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Cap. LV

[Ms P, fol. 138v – Paulus Diaconus
Ps.-Basil: Ms K1, fol. 148r; Ms E1, fol. 157v; Ms E2, fol. 238r]

Ch. 55

Translated by: Valerie Garver

Rectum ordinem tenuit in hoc loco S. Benedictus in eo, quod prius dixit de hospitibus, et subjunxit, ut non debeat quilibet aliquid accipere sine jussione abbatis, et postea dixit de vestiariis et calciariis fratrum, ne quis diceret: quia hoc, quod mihi directum est, volo habere, et statim adjecit, quid et quantum debeant monachi habere excepta speciali necessitate.

St. Benedict maintained proper order in this place in that part, because he first discussed guests, and added that one ought not accept something without leave of the abbot, and afterwards he discussed the clothing and shoes of the brothers, lest someone should say: because I want to have this, because it is plain to me, he immediately turned to what and how much monks ought to have, except in cases of particular necessity.

Sequitur: 1Vestimenta fratribus secundum locorum qualitatem, ubi habitant, aut aerum temperiem dentur, 2quia in frigidis regionibus amplius indigetur, in calidis vero minus.

It follows: 1The brothers' clothing should be furnished according to the nature and climate of the place where they live, 2because in cold regions more is needed and in warm ones less.

 Vestiarium est, ubi vestimenta ponuntur.

The vestry is where clothing should be placed.

Illud enim, quod dicit qualitatem locorum, duobus modis intelligitur, i. e. uno modo intelligitur qualitatem locorum, juxta quod potest in illo loco, ubi habitant, abbas vestimenta invenire; altero modo intelligitur secundum qualitatem loci et aerum temperiem, quod unum significat, ac si diceret: secundum qualitatem locorum; et exponendo, quid sit secundum qualitatem locorum, subjunxit, i. e. aeram temperiem. Sed iste sensus posterior verior est, ideo exponendo protelavit gradatim sententiam, cum dicit: quia in frigidis locis amplius indigetur, in calidis vero minus.

Concerning that, which he calls the nature of the places, two meanings can be understood, i.e. one way the nature of the places is understood is according to what clothing the abbot can find in that place where they live. In another manner in which one can understand according to the nature and climate of the place, is that one he indicated, and if he stated: according to the condition of the places; and, explaining, he added what seems to be according to the nature of the places, i.e. the temperature of the air. But this latter sense is more fitting, therefore he gradually expanded upon the sentence explaining, when he says: because in cold regions more is needed and in warm ones less.

Sequitur: 3Haec ergo consideratio penes abbatem est. Penes abbatem, i. e. apud abbatem.

It follows: 3This consideration is therefore the abbot 's concern, i.e. in the presence of the abbot.

In hoc loco attendendum est, quia sicut de cibis et potibus constituit in potestate abbatis, eo quod propter diversas qualitates corporum non potuit discernere, ita etiam nunc de vestimentis cognoscitur in arbitrio abbatis constituere, quia propter qualitates diversas locorum non potuit diffinire mensuram vestium. Verum non ita constituisse in arbitrio abbatis intelligendum est, ut sicut vult abbas injuste disponat, sed quia ille propter diversa impedimenta non potuit haec diffinire, ille abbas recte et juste discernat. [page 513]

He ought to pay heed in this place, because just as food and drink fall under the power of the abbot, because he could not distinguish among the different conditions of bodies, so even now concerning clothing it is recognized that it should be placed under the authority of the abbot, because he could not define the quantity of clothing according to the different conditions of places. But not just as it is understood to have been determined under the authority of the abbot so that if the abbot wanted to distribute unjustly, but because he was not able to define it according to these various impediments, the abbot should divide rightly and justly. [page 513]

Sequitur: 4Nos tamen mediocribus locis sufficere credimus monachis per singulos cucullam et tunicam; 5cucullam in hieme villosam, in aestate puram aut vetustam, 6et scapulare propter opera; indumenta pedum pedules et caligas.

It follows: 4However, we believe that a cowl and a tunic will suffice for each monk in milder places; 5a woolen cowl in winter, a light or worn one in summer, 6and a scapular for work; and footwear: leggings and boots.

Sciendum est, quia debent per debitum omnibus monachis cucullam et tunicam et melotam tam illis, qui foris, quam illis, qui intus sunt, dari,1 eo quod regula dicit dari; nam nisi quod regula jubet, aliter fieri non debet. Pellicias aut gunnas concession est abbatum pro necessitate.

It is to be known that, because, according to what is due for all monks, they ought to be given a cowl and tunic and habit, the same for those who are outside as for those who are inside,1 because the rule says they are to be given; for unless the rule orders it so, it ought not to be done otherwise. The abbot is allowed [to give out] pelts and fur cloaks as necessary.

 Mediocribus, i. e. temperatis.

Mild, i. e. temperate.

Cuculla dicitur casula; tunica de lana intelligenda est esse; nam potest esse et linea et serica.

The cowl is called a chasuble: the tunic is understood to be of wool; certainly it can be made of linen and silk.

Sed in hoc loco videtur intelligere de lana tunicam esse debere. Scapulare dicitur illud, unde graeci ‘schima’2 vocant, cum quibus capita tegunt et cingunt illa sibi, ad cujus similitudinem videtur esse illud vestimentum, quod nos melotam vocamus. Nam aliud est cuculla, aliud melota, eo quod S. Benedictus cucullam dicit, quam nos cappam vocamus.

But in this place it seems to be understood that the tunic ought to be of wool. The scapular is called that, whence the Greeks call 'schima', with these they themselves cover and encircle their heads, in likeness so that it seems to be a similar vestment, to that which we call the habit. For one is the cowl, the other the habit, because St. Benedict said cowl, we call it a hooded cloak (cappa).

