A Liturgy of Reform: Bruno Segri’s De Sacramentis Ecclesial and the Gregorian Reform

Louis Hamilton

Volume 38 (1996)

Fordham University

In the late eleventh and early twelfth centuries the Holy Roman Emporers and the Popes were engaged in a political, very often heated, sometimes bloody struggle. The litterary, political, and military maneouvering of these medieval men has been portrayed, in our own century, variously as revolutionary, as a function of the growth and promotion of Roman canon law, an attempt to promote sacerdotal leadership over the laity, even outright hierocracy over secular rulers, as the promotion of a monastic ideal for all of society, or, in still another approach, as reifying persecution within Western society.1 At the center of this deadly struggle upon which historians have heaped so many theses was a liturgy: the rite of investing a bishop with his staff and ring, the symbols of his office. The investiture contest is itself only one element in the process of ecclesiastical reformation which hisotrians have named “Gregorian” after its most dominant personality: Gregory VII (1073-1085). The Gregorian reforms attempted to extend the monastic reforms of the tenth century to the secular clergy and laity in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. Zealous to curb simony and to have a more spiritually, more ecclesiastically focussed episcopate, Gregory VII asserted as peculiar to papal dignity the right to appoint and invest all bishops. In so doing, Gregory threatened a significant source of power and revenue of secular lords in general and of royalty and the Holy Roman Emperor in particular, and asserted a central, reforming role for the papacy.2

It must have been clear from the outset to all those eager to continue this reform movement that the year 1111 would be an inauspicious one. The German ruler Henry V was marching towards Rome, allegedly with 30,000 men, to resolve any confusion over his right to invest his bishops. The Gregorian reform effort must have seemed to have arrived at an acute state of crisis to those who had struggled in its cause. Few alive at the time had been more zealous in their pursuit of ecclesiastical reform than Bruno, Cardinal Bishop of Segni, Abbot of Monte Cassino. Few men in Europe, or even in Italy, were as outspoken in the papal politics of that year or, for that matter, of the previous generation than Bruno and few would fall so quickly from papal favor. It is this man, an exegete, cardinal bishop, papal counsellor, monk, and abbot with whom this study is concerned. More precisely, it is his brief, but highly original liturgical commentary on the dedication of a church, known as the De Sacramentis Ecclesiae, on which we shall focus our attention.3

This paper will demonstrate that Bruno used his commentary as the basis for ecclesiological reflection; more precisely, to promote his vison of an idealized, reformed Church. It will also demonstrate that Bruno, out of favor with the papacy, envisions the episcopate in general (not the pope in particular) as the chief agents of reform. Finally, it is fitting that Bruno would choose to express his vision in a liturgical commentary as the success of the entire reform movement seemed to hinge on proper liturgical practice: the investiture of bishops.

In order to understand how the De sacramentis might relate to momentous events of 1111 we need to try to place this small commentary within the context of Bruno’s career.

Bruno was born in Solero around 1040 or 1050 of humble parents. He was educated first at the Benedictine monastery of St. Perpetua in Asti and then studied the seven liberal arts at the increasingly important schools of Bologna.4 In February of 1079, as a canon of Sienna, Bruno was sent to Rome for a synod on the Eucharistic doctrine of Berengar of Tours. There, Bruno’s vigorous denouncement of Berengar’s views both convinced Berengar to retreat from his position and won Bruno the respect and friendship of Gregory VII. That same year Bruno was elevated to the episcopal seat of Segni which had remained unfilled for eight years.5

Bruno spent much of his time in the entourage of Gregory VII, and was an outspoken supporter of the pope. In the summer of 1082 Bruno was arrested by count Aynulf of Segni, a partisan of Henry IV, and jailed for three months.6 He continued to serve the church as the librarian of Victor III (1086-87) and as counsellor to Urban II (1088- 99). Bruno’s name appears in many papal documents from Urban’s reign, his signature appears on several bulls, and he attended several councils most notably that of Clermont in 1095 where Urban declared the first Crusade. Papal business brought him to the island of Maguelonne in June of 1096 and he probably first met Walter at this time. (Walter would become bishop of Maguelonne in 1104, and it is to him that Bruno addressed the De Sacramentis.)7

