Thomas of Chobham

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Thomas of Chobham (also called Thomas Chobham or Thomas of Chabham), English theologian and subdean of Salisbury, was born c. 1160, presumably in Chobham, Surrey, England, and died between 1233 and 1236 in Salisbury, England.

Salisbury Cathedral city in Wiltshire, England

Salisbury is a cathedral city in Wiltshire, England, with a population of 40,302, at the confluence of the rivers Avon, Nadder, Ebble, Wylye and Bourne. The city is approximately 20 miles (32 km) from Southampton and 30 miles (48 km) from Bath.

Thomas Chobham studied in Paris in the 1180s, likely under Peter the Chanter. He is best known for his influential work on penance which combines Canon law, theology, and practical advice for confessors. It is known by many titles, and there has been much confusion over both author and incipit, which is often related as Cum miseratione domini. More fully and correctly, this should be "Cum miserationes domini sint super omnia". The title is based on Psalm 144:9.

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Penance repentance of sins

Penance is repentance of sins as well as an alternate name for the Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Oriental Orthodox sacrament of Reconciliation or Confession. It also plays a part in confession among Anglicans and Methodists, in which it is a rite, as well as among other Protestants. The word penance derives from Old French and Latin paenitentia, both of which derive from the same root meaning repentance, the desire to be forgiven. Penance and repentance, similar in their derivation and original sense, have come to symbolize conflicting views of the essence of repentance, arising from the controversy as to the respective merits of "faith" and "good works". Word derivations occur in many languages.

Incipit first few words of the opening line of a poem, song, or book, often used in lieu of a title

The incipit of a text is the first few words of the text, employed as an identifying label. In a musical composition, an incipit is an initial sequence of notes, having the same purpose. The word incipit comes from Latin and means "it begins". Its counterpart taken from the ending of the text is the explicit.

Flacius Illyricus, for example, in his entry on Thomas Aquinas in his Catalogus Testium Veritatis 1556, considers this work to be by Aquinas and gives the incipit: "Commiserationes Domini sunt super omnia".


The Corpus Christianorum (CC) is a major publishing undertaking of the Belgian publisher Brepols Publishers devoted to patristic and medieval Latin texts. The principal series are the Series Graeca (CCSG), Series Latina (CCSL), and the Continuatio Mediævalis (CCCM). There is also a smaller section, the Series Apocryphorum (CCSA), devoted to Apocryphal works, and a collection of autographs, the Autographa Medii Ævi (CCAMA). In the series Conciliorum Oecumenicorum Generaliumque Decreta (COGD) is published confessional documents from Churches and Ecumenical organisations in the World with start in Nicæa 325 until today. The principal series are seen in some ways as successors to Migne's Patrologiae.


In addition to the introductions and notes to the above works, see:

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Beverly Mayne Kienzle retired in 2015 as the John H. Morison Professor of the Practice in Latin and Romance Languages at the Harvard Divinity School, Harvard University. She is a specialist in Christian Latin, Latin paleography, and medieval Christianity. She has published over seventy articles and fifteen books, including five on Hildegard of Bingen. Her latest book is an authoritative biography of her grandmother, Virginia Cary Hudson, author of the best-selling O Ye Jigs and Juleps!.