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The Deeds of Wiprecht

Pegau Foundation

When everything had at last been set up around him according to his desire, Wiprecht, so as not to misuse the tranquillity of the time granted to him by God, now pondered how he might become fortunate before God. (On account of the enormity of his worldly good fortune men were languishing from a voracious envy.) It was as if he heard the very author of his salvation threatening him, 'Transgressors, take it again to heart!' Afterwards Wiprecht, soon to be the founder of the monastery of Pegau, felt remorse in his heart—while God himself, who calls those whom He predestines, took pity. However late, Wiprecht at last turned inward toward himself, and before the eyes of his own mind he recalled which and how many bad things he had done: namely, how often he had plundered other people's things; how many men he had afflicted with slaughter, fire, and pillage; how many he had deprived not only of their resources, honours, treasures and towns but also of life itself. Oh, that I might leave out these things: how much [violence] he committed at Rome, at the threshold of the blessed apostles, and in the burning of the basilica of St. James in Zeitz.
Recalling all these things, Wiprecht groaned in his heart and in all earnestness beseeched Him, without whom human frailty has no strength at all, to guide his counsel. Oh, how effective always is the judgment pronounced from the mouths of the saints—or rather from the Holy Spirit—such that wherever iniquity is abundant, grace is more abundant. Undoubtedly summoning himself more inwardly, he was resuscitated from the deadly habit of vice. And with the divine voice penetrating the hardness of his heart of stone, Wiprecht was reminded to go forth outwardly for confession and penance. He took himself in complete devotion of spirit to [Archbishop] Hartwig of Magdeburg and [Bishop] Werner [of Merseburg]. He revealed to them the enormity of his guilt and his desire to render satisfaction. To such men, who knew how to heal the sicknesses of souls, he revealed himself as ready to render satisfaction in every way, according to their judgment and as far as he was able. These men, to be sure, although they did not lack confidence that they would be able to correct him by their authority and opinion, nevertheless, for the sake of easing for him the form of his penance a little bit—which they judged best—persuaded him with flattery to go to the threshold of the blessed apostles, Rome, and to the feet of the lord pope. Wiprecht, not delaying at all, was disinclined to go there heavily laden. Therefore, taking little with him, he arrived at Rome, as he had been counselled. There, prostrate on the ground, he watered the threshold of the apostles, which he had previously defiled with blood, with the tears of true penance. Afterwards, the opportunity granted him, he was brought to the feet of the lord pope, to whom he confessed with the highest devotion, in sequence, the reason for his journey and the enormity and the foulness of his sins. Then, by the authority of his predecessors the pope, most splendid in his knowledge of the true and salvific medicine, most insightful in showing moderation in penance, and having first offered certain words for compelling more diligently a compunction to repentance, sent him to the patriarch of the Spanish, a man of apostolic authority and admirable (even to the pope himself) on account of the merit of his life. That is to say, having consulted more privately, the pope counselled Wiprecht to mention to him the heavier labour of that trip or some need of an obstacle, with God arranging it. He also counselled Wiprecht to comply with all of the patriarch’s commands and advice. And so, Wiprecht hastened to the patriarch with ardent desire, and made fully known to him the things he had done thus far in his neighbourhood. The patriarch imposed penance on him—from ecclesiastical, not his own, judgment—measured in accordance with the magnitude of his crimes, and taking care lest by chance he run in vain. Not as a harsh overseer of a fellow servant but as a neighbour with compassion, with these salvific admonitions the patriarch instructed the spirit of the one in danger, who was hastening to race back to the harbour of salvation by his own rowing: 'Concerning those publicly penitent in our times, we indeed fear to pre-judge whether they be penitents or more like jokers—those who, after they are received in the church as reconciled, pretend to alter their former life. But because true justice lies not in beginning but in persevering, most beloved son, consider why you have travelled such a great distance. For the lord pope was able to give you—nay rather ought to give you more appropriately than I—remission of sins. But he wanted to test your patience with the labour of such a great journey, so that, having reaped the benefit of your perseverance, you may now receive from me a more relaxed measure of penance. Therefore, to your love I