Hirschau or Hirsau

Hirschau or Hirsau a very celebrated old German monastery, of the Benedictine order, in the diocese of Speier, having much in common with the congregation of Clugny (q.v.). It is asserted by the Roman Catholics to have been opened A.D. 645; but it was probably founded about 830 by count Erlafried von Calw and bishop Notting of Vercelli. The monks and the different abbots who inhabited it were distinguished for their scholarship. Some were authors, others rose to high distinction in the Church. Among these, the abbot Wilhelm der Selige (q.v.) did perhaps more than any other to establish the noble reputation of this monastery. After the Reformation it became a Protestant seminary until 1692, when the French, on their invasion of the country, destroyed it. A history of this monastery was written by Johann Trittenhemius, one of its abbots, under the title Chronicon Hirsaugiense (Basil, 1559, fol., and 1690,2 vols. fol.). — Herzog, Real-Encyklop 6, 143; Wetzer u. Welte, Kirchen-Lex. 5, 213; Real-Encyklopadie für d. Kathol. Deutschl. 5, 375. SEE BENEDICTINES. (J. H. W.).

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