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Sacred FollyA New History of the Feast of Fools$
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Max Harris

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780801449567

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801449567.001.0001

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The Feast of the Subdeacons

The Feast of the Subdeacons

(p.65) Chapter 6 The Feast of the Subdeacons
Sacred Folly

Max Harris

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines the feast of the subdeacons in relation to the Feast of Fools. Writing in Paris sometime between 1160 and 1164, John Beleth talked about the feast of the subdeacons and explained that the festum stultorum was one of four festivities honoring members of the clergy and the choir during the week following the Nativity: the feast of Saint Stephen, the feast of Saint John the Apostle, the feast of the Holy Innocents, and the feast of the Circumcision (sometimes called the feast of Epiphany or the octave of Epiphany). This chapter also considers four anonymous poems that Bernhard Bischoff has traced to the feast of the Innocents in Chartres during the bishopric of William of Champagne (1165–1176) and which Paul Gerhardt Schmidt suggests “were recited…at the Feast of Fools”.

Keywords:   feast of the subdeacons, Feast of Fools, John Beleth, festum stultorum, festivities, Nativity, feast of the Innocents, poems, Bernhard Bischoff, Paul Gerhardt Schmidt

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