In 1103, apparently after suffering an illness, Bruno entered the Abbey of Monte Cassino over the initial objections of Paschal II (1099- 1118). Even as a monk Bruno continued to travel extensively in service of the pope and in 1107 was elected as abbot of that venerable monastery. The anonymous life of Bruno and the life by Peter the Deacon do not agree on Bruno’s motivations for entering the monastery; the former records only biblical “clichs” and the latter relies upon a letter supposedly from Bruno to Paschal. This letter, “une mosaque d’extraits d’opuscules de Pierre Damien,” is so derivative that it may simply be a creation of Peter the Deacon, though it could have been written by, or at the behest of Bruno.8 On this matter, it is worth noting that there had been two men who had risen from the abbacy of Monte Cassino to the chair of St. Peter in Bruno’s lifetime: Stephen IX (1057-58) and Victor III (1086-87). If Cardinal Bishop Bruno was hoping that Paschal’s successor would also come from that ancient abbey, he was right. It would not, however, be Bruno. He lived to see John of Gaeta be elevated as Gelasius II (1118- 19) upon Pascal’s death. Whatever Bruno’s immediate motivation for entering Monte Cassino, by 1111 he was certainly a force to be contended with in papal politics.

The events of 1111 would change that situation substantially. As Henry V approached Rome with his army, a meeting was arranged between himself and Paschal II to be held at Sutri, about thirty miles northwest of Rome. Recent scholars have shown that, despite his reputation and the criticisms of the other reformers, Paschal, at first, presented a strong reform-minded position to Henry.9 In Paschal’s original position, Henry would lose the right to invest bishops and the bishops would give up their regalia. This latter term caused much confusion at Sutri and subsequently, but Paschal appears to have meant that bishops would no longer hold royal or civil offices while retaining their ecclesiastica, i.e., their churches and lands donated to them. In other words, Paschal was genuinely trying to liberate the Church from lay control and so, potentially from simony and certainly from lay investiture.10 Dissatisfied with this offer, Henry had Paschal arrested and, in April of 1111, after several months of captivity Paschal, upon the advice of John of Gaeta (the future Gelasius II) among others, granted Henry the right to invest bishops elected without simony.

Bruno, who had not been at Sutri in February and so had escaped imprisonment, accused Paschal of betraying the reform movement. His reaction, in Grégoire’s words, “fut trs violent l’égard du pape” and helped give rise to the rumor that the synod to be held in 1112 would depose Paschal and elect a new pope.11 Bruno felt that Paschal had betrayed the reform.

First, you should know this because the lord pope neither loves me nor my counsel. However, a good purpose ought not to be modifed. And I say this opinion which I have indeed said to Gregory and Urban and in which I remain adamantly, and I hope for the mercy of almighty God because I will persist in this purpose until the very end.12

Nonetheless, Bruno attempted to assure Paschal even as he condemned lay investiture as heresy:

Certainly I so love you as I ought to love a father and lord and I wish to have no other lving pope, just as I promised you along with many others …. I ought to love you, but I ought to love more the one who has made you and me.13

Even after this very tempered show of respect, Bruno goes on to argue that the privilegia of April 1111 were a violence against all religion and piety and reminds Paschal that pope himself had declared investiture heresy. Bruno urged the pope to confirm investiture as heresy so that peace might reign in the Church.14

In 1112, after Paschal renounced the privilegium (Bruno was absent from this synod also), Bruno remained unconvinced of the pope’s commitment as Paschal refused to excommunicate Henry. Bruno remained critical of the pope. Paschal, in response to this criticism and schismatis et discordiae metuens, recanted his decision to allow Bruno to be both abbot and bishop at once and compelled him to return to Segni.15 If Bruno had seen the abbacy of Monte Cassino as placing him closer to the papacy, this certainly put an end to that ambition. In any case, this must have come as a terrible personal blow to Bruno and done little to endear Paschal to him.16

This is the context within which Bruno’s De Sacramentis Ecclesiae ought to be understood. The exact date of the composition of the document is unknown. It has to have been written after 1104, however, as it is addressed to fratri Galterio, Magalonensi episcopo and Walter was not elevated to the episcopate until that year. Bruno refers to himself only as bishop, and not as abbot which could imply that it was written after his tenure at Monte Cassino was over; however, Bruno appears to have rarely, if ever, used that title for himself and it is never used in the his few extant letters.

If the De Sacramentis was written after the events of 1112 this would help explain its most unusual feature: the almost complete lack of reference to the papacy or to Petrine authority. It offers a portrait of the episcopate as the principal office of reform while scarcely referring to the relationship between reforming bishop and Roman pontiff. In this latter characteristic the De Sacramentis is completely out of synch with the “Gregorian conception of episcopacy” – an ideal, found in the writings of the reformers of the late eleventh century and early twelfth century, of both reforming zeal and strong papal discipline of the episcopate.17