Et hoc manifestatur, ubi dicit villosam, quia ista villosa non ad tunicam refertur, sed ad cucullam. Sic enim dicit cucullam et tunicam; deinde solummodo dicit cucullam in hieme villosam, in aestate puram aut vetustam.

And this is quite clear, where he says woolen, because that woolen cannot refer to a tunic, but rather to a cowl. For in like manner he says cowl and tunic; thereafter he states only a woolen cowl in winter, a light or worn one in summer.

 Pedules sunt illa vestimenta, quae in modum tribuci facta sunt, sed pedes tegunt, unde, quia in pedes mittuntur, pedules vocantur. Sunt enim multi monachi, qui propter sudorem pedum dividunt illud, quod in pedes mittunt, ne grave sit ad lavandum.

Shoes are those vestments which are made in fashion of the Tribuci, but cover the feet, wherefore, because they are furnished for the feet, they are called shoes. For there are many monks, who on account of sweat remove from the foot, that which they furnish for feet, so that it is not unpleasant to wash.

Caligae autem, ut Isidorus dicit, vel a callo pedum dictae, vel quia ligantur; nam socci non ligantur, sed tantum intromittuntur. [Isidore of Seville, Etymologiae XIX, c. 34.12]

Boots therefore, as Isidore states, are named either for the thick skin of the foot or because they are laced; for slippers are not laced, but only slipped on. [Isidore of Seville, Etymologiae 19, c. 34.12].

Casula enim, ut Isidorus dicit, est vestis cucullata dicta per diminutionem a casa, quod totum hominem tegat quasi minor casa, unde et cuculla quasi minor cella. [Isidore of Seville, Etymologiae XIX, c. 24.17]

 The chasuble, as Isidore states, is a hooded garment named as a diminutive of house, because it covers a whole person just like a small house, hence also the cowl as though it is a small room. [Isidore of Seville, Etymologiae 19, c. 24.17]

Melotes, quae etiam pera vocatur, pellis est caprina, a collo pendens praecincta usque ad lumbos. Est autem habitus proprio necessarius ad operis [page 514] exercitium. Fiebat autem prius, ut quidam aestimant, de pelliculis melonum (melotum), unde et melotae vocatae sunt. [Isidore of Seville, Etymologiae XIX, c. 24.19]

The monk's cowl, which is also called a bag, is a goatskin, which hangs encircling from the neck to the loins. This however is the habit necessary in particular to [page 514] carrying out work. It was first made, as some think, from the skin of martens, hence they are called melotes. [Isidore of Seville, Etymologiae 19, c. 24.19]

Melos est animal dictum, vel quod sit rotundissimo membro, vel quod favum petat et assidue mella captet. [Isidore of Seville, Etymologiae XII, c. 2.40]

The animal is called a marten, because it has extremely round limbs, and because it seeks honeycomb and assiduously hunts for honey. [Isidore of Seville, Etymologiae XII, c. 2.40]

Nam qualiter debeat esse vestis monachi, quae corpus contegat ac nuditatis et frigoris retundat injuriam, instituta patrum docent hoc modo: Vestis quoque monachi [omitted in ed. Mittermüller, inserted from SC 109: quae corpus contegat tantum ac repellat verecundiam nuditatis et frigoris retundat injuriam, non quae seminaria vanitatis aut elationis enutriat, ita eodem apostolo praedicante: Habentes autem alimenta et operimenta, his contenti simus: operimenta, [1 Tim 6:8] inquiens, non vestimenta, ut in quibusdam latinis exemplaribus non proprie continetur..

For just as the clothing of monks should be, which cover the body and prevent injury from nakedness and cold, so too the Institutes of the father [Cassian] teach this measure: In addition, the monk’s garment should only be such that it covers the body, countering the shame of nakedness, and prevents the cold from doing harm, not such that it nurtures seeds of vanity or pride. In the words of the same Apostle: Having food and covering, let them be satisfied with these. [1 Tim 6:8] He says ‘covering’ and not ‘vesture,’ which some Latin editions say incorrectly. This means only what may cover the body, not what may flatter it by its splendid style.

Id est quae corpus operiant tantum, non quae amictus gloria blandiantur, ita vilia, ut nulla coloris vel habitus novitate inter caeteros hujus propositi viros habeantur insignia, ita studiosis accurationibus aliena, ut nullis rursum sint adfectatis per incuriam sordibus decolorata: postremo sic ab hujus mundi separentur ornatu, ut cultui servorum Dei in omnibus communia perseverent.

This it should be commonplace, so as to be indistinguishable in terms of novelty of color and cut from what is worn by other men of this chosen orientation; in no respect should it be self-consciously meticulous, but neither, on the other hand, should it be grimy with filth accumulated by neglect; finally, it should be different from the apparel of this world in that it kept completely in common for the use of the servants of God.

Quidquid enim inter famulos Dei praesumitur ab uno vel paucis nec catholice per omne corpus fraternitatis tenetur, aut superfluum aut elatum est et ob id noxium judicandum magisque vanitatis speciem quam virtutis ostentans.

For whatever is arrogated by one or a few within the household of God and is not owned universally by the whole body of the brotherhood is superfluous and overweening and hence must be judged harmful and a token of vanity rather than a display of virtue.

Et idcirco haec quae nec a veteribus sanctis qui hujus professionis fundamenta jecerunt, neque a patribus nostri temporis, qui eorum per successiones instituta nunc usque custodiunt, tradita videmus exempla, ut superflua et inutilia nos quoque resecare conveniet.

Therefore, examples that we see have been handed down neither by the holy ones of old, who laid the foundations of this profession nor by the fathers of our own time, who are in their turn maintaining their institutes even to the present, it behoves us also to cut off as superfluous and valueless.