declare this advice most efficacious and salutary: redeem your sins through alms, which are strong enough to extinguish them completely, just like water on fire. As for the rest, if the means are abundant, construct at your own expense a temple to God, whose servant a good will ought to be, for the veneration of the blessed James, whose basilica you burned down. Also, bring together there as many servants of God as you judge yourself able, according to the Lord’s precept: make the poor your friends from the wealth of iniquity. Let these men preserve the order of the rule’s observance, so that, when you have departed from the present life, with constant prayers they will bring it about that you are worthy to be received in the heavenly abode.' To this Wiprecht said: 'If your paternity judges it sufficient, I can establish a monastic cell suitable for six brothers and can spend whatever might meet their needs.' Prudently resisting, the patriarch said to him: 'Those who sow sparingly, also reap sparingly. And he who will spend in cheerfulness and abundance, will also receive abundantly. Because maintaining the rule’s observance in every way will not be possible among so few, if you are in any way able, add the same number of others to these [i.e., six plus six]—for together they will more easily be strong in monastic order. Just as greater diseases need greater medicine, so too do greater rewards follow heavier labours.' Since Wiprecht promised himself ready to do everything he could, with God working with him and granting life, the patriarch gave him relics, namely the knee of St. James. Then he dismissed him, reconciled to the church, with the remission of his sins and a blessing.
Thus were these things happily accomplished. As Wiprecht was returning home, he detoured to his town of Leisnig, where his assembled men received him with joy. He made known to them the causes and results of his journey, in sequence, and took counsel with them as to which place under his control seemed to be suitable for constructing a monastery. And although different people offered different opinions about what might be best, nevertheless the more prudent agreed that he ought to look in the neighbourhood of his town of Groitzsch, in whatever place might be most suitable there.
Toward that end, as he was turning his mind to that same devout intention, Wiprecht passed by chance through a certain village named Eula, where there was a wooden church that had by then almost fallen apart from the old age of the wood. He withdrew into it for the sake of prayer, with his familiar named Giselher. For it was Wiprecht’s custom that he never passed a church without saying a prayer. Rising, therefore, after saying his prayer—wondrous to say!—the chest of relics, which was placed upon the altar, seemed to be opened like a book by divine agency. With the brightness from it glittering in his face, it struck the chest of this very brave man with such great terror that he was scarcely able to remain in his place. Coming out, Wiprecht asked his aforesaid familiar if he had seen anything. After Giselher said that truly he had seen nothing yet had experienced immense terror, Wiprecht described what he had seen, and said he was of a mind to restore this very church. After he had ordered that to be done immediately out of his own expenses, he resumed his journey and reached Groitzsch.
There too, he was received with not a little exultation. Impatient of delay, Wiprecht made known to more prudent men the desire and wish he was incessantly turning over in his mind. It seemed to them that it ought to be done in a certain prominent place, adjacent to the same castle [i.e., Groitzsch], called Nible in antiquity, now Old Groitzsch. But, sensibly, this displeased certain more careful men with more profound advice; they prudently contended that if the castle itself should at some time be surrounded by a siege (as will be clear, this later happened) that place would be a refuge for the enemy and a source of desolation for those staying there. Afterwards it pleased Wiprecht to designate for such a great work a place on this side of the river Elster, adjacent to the village of Pegau, where now a certain village called Wolftitz lies. For that place, quite pleasant and spacious, was then empty on this side of the nearby highway. But because the public highway created an opportunity—even a necessity—for everyone to be passing through frequently, and this would be a loss—even a catastrophe—for those ready to serve God there, that advice was also withdrawn as useless. After Wiprecht had surveyed everything all around with diligent consideration, they looked toward the region west of the village of Pegau at a place chosen for this work—so we believe—by divine agency. It was most fitting but not every part of it lay in his control, for a certain Erpo possessed a castle bordering this place; since he did not possess an heir, he was bound most closely to Wiprecht by both consanguinity and friendship. When Wiprecht had opened his mind to