Religion Past and Present

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(405 words)

[German Version]

is a term used since the 19th century for the clerici vagi/vagantes (“wandering clerics”) of the Middle Ages. Ecclesiastical law (Waddell 267–280) evidences that, as early as late antiquity and the early MA, there were spiritual “vagabonds,” chiefly absconded monks and uprooted secular priests. In the 12th and 13th century, they were then mainly those students who had stopped their studies or who had not found any employment after graduating. As students at a spiritual place of learning (Cathedral schools, Universities), they had received the tonsure, which…

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Vollmann, Konrad, “Goliards”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 23 November 2019 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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