Gregory the Great’s aunt Gordiana loved man like Piers Plowman

Amid the ruins of Rome in the sixth century, Gregory the Great preached on Jesus’s parable that begins:

The Kingdom of Heaven is like a man, a king, who gave a wedding feast for his son.

{ ὡμοιώθη ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν ἀνθρώπῳ βασιλεῖ ὅστις ἐποίησεν γάμους τῷ υἱῷ αὐτοῦ }[1]

A proponent of Christian asceticism, Gregory the Great explicated this parable in part with a story about his aunts Tarsilla, Gordiana, and Aemiliana. These three high-born, wealthy sisters as young women consecrated themselves apart from men in devotion to God. Gordiana, however, eventually left this consecrated life to get married. Gordiana’s desire for a man came to be interpreted in medieval Latin literature as her desire for a “plowman.” The great fourteenth-century Christian vision Piers Plowman figured the plowman as Christ. In the reception of her story, the married Gordiana became an exemplar of incarnating the seminal blessing with a husband.

Gregory the Great / Pope Gregory I seated with his bishop's staff

While condemning Gordiana’s infidelity to consecrated life, Gregory the Great also disparaged Gordiana as “destined to be among unconsecrated women {inter laicas deputata}.” In Gregory’s account, Tarsilla and Aemiliana contrasted with Gordiana as good with bad:

My father had three sisters. All three were consecrated virgins. One was named Tarsilla, the other Gordiana, and the third Aemiliana. They were all transformed by one passion, and they were all consecrated at one time. They led life in common in their own home under strict, regular discipline. When they had been so converted for a long time, Tarsilla and Aemiliana began to grow daily in love for their Creator. Only their bodies remained here. Their souls by day crossed to the eternal. In contrast, Gordiana’s soul through daily harms to the innermost love began to become lukewarm and to return little by little to love of this world.

{ Tres pater meus sorores habuit, quae cunctae tres sacrae virgines fuerunt: quarum una Tharsilla, alia Gordiana, alia Aemiliana dicebatur. Uno omnes ardore conversae, uno eodemque tempore sacratae, sub districtione regulari degentes, in domo propria socialem vitam ducebant. Cumque essent diutius in eadem conversatione, coeperunt quotidianis incrementis in amorem conditoris sui Tharsilla et Aemiliana succrescere, et, cum solo hic essent corpore, quotidie animo ad aeterna transire. At contra Gordianae animus coepit a calore amoris intimi per quotidiana detrimenta tepescere, et paulisper ad hujus saeculi amorem redire. }[2]

Gordiana was a young woman like most other young women:

She enjoyed the society of young, worldly women, and to her, being a woman not dedicated to this world was very burdensome.

{ Puellarum gaudebat societate laicarum, eique persona valde onerosa erat quaecunque huic mundo dedita non erat. }

Love of the world is not bad in itself. Christians are called to love God and love their neighbors in this world.[3] Different Christians can pursue that dual commandment in different ways — including through living consecrated religious life and in living ordinary life within the world.

Tarsilla and Aemiliana were saintly consecrated women. Before she died, Tarsilla received a vision of Jesus summoning her to him. A delightful smell of perfume accompanied her death. When her body was washed for burial, her knees and elbows were found hard with calluses from constant prayer on the ground. A few days after she died, Tarsilla appealed from Heaven for her sister Aemiliana to join her there. With heart-warming sisterly solicitousness, Aemiliana was reluctant to leave her wayward sister Gordiana alone. But Tarsilla declared that Gordiana was going to the world, so Aemiliana shouldn’t hesitate to leave her for Heaven. A few days later, Aemiliana died and joined Tarsilla in celebrating the Epiphany of the Lord in Heaven.

As Tarsilla foresaw, Gordiana went into the world. Gregory colored Gordiana’s new direction as evil:

Gordiana in contrast soon found herself thus alone and left behind. Her vices increased, and what earlier was concealed in the desire of her thought she afterward occupied herself with accomplishing in wicked action. Thus having forgotten fear of the Lord, having forgotten chastity and self-respect, having forgotten her consecration, she later married the steward of her agricultural estates.

