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The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity


from its origins to circa AD 700, across the entire Christian world


An authentic Merovingian royal diploma records the immunity confirmed by Childebert III, king of the Franks, for the monastery at Fossatus (now Saint-Maur-des-Fossés) (northern Gaul) dedicated to *Peter (the Apostle, S00036), *Mary (mother of Christ, S00033) and other *unnamed saints (S00518). Written in Latin in Gaul, 694/711.

Evidence ID

E06230

Type of Evidence

Documentary texts - Charter or diploma

Late antique original manuscripts - Parchment sheet

MGH DD Mer. 144 (excerpt)

Childeberthus rex Francorum viris inlustribus. Tunc re]galis celsitudo fundamenta sui culmenis conroborat, quando [peticionibus sacerdotum aut pontificum, quod pro oportunitate aecclesiarum] pertineat, obauditur [et ad effectum in] D(e)i nomeni mancipatur. Idioque cognuscat magnetudo seu utilitas vestra, quod n(us) integra inmonitate venerabili viro Uualdomaro abba de de monest[irio Fossato], q(uod) est in onore s(an)c(t)i Petri et s(an)c(t)i Marie vel citerorum domnorum s(an)c(t)orum sup(er) fluvium Matrena in pago Parisiago conestructus, ubi ipsi abba(s) cum turma plurima [monachoru]m sub s(an)c(t)a regola conversare veditur [...] visi fuemus concessisse [...]

'Childebert, king of the Franks, to his noble men. Royal majesty strengthens the foundations of its eminence, when the petitions of priests and pontiffs, which pertain to the benefit of the churches, are given a hearing and in God's name put into effect. And therefore, let it be known to your magnitude and utility, that we have been seen to grant full immunity to that venerable man Waldemar, abbot of of [
sic] the monastery of Fossatus, which is built in honour of Saint Peter and Saint Mary and other holy lords, over the river Marne in the region of Paris, where that abbot is seen to live under a holy Rule with a troop of many monks ...'

Text: Kölzer 2001, 362-4. Translation: B. Savill.

Cult Places

Cult building - monastic

Non Liturgical Activity

Bequests, donations, gifts and offerings
Awarding privileges to cult centres

Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Monarchs and their family
Ecclesiastics - abbots
Ecclesiastics - monks/nuns/hermits

Source

According to the judgement of their most recent editor, 54 authentic or substantially authentic royal diplomas/charters survive from Merovingian Gaul which are dated or datable to the period up to ad 700. Of these, 34 appear to relate directly to the cult of saints, and are included in our database. All but one, possibly two (E06133, E06141), of the charters included here date from the 7th century, mostly its final quarter. Although a number of these diplomas have come down to us only in later cartulary copies, a remarkably large proportion (21 of our 34) survive as single-sheet, original manuscripts, the great majority of which come from the monastery of Saint-Denis. Due to the nature of western archival survivals, all these documents concern either land, legal immunities, or rights to tolls, and are preserved exclusively through interested religious institutions. For a hint, however, of the kind of Merovingian documents we may have lost, the scribal templates found in the Formulary of Marculf are suggestive (see e.g. E06231, E06233).

This
Fossatus/Saint-Maur-des-Fossés diploma survives as an original parchment manuscript, now Paris, Archives nationales, K 3 n. 12.

Discussion

Note that the monastery at Fossatus would not receive the relics of/become dedicated to Saint Maurus (a supposed disciple of Benedict of Nursia, S01727) - in whose name it is now generally known - until the 9th century.


Bibliography

Edition:
Kölzer, T.,
Die Urkunden der Merowinger, 2 vols. (Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Diplomata; Hannover, 2001).

Further reading:
Brühl, C., Studien zu den merowingischen Königsurkunden, ed. T. Kölzer (Cologne, 2001).

Kölzer, T.,
Merowingerstudien, 2 vols (Hannover, 1998-1999).


Record Created By

Benjamin Savill

Date Last Modified

16/07/2019

Related Saint Records
IDNameName in SourceIdentity
S00033Mary, Mother of ChristMariaCertain
S00036Peter, the ApostlePetrusCertain
S00518Saints, unnameddomni sanctiCertain


Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL:
Benjamin Savill, Cult of Saints, E06230 - http://csla.history.ox.ac.uk/record.php?recid=E06230