Quamobrem cilicinam vestem velut circumspectam cunctis atque notabilem et quae ex hoc ipso non solum nulla spiritui possit emolumenta conferre, sed etiam elationis concipere vanitatem, quaeque ad necessarii operis exercitium, in quo monachum semper inpigrum expeditumque oportet incedere, inhabilis atque inepta sit, omnimodis refutarunt.

Hence they utterly rejected sackcloth and showy and conspicuous to everyone and for that very reason as not only being unable to confer any benefits on the spirit but even as containing the possibility of begetting a vain pride, besides being unsuited for and inappropriate to the exercise of the necessary work for which a monk must be ever ready and unhindered.

Quodsi quosdam hoc amictu circumdatos audivimus probabiles exstitisse, non ex eo nobis est monasteriorum regula sancienda vel antiqua sanctorum patrum sunt perturbanda decreta, quod pauci praesumentes aliarum virtutum privilegio ne in his quidem, quae non secundum catholicam regulam ab eis usurpata sunt, reprehendi debere creduntur. Generali namque omnium constitutioni paucorum non debet praeponi nec praejudicare sententia.

Still even if we have heard that some upright persons have dressed in this piece of clothing, it is not for us to establish a rule for the monasteries or to overturn the ancient decrees of the holy fathers because a few persons, presuming on the privilege of other virtues, are held to the blameless even when they have acted arbitrarily and not in keeping with the Catholic rule. For the opinion of a few must not preferred to nor must it prejudice the common practice of all.

Illis enim debemus institutis ac regulis indubitatam fidem et indiscussam obedientiam per omnia commodare, non quas paucorum voluntas intulit, sed quas vetustas tantorum temporum, et numerositas sanctorum patrum concordi definitione in posterum propagavit. Nec hoc sane praejudicare nobis debet ad quotidianae conversationis exemplum, quod vel Ioram sacrilegus rex Israel catervis hostium circumseptus scissa veste, cilicium habuisse perhibetur intrinsecus [cf. 4 Rg 6:30] vel quod Ninivitae ad mitigandam Dei sententiam, quae in eos inlata fuerat per prophetam, cilicii asperitate velati sunt, [cf. Io 3:5] cum et ille ita intrinsecus latenter indutus eo fuisse monstretur, ut nisi scisso desuper indumento a nemine prorsus potuisset intelligi, et isti eo tempore operimentum cilicii sustentarint, quo cunctis super imminente urbis eversione lugentibus eodemque amictu circumdatis nullus posset a quoquam ostentationis notary, quia nisi insolens sit diversitas, non offendit aequalitas.

For we ought in very respect to bestow an unshakable faith and an unquestioning obedience not on those institutes and rules that were introduced at the wish of a few but on those that were long ago passed on to later ages by innumerable holy fathers acting in accord. And it should certainly not have any effect on our daily way of life that Jehoram, the sacrilegious king of Israel, is said to have been wearing sackcloth beneath his garment when, surrounded by enemy troops, he tore it, [cf. 4 Rg 6:30] or that the Ninevites dressed in rough sackcloth on order to mitigate the judgment of God that hand been pronounced against them by the prophet. [cf. Io 3:5] For the former clearly wore this underneath and hiddenly in such a way that it could never have been known to anyone unless his outer garments had been torn, and the latter bore with a sackcloth covering at a time when all were grief-stricken at the imminent destruction of the city and were going about in the same apparel and no one could be accused of display, for sameness is inoffensive when there are no unusual distinctions.

(III)Sunt praeterea quaedam in ipso Aegyptiorum habitu non tantum ad curam corporis, quantum ad morum formulam congruentia, quo simplicitatis et innocentiae observantia etiam in ipsa vestitus qualitate teneatur. Cucullis namque perparvis usque ad cervicis umerorumque demissis confinia, qui capita tantum contegant, indesinenter diebus utuntur ac noctibus, scilicet ut innocentiam et simplicitatem parvulorum jugiter custodire etiam imitatione ipsius velaminis commoveantur. Qui reversi ad infantiam Christi cunctis horis cum affectu ac virtute decantant: Domine, non est exaltatum cor meum, neque elati sunt oculi mei. Neque ambulavi in magnis, neque in mirabilibus super me. Si non humiliter sentiebam: sed exaltavi animam meam: sicut] ablactatus est super matre sua. [Ps 130:1-3] [Cassian, Institutiones I, c. 2-3, SC 109, pp. 38-44]

(III) There are some other things in the garb of the Egyptians that pertain not so much to the well-being of the body as to the regulations of behavior, so that the observance of simplicity and innocence may be maintained even in the very character of their clothing. Thus, day and night they always wear small hoods that extend to the neck and the shoulders and that only cover the head. In this way they are reminded to hold constantly to the innocence and simplicity of small children even by imitating their dress itself. Those who have returned to their infancy repeat to Christ at every moment with warmth and vigor: ‘Lord, my heard is not exalted, nor are my eyes lifted up. Neither have I walked in great things nor in marvels beyond me. If I thought not humbly but exalted my soul, like a weaned child upon its mother. [Ps. 130:1-3] [Cassian, Institutes I, c. 2-3, transl. Boniface Ramsey, pp. 22-24]

Sequitur: 7De quarum rerum omnium colore aut grossitudine non causentur monachi, sed quales inveniri possunt in provincia, in qua habitant, aut quod vilius comparari potest. 8Abbas autem de mensura provideat, ut non sint curta ipsa vestimenta utentibus ea, sed mensurata. 9Accipientes novo vetera semper reddant reponenda in vestiario propter pauperes. 10Sufficit enim monacho duas tunicas et duas cucullas habere propter noctes et propter lavare ipsas res. 11Jam quod supra fuerit, superfluum est, amputari debet. 12Et pedules et quodcunque est vetustum, reddant, dum accipiunt novum.

