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Alison I. Beach, Shannon M.T. Li, and Samuel S. Sutherland

twelfth century. Reaching for continuity amid the rapid religious and social change of the period – a period that for many monastic communities included profound internal change initiated in the name of correction or reform – the Swabian monk-chroniclers of the eleventh and twelfth centuries imagined historical narratives that insisted on connection to the past. At the Hirsau-affiliated monastery of Zwiefalten (f. 1089), the monks Ortlieb (writing between 1135 and 1137) and Berthold (writing between c. 1137 and 1138) cover much of the same territory as the

in Monastic experience in twelfth-century Germany
The Chronicle of Petershausen in translation

The twelfth-century Chronicle of Petershausen, composed over the course of more than thirty years, opens a rare window on the life-world of a medieval monastery as it struggles to grow and survive within tumultuous spiritual and temporal landscapes.

From its founding by St. Gebhard II of Constance as a proprietary episcopal monastery in 992 through the aftermath of the great fire that ravaged the community in 1159 and beyond, Petershausen encountered both external attacks and internal disruption and division. Across the pages of the chronicle, supra-regional clashes between emperors and popes play out at the most local level. Monks struggle against the influence of overreaching bishops. Reformers arrive and introduce new and unfamiliar customs. Tensions erupt into violence within the community. Advocates attack. Miracles, visions, and relics link the living and the dead. Through it all the anonymous chronicler struggles to find meaning amid conflict and chaos and forge connections to a distant past. Along the way, this monk enlivens his narrative with countless colorful anecdotes – sometimes amusing, sometimes disturbing – creating a history for the monastery with its own unique voice.

Intended for specialists and students alike, this volume presents the first translation into English of this fascinating text, which offers a unique glimpse into the lived experience of medieval monasticism and its interactions with the society around it.

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Alison I. Beach, Shannon M.T. Li, and Samuel S. Sutherland

Introduction Book Two covers the early years of the monastery, from the death of Bishop Gebhard II of Constance in 995 to the ascent of Bishop Gebhard III in 1084, and closes by setting the stage for the arrival at Petershausen of monks from Hirsau. Book Two does not present a coherent narrative account of the history of the monastery in these early years, which would probably have been beyond what the sources available to the chronicler could support. The first half of the book is rather an eclectic collection of privileges, anecdotes, and stories of

in Monastic experience in twelfth-century Germany
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Alison I. Beach, Shannon M.T. Li, and Samuel S. Sutherland

Introduction Book Three begins with the arrival at Petershausen of the Hirsau reformers in the year 1086. The anchor of the reform at Petershausen, from the chronicler’s perspective, was the charismatic Theodoric, whose thirty-year abbacy (1086–1116) represents a golden age for the monastery. After the monks reject Otto as abbot in the first rocky days of the reform, 1 it is Theodoric who restores a certain amount of stability to the community. Quickly reversing the decline of monastic discipline that the chronicler laments, Theodoric, a “truly venerable

in Monastic experience in twelfth-century Germany
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I. S. Robinson

’, with its enthusiasm for the reformer Abbot William of Hirsau and for the anti-king Rudolf, patron of the reformed monastery of St Blasien, provides further evidence for this shift in loyalties from the imperial monasticism of the days of Abbot Bern to the south German monastic reform of the late eleventh century and the Swabian nobility who were its patrons. Reichenau’s rapprochement

in Eleventh-century Germany
Alison I. Beach, Shannon M.T. Li, and Samuel S. Sutherland

chronicler describes the just-in-time repair of faulty foundations and a cracking façade. Even the body of the soon-to-be saint needed to be rescued from the neglect of the monks and the dampness seeping into his crypt. This rescue is a part of a reform still-in-progress, with Abbot Conrad as its champion, fifty years after the arrival of the monks from Hirsau. Both the structure of the manuscript and the shape of the text itself suggest that the chronicler initially intended this short book to close the work. The red initial at the opening of the Translation parallels

in Monastic experience in twelfth-century Germany
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I.S. Robinson

‘customs’ of Cluny by the reformed monastery of Hirsau during the later 1070s. This was the process that transformed Hirsau into the most important centre of monastic reform in southern Germany during the Investiture Contest. 93 The ‘customs’ of Hirsau are the target of a polemic that reveals the continuation of Hersfeld’s preoccupation with monastic reform into the early 1090s

in The Annals of Lampert of Hersfeld
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Jonathan R. Lyon

the Rhine was Hirsau in the Black Forest, which borrowed heavily from the Cluniac way of life. 43 Hirsau’s influence spread through the monastery of Corvey to Margrave Wiprecht of Groitzsch’s foundation at Pegau, as his Deeds describe. Further to the south and east, the Benedictine community at Admont was founded in 1074 by Archbishop Gebhard of Salzburg (1060–88), a prelate who was deeply

in Noble Society
The schools
Philippa Byrne

second quarter of the twelfth century by the Benedictine Conrad of Hirsau. 38 Conrad’s work places mercy as one of the comites (companions or associates) of caritas , alongside the virtues of gratia , pax , pietas , mansuetudo , liberalitas , indulgentia , compassio , benignitas and concordia . 39 Misericordia is defined as showing kindness and equal treatment towards all ranks, and inclining towards co-suffering (i.e. compassion) with the afflicted. The relationship between misericordia and iustitia is not explicitly spelled

in Justice and mercy
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Alison I. Beach, Shannon M.T. Li, and Samuel S. Sutherland

Introduction The prologue to the CP opens a window on the religious landscape of the Middle Ages, offering a vital witness to the spiritual values espoused by Hirsau-oriented monks in the early decades of the twelfth century. This opening book of the Chronicle reads as a kind of manifesto – a forceful assertion of the apostolic foundations of traditional cenobitic monasticism in the Hirsau mode, and may indeed have been written originally as a standalone treatise on religious life. The monks’ habit, tonsure, retreat from the world, strict enclosure, and the

in Monastic experience in twelfth-century Germany