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Wilhelmites

(290 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] The Wilhelmite order goes back to a hermitage (Monasticism: III) founded in Tuscany in the mid-12th century. Its founder is said to have been a French noble named Wilhelm, a former soldier who settled near Pisa in 1145 after several pilgrimages; later he moved to the mountain valley of Malavalle, near Siena, where he lived a strictly ascetic life as a hermit with a single companion (later joined by a second). After his death on Feb 10, 1157, a hermitage grew up at his burial site;…

Geography

(827 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] I. History of the Discipline – II. Church History I. History of the Discipline Geography has come a long way from its beginnings in the mythical worldview (ANE creation accounts, early Greek philosophical speculation) and in the pragmatic exploration of the world (travel reports of merchants) to its development as an exact science. In antiquity, it was understood as a comprehensive lore of the earth and its inhabitants. The earliest accounts took the form of descriptions of coasts (Periplus et al.), which were soon joined by geographic and ethnographic excu…

Lay Abbot

(106 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] A lay abbot in the narrow sense, is a layman who is entrusted with the conduct and use of a monastery without being a member of its convent or even a monk. In the Frankish Empire of the 9th and 10th centuries and its successor states, members of the nobility were particularly frequently vested with this function. In a secondary meaning, lay abbot also designates the clerical holder of a commendam, who does not have the status of a monk (frequent from the High Middle Ages to the early modern period). Ulrich Köpf Bibliography F.J. Felten, Äbte und Laienäbte im Frankenreich, 1980.

Ficino, Marsilio

(391 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] (Oct 19, 1433, Figline Valdarno, Italy – Oct 1, 1499, Careggi, Italy). Ficino was the son of the personal physician of Cosimo de' Medici; the latter supported Ficino and prompted him to change his course of studies from medicine to philosophy. He acquired an extremely thorough knowledge of Greek and produced annotated translations of esp. Plato (1463–1469), Plotinus (1484–1486), and a series of other neo-Platonic authors. In Florence he founded a Platonic Academy (I, 5) in which h…

Liechtenstein

(293 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] The principality of Liechtenstein is a microstate (160 km2) between the Swiss cantons of Sankt Gallen and Grisons (Graubünden) to the west and the Austrian state of Vorarlberg to the east. It is a hereditary constitutional monarchy with a population of 35,300 (2007), 80% Catholic, 7.4% Protestant (1996). Rulers of Liechtenstein are first mentioned in the 12th century, with two lines possessing lands in Styria and Moravia. When the Styrian line died out in 1619, the Moravian lord of Nikols…

Controversial Theology

(1,053 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] is a branch of theology that judges differences between various Christian Churches from a polemical and argumentative point of view rather than analyzing them from a historically critical perspective. The “controversy” involved relates both to the object and the method of this discipline. Theological positions are discussed when they become significant in disturbing or dividing the church community, and not so much as contributions to an open scholarly debate. I. Although the term controversial theology did not become common until the 20th century, …

Peter Cantor

(242 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] (Petrus; first half of the 12th cent., Hosdenc, near Beauvais – 1197, Cistercian abbey of Longpont, near Soissons). Sometime before 1173, after studying at the cathedral school in Reims, he began teaching at the cathedral school in Paris as a canon; in 1183 he was appointed to the post of cantor. He refused his election as bishop of Paris in 1196. In 1197 he was elected dean of the cathedral chapter of Reims, but died on his journey from Paris. Numerous works, some still unpublished, bear witness to his teaching activity: glosses on the Old and New Testaments; Distinctiones or S…

Cathedral Schools

(471 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] were educational originally institutions for training clergy, administered by the episcopal curia. In the Early Church, learned bishops (preeminently Augustine) already gave instruction to their clergy. From the second Council of Toledo (527/531) onward, the Church repeatedly urged the establishment of episcopal schools; in 789, they were ¶ enjoined by Charlemagne, and in 1076 by Gregory VII. Nevertheless, down to the Reformation numerous councils deplored the educational level of the clergy – a sign of the great dispari…

Reform, Idea of

(2,727 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] In classical Latin, the verb reformare and the associated noun reformatio already denoted a transformation for the better: restoration of an earlier human condition, since lost (morality e.g. Pliny the Younger Panegyricus 53.1: “corruptos depravatosque mores . . . reformare et corrigere”; bodily health e.g. Theodorus Priscianus Euproiston 1.38: “oculorum aciem reformare”), or physical objects (e.g. Solinus, Collectanea rerum memorabilium 40.5: “templum reformare”) or improvement without regard to the past (e.g. Sen. Ep. 58.26: “reformatio morum”; Ep. 94.5…

Recluses/Hermits

(442 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] Recluses or hermits are men and women who do penance by shutting themselves (or having themselves shut) into a cell, either for a specific period (usually at the beginning of their lives as ascetics) or for the rest of their lives. This extreme form of asceticism surfaced in the Early Church in all regions of the East where there were monastic settlements (e.g. in Egypt, John of Lycopolis; esp. common in Syria) and came to the West in the 6th century, but it reached its climax in …

Vikings

(188 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] The Vikings were marauding seafarers from Scandinavia, who plagued large sections of Europe from ¶ the 8th century to the 11th century. Swedes descended on Novgorod and Kiev via the Gulf of Finland, advancing as far as the Black Sea (Varangians). Norwegians conquered Scotland and the northern and eastern parts of Ireland, settled Iceland, and sailed as far as Greenland, Newfoundland, and Nova Scotia. Danes settled between the mouths of the Oder and Vistula and landed on the southern and eastern …