The relative absence of pontifical or Petrine language stands out profoundly when the De Sacramentis is placed alongside the most popular liturgical “commentary” of the day and that of pre- preeminent position in Rome, the Romano-Germanic Pontifical.18 This was most probably the pontifical used by Bruno and two copies were in existence at Monte Cassino. It was also the basis for the new liturgical books produced by twelfth-century reformers in Rome.19 This pontifical contains a commentary on the dedication of a church entitled Quid Significent Duodecim Candelae which makes several strong assertions of Petrine authority and uses the title pontifex throughout.20 Even Amalarius of Metz (c. 775-850/51) in his brief comment De Officio in Dedicatione Ecclesiae was not afraid to associate episcopus with pontifex, a commonplace to be sure but one which Bruno avoided.21 Nor was Bruno’s younger contemporary, Hugh of St. Victor (1096-1141) concerned to distinguish the two offices when he expounded on the dedication of a church in his own De Sacramentis Christianae Fidei.22

Bruno confines his use of the word pontiff to three of the final sections on priestly vestments: Quid pallium significet, De vittis, and De summo pontifice. In the section on the pallium Bruno distinguishes between pontifex which refers to all bishops and summus pontifex. For bishops in general the pall (superhumerale) refers to the grave burden they bear; their’s is the burden of carrying the weak and the sinful. The bishops carry the burden of the whole Church.

Indeed, what does the superhumeral, by which the shoulders of the bishop are both beautified and burdened, signify if not the burden of episcopal dignity? The dignity of the episcopate is a great burden: those shoulders carry the burdens of the entire church, and they ought to bear the weak sheep and the sins of the people.23

Bruno prefaces his reference to Summus Pontifex by noting that those bishops who do not lift a finger to bear the burden of others do not truly bear the pallium. Bruno then observes that the Summus Pontifex was given the pallium by Christ who left the ninety-nine sheep to seek out the one stray. Understood, then, is the even greater responsibility of the pope to be worthy of the pallium.24 In the section De summo pontifice, Bruno asserts that he does not believe that the pope wears purple robes because of his royal power but because Constantine once gave to Pope Sylvester all the imperial insignia.25

The relative absence of pontifical language or reference becomes more pronounced upon closer comparison of the De Sacramentis with the Duodecim Candelae. In one instance, the anonymous commentator of the Duodecim Candelae interprets the bishop’s staff as representing sacerdotis potestas.26 This priestly power stems from Christ’s commissioning the apostles to go out and preach the gospel taking only a staff with them (Mt. 10.10, Mk. 6.8, Lk. 9.3). Later, when the pontiff raps the staff three times on the lintel of the church building it represents apostolic authority over heaven, earth, and hell. The commentator quotes Matthew 16.18-19:

“You are Peter and upon this rock [petram] I will build my Church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it and whatever you declare bound on earth shall be bound even in heaven and whatever you declare unbound upon earth will be unbound even in heaven.27

These two references combine to make the pontiff’s staff a strong symbol of apostolic teaching authority.

Bruno likewise connects the virga pastoralis with sermo divinis et praedicatio evangelica. Bruno, however, never makes the connection with Christ’s commissioning of apostolic teaching authority; rather, he makes his point more obliquely referring to Isaiah 11.4, percutiet terram virga oris sui, et spiritu laborium suorum interficiet impium. By means of Isaiah, then, Bruno retains the sense of teaching authority from the Duodecim Candelae without introducing its sense of apostolic authority. This reference also allows Bruno to note that the bishop knocking three times on the door represents the Trinity evoked in the sacraments and the preaching knocking on the ears (the doors) of the attentive faithful.28 The attentive medieval reader, however, especially one familiar with the more common Duodecim Candelae, would have to ask himself why a man previously so concerned with asserting apostolic authority, such as Bruno, would avoid the opportunity to assert that authority here by choosing such a relatively obscure reference?

Further, the Duodecim Candelae refers a second time to the above passage (Tu es Petrus…) in order to make the analogy of apostolic authority as the strong walls of the Church.29 Bruno, when confronted with the lapides of his church, chooses to ignore the more obvious reference used in the Duodecim candelae and prefers to see them as signifying the Church which is built from living stones (vivis lapidibus aedificatur) joined and united by charity.30 The Lapis altaris is Christ and all his limbs and so it is appropriate to put relics in the altar.31

Bruno chooses a more enigmatic reference over an obvious Petrine one, again, when he discusses the hyssop used in sprinkling the congregation with holy water. He begins this section by observing, Hyssopus naturaliter in petra nascitur.32 Here Bruno is deliberately choosing petra over saxa. The anonymous commentator of Duodecim Candelae says, Ysopus … est humilis, quae radicibus suis saxorum dicitur penetrare duritam.33 For the anonymous commentator hyssop represents humility which enters our hardened hearts. Bruno chooses petra instead but he is not at all interested in connecting this with Petrine authority, again choosing a more obscure scriptural allusion instead.

