Cistercian Chronicles and Necrologies
David H. Williams
In the first section of this fascinating study, ‘Cistercian Chronicles and the Events of Nature’, David Williams reveals the wealth of information to be gleaned from medieval and later Cistercian chronicles on the effects felt from earthquakes, floods, drought, extreme temperatures, pestilence and plague, as well as the impact of eclipses and comets, on the monks themselves and on the wider population.
The second section of the book provides an invaluable survey of Cistercian Necrologies from monasteries across Europe, both those that survive and many that are now lost. The author then draws on these to demonstrate the huge range of evidence they provide for Cistercian life with their detail of founders, major patrons and benefactors; the rebuilding and embellishment of abbeys and their buildings; granges and monastic villages; music, vestments and sacred vessels; feast days, commemorations, shrines and subsidiary altars; burials and sepulchral monuments; libraries and books; the monks themselves, individual abbots and abbesses, and other monastic office holders such as priors and cellarers; farming, fishing, food and drink and the payment of pittances; the challenge of war, of the Reformation and of later secular reforms and suppression.
David H. Williams, an Anglican priest, studied historical geography at Cambridge, where he was later awarded a doctorate for his work on monastic history. This volume marks the completion of nearly sixty years of research and publication on the history and life of the Cistercian Order. He served for four years as guest-master at Caldey Abbey, and has visited many past and present monasteries and nunneries of the Order throughout Europe and the Near East. His previous publications include The Cistercians in the Early Middle Ages, The Welsh Cistercians, and The Tudor Cistercians, as well as The Five Wounds of Jesus, all published by Gracewing.
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