Guibert of Nogent
GUIBERT OF NOGENT
Historian and ecclesiastical controversialist; b. Clermont-en-Beauvais, 1053; d. Nogent, 1124. Born to noble parents, Guibert was dedicated to the religious life in his infancy. He received his early education at the Benedictine abbey of Flavigny. At first, he was interested in the classical Latin poets. However, under the influence of (St.) Anselm of Bec, he later turned to the study of theology. However, Guibert's literary style shows the influence of his earlier interests. In 1104, Guibert became the abbot of Nogent-sous-Coucy in the Diocese of Laon. He is best remembered today for his writings, especially his autobiography De vita sua, which was written toward the end of his life. His work is a prime source for information about life in castle and monastery, educational conditions and methods, and, most especially, about the commune of Laon. Almost as well known is Guibert's history of the first crusade, Gesta Dei per Francos, which was written about 1110. This is largely a paraphrase of the anonymous Gesta Francorum, but Guibert still manages to impart considerable color to his narrative; he is also often critical of what he recounts. Perhaps Guibert's most controversial work is his treatise on relics, De pignoribus sanctorum, in which he was highly critical of the use of relics (see relics). In addition to the works mentioned, Guibert wrote a treatise on homiletics; ten books of Moralia in Genesim based on Gregory's Moralia; five books of Tropologiae on Hosea, Amos, and Lamentations; a treatise, De Incarnatione, against the Jews; and a letter, De buccella Judae et de veritate Dominici corporis, which attacked Berengarius's heresy.
Bibliography: Patrologia Latina 156; 184:1031–44. The Autobiography of Guibert, Abbot of Nogent-sous-Coucy, tr. c. c. s. bland (New York 1926). b. monod, Le Moine Guibert et son temps (Paris 1905). j. c. didier, Catholicisme. Hier, aujourd'hui et demain, ed. g. jacquemet, 5:367. j. geiselmann, "Die Stellung des G. von N. (—1124) in der Eucharistielehre der Frühscholastik," Theologische Quartalschrift 110 (1929) 66–84, 279–305. Histoire littéraire de la France (Paris 1733–1768) 10:433–500.
[v. l. bullough]