Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Authority and pedagogy in Hermann of Reichenau's De Octo Vitiis Principalibus.
Author: Williams, Hannah
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2006
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
This thesis presents a close study of Hermann of Reichenau’s De octo vltm principalibus (’On the Eight Principal Vices’), a didactic poem and dialogue composed in southern Germany c.1044-54. The poem takes the form of a three way exchange between the author, the female character of the Muse, and an audience of unidentified sisters or nuns. While Hermann is well known to medievalist as a scholar of the liberal arts, I argue that the De octo vitiis provides a more useful point of entry for exploring his approach to monastic learning and, in particular, his vision of the right relationship between scholarly pursuits and the commitment to monastic discipline. The study thus aims to develop a fresh approach to the life and work of important figure in eleventh-century monasticism, whose scholarly interests have tended to be overlooked by many of the grand narratives of medieval historiography such as that of the twelfth-century renaissance. By examining the exchanges and characterizations within the De octo vitiis, as well as the wider contexts of Hermann’s life and career at the monastery of Reichenau, I aim to chart the development of his claims to authority both as an author and a teacher. Through an investigation into his pedagogic aims and techniques, I also explore his efforts to define the limits and possibilities of transmitting moral and spiritual instruction, a discussion which he undertakes through the language of male› female interactions within the monastic life. Part I of the thesis is concerned with the external context of Hermann’s work. Part II presents a translation of the De octo vitiis, while Part III undertakes a close reading of the text. In Chapter 1 I explore the history and composition of the De octo vitiis and seek to position the work as part of a wider programme of classroom teaching and spiritual instruction. Chapter 2 examines the evidence for Hermann’s life and career at eleventh-century Reichenau, while Chapter 3 considers the possible identity of his stated female audience for the De octo viliis. Chapter 4 explores Hermann’s representation of the eight principal vices and his construction of a spiritual journey for monastic readers, while Chapter 5 considers his use of the dialogue form and his depictions of a close spiritual friendship between himself and the Sisters. Finally Chapter 6 considers the construction of the Muse, examining Hermann’s efforts to define the place of poetry within the daily monastic round.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available