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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 …

Passion Piety

(1,597 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] is a form of Christian devotion centered on the passion and crucifixion of Jesus (Passion/Passion traditions). Commemoration of the end of Jesus’ life was always a living presence in the Christian community – despite the criticism of his manner of death by Jews and pagans (1 Cor 1:23), which in turn fostered the Christian interpretation of the cross (Cross/Crucifixion) as a trophy while also discouraging iconographic representation of the crucifixion until the early 5th century. E…

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…

Genoa

(297 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] Genoa is the capital of the Liguria region and a major Italian port on the Gulf of Genoa, on the southern escarpment of the Ligurian Apennines (1998: 642,000 inhabitants). Settled since the 5th century bce by the Ligurians, then a Roman municipium, whose first Christian bishop is attested in 381 ce (it belonged to Milan until 1133, since then an archdiocese). Already a center of trade in the 6th century, the now wealthy Genoa came in the 11th century into competition with Pisa, emerging victorious, after a long struggle, in 1284.…

Leclercq, Jean

(248 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] (Jan 31, 1911, Avesnes, France – Oct 27, 1993, Clervaux, Luxembourg), a Benedictine monk, was one of the most prolific medievalists of the second half of the 20th century. Having studied in Rome and Paris, he also lectured in various places (esp. in Rome). In 1941, after conducting research on the Scholasticism of the 13th to 15th centuries, Leclercq turned to the partly still unpublished monastic literature of the Middle Ages, especially of the 11th and 12th centuries. His extens…

Wilhelmina of Bohemia

(329 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] (of Milan; died 1278/1281, Milan). The only source for her life is the record of the trial of Wilhelmina and her followers conducted posthumously in 1300 by the Inquisition; it indicates that ¶ she was from Bohemia and was of noble birth. We know nothing of her life before her arrival in Milan between 1260 and 1270, but she is said to have had a son. In that period, numerous religious dissidents were living in Milan, which was shaken not only by conflicts with other cities of northern Italy and internal partisan …

Conventuals

(331 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] 1. Those who belong to a convent (Lat. conventus), i.e. all the full members of a religious community at a specific location. 2. In the context of a particular monastic way of life, and especially among the mendicant orders, “conventuals” refers to that group or tendency within the order which continues to follow the “old observance” (usually in a previously mitigated form) in the midst of internal disputes over the proper observance of the rule, and which accordingly …

Observants

(332 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] From the late 14th century, reforming groups or tendencies within monasticism (III, 4.b), especially in the mendicant orders and most especially among the Franciscans, were called observants ( observantes, fratres de observantia etc.). In internal debates ¶ about the right way of life, they opposed easing of the rule and other kinds of adaptation that had crept in (Conventuals), and advocated strict following of the rules as rigorously interpreted, together with other prescriptions ( observantia regularis etc., Observance). In this, restoration of the vita commu…

Subiaco

(215 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] village in Latium, in the valley of the Aniene east of Rome. Here Benedict of Nursia is said to have lived in a cave (Sacro Speco) as a hermit and to have later joined with companions to form a monastic settlement in rooms of a former villa of the emperor Nero (monastery of San Clemente). In the years that followed, he is said to have founded ten additional monasteries before going to Monte Cassino in 529. Two of them are still standing today: San Benedetto (Sacro Speco) and, low…

Summa theologiae

(401 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] In the 12th century, a scholarly work briefly summarizing the totality of important knowledge in a particular field (Robert of Melun: singulorum brevis comprehensio) came to be called a Summa (later also Summula). Various disciplines were represented: Summa grammaticae/grammaticalis; Summa super Priscianum; Summa dictaminis/artis notariae; Summa logicae ( Summulae dialectices/logicales/logicae); Summa de modis significandi; Summa philosophiae; Summula philosophiae naturalis; Summa de anima, etc. Compendia of civil and canon law were also called Summae…

Patrocinia

(1,075 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] Latin patrocinium denotes a proprietary relationship, usually established by consecration, and the consequent protective function of a patron (usually a saint) with respect to a church or altar, a country, a city or bishopric, a group (social class, noble family, profession, guild, confraternity, university, monastery, religious congregation, or the like), or an individual. In return for protection, the patron is honored by the faithful in a wide variety of liturgical and paraliturgical forms. ¶ The ancient Roman term patronus first appears as a term for a …

