Consuetudines Lundenses

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by Anna Minara Ciardi

The anonymous Consuetudines Lundenses (Customary of Lund) were written before 1123, most probably in Lund. The manuscript is preserved in its entirety in the capitulary, liber capitularis, of Lund, sometimes termed the Necrologium Lundense, one of the oldest codices of medieval Scandinavia (Lund, University Library, MS 6, fols. 92r–123v.). The immediate source of the Consuetudines Lundenses, which were used by the regular canons of Lund as customary or supplementary regulations to the Rule of Aachen, were the Consuetudines Marbacenses from Marbach, Alsace.



In accordance with the rubric, Incipiunt consuetudines canonice. In primis qualiter quisque ueniat ad canonicam I. capitulum., the text has also been recognized as Consuetudines canonic(a)e, albeit the term “consuetudines” is rather a classification of genre, i.e. customary or supplementary regulations (JØRGENSEN 1908, p. 137 & BUUS 1978, pp. 34–36).


Nouiter quis ueniens ad canonicam professionem, non facile recipiatur a fratribus, nisi persona adeo nota fuerit, ut utilitatem ęcclesię conferre uideatur


[…] ut tuis mandatis obedientes et pro inuicem orantes te gubernante corde saluari mereamur et corpore et ad ęternam beatitudinem peruenire ualeamus. Qui cum patre et spiritu sancto.


64 pages.


  • HAMMAR, A.N. 1868–1869: “Consuetudines Canonicae, Lunds domkapitels äldsta statuter. Ur Necrologium Lundense utgifvna af Arnold Hammar”, in Bidrag till Samlingar till Skånes historia, fornkunskap och beskrifning (Tidskrift utgifven af Föreningen för Skånes fornminnen och historia genom Martin Weibull 1, Lund, 1–28 (includes a brief introduction and minor codicological and linguistic remarks on the text).
  • • WEIBULL, L. 1923: Necrologium Lundense: Lunds domkyrkas nekrologium (Monumenta Scaniæ Historica), Lund, 14–45 (contains a comprehensive introduction (V–CII), a thorough palaeographical and codicological analysis, occasional commentaries on the layout of the manuscript, and references to the source).
  • • KROMAN, E. 1960: Necrologium Lundense: codex mediaevalis VItus Bibliothecae Universitatis Lundensis, eds. I. Brøndum-Nielsen & E. Kroman (CCD 1), Copenhagen, 185–248 (a facsimile edition, including an introduction (pp. XI–XXVI) with a discussion on the dating of the manuscript and some palaeographical remarks; mainly consistent with WEIBULL 1923).
  • • BUUS, E. 1978: Consuetudines Lundenses. Statutter for kannikesamfundet i Lund c. 1123, Copenhagen, 109–178 (a critical edition with a summary in German with a comprehensive introduction (pp. 11–106) to the manuscript and its contents, sources and the transmission of the text; a concordance of chapters is included).

Electronic resources

The manuscript has been digitally photographed and is available at the St. Laurentius digital manuscript library Lund University Library, see [1]


(Swedish) CIARDI, A.M. 2003: Lundakanikernas levnadsregler. Aachenregeln och Consuetudines canonicae. Översättning från latinet med inledning och noter (Meddelanden från kyrkohistoriska arkivet i Lund, n.s. 5), Lund, 59–86 (transl. from BUUS 1978; includes an introduction to the text and its use, commentaries on the translation, biblical references, and explanations of the terminology).

