De Chrenecruda

Si quis hominem occiderit et totam facultatem data habuerit unde tota lege conpleat XII juratores donare debet quod nec super terram nec subtus terram plus facultatem non habeat quam jam donavit. Et postea debet in casa sua introire et de quattuor angulos terrae in pugno collegere et sic postea in duropullo hoc est in limitare stare debet intus in casa respiciens et sic de sinistra manum de illa terra trans scapulas suas jactare super illum quem proximiorem parentem habet. Quod si jam pater et fratres solserunt tunc super suos debet illa terra jactare; id est super tres de generatione matris et super tres de generatione patris qui proximiores sunt. Et sic postea in camisia discinctus discalcius palo in manu sepe sallire debet ut pro medietate quantum conpositione diger est aut quantum lex addicat illi tres solvant hoc est illi alii qui de paterna generatione veniunt facere debent. Si vero de illis quicumque proximior fuerit ut non habeat unde integrum debitum solvat quicumque de illis plus habet iterum super illum chrenecruda ille qui pauperior est jactet ut ille tota lege solvat. Quam si vero nec ipse habuerit unde tota persolvat tunc illum qui homicidium fecit qui eum sub fidem habuit in mallo praesentare debent et sic postea eum per quattuor mallos ad suam fidem tollant. Et si eum in conpositione nullus ad fidem tullerunt hoc est ut redimant de quo non persolvit tunc de sua vita conponat.

J. Fr. Behrend, 2nd ed. revised by Richard Behrend, Lex Salica, Weimar: Hermann Böhlaus Nachfolger, 1897, cap. LVIII., pp. 121-123.

Cry Mea Culpa, and Lowly Kneel


Archbishop Turpin of Reims in the Codex Palatinus Germanicus 112.
Archbishop Turpin of Reims in the Codex Palatinus Germanicus 112.

Archbishop Turpin, above the rest,
Spurred his steed to a jutting crest.
His sermon thus to the Franks he spake:—
“Lords, we are here for our monarch’s sake;
Hold we for him, though our death should come;
Fight for the succour of Christendom.
The battle approaches — ye know it well,
For ye see the ranks of the infidel.
Cry mea culpa, and lowly kneel;
I will assoil you, you should to heal.
In death ye are holy martyrs crowned.”
The Franks alighted, and knelt on ground;
In God’s high name the host he blessed,
And for penance gave them — to smite their best.

— La Chanson de Roland (The Song of Roland), XCII,
translated into English verse by John O’Hagan.

With Garrulous Loquacity

Irish Chapel of St. Columbanus in the Vatican Grottoes.

Below is the chapter appertaining to monastic silence from the Regula Monachorum of Columbanus Hibernus.

Saint Columbanus (540 – 23 November 615; Irish: Columbán, meaning “the white dove”) was an Irish missionary notable for founding a number of monasteries on the European continent from circa 590 in the Frankish and Lombard kingdoms, most notably Luxeuil (in present-day France) and Bobbio (Italy), and stands as an exemplar of Irish missionary activity in early mediæval Europe.

He spread among the Franks a Celtic monastic rule and Celtic penitential practices for those repenting of sins, which emphasized private confession to a priest, followed by penances levied by the priest in reparation for the sin. He is also one of the earliest identifiable Hiberno-Latin writers.

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Of Silence (IV)

The rule of silence is decreed to be carefully observed, since it is written: But the nurture of righteousness is silence and peace.’’

Isa. 32.17

And thus, lest one be apprehended as guilty of much talking, it is needful that he keep silence, except for things profitable and necessary, since according to Scripture, in many words sin will not be lacking.’’

Prov. 10.19

Therefore the Saviour says: By thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.’’

Matt. 12.37

Justly will they be damned who would not say just things when they could, but preferred to say with garrulous loquacity what is evil, unjust, irreverent, empty, harmful, dubious, false, provocative, disparaging, base, fanciful, blasphemous, rude, and tortuous. Therefore we must keep silence on these and kindred matters, and speak with care and prudence, lest either disparagements or swollen oppositions should break out in vicious garrulity.