Frutolf of Michelsberg

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Historian and musicologist; d. Abbey of Michelsberg, Bamberg, Germany, Jan. 17, 1103. Probably a priest before becoming a Benedictine, Frutolf taught in the Michelsberg monastic school and possibly held the office of prior. During the last four years of his life he composed his Chronicon (autograph MS Jena 19), a history of the world to 1101. This work was overshadowed by the plagiarized and tendentious version of Ekkehard of Aura (d. 1125), and its author was forgotten. Yet, in its original form it ranks as one of the most distinguished world histories written in the Middle Ages. In its composition Frutolf drew from a staggering wealth of historical sources in bringing the account to his day, and with chronological and critical insight he produced an accurate, comprehensive, and readable narrative. The Chronicon is especially notable for its objectivity in the period for which its author is a contemporary witness, citing in evidence papal documents, letters, and official acts. Frutolf is credited also with the De officiis divinis and with several musicological works, viz, Breviarium de musica, Tonarius, and possibly the Rithmimachia, in which he depended on the work of boethius, guido of arezzo, and hermannus contractus.

Bibliography: frutolf-ekkehard, Chronicon, ed. g. waitz, Monumenta Germaniae Scriptores (Berlin 1825) 6:33267. h. bresslau, Neuses Archiv der Gesellschaft für ältere deutsche Geschichtskunde 21 (1895) 197234. m. manitius, Geschichte der lateinischen Literatur des Mittelalters, 3 v. (Munich 191131) 3:350361. w. wattenbach, Deutschlands Geschichtsquellen im Mittelalter. Deutsche Kaiserzeit, ed., r. holtzmann, v1.14 (3d ed. Tübingen 1948; repr. of 2d ed. 193843) 1:491506. j. schamle-ott, "Die Rezension C der Weltchronik Ekkehards," Deutsches Archiv für Erforschung des Mittelalters 12 (1956) 363387.

[o. j. blum]