Date and place

The dating and the provenance of the Consuetudines Lundenses have been the object of a long-lasting scholarly debate (for an overview, see ANDERSEN 2001 & CIARDI 2004b). In accordance with the codicological and palaeographical observations undertaken by Weibull several scholars have argued that the text was in use already in 1123 (WEIBULL 1923, LXXV; cf. KROMAN 1960; BUUS 1978; EKSTRÖM 1985; CIARDI 2003, 2004a–b). However, owing to the dating of the source, Consuetudines Marbacenses, which were thought to have been composed 1121–1123, this earlier dating of the Consuetudines Lundenses was called into question and a later dating, i.e. 1130 at the earliest, considered to be more plausible. (ANDERSEN 2001, 33–36; cf. BUUS 1987). Although in agreement with Weibull on the dating of the preserved text, SIEGWART argued for an even later reception and use of the Consuetudines Lundenses at Lund, ca. 1140–1145. To some extent in accordance with SCHMID, he contested the cathedral chapter of Lund as its original recipient, and suggested that the text had been used first by the Augustinian canons at Dalby, 10 km east of Lund, with whom the canons of Lund were in confraternity (SCHMID 1944, 53–59, 64–65; SIEGWART 1960, 89). However, the evidence for such a scenario is scant; and moreover, a decisive recent re-dating of the Consuetudines Marbacenses to ca. 1098 removes the only real obstacle to Weibull’s earlier dating (cf. DEUTZ 1993, 11–12; cf. DEUTZ 1990, 32 n. 128, 35 n. 141).

The most plausible view is that the preserved Consuetudines Lundenses were in use at the cathedral of Lund from 30 June 1123 at the latest, the day of consecration of the crypt church. The contents of the text in addition to its organisation indicate that the manuscript was written in Lund and from the very beginning designed to serve the local community of canons regular (CIARDI 2004b, esp. 16–18; cf. Summary of contents). Until recently is has been assumed that regular life, i.e. the Rule of Aachen and the Consuetudines Lundenses, was abandoned at about 1140, perhaps in connection with the consecration of the high altar in 1145, at which time the capitulary is thought to have been replaced by the so called Liber Daticus vetustior (Lund, University Library, MS 7) (WEIBULL 1923). A closer look into the origin, character, and content of the Liber Daticus, however along with the fact that entries were added to the obituary of the older capitulary for another three decades, shows that these codices had different purposes and functions (BREENGAARD 1982; EKSTRÖM 1985; GELTING 2004; cf. WEIBULL 1923). Part of the older capitulary, including the rule and the customary, may well have been employed daily by the chapter of Lund until the 1170s.

Although fairly plausible suggestions have been made, there is no evidence of how the source was brought to Lund in the first place (ANDERSEN 2001; SIEGWART 1960).

Summary of contents

The text is divided into 35 chapters of various lengths, and offers a detailed instruction about how the daily life in the cathedral community should be undertaken. The content may be categorised thematically as follows: Ch. 1–2: On the receiving of a new brother: eligibility, fidelity, and obedience is emphasised; ch. 3–14: On the daily life in the community: instructions about the capitulum (i.e. the daily assembly); on the divine office and the celebrating of mass, on discipline, and liturgical vessels and vestments; ch. 15: On the blessing of a travelling brother; ch. 16–23, 27: On the offices of the community: directions and instructions of the officials; on the elections (bishop, provost, and dean); ch. 24–26: On the mandatum liturgy (i.e. the washing of feet); ch. 28–35: On the death of a brother and on confraternity (CIARDI 2004a, 114–118; cf. BUUS 1978, 46–48). The Consuetudines Lundenses differ from the source in various ways: private property is allowed, and consequently, more stress is laid upon the difference between canons and monks; the basic Rule referred to in Lund is the Rule of Aachen, not the Rule of St Augustine as in Marbach; the chapter on the election of a provost at Marbach is used as instructions for episcopal elections in Lund, whereas the origin of the corresponding chapter on the provost in the Consuetudines Lundenses is unidentified to this day and may be a domestic product of the chapter in Lund; furthermore, the admission of new members to the community is characterized in Lund by a more ritual or liturgical procedure; and, finally, the Consuetudines Lundenses are more thematically arranged (BUUS 1978, 36–45).

Composition and style

The Consuetudines Lundenses were written by one single hand (hand f in WEIBULL 1923). According to the palaeographical analysis this scribe was active for a very long time, from ca. 1120 to after 1145, and has left his marks in most of the manuscripts of local origin in the capitulary (WEIBULL 1923, XCVII–XCVIII; KROMAN 1960, XIX–XXVI). The scribe/editor of the Consuetudines Lundenses – most likely one of the canons, e.g. the cantor – has undertaken a most conscious adaptation of the source to the immediate ecclesiastical situation. The most striking examples are the instructions for the election and designation of the provost (106r–110r), for which there is no identified source, and the chapter on the (canonical) episcopal election (fols. 105r–106r).


