« Baluze, Etienne Bamberg, Bishopric of Bampton Lectures »

Bamberg, Bishopric of

BAMBERG, BISHOPRIC OF: A see founded in 1007 by King Henry II in the city (civitas Papinberc) which Otho II had given to Henry’s father, Duke Henry of Bavaria, in 973. As Henry II had no children, his idea was to leave this possession to God, at the same time aiding in the final conquest of paganism in the district. But the territory of the Wends on the upper Main, the Wiesent, and the Aisch had belonged to the diocese of Würzburg since the organization of the Middle German bishoprics by St. Boniface, so that no new diocese could be erected without the consent of the occupant of that see. He raised no objection to parting with some of his territory, especially as the king promised to have Würzburg raised to an archbishopric and to give him an equivalent in Meiningen. The consent of Pope John XVII was obtained for this arrangement, but the elevation of Würzburg to an archbishopric proved impracticable, and its bishop withdrew his consent. The king persisted, however, and had the erection of the new diocese confirmed at the great Synod of Frankfort, subsequently naming his chancellor, Eberhard, the first bishop. [The next seven bishops were named by the emperors, after which free canonical election was the rule. Eberhard’s immediate successor, Suidger of Morsleben, became pope in 1046 as Clement II. At the beginning of the thirteenth century the diocese gradually became a territorial principality, and its bishops took secular precedence next after the archbishops. The fortieth bishop, George III of Limburg (1505-22), was inclined toward the Reformation, which caused a violent social outbreak under his successor Weigand (1522-56), and the city suffered severely in the Margraves’ War (1552-54), as well as in the Thirty Years’ War, when it was placed under the jurisdiction of Bernard, the new Duke of Franconia. At the Peace of Westphalia (1648), the bishops recovered their possessions; but these were overrun by the French revolutionary armies, and in 1802 annexed to Bavaria. From 1808 to 1817 the diocese was vacant]; but by the Bavarian Concordat of the latter year it was made an archbishopric, with Würzburg, Speyer, and Eichstädt as suffragan sees. The present diocese comprises Upper Franconia and the northern half of Middle Franconia.

A. Hauck.

Bibliography: Adalbert, Vita Heinrici, ed. G. H. Pertz, in MGH, Script., iv (1841), 787 sqq.; A. Ussermann, Episcopatus Bambergensis, Blaise, 1802; P. Jaffé, Monumenta Bambergensia, Berlin, 1869; KL, i, 1915-28 (very full); J. Looshorn, Geschichte des Bistums Bamberg, 6 vols., Munich, 1886-1906 (an exhaustive history); Hauck KD, iii, 418-428.

« Baluze, Etienne Bamberg, Bishopric of Bampton Lectures »
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