Thangmar of Hildesheim

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Historian; b. of Saxon parentage, c. 950; d. Hildesheim, May 25, 100313. He first served as head of the cathedral school of Hildesheim, later as librarian and notary. Distinguished both as a scholar and as a statesman, he was the teacher of bernward of hildesheim, Meinwerk of Paderborn, Ekkhard of Schleswig, benno of meissen, and Emperor henry ii. As dean of the cathedral of Hildesheim under Bernward, he played a leading role in the dispute between his bishop and Abp. willigis of mainz over rights to the Abbey of gandersheim. Over this issue he accompanied his ordinary to Rome (1001), appealing the case to sylvester ii and emperor otto iii; he also took part in the synods of Pölde, Frankfurt, and Todi. He is responsible for the oldest and most important parts of the Vita Bernwardi (Monumenta Germaniae Scriptores 4:754782), for much of which he was an eyewitness and active participant. A plain and simple narrative with slight dependence on classical models, the Vita displays an affectionate yet factual regard for its subject; but it may be charged with partisanship in the discussion of the Gandersheim affair. Thangmar also fails to mention Bernward's early support of Ekkhard of Meissen against Henry II at the death of Otto III.

Bibliography: m. manitius, Geschichte der lateinischen Literatur des Mittelalters, 3 v. (Munich 191131) 2:268276. f. j. ts chan in Medieval and Historiographical Essays James W. Thompson, ed. j. l. cate and e. n. anderson (Chicago 1938) 322343; St. Bernward of Hildesheim, 3 v. (Notre Dame 194252). w. wattenbach, Deutschlands Geschichtsquellen im Mittelalter. Deutsche Kaiserzeit, ed. r. holtzmann, v.1.14 (3d ed. Tübingen 1948; repr. of 2d ed. 193843) 1.1:5862; 1.4:824. k. algermissen, Bernward und Godehard von Hildesheim (Hildesheim 1960).

[o. j. blum]