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Amalarius

AMALARIUS

Bishop; b. in the area of Metz, c. 775; d. Metz, c. 850. He was educated by Alcuin, and later taught at the palace school at Aachen. From 809 to 813 he was the archbishop of Trier; he also served as a Carolingian ambassador to Constantinople (c. 813) and Rome (831). After the exile of Agobard, he administered the diocese of Lyon from 835 to 838. In 838 the Synod of Quierzy, following the leadership of Florus of Lyons, removed him for teaching theology that was "contrary to tradition." Amalarius's most significant work is the Liber officialis (823), the most influential liturgical book of the early Middle Ages in the West. Amalarius was the first to apply a fully developed vocabulary of symbolic interpretation to Latin expositiones missae, or commentaries on the Mass. Such exegetical methods had long been used as a tool for understanding the Scriptures, and were first extended to the understanding of Christian worship in the mystagogical catecheses of the fourth century. Amalarius was not the first Westerner to utilize such an interpretive language in liturgical explanations, but his use of a figurative hermeneutic captured the imagination of nearly all Western thinkers of the Middle Ages.

Bibliography: j. m. hanssens, Amalarii episcopi opera liturgica omnia, 3 v. in Studi e Testi 138140 (194850). j. a. cabaniss, Amalarius of Metz (Amsterdam 1954). j. a. cabaniss, "Agobard and Amalarius: A Comparison," 3 (1952) 125131. a. kolping, "Amalar von Metz und Florus von Lyon," Zeitschrift für katholische Theologie 73 (1951) 424464.

[p. jacobson]

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