Authors Lidia Buono, Eugenia Russo
Theme(s) Homiliaries
Period(s) Sec. IX-XIII
Status Final version












Homiliaries - Composition and Structure

Homiliaries are collections of texts derived from the writings of the Church Fathers or later authors. They are florilegia, arranged according to the liturgical calendar. Sometimes they are the only evidence for the transmission of a work or testify the succesful dissimination of the works of different authors. Homiliaries follow different liturgical practices and contain a diverse selection of text.: These collections provide valuable evidence for the study of medieval European history and culture.

Homilary - Structure

Liturgical Form


Author and title


                       St. Gall, Stiftsbibliothek, Cod. Sang. 431

Sankt Gallen Stiftsbibl. 431 p. 31


Image Source: St. Gallen, Stiftsbibliothek, Cod. Sang. 431, p. 31 – Homiliary (winter part) [Terms of UseCC-BY-NC]


Final doxology

                      St. Gall, Stiftsbibliothek, Cod. Sang. 430

Sankt Gallen Stiftsbibl. 430 p. 327

Image Source: St. Gallen, Stiftsbibliothek, Cod. Sang. 430, p. 327 – Homiliary (winter part) [Terms of UseCC-BY-NC]

The study of homiliaries

In the field of medieval homiletics, while there are many studies which have recorded surviving sources, there are few in-depth scholarly examinations of each homiletic traditions. Homiliaries were used in the liturgy and reflect the time in which they were used. A homiliary's form is influenced by both local liturgical practices and the compilor's choses. The names of the compilors include both anonymous and known authors, such as Paul Deacon. The first major research issue is to find and record all unpublished sources, and then to compare them with known sources. The scholarly works of Réginald Grégoire on the oldest medieval homiliaries and Raymond Étaix on Latin patristic homiliaries are still fundamental to the discipline.


The Repertorio degli Omeliari del Medioevo (R.O.M.E.) is a research project, undertaken by SISMEL and the Laboratorio per lo studio del Libro Antico, part of the Università degli Studi di Cassino e del Lazio Meridionale (UNICLaM). It focuses on manuscripts which hand down homiletic collections written or copied between the 9th and 12th centuries. Its aim is to analyze the different kind of collections and identify their sources.

ROME Aims of research

ROME's purpose is to create a corpus of texts, provide detailed descriptions (homiletic collections are mostly anonymous) and to identify the patristic writings used in the texts. This data will be made available to scholars to encourage research on these manuscripts and on the writings of the Church Fathers. Members of the ROME project are also analyzing published data and researching homiletic texts.

The website is designed as a work in progress. It provides a list of the data currently available and it is constantly updated with new entries. In the future, the database will include both liturgical homiliaries for the celebration of the nocturnal hours along with other kinds of homiletic collections, such as collections on preaching and spirituality. It will also include another kind of homiletic collection, the so-called «omeliario italiano». This type was studied by Henri Barré, who stressed the Carolingian features, and Michael Martin.

Contents of ROME 

Oldest medieval homiliaries: Alanus Farfensis - Paul Deacon

ROME contains descriptions of early manuscripts of the homiliaries of

  • Alanus Farfensis

Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek Clm 4564 -  description 

and Clm 4547 - description

  • Paul Deacon

Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek Clm 4533 - description

Clm 4534 - description

Other descriptions of homiliaries in ROME

ms. 5

ms. 6

ms. 8

ms. 10

ms. 11

ms. 12

ms. 13

ms. 18

ms. 194 - description

 ms. 98

 ms. 99

 ms. 104

 ms. 106

 ms. 107

 ms. 108

 ms. 109

 ms. 112

 ms. 113

 ms. 114

 ms. 116

 ms. s.n. 

ROME - Future aims

Soon there will be descriptions of homiliaries from the following libraries:


Henri Barré, Les Homéliaires carolingiens de l'Ecole d'Auxerre. Authenticité – Inventaire . Tableaux comparatifs – Initia. Vatican: Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, 1962.

Michael Martin, "The Italian Homiliary: An example pro omnibus bonis operibus produced according to the ‘new' Carolingian homiletic genre and reform measures". Sacris erudiri 49 (2010): 261-338.