Die Vision des Gunzo vom Neubau der Klosterkirche von Cluny und das Feldmesserbuch des Hyginus

Enno Bünz zum 60. Geburtstag gewidmet


  • Günther Binding
  • Susanne Linscheid-Burdich




Hugh I, Abbot of Cluny, Vision of Gunzo, mediaeval building, book of surveyors by Hyginus (liber gromaticus), surveying (mensura), land surveying, parcelling (limitatio), boundaries (limites), guidinglines (funiculus, linea), Cluny, abbey church


Günther Binding: Gunzo’s vision of the new abbey church in Cluny and Hyginus’s manual for surveyors
The construction of the new abbey church figures among the notable achievements of abbot Hugh I of Cluny (1024 – 1109, abbot since 1049) as mentioned by several authors in their biographies of the famous abbot. Three different versions of Hugh’s vita report a vision about the event shown to the ailing abbot of the Jura monastery Baume-les-Messieurs (Balma) Gunzo (d. before1093), a guest at Cluny since 1089. This vision, depicted in a miniature foundin the late twelfth-century Paris codex, Bibliotheque nationale de France, Ms.lat. 17716, fol. 43r, is examined in the present article with the help of the ancient surveyors’ manual attributed to Hyginus. A reliable translation of the vision and a more accurate interpretation of the miniature can only be achieved through an in-depth study of the meaning of the terms funiculus and linea as ›guidinglines‹ in connection with reports of measurements of buildings in the Bible and in ancient and mediaeval written sources, especially Alberti’s De re aedificatoria.In the miniature, thick ropes refer to the first phase of measurement, and it becomes clear that not only two guiding lines were placed crosswise but also further parallel ones were added, as is explained by Hyginus. Indeed, the text of the vita agrees with this; here the term funiculus in the sense of ›guiding line‹ (linea)is crucial. The thickness of the ropes excludes the possibility of them being interpretated as ›measuring lines‹. The correct caption for the miniature examined here is therefore: ›Guiding lines drawn orthogonally and crosswise in preparation for the measurement of the ground-plan of the abbey church of Cluny‹.
Keywords: Cluny, abbey church; Hugh I, Abbot of Cluny; Vision of Gunzo; mediaeval building; book of surveyors by Hyginus (liber gromaticus); surveying (mensura); land surveying, parcelling (limitatio); boundaries (limites); guidinglines (funiculus, linea)