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Fossanova, Abbey of

FOSSANOVA, ABBEY OF

Former Cistercian abbey 60 miles south of Rome, Diocese of Terracina, Italy; now occupied by Conventual Franciscans. Pope Innocent II gave the 11th-century Benedictine monastery of St. Stephen to Cistercians from hautecombe (1135), and Frederick I Barbarossa and Innocent III favored it to make it one of the most important Cistercian foundations in Italy. It is known for drainage (fossa nuova ) of the swamps and colonization of south Italy with seven daughterhouses. Its well-preserved Burgundian Gothic church, the first such structure in the south (1208), influenced later Italian architecture. In 1274 Thomas Aquinas died at Fossanova. The commendatory abbatial title was held by cardinals from the Renaissance to 1795, when Pius VI gave Fossanova to Cistercians of Casamari. It was suppressed during Napoleonic rule (1812) and revived by Carthusians (1826).

Bibliography: a. serafini, L'Abbazia di Fossanova e le origini dell'architettura gotica nel Lazio (Rome 1924). h. hahn, Die frühe Kirchenbaukunst der Zisterzienser (Berlin 1957). u. chevalier, Répertoire des sources historiques du moyen-âge. Topobibliographie, 2 v. (Paris 18941903) 1150. l. h. cottineau, Répertoire topobibliographique des abbayes et prieurés, 2 v. (Mâcon 193539) 1:1200. k. spahr, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner, 10 v. (2d, new ed. Freiburg 195765) suppl., Das Zweite Vatikanische Konzil: Dokumente und Kommentare, ed. h. s. brechter et al., pt. 1 (1966) 4:226.

[l. j. lekai]

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