Hyssop is naturally born in rock: “The rock, however, “as the Apostle said, “was Christ.” The Hyssop is the good herb which is born, reborn, and rooted in Christ. ALthough through this indeed all the multitude of the faithful can be understood, nevertheless especially those are figured in the hyssop who in the faith of Christ are rooted and founded, they are not able to be torn away from or seperated from his love. Though which [Hyssop] what better are we to understand than the bishops and priests, who, to the extent that they obtain a greater dignity within the Church, ought to be more firmly adhereing to faith in Christ?34

In this passage Bruno’s deliberate avoidance of apostolus and preference for episcopus demands an explanation. Bruno’s question is a rhetorical one. Who better than priests and bishops ought we understand by the hyssop, for they having obtained greater dignity in the Church ought to be more firmly rooted in the rock (petra) which is Christ? Obviously the one with the highest dignity in the Church – the pope – could best be understood here, since he sits in the chair of St. Peter, who better to be rooted in petra? Bruno, by choosing petra over saxa is calling our attention to the appropriate answer to his rhetorical question. What is more if Bruno had followed the style more typical of the commentaries and used pontifex rather than episcopus he would not have been able to make his point. Without directly attacking the papacy, Bruno was able to imply a critique of the papacy and assert the primacy of bishops and clergy within the Church.

The question remains, why would Bruno, one of the most important Gregorian reformers of his day, undermine the position of the papacy in favor of the broader episcopate? Or, at very least why wouldn’t he use this text as an opportunity to discuss the new Church being founded under the papal reformers? The rhetoric of the De Sacramentis only makes sense if we place it after 1112. If it was written after 1112 the reader can easily imagine Bruno, out of favor with the papacy, potentially with his own papal ambitions scuttled, and certainly not trusting Paschal II to continue with the reforms he held dear, shifting his attention to the role of the episcopate in consecratione ecclesiae.35 What better metaphor for the role of the episcopate than an extended commentary on the rite of making holy a new Church?

Bruno begins the De Sacramentis by recalling a meeting between himself and Walter (1096?) where they first began to conceive of this commentary.

Since we were together in Rome on the Island in the house of the bishop of Portuens, and when we were reading in the book of Exodus concerning the tabernacle and of Aaron’s vestments signifying a certain kind of testimony and type of great mystery you and then I began to wonder what others like these we might find in the church, as now these old things have passed away and have all been made new.36

Bruno produced much literature commenting on the symbolism of different liturgies and liturgical elements and so there is an abundance of proof that he had, indeed, been giving these things much thought. In a letter which could have been written no earlier than March of 1110 Bruno connected many of the same sacramentals he interprets for Walter in the De Sacramentis (anulus, virga, aqua, sal, oleum, and crisma) directly with the investiture controversy. It is worth our while to explore this letter briefly.

The letter has two manuscript traditions. The one, an incomplete version, is reproduced in the Monumenta’s Libellus de Lite.37 More recently the complete letter has been discovered and edited with critical apparatus by Gérard Fransen.38 The letter is addressed to the bishops and cardinals of the holy Roman Church. The latest datable reference Bruno makes in the full letter is to the Lateran synod of March 1110 and specifically to Paschal’s reaffirmation that any who were invested by a lay ruler would be excommunicate.39 All of this occured before Paschal’s controversial reconciliation with Henry in 1112. Bruno’s tone in this letter, however, reflects none of the controversy with Paschal after 1112.

However, those who wish to know what the cahtolic and apostolic Church will feel, what it will teach, what it will judge, and what it will uphold cncerning investiture, let him read in the first chapter of that council which was held in the times of Pope Gregory VII …. And now similarly in the council of Paschal II all those clerics are condemned and sepertaed from the community of the faithful whoever receive [their office] from the hand of a layman …. The concord between the firts and last Church is right, it is as it was in the time of the apostles, so it is now in our own time….40

At no point in this letter does Bruno chastise Paschal in the manner we have already seen in his other letters after Paschal’s granting of the privilegium; nor does this letter hint at Bruno’s mistrust of Paschal, also a post-privilegium characteristic of Bruno’s other letters. In fact, Bruno is comfortable comparing the Church of Paschal with the apostolic Church (a comparison he would avoid in the De Sacramentis). It seems most probable, therefore, that this letter was composed sometime between March 1110 and the privilegium of April 1111.

