A collection of passages from the writings of previous authors. Special interest attaches to the Greek patristic florilegia. Besides those composed of excerpts from commentaries on the Bible (known as catenae), a number of dogmatic florilegia, compiled from the 5th cent. onwards, have survived. They were often drawn up to establish the orthodoxy or heterodoxy of individual theologians, and many were incorporated in the acta of councils. A patristic florilegium of a non-dogmatic kind is the collection of extracts made by St Basil of Caesarea. Latin florilegia were also well established from the 5th cent. Their material is patristic, supplemented by excerpts from Carolingian and later from 12th-cent. authors. The early Latin florilegia were dogmatic and ascetic. In the later Middle Ages florilegia became preaching tools.
Subjects: Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500) — Christianity.