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§ 172. Druthmar.


I. Christianus Druthmarus: Opera omnia, in Migne, Tom. CVI. col. 1259–1520.

II. Ceillier, XII. 419–423. Hist. Lit. de la France, V. 84–90. Bähr, 401–403.


Christian Druthmar was born in Aquitania in the first part of the ninth century. Before the middle of the century he became a monk of the Benedictine monastery of old Corbie.13361336    The monastery of Old Corbie was in Picardy, in the present department of Somme, nine miles by rail east of Amiens. That of New Corbie was in Westphalia, and was founded by Louis the Pious in 822 by a colony of monks from Old Corbie. About 850 he was called thence to the abbey of Stavelot-Malmédy, in the diocese of Liège, to teach the Bible to the monks.13371337    Stavelot is twenty-four miles southeast of Liège, in present Belgium. It is now a busy manufacturing place of four thousand inhabitants. Its abbey was founded in 651, and its abbots had princely rank and independent jurisdiction down to the peace of Luneville in 1801. The town of Malmédy lies about five miles to the northeast, and until 1815 belonged to the abbey of Stavelot. It is now in Prussia. It is not known whether he died there or returned to Corbie.

He was a very superior scholar for his age, well versed in Greek and with some knowledge of Hebrew. Hence his epithet, the “Grammarian” (i.e. Philologist). His fame rests upon his Commentary on Matthew’s Gospel,13381338    Expositio in Matthaeum Evangelistam, Migne, CVI. col. 1261-1504. a work distinguished for its clearness of statement, and particularly noticeable for its insistence upon the paramount importance of the historic sense, as the foundation of interpretation.13391339    “Studui autem plus historicum sensum sequi quam spiritalem, quia irrationabile mihi videtur spiritalem intelligentiam in libro aliquo quaerere, et historicam penitus ignorare: cum historia fundamentum omnis intelligentize sit,” etc. Ibid. col. 1262, l. 6, Fr. bel. To such a man the views of Paschasius Radbertus upon the Lord’s Supper could have no attraction. Yet an attempt has been persistently made to show that in his comments upon Matt. 26:26–28, he teaches transubstantiation. Curiously enough, his exact language upon this interesting point cannot be now determined beyond peradventure, because every copy of the first printed edition prepared by Wimphelin de Schelestadt, Strassburg 1514, has perished, and in the MS. in possession of the Cordelier Fathers at Lyons the critical passage reads differently from that in the second edition, by the Lutheran, Johannes Secerius, Hagenau 1530. In the Secerius text, now printed in the Lyons edition of the Fathers, and in Migne, the words are, 26:26, “Hoc est corpus meum. Id est, in sacramento” (“This is my body. That is, in the sacrament,” or the sacramental sign as distinct from the res sacramenti, or the substance represented). Matt. 26:28, Transferens spiritaliter corpus in panem, vinum in sanguinem (“Transferring spiritually body into bread, wine into blood”).13401340    Ibid. col. 1476, l. 16 and 3 Fr. bel. In the MS. the first passage reads: “Id est, vere in sacramento subsistens” (“That is, truly subsisting in the sacrament”); and in the second the word “spiritaliter “is omitted. The Roman Catholics now generally admit the correctness of the printed text, and that the MS. has been tampered with, but insist that Druthmar is not opposed to the Catholic doctrine on the Eucharist.

The brief expositions of Luke and John13411341    Ibid. col. 1503-1514, 1515-1520. are probably mere notes of Druthmar’s expository lectures on those books, and not the works he promises in his preface to Matthew.13421342    Ibid. col. 1263.



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