History Research Paper

History Research Paper - 1 Logan Jordan History 154 B Dr...

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1 Logan Jordan History 154 B Dr. Larry Marvin 4-13-11 “Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil,” (Proverbs 3:7). In Jocelin’s Chronicle of the Abbey of Bury St Edmunds , many of the monks heed these words and trust God in most all matters, an important characteristic of monasticism. Submitting oneself to God has been the most basic rule of monasticism since its beginnings in the 4 th century, which is shown by Jocelin through many examples throughout his book. In addition to reliance on God, Jocelin was also able to give an account of finances in a monastery. Because of the many examples Jocelin writes about financial transactions made by the Monastery at St Edmunds, it is possible to determine to an extent what the economy was like in 12 th century monasteries. The monastery at St Edmunds also shows how manorialism worked in a sense being that the monastery owned the land around it, held tenants who paid rent, and made money by farming. Throughout the book, in all of these aspects of submission to God, finance, and characteristics resembling manorialism, Jocelin is able to present life in a 12 th century monastery. First and foremost, Jocelin writes his purpose for his book, stating, “I have been concerned here to record what I know from personal experience of the events that took place in St Edmund’s church in my time, describing the bad deeds as well as the good, to provide both warning and example,” (3). Jocelin wrote his book to guide future monks, so that they may avoid the mistakes that he witnessed, and follow the examples that lead to success, both spiritually and financially. He further aids his own account of what should be done and what
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2 shouldn’t be done by describing Abbot Hugh and his unsuccessful business decisions, and then describes the successful decisions made by Samson. Because of the poor business decisions that William the sacrist made, Abbot Samson the precentor deposed of him and promoted Samson to be sacrist (28). Jocelin writes that the newly promoted Samson was far superior in his duties, and used his description as an example to guide future monks in the ways of secular business in the monastery (28). This would prove to be very important as future monks would have a guide to how things should be done to run a successful monastery. Because the book was written as a guide and an example, it was intended for future monks of the abbey. Jocelin wanted to have a piece of writing that would guide monks how to run the monastery to be as successful as possible. Jocelin’s first sentence states, “. . . to provide both warning and example,” (3). The
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History Research Paper - 1 Logan Jordan History 154 B Dr...

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