Gottschalk of Limburg

views updated


Monk and poet; b. c. 1010 to 1020; d. Nov. 24, 1098. Information concerning this poet comes from three sources. From his own works it is known that Gottschalk (Godescalcus ) was a monk at the monastery of Limburg, studied under the direction of a monk named Henry, preached to the community, and was criticized by his fellow monks for some of his sermons. He also wrote that he composed and set to music an Office in honor of SS. irenaeus and abundius, patrons of his monastery, as well as several sequences, five of which he cited by their opening words. From the De hymnorum et sequentiarum auctoribus brevissima eruditiuncula, published by Jakob wimpfeling in 1499, it is known that there was in the monastery at Klingenmünster a collection of Sequences dedicated to henry iv written by Gottschalk, court chaplain and provost of aachen, but only five Sequences were published in this work. The date of the author's residence at Klingenmünster is uncertain. The Anonymus Mellicensis (ed. E. Ettlinger, 1896) states that Gottschalk wrote, among other works, a book of sermons. Gottschalk's claim to renown rests primarily on his authorship of 22 or possibly 23 Sequences. These compositions, almost all handed down with their melodies, were written for use at Mass on the feast days of angels and saints, particularly the Blessed Virgin, and for the feasts of Christmas, Epiphany, Pentecost, Transfiguration, and the Exaltation of the Cross. The content of the Sequences is at times heavily dogmatic; yet a certain mystical approach and a touch of tender poetic feeling are not lacking. The use of biblical imagery is truly impressive, and rhetorical figures frequently enhance the compositions. There is a great striving for assonance both within and at the end of the line. Gottschalk was no innovator, but his work is in no way inferior to the great tradition of notkerbalbulus.

Bibliography: h. a. daniel, Thesaurus hymnologicus, 3 v. in 1 (Leipzig 1855) 2:3749. Analecta Gregoriana (Rome 1930) 50:339369; 53:274276. m. manitius, Geschichte der lateinischen Literatur des Mittelalters (Munich 191131) 3:9981000. f. j. e. raby, A History of Secular Latin Poetry in the Middle Ages 2v. (2d ed. Oxford 1957) 224225. j. szÖ[symbol omitted]erffy, Die Annalen der lateinischen Hymnendichtung. Ein Handbuch 2 v. (Berlin 196465) 1:409414. b. stÄblein, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner (Freiburg 195765) 4:114344. Godescalcus Lintpurgensis, ed. g. m. dreves (Leipzig 1897). l. gushee, "Gottschalk von Limburg" in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, v. 7, ed. s. sadie (New York 1980) 574.

[h. dressler]