Bishops in the period 1215–72 could be heedless but not ignorant of their office; for of their duty as episcopi there was a traditional interpretation, an inheritance from which there was no escape. It was referred to in biblical commentaries and moral works, in the Legatine Constitutions of 1237, in the commonplaces of pastoral letters, of sermons and probably of daily conversation; and learned theologians like Grosseteste and Adam Marsh, when discussing ordinary episcopal problems, would insist on drawing out its full meaning, with suitable scriptural illustrations. 1 The bishop’s was the highest of all callings, and his negligence in it mortal sin. The bishop within his diocese was as the Pope to the whole Church. He should be like Moses, the type of the true prelate, who, from contemplating God on Mount Sinai, came down to help and teach His people; or again, to use the more common illustration, he should be as the ‘Pastor’, guiding and feeding and watching over his flock night and day, and prepared to suffer for it. In other words the bishop must practice the vita contemplativa et activa, a life of prayer and fasting and meditation, and a life spent in his diocese, visiting, reforming, and preaching. It followed that a person devout and inspiring was needed, familiar with theology as well as the ordinary working of a diocese and the courts; in short, a contemplative, administrator, and scholar.