Bernward of Hildesheim

Bernward Of Hildesheim

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Bernward of Hildesheim

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Saint Bernard (c. 960 – 20 November 1022) was the Bishop of Hildesheim from 993 until his death in 1022.

Bernward came from a Saxon noble family and studied at the cathedral school of Hildesheim. From 977, he served as a scribe and chronicler at the court of Otto II and Theophanu and then from 987/88 to 993, he and the future Pope Sylvester II were in charge of the young Emperor Otto III.

His time in office fell during the era of the Saxon emperors, who had their roots in the area around Hildesheim and were personally related to Bernward. During this time, Hildesheim was a center of power in the Holy Roman Empire and Bernward was determined to give his city an image fitting for one of its stature. The column he planned on the model of Trajan's Column at Rome never came to fruition, but Bernward revived classical precedent by having his name stamped on roof tiles made under his direction.W. Oakeshott, Classical Inspiration in Medieval Art 1959:67, noted in Roberto Weiss, The Renaissance Discovery of Classical Antiquity (Oxford: Blackwell) 1973:4.

The most famous extant stamped roof tiles, examples of this ambition, are the Bernward doors of St. Mary's Cathedral (bronze cast with scenes of the holy history after the wooden doors of Santa Sabina in Rome), the Christus Pilar (bronze cast with images of the deeds of Christ after the stone Kaisersäulen in Rome), as well as the early Romanesque Michaelskirche (finished after Bernward's death). St....
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