Jullien, Marie-Hélène, “Les sources de la tradition ancienne des quatorze Hymnes attribuées à saint Ambroise de Milan”, Revue d'Histoire des Textes 19 (1989, 1990): 57–189.

  • journal article
Citation details
“Les sources de la tradition ancienne des quatorze Hymnes attribuées à saint Ambroise de Milan”
Abstract (cited)
The article presents a chronological account of the indirect witnesses and the direct manuscript sources (8th to 10th centuries) which form the basis of the new critical edition of the fourteen Hymns attributed to Saint Ambrose of Milan (an edition to be published in 1990 by Editions du Cerf). The inquiry is extended here to the eleventh century (a total of 76 manuscripts have been consulted, of which 54 are hymnals). As several types of hymnal were in use in the West from the inception of this liturgical book until the eleventh century, the manuscripts have been grouped typologically according to the contents of their collections of hymns, and the principal characteristics of each group have been described.

The Hymns attributed to Ambrose were never grouped together as a single corpus until the 19th century. The present examination of their sources throws light both on the individual tradition of each hymn as well as the specific traits of the manuscripts in which they are dispersed. The diffusion of the Hymns of S. Ambrose was confined almost exclusively to Benedictine monasteries, where they were used during the celebration of the office or for teaching purposes. Their transmission and use are largely dependant upon that of the hymnal ; nonetheless, they also preserve the singularities of diverse rites and numerous local peculiarities.

An annex provides a list of the contents of 18 manuscripts hymnals for which no description previously existed.
Subjects and topics
Dennis Groenewegen
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September 2021