him, Erpo held that he was entirely in agreement with him. And so he donated that place, together with other benefices in Saxony, in order to renounce completely his ownership of it. Consequently, he ordered the place to be levelled, and the defences to be fully removed as well. In the year of the Lord 1091. Divine clemency had led the way by inspiring Wiprecht, and that same clemency also followed after by working together with him. Therefore, because the charity kindled in him by divine agency was not able to be idle, he turned this over in his most wise mind all day and all night by frequent meditation: how might he properly begin the work of his most devout intention and more properly complete it? He judged it fitting to seek advice and comfort from his father-in-law, that is, from King Vratislav of Bohemia; therefore he did not neglect to go see him. Vratislav, joyfully favouring the praiseworthy petition of the man, since he was his son-in-law, put 700 talents into Wiprecht’s hand. The king gladdened him not a little with words and promises that, in view of his help, he should act confidently and establish a work becoming to the honour of God and of St. James with his encouragement and assistance. Having returned, Wiprecht went to the lord Hartwig, archbishop of Magdeburg, entreating and inviting him to give the blessings of foundation and of cemeteries to the place under consideration. He also invited [Bishops] Walram of Zeitz and Albuin of Merseburg to come with him. Meeting together, they discharged the duties of the priestly office. After they had given the blessing, they advised Wiprecht that he should first carry on his own shoulders baskets of stones for the twelve corners of the foundation, the same number as in imitation of the deed of the most pious prince Constantine, who was the first and most powerful among the princes as a founder of Christ’s churches. Wiprecht complied readily. And he kindled so great an ardour in all his men for willing labour that, unlike the foundation of other churches laid by the labour of paid servants, the work surged eagerly from his armed band and from the perseverance of those yielding to them, such that within three years, without any break, it had risen up to the top of the towers. Meanwhile, next to the same work, he established a court for himself (in the place where a hospital is now located), in which he immediately had a chapel to God and the blessed confessor Nicholas constructed. In the year of the Lord 1092. Next, Wiprecht considered it advantageous to seek out some man of a pious way of life, who, joined with brothers, might put the finishing touch on the same work, construct workshops, and most especially introduce the divine office. Going to the monastery called [Münster]Schwarzach, well known to him since it was preeminent in piety, he obtained there the lord Bero and three other brothers, companions in such great labour. To Bero, Wiprecht commended the care of his monastery.
Once, Wiprecht gave Bero thirty marks for the use of the brothers and the expenses of the buildings. Bero lost them when going into the bathhouse, fastening the key to his belt. There was a certain man, a conversus from the laity, corrupt in character and in cunning. His abbot had not at all noticed his deceitfulness, because he was of an exceedingly simple nature—and because good men sometimes disguise what they are, while in every endeavour bad men pretend to be what they are not. Thus Bero had taken him into his employ ahead of other men. This man, like Judas, having wickedly taken advantage of benefits of this kind, finally, after a long time, stumbled (I think) upon the opportunity he had premeditated. With his abbot entering the bath, he stealthily stole the key and fled with the donated money. Wiprecht learned this, having experienced the abbot’s negligence not for the first time now. Although he considered it to have happened out of simplicity and not an evil desire, he nevertheless thought to remove the abbot from himself, because he realized that his place [i.e., Pegau] could not readily be advanced through such a man. The abbot promised to restore every loss that had occurred and returned to his monastery [Münsterschwarzach], having obtained a reprieve from Wiprecht, so that he might not incur the ill fame of such a great loss. Within a short time, he recovered from acquaintances and relatives the full amount of silver negligently lost. Then, having returned [to Pegau], for his whole life he laboured as much as he was able and yet increased the number of brothers not at all. He departed to the Lord without pastoral consecration, quite old, on the tenth Kalends of January [23 December], and was buried there.
In the year of the Lord 1093. The lord Wiprecht had exhausted nearly everything that his father-in-law, namely King Vratislav of Bohemia, had given to him. So he sent to him again and was not disappointed by the king's usual encouragement. Vratislav sent him another 300 talents toward completing the work that had been started.