{ Gordiana autem mox ut solam remansisse se reperit, ejus pravitas excrevit, et quod prius latuit in desiderio cogitationis, hoc post effectu pravae actionis exercuit. Nam oblita dominici timoris, oblita pudoris et reverentiae, oblita consecrationis, conductorem agrorum suorum postmodum maritum duxit. }

In Latin grammar, a man typically leads a woman into marriage. The steward, however, was Gordiana’s social inferior. Gregory represented that status difference grammatically in having Gordiana lead her steward into marriage.[4] Gregory summarized his story of his aunt Gordiana:

Behold, my brothers, how Gordiana, of whom I spoke earlier, falls from the excellence of the holy life into torture.

{ Ecce, fratres mei, Gordiana, quam superius dixi, a sanctimonialis habitus excellentia corruit ad poenam }

Marriage can be torture, but it’s not always that. Marriage to her steward evidently was an arrangement that Gordiana ardently sought. Gregory meant his story of the three sisters to illustrate Jesus’s epimythium to his parable about the Kingdom of Heaven and the wedding feast: “Many are called, but few are chosen {πολλοὶ γάρ εἰσιν κλητοὶ ὀλίγοι δὲ ἐκλεκτοί}.” Two of the sisters, Tarsilla and Aemiliana, died young and became saints. The third sister, Gordiana, married and lived longer in this world. With respect to these three sisters, Gordiana was in the life-course minority. She literally maps to the few.

With a story about the death-bed repentance of a dissolute man, Gregory in this same homily emphasized that the fate of one’s soul is never certain at any point in one’s earthly life. That lesson also applies to Gordiana.[5] Only God knows whether she went to Hell after she died. Subsequent literary history strongly suggests that she didn’t.

Egbert of Liège’s early eleventh-century schoolbook, The Well-Laden Ship {Fecunda ratis}, shows a significant change in the story of Gordiana. Egbert’s motley collection of one-verse proverbs includes a verse about Gordiana:

O wicked deed! Gordiana has followed in marriage a plowman!

{ O malefactum, Gordiana secuta bubulcum }[6]

The Latin bubulcus is “from bōs (“ox”) +‎ -bulcus (“-herd”), likely by analogy of subulcus {swineherd}.”[7] Medieval farmers used oxen for plowing. The meaning of bubulcus thus readily encompassed “plowman.” Rather than leading her steward into marriage, Gordiana in this proverb followed a plowman into marriage. That linguistic construct lowers Gordiana’s social status and highlights her natural sexual desire for a man. If Gregory the Great’s aunt Gordiana had any pride in her lofty birth, that pride was utterly destroyed in the medieval reception of her life.

medieval plowman plowing with oxen

The fourteenth-century Christian masterpiece Piers Plowman supports Gordiana’s choice to marry. Piers Plowman through the voice of Wit affirms marital sexuality as providing pleasure and realizing the seminal blessing in children:

It is an uncomely couple, by Christ, I think,
when a young wench is wedded to a worn-out gaffer,
or any widow wedded for the wealth she possesses,
who will never bear a baby unless it be in her arms.
In jealousy, joyless, and in jangling abed,
many a pair since the pestilence have pledged their vows.
The fruit that they bring forth are foul words.
They have no children but chafing and exchanges of blows.

Therefore I counsel all Christians not to crave to be married
for a fat fortune or family connections.
But virgins and virgins should make vows with one another,
and widowers and widows should wed in the same way.
For no lands but for love look to it that you marry,
and then you’ll get the grace of God and goods enough to live with.

{ It is an uncomly couple. by Crist! as me thynketh —
To yeven a yong wenche to an [y]olde feble,
Or wedden any wodewe for welthe of hir goodes
That nevere shal barn bere but if it be in armes!
In jelousie joyelees and janglynge on bedde,
Many a peire sithen the pestilence han plight hem togideres.
The fruyt that thei brynge forth arn.[manye] foule wordes;
Have thei no children but cheeste and chopp[es] hem bitwene.

Forthi I counseille alle Cristene coveite noght be wedded
For coveitise of catel ne of kynrede riche;
Ac maidenes and maydenes macche yow togideres;
Wideweres and wodewes, wercheth the same;
For no londes, but for love, loke ye be wedded,
And thanne gete ye the grace of God, and good ynough to live with. }[8]

Disparaging marriages between young women and weak, worn-out old men suggests appreciation for vigorous plowing. Piers Plowman more crudely recognizes men’s sexual desire:

And every manner of secular man that cannot remain continent
wisely go wed and ward off sin,
for fantasies of the flesh are the Fiend’s lures.
While you’re young and yeasty and your weapon yet keen,
work it out in wiving if you would be excused.
While you’ve strength galore, don’t waste it on a whore.
For o’er the door is writ this lore: “A call girl’s death’s door.”

