Martians in the Margins : Rubric Marginalia in MS 170
MetadataShow full item record
Martians in the Margins is a study of rubric annotations located in manuscript MS170 housed at the Rare Book Room at Western Michigan University, an early twelfth-century copy of Paschasius Radbertus’s ninth-century tract on the Eucharist, De corpore et sanguine domini (On the Body and Blood of the Lord). The original tract sought to elucidate questions surrounding the Eucharist, which had never been the subject of Church doctrine, and was to be used in the training of monks. Monasteries during the ninth-century Carolingian Renaissance were often under direct royal patronage, with Carolingian monarchs often taking an avid interest in their cultural value, as well as their ability to arbitrate theological disputes in seclusion from the rest of the nobility and commoners. Radbertus’s monastery was visited by King Charles the Bald of France, who after being presented with a custom edition of De corpore commissioned an additional tract on the Eucharist from another monk, Ratramnus, beginning an entirely new theological tradition surrounding, ostensibly, both theologians in the years to come. The “Paschasian” tradition would be upheld by Lanfranc of Bec during the eleventh century in response to Berengar of Tours, who derived his interpretation of the Eucharist based on the ideas of Ratramnus, though Berengar never cited him. The debate on the Eucharist was thus reopened for the twelfth century where it had significantly larger consequences. Following this discussion of the historical background of MS170, a brief overview of its physical attributes is provided. I then explain the methods I used to analyze the rubrics with the help of Paulus’s critical edition of De corpore. The rubrics accentuate certain aspects of De corpore’s content that align with changing twelfth-century attitudes towards the Eucharist, and thereby further confirm the dating already performed by past analysis of MS170. Based on this analysis, I argue that the provenance of MS170 can be narrowed down to a high-ranking clergyman in Occitania during the twelfth century.