A Cluniac Necrology from the Time of Abbot Hugh

  • Joachim Wollasch
Part of the Readings in European History book series (SEURH)


There is an increasing tendency nowadays among historians to rely on necrologies of the early middle ages for data in research on reformed monasticism.2 But none of the surviving medieval necrologies come from any of the famous centres of monastic reform, such as Cluny,3 Gorze,4 Hirsau or Fruttuaria;5 and from St Vanne at Verdun there is only one from the late medieval period and a new edition of an old necrology.6 In the face of such serious losses, one begins to doubt whether the ones that have been preserved can really serve as worthwhile sources for historical research on the subject. On the other hand, most medieval manuscript necrologies from about I mo, when monastic reform was at its height, are accessible.1 This certainly points to some connection between the preservation of necrologies and the reform itself. So it seems best to start with the question of their preservation when estimating their value as historical evidence.


Historical Evidence Twelfth Century Eleventh Century Marginal Note Secular World 
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  1. 1.
    [Joachim Wollasch from ‘Ein cluniacensisches Totenbuch aus der Zeit Abt Hugos von Cluny’, in Frühmittelalterliche Studien, ed. K. Hauck, 1 Berlin (1967) pp. 406–43. Ed.]Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    The decisive influence in this direction came from K. Hallinger, Gorze–Kluny, and is certainly one of the great merits of that work’. On the methods of research see, however, G. Tellenbach in NF pp. 4 f.; J. Wollasch, ‘Muri und St Blasien, Perspektiven schwäbischen Mönchtums in der Reform’, in DA 17 (1961) 427 ff.; also his ‘Qu’a signifié Cluny pour l’abbaye de Moissac?’, in Annales du Midi, 75 (1963) 345 ff. See also K. Schmid and J. Wollasch, ‘Die Gemeinschaft der Lebenden und Verstorbenen in Zeugnissen des Mittelalters’, in Frühmittelalterl. Studien, 1,365 ff.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    A. Molinier, Les obituaires français (1890) no. 392, and RHF Obituaires, 1, 1 (1902) 419, 519;Google Scholar
  4. K. Hallinger, Gorze–Kluny, 1 (1950) p. 26.Google Scholar
  5. 4.
    A modern compilation called a necrology of Gorze (an excerpt from Baluze) was published by C. Aimond, ‘Le nécrologe de l’abbaye de Gorze’, in Bull. mensuel de la Soc. d’archéologie lorraine et du musée historique lorrain, 63 (1914) 76ff.Google Scholar
  6. 5.
    In an indirect way, through the necrologies of monasteries connected with Hirsau (e.g. Michelsberg in Bamberg, Zwiefalten, Peterhausen), it is possible to find fragments that approximate to the lost necrology of Hirsau: see J. Wollasch, ‘Mönchtum des Mittelalters zwischen Kirche und Welt’, Habil.-Schrift Freiburg i. Br. (MS. 1963, to appear soon). The fragment of the St Blaise necrology is relevant to Fruttuaria (see J. Wollasch in DA 17 (1961) 427 ff.) and is an important roll, especially when compared with the valuable, as yet unpublished, necrological remains from St Bénigne at Dijon (see Molinier, Les obituaires français, nos 374–8).Google Scholar
  7. 6.
    Molinier, Les obituaires, no. 322, places the first draft in the fourteenth century and so does H. Bloch (Jahrb. d. Ges. f, lothr. Gesch. u. Altertumskunde, 14 (1902) 133), who published it in summary form. (Hallinger, op. cit. p. 31, believed that this edition represented the complete text.)Google Scholar
  8. Sackur, Neues Archiv, 15 (1890) p. 126 ff. also printed extracts, but from the eighteenth-century copy.Google Scholar
  9. As yet the complete necrology remains unedited. H. Dauphin, Le bienheureux Richard, abbé de Saint-Vanne de Verdun (‘Bibi. de la Rev. eccl.’ 24, 1946) places its beginning in the fifteenth century. The entries belonging to the eleventh and twelfth centuries can, for the most part, be established by comparing them with other necrologies of the same period, like the still unpublished one of St Airy of Verdun, begun about the year 1100: on this see J. Wollasch (‘Mönchtum des Mittelalters’, as in n. 5 above); I am very grateful to Dom Huyghebaert of St André, Bruges, who placed at my disposal photocopies of this necrology (Bibl. Verdun, MS. 10) and of another copy of the necrology (Bibl. Verdun, MS. 11).Google Scholar
  10. 3.
