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Sis Quoque Catholicis Religionis Apex: The Ecclesiastical Patronage of Chilperic I and Fredegund

  • Gregory I. Halfond
Abstract

The libelous depiction of King Chilperic I (561–584) and his wife Fredegund in Gregory of Tours' Decem Libri Historiarum has encouraged the false impression of these Merovingian monarchs as scourges of the Gallo-Frankish Church and its bishops. If fact, evidence from Gregory's own writings, as well as from other contemporary sources, reveals that Chilperic and Fredegund were generous patrons of ecclesiastical persons, institutions, and cults. A prosopographical database of seventeen episcopal supporters of Chilperic and Fredegund is used to evaluate the means by which the royal couple attracted and maintained episcopal support. The patronage by the royal couple of saint cults and their associated institutions also is examined. It is concluded that Chilperic and Fredegund's ecclesiastical policies are less responsible for their posthumous reputations than the choices that they made in distributing their patronage.

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1 Wallace-Hadrill, J. M., The Frankish Church (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1983), 42.

2 Ibid., 43: “Kings respected bishops and took care over their appointments; the office itself impressed them, with all that it implied as to spiritual patronage and guardianship.”

3 On Gregory's explicit critiques of Chilperic, see Wallace-Hadrill, J. M., “Gregory of Tours and Bede: their views on the personal qualities of kings,” in Early Medieval History, ed. Wallace-Hadrill, J. M. (New York: Harper Collins, 1976), 100101; Reydellet, Marc, La royauté dans la littérature latine de Sidoine Apollinaire à Isidore de Séville (Rome: École Française de Rome, 1981), 416420; Brennan, Brian, “The Image of the Frankish Kings in the Poetry of Venantius Fortunatus,” Journal of Medieval History 10 (1984), 8; Mitchell, Kathleen, “Saints and Public Christianity in the Historiae of Gregory of Tours,” in Religion and Society in the Early Middle Ages: Studies in Honor of Richard E. Sullivan, ed. Noble, T. F. X. and Contreni, John (Kalamazoo: Medieval Institute Publications, 1987), 86; Wood, Ian, “The Secret Histories of Gregory of Tours,” Revue belge de philologie et d'histoire 71 (1993), 254259; Breukelaar, Adriaan, Historiography and Episcopal Authority in Sixth-Century Gaul (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht, 1994), 235237; Heinzelmann, Martin, Gregory of Tours: History and Society in the Sixth Century, trans. Carroll, C. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001), 4151 and 181–191; Halsall, Guy, “Nero and Herod? The Death of Chilperic and Gregory's Writing of History,” in The World of Gregory of Tours, ed. Mitchell, Kathleen and Wood, Ian (Leiden: Brill, 2002), 337350.

4 On the military campaigns of 574–6, which culminated in Chilperic's permanent seizure of Tours, see Halsall, Guy, “The Preface to Book V of Gregory of Tours' Histories: Its Form, Context and Significance,” English Historical Review 122, no. 496 (2007), 307310.

5 While it would be simplistic to dismiss Gregory of Tours as a mere misogynist, Dick Harrison observes that of the 197 women (approximately 15% of a total of 1,346 individuals) who appear in the Historiae, 27 out of 59 ascribed characteristics are portrayed negatively. Merovingian queens could acquire political influence through kinship and marital ties, acting as regents for underage sons, through their access to financial resources, and by patronizing secular and ecclesiastical clients. The Age of Abbesses and Queens: Gender and Political Culture in Early Medieval Europe (Lund: Nordic Academic Press, 1998), 7576. On the sources of political influence, see Wemple, Suzanne, Women in Frankish Society (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1981), 5870; Stafford, Pauline, Queens, Concubines, and Dowagers: The King's Wife in the Early Middle Ages (Athens, Ga.: The University of Georgia Press, 1983), 104106; Nelson, Janet, “Queens as Jezebels: Brunhild and Balthild in Merovingian History”, in Politics and Ritual in Early Medieval Europe, ed. Nelson, Janet (London: Hambledon Press, 1986), 49; Harrison, , The Age of Abbesses and Queens, 205211. On female violence in Francia, see Pancer, Nina, Sans peur et sans vergogne (Paris: Albin Michel, 2001), 211257; Gradowicz–Pancer, Nina, “De–gendering Female Violence: Merovingian Female Honour as an Exchange of Violence,” Early Medieval Europe, 11, no. 1 (2002), 118.

6 de Nie, Giselle, Views From a Many-Windowed Tower: Studies of Imagination in the Works of Gregory of Tours (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1987); Mitchell, “Saints and Public Christianity,” 7–26; Breukelaar, Historiography and Episcopal Authority; Heinzelmann, Gregory of Tours.

