Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name





Anne Stone

Committee Members

Susan Boynton

Steven Kruger

Janette Tilley

Subject Categories

Arts and Humanities


conductus, Ludus Danielis, Beauvais, MS Egerton 2615, Feast of Fools, Play of Daniel


MS Egerton 2615, produced in thirteenth-century Beauvais, is well known for its curious contents. Interspersed within the liturgy of the Feast of the Circumcision (Feast of Fools) and the Ludus Danielis, this manuscript presents twenty conductus—newly composed, non-liturgical non-biblical Latin songs. The purpose of these songs has not been understood. This dissertation draws on a long history of scholarship on the Ludus Danielis, the Beauvais Cathedral, and most recently, the conductus, in seeking to understand how these songs functioned in this local setting. Through an interdisciplinary approach that relies on patristic and medieval exegesis, I demonstrate that these songs functioned liturgically, framing and shaping the Beauvais Feast of Fools message and performance of theology to a degree that has so far remained unexplored.

In the Office and Mass, fifteen conductus appear in conjunction with liturgical readings, rituals, and the opening and closing of the feast. The conductus that open and close the feast at First and Second Vespers function as bookends to the feast, framing the feast from their respective perspectives. The conductus that appear directly before a reading frame the hearing of the reading. Finally, the conductus that accompanies a wine ritual at Lauds gives context for the ritual. The five conductus in Ludus Danielisaccompany characters and actions.

This dissertation seeks to study the conductus in its liturgical context, paying close attention not only to the position that each conductus occupies, but also the cumulative effect each conductus has on the message of this twenty-four-hour feast.



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