    G. Schnürer, ‘Das Necrologium des Cluniacenser-Priorates Münchenwiler (Villars-les-Moines)’, in Collectanea Friburgensia, n.s. x (1906) xviii f; Hallinger, op. cit. 1 p. 26.Google Scholar
  11. 1.
    See the remarks of A. Molinier (RHF Obituaires, 1, 1 (1902) 419); or those of E. Molinier in his summarised version of the necrologies of St Martial de Limoges (Doc. hist. bas-latins, provençaux et français concernant principalement la Marche et le Limousin, 1 (1883) 65). Most editions are incomplete, including even the nineteenth-century editions of representative necrologies such as those in J. F. Böhmer, Fontes rer. Germ. and P. Jaffé Bibl. rer. Germ., where only titles and details of selected persons such as kings, popes, counts, bishops, abbots, ecclesiastics, etc., are given.Google Scholar
  12. 1.
    See J. Wollasch, in Annales du Midi, 75 (1963) 345 ff.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. H. Keller, ‘Kloster Einsiedeln im ottonischen Schwaben’, in Forschung z. oberrhein. Landesgesch. 13 (1964) 127 and n. 223.Google Scholar
  14. 2.
    L. Delisle, Inventaire des manuscrits de la Bibl. Nat., Fonds de Cluni (1884) no. 126.Google Scholar
  15. 4.
    U. Chevalier, Répertoire des sources historiques. Topo-Bibliographie (1900) col. 3309.Google Scholar
  16. 5.
    Sackur, Die Cluniacenser, 1 383, and n. 7: ‘Aus dem Necrologium des Cluniacenser-Priorats von Villers (Diöcese Besançon)’. A. Potthast, Wegweiser durch die Geschichtswerke des europäischen Mittelalters bis 1500, 2, 2 (1896, new ed. 1957) p. 839 has Necrologium Villariensis (‘Villars’) prioratus ord. Cluniac. dioec. Vesont.Google Scholar
  17. 6.
    B. Egger, Geschichte der Cluniacenser-Klöster in der Westschweiz bis zum Auftreten der Cisterzienser (1907) pp. 93 and 222, n. 4; also pp. 39 f. and nn. 3 ff.; p. 251, where it is already said that the manuscript came from Münchenwiler.Google Scholar
  18. 2.
    See the list of churches in the diocese of Lausanne edited by Cuno d’Estavayer in Fontes rerum Bernensium, 2 (1877) no. 77 (15 Sept 1228) p. 89.Google Scholar
  19. 5.
    For example: the Bamberg necrology from Paderborn, edited by E. von Guttenberg, ‘Das Bistum Bamberg’, in Germania Sacra, 2, 1 (1937) 8, necr. 2; the oldest necrology fragment from the Austrian monastery of Lambach (MGH necr. 4, p. 405), which in fact originally belonged to Fulda; the necrology owned by the Göttweig foundation in the fifteenth century went to Germany from France in the twelfth century (MGH necr. 5, pp. 592–5 a Cistercian fragment). For all three examples, see J. Wollasch, ‘Mönchtum des Mittelalters’ (as on p. 143).Google Scholar
  20. 3.
