(Re)writing orality: editing the preaching of the Compileison de Dis Commandemenz


  • Samira Lindstedt University of Bergen




artes praedicandi, Compileison, medieval sermons, preaching, manuscript punctuation


Sermons are a type of text ideally suited for analyzing historical methods of writing orality as a rhetorical technique, illustrating the rhetorical techniques employed to invoke the spoken word on the written page and the responses that the impression of orality was intended to elicit from a sermon’s envisioned audiences. Artes praedicandi, guides to composing and performing sermons, flourished during the High Middle Ages; reading them alongside contemporary sermons allows us to explore how the advice that they gave was carried out in practice. By combining this theoretical approach with the study of the material text—looking at cues particular to the manuscripts in which these works were found, such as punctuation—we can consider how, why, and for whom these texts set out to construct themselves as oral, and perhaps learn something about the methods and intentions of writing (or, perhaps, ‘feigning’) orality in the process.


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How to Cite

Lindstedt, S. (2024). (Re)writing orality: editing the preaching of the Compileison de Dis Commandemenz. Manuscript and Text Cultures (MTC), 2(2), 119–42. https://doi.org/10.56004/v2.2sl