It follows: 7Monks should not object to the color or coarseness of any of these items, but have what is available in the region where they live and can be purchased rather cheaply. 8Concerning size, the abbot should see to it that the clothes are not too short for those wearing them, but to measure. 9Receiving new clothes, brothers should always return the old ones at once, to be put in the vestry for the poor. 10It will suffice for a monk to have two tunics and two cowls, because of the need to use them at night and to wash them. 11anything more is superfluous and should be eliminated. 12They should also return shoes and anything else that is worn when they receive new ones.

Quod enim dicit de quarum rerum omnium colore et grossitudine non causentur monachi, ita intelligitur: non debent monachi causari, si pedules albi fuerint, et tunicae fuscae, i. e. pedules alterius coloris fuerint, et alterius tunicae atque alterius cucullae, aut si grossi3 fuerint, sed quales inveniri possunt in provincia, in qua habitant, aut quod vilius comparari potest. Usque modo admonuit monachos, ut de colore aut grossitudine vestium non causentur, quia mortificati debent esse; mortui enim non requirunt nobilia vestimenta, verum etiam nulla.

When he states monks should not object to the color or coarseness of any of these items, he means: the monks should not object, if their shoes happen to be white, and their tunics dark, i.e. shoes may be another color, and tunics another and cowls another, and if they happen to be coarse, but such ones may be found in the region in which they live, and can be purchased cheaply. In this manner he then admonishes the monks not to object to the color and coarseness of their clothing, because they ought to be humbled; for the humbled do not need noble clothing, but actually nothing.

Nunc autem cum dicit quales inveniri possunt aut quod vilius comparari potest, admonet abbatem.

Now then when he states that they should have what is available in the region and can be purchased rather cheaply, he is reminding the abbot.

Attendendum est, quia non dicit: vile aut vilissimum, sed dicit vilius, i. e. mediocre.

He should pay heed, because he does not state: cheaply or most cheaply, but rather he states rather cheaply, i.e. ordinary.

Et iterum castigat abbatem, cum dicit abbas autem de mensura provideat, ut non sint curta. Quod [page 515] enim dicit sufficit monacho, duas tunicas et duas cucullas habere propter noctes et propter levare - tunica attinet ad lavare, cuculla autem attinet ad frigus. Istud enim, quod dicit vetustum quod est, reddant, intelligitur: quod non potest portari.

And again he sets the abbot right, when he states that concerning size, the abbot should see to it that the clothes are not too short. Because [page 515] he in fact states 10It will suffice for a monk to have two tunics and two cowls, because of the need to use them at night and to wash them - the tunic needs to be washed, the cowl on the other hand pertains to the cold.

Istud autem vetustum, quod superius dicit 5in aestate vetusta, attinet ad illud vestimentum, quod vetus est et potest portari.

Indeed he means it when he states that they should return anything that is worn, because it cannot be worn. However that, which he states above 5in a worn condition, pertains to that worn garment, that is old and can be worn.

Ideo enim dicit quales in provincia inveniri possunt, quia, si ita non dixisset, fuissent multi, qui in alienam provincia missent et ibi bona emissent, quae bona, quamvis in illa provincia, ubi facta sunt, viliora sunt, tamen in illa provincia, ubi monachi habitant, bona sunt. Provincia enim est, quae regem habet, veluti est Longobardia, Tuscia, Saxonia, Romania et reliq.

Therefore he indeed states that they can have what is available in the region, because if he had not said so, there might have been many who sent to another region and then good ones might have been sent forth, although in that region, where they were made, the good ones are cheaper, nevertheless in that region where the monks live there are good ones. Namely a region is that which has a king, just as there is in Lombardy, Tuscany, Saxony, Romania, and others.

Provinciae autem, sicut Isidorus dicit, ex causa vocabulum acceperunt; principatus namque gentium, qui ad reges alios pertinebant, cum in jus suum Romani vincendo redigerent, procul positas regiones provincias appellaverunt. Sciendum sane, quod quaedam provinciae primum de nomine auctoris appellatae sunt, postea a provincia gentis nomen est factum; nam ab Italo Italia, et rursus ab Italia Italus; et sic utimur ipso nomine gentis, quomodo fuit ipsum nomen auctoris, unde derivatum est nomen provinciae. Ex quo accidit, ex uno homine nominari et civitatem et regionem et gentem. [Isidore, Etymologiae XIV, c. 5. 19/18]

Provinces therefore, as Isidore states, received their name for a reason. When the Romans brought an empire of peoples who belonged to other kings under their own jurisdiction by conquest, they called such far-off regions provinces. It should be understood that some provinces were first named after their founders; afterwards the name of the inhabitants was derived from the name of the province. Thus, Italy comes from Italus, and in turn from Italy comes the term an Italian; and in this way we use a name for the people that was the same as the name of the founder, from which the name of the province is derived. And this is how it happens that a city, a region, and a people are all named after one man. [Isidore, Etymologiae 14, c. 5.18-19]

Sequitur: 13Femoralia hi, qui in via diriguntur, de vestiario accipiant, quae revertentes lota ibi restituant; 14et cucullae et tunicae sint aliquanto his, quas habere soliti sunt, modice meliores. Quas exeuntes in via accipiant de vestiario, et revertentes lota ibi restituant.

It follows: 13Those sent on a journey should take underpants from the vestry, and on coming back they should return them there washed. 14Both cowls and tunics should be somewhat better than what they usually wear; they should take them from the vestry when departing and return them when they come back.

 Femoralia enim non dicit, ut generaliter habeant in monasterio, sicut in via, nisi quibus necessitas incumbit. Verum illa femoralia, cum illis dant, non in capitulo dant, et non sicut alia vestimenta generaliter, sed seorsum, quibus providet abbas necesse esse, ubi non generaliter illa aut accipiunt, aut tamen, si accipiunt, non generaliter portant.