    The thirty days’ commemoration at Cluny was so well known that it even occurs in charters: e.g. BB v 4183. See also the letter from Peter the Venerable to Bishop Henry I of Winchester in W. Jorden, ‘Das cluniazensische Totengedächtniswesen’, Münsterische Beiträge zur Theologie, 15 (1930) 116. It is also found in the martyrology/necrology of Usuard of St Germain-des-Près, which spans the whole middle ages (RHF Obituaires, 1, 1 (1902) 248, under 12.1). It was a familiar practice in the monastic customaries of the German monasteries too: see, for example, Albers, Consuetudines Monasticae, V 76.Google Scholar
  21. 1.
    On the problem of the intermingling of spiritual commemorations with social obligations, Peter the Venerable, looking back over the history of Cluny, made a just observation: it is reflected in his reform statute xxxii. See D. Knowles, ‘The Reforming decrees of Peter the Venerable’, in Petrus Venerabilis (‘Studia Anselmiana’, XL, 1956) pp. 1 ff.; PL 189, 1034–5: ‘Statutum est ut defunctis fratribus nostris universis scilicet professis, die anniversarii, quo recitari nomina eorum a lectore, sicuti mos est in capitulo soient, quinquaginta praebendae dentur, tali conditione, ut sive plura sint, sive minus, quam quinquaginta, ultra numerum jam dictum nec augeantur praebendae nec minuantur. Causa instituti hujus fuit mira virtutum discretio, quia difficile visum est, et etiam importabile, ut si multiplicitas defunctorum usque ad octogenarium et centenarium, aut forte infinitum numerum [meaning the entries to be read aloud on one day] assidue decedentibus fratribus se extenderet, quod pari modo praebendarum numerus. Nullius enim monasterii substantia, si a prioribus institutus mos servaretur, diu ad hoc sufficere posset. Raris tarnen adhuc diebus defunctorum fratrum nomina usque ad quinquagenarium numerum perveniunt.’ At the end (PL 189, 1050) cornes Peter’s dispositio rei familiaris Cluniacensis: ‘Ne vero aliquis miretur hunc infinitum defunctorum numerum certo hoc est quinquagenario numero determinatum, novent tali hoc factum esse consilio, ne processu temporis crescentes in immensum defuncti vivos expellerent, dum trecentos ad minus vivos et mille fortassis quandoque defunctos parvi Ecclesiae redditus procurare non possent.’Google Scholar
  22. 2.
    S. Hilpisch, ‘Die Doppelklöster’, in Beitr. z. Gesch. d. alten Mönchtums u.d. Benediktinerordens, 55 (1928) 60. On p. 82 he quotes in support of his thesis the statutes of Peter the Venerable, without going further into what Peter himself said about Marcigny: see below, p. 563 and notes. Marcigny is not mentioned by Hilpisch.Google Scholar
  23. But see G. de Valous, Le Monachisme clunisien, 1 (1935) esp. pp. 382 and 384 f.Google Scholar
  24. 1.
    This entry is not obvious. See G. Tellenbach, ‘Der Sturz des Abtes Pontius von Cluny und seine geschichtliche Bedeutung’, in QFIAB 42–3 (1963) 13 ff., esp. pp. 16 f. and 30.Google Scholar
  25. 3.
    Thus, for example, among the hundreds of unknown monks entered in the Tegernsee necrology (Clm. 1006: see A. M. Zimmermann, in Studien und Mitteilungen zur Gesch. d. Benediktinerordens, 60 (1946) 190–217) one meets, listed according to their anniversaries, Ekkehard of Aura, Fromund of Tegernsee, Frutolf of Michelsberg, Lampert of Hersfeld, Otloh of St Emmeram, Otto of Freising, Wigo of Feuchtwangen and Williram of Ebersberg.Google Scholar
  26. 2.
    On this necrology see above, p. 14.5, n. 2. See also the remarks of L. d’Alauzier, ‘Un martyrologe et un obituaire de l’abbaye de Moissac’, in Bull. de la Soc. archéol. de Tarn-et-Garonne (1959).Google Scholar
  27. 3.