In the same year, Vratislav, having fallen from his horse while hunting, died a sudden death.1 In the excellence of his honour, power and wealth he was surely a man incomparable to all his predecessors in his principate. He even struck fear in the emperor and all the German princes. Vratislav was nevertheless a most loyal joint-labourer for the kingdom, as he proved frequently in many times of need when King Henry [IV] was ruling. For that reason, the same emperor—not undeservedly—raised him up with the pre-eminence of the royal title. He was also the first among his people to be distinguished by a royal crown and the lance. He left behind five sons, one of whom was called Bořivoj; after his father died, he obtained the duchy for some time. Another son was Ulrich, who later, when Lothar was ruling, obtained the same principate.
In the year of the Lord 1094. In the year of the Lord 1095. The finishing touch was put upon the church of the monastery of Pegau. And by the industry of the lord Bero, who governed that place commended to him and was not lazy in administering it, many workshops were established for the use of the brothers. In the year of the Lord 1096. On the seventh Kalends of August [26 July], the church of the monastery of Pegau was dedicated by the venerable lord Hartwig, Archbishop of Magdeburg, working together with Bishops Albuin of Merseburg, Walram of Zeitz and Hezilo of Havelberg, in the presence of the lord Wiprecht, the founder of the same place, and with very many other nobles and his sons, Wiprecht and Henry, also present. On the same day, the lady Countess Judith, daughter of the Czech king Vratislav, came forth crowned and royally adorned in clothes woven with gold. That very day, upon the altar, she dedicated to God and Saint James these two remarkable items: a crown inlaid with gold and gems, and a robe woven with gold, resembling a dalmatic and of the most precious workmanship, which she was wearing under a cloak also woven with gold. For those wanting to know about these things—where they ended up—let him lament! For, as we have learned, the lord Abbot Windolf later used the crown advantageously as payment for possessions to be bought in Thuringia. But, as for the robe, lord Wiprecht the younger, about to travel to Italy in the service of the emperor in his father’s place, later offered it for—and promised to pay back—as much silver as it might be worth. Bishop Burchard of Münster (nicknamed 'the Red'), having inspected the robe, gave 40 marks for it. But, when Wiprecht returned from Italy, many obstacles hindered him, and he was not able to pay back the silver before his death.
This is a summary of the possessions of the church of Pegau, which the lord Margrave Wiprecht built in honour of the Holy Trinity and Saint Mary and Saint James the apostle. He endowed it with the town adjacent to it, together with all its appurtenances: woods, meadows, and pastures; rights of way (in and out); waters and watercourses; millstones and mills; vacant plots, tilled and untilled fields; fishing and hunting rights; and all uses that can be stated or named, except one of the roads, the outermost, situated toward the north. Later, to increase its endowment, he gave the same church two villages, one of which is called Hilpritz, the other Pörsten, with the adjacent vineyards and meadows and a mill, as well as 9 mansi in Stonice and in Lausick 10 solidi, with which lamps should be bought for illuminating the chapel of St. Mary. Then, as the piety and number of brothers grew over the course of time, the lord Wiprecht gave more for the brothers’ support, namely these villages: Muchelice, Bořice, Karlsdorf, Heinrichsdorf, and Lippendorf, with meadows and pastures and all their other appurtenances; and in Borkovice 4 mansi; and the church in Lausick with the tithes of 16 villages; and the church in Dietmarsdorf, plus two mansi and one mill in the same village; and the church in Cloveldechesdorf; and nine mansi in Suchsdorf. What things were handed over to our church after these, by his children and by very many other people loyal to him, we will mention in the appropriate place; now let us return to those things from which we digressed a little.
The celebration of the aforesaid dedication solemnly extended over five days, and the lady Countess Judith, to everyone’s admiration, came forth adorned with garlands of changing design, equally inlaid, one for each of the five days. Therefore, after everything was suitably arranged according to his will, the lord Wiprecht bid farewell to everyone and dismissed the whole assembled crowd. Afterwards, he gave for the adornment of the pulpit crystal and ivory chess pieces with carvings in relief.
