[St. Pachomius Library]


Founded in 612 by St. Columbanus, Bobbio, which is northeast of Genoa, was an important intellectual center of the Carolingian Empire. In 628, Pope Honorius I exempted the abbey from bishops' rule and placed it directly under papal jurisdiction. In 643 the monastery adopted the rule of St. Benedict, which it practiced along with the original Irish rule. During the X Century, Bobbio's library expanded under the patronage of German kings to include 700 manuscripts, among which are the Antiphonary of Bangor and the Bobbio Missal, both sources of information about Celtic liturgical practices. In 1014, Bobbio became an episcopal see and began to decline as conflict between the bishops and monks rose. In the XVI Century, the library was transferred to the Vatican, and the collection has since been divided among several libraries. A fire in 1904 destroyed a number of manuscripts. In 1803, the invading French suppressed the monastery, which was restored in 1910.

Karen Rae Keck


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