    CF n 63, p. 183. [See Hunt, Cluny under St Hugh, p. 11 and n. 5 for the Cluniac origin of this customary; see above, pp. 56 ff., for Dom Hourlier’s use of the description of St Odilo’s monastery taken from CF. For other implications following from the Cluniac origin of CF], see Valous, op. cit. 119 ff. and A. Wilmart, ‘Le couvent et la bibliothèque de Cluny vers le milieu du Xie siècle’, in RM 11 (1921). Thus in CF II 63, p. 204, the directions for commemorating the dead are those practised in Cluny: see Wollasch, ‘Mönchtum’ (p. 14–3, n. 5 above). Many other implications could be cited. The specimen page is in CF n 63, p. 205.Google Scholar
  28. 1.
    BB v 3734, 3804, 3825, 3862. Also the documents of Paray-le-Monial, for example, point in the same direction: U. Chevalier, Cartulaire du prieuré de Paray-le-Monial (1891) nos 216, 217, 219.Google Scholar
  29. 3.
    The painstaking and valuable edition of the cartulary of Marcigny-surLoire by J. Richard only appeared in 1957: J. Richard, Le cartulaire de Marcigny-sur-Loire, 1045–1144 (Dijon, 1957).Google Scholar
  30. Nevertheless the old book by F. Cucherat, Cluny au onzieme siècle (Autun, 4 1885) could have helped Schnürer get onto the right track.Google Scholar
  31. 5.
    Jorden, ‘Das cluniazensische Totengedächtniswesen’, see above p. 116; ‘Catalogue des noms des dames religieuses du prieuré de Marcigny’, in Cucherat, op. cit. p. 237: for the year 1 114: ‘Raingarde de Semur, veuve de Maurice de Montboissier, morte en 1134!’. She was the mother of Peter the Venerable, abbot of Cluny. See P. Lamma, ‘La madre di Pietro il Venerabile’, in Rio. mensile di vita e di cultura, 54 (Rome, 1958).Google Scholar
  32. 1.
    Thus Tarasia of Castile: Schnürer, loc. cit. under 9 6. ‘Tarasia sanctimonialis’; necrology of St Martin-des-Champs under 916: RHF Obituaires, 1, 1 (1902) 442: ‘Tarasia comitissa’; ibid. (note by Molinier): ‘Peutêtre l’enfante Thérèse de Castille’; Cucherat, op. cit. p. 238 under 1137: ‘Sainte Véraise, fille d’Alphonse, roi d’Aragon’; or Adelaide of Blois (Peter the Venerable, Miracula, 126: PL 189, 899); Matilda, Hermengard and Emeline of Boulogne-Blois (Cucherat, op. cit. p. 238 under 1144); for these ladies of the English royal house, see Richard, Cart. de Marcigny, p. 102, n. 2; for others of royal blood in Marcigny, see Peter the Venerable, Miracula, 1 22: PL 189, 889.Google Scholar
  33. 3.
    Diener, loc. cit. p. 316 and note; P. Cousin, ‘Les relations de Saint Anselme avec Cluny’, in Spicilegium Beccense (Bec-Paris, 1959) p. 446.Google Scholar
  34. R. W. Southern, St Anselm and his Biographer (Cambridge, 1963) pp. 9 f., contests the theory that the person concerned was sister to the abbot of Chiusa.Google Scholar
  35. 7.
    Bibl. Cl. 420 and 455; de Valous, op. cit. 1384. For the two churches, see Richard, Cart. de Marcigny, no. 288 and the discussion by J. Hubert in Annales du Midi, 75 (1963) 24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 8.
    E.g. Victor II, I I June 1055 (JL 3436; PL 143, 803 ff., esp. 805); Gregory VII, 9 Dec 1075, Lateran (JL 4974, L. Santifaller, ‘Quellen u. Forschungen z. Urkunden u. Kanzleiwesen P. Gregors VII’, 1, in Studi e Testi, 190 (1957) no. 107); Urban II, 7 Dec 1095, St Flour (JL 5603, Richard, Cart. de Marcigny, no. 269); Calixtus II, 15 Feb 1120, Rome (JL 68,6, Richard, Cart. de Marcigny, no. 270).Google Scholar
  37. 2.
