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Berno of Reichenau

BERNO OF REICHENAU

Orator, hymn writer, musician, and liturgist; b. Prüm, near Trier, Germany; d. reichenau, June 7, 1048. He was educated at sankt gallen. From the Benedictine monastery of prÜm, where he was a monk, Berno was named abbot of Reichenau (100848) by henry ii to replace Abbot Immo, whose zeal for the cluniac reform had caused defections among his monks. A strong adherent of the reform, Berno, by adapting its spirit to the Reichenau tradition, was able to renew religious fervor in the monastery. He twice accompanied Henry II to Rome, once for Henry's coronation in 1014. After the latter's death, Berno supported Conrad the Young for emperor. When the rival candidate took the throne as conrad ii, Berno gave him unswerving loyalty, despite the losses sustained by Reichenau during Conrad's struggle against the feudal princes, notably Duke Ernest of Swabia. When Conrad died in 1038, Berno gave his allegience to the emperor, henry iii. In 1043 he took an active part in the Synod of Constance. He was buried in the St. Mark's choir, which he had built in the church of Reichenau. His grave was rediscovered in 1929. As abbot, Berno maintained cordial relations with persons and monasteries on both sides of the Alps. His writings (some of which are preserved, though with many interpolations, in Patrologia Latina 142:10551210) include liturgical works: Liber qualiter adventus celebretur, quando nativitas Domini feria secunda advenerit; Dialogus qualiter quattuor temporum jejunia per sua sabbata sint observanda; De quibusdam rebus ad officium missae pertinentibus; and musical works: De consona et tonorum varietate, and Tonarius. A collection of letters, sermons, and the Vita Udalrici by Berno are also extant.

Bibliography: r. molitor, "Die Musik der Reichenau," Die Kultur der Abtei Reichenau, ed. k. beyerle, 2 v. (Munich 1925) 2:802820. h. engel, Die deutsche Literatur des Mittelalters: Verfasserlexikon, w. stammler and k. langosch, eds. 1:204208 with critical bibliog. h. oesch, Berno und Hermann von Reichenau als Musiktheoretiker (Bern 1961).

[m. f. mccarthy]

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