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"Gebhard's Crosier, Admont Monastery"
Like the bishops and the superiors of the other prelate orders, the abbots of the Benedictine monastery also carry the crosier on special occasions, above all at solemn liturgical ceremonies, as a sign of their dignity and their office as spiritual leader and shepherd. This symbol is also referred to in Latin as "Baculus", "Pedum" and "Pastorale", all of which can be translated as crosier. One such pastorale has survived in Admont Monastery as one of the oldest of its kind, dating from the late 12th century; however, all that remains from this time are the parts made of ivory, the crook ("curva") and the pommel ("nodus").The shaft was replaced with one made of ivory in the course of restoration work in the 1950s. The crook and the pommel were beyond doubt made in a carving workshop in the Arabian-Sicilian region. The delicate crook, with a diameter of slightly over 10 cm, is tapered and was once decorated with precious stones on the sides; it ends in an animal's head curving outwards. Its almost circular closed arc contains a somewhat damaged winged horse, carrying a milkwort in its mouth. In an inventory of the sacristy dating from 1659, the staff is entered as "Fundatoris Pastorale" ("the Founder's crosier"), which is intended to present it as a relic of the founder of the monastery, Archbishop Gebhard of Salzburg. However, the latter died in 1088. What we do know is that this, like the even more recent "Gebhard Mitre", was part of the efforts to establish a connection between a long reputed precious ecclesiastical ornament and the highly venerated person of the founder.
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