Lampert from Hersfeld

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Lampert von Hersfeld (Latin: Lambertus Hersfeldensis ; in older literature also Lambert or Lambrecht von Aschaffenburg ; * before 1028 probably in Franconia ; † between 1082 and 1085 probably in Hersfeld ) was a historian and first abbot of Hasungen Monastery .

life and work

Lampert's biography is only known from hints that he himself made in his work.

Lampert von Hersfeld was probably born in Franconia before 1028 as the son of a wealthy family. He received his training as a monk in Bamberg from Archbishop Anno II of Cologne , at the same time as the later cathedral scholaster Meinhard von Bamberg . As a monk he joined on 15 March 1058 in the Benedictine Hersfeld and received on September 16, 1058 by Archbishop of Mainz Luitpold in Aschaffenburg the priesthood . In the same year he made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem . On September 17, 1059 he came back from there.

First works

The biography of St. Lul , Vita Lulli was his first work. Through his work in the Hersfeld monastery library and the monastery school , he earned high services. It is likely that he was a scholar at the school, at least for a time .

In 1071 he stayed for a few weeks in the monastery Siegburg and Saalfeld to deal with the monastery reforms ( Cluniac reform ). He was a staunch supporter of the Benedictine rule and opponent of the reform monasticism.

His second work, probably written around 1073, was a poem in hexameters and is lost. Among other things, it contained the recent history of the Hersfeld Monastery. A Hersfeld monastery history ( Libellus de institutione Herveldensis ecclesiae ), his third work, has only survived in fragments.

The Annales

His fourth and last work and at the same time the main work was created with the Annals in 1078/1079. It deals with the history of the world from its beginnings to 1077, but Lambert only wrote the period from 1040 onwards. From 1069 the depiction reached an almost epic breadth. The clarity, the writing style and the skilful arrangement characterize this section and represent a high point in the history of the 11th century.

Last years and death

He was a staunch opponent of Heinrich IV , which was probably the reason for his move in 1077 from Hersfeld to Hasungen Abbey (today near Zierenberg , Burghasungen district ). At the request of the canons, he converted it into a Benedictine monastery . With the introduction of the Hirsau Reform ( Hirsau ) in 1081, he brought this to a close and became the first abbot of Hasungen.

Presumably he died a short time after his ordination as abbot in 1082, but no later than 1085, the place is not safe either. A lot speaks for the Hersfeld Monastery, but the Saalfeld Monastery is also an option.

Aftermath of Lampert's works

The annals were used in the 1190s by two monks, the unknown author of the Liber de unitate ecclesiae and by Ekkebert in the Vita Haimeradi . However , they were rarely used until the time of the humanists . It was first printed in 1525 in Tübingen by Kaspar Currer at the Mohardt bookstore. Lampert's Vita Lulli can, however, be traced back to the 14th century and will probably have remained in the monastery library.

Older research has often cast doubt on Lampert's reliability. As a supporter of the Pope , he lacked objectivity, which can be seen particularly clearly in the presentation of the investiture dispute .

His description and assessment of Heinrich's move to Canossa has long been based on both older research and the general assessment (see Reich Chancellor Otto von Bismarck in his speech to the Reichstag on May 14, 1872: “Don't worry, we're not going to Canossa - neither physically nor mentally. ").

The long controversial work has been recognized in its peculiarities primarily through the investigations of Tilman Struve . The conservative Lampert was concerned with the preservation of the old, Christian-monastic and political values ​​that he had in the reign of Henry III. still looked embodied. He closed his annals in 1077 with the election of Rudolf von Rheinfelden as king , thus demonstrating the re-implementation of his ideals, which Heinrich IV did not correspond to at all.

In the Walhalla , plaque no.43 is dedicated to him under the name Lambrecht von Aschaffenburg .


Vita Lulli archiepiscopi Mogontiacensis



Libellus de institutione Herveldensis ecclesiae





  • Annals . Newly translated by Adolf Schmidt. Explained by Wolfgang Dietrich Fritz. 4th edition, expanded by a supplement compared to the 3rd. Scientific Book Society, Darmstadt 2000, ISBN 3-534-00176-1 .
  • LF Hesse: The yearbooks of Lambert von Hersfeld. (= Historian of prehistoric German times. 43). 2nd edition 1884, 5th edition 1939, reprint 2012. Digitized


Web links

Wikisource: Lampert von Hersfeld  - Sources and full texts

Individual evidence

  1. Cf. Herbert Grundmann : Historiography in the Middle Ages. 3rd edition, Göttingen 1978, p. 27.
  2. In Meyer's Konversationslexikon from 1888 it says for example: "His judgment of Henry IV is determined by the defamatory reports of the opponents of the king and is therefore unjust."
  3. ^ In summary, Hans-Werner Goetz: The investiture dispute in German historiography from Lampert von Hersfeld to Otto von Freising. In: Canossa. Shaking the world. History, art and culture at the rise of the Romanesque. Essays (volume accompanying the exhibition catalog). Munich 2006, pp. 47–59, here: p. 49.