Humbert of Silva Candida and the Byzantine Rite

Doctoral Dissertation


Humbert of Moyenmoutier, the Cardinal-Bishop of the suburbicarian see of Silva Candida from 1051 until his death in 1061, is best known today for his famous 1054 excommunication of the Byzantine patriarch of Constantinople. This action is popularly understood to be the start of the division that still exists today between the Eastern Orthodox and the (Western) Catholic Churches. Humbert did not approach the conflict as a politician or as a canonist but rather as a monk and an ardent disciple of his own liturgical tradition.

This work falls into two halves. The first examines Humbert’s life in the Abbey of Moyenmoutier and his work under Popes Leo IX, Victor II, Stephen IX, and Nicholas II. The second addresses each of the major liturgical topics in the 1054 conflict in turn: the use of azymes, the Sabbath fast, clerical marriage, the consumption of unclean foods (blood), and the alleluia. This dissertation concludes first, that Humbert was strongly influenced by the preoccupations of the reformation movement in the Western Church and the tradition of Latin liturgical exegesis in his approach to the Byzantine rite, and second, that his evaluation of these liturgical topics is nuanced and well-informed, if strongly biased in favor of his own tradition.


Attribute NameValues
Author Nicolas Daniel Kamas
Contributor Hildegund Müller, Committee Member
Contributor Brian E. Daley, Research Director
Contributor Yury P. Avvakumov, Research Director
Contributor Alexis Torrance, Committee Member
Contributor Margot Fassler, Committee Member
Degree Level Doctoral Dissertation
Degree Discipline Medieval Studies
Degree Name Doctor of Philosophy
Banner Code
  • PHD-MI

Defense Date
  • 2019-06-27

Submission Date 2019-07-08
  • Church History

  • Medieval Studies

  • Theology

  • English

  • Latin

Record Visibility Public
Content License
  • All rights reserved

Departments and Units
Catalog Record


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