In the year of the Lord 1097. In the year of the Lord 1098. In the year of the Lord 1099. At Aachen, on the Lord’s Epiphany [6 January], Emperor Henry made his son Henry V king.
In the year of the Lord 1100. The lord Abbot Bero, thus far looking out for this place both as much as he was able and as well as he knew, was finally ready to receive the rewards for his labours and migrated to the Lord. He was buried in the brothers' old chapter hall near the entrance of the church, on the seventh Kalends of January [December 26].
In the year of the Lord 1101. At that time, strict observance of the Rule, which laudably had begun spreading everywhere then after the custom of Hirsau, was flourishing at Corvey, a royal abbey, above all other Saxon monasteries. There, the lord Abbot Markward, a man worthy of veneration and remembrance, presided at that time. Arriving there, the lord Wiprecht laid bare to him, in sequence, all the things afflicting his mind: namely that the condition and piety of his monastery had thus far advanced less than he had hoped toward an improvement of the Rule’s observance. But the sole reason for this was the fact that, for such a great work to be begun, he did not have suitable partners in the plan. Therefore, whatever seemed best to the abbot’s prudence, Wiprecht promised himself ready to do. He promised himself wholly ready to earn it by the abundance of his compliance, if Markward would appoint from the community of that holy congregation [i.e., Corvey] whomever he judged likely to be advantageous to Pegau—with several companions in this labour alongside him. Thereupon he promised himself ready to furnish from his own estates everything needed for their use, if this alone might satisfy his request. The abbot, steadfast in piety and justice, received gladly Wiprecht’s request and desire in Christ; he asked for the advice and will of the whole community about this matter. With everyone agreeing with him on it—and in order not to disappoint such a great man in so pious a vow—that venerable monk lord Windolf was judged with their unanimous consent to be suitable and likely to be advantageous for this work. And not without merit. For, on account of his continence of life and attention to piety, he was at that time head of a certain cell belonging to the same monastery (whose heads are called priors), where he had energetically presided over the brothers entrusted to him. Previously, it is reported, he had been in charge of the students and had laudably become renowned for his knowledge of letters [i.e., at Corvey]. He had also held a canonry in the priory called Heiligenstadt. But having set it aside for Christ, conquered by the love of piety, he was received at Corvey. Therefore, since he laid the foundation for perfection from the beginning, no one doubted that he would become perfect later, advancing himself day to day by developing virtues. Concerning the rest, however, for those wanting to know, it will be set forth more clearly with light and by certain tests. Therefore, the lord Windolf was promoted as abbot, and other brothers joined with him for the easing of this great labour. One of them, Ludiger, who afterwards became abbot in Reinsdorf, was appointed his prior. And he was endowed with many necessities, among them these books: an antiphonal and a gradual, a small missal book, the Rule and a Psalter. They have remained at our house until today
. In addition, the lord Abbot Markward gave him relics of Saint Vitus the Martyr and of other saints. Bidding farewell to everyone, he dismissed them, having faithfully entrusted Windolf to the safe-keeping of the lord Wiprecht. Since not a small disagreement had arisen between royal power (regnum) and the power of the priesthood (sacerdotium) at that time, such that none of the priests of that province deigned to communicate with Emperor Henry [IV], the lord Wiprecht brought his abbot with him to Archbishop Ruothard of Mainz, who was then at Erfurt, and arranged for Windolf to be elevated by the pastoral benediction through him. At the same time on the same day an abbot of that town by the name of Burchard was consecrated with him. Afterwards, having returned home with Abbot Windolf, the lord Wiprecht handed his monastery over to Windolf’s safe-keeping, so that, in that place, he might care for his own soul to Wiprecht's advantage in all things. Windolf received the place—however undeveloped, unformed and uncultivated it had been up to this time—under his care. He was nevertheless very sure that God especially would be his partner. Like some very skilled carver of a seal, assessing the timidity of his predecessor on the basis of the very poor start to all the workshops, he consigned the previous buildings to oblivion and began to construct better ones. By the industry of his own labour and also supported through everything by the generosity of the lord Wiprecht, he brought them to perfection. Indeed, having inspected the place, Windolf had unformed and marshy places levelled and the filth from briars and other squalor eradicated. He enlarged and increased everything. And in the church commended to him—again, like on a seal—he wisely carved out an image of perfect elegance that bears witness to the accomplishment of its maker still today.