If this is the case, it would demonstrate that Bruno was thinking about many of the same sacramentals he would discuss in the De Sacramentis already within the context of the investiture controversy just prior to the period when he would have written the De Sacramentis. Even if we cannot be certain of when the above letter was composed, it provides us excellent reason to contextualize the De Sacramentis within the investiture controversy. Bruno argued in the letter that episcopal authority comes from the church and that a king can only add to this his aid and defense.41 It is not the king’s right to invest his bishops:

When, however, the ring and staff are given by whom they ought to be give and where and how they ought to be given, they are sarcaments of the Church, just like water and salt, oil and crism, and all the other things without which the consecrations of people and churches can not be made.42

Bruno is thinking about the investiture controversy as, in a sense, a liturgical and sacramental issue. Only the Church has the power to administer genuine sacraments and that gives these sacraments their meaning. This is true of the consecration of both people and churches alike. This letter to the bishops and cardinals of Rome loans further credence to interpreting the De Sacramentis as a contribution to the investiture debate. The letter also serves as a contrast with Bruno’s silence on Petrine authority in the De Sacramentis.

In this setting, we can imagine Bruno, disenchanted with Paschal and out of favor with the papacy after the compromise of 1112, re-envisioning for himself and his fellow bishops the way the reform of the Church would take place – it would be the responsibility of the bishops to make the Church holy, to make the institution a sacred place. This is the consistent metaphor of the De Sacramentis: Episcopal consecration of the Church. In a general sense Bruno puts forth this metaphor by describing and interpreting the liturgy of a bishop consecrating a church. More specifically, Bruno makes this point within the individual analogies of his commentary. He admirably combines both a discussion of the greater significance of a bishop’s vestments with a discussion of the duties of a bishop as represented by sacramental elements to place his polemic solidly within the context of the Investiture controversy.

Throughout the De Sacramentis Bruno refers to the didactic responsibility of the bishop. Salt, as it is placed in a child’s mouth at baptism, represents the rudiments of faith contained in the baptismal creed Bruno put to the faithful.43 The bishop’s staff represents his authority and responsibility to preach to his flock.44 Water also represents the bishop preaching to his congregation.45

The second half of the text focusses on the vestments which the bishop would be wearing and Bruno uses this as an occasion to discuss the appropriate behavior of a bishop. So the bishop’s amictus represents his chastity as does his mitra.46 The orarium represents the yoke and burden of Christ (as in, “my yoke is easy and my burden is light,” Mt 9.28) which the bishop bears.47 The tunica represents the focus of the bishop’s mind and desires on heaven.48 The pallium, as we have seen, signifies the bishops willingness and responsibility to take on the burdens of the weak and sinful members of his flock.49 The manipulum represents the good works of the bishop, and the annulus marks the bishop as both the vicar of Christ and as representative of the bride of Christ, the Church.50 Finally, the bishop is anointed on his hands and this should remind the bishop of his responsibility to be merciful and generous to the poor.51

This last analogy comes in the final section of the work, De consecrationibus episcoporum. This concluding section stands as the mirror of the opening section, De consecratione ecclesiae. The very structure of the commentary unites the holiness of the church to the holiness of the episcopate. The genre of liturgical commentary strengthens Bruno’s claim that the proper behavior of the bishop (allegorized from his precise ritual behavior) causes the consecration of the Church. The episcopal ideal, the ideals of the Gregorian reform, are reflected in the very vestments the bishop wears. Every bishop must vest themselves in charity and mercy, must bear the burdens of preaching and defense of the poor.

This is not say that Bruno wasn’t concerned with the behavior or the morality of the broader Church, i.e, of the lower clergy or the laity. Far from being unconcerned, Bruno mentions the lower clergy by name once and most of the first part of the work easily applies to all Christians. Bruno’s concern for preaching, as discussed above, also points to his desire to have these ideas transferred to the laity. So, the altar of the church is the altar of the heart. Here the body and blood of Christ is remembered, it is in the heart that we receive God.52 As relics are placed into an altar, so we ought to bear the memory of the saints within our hearts.53 The oil which anoints the altar and ourselves at baptism and confirmation is a reminder of our duty to be merciful.54

Bruno has produced a highly original commentary in the De Sacramentis differing widely from its best-known predecessor, Duodecim Candelae. The latter remains firmly rooted in the tradition of allegorizing the liturgy in terms of the historical events of the scriptures. The De Sacramentis is more concerned with personal, especially episcopal, moral action. Bruno’s ideas would influence future commentators.55 In some ways Bruno’s work predicts the growing disenchantment with the older school of papal reformers, to which Bruno himself once belonged, and which would come to a crisis in the election of Innocent II (1130-1143). Then, the cardinals appointed by Paschal II and Gelasius II would find their candidate (Anacletus II) without support among the younger faces of reform.56 By choosing the genre of liturgical commentary as a mechanism to present his reform Bruno testifies both to the vitality of the liturgy within the communal life of the twelfth-century Church and the intense conversion of heart at the center of the Gregorian reforms.





