Melville, Gert [Hrsg.]; Schneidmüller, Bernd [Hrsg.]; Weinfurter, Stefan [Hrsg.]
Klöster als Innovationslabore: Studien und Texte (Band 1): Innovationen durch Deuten und Gestalten: Klöster im Mittelalter zwischen Jenseits und Welt — Regensburg, 2014

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1 cm
The Mind as Ce!) and
the Body as Cioister

Abbatial Leadership and the Issue of Stability
in the Early Eleventh Century

Around the turn of the first millennium AD, there emerged in the former Caro-
lingien empire a generation of abbots that came to be remembered as one the most
influential in the history of Western monasticism. In his universal chronicle, written
towards the end of the eleventh century, Sigebert of Gembloux sang their praises:
"at that time [c. 1027] the monastic observance flourished through [the ac-
tion of] notable abbots: in France and Burgundy Odilo of Cluny, notable for
his piety, and William of Dijon, honorable for his severity; in Lotharingia
Richard of Verdun, notable for his pious gravity and grave piety, Poppo of
Stavelot, Heliand of Cologne, Olbert [of Gembloux] and Stephen of Liège,
and Berno of Reichenau.
Demonstrating a model of monastic leadership that combined personal devotion
to prayer and asceticism, successful institutional government, and a keen interest in
promoting monastic virtues to secular society, these and other abbots subsequently
gained a reputation for excellence and virtue that was unparrallelled among most
of their early medieval predecessors. Some came to be venerated as saints, and their

Research for this paper was carried out with the generous support of the Humboldt-Foundation and the Re-
search Foundation-Fianders. I intend to publish a more extensive version as part of a monograph tentatively
entitled /wzzgzMZMg re/zgzozzs /ezzdersAzy zzt tAe ezzr/y e/etzezztA cezztzzry; my thanks to the participants of the
Mainz conference for their comments on the oral presentation and Melissa Provijn for reviewing the final
1 Sigebert of Gembloux, Chronicon, ed. Ludwig Conrad BETHMANN, in: MGH Scriptores 6, Hannover
1844, pp. 300-374, here p. 356: AoreAt Ac tenzyore zzecc/eszzzttzczz re/zgzo yer AAtes MOTTZZTMAet,' zzz
AzzzzcM ^zzz'denz et RzzrgzzzAAyer OdzYoMezn C/zzMMcezttenzyzetzzte zzztzgzzew, yer GzzzYeAzzzn DzVz'oyten-
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dzkcretzzzzz, yerPoyozzezzz StzAtt/eztseztz, yer Ae/Azzz Co/ozzz'ezztezzz,yer O/Artztzzz et AeyAzzzzzzz Leodz'cett-
ses, yer Rerzzozzezzz Hzzgz'ezztezzz.
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