Online Medieval Sources Bibliography

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

Source Details

Kottje, Raymund, ed., Die Bussb├╝cher Halitgars von Cambrai und des Hrabanus Maurus (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter)

Text name(s): De paenitentia; Penitentiale ad Heribaldum

Number of pages of primary source text: 26


Dates: 817 - 842

Archival Reference: 

Original Language(s): 

  • Latin


  • Original language included.

Translation Comments: 

Geopolitical Region(s): 

  • Holy Roman Empire
  • Germany
  • France
  • Belgium
  • Netherlands
  • Italy


Record Types: 

  • Theology - Practical/Instructional
  • Treatise - Instruction/Advice
  • Law - Canon Law

Subject Headings: 

  • Carolingians
  • Church Fathers
  • Clergy - Priests, Bishops, Canons
  • Conversion
  • Law - Canon
  • Law - Crime
  • Piety - Confession, Penance
  • Reform
  • Theology - Moral / Ethics
  • Women / Gender


  • Index
  • Appendix
  • Introduction


This volume is mainly analytical (in German) but has portions of Halitgar and Hrabanus Maurus’s penitentials edited (Latin) in the appendix. Penitentials were handbooks for priests which explain the process of confession and penance and offer appropriate penances for certain sins. The penitentials of Halitgar and Hrabanus Maurus were the most influential penitentials created in the ninth century and largely formed the basis of Regino of Prum’s tenth-century penitential. These two penitentials came out of an effort on the part of Carolingian bishops to standardize the varied and often contradictory confessional theory and practice of the eighth and ninth centuries. The portions in this volume contain most of Book IV of Halitgar’s and the preface to Hrabanus Maurus’s (a letter to Heribald, bishop of Auxerre) penitentials. The selections contain judgments from church councils regarding confessional procedure and appropriate penances for crimes involving sexual deviancy, perjury, stealing and consulting augurs.

Introduction Summary: 

As the volume is largely analytical, the introduction to the sources is extensive (254 pages), covering the penitential tradition, the conciliar and biblical references and analyzing the manuscripts and text.

Cataloger: JMB