Primary Sources


Amalarii episcopi, Opera Liturgica Omnia. Edited by John M. Hanssens, S.J. Vatican City: Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, 1950.


Bruno Signiensis, De Sacramentis Ecclesiae. In J.P. Migne, Patrologiae cursus completus. Series Latina vol. 165, 1089-1110.


——–. Epistolae Quatuor. In Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Libellus de lite imperatorum et pontificum saeculis XI et XII conscripti vol. 2, pp. 563-65. Hanover: Impensis Bibliopolii Hahniani, 1892.


Hugo of S. Victoriensis. De Sacramentis Christianae Fidei. In J.P. Migne, Patrologiae cursus completus. Series Latina vol. 176.


Quid Significent Duodecim Candelae. Edited by Cyrille Vogel in Le Pontifical Romano-Germanique du Dixime Sicle, vol. 1, pp. 90-121. Vatican City: Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, 1963.


Secondary Sources


Brown, Barton. Enigmata Figuram: A Study of the Third Book of the Rationale Divinorum Officiorum of William Durandus and its Allegorical Treatment of the Christian Liturgical Vestments. New York: Dissertation, New York U, 1983.


Cantarella, Glauco Maria. “Bruno di MonteCassino o il disagio del Primato Romano.” In L’eta dell’Abate Desiderio. Vol. 3.1: Storia, arte e cultura. Atti del IV Convegno di studi sul medioevo meridonale, Montecassino e Cassino 4-8 ottobre 1987. Miscellanea cassinese 67. Montecassino, 1992 [appeared 1995], pp. 483-491.


Christe, Yves. “De Bde  Bruno de Segni.” In Études de Civilisation Médiévale (IXe- XIIe sicles). Mélanges offerts Edmond-René Labande. Poitiers: C.É.S.C.M., [1974?]


Dormeier, Heinrich. Montecassino und die Laien im 11. und 12. Jahrhundert. Mit einem einleitenden Beitrag “Zur Geschichte Montecassinos im 11. und 12. Jahrhundert” von Hartmut Hoffmann. (Schriften der Monumenta Germaniae Historica, 27.) Stuttgart: Anton Hiersemann, 1979.


Evans, Gillian R. “St. Anselm and St. Bruno of Segni: The Common Ground.” Journal of Ecclesiastical History 29, (April, 1978), pp. 129-144.


Ferraro, Giuseppe. “Lo Spiritu Santo nei commentaria in Ioannem di S. Bruno Astense vescovo di Segni. Note di teologia ed esegesi.” In Parola e Spirito. Studi in onore di Settimo Cipriani, vol. 1, pp. 623-44. Edited by Cesare Casale Marcheselli. Brescia: Paideia Editrice, 1982.


Fransen, Gérard. “Réflexions sur l’étude des collections canoniques l’occasion de l’édition d’une lettre de Bruno De Segni.” Studi Gregoriani 9 (1972), pp. 515- 533.


Grégoire, Reginald. Bruno de Segni: Exégte Médiéval et Théologien Monastique. Spoleto: Centro di studi sull’alto medieoevo, 1965.


Hrbata, Joseph. “De expositione missae Walfradi Strabonis.” Ephemerides Liturgicae 63 (1949), pp. 146-147.


Robinson, I.S. The Papacy 1073-1198: Continuity and Innovation Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1990.


——–. Authority and Resistance in the Investiture Contest: The Polemical Literature of the Late Eleventh Century. New York: Manchester UP, 1978.


Vogel, Cyrille. Medieval Liturgy: an Introduction to the Sources. Translated by William G. Storey and Niels Krogh Rasmussen, O.P. Washington, D.C.: The Pastoral P, 1986.




  1. See N. F. Cantor, Church, Kingship and Lay Investiture in England, 1089-1135 (Princeton, 1958), pp. 6-9; G. Kallen, Der Investiturstreit als Kampf zwischen germanischem und romanischem Denken (Cologne, 1937); G. Tellenbach, Church, State, and Christian Society at the time of the Investiture Contest (Oxford, 1940); W. Ullman, The Growth of Papal Government in the Middle Ages (London, 1970), pp. 262-412; Uta-Renate Blumenthal, The Investiture Controversy: Church and Monarchy from the Ninth to the Twelfth Century (Philadelphia, 1988); R. I. Moore, The Formation of a Persecuting Society: Power and Deviance in Western Europe 950-1250 (Oxford, 1987), respecitvely.


  1. An excellent study of these events, if not the standard, is I.S. Robinson, The Papacy 1073-1198: Continuity and Innovation (Cambridge, 1990).


