Smaragdus of Saint-Mihiel
SMARAGDUS OF SAINT-MIHIEL
Benedictine abbot of that monastery, where he died after 825. He was probably of Irish origin. While teaching Latin grammar at the abbey of Castellion, he compiled his commentary on the manual of donatus, the Liber in partibus Donati, a work that had considerable influence. After becoming abbot, he moved from Castellion to the monastery of saint-mihiel, which he established near the Meuse. With abbatial solicitude he exhorted his monks to the practice of virtue in the Diadema monachorum (after 805) drawn largely from patristic writings. In preparation for the Council of aachen of 809, Smaragdus wrote a justification from Scripture of the Frankish position in the filioque controversy. Among other duties he performed at the council, he formulated its conclusions in a letter from charlemagne to Pope leo iii. As a member of the three-man delegation sent to Rome to have the Pope impose Frankish custom on the Church, he reported the proceedings of the fruitless interview with the Pope. To Emperor louis the Pious he addressed the Via regia, a work on the spiritual formation of a prince, with particular emphasis on the virtues of piety and justice. Monastic reform was the concern of his Expositio in regulam s Benedicti,. written after the Council of Aachen of 817. A simple commentary on the rule, it presents an accurate picture of monastic life in the time of Louis the Pious and of the influence exerted by the reform of benedict of aniane. His last work, the Collectiones in epistolas et evangelia or Liber comitis, is a series of patristic texts to serve as a commentary on the Epistles and Gospels of Sundays and feasts of the year and some other Masses. His acknowledgments reveal the broad expanse of his erudition and reading and his knowledge of patristic authors.
Bibliography: Patrologia Latina 102:1–970. Monumenta Germania Poetae 1:605–619; 2:918–924. m. l. w. laistner in Speculum 3 (1928) 392–397. j. scharf, "Studien zu S. und Jonas," Deutsch Arch 17 (1961) 333–384. d. misonne, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche 2 9:836–837.
[j. m. o'donnell]