Indeed he does not state that they should generally have underpants in the monastery, just as on a journey, unless necessity makes it incumbent upon some. Yet when they give them, they do not give these underpants in the chapter, and not generally as they do with other garments, but otherwise. The abbot provides underpants to those who need them, when they either receive them as an exception or when they nevertheless do not generally wear them even if they receive them.

Quod enim dicit: et cucullae et tunicae sint his, quas habere soliti sunt, modice meliores, [page 516] quas exeuntes in via accipiant, non dicit, cum prope vadunt ad notos homines, qui eos cognoscunt, sed quando longius ire debent, tunc accipere debeant.

In fact because he states: both cowls and tunics should be somewhat better than what they usually wear; [page 516] they should take them when departing, he did not state, when they go to prominent men, who know them, but rather when they need to go for a very long time, then they ought to receive them.

In hoc loco manifestatur, quia illa vestimenta, quae in monasterio habentur, vestiarius debet dare in capitulo. Ceterum vero, i. e. filum et palastrum potest dare foris capitulo.

In this place it is made clear, because those garments, which are held in the monastery, the head of the vestry ought to give them in the chapter.

Quod autem dicit: vestimenta de vestiario debent accipere, qui in via diriguntur, ista fuit intentio S. Benedicti: [quia] mortificaverat [S. Benedictus] monachum, cum dixit, omni vilitate et extremitate debere esse contentum4 quod enim dixit 8quod vilius emi potuerit, noluit5 illam mortificationem foris manifestare, sed cooperire, i. e. si portans sagum aut aliquem pannum in monasterio voluerit portare foras, tunc erit majus opprobrium quam mortificatio; nam illi, qui bona vestimenta portant intus, non debent alia vestimenta portare.

But he can give the rest, i.e. the fillet and palastrum outside the chapter. Because then he states: whoever is sent on a journey should receive garments from the vestry, such was the intention of St. Benedict: [because St. Benedict] humbled the monk, when he stated, that he ought to be content with everything base and extreme – for he in fact said 8because it may be able to be purchased more cheaply, he did not want that humility to appear to strongly, but rather to cover, i.e. if wearing a mantle or other cloth in the monastery, he wants to wear it outside, then he will experience great disgrace rather than humility; for those who wear good vestments within, ought not wear other vestments {outside}.

Verum sunt alii, qui meliora vestimenta in monasterio portant, quam illa, quae S. Benedictes dixit in vestiario reservanda propter foris portanda. Non est via, si in obedientia vadit, veluti est in cella; sed illa est via, cum aut ad episcopum aut ad nobiles potentes homines vadit ignotos. Et non solum alia vestimenta debemus portare, cum in via imus, verum etiam si talis persona, quae est nobilis, venit ad monasterium, tunc ille frater, qui illi ministrare debet, meliora vestimenta debet habere propter fastidium rusticae monasticae vestis, quod antiqui monopsiath vocabant.

But there are others who wear better vestments in the monastery, than those that St. Benedict said should be held in the vestry for wearing outside. It is not the path, if one proceeds obediently, just as when one is in one’s cell; but that is the way, when one proceeds either to the bishop or to noble, powerful, or strange men. And not only should we wear other vestments, when we go on a journey, but also if such an individual, who is noble, comes to the monastery, then the brother, who serves him, should put on better clothing because of distaste for rustic monastic clothing, which the ancients called monopsiath.

Sequitur: 15Stramenta autem lectorum sufficiant matta, sagum, lena et capitale, 16quae tamen lecta frequenter ab abbate scrutanda sunt propter opus peculiare, ne inveniatur; 17et si cui inventum fuerit, quod ab abbate non acceperit, gravissimae disciplinae subjaceat. 18Et ut hoc vitium peculiaris radicitus amputetur, dentur ab abbate, quae sunt necessaria, 19i. e. cuculla, tunica, pedules, caligae, bracile, cultellus, graphium, acus, mappula, tabulae, ut omnis auferatur necessitatis excusatio [page 517]; 20a quo tamen abbate semper consideretur illa sententia actuum apostolorum, quia dabatur singulis, prout cuique opus erat. [cf. Act 4:35] 21Ita ergo et abbas consideret infirmitates indigentium, non malam voluntatem invidentium. 22In omnibus tamen judiciis suis Dei retributionem cogitet.

It follows: 15For bedding, a mat, blanket, cover, and pillow should suffice. 16Beds should be inspected frequently by the abbot to make sure that no private property is found, 17and if something is found that a brother did not get from the abbot, he should be subject to very severe discipline. 18In order to cut this vice of private ownership out at the root, the abbot should provide everything necessary, 19that is, cowl, tunic, leggings, boots, belt, knife, stylus, needle, handkerchief, and tablets, in order to forestall any excuse about necessity. [page 517] 20Yet the abbot should always keep in mind this maxim from the Acts of the Apostles: “Each was provided for according to his need. ” [cf. Act 4:35] 21Thus the abbot should consider the weaknesses of the needy, not the ill will of the envious. 22But in all his judgments, he should think of God’s retribution.

Hoc vero, quod dicit frequenter scrutanda sunt lecta ab abbate, isto modo debet fieri: Mane enim, quando capitulum fit, debet dicere abbas: 'Quod debuimus enim facere, non fecimus; vos enim fratres debuistis admonere, ut fecissemus.' Cumque responderint fratres: 'Quae?' debet dicere: 'lecta fratrum debuissemus scrutari; jam quia factum non fuit, debemus facere modo.' Tunc nullus debet exire in illa hora de capitulo exceptis his, quos abbas decreverit.

