San Pietro in Breme, Abbey of

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A Benedictine foundation in the Diocese of Pavia, between the Po and Ticino Rivers in Lombardy, northern Italy. After the destruction of the Abbey of Novalesa at the beginning of the 10th century, the dispersed community was offered refuge at Breme in Lomellina by Adalbert, Marquis of Ivrea. The monastery established there was thenceforth considered the heir of Novalesa, and it was in the Abbey of San Pietro that the famous Chronicon Novaliciense was written. Breme had holdings in Montferrat, in Piedmont, and in Lombardy but had to wage a protracted campaign to maintain independence. In 950 it had been put under the dominion of Arduin of Susa; in 1026 the Emperor conrad ii deposed Abbot Odilo and gave the monastery to Alberic, Bishop of Como. In 1093 it became a dependency of Pavia; in 1164, a dependency of the Marquess of Montferrat; and finally, in 1210 it attained independence. In 1530 the abbey, by then in a state of frightful decay, was entrusted to the bishop of Vigevano, and 13 years later the remaining monks were removed and the monastery ceded to the Olivetan monks of Milan, who held it until its suppression and the confiscation of its possessions decreed by Victor Emmanuel I in 1785; by then the number of monks had been reduced to only seven. Finally, under napoleon i the church was destroyed and the other buildings alienated. Apart from the anonymous author of the abovementioned Chronicon, mention should be made of one other distinguished monk of this abbey, the abbot Adraldus, a friend of peter damian, who went on to become bishop of chartres from 1070 to 1075.

Bibliography: l. h. cottineau, Répertoire topobibliographique des abbayes et prieurés, 2 v. (Mâcon 193539) 1:485486. l. c. bollea, Cartario della Abbazia (Biblioteca della Società storica subalpina 127; Turin 1933). a. clerval, Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques, ed. a. baudrillart (Paris 1912) 1:594. m. manitius, Geschichte der lateinischen Literatur des Mittelalters, 3 v. (Munich 191131) 2:29499.

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