Adam of Saint Victor
Adam of Saint Victor (Latin: Adamus Sancti Victoris; died 1146) was a prolific poet and composer of Latin hymns and sequences. He is believed to have sparked the expansion of the poetic and musical repertoire in the Notre Dame school with his strongly rhythmic and imagery-filled poetry. In Mont Saint Michel and Chartres, Henry Adams wrote that Adam "aimed at obtaining his effect from the skillful use of the Latin sonorities for purposes of the chant."
The first reference to him is from 1098, in the archives of Notre Dame Cathedral, where he was first a subdeacon, and later a precentor. He left the cathedral for the Abbey of Saint Victor around 1133, probably because of his attempts at imposing the Rule of St Augustine at the cathedral.
Adam of St Victor’s surviving works are sequences for liturgical use, not theological treatises. Around 47 sequences by Adam survive. In a practice that developed from the ninth century onwards, these are poems composed to be sung during the mass, between the Alleluia and the gospel reading. The sequence therefore bridges the Old Testament or epistle readings and the gospel, both literarily and musically.
- It was previously believed that he died late 12th century (e.g. 1192 ), but that is now believed to be false
- Fassler, Margot E. (1984). "Who Was Adam of St. Victor? The Evidence of the Sequence Manuscripts". Journal of the American Musicological Society. 37 (2): 233–269. doi:10.2307/831174. ISSN 0003-0139. JSTOR 831174.
- These texts were gradually rediscovered in the nineteenth century. Thirty-seven of his hymns were published in the Elucidatorium Ecclesiasticum of Jodocus Clichtovaeus, a Catholic theologian of the 16th century. The remaining seventy hymns were preserved in the Abbey of Saint Victor until its dissolution during the French Revolution. They were then transferred to the Bibliothèque Nationale, where they were discovered by Léon Gautier, who edited the first complete edition of them (Paris, 1858).
- The critical edition of these texts is Jean Grosfillier, ed, Les sequences d’Adam de Saint-Victor: Étude littéraire (poétique et rhétorique). Textes et traductions, commentaires, Bibliotheca Victorina 20, (Turnhout: Brepols, 2008), pp252-481. They are now fully translated in Adam of Saint-Victor, Sequences. Introduction, Text, Translation, and Notes by Juliet Mousseau, Dallas Medieval Texts, (Leuven: Peeters, 2011). In addition, Hugh Feiss, On Love, (2010), p71, argues that three additional Marian sequences seem likely to be by Adam of St Victor. The Latin text is in Bernadette Jollès, ed, Quatorze proses du XIIe siècle à louange de Marie, (Turnhout: Brepols, 1994).
- Boyd Taylor Coolman and Dale M Coulter, eds, Trinity and creation: a selection of works of Hugh, Richard and Adam of St Victor, (Turnhout: Brepols, 2010), p182.
- Fassler, Margot E. "Adam of St Victor". Grove Music Online.
The modern critical edition of the Latin text is:
- Grosfillier, Jean (2008). Les séquences d'Adam de Saint-Victor: Étude littéraire (poétique et rhétorique), textes et traductions, commentaires. Bibliotheca Victorina 20. Turnhout: Brepols. ISBN 9782503526591.
English translations of Adam's work are in:
- Adam of St Victor (2013). Sequences. Dallas Medieval Texts and Translations 18. Juliet Mousseau (ed. and trans.). Leuven: Peeters. ISBN 9789042928954.
- Coolman, Boyd Taylor; Dale M. Coulter (2010). Trinity and creation: a selection of works of Hugh, Richard and Adam of St Victor. Victorine Texts in Translation 1. Turnhout: Brepols. ISBN 9782503534589. [includes translations of two of Adam of St. Victor’s sequences in praise of the Trinity]
- On love: a selection of works of Hugh, Adam, Achard, Richard, and Godfrey of St Victor. Victorine Texts in Translation. Hugh Feiss (ed.). Turnhout: Brepols. 2011. ISBN 9782503534596. [includes translation of Adam of St Victor, Sequences]
- Wrangham, Digby Strangeways (1881). The liturgical poetry of Adam of St. Victor: from the text of Gautier, with translations into English in the original metres, and short explanatory notes by Digby S. Wrangham. London: Kegan Paul, Trench. Retrieved 2013-10-30. Vol. 1, Vol. 2, Vol. 3
- Fassler, Margot E. (April 1987). "The Role of the Parisian Sequence in the Evolution of Notre-Dame Polyphony". Speculum. 62 (2): 345–374. doi:10.2307/2855230. ISSN 0038-7134. JSTOR 2855230.
- Fassler, Margot E. (2011). Gothic song: Victorine sequences and Augustinian reform in twelfth-century Paris (2 ed.). Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press. ISBN 9780268028893.
- Husmann, Heinrich (April 1964). "Notre-Dame und Saint-Victor. Repertoire-Studien zur Geschichte der gereimten Prosen". Acta Musicologica. 36 (2/3): 98–123. doi:10.2307/932420. ISSN 0001-6241. JSTOR 932420.