Gozbald

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Gozbald, in Latin Gozbaldus or Gauzbaldus (died 20 September 855), was the abbot of Niederaltaich from 830, and the bishop of Würzburg from 842, until his death. He also served as chorbishop of the diocese of Passau. On the basis of an entry in the confraternity book of Reichenau, the historian Gerd Althoff suggested that Gozbald belonged to the Hattonian family.[1]

From 830, Gozbald was the archchaplain and chancellor to Louis the German when the latter was just king of Bavaria. In 833 Louis divided the office of archchaplian–chancellor, appointing bishop Baturich of Regensburg and abbot Grimald of Wissembourg, respectively.[2] At Nijmegen on 14 June 838, an imperial assembly under Emperor Louis the Pious decided a dispute between Gozbald and Hraban Maur, abbot of Fulda, in favour of the latter. The dispute concerned some property near Frankfurt. As Gozbald was a familiaris and fildelis ("faithful follower") of Louis the German, this case may be the proximate cause of the ensuing rift between him and the emperor.[3] One of Gozbald's students at the court of Louis the German, Ermanrich, was later a bishop of Passau. When he composed a Vita Hariolfi, a biography of Hariolf, the founder of Ellwangen Abbey, he dedicated it to his teacher, Gozbald, a relative of Hariolf.[4]

Gozbald owned a church at Kleinochsenfurt in 838,[5] and in June 841 Louis rewarded him "for his most devoted service" with a gift of land at Ingolstadt.[6] This was at the height of the civil war which followed Louis the Pious's death. After the death of the bishop of Würzburg, Humbert, on 9 March 842, Louis appointed Gozbald to succeed him.[6] Until 847, Gozbald was the only bishop in East Francia whose loyalty to Louis was total. All the rest remained loyal to the emperor Lothair I and the archbishop of Mainz, Odgar.[7]

Gozbald was one of the frontier bishops who received the right to conduct land transactions with the local noblemen during the king's stay at Regensburg in 851–52. This right was used to consolidate holdings along the border with the Slavs.[8] Gozbald also acquired some relics of saints Cyprian and Sebastian for his church at Kleinochsenfurt, and Louis sent him to Rome to acquire the relics of Agapitus and Felicissimus for the church at Isarhofen. Gozbal wrote an account of this trip, the Translation of the Holy Martyrs Agapitus and Felicissimus.[9]

Gozbald acquired 35 books for the cathedral library during his reign.[10] He completed the collection of Old Testament books and commentaries and expanded that of the New. He also added works by Cicero, Isidore and Cassiodorus.[10] The production of the scriptorium reached a peak during the time of Gozbald.[9] Shortly before his death Würzburg Cathedral was burned by lightning. After his reign, the diocese underwent a period of rebuilding.[10]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Goldberg 2006, p. 71 n. 63.
  2. ^ Goldberg 2006, p. 71.
  3. ^ Goldberg 2006, p. 89.
  4. ^ Goldberg 2006, p. 171.
  5. ^ Goldberg 2006, p. 89 n. 15.
  6. ^ a b Goldberg 2006, p. 104–05.
  7. ^ Goldberg 2006, p. 159. The evidence is that lack of any royal charter issued to a bishop other than Gozbald during this period.
  8. ^ Goldberg 2006, pp. 144–45.
  9. ^ a b Goldberg 2006, pp. 168–69.
  10. ^ a b c McKitterick 1983, p. 205.

Sources[edit]

  • Goldberg, Eric Joseph (2006). Struggle for Empire: Kingship and Conflict Under Louis the German, 817–876. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press. 
  • McKitterick, Rosamond (1983). The Frankish Kingdoms under the Carolingians, 751–987. London: Longman. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Bischoff, Bernhard; Hofmann, Josef (1952). Libri sancti Kyliani: Die Würzburger Schreibscule und die Dombibliothek im VIII. und IX. Jahrhundert. Würzburg. 
  • Löwe, Heinz (1971). "Gozbald von Niederaltaich und Papst Gregor IV". Festschrift B. Bischoff. Stuttgart. pp. 164–77.