Remigius of Auxerre (Saint)

(119 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] (after 841 – May 2, probably 908, Paris), a monk from the monastery of St. Germain in Auxerre, where he succeeded his teacher Heiric ( Heiricus). Remigius was involved in the renewal of the school of Reims around 893 and taught in Paris from 900 onward. He authored more than 20 works that were widely read in the Middle Ages, although most of them have never been printed: commentaries on ancient and early medieval grammarians and poets, on Genesis and the Psalms, and on Boethius’s De consolatione philosophiae and Opuscula sacra; he also wrote an exposition of the mass. Ulrich Kö…

Libri sententiarum

(992 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] Authoritative dicta with significant content (Gk γνώμη/ gnṓmē [earliest: Sophoc. Ajax 1091] alongside more specialized terms; Lat. sententia [since Cicero]) were already in use in pre-Christian times in literary and rhetorical contexts; later they were collected for more convenient use ( gnomology, similar to anthology [Florilegium]). Examples are Μενάνδρου γνώμαι μονόστιχοι/ Menándrou gnṓmai monóstichoi ¶ (probably begun in the 2nd cent. bce; continued into the Byzantine period) and Σέξτου γνώμαι/ Séxtou gnṓmai (c. 200 ce). During the Trinitarian contr…

Quaestio

(422 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] A true (as opposed to “rhetorical”) question (Gk ζήτημα/ zḗtēma, πρόβλημα/ próblēma, ἀπορία/ aporía, Lat. quaestio), seeking an answer that will solve a problem, is a fundamental tool for rational argumentation. It was used already by the ancient Greeks (beginning with the questions of Socrates in the dialogues of Plato) and rabbinic Judaism (in give and take between teacher and student). Formulation of questions became common early on in the theology of the Early Church (reaching a high point in Augustine, e.g. De diversis quaestionibus ad Simplicianum; Quaestione…

Oxford University

(900 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] The city is first mentioned in 912. It was founded in the Anglo-Saxon period and walled by the Normans, and lies at the intersection of important routes. As early as the 12th century there were schools for the artes liberales , law and theology, from which the university developed by the beginning of the 13th century. Following a conflict with the townspeople, most masters and students left Oxford in 1209; some of them founded Cambridge University. When others returned to Oxford in 1214 the university…

Carmelites

(510 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] The Carmelite Order goes back to a community of occidental hermits on Mount Carmel, who were granted a rule by the patriarch of Jerusalem in 1210. It obligated them to a strict contemplative life. The spirituality of the community, led by a prior, was marked by anachoretic traditions, the example of the prophet Elijah, and veneration of the Virgin Mary. In 1240, the Carmelites fled before the growing threat of the Saracens into their European homelands, where …

Pico della Mirandola

(799 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] 1. Giovanni (Feb 24, 1463, Mirandola near Modena – Nov 17, 1494, Florence), son of the count of Mirandola. From 1477, he studied canon law, artes liberales, philosophy, and literature, especially in Bologna, Ferrara, Padua, Paris, and Perugia. In addition to Greek, he learned Hebrew and Arabic. He paid several visits to Florence, where he made friends with Lorenzo de’ Medici and his circle, especially with M. Ficino, Angelo Poliziano (1454–1494), and Girolamo Benivieni (1453–1542). …

Tanchelm

(143 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[English Version] (gest.1115 Antwerpen). Asketischer Wanderprediger, vermutlich Laie, zeitweilig in der Umgebung Graf Roberts II. von Flandern. 1112 soll er sich in Rom um eine Lösung der Inseln an der Scheldemündung (Seeland) aus dem Bistum Utrecht und um ihre Unterstellung unter das Bistum Thérouanne (Erzbistum Reims) bemüht haben. Auf der Heimreise vom Erzbf. von Köln verhaftet, wurde er vom Utrechter Domklerus der Ketzerei beschuldigt. Zu den klischeehaften Vorwürfen gehört die Ablehnung des K…

Oxford

(825 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[English Version] Oxford, Universität. In dem erstmals 912 erwähnten, in angelsächsischer Zeit gegründeten, von den Normannen mit Mauern umgebenen Ort am Schnittpunkt wichtiger Verkehrswege gab es schon im 12.Jh. Schulen für die artes liberales, Recht und Theol., aus denen sich an der Wende zum 13.Jh. die U. entwickelte. Nach einem Konflikt mit der Stadtgemeinde verließen 1209 die meisten Magister und Studenten O.; ein Teil von ihnen gründete die U. Cambridge. Mit der Rückkehr eines anderen Teils n…

Bonus, John

(101 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] (1168, Mantua? – 1249, Budriolo, Romagna). A layperson who led a life of penitence as a hermit beginning in 1209 in the small village of Budriolo on the northern margins of the Apennines. He founded a hermit community named after him in 1217, at the earliest; it lived according to the Augustinian Rule (Augustine, rule of) and became an order active in pastoral care in northern Italy which was incorporated in 1256 into the order of the Augustinian Hermits. Ulrich Köpf Bibliography K. Elm, “Italienische Eremitengemeinschaften des 12. und 13. Jh.,” in idem, Vitasfratrum, 199…
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