Smaragdus of Saint-Mihiel

Smaragdus of Saint-Mihiel (c. 760 – c. 840) was a Benedictine monk of Saint Mihiel Abbey, near Verdun. He was a significant writer of homilies, and on the Rule of St Benedict.

The New Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature allows the possibility that Smaragdus was "perhaps Irish" but gives no further information for this.


After serving as principal of the convent school, he was elected about 805 abbot of the monastery on Mt. Castellion. In around 814 he moved his monks a few miles away and founded the monastery of St Mihiel on the banks of the River Meuse, in the diocese of Verdun.

Charlemagne employed him to write the letter to Pope Leo III, in which was communicated the decision of the Council of Aachen (809) respecting the adoption of the Filioque, and sent him to Rome with the commissioners to lay the matter before the pope. He acted as secretary, and drew up the protocol. Louis the Pious showed him equal consideration, endowed his monastery, and in 824 appointed him to act with Frothar of Toul as arbitrator between Ismund, abbot of Moyenmoutier Abbey, and his monks. Smaragdus died about 840.


His writings show diligence and piety. His published works in prose are:

There remain in manuscript a Commentary on the Prophets, and a History of the Monastery of St. Michael (cf. Mabillon, l.c.) Smaragdus also wrote poetry. Besides a hymn to Christ (Ebert, l.c. p. 112) there have been preserved his metrical introductions to his Collections and Commentary on the rule of St. Benedict, of which the first has twenty-nine lines in hexameter, and the second thirty-seven distichs.



  1. Paris, 1532, 1640; Antwerp, 1540; Bibliotheca Maxima, Lyons, 1677, Tom. XVI. pp. 1305–1342.
  2. The text is printed in Migne, PL 102:593–690. A translation is David Barry, The Crown of Monks, CS245, (Collegeville, MN: Cistercian Publications)
  3. Migne, PL, 102:689–932. A more recent Latin edition appeared in the 1970s. An English translation is David Barry, Commentary on the Rule of St Benedict, CS 212, (Kalamazoo, MI, 2007)
  • B. Lofstedt, L. Holtz, A. Kibre (1986), Liber in partibus Donati by Smaragdus
  • Terrence Kardong, Jean Leclercq, Daniel M. LaCorte, David Barry (2008) Smaragdus of Saint-Mihiel: Commentary on the Rule of Saint Benedict (translation)
  • Smaragdus of Saint-Mihiel, The Crown of Monks, trans David Barry OSB. Cistercian Studies no. 245. (2013) [translation of Diadema Monachorum]
  • Jean Leclercq. La voie royale/le diadème des moines. La Pierre-qui-Vire, 1949 (French translation).
  • Smaragdus, abbas monasterii Sancti Michaelis Virdunensis: Opera omnia in Migne, Patrologia Latina, Tom. CII. cols. 9–980: with Pitra's notes, cols. 1111–1132.
  • His Carmina are in Dümmler, Poetae Latini aevi Carolini, I. 605–619.
  • Hauréau: Singularités historiques et littéraires. Paris, 1861 (pp. 100 sqq.)
  • H. Keil: De grammaticis quibusdam latinis infimae aetatis (Program) . Erlangen, 1868.
  • Hist. Lit. de la France, IV. 439–447.
  • Ceillier, XII. 254–257.
  • Bähr, 362–364.
  • Ebert, II. 108-12
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 11/7/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.