The source of Consuetudines Lundenses was identified in 1908 by JØRGENSEN as the Consuetudines Marbacenses of the reformed congregation of Augustine canons in Marbach, in Alsace (JØRGENSEN 1908). Recently the oldest and major parts of the source have been dated to ca. 1098. The discovery of the Rule of St. Augustine in the mid-eleventh century, and the revival of a more monastic type of clerical community, had led to the development of customaries for such communities. These customaries usually incorporated a great deal of material from the customs of the Benedictine congregation of Cluny, as was the case with the Consuetudines Lundenses (SIEGWART 1960; DEUTZ 1990, 1993; cf. Summary of contents). The relation between the Cluniac regulations and the Consuetudines Lundenses has been thoroughly investigated, and it has been sufficiently proved that a Cluniac influence upon the Consuetudines Lundenses in all probability derived from the Consuetudines Marbacenses only (BUUS 1978), and not from a local Benedictine tradition such as the monastery of All Saints in Lund, as has been suggested (SCHMID 1944). The Consuetudines Lundenses is the oldest and most independently compiled version of Consuetudines Marbacenses, otherwise known solely from manuscripts later than the Consuetudines Lundenses (BUUS 1978, 24–27; cf. SIEGWART 1960).

Purpose and audience

The instructions given in the Consuetudines Lundenses correspond well to the major duties of a medieval clerical community such as a cathedral chapter, e.g. the liturgy of the cathedral, duties within the ecclesiastical jurisdiction, and duties within pastoral care; simultaneously the text bears witness to the conditions and needs of the local community at Lund. The Consuetudines Lundenses were used as additional regulations to the popular and much more generally-phrased Rule of Aachen of 816. Accordingly the Consuetudines Lundenses ought to be interpreted in the light of the older Rule, which is referred to already in the second chapter (fols. 92v–93r): Quia igitur ad canonicam dignus quisque ueniat ostendimus, nunc is, qui ad illam digne peruenerit, in ea qualiter uiuere deberet demonstrandum esset, sed quia satis inde dictum est, sicut in superioribus huius libelli capitulis continetur, nunc aliquid dicere supersedi […].

Except for the liturgical services in the cathedral the core of the life of the community was the daily assembly, or chapter, which all the members were obliged to attend. Reading aloud from the Rule and the Consuetudines Lundenses was one of the functions performed in the chapter, and, in addition, the allocation of the duties of the day and matters of discipline were discussed, and the commemoration of the dead was proclaimed (fols. 95v–96v):

Fratribus in capitolio conuenientibus lector aliquid de regula uel sermonibus de communi uita scriptis incepturus ‘Iube domine’ dicat et hanc benedictionem accipiat ‘Regularibus disciplinis instruat nos omnipotens et misericors dominus. Amen.’ Finita uero lectione de regula statim sub una continuatione uocis kalendarium cum luna et natalitiis sanctorum pronuntiet. Tunc hęc oratio a sacerdote [h]ebdomadario subinferatur ‘Preciosa est’ […]. Mox breuiarius uel idem lector indicet in tabula, qui fratres in sequenti matutina uel legere uel cantare debeant. Postea anniuersarios mortuorum recitet, si qui die illa fuerint. Pro quibus totus conuentus studiose decantet hunc psalmum ‘De profundis’ […] His finitis de diuinis officiis si opus est tractarent. Deinde qui aliquid dicere habuerint, aut de se aut de aliis, loquentur.

