Defining and shaping the moral self in the ninth century : evidence from baptismal tracts and the reception of Augustine's De Trinitate
This dissertation explores concepts of the self in the ninth century, specifically in the Carolingian Empire. This work begins with a review of scholarship on the medieval self. Much scholarship on this concept has tended to focus on the twelfth century. As I hope to demonstrate, however, ninth-century writers were just as interested in their own constructions of the self. Ninth-century treatments of the self were unique and thus offer us a great deal of insight into the mentalities of the time. I also examine the ninthcentury vocabulary of the self, focusing on the language inherited from patristic and early medieval writers, especially Gregory the Great, and the way in which this vocabulary was adapted by Carolingian writers. Throughout the body of the dissertation, I focus on two main bodies of texts: ninthcentury uses of Augustine's De Trinitate and the ninth-century baptismal expositions recently edited by Susan Keefe. Both sets of texts illustrate the ways in which the moral self was both defined and shaped in the ninth century. The treatments of De Trinitate were mainly concerned with the monastic self, while the baptismal expositions allow us a glimpse of the way in which churchmen perceived the lay self. I conclude by briefly looking ahead to the middle of the ninth century and the controversies surrounding Gottschalk. The question of the moral self was at the centre of these debates, and this thus demonstrates the importance of the concept of the self to the ninth century. I have included as an appendix my translation of sections of the baptismal expositions.