{ And every maner seculer that may noght continue,
Wisely go wedde, and ware hym fro synne;
For lecherie in likynge is lymeyerd of helle.
Whiles thow art yong, and thi wepene kene,
Wreke thee with wyvyng, if thow wolt ben excused:
Dum sis vir fortis, ne des tua robora scortis.
Scribitur in poriis, meretrix est ianua mortis. }

In circumstances of true love between spouses, “that deed done in the dark … it delights God Almighty {that ilke derne dede … it liketh God almyghty}.”

In Piers Plowman, the plowman is a figure of Christ. Amid vices tumultuously attacking, corruption among priests and friars, and many persons losing a sense of sin, the figure of Conscience begins a long journey to seek redemption through Piers the Plowman:

Sloth saw that, and so did Pride,
and came to attack Conscience with keen will.
Conscience cried again to Clergy to help,
and bade Contrition to come to keep the gate.
“He lies drowned in dream,” said Peace, “and so do many others.
The Friar with his physic has enchanted the folk here,
and given them a drugged drink. They dread no sin.”
“By Christ,” said Conscience then, “I will become a pilgrim,
and walk as wide as the world reaches
to seek Piers the Plowman, who might expunge Pride,
and see that friars have funds who flatter for need
and contradict me, Conscience. Now Kind avenge me,
and send me heart and health till I have Piers the Plowman.”
And Conscience cried for Grace until I became wakeful.

{ Sleuth seigh that, and so dide Pryde,
And comen with a kene wille Conscience to assaille.
Conseience cryed eft [Clergie come] helpe hym,
And [bad] Contricion [come] to kepe the yate.
“He lith adreynt,” seide Pees, “and so do manye othere;
The frere with his phisyk this folk hath enchaunted,
And plastred hem so esily [that hii] drede no synne!’
“By Crist!” quod Conscience tho, “I wole bicome a pilgrym,
And walken as wide as the world lasteth,
To seken Piers the Plowman, that Pryde myghte destruye,
And that freres hadde a fyndyng, that for nede flateren
And countrepledeth me, Conscience. Now Kynde me avenge,
And sende me hap and heele, til I have Piers the P1owman!”
And siththe he gradde after Grace, til I gan awake. }

Gordiana didn’t merely seek a plowman. She married one. In doing so, she gave up her pride. From the perspective of Piers Plowman, Gordiana’s marriage to the plowman looks redemptive.

Piers Plowman disparages chastity without earthly love. “A lady lovely of look {a lovely lady of leere},” a figure for the holy Mother Church, declared:

For though you are true of your tongue and truly earn your profits
and are as chaste as a child crying at a church service,
unless you really love and relieve the poor
and share in a goodly way such goods as God sends you,
you have no more merit in Mass nor in Hours
than Malkin for her maidenhead that no man desires.

{ For though ye be trewe of youre tonge and treweliche wynne,
And as chaste as a child that in chirche wepeth,
But if ye loven leelly and lene the povere
Of swich good as God sent, goodliche parteth,
Ye ne have na moore merite in Masse ne in houres
Than Malkyn of hire maydenhede, that no man desireth. }

Malkin was a traditional English name for a promiscuous woman. Here Malkin is so unattractive that no man desires to have sex with her. Her chastity is not to her spiritual credit. The same goes for those who are chaste without being charitable:

Let chastity without charity be chained in Hell!
It’s as lifeless as a lamp that has no light in it.
Many chaplains are chaste, but their charity is missing.

Love is Life’s doctor, and next our Lord himself,
and also the strait street that goes straight to Heaven.

{ “Forthi chastite withouten charite worth cheyned in helle;
It is as lewed as a lampe that no light is inne.
Manye chapeleyns arn chaste, ac charite is aweye;

Love is leche of lif and next Oure Lord selve,
And also the graithe gate that goth into hevene. }

In Jesus’s parable about the king’s wedding feast, both good and bad persons attend the wedding feast. One guest is thrown out. That guest isn’t characterized as good or bad, but as not wearing a wedding garment. Gregory the Great interpreted the wedding garment to mean charity.[9] Was Gordiana charitable toward her plowman husband? Sex with one’s spouse in some circumstances can be a charitable act. Gordiana with her land and wealth could have been materially charitable to others. Gregory said nothing about whether Gordiana wore the wedding garment of charity.

