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Archbishop of Mainz (d. 1032)

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Aribo, ARCHBISHOP OF MAINZ, date of birth unknown; d. April 6, 1032; son of Arbo, Count Palatine in Laubenthal, and Adela, and one of the most important churchmen of his time. Choosing an ecclesiastical career, he became successively deacon in the church of Salzburg, and chaplain to his kinsman, the Emperor, Henry II, who appointed him to the Archbishopric of Mainz. His consecration took place October 1, 1021, with great pomp. The following year he revived the famous Gandersheim controversy which concerned the rival claims of the bishops of Hildesheim and the archbishops of Mainz to jurisdiction over the convent of Gandersheim, situated on the boundary between the two dioceses, but from time immemorial subject to Hildesheim. Having advanced his claims without success in the synods of Frankfort (1027) and Pohlde (1029), Aribo finally renounced them in Merseburg (1030), admitting his error, and promising future silence. Aribo figured prominently in the politics of the time. On the death of Henry II, which brought the male line of the Saxon emperors to an end, the spiritual and temporal princes of the empire assembled to elect a new sovereign, and it was Aribo’s candidate who was chosen, under the title of Conrad II, and was anointed by him in Mainz. The powerful discourse preached on this occasion shows the d. ep spirituality of Aribo’s nature. Under Conrad he filled the office of chancellor for Germany and Italy. There are records of two journeys to Rome, the first to the Lateran Council (1027) and the second just before his death. He finished the convent of Goss in Styria begun by his father and devoted earnest efforts to the rebuilding and decoration of the cathedral which had been destroyed by fire in 1009. It was Aribo who obtained for the archbishops of Mainz the right of coinage. His internal administration of the diocese was most energetic and capable. His zeal for the reform of ecclesiastical discipline is evidenced by the Council of Seligenstadt which he convened in the first year of his episcopate (August, 1022). Later he practically reorganized the archdiocese. His interest in education prompted him to summon Ekkehard IV of St. Gall to take charge of the schools of Mainz. His own intellectual powers were of no mean order as is manifested by his taste for poetry and his own treatise on “The Fifteen Gradual Psalms“, whence he is termed in his epitaph suavis psalmigraphus. Aribo’s contemporaries unite in praise of his character—his disinterestedness and capability. Despite the brusqueness of his nature and the severity of his discipline, he enjoyed the confidence and respect of his suffragans. His moral character has been proved unimpeachable.


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