Although some kind of clerical community may have been affiliated to the oldest episcopal church of Lund, i.e. already from the 1060s onward, the oldest written source indicates that a first officially-approved cathedral community was established during the episcopate of Bishop Rikval (d. 1089). Thanks to a great endowment by the Danish King St. Knud IV in 1085, its existence was secured. Benefices, or prebends, were soon established, and the rule adopted was the Rule of Aachen. In the following decades a constant extension of the chapter took place, and additional benefices were attached to it and its officials, and in the 1120s the more “up-to-date” instructions, Consuetudines Lundenses, were added as a customary of the older Rule. (see further WEIBULL 1946; CIARDI 2003, 2004a; PILTZ 2003). Medieval reception, textual transmission There is no evidence of a later transmission of the Consuetudines Lundenses.


  • ANDERSEN, M.G. 2001: “The Consuetudines canonicae of Lund,” Scandia 67, 31–39.
  • • BUUS, E. (ed.) 1978: Consuetudines Lundenses. Statutter for kannikesamfundet i Lund c. 1123, Copenhagen.

BUUS, E. & B.A. MØLLER 1987: Herre – vasker du mine fodder? Mandatumliturgien i Marbach og Lund. Studier i håndskriftet Necrologium Lundense (o. 1130); with a summary in English, Copenhagen.

  • • CIARDI, A.M. 2003: Lundakanikernas levnadsregler. Aachenregeln och Consuetudines canonicae. Översättning från latinet med inledning och noter (Meddelanden från kyrkohistoriska arkivet i Lund, n.s. 5), Lund.
  • CIARDI, A.M. 2004a: “Consuetudines Lundenses – lundakanikernas levnadsregel vid 1100-talets början”, in Lund – medeltida kyrkometropol, (eds.) P.-O. Ahrén & A. Jarlert (Bibliotheca Historico-Ecclesiastica Lundensis 47), Lund, 105–22.
  • • CIARDI, A.M. 2004b: “När togs lundakanikernas Consuetudines egentligen i bruk? –Reflektioner kring texttradering och traditionsförmedling i 1120-talets Lund,” Kyrkohistorisk årsskrift 104, 11–21.
  • DEUTZ, H. 1993, “Einleitung,” in Consuetudines canonicorum regularium Rodenses. Die Lebensordnung des Regularkanonikerstiftes Klosterrath, ed. N. Brox et al. (Fontes Christiani 11, 1), Freiburg, 7–109.
  • DEUTZ, H. 1990: Geistliches und geistiges Leben im Regularkanonikerstift Klosterrath im 12. und 13. Jahrhundert (Bonner historische Forschungen 54), Siegburg.
  • EKSTRÖM, P. 1995: “Skriptoriet i Laurentiusklostret,” in Bokkulturen i Lund (Kulturens Årsbok 1995), Lund, 45–58.
  • JØRGENSEN, E. 1908: Fremmed Indflydelse under den Danske Kirkes tidligeste Udvikling (Det Kgl. Danske Videnskabernes Selskabs Skrifter. Historisk of Filosofisk afdelning, ser. 7, I, 2), Copenhagen.
  • • KROMAN, E. (ed.) 1960: Necrologium Lundense: codex mediaevalis VItus Bibliothecae Universitatis Lundensis, ed. I. Brøndum-Nielsen & E. Kroman (CCD 1), Hafniæ.
  • PILTZ, A. 2003: “En dag i katedralen,” in Lund – medeltida kyrkometropol, ed. P.-O. Ahrén & A. Jarlert (Bibliotheca Historico-Ecclesiastica Lundensis 47), Lund, 123–44.
  • SCHMID, T. 1944: “Beiträge zur mittelalterlichen Kultleben,” Ephemerides Liturgicæ 58, 50–87.
  • SIEGWART, J. 1960: “Einleitung,” in Die Consuetudines des Augustiner-Chorherrenstiftes Marbach im Elsass (12. Jahrhundert) (Spicilegium Friburgense 10), Freiburg, 3–98.
  • • WEIBULL, L. (ed.) 1923: Necrologium Lundense: Lunds domkyrkas nekrologium (Monumenta Scaniæ Historica), Lund.
  • WEIBULL, L. 1946: Skånes kyrka: från älsta tid till Jakob Erlandsens död 1274, Copenhagen.