Aurelian of Réôme [Aurelianus Reomensis]
- Jane Bellingham
(fl ?840–50). Frankish writer. His only known work, Musica disciplina, is generally regarded as the earliest extant medieval treatise on music. It is the sole source of evidence concerning Aurelian and his milieu; no other 9th-century writer mentions the text or quotes from it, and it is not listed in surviving Carolingian library catalogues. Palaeographical studies have enabled the earliest extant manuscript of the Musica disciplina, F-VAL 148 (ff.57v–89v), to be dated to the middle third of the 9th century, so providing a terminus ante quem for the date of the treatise’s composition. The preface gives some indication of the circumstances in which the treatise was written and provides certain clues about its possible date. Aurelian refers to himself as a former member of the monastery of St Jean de Réôme (in the diocese of Langres), but having been dismissed from the abbey and wishing to atone for his offence, he dedicated the treatise to Bernardus, the abbot, whom he also described as a ‘future archbishop’. The name Bernardus does in fact appear in a list of the abbots of St Jean de Réôme published in the 17th century, in which he is said to have been abbot in about 846 and subsequently bishop of Autun; but no other record of a Bernardus among the 9th-century bishops of Autun has been traced. Without further evidence concerning Aurelian or Abbot Bernardus, therefore, it is impossible to prove beyond doubt Gushee’s suggestion that the ...