Piers the Plowman holding a three-pronged plow-handle

The Kingdom of Heaven is like an all-encompassing royal wedding feast. A chaste life in devotion to God and in charity to one’s neighbors is holy. Yet in Christian understanding, Jesus, the son of a carpenter and a young, provincial woman, turned the world upside down with his fleshly life. God so loved the world that he entered into it. Jesus’s first miracle in the presence of others was turning water into wine at the wedding feast in Cana. Drink some wine and celebrate the elite Roman virgin Gordiana enjoying a plowman as her husband!

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Notes:

[1] Matthew 22:2. Gregory the Great in his homily quoted a Latin translation of this scripture:

The Kingdom of Heaven is like a man, a king, who made a wedding feast for his son.

{ Simile est regnum coelorum homini regi qui fecit nuptias filio suo }

Jerome’s Vulgate translation adds dynamism to the simile with the inserted word factum: “The making of the Kingdom of Heaven {Simile factum est regnum coelorum}…”

Jesus’s parable of the wedding feast is Matthew 22:1-14. Cf. Luke 14:15-24. Gregory associated the parable in Matthew with nuptials in the temporal church. The parable in Luke he associated with the final banquet of eternity.

[2] Gregory the Great {Gregorius Magnus} / Pope Gregory I, 40 Homilies on the Gospels {Homilae xl in Evangelia}, Homily 38 on Matthew 22:1-14, section 15, Latin text of Migne (1849) in Patrologia Latina 76.1075-1181, my English translation. Here’s an English translation of the whole homily. The subsequent three quotes above are similarly from this homily, sections 15-6.

Gregory the Great was chosen Pope Gregory I on September 3, 590. He delivered this homily at the Basilica of Blessed Clement in Rome on Sunday, February 10, 592.

Gregory had one of the most distinguished lineages of his time. Gregory’s great-great-grandfather was Pope Felix III (the pope from 483-492). Gregory’s mother Silvia was a noble woman honored as a saint soon after her death. Gregory’s father Gordianus was a patrician who served as a Roman Senator and Prefect of the City of Rome. Gordianus owned a luxurious villa on Rome’s Caelian Hill and large estates in Sicily. Gregory himself served as Prefect of Roman in 574, when he was about 33 years old. Gregory’s aunts Tarsilla, Gordiana, and Aemiliana followed an elite life-course in becoming consecrated women:

Gregory’s aunts, then, belong to a line of women of the Roman senatorial aristocracy that can be traced back to the second half of the 4th century, who lived mainly in the family home in a monastic fashion under a private or public vow.

Müller (2013) p. 83. Tarsilla (also called Trasilla) and Aemiliana (also spelled Emiliana) came to be honored as saints, as did Gordianus, Silvia, and Gregory himself. On Gregory’s life and his use of saints, Lupton (2013) chapters 1-2.

Gregory became a strong supporter of Christian monasticism. In 574, he experienced “the grace of conversion {conversionis gratia}” to monastic life after difficult public service. He then founded six monasteries in Sicily. He also converted his family home on Rome’s Caelian Hill into a monastery dedicated to Saint Andrew the Apostle. Gregory himself entered that monastery. He remained there until 579. Then he was appointed as the papal ambassador to Constantinople. He returned to St. Andrews monastery in 585. He remained there until 590, when he was appointed pope.

[3] Matthew 22:37-40.

[4] Latin for a man marrying typically is ducere uxorem (literally “to lead a wife”} while Latin for a woman marrying is typically nubere (to wed). Gregory, in contrast, used the unusual construction maritum duxere, where maritus means “husband.” In sixth-century northern European / Anglo-Saxon languages, cognates with “husband” were associated with managing or farming land.

[5] The dissolute man was the brother of a monk living in Gregory’s monastery of Saint Andrews on Caelian Hill. Gregory’s story of the dissolute man, like his story of his three aunts, is personally connected to him.

Gregory acknowledged sexual passion even in extremely unpropitious circumstances of marital life. Specifically, Gregory heard from Abbot Stephen of Rome that a married man in Norcia was ordained a priest. After his ordination, the priest of Norcia ceased to have sex with his wife. He wouldn’t even go near her. The reason for his reticence subsequently became clear:

After a long life, forty years of which he spent in priestly ministry, he was seized with a severe fever and brought to the point of death. When his wife saw him lying there half-dead, with all the strength of his body wasted away, she put her ear to his face and tried to catch the least sound of breath.

