Trinity Homily XXIX De Sancto Andrea between Tradition and Innovation

Claudio Cataldi 1
  • 1 University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Claudio Cataldi
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  • University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
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Recent scholarship has challenged the view of the late twelfth-century Trinity Homilies, and of the contemporary Lambeth Homilies, as two collections that merely continue the earlier Old English vernacular homiletic tradition. This study aims to contribute to the scholarly debate on the Trinity Homilies by considering the elements of tradition and innovation featured in the twenty-ninth sermon of the collection, De Sancto Andrea. Through a discussion on the passage on the ‘Soul’s Address to the Body’ preserved in this homily, I shall show that Trinity XXIX includes both elements of continuity with the ‘Soul and Body’ literature attested in Old English homiletic texts (like the antithetical rhetorical pattern developed in the damned soul’s speech) and new features (like the motif of the ‘Signs of Death’ and the theme of ‘neglectful friends’) which reflect early Middle English developments in the ‘Soul and Body’ theme. I shall argue that the Trinity XXIX homilist probably adapted and reworked a lost Latin source into a poetic passage metrically and thematically consistent with contemporary ‘Soul and Body’ poetry. In the Appendix, I shall discuss the sources for the Latin material embedded in Trinity XXIX.1

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