    Before the time of the Cistercians a constitutional code concerning affiliation did not exist. The meaning of the term congregation used in the necrology would mean all the monks who had made profession at Cluny whether they lived at Cluny or elsewhere. This meaning is reflected in the words of Peter and Venerable (Dispositio rei familiaris Cluniacensis: PL 189, 1050): ‘nomina fratrum defunctorum congregationis nostrae, hoc est professorum’; and statute xxxiii: PL 189, 1034.: ‘defunctis fratribus nostris universis scilicet professis’. From the point of view of the commemoration of the dead this concept of congregatio nostra had remained unchanged since the time of St Odilo: see CF a 63, p. 205. On the interpretation of ecclesia Cluniacensis and the corpus ecclesiae Cluniacensis in the eleventh and twelfth centuries, see Wollasch, ‘Mönchtum des Mittelalters’ (See above p. 14.3, n. 2). [See also Hunt, Cluny under St Hugh, pp. 154 ff. for an analysis of the concept of the order and congregation. Ed.]Google Scholar
  38. 3.
    See J. Hourlier, ‘L’Entrée de Moissac dans l’ordre de Cluny’, in Annales du Midi, 75 (Toulouse, 1963) 25 ff.Google Scholar
  39. 3.
    For example St Maur-des-Fossés: Sackur, Die Cluniacenser, 1247 ff., esp. p. 249 and note; Hallinger, Gorze–Kluny, 11 751; on Longpont, see J. Marion, Le cartulaire du prieuré de Notre-Dame de Longpont (1879) no. 51.Google Scholar
  40. 2.
    On Hallinger’s position with regard to culture, see J. Leclercq, ‘Spiritualité et culture à Cluny’, in Spiritualità, pp. 385 ff., and ‘Pour une histoire de la vie à Cluny’, in RHE LVII (1962) 385 ff.Google Scholar
  41. 3.
    See H. Hoffmann, ‘Von Cluny zum Investiturstreit’, in Arch. f. Kulturgesch. 45 (1963) 165 ff.Google Scholar
  42. 4.
    H. Rupp, Deutsche religiöse Dichtungen des zr. und 12. jahrhunderts (1958) is rather sceptical on the subject.Google Scholar
  43. 5.
    On the problem of a school of architecture springing from monasticism, see W. Hoffmann, Hirsau und die Hirsauer Bauschule’ (1950); on building at Cluny, see K. J. Conant, ‘Cluny 1077–1088’Google Scholar
  44. J. Stiennon, ‘Hezelon de Liège, architecte de Cluny III’, in Mélanges offerts à René Crozet (Poitiers, 1966).Google Scholar
  45. See also K. J. Conant, Cluny, Les Églises et la maison du chef d’Ordre (Mâcon, 1968) and his article in the present volume, pp. 77 ff: Ed.]Google Scholar
  46. 6.
    See D. Grivot and G. Zarnecki, Gislebertus Sculpteur d’Autun (Paris, 1960).Google Scholar
  47. 7.
    H. Wolter, Ordericus Vitalis. Ein Beitrag zur kluniazensischen Geschichtsschreibung (Inst. f. europ. Gesch. Mainz, 7, 1955)Google Scholar
  48. P. Lamma, Momenti di storiographia Cluniacense (1961).Google Scholar
  49. 9.
    See G. Tellenbach, ‘Zum Wesen der Cluniacenser’, in Saeculum, 9 (1958) 370 ff.; see also Leclercq, ‘Pour une histoire’, as in n. 2 above.Google Scholar
  50. 10.
    See Hallinger, Gorze–Kluny; and, using his method to take the subject further, J. Semmler, ‘Die Klosterrefortu von Siegburg’, in Rhein. Archiv, 53 (1959)Google Scholar
  51. H. Jakobs, ‘Die Hirsauer’, in Kölner Histor. Abhandl. 4 (1961).Google Scholar

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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1971

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  • Joachim Wollasch

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