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'O Fundatrix Begginarum': St. Begga And Her Office In Early Modern Beguine Scholarship And Musical Sources

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Chapter Summary

Scholarly interest in beguinages and their history resulted in a series of publications which tried to unravel the questions of the beguinages' origins, etymology, and foundations. This movement was not only an intellectual quest of historiographers, but was also related to liturgical and musical practice. This chapter explores this relationship. It investigates how traditions of the medieval promotion of a saint were taken up in seventeenth-century scholarly discourse and found their way into artistic and musical production. The chapter shows how, conversely, this musical production left its traces in scholarly writings of the seventeenth century. It examines how the Begga offices of the seventeenth century are composed and whether they show actual medieval characteristics. The offices in honor of St. Begga thus provide a telling example of the early modern interrelation of scholarly and artistic practices, and of the legitimation of newly established tradition by means of a medieval one.

Keywords: Begga offices; beguinages institutional historiography; early modern beguine scholarship; musical sources



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