EMMERAM: An early missionary, said to have been bishop of Poitiers; d. about 715. According to the biography of Aribo (second half of the eighth century), the sole source of information, soon after his consecration as bishop he determined to devote himself to the conversion of the heathen in Pannonia. He appointed his successor at Poitiers, took with him a priest named Vitalis who was a good linguist, and went eastward across the Rhine. Passing through Radaspona (Regensburg), the residence of Theodo, duke of Bavaria, he was told that the country beyond the Enns had been laid waste, and that the newly converted Bavarians needed his care as much as the Avari to whom he had been going. Theodo begged him to remain, either as bishop or as abbot of all the monasteries. He stayed three years, and busied himself in spreading and strengthening Christianity in Bavaria; then he started for Rome, but was murdered on the way, at Helfendorf, three days' journey from Regensburg, by Lantbert, the duke's son, who accused him of seducing his sister Ota. The curious story is that Ota had confessed her fault to Emmeram, and that he, to shield her, permitted her to cast the blame on him; she was banished to Italy, but Emmeram's innocence was discovered when too late, by the testimony of a priest to whom he had given the true facts before his death. Theodo had his remains brought to Regensburg in solemn state, and interred in the chapel of St. George. There is no evidence for Emmeram's episcopate at Poitiers, nor for his extensive missionary plans. It is probable that he was an itinerant monk who possessed episcopal consecration. He may have worked in Regensburg as the head of a monastic fraternity, out of whose existence the monastery of St. Emmeram grew, and it is not unlikely that Theodo made use of him in his reforming plans. The cause of his murder is an insoluble riddle, since Aribo's story is obviously a romance.
Bibliography: The Vita by Aribo is in Analecta Bollandiana, viii. 211 sqq., cf. pp. 356-357, Paris, 1889 (cf. Rettberg, KD, ii. 189); Hauck, KD, i. 363.