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Radulph of Rivo

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(or OF TONGRES; RADULPH VAN DER BEEKE)

An historian and liturgist, born at Breda, in Dutch Brabant, about the middle of the fourteenth century; died at Tongres, 3 Nov., 1403. He pursued his studies in various parts of Europe — in Italy, where he was in 1362, at Paris, and at Orléans (1367-75), where he studied canon and civil law. In 1371 at the latest he was subdeacon. Invested in 1371 with the deanery of Tongres by a Bull of Gregory IX, he took possession of his charge in 1383. In the interval he returned to Italy ; in 1381 he was still at Rome, where he had as master Simon of Constantinople, Archbishop of Thebes, who taught him Greek. After 1390 he was replaced at Tongres by a vice-dean. During this time he had matriculated at the new University of Cologne (founded in 1388), where for a time he was rector (1397). He made his last journey to Rome somewhat prior to that date. In 1398 he returned to Tongres, where he resumed his duties as dean. Here he occupied himself, as during his first stay, with firm and enlightened zeal in the maintenance of discipline during the period disturbed by the beginning of the Great Schism of the West. He exerted himself especially for the reform of the liturgy. He was the friend, protector, and guide of the new institutions of Windersheim and Corsendonck. Several of his works date from this period, while his liturgical writings were chiefly composed during his second stay at Rome. He was buried in the cloisters of the church of Ste-Marie at Tongres.

Radulph wrote a great deal. Besides some works on grammar, mention must be made of his chronicle of the bishops of Liège published by Chapeaville (3 vols., Liège, 1612-16) and his liturgical works. The last-named are the most important and the best of his writings, especially for the history of the Breviary and the Mass. Here he displays a great spirit of piety, showing at the same time much critical ability, learning, and wide reading. He is decidedly in favour of maintaining ancient Roman liturgical customs and rejects recent modifications. Among his writings (many still unedited) especially notable are: "Liber de canonum observantia" (ed. Hilthorp, Cologne, 1508, and in "Maxima Patrum Bibliotheca", Lyons, vol. XXVI, 289); "Calendarius ecclesiasticus Generalis" (Louvain, 1508); "De psalterio observando" and "Liber de Officiis ecclesiasticis", the last two unpublished.

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