When he sensed her presence, he mustered all his strength and with the little breath that was still in him, he rasped in a hoarse whisper, “Go away from me, woman. The fire still lives. Take away the tinder.”

{ Hic ergo venerabilis presbyter cum longam vitae implesset aetatem, anno quadragesimo ordinationis suae inardescente graviter febre correptus, ad extrema deductus est. Sed cum eum presbytera sua conspiceret solutis jam membris, quasi in morte distentum, si quod adhuc ei vitale spiramen inesset, naribus ejus apposita curavit aure dignoscere.

Quod ille sentiens, cui tenuissimus inerat flatus, quantulo adnisu valuit, ut loqui potuisset, infervescente spiritu collegit vocem atque erupit, dicens: “Recede a me, mulier, adhuc igniculus vivit, paleam tolle.” }

Gregory the Great, Dialogues about the lives and miracles of the Italian fathers {Dialogi de vita et miraculis patrum Italicorum} 4.12, Latin text of Migne (1849) from Patrologia Latina 77 (Books 1, 3, 4) and 66 (Book 2), English translation (modified slightly) of Zimmerman (1959) pp. 203-4. Medieval men were very lively in their ardent love for women.

Gregory emphasized mutuality in marital relations. A husband or wife couldn’t refuse to have sex with a spouse even to enter religious life:

Thenceforth when good spouses either wish to increase merit or to eliminate the sins of a former life, let them be allowed to bind themselves to continence and to strive for a better life. But if a wife does not follow the continence that a husband desires or the husband rejects that which the wife desires, the marriage cannot be separated because it is written: “The wife does not have power over her own body, but the husband does; and the husband does not have power over his own body, but the wife does.”

{ Proinde cum boni coniuges aut meritum augere desiderant aut anteactae vitae culpas delere, ut se ad continentiam astringant, et meliorem vitam appetant, licet. Si vero continentiam quam vir appetit uxor non sequitur aut quam uxor appetit vir recusat dividi coniugium non licet, quia scriptum est: “Mulier sui corporis potestatem non habet, sed vir; et vir sui corporis potestatem non habet, sed mulier.” }

Gregory the Great, Register of Letters {Registum Epistolarum} 11.27, “Gregory to the patrician Theoctista {Gregorius Theoctistae Patriciae},” letter dated February, 601, Latin text from Ewald & Hartmann (1887-91), English translation of Ashleigh Imus on Epistolae. Gregory quotes in Latin translation 1 Corinthians 7:4. See similarly Gregory, Registum Epistolarum 11.30 (wrongly numbered 11.50), “Gregory to Adrian, Notary of Panormus {Gregorius Adriano notario Panormitano},” dated Febrary 601, Latin text and English translation.

For the current best Latin edition of Gregory the Great’s letters, Norberg (1982). Here are selected letters of Gregory in English translation. For a more recent translation of all of Gregory’s letters, Martyn (2004). For a review of Gregory’s thoughts and actions in relation to women, Wilkins (1991). Writing within the you-go-girl scholarly tradition, Wilkins lamented, “Gregory was certainly no feminist in his thoughts and actions.” Id. p. 594.

[6] Egbert of Liège, The Well-Laden Ship {Fecunda ratis} 1.562, Latin text and English translation (modified) from Babcock (2013).

[7] Etymological note for bubulcus on Wiktionary, citing De Vaan (2008) p. 75 (entry for “bōs”), with my added gloss for subulcus.

[8] William Langland (attributed), Piers Plowman / William’s Vision of Piers Plowman {Visio Willelmi de Petro Ploughman} 9.165-71, 9.176-81, Middle English text (B version) from Schmidt (1978) via Corpus of Middle English Prose and Verse, English modernization (modified slightly) from Donaldson, Kirk & Anderson (1990). Subsequent quotes from Piers Plowman are similarly sourced.

The Northern Homily Cycle / The North-English Homily Collection, written early in the fourteenth century, includes a version of Gregory’s story about his aunts Tarsilla, Gordiana, and Aemiliana. Gerould (1902) p. 89. The English homily story states only that Gordiana took a husband. The fourteenth-century Ethical Mirror {Speculum morale}, which was added to Vincent de Beauvais’s thirteenth-century Greater Mirror {Speculum maius}, followed Gregory more closely in specifying that Gordiana married “the custodian of her agricultural estates {custos agrorum suorum}.” Id. Both The Northern Homily Cycle and Speculum morale are far less sophisticated literary works than is Piers Plowman.

