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Abbey of Corvey

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(Also called N EW C ORBIE )

A Benedictine monastery in the Diocese of Paderborn, in Westphalia, founded c. 820 from Corbie in Picardy, by the Emperor Louis the Pious and St. Adelhard, Abbot of the older Corbie, from which the new foundation derived its name. Corvey soon became famous, and its abbots ranked as princes of the empire. In its school were cultivated all the arts and sciences, and it produced many celebrated scholars. To it the world is indebted for the preservation of the first five books of the "Annals" of Tacitus. From its cloisters went forth a stream of missionaries who evangelised Northern Europe, chief amongst them being St. Ansgar, the Apostle of Scandinavia. Here, too, Widukind is believed to have written his history of the Saxons (see SAXONS), and the "Annales Corbenjenses", which issued from the same scriptorium, figure largely in the "Monumenta Germaniæ" collected by Pertz. (These "Annales" must not be confounded with the forged "Chronicon Corbejense" which appeared in the nineteenth century.) The school of Corvey declined after the fifteenth century, but the abbey itself continued until 1803, when it was secularized and given to the family of Oranje-Nassau. The famous abbey library has long since been dispersed.

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