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Bernard of Cluny

BERNARD of Cluny. Dates unknown, 12th century. Little is known of Bernard’s life. He is sometimes referred to as ‘Bernard of Morlaix’ (for example by John Mason Neale*). Neale believed that Bernard had been born in Brittany of English parents, but this is not certain. He entered the monastery at Cluny, and was a monk there under Peter the Venerable*, abbot from 1122 to 1157. He dedicated his great poem, De Contemptu Mundi, to ‘Peter his abbot’. It is a remarkable work of 2966 lines, written in a complicated form (dactylic hexameters, with internal rhymes in each line), critical of the corruption of the church and the wickedness of the world. From it come some of Neale’s finest translations,...

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