« Alting, Johann Heinrich Altmann Altmann, Wilhelm »


ALTMANN, ɑ̄lt´mɑ̄n: Bishop of Passau 1065-91; d. at Zeiselmauer (12 m. n.w. of Vienna), Lower Austria, Aug. 8, 1091. A Westphalian of noble birth, he became first a student and then head of the school of Paderborn. Later he was provost of Aachen, then chaplain to Henry III., after whose death he was attached to the household of the Empress Agnes. In 1064 he made the pilgrimage to Jerusalem, and was chosen bishop of Passau before his return. He adhered steadfastly to Gregory VII. in his conflict with Henry IV., and was the first of the German bishops to proclaim against the king the sentence of excommunication which had been pronounced in Rome. He allied himself with the South German princes, and acted as papal legate in the assemblies at Ulm and Tribur in the autumn of 1076. Rudolf of Swabia had no more faithful partizan. As a result of this attitude, Altmann had to leave his diocese, which suffered severely (1077-78) from Henry’s resentment. He went to Rome early in 1079, and was there when 144 Gregory VII. hurled a second anathema at Henry in the synod of 1080. He returned to Germany as permanent papal vicar. Under his influence Liutpold of Austria broke with Henry, and Altmann was able to return to Passau. After Rudolf’s death (Oct. 15, 1080), he was entrusted with the pope’s instructions with regard to the setting up of a new contestant for the throne, and Hermann of Luxemburg was chosen (Aug., 1081). Altmann does not appear as leader of the papal party in Germany after Liutpold’s defeat by the Bohemians at Mailberg in 1082. He maintained himself for a while in the eastern part of his diocese, Passau itself being held by an opposition bishop, and rejected all compromise. In the internal administration of his diocese his policy was vigorously Hildebrandine.

(Carl Mirbt).

Bibliography: His life, by an anonymous author of the twelfth century, ed. W. Wattenbach, is in MGH, Script., xii. (1856) 226-243; another life by Rupert, abbot of Gottweig (d. 1199), is in MPL, cxlviii.; and there are modern lives by T. Wiedemann, Augsburg, 1851, J. Stülz, Vienna, 1853, and A. Linsenmeyer, Passau, 1891. Consult C. Mirbt, Die Publizistik im Zeitalter Gregors VII., Leipsic, 1894; W. Martens, Gregor VII., ib. 1894; Hauck, KD, iii. 341.

« Alting, Johann Heinrich Altmann Altmann, Wilhelm »
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