Notker Labeo [Notker III, Notker the German]
- Lawrence Gushee
- , revised by Bradley Jon Tucker
[Notker III, Notker the German]
(bc 950; d St Gallen, June 29, 1022). Monk and teacher at the Benedictine abbey of St Gallen . His many translations from Latin to Old High German are among the earliest German literary texts; of the 11 translations Notker reported making, four are extant and include two philosophical works by Boethius, two books of Martianus Cappella's De nuptiis Philologiae et Mercurii, and an interlinear psalter. Of special interest to music historians are five short essays in Old High German on musical topics, perhaps intended for elementary music instruction at St Gallen, where Notker taught and directed the school. A brief key in Latin to the meaning of the significative letters (litterae significativae; also known as Romanian or St Gallen letters) is sometimes ascribed to him, but belongs to his namesake of a century earlier, Notker , also of St Gallen.
The not entirely secure ascription of the five little essays to Notker rests principally on three points: the age of the five extant manuscripts (11th century); the language; and the preservation of the largest group (four out of five) in a St Gallen manuscript, whose text was published by Gerbert under Notker's name (...