A prominent and prolific writer of Latin Hymns, born in the latter part of the twelfth century, probably at Paris ; died in the Abbey of Saint Victor then in the suburbs of Paris but included in it subsequently through the city's growth, some time between 1172 and 1192. By those more nearly his contemporaries he is styled "Brito", a word which means "Briton", or "Breton". But as he was educated in Paris, and entered the Abbey of Saint Victor when quite young, he was presumably French. He lived in the abbey, which was somewhat of a theological center, until his death. Adam of Saint Victor is the most illustrious exponent of the revival of liturgical poetry which the twelfth century affords. Archbishop Trench characterizes him as "the foremost among the sacred Latin poets of the Middle Ages ". Of his hymns and sequences some thirty-seven were published in the "Elucidatorium Ecclesiasticum" of Clichtoveus, a Catholic theologian of the sixteenth century. Nearly all of the remaining seventy were preserved in the Abbey of Saint Victor up to the time of its dissolution in the Revolution. They were then transferred to the Bibliothèque Nationale, where they were discovered by Léon Gautier, who edited the first complete edition of them (Paris, 1858). Besides these poetic works, some prose ones are attributed to Adam of Saint Victor, viz., "Summa Britonis, seu de difficilioribus verbis in Biblia contentis", a dictionary of all the difficult words in the Bible for the use of novices and beginners in the study of the Scriptures ; and a sequel to this, "Expositio super omnes prologos", an historical commentary on the prologues of St. Jerome . Fabricius, Pits, and others deny his authorship of these prose works, saying they were written by Guillaume le Breton. Levesque advances some plausible reasons for believing them the work of Adam, while Abbé Lejay declares emphatically that none of the prose works ascribed to him can be regarded with any likelihood as his. Some of his best hymns are "Laudes crucis attolamus", "Verbi vere substantivi", and "Stola regni laureatus".
The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed in fifteen hardcopy volumes.
Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.
No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.
Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912
Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online