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Henry Totting of Oyta: Three Sermons of a Late Medieval Intellectual

De passione Domini - De assumpcione beate Virginis Marie - De nativitate Iohannis Baptiste

Jan Odstrčilík, Riccardo Burgazzi and Francesca Battista

The book presents Henry Totting of Oyta (d. 1397), a late medieval intellectual who was active in Erfurt, Prague, Paris, and Vienna. In spite of the fact that he is a well-known figure, the majority of his works remain unedited in manuscripts. The authors analyse and provide the first editions of three of his sermons: On the Passion, On the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and On the Nativity of John the Baptist. Totting wrote each of them at a different point in his career, for a different audience and in a different style. They contribute to our knowledge about late medieval devotion and illustrate the transformation of late medieval intellectual life in Central Europe.

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Preaching on the Feast of Assumption: The Sermon In Ierusalem potestas mea (Eccli 24,15)


Francesca Battista

I. Study

The study is divided into three main parts. The first section describes the manuscript transmission of the sermon and tries to establish the date and place of its composition. The second part presents the text structure and its theme within the framework of contemporary sermons that develop the same biblical passage (In Ierusalem potestas mea); the analysis results in the identification of probable distinctive features of Totting’s theology divided into “essential” and “integrative.” The third part is focused on the image of the blessed Lady. Mary has multiple faces in the Middle Ages and the examination of the faces selected by Totting reveals the position of this sermon within the Assumption theology of the time, reflecting both tradition and new spiritual needs.

1. Manuscript tradition, dating and public

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