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Heriger of Lobbes

Medieval theologian and historian; b. about 925; d. October 31, 1007

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Heriger of Lobbes, medieval theologian and historian; b. about 925; d. October 31, 1007. After studying at the cathedral school of Liege, he became a Benedictine monk at the monastery of Lobbes, where for many years he was scholasticus of the monastic school. He was an intimate friend of Bishop Notger of Liege, whom he accompanied to Rome in 989, and at whose instance he wrote a few works. In 990 he was elected to succeed the deceased Folcwin as Abbot of Lobbes. By long and assiduous study of the Fathers of the Church and the writers of classical antiquity he amassed an amount of learning quite unusual in those times. On the whole, he wrote with more historical criticism than most of his contemporaries, though as a hagiographer he at times sinks to the level of an ascetical novelist. His chief work is a history of the bishops of Liege, “Gesta episcoporum Leodiensium”, which, however, reaches only to the death of St. Remaclus in 667. It was first published by Chapeauville in “Auctores de Gestis Pontificum Tungrensium … et Leodiensium” (Liege, 1618), 1-98; a better edition was issued by Martene and Durand in “Veterum Scriptorum Amplissima Collectio” (Paris, 1724-33), IV, 837-912; finally, it was published with a valuable historical disquisition on the writings of Heriger by Kopke in “Mon. Germ. Hist.: Script.”, VII, 134-94, whence it was reprinted in Migne, P.L., CXXXIX, 958-1068. The history was continued to the year 1048 by Anselm of Liege. Heriger’s other writings are: the “Life of the Virgin St. Berlendis”, published in “Acta SS.”, February, I, 378-81; the “Life of St. Landoald”, ibidem, March, III, 35-42; a metrical “Life of St. Ursmar”, of which only a few fragments remain; a treatise on the Body and Blood of Christ, “De Corpore et Sanguine Domini”, which is little else than a compilation of excerpts from the Fathers, and must not be confounded with another work of the same title, generally ascribed to Gerbert; and a few other works on hagiological and liturgical subjects. Most of these works are printed in Migne, P.L., CXXXIX, 999-1136. Heriger is also the author of an arithmetical work entitled “Regulae de numerorum abaci rationibus”, which was published by Bubnov in the “Opera Mathematica” of Gerbert (Berlin, 1899), 205-25.

MICHAEL OTT


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