Scriptorium - The Physical Scriptorium - of The Cistercians

Of The Cistercians

The scriptoria of the Cistercian order seem to have been similar to those of the Benedictines. The mother house at Cîteaux, one of the best-documented high-medieval scriptoria, developed a severe "house style" in the first half of the twelfth century that spread in parallel with the Cistercian order itself, through the priories of Burgundy and beyond. In 1134, the Cistercian order declared that the monks were to keep silent in the scriptorium as they should in the cloister. However, there is evidence that in the late 13th century, the Cistercians would allow certain monks to perform their writing in a small cell "which could not... contain more than one person". These cells were called scriptoria because of the copying done there, even though their primary function was not as a writing room.

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