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Bruno of Cologne, St.


Archbishop of Cologne; b. 925?; d. Reims, Oct. 11,965. He was the youngest son of Henry I of Germany and St. Matilda. He was educated under Bishop Balderich in the cathedral school of Utrecht, then in the court of his brother Otto, where he met the most prominent scholars of the age. In 940 he became Otto's chancellor, and sometime after receiving the order of deacon in 940, was appointed abbot of the monasteries of Lorsch near Worms and of Corvey on the Weser. He was ordained priest in 950 and in 951 accompanied Otto on the latter's first trip to Italy. He seems to have been named archchaplain in the same year. In 953, for his loyalty to his brother during the troublesome early years of Otto's reign, especially during the revolt of Ludolf, Otto's oldest son, and of Conrad, Duke of Lorraine, Bruno received the administration of the Duchy of Cologne and at Otto's wish was elected archbishop of Cologne, being consecrated on Sept. 25, 953. During Otto's second trip to Italy, Bruno, with his half-brother William, archbishop of Mainz, was coregent of the kingdom and guardian of Otto's infant son. Renowned for his personal sanctity, Bruno successfully exercised both spiritual and secular authority without prejudice to either. As abbot and bishop, he insisted on strict observance of monastic rule and devoted himself untiringly to the religious and moral training of clergy and laypeople. He is said to have made three foundations in Cologne and to have been a generous benefactor of many other churches and monasteries in his archdiocese. As statesman, he worked closely with Otto in shaping imperial policy and reformed the imperial chancery, making it a fruitful source of able administrators, especially of those prince-bishops whose loyalty to the throne made them effective instruments in the government of the empire; he established peace not only within the Duchy of Lorraine but frequently also in France. He died while returning from Compiegne, where he had gone to restore amicable relations between his two nephews, Lothaire III and Hugh Capet. The Vita Brunonis, written shortly after Bruno's death by his disciple Ruotger, is, despite its bombastic style, one of the best extant medieval biographies.

Feast: Oct. 11.

Bibliography: Acta Sanctorum Oct. 5 698790, Vita by Ruotger, 765788. Monumenta Germaniae Historica: Scriptores 4:252275. p. schwenk, Brun von Köln: sein Leben, sein Werk und seine Bedeutung (Espelkamp, Germany 1995). h. schrÖrs, Annalen des historischen Vereins für den Niederrhein 8789 (1910) 195; 90 (1911) 61100; 100, 142, (1917) German text of Ruotgers Vita, annotated and with critical bibliog. i. schmale-ott, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner (Freiburg 195765) 2:731. w. neuss, ed., Geschichte des Erzbistums Köln (Cologne 1964) 1:165172. a hauck, Kirchengeschichte Deutschlands (Berlin-Leipzig) 3:4146. g. allemang, Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques, ed. a. baudrillart et al. (Paris 1912) 10:956957, with bibliog. w. wattenbach, Deutschlands Geschichtsquellen im Mittelalter, ed. w. levison and h. lÖwe (Weimar 195263) 1:321323, 360361.

[m. f. mccarthy]

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