Making the Dominican liturgy: palaeographical evidence from Santa Sabina XIV L 1

22 February 2022, 4.30 PM - 22 February 2022, 5.45 PM

Eleanor Giraud, University of Limerick

Victoria's Room, Victoria Rooms

In the mid thirteenth century, the Dominican Order undertook a revision of their liturgy and liturgical books, reportedly in order to unify their practice and eliminate any diversity. Very little documentation survives concerning the choices and decisions made during the revision. Records from the Dominican general chapter simply state that the revision was begun by four friars from England, France, Italy and Germany, that their initial revised liturgy elicited numerous complaints, and that the project was subsequently completed by the master general Humbert of Romans. While the revision process will remain largely unknown, a palaeographical study of Humbert of Romans’ exemplar (Rome, Santa Sabina, XIV L 1), a book containing the ‘final’ form of the revised liturgy, reveals that certain further amendments were made during the copying of the exemplar—a stage at which all editing had supposedly already been completed. This paper will use Humbert’s exemplar to examine what can be gleaned about the creation of the final form of the Dominican liturgy, and what this implies about the values and priorities of Dominicans in the thirteenth century. 


Eleanor Giraud is the Course Director of the MA Ritual Chant and Song at the University of Limerick, Ireland. She completed her PhD at the University of Cambridge on the production of Dominican chant books in thirteenth century Paris in 2013. 

Contact information

Michael Ellison:

Edit this page