7 Wood, “The Secret Histories of Gregory of Tours,” 253–270; Wood, Ian, “The Individuality of Gregory of Tours,” in The World of Gregory of Tours, ed. Mitchell, Kathleen and Wood, Ian (Leiden: Brill, 2002), 2946.

8 Goffart, Walter, The Narrators of Barbarian History, paperback ed. (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 2005), 112234.

9 See, for example, the individual contributions to Mitchell, Kathleen and Wood, Ian, eds., The World of Gregory of Tours (Leiden: Brill, 2002).

10 See the observation of Halsall, “Nero and Herod,” 337–338.

11 Verdon, Jean, Grégoire de Tours (Le Côteau: Horvath, 1989), 7879. For a helpful summary of various multi-stage dating schemas for the Historiae, see Halsall, “The Preface to Book V of Gregory of Tours' Histories,” 306–307.

12 Wood, “The Secret Histories of Gregory of Tours,” 254–257.

13 Wood, “The Secret Histories of Gregory of Tours,” 257–259.

14 Halsall, “Nero and Herod,” 337–350.

15 Alexander C. Murray makes a persuasive case that the Historiae in their entirety were composed between 585 and 594. Chronology and the Composition of the Histories of Gregory of Tours,” Journal of Late Antiquity, 1 (2008), 157196.

16 On Gregory's silences, see Goffart, , The Narrators of Barbarian History, 159164.

17 Gregory of Tours, Libri de Virtutibus Sancti Martini Episcopi, Monumenta Germaniae Historica [hereafter MGH] Scriptores Rerum Merovingicarum [hereafter SRM] 1:2, ed. Krusch, Bruno (Hanover: Hahn, 1885), I.29.

18 Fredegar, Chronica, MGH SRM 2, ed. Krusch, Bruno (Hanover: Hahn, 1888), III.93: “Crudelissimam vitam digna morte finivit.” On the compositional context of Fredegar's Chronicle, see Wood, Ian, “Fredegar's Fables,” in Historiographie im frühen Mittelalter, ed. Scharer, Anton and Scheibelreiter, Georg (Vienna: Oldenbourg, 1994), 359–66; Collins, Roger, Fredegar (Aldershot: Variorum, 1996).

19 Liber Historiae Francorum, MGH SRM 2, ed. Krusch, Bruno (Hanover: Hahn, 1888), chapters 3435.

20 Gerberding, Richard, The Rise of the Carolingians and the Liber Historiae Francorum (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987), 155156.

21 Liber Historiae Francorum, chapter 36: “. . . maleficia Fredegundis reginiae.”

22 Capitularia Regum Francorum, MGH Leges 2:1, ed. Boretius, Alfred (Hanover: Hahn, 1883), 810; Weidemann, Margarete, Das Testament des Bischofs Berthramn von Le Mans vom 27. März 616 (Mainz: Verlag des Romisch-Germanischen Zentralmuseums, 1982).

23 Fortunatus, Venantius, Carmina, MGH Auctores Antiquissimi [hereafter AA] 4:1, ed. Leo, Friedrich (Berlin: Weidmann, 1881), IX.15.

24 Brennan, Brian, “The Career of Venantius Fortunatus,” Traditio 41 (1985), 74–5; George, Judith, “Poet as Politician: Venantius Fortunatus' Panegyric to King Chilperic,” Journal of Medieval History 15:1 (1989), 518; Coates, Simon, “Venantius Fortunatus and the Image of Episcopal Authority in Late Antique and Early Merovingian Gaul,” English Historical Review 115, no. 464 (2000), 1135–6.

25 Fortunatus, Carmina, IX.1.144: “Sis quoque catholicis religionis apex.” C.f. Heinzelmann, Gregory of Tours, 183, note 93, who sees the absence of references in this poem to Chilperic's relations with his bishops as evidence that Chilperic sought to avoid employing “bishops as participants or councilors in his exercise of power.” Presumably, the bishops in attendance at Berny would have disagreed with this assessment. Additionally, in the same note, Heinzelmann admonishes Judith George for failing to note the absence of any discussion of Chilperic's episcopal relations. In fact, George, “Poet as Politician,” 12–13, reads lines 51–52 (“Noxia dum cuperent hostes tibi bella parare, pro te pugnavit fortis in arma fides”) as being in reference to Chilperic's reliance upon the support of his bishops.

