The Exultet in Southern Italy

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The Exultet rolls of southern Italy are parchment scrolls containing text and music for the blessing of the great Easter candle; they contain magnificent illustrations, often turned upside down with respect to the text so that they can be seen by observers. The Exultet in Southern Italy provides a broad perspective on this phenomenon that has long attracted the interest of those interested in medieval art, liturgy, and music. This book considers these documents in the cultural and liturgical context in which they were made, and provides a perspective on all aspects of this particularly southern Italian practice. While previous art-historical studies have concentrated on the illustrations in these rolls, Kelly's book also looks at the particular place of the Exultet in changing ceremonial practices, provides background on the texts and music used in southern Italy, and inquires into the manufacture and purpose of the Exultets-why they were made, who owned them, and how they were used.