Henry of Friemar

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The Elder; b. c. 1245; d. Erfurt, Germany, Oct. 18, 1340. Magister Parisiensis, noted theologian, and preacher of the Order of the Augustinian Hermits, he is principally known as the author of numerous ascetical-mystical treatises that had considerable influence on the development of piety among clergy and laity. The popularity of these treatises is attested by their transmission in an extraordinarily large number of manuscripts still preserved, the early translation of some of them into the vernacular, and the fact that several also were repeatedly printed before and after 1500. The following works deserve special mention: Tractatus de quattuor instinctibus, a discussion of the four forces moving the human soul (God, angels, the devil, man's own nature) and their characteristics; Tractatus de decem praeceptis, a detailed popular explanation of the Decalogue; Explanatio passionis Dominicae, a description of the Lord's Passion on the basis of the Gospels, with explanatory additions and short affectionate prayers; De adventu Verbi in mentem, a mystical explanation of Lk 1.2629; De celebratione missae, a comprehensive ascetical-mystical explanation of the Mass for the clergy. A great wealth of ascetical and mystical material also is found in Henry's sermons. Henry was the first Augustinian to write a short outline of the origin and development of his order after its establishment in its modern form in 1256, the Tractatus de origine et progressu ordinis fratrum heremitarum sancti Augustini.

Bibliography: jordan of quedlinburg, Liber vitasfratrum (1357), ed. r. arbesmann and w. hÜmpfner (New York 1943). c. stroick, Heinrich von Friemar (Freiburg 1954). r. arbesmann, "Henry of Friemar's 'Treatise on the Origin and Development of the Order of the Hermit Friars and Its True and Real Title,"' Augustiniana 6 (1956) 37145. a. zumkeller, "Die Lehrer des geistlichen Lebens unter den deutschen Augustinern vom 13. Jahrhundert bis zum Konzil von Trient," Sanctus Augustinus vitae spiritualis magister, 2 v. (Rome 1959) v.2. a. zumkeller, "Manuskripte von Werken der Autoren des Augustiner-Eremitenordens in mitteleuropäischen Bibliotheken," Augustiana 11 (1961) 285337. u. stÄrmer, "Mystik, wosie niemand erwartet. Beobachtungen am Dekalogtraktat Heinrichs von Friemar und seiner hochdeutschen Übersetzung," Jahrbuch der Oswald von Wolkenstein Gesellschaft 6 (1991).

[r. arbesmann]