26 For the most recent (and thorough) effort, see Armand, Frédéric, Chilpéric Ier: petit fils de Clovis, grand-père de Dagobert, le roi assassiné deux fois (Cahors: La Louve Éditions, 2008). Armand (pp. 152–270) acknowledges Chilperic's respectful attitude towards the church and its bishops. For Gregory's explicit critiques, see Gregory of Tours, Decem Libri Historiarum, MGH SRM 1:1, ed. Krusch, Bruno and Levison, Wilhelm (Hanover: Hahn, 1937–51), V.44 and VI.46.

27 de Pizan, Christine, The Book of the City of Ladies, trans. Brown-Grant, Rosalind (London: Penguin Classics, 1999), 31. Thus, for Wemple, Women in Frankish Society, 63–64, Fredegund is a woman of “courage and acumen,” but also, “ruthless and manipulative.” For Goffart, The Narrators of Barbarian History, 224, she is “savage but resolute.” For Wood, Ian, The Merovingian Kingdoms (London: Longman, 1994), 124, she is “a model, if somewhat bloodthirsty, queen.”

28 On Chilperic's efforts at imitatio imperii, see Bachrach, Bernard, Anatomy of a Little War: A Diplomatic and Military History of the Gundovald Affair, 568–586 (Boulder: Westview Press, 1994), 3538

29 Heinzelmann, , Gregory of Tours, 181191.

30 Heinzelmann, , Gregory of Tours, 184185.

31 Ewig, Eugen, “Die Namengebung bei den ältesten Frankenkönigen und im merowingischen Königshaus,” in Spätantikes und fränkisches Gallien, ed. Becher, Matthias, Kölzer, Theo, and Nonn, Ulrich (Munich: Artemis, 1976–2009), III.202.

32 Gregory of Tours, Decem Libri Historiarum, IV.3. The true parentage of the pretender Gundovald is uncertain.

33 Gregory of Tours, Decem Libri Historiarum, IV.22. On the partition of 511, see Ewig, Eugen, “Die fränkischen Teilungen und Teilreiche (511–613),” in Spätantikes und fränkisches Gallien, ed. Atsma, Hartmut (Munich: Artemis, 1976–2009), I.114–128. The Kingdom of Soissons included in 561 the civitates of Soissons, Amiens, Boulogne, Therouanne, Tournai, Cambrai, Arras, Noyon, Toulouse, and possibly other cities within the southern province of Novempopulana. On Soissons as a royal center, see Ewig, Eugen, “Résidence et capitale pendant le Haut Moyen Age,” in Spätantikes und fränkisches Gallien, ed. Atsma, Hartmut (Munich: Artemis, 1976–2009), I.386.

34 Gregory of Tours, Decem Libri Historiarum, IV.23.

35 Gregory of Tours, Decem Libri Historiarum, IV.51.

36 Gregory of Tours, Decem Libri Historiarum, IV.28. On Merovingian polygamy, see Wemple, Women in Frankish Society, 38–41.

37 Wood, The Merovingian Kingdoms, 123–124.

38 Ewig, “Die fränkischen Teilungen,” 138–139.

39 Ewig, “Die fränkischen Teilungen,” 139–140.

40 For the treaty of Andelot between Childebert II, his mother Brunhild, and Guntram, see Gregory of Tours, Decem Libri Historiarum, IX.20. Among those civitates redistributed were those originally given to Chilperic's wife Galswinth as a morgengabe.

41 Weidemann, Das Testament des Bischofs Berthramn von Le Mans, 149–151, has reconstructed Chlothar's regnum circa 584 as consisting of the following civitates: Boulogne, Therouanne, Tournai, Arras, Amiens, Vermand-Noyon, Rouen, Beauvais, Coutances, Bayeux, Lisieux, Evreux, Rennes, Le Mans, Angers, and possibly Avranches.

42 As described by Fredegar, Chronica, IV.42.

43 Claude, Dietrich, “Die Bestellung der Bischöfe,” Zeitschrift der Savigny-Stifung fur Rechtsgeschichte, Kanonistische Abteilung 49 (1963), 175.

44 Van Dam, Raymond, Saints and their Miracles in Late Antique Gaul (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1993), 2227.

45 On the legal value of conciliar canones, see Halfond, Gregory, The Archaeology of Frankish Church Councils, AD 511–768 (Leiden: Brill, 2010), 131158.

46 On the aristocratic backgrounds of sixth-century Merovingian-era bishops, see Heinzelmann, Martin, Bischofsherrschaft in Gallien (Munich: Artemis, 1976). Matthew Innes exaggerates the dichotomy between central and peripheral political power, but is correct to emphasize the importance of episcopal office-holders as important sources of local auctoritas. See State and Society in the Early Middle Ages, the Middle Rhine Valley 400–1000 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000), 254,.

