Order of Premontre, Premonstratensians, Norbertines, and White Canons





Ulrich G. Leinsle, Abt Georg Lienhardt von Roggenburg (1717-1783). Studien zu seinem literarischen Werk. Teil III: Ordensrecht und Ordensgeschichte, p. 5-64

The third part of the studies on Abbot Georg Lienhardt examines his works on the rights and the history of his order.

When Roggenburg regained the patronage over the parish Wallenhausen-Biberberg in 1757, which was confirmed by Pope Benedict XIV, this led to litigations with the Diocese of Augsburg about the right to appoint the priest until the year 1774. During these legal proceedings, Lienhardt wrote his Dissertatio historico-canonica from 1760 on behalf of the Suabian Circary. Following Benedict XIV’s bull Oneroso from the 1st of September 1750, he extensively defended the ability of Premonstratensians to take possession of parishes and the amovibility of priests through the abbot. So, the issue led to a fundamental conflict about the bull Oneroso, in which the Imperial Estates were involved as well. Lienhardt answered a reply by Augsburg in 1762 with his Iustitia Causae Wallenhusanae, where he individually refuted the arguments of his opponents.

In 1764, Lienhardt published his Ephemerides Hagiologicae Ordinis Praemonstratensis at Augsburg – a work which has remained influential until contemporary times. Written on behalf of the Suabian Circary for edification and imitation and suitable for readings at mealtimes, it is a Premonstratensian calendar of saints, blessed, and members of the order, who gained the reputation of holiness or a degree of heroic virtue. Despite the partly uncritical hagiographic reports about particular persons (and also about non-members of the order), the work deserves scholarly attention because of its occasionally added historic sections (Quaestiones criticae). The answers on requests to the particular monasteries induced Lienhardt to publish an Auctarium in 1767, in which he describes 100 further persons and adds meditations for the saint’s days of his order. Until the Hagiologion from 1999 (22013), these two belonged to Lienhardt’s most influential works.

When he wrote his hagiographic works, Lienhardt already planned to write a comprehensive history of the scholars of his order, which he published in the Spiritus Literarius Norbertinus in 1771. In addition to the (partly incorrect) details about individual persons in the Sylloge, the work mostly is an argument against the objection of a profound ignorance from the very beginning by the apostate Casimir Oudin (Dissertatio prodroma). The Sylloge includes many sections, which are barely noticed, but prove Lienhardt’s historical and critical sense for individual questions (e.g. in case of Burchard of Ursberg) or illustrate his basic intentions concerning the order for a greater audience. Lienhardt’s concept was extensively used and appreciated as scholarly encyclopedia (e.g. by Léon Goovaerts) and already found its impressive artistic expression with the ceiling fresco of the library of Speinshart Abbey in 1773.


Martina Bolom-Kotari, Seals of Moravian Premonstratensian Canonries in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries, p. 65-101

1. The greatest change in the seals of superiors and convents of the Moravian Premonstratensian Canonries took place at the start and during the course of the first half of the Seventeenth Century. The rich diversity of seal motifs was replaced through the exclusive introduction of armorial seals.

2. Armorial seals were composed in accordance with a broadly common design. A shield divided into a number of fields became part of the seal image. The place of greatest importance was accorded to the patron saint of the canonry, and the other places were occupied by the familial or personal signs of the seal’s owner (in the case of members of the nobility), or general Christian symbols, subjects, signs referring to the founder of the monastery or signs connected with the Hungarian provostships under the administration of the Moravian Premonstratensians in the case of non-noble superiors.

3. The transition to an armorial motif also affected the overall layout of the seals, resulting in reductions in size, greater similarity of shape and preference being accorded to oval shapes, followed by octagonal and circular seals.

4. The standardisation of seal motifs and the greater uniformity of their layout create for us today difficulties when we try to distinguish between individual seal types (large seal, small seal, secret, signet ring). In order to attempt to understand the roles of specific seals in the early modern age it is necessary to start from a knowledge of the context, sealing habits and seals of a certain issuer (whether a person or an institution).

5. The issuers themselves, however, continued to distinguish between the individual types of the seals they used. They used the seals in accordance with their specific legal relevance in particular cases. Evidence of this can be seen in the sets of seals the use of which by individual superiors can be followed consistently throughout the entire period in question.

6. The major impact of the transfer of the remains of Saint Norbert to Prague can be seen on the seals of two abbots of Hradisko who had themselves portrayed stylistically with attributes of the Saint. In this way they committed themselves to his legacy and honoured him.

7. In the course of examining the running of the canonries and the status of individual members of a community questions arise especially in the case of the long-term use of priory seals in place of convent seals at the Louka canonry in the first and second thirds of the Seventeenth Century.

8. The use of seals by Moravian Premonstratensians in the canonries of Hradisko, Louka and Zábrdovice ends in the 1780s with their dissolution by Emperor Joseph II. However, a few examples survive from the second half of the Eighteenth Century. The canonry at Nová Říše survived the Josephine reforms and thus it is possible to find seals of its superiors and convents from later dates.


Karel Dolista (†) / Ulrich G. Leinsle (Hgg.), Ergänzungen zu den Provinzialkapiteln der Böhmischen Zirkarie und der kaiserlichen Provinzen 1641-1727, p. 102-313


Ulrich G. Leinsle (Red.), In memoriam Dr. Karel Dolista (9.9.1921-9.5.2016), p. 314-320

Jozef Van Osta, Un portrait de Jean-Baptiste L’Écuy, dernier abbé de Prémontré (1740-1834), p. 321-324


Stefan Petersen, Prämonstratensische Wege nach Rom. Die Papsturkunden der fränkischen und schwäbischen Stifte bis 1378 (K. Unterburger), p. 325-327

Adam of Witham, De Quadripertito exercitio cellae. A critical Edition, ed. by John Clark and James Hogg (U.G. Leinsle O.Praem.), p. 327-329

Petr Voit, Katalog prvotisků Strahovské Knihovny v Praze. A catalogue of incunabula of the Strahov Library in Prague. Inkunabelkatalog der Strahover Bibliothek in Prag (U.G. Leinsle O.Praem.), p. 329-330

De levensgang van Ton Baeten. Oud-abt van de Abdij van Berne in gesprek met dr. Jean van Stratum (A. Ciferni O.Praem.), p. 331-333

Chronicon, p. 334-364

      Index, p. 365-370

Index tomi XCII, 2016, p. 371-372

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