III.1 Sermons

I. Manuscripts

Robert Holcot’s sermon collection found in the Peterhouse College Library includes 119 sermons constituting a regular cycle (following the Sarum use). The 119 sermons have received little scholarly attention to date and are extant in a single manuscript. See John T. Slotemaker, “Robert Holcot the Homilist: A Sermon Index for Cambridge, Peterhouse 210,” Archa Verbi.

1. Cambridge, Peterhouse College Library, ms. 210, ff. 1ra-199vb.

Nota bene: a bit of a footnote is required here. Siegfried Wenzel informed me that sections of sermon 50 of Peterhouse 210 (see Slotemaker, “Robert Holcot the Homilist”) are also found in the British Library, Cotton, ms. Faustina A V, ff. 5v-9r [Sermo quod 7 vicia capitalia assimilat [sic?] hominem peccatorem 7 generibus lapidum]. In correspondence Siegfried insisted that this must be double-checked, as his source of information is a notebook he wrote from a trip to the BL in 1965. (I would appreciate any confirmation of this information.)

There are a few other manuscripts that contain sermons by Holcot. Thomas Kaeppeli noted that a Padua manuscript (see below) contains sermons by Robert Holcot, giving the foliation as 81r-117v and 119r-123v (Kaeppeli, 3502). Here Kaeppeli mistakenly followed the catalog of Giuseppe Abate and Giovani Luisetto (Codici e Manoscritti della Biblioteca Antoniana II, 529-530), and Katherine Tachau subsequently debated the attribution by Abate and Luisetto of the entire section (i.e., folios 81r-117v) to Holcot. Tachau notes that there is marginal attribution for three specific sermons (on folios 78v, 81r and 119r) and that regarding the other sermons scholars must withhold judgment until further comparative work on Holcot’s sermon manuscripts is completed. Finally, in a recent study Siegfried Wenzel further complicated the picture by arguing that a sermon on the ars praedicandi on folios 120v-123v is probably of Dominican origin and perhaps by Robert Holcot (See Tachau, “Looking Gravely at Dominican Puns: The ‘Sermons’ of Robert Holcot and Ralph Friseby,” Traditio 46 (1991): 337-345; and Wenzel, “Ars Praedicandi in Sermon Form,” Archivum Fratrum Praedicatorum 78 (2008), 51-78).

2. Padua, Biblioteca Antoniana, ms. 515, ff. 78v-79r, 81r-81v, and 119r-120v.

Further, as Thomas Kaeppeli argued in a seminal article (Thomas Kaeppeli, “Un sermonnaire anglais contenu dans le MS. Toulouse 342,” Archivum Fratrum Praedicatorum 29 (1959), 89-110 ), there are two sermons by Robert Holcot in Toulouse 342. They are : sermon 59, ff. 176v-179r, and 66, ff. 194r-195v.

3. Toulouse, Bibliothèque Municipale, ms. 342, ff. 176v-179r; 194r-195v.

With respect to the sermons, one should not omit Holcot’s sermo finalis, as discussed and edited by Joseph Wey (“The Sermo finalis of Robert Holcot,” Mediaeval Studies 11 (1949): 219-224). The sermo finalis is found in:

4. Oxford, Oriel, ms. 15, ff. 204v-205r.
5. London, Brit. Mus., Royal ms. 10 C vi, ff. 137r-138v.

Finally, Johannes Baptist Schneyer’s Repertorium der Lateinischen Sermones (Autoren R-Schluss), p. 192-195, lists a total of sixteen manuscripts (containing none of those listed above) that contain 52 sermones de tempore et de sanctis (he gives for each the thema, incipit, occasion/context, etc.). The incipits listed by Schneyer do not correspond with any of the incipits found in Peterhouse 210. Somewhat inexplicably, Schneyer does not list Peterhouse 210 (or, for that matter, any of the manuscripts listed above) despite the fact that he cites literature that clearly attributes Peterhouse 210 to Holcot (e.g., Smalley, et al.). The manuscripts are listed as such:

6. Bamberg, SB Q. V. 63, f. 198-246.
7. Basel, UB, B. V. 33, f. 1ra-29ra.     [library entry, here]
8. Freiburg im Br., UB, 275 (no fol.)
9. Harburg, Fürstl. Bibl. II. Lat. 1, f. 166, ff. 355ra-419vb.
10. Karlsruhe, LB Reich. Pp. 39, ff. 180-226r.
11. Karlsruhe, LB Reich. Pp. 144, ff. 134-163.
12. Lüneburg, Ratsbücherei theol. f. 73.
13. Luzern, Zentralbibl. KB. 33, qu. ff. 115r-191.
14. Munich, Clm. 8444.           [catalog entry, here]
15. Munich, Clm. 9022.           [catalog entry, here]
16. Munich, Clm. 17504.         [catalog entry, here]
17. Munich, Clm. 17633.         [catalog entry, here]
18. Munich, Clm. 23799.         [catalog entry, here]
19. Prag. UB IV. B 25, ff. 1r-50r.
20. Rom. Casanat. 296
21. Venedig, Marc. lat. 3. Nr. 75-2771, ff. 68-147.

According to the Munich catalog: Munich 8444 contains the Moralitates (see the list of mss. by Welter above); Munich 9022 contains a text labeled: Opusculum de pugna... (not a sermon collection); Munich 17504 and 17633 does not mention Holcot, only a collection labeled De pugna spirituali sermones quadragesimales (no authorial attribution); Munich 23799 also lists a collection called Sermones quadragesimales de pugna spirituali (seemingly attributed to Fratris Bartholomaei). My general impression, thus far, is that there are some significant mistakes in Schneyer’s list of manuscripts and that before claiming any, or all of them, contain Holcot’s sermons much more work must be done on these texts.

II. Incunabula/Early Modern Editions

There are no known incunabula or early modern editions of Holcot’s sermons.


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