47 Wood, The Merovingian Kingdoms, 75–77.

48 Beck, Henry G., Pastoral Care of Souls in South-East France during the Sixth Century (Rome: Pontifical Gregorian University, 1950).

49 This was the lesson that Remigius of Rheims attempted to covey to Clovis in his first letter to the king, written after Clovis took control of the province of Belgica Secunda: Epistolae Austrasicae, MGH Epistolae 3, no. 2, ed. Gundlach, Wilhelm (Berlin: Weidmann, 1892), 113.

50 Wood, The Merovingian Kingdoms, 79.

51 George, Judith, Venantius Fortunatus: A Latin Poet in Merovingian Gaul (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992), 51–2.

52 Fortunatus, Carmina, IX.1.51–52: “Noxia dum cuperent hostes tibi bella parare, pro te pugnavit fortis in arma fides.”

53 I.e. Aetherius of Lisieux, Badegisel of Le Mans, Bertram of Le Mans, Bertram of Bordeaux, Egidius of Reims, Faramodus of Paris, Ferreolus of Limoges, Germanus of Paris, Leudovald of Bayeux, Malluf of Senlis, Palladius of Saintes, Melantius of Rouen, Nicetius of Dax, Nonnichius of Nantes, Ragnemodus of Paris, Amelius of Tarbes, and Unknown of Tournai. Similarly, a core group of seventeen prelates provided the basis for ecclesiastical support for Chilperic's brother, Guntram: Gregory Halfond, “All the King's Men: Episcopal Political Loyalties in the Merovingian Kingdoms,” Medieval Prosopography (forthcoming).

54 I.e. Faramodus of Paris, Ragnemodus of Paris, Egidius of Rheims, Melantius of Rouen, Malluf of Senlis, Unknown of Tournai, Bertram of Bordeaux. I have not included here Bishop Felix of Chalon-sur-Marne, whom Guntram suspected of working to forge friendly relations between Brunhild and Fredegund, a charge which Gregory of Tours, Decem Libri Historiarum, IX.20, explicitly denies.

55 With Fredegund: Bertram of Le Mans, Amelius of Tarbes, and Palladius of Saintes. With Chilperic: Aetherius of Lisieux, Badegisel of Le Mans, Ferreolus of Limoges, Germanus of Paris, Leudovald of Bayeux, Nicetius of Dax, and Nonnichius of Nantes.

56 In Neustria: Bertram of Le Mans, Melantius of Rouen, Aetherius of Lisieux, Leudovald of Bayeux, Faramodus of Paris, Germanus of Paris, Ragnemodus of Paris, Egidius of Reims, Unknown of Tournai, Malluf of Senlis, Badegisel of Le Mans, and Nonnichius of Nantes. In Aquitaine: Bertram of Bordeaux, Amelius of Tarbes, Palladius of Saintes, Ferreolus of Limoges, and Nicetius of Dax.

57 That is Egidius of Rheims, Melantius of Rouen, and Bertram of Bordeaux. Rheims was a political capital of the Austrasian regnum, although Bishop Egidius frequently worked on behalf of the Neustrian monarchy. The three unnamed bishops mentioned by Gregory of Tours, Decem Libri Historiarum, VIII.9 have not been included in the tally.

58 That is Bishops Germanus, Ragnemodus, and Faramodus.

59 That is: Boulogne, Therouanne, Tournai, Cambrai/Arras, Amiens, Vermand/Noyon, Rouen, Beauvais, Coutances, Bayeux, Lisieux, and Evreux. See Weidemann, Das Testament des Bischofs Berthramn von Le Mans, 149–158.

60 Weidemann, , Das Testament des Bischofs Berthramn von Le Mans, 125127.

61 Gregory of Tours, Decem Libri Historiarum, VIII.9. These three unnamed bishops have not been added to the tally of Fredegund's supporters, since they might have been prelates whose loyalty is explicitly attested elsewhere, such as Unknown of Tournai.

62 Gregory of Tours, Decem Libri Historiarum, VIII.31.

63 Gregory of Tours, Decem Libri Historiarum, VI.3.

64 Gregory of Tours, Decem Libri Historiarum, IX.13.

65 Concilia aevi Merovingici, MGH Leges 3:1, ed. Maassen, Friedrich (Hanover: Hahn, 1893), 191.

66 Duchesne, Louis, Fastes épiscopaux de l'ancienne Gaule (Paris: Albert Fontemoing, 1907–15), III.110.

67 Gregory of Tours, Decem Libri Historiarum, VIII.5.

68 As Breukelaar observed, good bishops, for Gregory, are pious, charitable, educated, capable administrators, and effective shepherds of their flocks. See Historiography and Episcopal Authority, 242–243. On the praise of good bishops by Gregory's contemporary, Venantius Fortunatus, see Roberts, Michael, The Humblest Sparrow: The Poetry of Venantius Fortunatus (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2009), 3853.

