Life of Odo; Life of Gerald of Aurillac

ODO of CLUNY, (c.879–942). The son of Abbo, a Frankish knight of Maine, he was born at Tours and brought up in the family of William, Duke of Aquitaine, who later (909/910) founded the abbey of Cluny. At the age of 19 he was instituted to a canonry at St Martin’s, Tours, and then made his way to Paris, where he studied under emigius of Auxerre. After returning to Tours he was deeply affected by reading the Rule of St Benedict and three years later gave up his canonry and was admitted by St Berno to the monastery of Baume (909). On the foundation of Cluny in the next year, Berno put Odo in charge of the monastery school at Baume. In 927 he succeeded Berno as Abbot of Cluny, where he was mainly instrumental in raising the monastery to the high position it held in the next centuries. During his abbacy the monastic church of SS. Peter and Paul was completed and the influence of Cluny over other monasteries was greatly extended, largely through a privilege of John XI (931). On his first visit to Rome (936) he took an important part in the conflict between Hugh, ‘King of Italy’, and the Patrician Alberic, and also won over several Italian monasteries (S. Maria on the Aventine, St Paul’s outside the Walls, Monte Cassino, Subiaco) to Cluniac principles. His writings include a Life of Gerald of Aurillac, three books of moral essays (‘Collationes’), some sermons, an epic (‘Occupatio’) on the Redemption, and twelve choral antiphons in honour of St Martin. Feast day, 18 Nov. (by the Benedictines, 11 May).

Collection of his works pr. in M. Marrier, OSB (ed.), Bibliotheca Cluniacensis (Paris, 1614; repr. 1915), cols. 65–264, with Life of St Odo by his disciple, John, monk of Cluny, ibid., cols. 13–56; further collection of his works, from various sources, repr. in J. P. Migne, PL 133. 105–845, with Life by John, cols. 43–86, and 12th-cent. Life by Nalgodus, monk of Cluny, cols. 85–104 (both repr. from L. *d’Achery, OSB and J. *Mabillon, OSB (eds.), *Acta Sanctorum Ordinis Sancti Benedicti, 5 (1685), pp. 150–99). Odo’s ‘Occupatio’ was first ed. A. Swoboda (Teub., 1900). Eng. tr. of Odo’s Life of Gerald of Aurillac and of John of Cluny’s Life of Odo by G. Sitwell, OSB, St Odo of Cluny (1958). E. Sackur, ‘Handschriftliches aus Frankreich’, I. Zur Vita Odilo Abbatis Cluniacensis auctore Iohanne’, NA 15 (1889), pp. 105–16. Modern Life by [A.] du Bourg, OSB (‘Les Saints’, 1905). A. Hessel, ‘Odo von Cluni und das französische Kulturproblem im früheren Mittelalter’, HZ 128 (1923), pp. 1–25. A Cluny: Congrès scientifique. Fêtes et cérémonies liturgiques en l’honneur des saints abbés Odon et Odilon 9–11 juillet 1949. Travaux du congrès, Art, Histoire, Liturgie, publiés par la Société des Amis de Cluny (Dijon, 1950), passim. B. [F.] Hamilton, ‘The Monastic Revival in Tenth Century Rome’, Studia Monastica, 4 (1962), pp. 35–68, esp. pp. 47–9; repr. in id., Monastic Reform, Catharism and the Crusades (1979), no. 2. J. Hourlier, OSB, in Dict. Sp. 11 (1982), cols. 620–4, s.v. ‘Odon’ (5), with bibl. See also bibl. to cluny.

Teub. Bibliotheca Scriptorum Graecorum et Romanorum Teubneriana (Leipzig, 1849 ff ).

HZ Historische Zeitschrift (Munich etc., 1859 ff.).

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