Richard Rolle: On Lamentations

BookRichard Rolle: On Lamentations

Richard Rolle: On Lamentations

A Critical Edition with Translation and Commentary

Exeter Medieval Texts and Studies


July 31st, 2020

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This volume presents the first study, critical edition, and translation of one of the earliest works by Richard Rolle (c. 1300-1349), a hermit and mystic whose works were widely read in England and on the European continent into the early modern period. Rolle’s explication of the Old Testament Book of Lamentations gives us a glimpse of how the biblical commentary tradition informed what would become his signature mystical, doctrinal, and reformist preoccupations throughout his career. Rolle’s English and explicitly mystical writings have been widely accessible for decades. Recent attention has turned again to his Latin commentaries, many of which have never been critically edited or thoroughly studied. This attention promises to give us a fuller sense of Rolle’s intellectual, devotional, and reformist development, and of the interplay between his Latin and English writings.
Richard Rolle: On Lamentations places Rolle’s early commentary within a tradition of explication of the Lamentations of Jeremiah and in the context of his own career. The edition collates all known witnesses to the text, from Dublin, Oxford, Prague, and Cologne. A source apparatus as well as textual and explanatory notes accompany the edition.

Author Information

Michael Van Dussen is Associate Professor in the Department of English at McGill University. He specializes in the study of late medieval religious controversy and communication in a manuscript culture, with emphasis on England and Central Europe. He has received awards for distinguished research and teaching at McGill University. His publications include: From England to Bohemia: Heresy and Communication in the Later Middle Ages (Cambridge University Press, 2012); The Medieval Manuscript Book: Cultural Approaches (with Michael Johnston) (Cambridge University Press, 2015) and Europe After Wyclif (with J. Patrick Hornbeck II) (Fordham University Press, 2017).

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
The Old Testament Book of Lamentations17
The Tradition of Lamentations Commentary before Rolle 18
Rolle’s Commentary on Lamentations22
i. Authorship22
ii. Its Place in Rolle’s Oeuvre23
iii. Sources and Exegetical Approach29
iv. Overview of the Commentary40
v. The Hebrew Acrostic45
vi. Reception: Medieval and Early Modern49
The Circulation of Rolle’s Latin Writings on the Continent 60
Appendix: Latin Commentaries on Lamentations to 150070
Text: Richard Rolle, Super Threnos/On Lamentations 87
Sigla of Manuscript and Print Witnesses87
Editorial Procedure87
A Note on the Translation89
Manuscript and Print Descriptions 90
Edition and Translation100
Capitulum I100
Capitulum II128
Capitulum III142
Capitulum IV156
Capitulum V166
Commentaries on the Text173
Textual Notes 173
Explanatory Notes180
Source Apparatus196