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The medieval Latin word for "epitome," indicating a manual that offers a synopsis or an explanation of some subject. The micrologus became a popular literary form in the Middle Ages, the Micrologus de ecclesiasticis observationibus (Patrologia Latina, 151:9731072), by reason of its erudition, moderation, and influence (especially in German lands) probably being the most important single medieval commentary on the liturgy. This work, originally perhaps three separate treatises, contains 62 chapters: 1 to 23 treat of the celebration of Mass; 24 to 28 of the ember days; 29 to 62 of the ecclesiastical year in general. Its purpose was to restore Roman liturgical observances throughout Europe. These observances are constantly commended, and appeal is repeatedly made to the authority of the "ancient fathers," i.e., generally such popes as leo i, gelasius i, and gregory i the great. Decisions of the Apostolic See regarding the liturgy are to be religiously obeyed, particularly those of gregory vii (d. 1085), who is mentioned with veneration. Dom. L. G. morin established convincingly that the Micrologus was written by bernold of constance, a supporter of Gregory VII, and that it dates from a time between 1086 and 1100. Faced with the numerous and various prayers that had been added to the Mass books over three centuries, Bernold recommended that they be reduced to the fewest possible. He urged conformity with Rome on the date of the spring and summer Ember Days and set forth Roman norms for the correct correlation of the various parts of the Divine Office and of the Mass.

Bibliography: g. morin, "Que l'auteur du Micrologue est Bernold de Constance," Revue Bénédictine 8 (1891) 385395. s. bÄumer, "L'Auteur du Micrologue," ibid. 193201; "Der Micrologus ein Werk Bernolds von Konstanz," Neues Archiv der Gesellschaft für ältere deutsche Geschichtskunde 18 (1893) 429446. v. l. kennedy, "For a New Edition of the Micrologus of Bernold of Constance," Mélanges Michel Andrieu (Strasbourg 1956) 229241.

[f. courtney]