But this, because he states that the beds should be inspected frequently by the abbot, it ought to be done in that manner. For in the morning, when the chapter is done, the abbot ought to say: ‘What should we have done that we did not do?’ Indeed you ought to admonish the brothers so that we do just that. And when the brothers respond: ‘Why?’, he ought to say: ‘We should have had the brothers’ beds inspected; now because it was not done, we should do it immediately.’ Then no one should leave the chapter at that time except for those whom the abbot allows.

Nam debet abbas dirigere quatuor aut quinque juxta quantitatem fratrum, tales fratres, qui bonae sunt conversationis, ut scrutentur lecta fratrum. Deinde si aliquid invenerint, tunc debent deferre illud ante pedes illius, in cujus vel apud cujus lectum inventum fuerit. Deinde debet abbas interrogare fratrem illum, apud quem inventum est aliquid, quod per licentiam non habebat: quae est causa? Deinde si cognoverit ille abbas, illam esse rem, quam ipse dedit illi, tunc debet dicere, 'quia ego dedi,' et tunc liberabitur ille frater.

For the abbot should direct four or five brothers of good conduct from among all the brothers to inspect the brothers’ beds. Then if they find anything, they ought to place it at the feet of the one in whose bed they found it. Next the abbot ought to ask that brother, with the found item before him, why he has that thing without permission. Then if the abbot recognizes that item as something he gave to him, he should say: ‘because I gave [it],’ the brother will consequently be freed.

Si autem fuerit talis res, quam debuit reddere et non reddidit, veluti est cultellus, tabulae, mappula vel talis res, quas debuit reddere,6 sicut dixi, et non reddidit, si est hebdomada una, tunc sola illa confessione, qua dicit: mea culpa, liberabitur. Si autem plus est, ex quo debuit reddere et non reddidit, tunc in minori culpa tenendus est. Sed tamen plus gravius corripiendus est, i. e. aut debet unum gradum transcendere, hoc est si debuit corripi, tunc excommunicetur, aut certe in primo gradu plus durius est arguendus, i. e. si debuit publice admoneri, in ipsa admonitione publica durius arguatur, sicut jam diximus. Ubi dicit districtiori disciplinae regulari subjaceat, [Regula Benedicti, c. 24.7] hoc modo debet intelligi gravissimae, sicut districtiori.

If however it is such an item as he should have returned and did not return, such as a small knife, wax tabled, handkerchief or other such item, which he should have returned, just as I said, and he did not return it, if there is a monk on religious duty for the week, then he should say alone at that confession: I am guilty; then he will be freed. If however there are more, from those things he ought to have returned but did not return, then his sin should be held among the minor ones. But still he should be corrected more seriously, i.e. either he should go up to the altar. This is the case if he ought to be corrected, then excommunicated. Or [his sin] should first be disclosed on the altar very harshly, i.e. if he should be admonished officially, then it should be disclosed quite harshly in this official admonition, just as we have already stated. Where he stated let him be subject to the regular correction of discipline [Regula Benedicti, c. 24.7], very seriously should be understood in the same manner as correction.

Si autem furtim habuit illam rem, si [page 518] grandis est, sicut jam diximus, i. e. quatuor valens denariis, eo modo in minori culpa judicandus est. Si autem major est, tunc debet res incendi, et ipse in graviori culpa judicandus est.

If however he had the item clandestinely, if [page 518] if it is large, just as we stated earlier, i.e. being worth four denarii, the sin should be judged in the manner of minor ones. If however it is greater, then this thing ought to be burnt, and this sin should be judged more seriously.

Si autem aliquis aut parens vel amicus aut cappam aut pannum vel denarios illi donaverit, et ille dixerit: quia oblivioni tradidi, et ideo non dedi, tunc debet inspici persona, si credibilis est annon. Si autem credibilis est, tunc liberabitur, si vero credibilis non est, tunc in graviori culpa judicandus est.

If however someone or a parent or a friend gives either a mantle or a cloth or denarii to him, and he said: because you surrendered it in forgetfulness and did not give that thing to me, then the individual should be examined, to see if the gift is credible. If it is believable, then he will be freed; if however it is not believable, then the sin should judged more seriously.

Verum etiam potest isto modo dinosci, si illam rem semper habuit absconsam, aut forte in palam vestivit. Si autem absconse habuit, ut alii iterum debuisset illam rem absconse donare, furtum dignoscitur esse. Istud vero quod dicit gravissimae vindictae subjaceat, duobus modis, quos praediximus, intelligitur, i. e. aut graviori aut minori vindictae.

It can still be discerned as genuine in this manner: if he had always had this concealed thing, or if he was given it plainly by accident. If however he had it clandestinely, so that he ought in turn to have given that item clandestinely to another, it should be considered theft. But when he stated let him be subject to very serious punishment, it can be understood in two ways, as I already stated, i.e. either very grave or very minor punishments.

Femora dicta sunt, sicut Isidorus dicit, quod ea parte a femina sexus viri discrepet; sunt autem ab inguinibus usque ad genua. [Isidore of Seville, Etymologiae XI, c. 1.106]

The thighs are so called, as Isidore states, because the male sex differs from the female in this part. They extend from the groin to the knees. [Isidore of Seville, Etymologiae 11, c. 106]

Unde et femoralia - Bracae dictae, quod sint breves et verecunda corporis iis velentur, idem et femoralia, eo quod femora tegunt. [Isidore of Seville, Etymologiae XIX, c. 22.29] 

Whence underpantsso-called breeches, because they may be short and those modest about the body are covered up with them, and likewise underpants, because they cover the thighs. [Isidore of Seville, Etymologiae XIX, c. 22.29]

Stratus a sternendo dictus, quasi »storiatus«; in his solis antiqui ad dormiendum accubabant, nondum laneis stramentis repertis. Storia, quod sit terra strata, unde et stramenta. [Isidore of Seville, Etymologiae XX, c. 11.1]

A bedspread derives its name from spreading, as in the word “matted.” The ancients used to lie in these alone when sleeping because woolen blankets had not yet been invented. A straw mat, because it is spread on the ground, this being the case also for woolen blankets. [Isidore of Seville, Etymologiae, 20, c. 11.1]

LMatta vero est storia de papiris cum villis. Sagum autem gallicum nomen est; dictum autem, sagum quadrum, eo quod apud eos primum quadratum vel quadruplex est. [Isidore of Seville, Etymologiae XIV, c. 24.13]A

A mat is a straw mat of plants but with wool. A woolen mantle (sagum) is a Gallic term. It is called the square mantle because among them at first it was square or fourfold. [Isidore of Seville, Etymologiae XIX, c. 24.13]

Sagum dicitur trapelion.