  1. Bruno Signiensis, De Sacramentis Ecclesiae. In J.P. Migne, Patrologiae cursus completus. Series Latina (= PL) 165, 1089-1110. The De Sacramentis opens with a description of the consecration of a new church (1091) and an extensive analysis and commentary on the elements of that consecration (1092-1099). Following this is an analyisis and commentary on various sacramental elements and the liturgical vestments of a bishop (1099-1110).


  1. Reginald Grégoire, Bruno de Segni: Exégte Médiéval et Théologien Monastique (Spoleto, 1965), pp. 16-19.


  1. Grégoire, pp. 24-27.


  1. Grégoire, p. 30.


  1. Grégoire, p. 40, see n. 112.


  1. Grégoire, p. 44, see also pp. 121-122 for a discussion of the letter Cuncti procul dubio preserved only in Peter the Deacon’s Chronicon Casinense.


  1. These negotiations were complex and what follows is necessarily a simplification.


  1. See Robinson, pp. 424-429. Robinson is dependent upon U.-R. Blumenthal’s reading of Paschal’s position at Sutri: Blumenthal, “Patrimonia and Regalia in 1111,” in Law, Church and Society. Essays in Honor of Stephan Kuttner ed. K. Pennington and R. Sommerville (Pennsylvania, 1977), pp. 12-16.


  1. Grégoire, p. 52; Robinson (1990), p. 429.


  1. Primum autem hoc sciatis, quia dominus papa neque me diligit neque consilium meum. Voluntas autem bona mutari non debet. Et ego quidem quod dixi hoc dico et in Gregorii et Urbani sententia firmissime maneo, et spero de omnipotentis Dei misericordia, quia in hac voluntate usque in finem permanebo. (Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Libellus de lite imperatorum et pontificum saeculis XI et XII conscripti vol. 2, p. 565, ep. 3 See Grégoire, p. 53.)


  1. Ego enim sic te diligo, sicut patrem et dominum diligere debeo et nullum alium te vivente pontificem habere volo, sicut ego cum multis aliis tibi promisi …. Debeo igitur diligere te, sed plus debeo illum diligere qui te fecit et me. (MGH, Libellus v. 2, p.564, ep. 2.)


  1. MGH, Libellus v. 2, p.564-65.


  1. Grégoire, pp. 54-55. For a detailed discussion of the relationship between Paschal II and Bruno see Glauco Maria Cantarella, “Bruno di MonteCassino o il disagio del Primato Romano,” in L’eta dell’Abate Desiderio (Montecassino, 1992), pp. 483- 491.


  1. Bruno’s brothers at Monte Cassino appear to have been ambivalent at best about him while he was abbot (see Grégoire, pp. 55-56). Bruno’s zeal and regular business away from the monastery must have made him a difficult abbot to appreciate. While his brothers did not deliberately leave his name off of their necrology they did write in another name over his in the following century which suggests a certain lukewarmness of feeling: see Heinrich Dormeier, Montecassino und die Laien im 11. und 12. Jahrhundert (Stuttgart, 1979), pp 112-113.


  1. I.S. Robinson, Authority and Resistance in the Investiture Contest: The Polemical Literature of the Late Eleventh Century (NY, 1978), pp. 163-69.


  1. Cyrille Vogel, Medieval Liturgy: an Introduction to the Sources (Washington, D.C., 1986), pp. 237-39. The Romano-Germanic Pontifical is primarily a collection liturgies, but is also filled with commentaries on those liturgies as well as didactic texts. It may have functioned as a handbook of right practice.


  1. Cyrille Vogel and Reinhard Elze, Le Pontifical Romano- Germanique du Dixime Sicle (Vatican City, 1963), vol. 3, p. 32 and pp. 50-51; see also pp. 1-6 for a brief summary of its origins and pp. 44-51 for its wide use.


  1. Vogel and Elze, Le Pontifical Romano-Germanique du Dixime Sicle (1963), Quid Significent Duodecim Candelae (= QSDC) vol. 1, pp. 90-121.


  1. Amalarii episcopi, Opera Liturgica Omnia edited by John M. Hanssens, S.J. (Vatican City, 1950), vol. 3, pp. 98-99. Bruno uses the term pontifex a scant nine times in a document some 7200 words long.


  1. Hugh of St. Victor, De Sacramentis Christianae Fidei Bk. 2, pt. 5, PL 176.


  1. Quid enim superhumerale, quo humeri episcopi ornantur et onerntur, nisi episcopalis dignitatis onus significat? Magnum onus est dignitas episcopalis: isti humeri totius Ecclesiae onera ferre, et oves languidas et populi peccata ferre debent. (PL 165, 1106A.)


