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date: 23 January 2020

Reichenaulocked

  • Karl-Heinz Schlager

Extract

Benedictine monastery on the island of the same name in Lake Constance. Founded in 724, it was a prominent centre of intellectual life until the 10th century. According to tradition, Charles Martel made the island over to the missionary Pirmin after defeating the Alemanni in 722. Charlemagne, another early patron, made the monastery independent of the diocese of Konstanz. In 815 Reichenau received the privilege of immunity and freedom to elect its own abbot. From 846 to 849 the connections of the monastery reached as far as St Denis, Corvey and Fulda in the north and Rome in the south; but by the mid-9th century Reichenau was already beginning to take second place to St Gallen.

The Reichenau monastery school, modelled on that of Tours, was set up under Abbot Waldo (786–806) in accordance with the aims of Carolingian educational reform. Of interest to historians of medieval music theory are a number of liturgical, mathematical and musical writings produced by men associated with this school, including Abbot ...

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