Subsequent quotes above from Piers Plowman are similarly sourced. They are Piers Plowman 9.182-85c (And every manner of secular man…), 9.192-3 (that deed done in the dark…), 20.373-86 (Sloth saw that, and so did Pride…), 1.3 (A lady lovely of look), 1.179-84 (For though you are true of your tongue…), 1.188-90, 1.204-5 (Let chastity without charity be chained in Hell…).

[9] Gregory the Great, Homilae xl in Evangelia, Homily 38, section 9.

Thomas Aquinas’s sequence for the Mass of Corpus Christi likens eucharistic communion to the wedding feast of Matthew 22:1-14 in being morally inclusive:

The good enter, the evil enter,
with end so unequal:
eternal life or eternal destruction.

{ Sumunt boni, sumunt mali:
sorte tamen inaequali,
vitae vel interitus. }

Aquinas, “Praise, O Zion, your Savior {Lauda Sion Salvatorem},” 9.1-3, Latin text from the Roman Missal, my English translation.

[images] (1) Gregory the Great {Gregorius Magnus} with staff seated on bishop’s chair. From twelfth-century manuscript containing excerpts from Gregory’s works. Illustration from folio 1v of Bibliothèque municipale de Douai, MS. 315, tome II. (2) Medieval plowman plowing with oxen. Illumination in Psalter (“The Luttrell Psalter”) made between 1325 and 1340. From folio 170r of British Library, Add MS. 42130. (3) Piers the Plowman holding tri-pronged plow-handle. Illumination (color-enhanced) on the margin of folio 35r of Bodleian Library, Oxford, MS Douce 104. This manuscript was made 1427-8. Scott (1990), pp. 38-9, describes Piers the Plowman as holding a plow-handle (“stiua”) in his right hand. She doesn’t comment on its triune character. With the face of contemplation drawn above this figure, Piers could be interpreted as contemplating the Trinity.

References:

Babcock, Robert Gary, ed. and trans. 2013. Egbert of Liège. The Well-Laden Ship {Fecunda ratis}. Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library, 25. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

De Vaan, Michiel. 2008. Etymological Dictionary of Latin and the Other Italic Languages. Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series, 7. Leiden: Brill

Donaldson, E. Talbot, trans., Elisabeth D. Kirk, and Judith H. Anderson, eds. 1990. William Langland. Will’s vision of Piers Plowman. New York: W.W. Norton.

Ewald, Paulus and Ludovicus Hartmann, eds. 1887-91. Gregorius Magnus. Registrum Epistularum. MGH Epp. in Quart 2: Gregorii papae registrum epistolarum. Berlin: Weidmann.

Gerould, Gordon Hall. 1902. The North-English Homily Collection: A Study of the Manuscript Relations and of the Sources of the Tales. Bachelor of Arts Dissertion, University of Oxford, 1901. Lancaster, PA: New Era Printing.

Lupton, Brendan P. 2013. St. Paul as a Model and Teacher in the Writings of St. Gregory the Great. Dissertation for Sacred Theology Doctorate, Catholic University of America.

Martyn, John R. C., trans. 2004. The Letters of Gregory the Great. 3 volumes. Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies.

Müller, Barbara. 2013. “Gregory the Great and Monasticism.” Ch. 4 (pp. 83-108) in Bronwen Neil and Matthew Dal Santo, eds. A Companion to Gregory the Great. Brill’s Companions to the Christian Tradition, Volume 47. Leiden: Brill.

Norberg, Dag, ed. 1982. S. Gregorii Magni: Registrum Epistularum. Turnhout: Typographi Brepols Editores Pontificii.

Scott, Kathleen L. 1990. “The Illustrations of Piers Plowman in Bodleian Library Ms. Douce 104.” The Yearbook of Langland Studies. 4: 1–86.

Schmidt, A. V. C., ed. 1978. William Langland. The Vision of Piers Plowman: A Complete Edition of the B-Text. London: J.M. Dent.

Wilkins, Walter J. 1991. “‘Submitting the Neck of Your Mind’: Gregory the Great and Women of Power.” The Catholic Historical Review. 77(4): 583–94.

Zimmerman, Odo John, trans. 1959. Dialogues: Saint Gregory the Great. Fathers of the Church, a New Translation, vol. 39. Washington, DC: Catholic University of America Press.

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