  1. PL 165, 1106AB. Illi episcopi superhumerale non habent, qui aliorum onera ferre recusant: quales erant illi de quibus Dominus ait: “Alligant onera gravia, et importabilia, et imponunt in humeris hominum, digito autem suo nolunt ea movere (Matth. XXIII, 4) .” [1106B] Summus autem Pontifex ille noster tali superhumerali ornatus erat, qui relictis ovibus nonaginta novem, unam, quae perierat, quaerere venit, quam inventam propriis humeris imposuit et ad pascua reduxit.


  1. PL 165, 1108B.


  1. QSDC, p. 93.


  1. Tu es Petrus et super hanc petram edificabo ecclesiam meam et portae inferi non praevalebunt adversus eam et quodcumque ligaveris super terram erit ligatum et in caelo et quodcumque solveris super terram erit solutum et in caelo. (QSDC, pp. 93-94.)


  1. PL 165, 1094.


  1. QSDC, p. 114.


  1. PL 165, 1092B.


  1. PL 165, 1100BC.


  1. PL 165, 1093.


  1. QSDC, p. 104. For the hyssop’s habitat they are probably directly or indirectly dependent on Issidore of Seville. See Joseph Hrbata, “De expositione missae Walfradi Strabonis,” Ephemerides Liturgicae 63 (1949), pp. 146-147.


  1. Hyssopus naturaliter in petra nascitur: “Petra autem”, ait Apostulus, “erat Christus” (1 Cor. 10.4) Bona herba hyssopus, quae nascitur, et renascitur, et radicatur in Christo. Per hanc enim etsi tota fidelium multitudo intelligi possit, praecipue tamen illi per hyssopum figurantur, qui in Christi fide radicati et fundati, ab ejus amore divelli et seperari non possunt. Per quod quid melius, quam episcopos et presbyteros intelligere possumus, qui quanto majorem in Ecclesia obtinent dignitatem, tanto firmius Christi fidei inhaerere debent? (PL 165 1093-1094.)


  1. PL 165, 1091.


  1. Cum Romae quondam in Insula in domo episcopi Portuensis simul essemus; cumque in libro Exodi de tabernaculo testimonii, et de vestibus Aaron, typica quaedam, et magni mysterii significativa legeremus, coepisti mirari tu, coepi mirari et ego, quod aliqua illis similia adhuc in ecclesia fieri videamus, cum jam vetera transierint, et facta sint omnia nova. (PL 165, 1089-90.)


  1. MGH, Libellus vol. 2, p. 565.


  1. Gérard Fransen, “Réflexions sur l’étude des collections canoniques l’occasion de l’édition d’une lettre de Bruno De Segni,” Studi Gregoriani 9 (1972), pp. 515-533.


  1. Robinson (1990), p. 424.


  1. Qui autem cognoscere volunt quid catholica et apostolica ecclesia de investitura senserit, quid docuerit, quid iudicaverit et constituerit, legat in primo capitulo illius concilii quod temporibus Gregorii septimi pape factum est …. Similiter autem et in concilio Pascalis secundi pape omnes illi clerici dampnantur et a communione fidelium seperantur quicumque de manu laici suscipiunt …. Bene ergo concordat inter se prima et ultima ecclesia, idest illa que fuit in tempore apostolorum et ista que nunc est in tempore nostro…. (Fransen, p. 530.)


  1. Fransen, pp. 531-532.


  1. Cum autem anulus et virga ab illis dantur a quibus dari debent, et quando et ubi et quomodo debent, sacramenta ecclesie sunt, sicut aqua et sal, oleum et crisma, et alia omnia sine quibus hominum et ecclesiarum consecrationes fieri non possunt. (Fransen, p. 532.)


  1. PL, 1093AB.


  1. PL, 1094BC.


  1. PL 165, 1098BC.


  1. PL 165, 1103CD and 1107AB.


  1. PL 165, 1104BC.


  1. PL 165, 1104D-1105A.


  1. PL 165, 1105D-1106B.


  1. PL 165, 1107C-1108AB.


  1. PL 165, 1110A. In contrast to the well-greased palms of the papal curia? Probably not.


  1. PL 165, 1098AB.


  1. PL 165, 1100BC.


  1. PL 165, 1098D-1099A and 1101C.


  1. For the originality and influence of Bruno see the comments of Barton Brown, Enigmata Figuram: A Study of the Third Book of the Rationale Divinorum Officiorum of William Durandus and its Allegorical Treatment of the Christian Liturgical Vestments (New York, 1983), pp. 160-161, and Grégoire, p. 104.


  1. Robinson (1990), pp. 67-73.


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