« Atticus Atto Attributes of God »


ATTO: The name of three churchmen.

1. Bishop of Basel. See Haito.

2. Archbishop of Mainz. See Hatto.

3. Bishop of Vercelli 924–961. If his will (preserved with his works in MPL, cxxxiv, 9–916) is to be taken as genuine, he came of the family to which Desiderius, the last Lombard king, belonged; and this would account for his remarkable education, which included not only a knowledge of the Bible and the principal western Fathers, but Greek as well, with at least some works of the eastern ecclesiastical writers. He was especially well read in legal history, knowing the Roman, Lombard, and canon law. He was ordained at Milan, where he became archdeacon, and in 924 was advanced to the see of Vercelli. Among the productions of his episcopal career is his Capitulare, a series of instructions for the clergy, which shows him to have been a foe to superstition and a friend of popular education. His other extant works are a commentary on the Pauline epistles, following the older exegesis; eighteen sermons; nine letters; the treatise De pressuris ecclesiasticis, which pleads for the exemption of the clergy from the jurisdiction of secular tribunals and protests against lay interference with ecclesiastical elections and the alienation of church property; the Polypticum, which contains a philosophical presentation of the affairs of Italy from the accession of King Hugh (926) down to the repeated intervention of Otto I. Atto is an outspoken opponent of the Germans, and a partizan of Berengar of Ivrea. This work exists in two forms, of which the shorter is undoubtedly the authentic one, the other being a version edited with a view of removing some of its obscurities.

(A. Hauck.)

Bibliography:The Opera were edited by C. Burontius, 2 vols., Vercelli, 1768, and are in Mai, Veterum scriptorum nova collectio, vi, 2, pp 42 sqq., Rome, 1832, and in MPL, cxxxiv. Consult J. Schultz, Atto von Vercelli, Göttingen, 1885; A. Ebert, Geschichte der Literatur des Mittelalters, iii, 368 sqq., Leipsic. 1887.

« Atticus Atto Attributes of God »
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