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Chrysostomus Hanthaler

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Hanthaler, CHRYSOSTOMUS (JOHANNES ADAM), a Cistercian, historical investigator and writer; b. at Marenbach, Austria, February 14, 1690; d. in the Cistercian monastery of Lilienfeld in Lower Austria, September 2, 1754. Having finished his scholastic education, he made his profession in 1716, and subsequently he devoted himself with untiring zeal to historical research. The archives and rich library of the monastery offered a splendid field for his activity. On becoming librarian, he made it his first task to compile a reliable catalogue, and then collected all documents bearing on the history of Lilienfeld and of Austria. Copies and impressions of memorial tablets, seals, and coins were reproduced, until his transcripts and compilations filled twenty-two folio volumes. From this matter he composed the “Fasti Campililienses” in two large volumes (Linz, 1747-1754), which gives a complete history of his monastery from the thirteenth century to the end of the Middle Ages, together with a history of the Babenberg dukes of Austria and Steyer. The completion of his great work of compilation was delayed by his death. On the suppression of the monastery in 1789, the manuscript was brought to the Imperial Library at Vienna, but the copper plates and prints were sold. Subsequently both came into the hands of Abbot Ladislaus Pyrker, who published the last two volumes under the title of “Fastorum Campililiensium Chrysostomi Hanthaler continuatio seu Recensus genealogico-diplomaticus archivi Campililiensis” (Vienna, 1819-20), together with two appendixes containing descriptions of the tombstones and extracts from the necrology of the monastery. Hanthaler left behind numerous other writings, among which may be mentioned the three-volume work published at Linz (1744): “Grata pro gratiis memoria eorum, quorum pietate Vallis de campo liliorum et surrexit et crevit”; also a memorandum book, a valuable contribution to Austrian history. His knowledge of numismatics was displayed in an excellent book of instructions for amateur collectors, entitled “Exercitationes faciles de nummis veterum” (Nuremberg and Vienna, 1753). The glory to which Hanthaler is undoubtedly entitled for these works is considerably dimmed by the fact that, led astray by ambition, he endeavored to palm off in his “Fasti” four chronicles that he himself had written as newly-discovered ancient sources of the history of the Babenbergs. These are the “Ortilonis de Lilienfeld Liber de exordio Campililii”, “Notulae anecdotae e chronica stirpis Babenbergicae, quam Aloldus de Peklarn capellanus conscripsit, excerptae”; “Chronicon Ricardi canonici Newnburgensis”, and “Chronicon Fridrici bellicosi” of the Dominican Pernold.



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