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Scriptural scholar, b. in Franconia (near Worms), Germany; d. in 1085 at Ebersberg, Bavaria. He was a pupil of the celebrated Lanfranc, and, according to Tritheim, studied for some time in the University of Paris. Relinquishing the post of scholastic of the cathedral chapter of Bamberg, he retired to a monastery in Fulda. Soon, Henry III summoned him to the famous Benedictine abbey at Ebersberg, which he ruled with great success for thirty-seven years till his death. He is known principally as the author of a translation and paraphrase of the Canticle of Canticles. In the preface he laments the fact that in Germany grammar and dialectics are held in greater favour than the study of Holy Writ, and expresses his high appreciation of Lanfranc for having devoted himself to a deeper study of the Bible and drawn many German scholars to France. The pages of the work are divided into three columns: The first contains a Latin paraphrase in Leonine hexameters; the second, the text of the Vulgate; and the third, a German exposition in prose. From beginning to end, Williram applies his subject allegorically to Christ and the Church. The numerous still extant manuscripts bear witness to the favour with which the work was received. Hoffmann published two of them in his edition of Williram (Breslau, 1837).
SEEMULLER, Die Handschriften u. Quellen von Willirams deutscher Paraphrase des hohen Liedes (Strasburg, 1877); WALTER, Die deutsche Bibelubersetzung des Mittelalters (Brunswick, 1892); GOSCHLER, Dictionnaire theologique.
Charles F. Arnold.