Gottfried of Auxerre

(184 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] (Gottfried of Clairvaux; c. 1114/20, Auxerre – after 1188, Hautecombe). As a student of Abelard, attracted to the Cistercians in ¶ 1140 by the Paris sermon of Bernard of Clairvaux, De conversione. He was a monk in Clairvaux, Bernard's secretary until his death in 1153, abbot of Igny from 1156 and of Clairvaux from 1162 to 1165. After his forced resignation, he was a monk in Cîteaux, abbot of Fossanova near Rome beginning in 1170 and of Hautecombe (Savoie) from 1176 to 1188. Gottfried collected Bernard's letters and material for his Vita prima, which he initiated and book…

Peter Lombard

(359 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] (1095/1100, near Novara, Lombardy – Jul 21/22, 1160, Paris). After studying in northern Italy and Reims, Peter came to Paris c. 1135 as an outsider; by 1145 he was already one of the most important teachers in the cathedral school. On Jul 28, 1159, he was consecrated bishop of Paris, but he was unable to distinguish himself in that office. In his years of teaching, he produced glosses (Glossa ordinaria) on the Psalms (PL 191, 55–1296) and the Pauline Epistles, also called the magna (or maior) glossatura (PL 191, 1297–1696; 192, 9–520), as well as four books of Sententiae (crit…

Waldenses

(2,367 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] I. Middle Ages Waldenses (Valdesi), supporters of the townsman Waldo from Lyon, made their first historical appearance in 1179 at the Third Lateran Council, where they vainly requested permission to preach freely. In 1180, Waldo and his companions ( fratres) committed themselves to an orthodox creed at a synod in Lyon and pledged to lead a life according to the counsels of perfection. By doing so, the community of the “Poor of Lyon” attained public visibility. In analogy to other religious movements of the 12th century…

Gilson, Étienne

(197 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] (June 13, 1884, Paris – Sep 19, 1978, Auxerre), philosopher. In 1913, he became professor at Lille, in 1919 at Strasbourg, from 1921 to 1932 he was ¶ professor at the Sorbonne, and from 1932 at the Collège de France. In 1929, he co-founded the Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies in Toronto, and in 1947 became a member of the Académie Française. Gilson was also a systematic philosopher (e.g. Matières et formes, 1964; ET: Forms and Substances in the Arts, 2001), although the focal point of his work lay in the history of what he called “Christian philosoph…

Middle Ages

(4,250 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] I. The Term – II. Assessment and Study – III. Definition – IV. Characteristics – V. Early, High, and Late Middle Ages I. The Term French moyen âge has been used for a historical period since 1572, English Middle Age(s) since 1611 and Middle Time(s) since 1612. The German word Mittelalter had already been used by the Swiss historian Aegidius Tschudi ( mittel alters) in 1538, but it did not reappear in this sense (in contrast to “middle age”) until 1786; at the beginning of the 19th century, it finally prevailed over the more common 18th-century expressions mittlere Zeit(e…

Piety, History of

(1,577 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] I. Early Research At the dawn of the 21st century, a history of piety is more a desideratum than a reality, especially in Protestantism. In the 19th century, the notion of piety as defined in its modern sense by Pietism, J.W. v. Goethe, and Romanticism and grounded theologically by F.D.E. Schleiermacher did not lead to academic study of the history of piety. To this day, religious scholarship avoids the term; there is no lemma Frömmigkeit in HRWG II, 1990. Not until the end of the 19th century did church history deal with the history of piety, primarily …

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 …

Legend

(1,218 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] The word legend (from Middle Lat. legenda [ sc. vita or acta]) originally denoted a text to be read during worship or within a monastic community, especially at mealtime, in walkways set aside for reading, or in the chapter house. The subject matter was the life and deeds of one or more saints (Saints/Veneration ¶ of the saints: II). For the most part, the legend was regularly read in whole or in part on the festival of the particular saint. In conjunction with the functionalization of the cult of the saints, which had already begun i…

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;…
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