Thiofrid of Echternach

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Benedictine abbot and hagiographer; d. Echternach, April 3, 1110. Invested in Rome (Nov. 19, 1083) as abbot of echternach, he was a reformer who restored regular observance and improved the physical well-being of his monastery. His hagiographical writing, frankly inspirational and interlarded with miraculous events in the careers of his pre-Carolingian heroes, is nevertheless noteworthy for the simplicity of its style, embellished by the use of cursus and rhymed prose. He was surprisingly uninfluenced by the authors and biographical techniques of antiquity. His works include the following: Vita Liutwini, written c. 1078 [ed. W. Lampen ('s Hertogenbosch 1936)]; Vita s. Irminae (Monumenta Germaniae Scriptores 23:4850); Flores epitaphii sanctorum (Patrologia Latina, ed. J. P. Migne, 217 v. 157:297404); Vita Basini (Acta Sanctorum March 1:315320); and Vita Willibrordi (Acta Sanctorum November 3:459500). The evidence for Thiofrid's authorship of the Vita Liutwini is well established. For the life of Basinus, however, it is argued that its author was so dependent on the prior vita of liutwin, which he cites and even enlarges, that only Thiofrid could have produced it. Writing some 300 years after the death of his subjects, Thiofrid nevertheless provided the oldest extant evidence for the lives of Archbishops Liutwin and Liutwin's nephew Basinus, and for their contribution to the church of trier.

Bibliography: w. lampen, Thiofrid von Echternach (Breslau 1920). e. winheller, Die Lebensbeschreibungen der vorkarolingischen Bischöfe von Trier (Bonn 1935). m. manitius, Geschichte der lateinischen Literatur des Mittelalters, 3 v. (Munich 191131) 2:478482.

[o. j. blum]