Hermann Of Reichenau
HERMANN OF REICHENAU (HERIMANNUS AUGIENSIS), commonly distinguished as Hermannus Contractus, i.e. the Lame (1013-1054), German scholar and chronicler, was the son of Count Wolferad of Alshausen in Swabia. Hermann, who became a monk of the famous abbey of Reichenau, is at once one of the most attractive and one of the most pathetic figures of medieval monasticism. Crippled and distorted by gout from his childhood, he was deprived of the use of his legs; but, in spite of this, he became one of the most learned men of his time, and exercised a great personal and intellectual influence on the numerous band of scholars he gathered round him. He died on the 24th of September 1054, at the family castle of Alshausen near Biberach. Besides the ordinary studies of the monastic scholar, he devoted himself to mathematics, astronomy and music, and constructed watches and instruments of various kinds.
His chief work is a Chronicon ad annum 1054, which furnishes important and original material for the history of the emperor Henry III. The first edition, from a MS. no longer extant, was printed by J. Sichard at Basel in 1529, and reissued by Heinrich Peter in 1549; another edition appeared at St Blaise in 1790 under the supervision of Ussermann; and a third, as a result of the collation of numerous MSS., forms part of vol. v. of Pertz's Monumenta Germaniae historica. A German translation of the last is contributed by K. F. A. Nobbe to Die Geschichtsschreiber der deutschen Vorzeit (ist ed., Berlin, 1851; 2nd ed., Leipzig, 1893). The separate lives of Conrad II. and Henry III., often ascribed to Hermann : appear to have perished. His treatises De mensura astrolabii and De utilitatibus astrolabii (to be found, on the authority of Salzburg MSS., in Pez, Thesaurus anecdotorum novissimus, iii.) being the first contributions of moment furnished by a European to this subject, Hermann was for a time considered the inventor of the astrolabe. A didactic poem from his pen, De octo vitiis principalibus, is printed in Haupt's Zeitschrift fur deutsches Alterthum (vol. xiii.); and he is sometimes credited with the composition of the Latin hymns Veni Sancte Spiritus, Salve Regina, and Alma Redemptoris. A martyrologium by Hermann was discovered by E. Dummler in a MS. at Stuttgart, and was published by him in " Das Martyrologium Notkers und seine Verwandten " in Forschungen zur deutschen Geschichte, xxv. (Gottingen, 1885).
See H. Hansjakob, Herimann der Lahme (Mainz, 1875) ; Potthast, Bibliotlieca nied. aev. s. " Herimannus Augiensis."
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)