Among other things, Windolf increased the number of brothers to 40 and to a number greater than that. By their daily labour, he levelled the castle of the lord Erpo (about whom we spoke above), which was heaped together by an impregnable pile of earth with entrenchments and ramparts. He made a garden there, stuffed with a diverse abundance of fruits and herbs, which frequently gladdened that same city of God. Afterwards, along the river Wyhra on the eastern side, he began to cultivate the place still called Abtsdorf after him, that is, to completely tear out trees and shrubs all around, and, with the thickness of the forests cleared, to expand the lands ready for the plough. With a church built there and with a manor abundantly endowed for the inhabitants' use, he established that it was to be for our brothers in perpetuity. By his own labour he also established a village by the name of Wolftitz next to the village of Pegau, and increased its annual render to the value of a talent. For the use of the brothers, he also rendered a certain place toward the western side of that village profitable by an annual payment of eight solidi.
The lord Wiprecht, inspecting and attentively approving Windolf's industry and his attentiveness in the place commended to him, was a most generous partner with him in all things. He charged all his men with what most had to be done. They finished it not only when he was a witness but even devotedly afterwards, as much out of love for their lord as for the remedy of their own souls, conferring on that monastery—even beyond ordinary benefits—very many estates (which we will mention in the appropriate place).
In the year of the Lord 1104. After this, the lord Wiprecht had certain uncultivated land in the diocese of Merseburg ploughed. Then, going to the regions of Franconia —where the lady Sigena, his mother, had been married in Lengenfeld (as we remember having said before )—he transferred from there very many peasants of that province. He ordered them to cultivate the aforesaid district, having completely uprooted the forest, and to possess it thereafter by hereditary right. And (if we might insert something ridiculous) anyone of them, accompanied by his small household, could even name after his own name the village or the property planted by his own labour. Therefore, when a great many villages had been established between the rivers Mulde and Wyhra, the lord Wiprecht was not yet weary of his most devout intention. But in tireless labour, striving after a work of piety, he founded another monastery on the aforesaid uncultivated land in the village, namely, of Lausick. Desiring that a cell suitable for at least six brothers be created there, he arranged for this place to be the parish church of all the neighbouring villages, and he wanted it to be subject to the monastery of Pegau. Because he was not able to accomplish this—nor should he have been—without the consent or permission of the lord Albuin and the entire clergy of Merseburg, he himself went with a humble petition to address their will concerning this. These men, great in respect to piety and devotion, rightly granted the things he asked for and desired. They decided that the things they had conceded ought to be made unalterable by the authority of the whole church; they agreed that the bishop should grant a privilege concerning the tithes of all the villages pertaining to that parish church and also of others lying in the burgward of Groitzsch, below the Wyhra and Schnauder rivers. We transcribe a copy of it here, as an example:
In the name of the holy and indivisible Trinity, Albuin, by the grace of God bishop of Merseburg. Let it be known to all the faithful both future and present, how, because of the lord Wiprecht and Abbot Windolf's intervention and for the remedy of my soul, we handed over to the monastery of Pegau, established in honour of Saint James, and to its spiritual head, Windolf, the tithes of the villages, the names of which are written below, and of others, if they are yet to be established around these places: Časlavsdorf, Ottendorf, Čadorf, Münchroth, Lausick, Suoerdorf, Sulansdorf, Bělansdorf, Milansdorf, Drogisdorf, Čazindorf, Vladsdorf, Vizecká, Eberhardsdorf, Moisdorf, Sečevice, Kosovo. These are situated in the burgward of Groitzsch, in the county of Margrave Udo, between the rivers Wyhra and Schnauder. Done in the year 1105, in the twelfth indiction, on the ninth Kalends of October [23 September], in the ninth year of his ordination [as bishop], with the canons of that church consenting: vidame Hubert, dean Dietold, Walter the master of students, and the laymen Ludiger, Henry and Giselbert and very many other clerics and laymen. I, Albuin, signed with my own hand. The land is filled with the mercy of the Lord. However, if anyone, with the devil’s urging, should be an impious violator of this act, let him know that he will be damned forever by the chain of anathema.
