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Priest of Bamberg in the eleventh century, author of a famous poem

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Ezzo, a priest of Bamberg in the eleventh century, author of a famous poem known as the “Song of the Miracles of Christ” (Cantilena de miraculis Christi), or the “Anegenge” or “Beginning”. The poem was found by Barack in a Strasburg MS. of the eleventh century, but only a few strophes are given. The whole song, thirty-four strophes, is preserved, though in a later version, in the Vorau MS. The “Vita Altmanni” relates that in 1065, when rumors of the approaching end of the world were rife, many people started on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem under the leadership of Bishop Gunther of Bamberg, and that Ezzo composed the poem on this occasion. The opening strophe of the Vorau MS. does not mention the pilgrimage, but simply states that the bishop ordered Ezzo to write the song. The effect, we are told, was such that everybody hastened to take monastic vows. The poem is written in the East Franconian dialect; it relates in earnest language the Creation, Fall, and Redemption of mankind. It was edited by P. Piper (op. cit. infra) and Steinmayer (in Müllenhoff and Scherer “Denkmaler deutscher Poesie and Prosa aus dem VIII-XII Jahrhundert”, Berlin, 1892).



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