Session 36 (Free + Themed Papers): Cistercians in Portugal

Thursday, 8 July 2021, 11.00-13.00, Room A224 | Chair: Alberto Medina de Seiça (CESEM, NOVA FCSH)

The Gradual of Lorvão: A witness of the Cistercian liturgy | Filipa Taipina (Gregorian Institute of Lisbon)

A number of research methods – palaeographic and historical – were used in the study of the codex. In this paper we highlight the analysis of the Sanctoral, some Communions and specific verses of Alleluia, the processional chants for Palm Sunday and for the Feast of the Presentation (February 2). The result of this analysis proves the Cistercian origin of the Gradual de Lorvão.

In the procedures to identify the kinship of a manuscript, there are several tools – paleographic and historical -from the field of research that can be used.Some of these precious tools were used to identify the kinship of the Gradual de Lorvão 15. Among these, we highlight the analysis of the festivities that contain their own chants: some Communions and specific verses of Hallelujah; the processional chants of Palm Sundayand of the festivity for the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple (2nd of february).The recent in-depth study of Lorvão Gradual (Il Graduale di Lorvão -codice 15 -doctoral thesis at the Pontificio Istituto di Musica Sacra, Rome) allowed not only a better understanding of the origins of the codex, but also a more clear view of Cistercian musical practice in Portugal.This article aims to contribute to a better understanding of the generalization of Cistercian musical practices in Europe, as well as some specificities of the Lorvão’s manuscript.

The Portuguese Cistercian world: Scriptoria, books, liturgy (Themed Session)

Session Abstract

Recently, the Portuguese Agency for Research approved and financed two research projects focusing on two Portuguese Cistercian monasteries: Alcobaça (Cistercian Horizons. Studying and Characterising a Medieval Scriptorium and its Production: Alcobaça, dialogues between local identities and liturgical uniformity – PTDC/ART-HIS/29522/2017) and Lorvão (Books, Rituals and Space in a Cistercian Nunnery. Living, Praying and Reading in Lorvão, 13th-16th centuries – PTDC/ART-HIS/0739/2020).

Both projects result from an interdisciplinary consortium involving research centres from two universities and four different faculties. The host institution is the Institute for Medieval Studies, a research centre of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities at Lisbon’s NOVA University, it has the collaboration of CESEM (Centre for the Study of the Sociology and Aesthetics of Music), of the same Faculty; of LAQV-REQUIMTE, a research centre of the Faculty of Sciences and Technology, also of the NOVA University, and of the HERCULES Lab, of the University of ÉVORA.

These two projects have in common the examination of medieval books and scriptoria, applying an interdisciplinary approach along two principal avenues of inquiry:

(i) a study of Material Aspects of liturgical manuscripts examines the characteristics of codices from their illuminated decoration, pigments/inks and parchment used, to bookbinding-materials and methods, and including a survey of additions/alterations and state of preservation as a contribution to Codex and Conservation History. All interdisciplinary analyses are supported by comprehensive laboratory techniques and practices.

(ii) examining Ritual and Content, in connexion with monastic precincts, and linked book usage and circulation.

The reason for the selection of liturgical manuscripts as the subject for study is tied to their essential function. These were the most important manuscripts produced in monasteries, being indispensable for the celebration of the Daily Office and Masses, around which the lives of the monks and nuns were structured. They also operated as repositories of memory in both Alcobaça and Lorvão.

Studying and characterizing a medieval scriptorium and its production: Alcobaça. From material analyses to liturgical practice | Catarina Fernandes Barreira (IEM, NOVA FCSH and CEHR UCP)

The correct observance of the Temporal and the Sanctoral was the bedrock of Cistercian life. To that end, a principal function of a Cistercian scriptorium was liturgical book production. However, uniformity with the dictates of the General Chapter at Citeaux was not always achieved. Across hundreds of monasteries belonging to the Order, occasional deviations are detectable, which are indicative of practices springing from local conditions. The Project Cistercian Horizons is investigating these anomalies to identify the articulation between the ‘global’ Cistercian macrocosm and the microcosm subsisting in a major centre of the Order in the Iberian Far-West. Alcobaça, founded in 1153 and beneficiary of prodigious royal patronage, established a prolific production of liturgical books over six centuries. This paper examines three of Alcobaça’s codices spanning the twelfth-to-the-sixteenth centuries and, with a focus on liturgical performance, highlights possibilities for a more precise dating of the manuscripts and a deeper understanding of their context.

Studying and characterizing a medieval scriptorium and its production: The musical manuscripts from Alcobaça | Zuelma Chaves (CESEM- Universidade NOVA de Lisboa)

In the Alcobacense collection of the National Library of Portugal, which includes most of the codices from the scriptorium of the Cistercian Monastery of Alcobaça, there are several volumes with music. Although the collection has been partially studied by scholars such as Manuel Pedro Ferreira and Mara Fortu, it is in need of a comprehensive assessment.

The project Cistercian Horizons aims at undertaking a holistic evaluation of the collection. This includes analyzing the materiality of the volumes (their constituent materials and codicological structures) and their liturgical and musical data, as well as providing a detailed indexation of this set of books. As a researcher at CESEM I contribute with my extensive experience of cataloging, digitizing, and online curating of musical manuscripts acquired through the projects developed at the Centre, such as the Portuguese Early Music Database and the music catalogues of the Arouca Monastery, the Musical Archive of the Fundação Casa de Bragança / Vila Viçosa, and the Library of the National Palace of Mafra.

This communication seeks to report on the musicological dimension of the process of cataloging the music volumes from Alcobaça, in order to show how the cataloguing tools can be used to analyze both the melodic and textual variants found in the Cistercian repertoire in general and, eventually, in local chants.

Books, rituals and space in a Cistercian nunnery. Living, praying and reading in Lorvão, 13th-16th centuries | Luís M. Rêpas (IEM, NOVA FCSH and CHSC FLUC)

This paper presents a brief overview of the recently launched project investigating the nunnery of Lorvão, the first Cistercian female house to be established in Portugal. An interdisciplinary operation embracing the period c. 1200-1600, the principal focus is on a corpus of 36 illuminated liturgical codices of the conventual library collection. Through an examination of the role of nuns in the commissioning of works, and the creation and conservation of their own library, this project is a significant contribution to gender studies within the panorama of Portuguese monastic studies. This interdisciplinary study will provide data enabling hypotheses concerning the identification of the scriptorium/scriptoria of origin of the codices and their particularities, as well as assessing the extent to which the liturgy practiced in Lorvão under female governance presents idiosyncratic elements as opposed to conforming to Cistercian liturgical uniformity.