Benedict of Aniane

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Statue Benedict von Aniane in the monastery church of Aniane

Benedikt von Aniane (* before 750 in southern France as Witiza ; † February 11, 821 in Kornelimünster near Aachen ) was a reform abbot who in 817 made all the monasteries of the Franconian Empire subject to the Benedictine rule.


He did military service under Pippin the Younger and Charlemagne . On Charlemagne's first campaign against the Longobard King Aistulf , Benedict had to watch his brother drown. After this experience he entered the monastery of St. Seine near Dijon in 773 or 774 . In 782 he returned to his homeland in the south of France and founded a monastery of St. Sauveur in the municipality of Aniane . Here in the south of France, Louis the Pious ruled as an under-king, with whom Benedict worked closely. When Ludwig succeeded his father Charlemagne as Emperor of the Frankish Empire, he took Benedict with him to the Aachen royal palace . In the years that followed, Benedikt and Ludwig continued the work that Charlemagne had started to unify the monks under the Regula Benedicti in the imperial church . The Aachen Council (between the years 816 and 819) wrote the rule and a consuetudo written by Benedict , the Capitulare monasticum, as the only binding monastic rule . In addition, the council decided the clear separation between monk and canon .

These decisions were the decisive basis for the later form and meaning of the Benedictine order . In order to demonstrate that the reform did not represent a break with the monastic tradition, Benedict arranged two collections, firstly the “ Codex regularum”, an extensive collection of monastic rules and rule-like texts, including the Vita des Pachomios , secondly the “Concordia regularum”, one Thematically ordered synoptic arrangement of the provisions of the various rules.

With the support of Louis the Pious, Benedict founded the Inda Abbey in 816/817 (later the Kornelimünster Imperial Abbey ). It should function as a kind of model monastery in the sense of the rules and reforms established by Benedict of Nursia (480-547), founder of the Benedictines . Benedikt von Aniane died in the abbey in Kornelimünster on February 11th, 821.

At the request of Inden monks, Ardo Smaragdus OSB († 843) wrote the Vita Benedicti, which is an indispensable source in view of the poor source situation despite the hagiographic topoi .

Research disputes the importance of Benedict von Aniane and other actors for the monastic reform of the Carolingian Renaissance . Recently this was put into perspective and even the use of the term " Anian reform " was criticized. However, it should be noted that in Fulda around 840 Brun Candidus von Fulda placed extensive quotations from the text corpus of Benedict von Aniane in his Vita of Abbot Eigil and referred to the reform of the monastery by monks "from the West", which as a testimony to a continuing awareness of reform is to be assessed.