In the year of the Lord 1106. The lord count Wiprecht saw to the favourable conditions of his monastery not only in the present but also into the future. On the advice of the lord abbot Windolf and the rest of those most loyal to him, he decreed that he was transferring that place over to the right or power of the apostolic see in perpetuity, so that it would not come to be harassed by the lordship of any secular person in the future. Hence, he sent in his place a miles by the name Luvo (a familiar of his, diligent in dealing with business and lawsuits) to Rome, to the threshold of the apostles. Luvo was to bind that monastery to the Roman liberty by faithful representation and to bring it about that the pope give a privilege concerning this same transfer. Therefore, the lord pope Paschal, the second of this name, administering the vicarship of blessed Peter, was made aware of the reasons for Luvo's journey. Supported by apostolic authority, he sanctioned the monastery of Pegau by this confirmation of the privilege and with the impression of his seal:
Bishop Paschal [II], servant of the servants of God, to the faithful throughout Saxony, greetings and apostolic blessing. A desire that is known to pertain to pious intention and the salvation of souls, with God as its author, must be fulfilled without any delay. Accordingly Wiprecht, illustrious count of the Saxon people, built for his and his men’s salvation a monastery in the diocese of Merseburg, in a place on his own property called Pegau. With the admirable miles Luvo sent in his place, he offered this monastery upon the altar of the blessed Peter and transferred it in perpetuity into the right of the apostolic see. The lord Wiprecht nevertheless made an exception of the advocacy, which he was prepared to hold himself. After him either the first born of his posterity, if indeed he should want to preside over the church justly and beneficially, should be advocate; or if, however, his posterity should fail—may God avert it!—the abbot of that place, with the sounder advice of his brothers, should choose an advocate—whomever he will want—advantageous to him and to the church. Therefore, following up his laudable desire, we sanction by the authority of the present decree the following: both the aforesaid place and everything pertaining to it shall always remain secure and undiminished under the protection of the apostolic see, to the profit of God’s servants residing there in every kind of use. Nevertheless, we also sanction that an annual payment of one gold piece shall be paid to the Lateran palace. No man is at all permitted rashly to disturb that place, or to take away or diminish its possessions, or to appropriate them for his own uses, even for seemingly pious reasons. Truly, we have decreed that burial in that place shall be entirely free, such that no one may stand in the way of those who have resolved to be buried there as an act of devotion and a final wish—unless by chance they might be excommunicates. The brothers of that place ought to receive chrism, holy oil, the consecrations of altars and basilicas, and the ordinations of monks who are to be promoted to holy orders, from the bishop in whose diocese they are—if he should have the grace and communion of the apostolic see, and if he should wish to furnish these things freely and without impropriety. Otherwise, they should receive the sacraments of consecration from whatever catholic bishop they might choose. Furthermore, no one may be put in charge as abbot there through any secret stratagem or violence, except the man the brothers by common counsel—or a part of the brothers of sounder counsel—elect, according to the Rule of Saint Benedict and the fear of God. But if anyone—and let this not be!—should want to go against this decree of ours meant to be enduring in perpetuity, let him be struck with anathema, and let him suffer the ruin of his honour and his office, unless he corrects his presumption with suitable penance. For those observing these things, on the other hand, may peace and mercy be preserved eternally by God. Amen. BY THE WORD OF THE LORD THE HEAVENS WERE MADE.