Berengaudus on the Apocalypse

  • Eric Knibbs
Part of the The New Middle Ages book series (TNMA)


The Apocalypse commentary known as the Expositio super septem visiones libri Apocalypsi has inspired interest for its unusual approach and its enigmatic author, known only as Berengaudus. In two letters, Lupus of Ferrières recommended a young Bernegaudus to the monastery of Saint-Germain in Auxerre, and so bibliographers have included Bernegaudus among ninth-century exegetes. Yet the Expositio was read widely only after 1100, often in lavish illuminated manuscripts, and no copies antedate the eleventh century. For many art historians especially, therefore, the Expositio remains a high medieval text. Closer analysis confirms the close relationship between the Expositio and other Carolingian-era commentaries, particularly the oeuvre of Haimo of Auxerre. At the same time, Berengaudus uses sources more loosely than was usual for most ninth-century authors, and in the course of his commentary ultimately rejects many Haimonian interpretations. Furthermore, tropological meditations drive Berengaudus to address contemporary abuses in a few highly informative asides. These contain evidence showing that Berengaudus wrote in the early medieval period, but well after the Carolingian era had drawn to a close.

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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eric Knibbs
    • 1
  1. 1.Monumenta Germaniae HistoricaMunichGermany

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