See also


  • Friedrich Wilhelm BautzBenedict of Aniane. In: Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon (BBKL). Volume 1, Bautz, Hamm 1975. 2nd, unchanged edition Hamm 1990, ISBN 3-88309-013-1 , Sp. 493-494.
  • Albrecht Diem: Inventing the Holy Rule: Some Observations on the History of Monastic Normative Observance in the Early Medieval West. In: Hendrik Dey, Elizabeth Fentress (eds.): Western Monasticism ante litteram. The Spaces of Monastic Observance in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages (= Disciplina Monastica. Volume 7). Brepols, Turnhout 2011, ISBN 978-2-503-54091-7 , pp. 53-84.
  • Pius Engelbert : Benedict von Aniane and the Carolingian idea of ​​the empire. In: Studia Anselmiana. Volume 103, 1990, ZDB -ID 423829-1 , pp. 67-103.
  • Pius Engelbert (Ed. And Commentary): The Codex regularum of Benedict von Aniane. Facsimile of the manuscript Clm 28118 of the Bavarian State Library in Munich. EOS Verlag, Sankt Ottilien 2016, ISBN 978-3-8306-7757-4 .
  • Dieter Geuenich : Comments on the so-called “Anian Reform”. In: Dieter Bauer u. a. (Ed.): Monasticism, Church, Reign 750-1000. Festschrift for Josef Semmler on his 65th birthday. Thorbeck, Sigmaringen 1998, pp. 99–112 ( [PDF; 837 kB]).
  • Dieter Geuenich: Prayer Remembrance and Anian Reform. Observations on the fraternization of the abbots in the kingdom of Louis the Pious. In: Raymund Kottje, Helmut Maurer (ed.): Monastic reforms in the 9th and 10th centuries (= Constance working group for medieval history [ed.]: Lectures and research. Volume 38). Thorbecke, Sigmaringen 1989, ISBN 3-7995-6638-4 , pp. 79-106.
  • Walter Kettemann: Subsidia Anianensia. Studies of tradition and textual history on the history of Witiza-Benedict, his Aniane monastery and the so-called "Anian Reform". With annotated editions of the 'Vita Benedicti Anianensis', 'Notitia de servitio monasteriorum', the 'Chronicon Moissiacense / Anianense' and two local traditions from Aniane. Duisburg, Univ., Diss., 2000, DNB 1019186690 ; Online: 2008, urn : nbn: de: hbz: 464-20080509-172902-8 .
  • Raymund Kottje : Unity and Diversity of Church Life in the Carolingian Era. In: Journal of Church History . Volume 76, 1965, pp. 323-342.
  • Josef Semmler : The imperial idea and church legislation in Ludwig the Pious. In: Journal of Church History. Volume 71, 1960, pp. 37-65.
  • Josef Semmler: The resolutions of the Aachen reform council in the year 816. In: Journal for Church History. Volume 74, 1963, pp. 15-82.
  • Josef Semmler, Heinrich Bacht: Benedict of Aniane . In: Lexicon of the Middle Ages (LexMA). Volume 1, Artemis & Winkler, Munich / Zurich 1980, ISBN 3-7608-8901-8 , Sp. 1864–1866.
  • Josef Semmler: Benedictus II. Una regula - una consuetudo. In: Willem Lourdaux, Daniel Verhelst (eds.): Benedictine Culture 750-1050 (= Mediaevalia lovaniensia. Series 1. Studia 11). Leuven University Press, Leuven 1983, ISBN 90-6186-144-6 , pp. 1-49 ( scan in Google book search).
  • Jürgen Sydow:  Benedikt von Aniane. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 2, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1955, ISBN 3-428-00183-4 , p. 43 f. ( Digitized version ).

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Edition by Lukas Holste , Rome 1661, also in: Migne Patrologia latina. Volume 103, Col. 393-702.
  2. Ed. by Pierre Bonnerue: Benedictus. Concordia regularum (= Corpus Christianorum Continuatio Mediaevalis 168; 168A). Volume 1-2. Brepols, Turnhout 1999 (1st edition by Hugues Menard, Paris 1638, also in: Migne Patrologia latina. Volume 103, Col. 713-1380). For both collections, see Gereon Becht-Jördens: The Vita Aegil of Brun Candidus. Frankfurt a. M. 1992, pp. 42-44; Walter Kettemann: Subsidia Anianensia, passim (see literature ).
  3. ^ Paul Fabianek: Consequences of secularization for the monasteries in the Rhineland. Using the example of the Schwarzenbroich and Kornelimünster monasteries. Verlag BoD, Norderstedt 2012, ISBN 978-3-8482-1795-3 , p. 27.
  4. ^ Gerhard Schmitz: Vita sancti Benedicti Anianensis et Indensis abbatis. Preliminary remark. In:, accessed on February 19, 2020. -
    Ardo Smaragdus. In:, Kevin Knight, 2017, accessed February 19, 2020.
  5. Cf. Dieter Geuenich: Comments on the so-called “Anian Reform” (see literature ); Walter Kettemann: Subsidia Anianensia. Pp. 1-32; Pp. 41-51; Pp. 334-338 (see literature ).
  6. Cf. Gereon Becht-Jördens: The Vita Aegil of Brun Candidus. Pp. 44-48.