Skip to main content

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]

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Berno of Reichenau." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . 24 Mar. 2019 <>.

"Berno of Reichenau." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . (March 24, 2019).

"Berno of Reichenau." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . Retrieved March 24, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.