A mantle (sagum) is called a snare.

Lena dicitur toga duplex sive vestis regia.

A cloak (lena) is called the twofold toga or royal clothing.

Mappula dicitur manua, i. e. a manu. Graphium enim graece latine scriptorium dicitur; nam γpαφη scriptura est. [Isidore of Seville, Etymologiae VI, c. 9.2]

handkerchief is called a handful, i.e. from a hand. The Greek term graphium is scriptorium in Latin, for γςαφη is writing. [Isidore of Seville, Etymologiae VI, c. 9.2]

Tabulae a veteribus tagulae vocabantur, i. e. a tegendo, unde et tegulae. [Isidore of Seville, Etymologiae XIX, c. 19.8, col. 681B]

Boards were called tagulae by the ancients, i.e. from covering (tegendo), whence also roof-tiles. [Isidore of Seville, Etymologiae XIX, c. 19.8]

Tunicae serpentum exuviae nuncupantur, eo quod his, quando senescunt, sese exuunt, quibus exuti in juventam redeunt. Dicuntur [page 519] autem exuviae et induviae, quia exuuntur et induuntur. [Isidore of Seville, Etymologiae XII, c. 4.47]

Snake skins (tunicae) are called castoffs, because when snakes age, they cast them off from themselves, and having cast them off they return to youth. [page 519] Therefore castoffs and garments (induviae) are so called because they are cast off and put on. [Isidore of Seville, Etymologiae XII, c. 4.47]

Sive tunica dicitur a tuendo vel etiam a tonando.

And a tunic is called by regarding (tuendo) or even by resounding (tonando).

Ideo dixit, meliores in via vestes portare, ne hypocritae esse videantur. Mappulam ideo praecipit dari causa sudoris tergendi in labore aut in via.

He therefore stated that better clothes should be worn on journeys so as not to seem hypocritical. He should therefore take the handkerchief given to him for wiping away the sweat of labor or traveling.

Nam in Francia intelligitur, pro sudore et in via dixisse B. Benedictum mappulam habere; et quamquam forte intentio fuit S. Benedicti, ut etiam in monasterio pro facitergulo habeatur mappula, tamen modo in Francia in commune habetur pannos,7 ubi sibi fratres faciem tergunt. Nam sciendum est, quia non fuit intentio S. Benedicti, ut specialiter quis habeat facitergulum, sed sicut dixi in commune. Ea vero facitergia, quae ad caput habentur, superflua sunt, quia S. Benedictus de his non dixit. Nam non pro loco facitergii ipsa mappula debet haberi, quia, sicut dixi, in commune debent habere pannos, ubi se fratres faciem tergant.

For it is known in Francia that St. Benedict had stated that one should have a handkerchief on account of sweat and travel. Although St. Benedict’s intention was once that one should have a handkerchief even in the monastery for use as a towel, nevertheless in Francia a religious community holds cloths as joint possessions, where brothers wipe their own faces clean. For it is known, because it was not St. Benedict’s intention that someone specifically have a towel, but just as I have stated that such cloths should be held in common. Indeed these towels, which are held to the head, are superfluous, because St. Benedict made no statements about them. For one ought to have this handkerchief not in place of a towel, because, as I have stated, [the brothers] ought to hold cloths in common, where the brothers wipe their faces clean.

Mensura enim mappulae duo debent esse cubiti praeter oram in longitudinem, et unius pedis latitudinis.

The length of a handkerchief should be two cubits along the border, and one foot in width.

Et hoc sciendum est, quia si necessitas est caloris, potest ille monachus sine pedulibus jacere, ita tamen, ut ad nocturnas statim, ut surgit, debet illos indui et sic cum illis debet ire in ecclesiam. Nam in nullo tempore sine ipsis ire monachus debet, et fasciolas non debet habere. Quod si vult cum ipsis jacere, potest jacere, quia sic debet, si potest fieri.

And it is to be known that on account of warmth, the monk can sleep without his shoes, nevertheless, when he rises to go immediately to the night office, he ought to put them on and therefore should go with them on to the church. For at no time should the monk go without them, and he should not have leg bands. Because if he wants to sleep with these, he can sleep in them, because he ought to do so if he is able to do so.

Ante debet sine femoralibus jacere, quam sine pedulibus. Pro concessione dixi, i. e. pro condescensione, sine pedulibus jacere; ita tamen, ad nocturnas debet illos indui.

He ought sleep beforehand without underpants, after that without shoes. I have stated that there is an allowance, i.e. out of compassion, to sleep without shoes; nevertheless a monk ought to put them on for the night office.

De sapone enim ita faciendum est: debet enim in uno loco constitutus esse sapon et pectines juxta multitudinem fratrum, tres aut quatuor, ita ligati, ut non possit quis illos furari. In illo quippe loco, ubi se fratres faciem lavant, debent esse ligati. Debet enim ibi habere facitergios quinque aut sex juxta multitudinem fratrum, ubi fratres faciem lavant et tergunt et [page 520] pectinant. Nam facitergios nullatenus debent specialiter habere tam abbas quam monachi secundum auctoritatem sanctae regulae, praeter sicut superius diximus.

