Osbern, Claudianus (DNB00)

OSBERN, CLAUDIANUS (fl. 1148), scholar, was a monk of Gloucester under Hamelin, who was abbot 1148–1179. Leland says he was the best Latinist of his time; that he had a knowledge of Greek, was an exact theologian and well versed in philosophy, and that his teaching was much praised in the monastery (De Script. Brit. No. 151). Gilbert Foliot [q. v.], writing as abbot of Gloucester to his ‘dear son’ Osbern, directed him to manage a house in Wales, probably a cell of Gloucester (Migne, Patrologia, p. 190, col. 767). His writings are contained in the Latin MS. Bibl. Reg. 6 Dix., a folio of three hundred pages: (1) folios 1–72a consist of dialogues between Osbern and a monk Nicolas on the Pentateuch; (2) on folio 73a begins a treatise, in six chapters, on the Book of Judges, dedicated to Gilbert Foliot, bishop of Hereford, 1148–1163, whose corrections Osbern desires; (3) folios 174a–201a are on the incarnation; (4) folios 201a to 241b contain Osbern's book on the nativity; (5) folios 241b to 292b are on the sacrament of the passion; (6) folios 292b to 300b are on the resurrection.

Leland ascribes to Osbern a work called ‘Panormia quasi Vocabularium,’ addressed to Hamelin, beginning ‘Cum in nocte hyemali.’ It seems to have at one time formed part of the volume already described, and was in Leland's time at Gloucester, whence Henry VIII had taken the other parts of the manuscript (Nos. 1-6). Bale ascribes the ‘Panormia,’ no doubt wrongly, to Osbern of Canterbury [q. v.] The library of Rouen apparently contains a copy of part or of the whole of Osbern's work (Haenel, Cat. Lib. MSS. p. 421, Rouen, No. 387. Sex dierum tractatus, Osbernus de incarnatione et nativitate Domini).

[Authorities cited. Wright's Biogr. Brit. Lit. Norman period, p. 159; cf. Tanner's Bibl. Brit. s.v.]

M. B.