RATHERIUS, ra''-ther' î-us: Bishop of Verona; b. near Lifge shortly after 887; d. at Namur (36 m. s.e. of Brussels) 974. As a child of five he entered the monastery of Laubach in Hennegau, but
At Alna Ratherius still longed for a wider sphere of activity. Liége and Laubach remained closed to him, but in 961 Otto restored him to his see of Verona, where he was soon charged by his clergy with having connived at the robbery of the relics of St. Bruno, his reply, the Invectiva, being but a lame defense. The opposition continued, though in his De contemptu canonum he endeavored to strengthen his episcopal position. But his courage failed at last, and spiritual distress found expression in his De proprio lapsu and De otioso sermone. His mistrust and his opponents' hatred alike in creased; Ratherius declared the ordinations of his rival, Milo, invalid, and was forced to retract; his cordial reception at the court of the two Ottos at Verona in 967 failed to restore his prestige; and in 968 an imperial tribunal decided against his administration, while the emperor urged him, in the interests of all concerned, to resign his bishopric. In the same year he returned once more to Laubach, only to become involved in disputes with the young abbot of the monastery, who was at last forced from his position. Possessed of considerable wealth accumulated at Verona, Ratherius continued to devise all Sorts of simoniacal projects, until, in 974, he died a refugee in the castle of the count of Namur.
Though deeply versed in both sacred and secular learning, Ratherius was a scion of his time in his aversion to original productivity. His writings were invariably publicistic.and personal, and form only a commentary on the vicissitudes of his own life. As contrasted with the calm of the Carolingian period, Ratherius felt the doctrines and precepts of the Church to be problematical and subject to criticism. At the same time, he remained loyal, even though he doubted; he was neither a reformer nor a promoter of learning; and only his sharply defined personality renders him perennially interesting. In his Qualitatis conjectura cujusdam (written in 965-966) much autobiographical material is contained. The complete works of Ratherius were first collected and edited by Pietro and Girolamo Ballerini (Verona, 1765), and reprinted in MPL, cxxxvi.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Sources are to be found in MGR, Script., iii (1839), 312, 314, iv (1841), 63-65, 69-70, 269-270, vi (1844). 347-349, 352; MPL, clx. 574. Consult: A. Vogel, Ratherius von Verona und das 10. Jahrhundert, 2 vols., Jena, 1854; ASM, swc. v., pp. 478-487; Hist. littéaire de la France, vi. 339-383; A. Ebert, Allgemeine Geschichte der Litteratur des Mittelalters, iii. 373-383, Leipsic, 1889; Hauck, KD, iii. 285-297; Ceillier, Auteurs sacrés, xii. 846-860; KL, x. 789-791.
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