And so it should be done with soap: for soap and three or four combs ought to be situated in one place among all the brothers, so brought together so that no one can pilfer them. Of course they ought to be put together in that place where the brothers wash their own faces. For in that place there ought to be five or six towels for all the brothers, where the brother wash and wipe their faces and [page 520] comb their hair. For they, the abbot as well as the monks, should not specifically have towels according to the authority of the holy rule, just as we have already stated above.

De sapone quippe, si forte furatum fuerit, [tunc] debet facere pensari per mensuram abbas, ut omnes aequaliter habeant, sicut regula dicit praeter eos, qui plus indigent.

Concerning the soap of course, if it happens to be pilfered, [then] the abbot should ensure that it is weighed carefully according to its measure, so that all who very much need it should share in it equally, just as the rule states, before one another.

Isto modo debet facere: debet enim saponem adducere in capitulum et omnibus aequali mensura ipsum saponem debet dare, unicuique juxta quantum praevidet prior, ut possit sufficere; ita tamen ut omnes aequaliter accipiant et uno tempore praeter eos, qui forte prae infirmitate plus indigent. Tunc debet abbas illis dare unicuique vasculum, ubi possit saponem servare ad lectum, et de hoc sapone solummodo manus et faciem debent lavare. Ad pannos autem, sicut diximus superius, - illi fratres, qui praeparant aquam et conchas ad pannos lavandos in tertia feria, [illi] etiam debent praeparare saponem ad sacerdotum manus lavandas tempore, cum missam debent cantare.

He should do so in the same manner: he ought to take the soap in the chapter and should give that soap in equal measure to all. The abbot should give to each however much of it that can suffice; yet so that all receive it equally and at one time before one another. Those who happen to be sick need it most. Then the abbot should give to each of them a small vessel in which each can keep his soap by his bed. And from this soap alone they should wash their hands and faces. As for the cloths then, as we stated above, those brothers who prepare the water and basins in order to wash the cloths on Tuesdays, [they] should also prepare the soap so that the priest can wash his hands when he needs to sing mass.

Ille sacrista debet praeparare, saponem, et unusquisque, qui obedientiam habet, ubi opus sit, manus lavare, debet alium saponem habere, veluti est cellararius, infirmarius.

The sacristan should prepare the soap and each who is obedient concerning his work should have another soap for washing hands just like the cellarer, the head of the infirmary.

Item magister infantum debet habere ad opus infantum simili modo pannos, unum aut duos juxta quantitatem infantum, et pectines et saponem in illo loco, ubi faciem lavant vel tergunt.

Also the children’s teacher should have in the same manner cloths for working with children, one or two according to the number of children, and combs and soap in that place where they wash their faces and dry them.

Simili modo debet et unctum ad calcearios8 unguendos habere ad opus fratrum sive infantum. Isto modo debet esse, i. e. debet locum habere talem, ubi sit unctus communiter. Jam si talis fuerit necessitas, quia furatur aliquis illud unguentum, tunc debet pensare aequaliter et per singulos fratres dare usque ad praefinitum tempus in eodem vasculo, ubi saponem acceperunt.

In a similar manner he should also have conditioner to condition shoes near the work of the brothers and children. It should be in the same way, i.e. he should have such a place, where the conditioner can be held in common. If there should ever be need, because someone has stolen the conditioner, then he should weigh it out equally and give it to each brother straight after the aforementioned time when they receive soap in a small vessel.

Hoc notandum est, quia illud vasculum, in quo saponem et unctum debent habere per singulos monachos, i. e. debet habere unusquisque unam capsam talem, in qua et unctum et saponem frater possit habere ad lectum suum.

It should be noted that because that small vessel in each monk should have soap and conditioner, i.e. each one should have such a box in which they can keep conditioner and soap by their beds.

Notandum enim est, quia sunt talia monasteria, ubi, cum [page 521] necessitas fuerit, femoralia de vestiario accipiunt; ista monasteria omnino bona sunt. Et iterum sunt alia monasteria, ubi omnes generaliter accipiunt femoralia, sed tamen non omnes generaliter semper utuntur, nisi cum necessitas exposcit, quamvis omnes generaliter illa accipiant.

It should indeed be noted that because there are such monasteries, where, when [page 521] necessary, they receive underpants from the vestry, such monasteries are altogether good. And again there other monasteries are, where everyone generally receives underpants, but nevertheless not everyone always generally uses them, unless they ask when necessary, although everyone generally receives them.

Ista monasteria bona sunt, eo quod illa maxima pars semper non portat. Et iterum sunt alia monasteria, ubi omnes generaliter accipiunt et generaliter portant; ista monasteria non sunt laudabilia; verum ubi generaliter accipiunt et generaliter illa utuntur, tunc sicut alia vestimenta in capitulo debent accipere.

Those monasteries are good, where the majority do not always wear them. And again there are other monasteries where everyone generally receives and generally wears them; these monasteries are not praiseworthy; but where they generally accept and generally use them, then just as with other articles of clothing they should receive them in the chapter.

1. dare (?). (Mittermüller).
2. σχημα. (Mittermüller).
3. grossae. Cod. Divion. ex Marten. (Mittermüller).
4. Anacoluthon (?). (Mittermüller).
5. noluit tamen. (Mittermüller).
6. quae debuit reddi. Cod. Tegerns. (Mittermüller).
7. pannus (?) = habentur panni. Cod. Divion. Ex Marten. (Mittermüller).
8. calceos (?). (Mittermüller).

1. Melos could refer either to a badger or a marten in Latin usage. It is not clear here if the skins are from badgers or martens because both are indigenous to western Europe. I chose marten because marten pelts generally had a high value in medieval trade. The same value is not as clear for badger pelts. Both martens and badgers are mustelids.

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