hippo. 134 lierne vault 119. relation to allegory (as a term) in ancient and medieval texts 3 veil/screen of allegory 4. mason 115. 84 n. Christopher 78. and Pearl 156. 128. 178 as Despenser mosoleum 9–10 iconography of 131–2. temple (Jerusalem). allegory. 22 prophecy and revelation in 12–13 Fourth Eclogue. modern distinction between 48 n. 116–17 tropological level of allegory 3 Tuve. 125 Westminster Abbey 115 and chantry movement 103. 156 Chaucer’s tomb 128–9 as rival of Abbey church of St. 104 chapter house 119. 129–34. 12.84 Werburgh. Solomon’s Temple temple body/being (human) as 18. 124. 113.4 as qualifier of images for representing the sacred world 42 as rational principle 42 theophania 74 Thomas of Canterbury. 127. 108. London). building. 167 Wyclif. Otto 6. act of. exegesis. Henry.57. 118 Zinn. 117. Saint. 90–2. 107 Yevele. 184 theology and philosophy. 96 Walsingham.

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