The Rise of the Medieval World, 500-1300: A Biographical Dictionary

By Jana K. Schulman | Go to book overview

O

ODILO OF CLUNY, SAINT(C. 962–1049). The fifth abbot of Cluny, one of the most influential monasteries of any time period, Odilo was an abbot of tremendous administrative ability who saw the number of Cluniac houses increase from thirty-seven to sixty-five. Saint Odilo is also responsible for introducing the commemoration of All Souls’ Day (2 November) into the liturgy.

Odilo joined the monastery at Cluny at an early age and worked closely with his predecessor, Abbot Majolus. In 991 at the age of twenty-nine, he became coadjutor to assist Majolus in his duties, and upon the death of Majolus three years later, he assumed the abbacy. Although the reformation of monasteries in southern France and Italy after the model of Cluny had truly begun during the abbacy of Saint *Odo of Cluny, it was not until Odilo’s abbacy that any administrative effort was made toward centralizing these monasteries under the auspices of Cluny. Odilo was able to increase the number of abbeys devoted to Cluniac principles and increase their supervision, which resulted in greater dependency of these subordinate monasteries on Cluny. From this position, Cluny extended its influence over several centuries. Odilo was also known for his generosity. During the famines from 1028 to 1033, he melted sacred vessels and ornaments to sell in order to support the poor. He was responsible for establishing the “Truce of God” among independent warring factions and introduced the concept of the Church as a sanctuary that could not be violated.

Bibliography: J. Evans, Monastic Life at Cluny, 910–1157, 1931.

Clinton Atchley

ODO OF CLUNY, SAINT(879–942). Abbot of Cluny and a prolific writer, Odo was instrumental in elevating the monastery at Cluny to the position of preeminence that it enjoyed throughout much of the Middle Ages. He was also a great reformer of monasteries to Cluniac principles. He wrote several books of moral essays, sermons, hymns, and choral antiphons.

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The Rise of the Medieval World, 500-1300: A Biographical Dictionary
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Introduction vii
  • A 1
  • B 46
  • C 88
  • D 118
  • E 123
  • F 140
  • G 155
  • H 189
  • I 230
  • J 240
  • K 260
  • L 262
  • M 282
  • N 309
  • O 317
  • P 333
  • R 358
  • S 387
  • T 412
  • U 423
  • V 428
  • W 431
  • Bibliography 461
  • Name Index 485
  • General Index 493
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