Online Medieval Sources Bibliography

An Annotated Bibliography of Printed and Online Primary Sources for the Middle Ages

Source Details

Lawson, Christopher M., ed., Sancti Isidori Episcopi Hispalensis De Ecclesiasticis Officiis (Turnhout: Brepols (Corpus Christianorum Series Latina CXIII))

Text name(s): De Ecclesiasticis Officiis; On Ecclesiastical Offices

Number of pages of primary source text: 108


Dates: 597 - 615

Archival Reference: 

Original Language(s): 

  • Latin


  • Original language included.

Translation Comments: 

Geopolitical Region(s): 

  • Europe


Record Types: 

  • Treatise - Other
  • Liturgy

Subject Headings: 

  • Religion - Institutional Church
  • Historiography
  • Church Fathers
  • Clergy - Priests, Bishops, Canons
  • Theology - Ecclesiology
  • Theology - Sacramental


  • Index
  • Bibliography
  • Introduction


Isidore, Archbishop of Seville and Doctor of the Church, was one of the most significant figures of Visigothic Spain, exerting a tremendous influence in his own time (through his vigorous participation in the various synods of the early seventh century) as well as on education throughout the Middle Ages (through his extensive writings). His vast learning and debt to the Latin classics has led him to be considered “the last scholar of the ancient world.” Composed at the request of his brother, Bishop Fulgentius, the De Ecclesiasticis Officiis of Isidore details the historical and scriptural origins of the various church offices (not only the Eucharist and the Liturgy of the Hours, but also feast days and holy practices, in addition to personal functions and duties contributing to the proper operation of the church) as they were found in the local church of Visigothic Spain at the beginning of the seventh century. This manual, intended for clerics and bishops, not only draws heavily from the Bible and patristic sources, but also incorporates Isidore’s own judgment and thought. Indices of references to Sacred Scripture and to other authors is included. This is the authoritative critical edition of the De Ecclesiasticis Officiis.

Introduction Summary: 

The introduction (in English; 160 pp.) dwells mostly upon the manuscript history of the De Ecclesiasticis Officiis, though a cursory section on the life of Isidore and the composition of the present text is included. Further sections on the history of printed editions of the De Ecclesiasticis Officiis and on the evidence for the original title of the work can be found in this volume as well.

Cataloger: WLL