Florilegia

(Lat. flores legere, “to gather flowers”). Collections of quotations, particularly from patristic sources or from Scripture. Such anthologies were common in early Christian times when books were not readily available. Reformation collections of “proof-texts” (ranging from dogmatics in outline to oratorio librettos) and their related precedent medieval collections of passages from the Church Fathers in addition to Scripture belong to this class of literature. They show the degree to which subsequent thought in the history of the tradition included as an essential element the direct commentary upon its predecessors.