Robert of Flamborough

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Canon penitentiary at the Abbey of saint-victor, Paris, author of a Penitential that was forerunner of the summae casuum and so of later manuals of moral theology; b. probably Flamborough, Yorkshire, c. 113580; d. Paris, c. 121933. His Penitential, or Liber poenitentialis, completed between 1208 and 1213, is a small book of instruction for the confessor. The first two-thirds is a dialogue in which extensive use is made of commentaries on the Decretum of gratian, especially that by huguccio, and of decretals of popes from alexander iii to innocent iii. His uncritical use of these sources resulted in excessive legalism. The last third consists of old penitential canons copied from the Penitential of bartholomew of exeter and from the Decretum of ivo of chartres. These canons, already obsolete in their literal application, were intended as a basis for the apportioning of penance. The author was criticized by his contemporaries for his reliance on these old canons; yet some continued to copy and annotate them for practical use even a century later.

Bibliography: robert of flamborough, Summa de matrimonio et de usuris, ed. j. f. schulte (Giessen 1868), a partial ed. of the Penitential; complete ed. is being prepared by f. firth. p. michaud-quantin, "À propos des premières Summae confessorum, " Recherches de théologie ancienne et médiévale 26 (1959) 276283, 292296. s. kuttner, "Pierre de Roissy and Robert of Flamborough," Traditio 2 (1944) 492499. f. firth, "The Poenitentiale of Robert of Flamborough," ibid. 16 (1960) 541556; 17 (1961) 531532; Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner, 10 v. (2d, new ed. Freiburg 195765) 8:133839.

[f. firth]

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Robert of Flamborough

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