69 Tetricius and Nicetius were also, purely coincidentally of course, relations of Gregory: Heinzelmann, Gregory of Tours, 17 and 21.

70 Gregory of Tours, Decem Libri Historiarum, V.14 and V.50 respectively record visions by Gregory himself and Salvius of Albi predicting the deaths of Chilperic's sons. Heinzelmann, Gregory of Tours, 141, sees the vision of V.14 as anticipating that of V.50. On the implications of V.14 for the dating of the Histories, see Murray, “Chronology and the Composition of the Histories of Gregory of Tours,” 168–172. On dream-visions in the Historiae, see De Nie, Views from a Many-Windowed Tower, 268–293.

71 That is, Praetextatus of Rouen, Eunius of Vannes, Salvius of Albi, Charterius of Périgueux, Mundericus (bishop elect) of Langres, Gregory of Tours, and Leudovald of Bayeux (on whom, see above). Gregory of Tours, Decem Libri Historiarum, VIII.5, has Guntram accuse Bishop Theodore of Marseilles of colluding in Chilperic's murder as one of the Gundovald conspirators, although his guilt is far from certain, and Gregory himself seems to have believed in Theodore's innocence: Wood, “The Secret Histories of Gregory of Tours', 263–264.

72 On Chilperic's preference for ‘face-to-face’ confrontations with accused bishops, see Nelson, “Queens as Jezebels,” 46.

73 Halfond, The Archaeology of Frankish Church Councils, 91.

74 Gregory of Tours, Decem Libri Historiarum, V.18.

75 Gregory of Tours, Decem Libri Historiarum, V.49.

76 Gregory of Tours, Decem Libri Historiarum, V1.46.

77 Wallace-Hadrill, The Frankish Church, 44.

78 I.e. the Councils of Lyons (567/70), Paris (573), Chalon-sur-Saône (579), possibly Lyons (581), Troyes (585), Mâcon (585), Unknown (588), on which see Halfond, The Archaeology of Frankish Church Councils, 229–234.

79 For example, Childebert I: Orleans (549), Paris (551/2); Childebert II: Verdun/Metz (590); Brunhild and Theuderic II: Chalon-sur-Saône (602/4). On these councils, see Halfond, The Archaeology of Frankish Church Councils, 227–228, and 235–236.

80 Gregory of Tours, Decem Libri Historiarum, VIII.20.

81 Armand, Chilpéric Ier: petit fils de Clovis, 252–3. C.f. Heinzelmann, Gregory of Tours, 184.

82 Armand, Chilpéric Ier: petit fils de Clovis, 111–112 and 139–140.

83 Gregory of Tours, Decem Libri Historiarum, VI.22: “Proclamante vero episcopo et dicente, quod saepius hic ingenia quaereret, qualiter eum ab episcopatu deiceret, rex misericordia motus, commendans Deo causam suam, cessit utrisque, deprecans clementer episcopum pro diacono, et supplicans, ut pro se sacerdos oraret. Et sic cum honore urbi remissus est.”

84 Gregory of Tours, Decem Libri Historiarum, V.5.

85 Gregory of Tours, Decem Libri Historiarum, V.26.

86 Gregory of Tours, Decem Libri Historiarum, V.40.

87 Gregory of Tours, Decem Libri Historiarum, VIII.20.

88 Gregory of Tours, Decem Libri Historiarum, VI.24, VIII.5, VIII.12–13.

89 Gregory of Tours, Decem Libri Historiarum, VIII.20.

90 Gregory of Tours, Decem Libri Historiarum, VI.9.

91 Gregory of Tours, Decem Libri Historiarum, VII.31. Nicetius was the brother of Bishop Rusticus of Aire. On the Rustici, see Heinzelmann, Bischofsherrschaft in Gallien, 101–113.

92 Gregory of Tours, Decem Libri Historiarum, VIII.20.

93 Heinzelmann, Martin, “L'aristocratie et les évêchés entre Loire et Rhin jusqu'a la fin du VIIe siècle,” in La Christianisation des pays entre Loire et Rhin (IVe-VIIe siècle), ed. Riché, Pierre (Paris: Editions du Cerf 1993), 8182.

94 Compare Heinzelmann, Gregory of Tours, 51–75 and 181–191, to Wood, “The Individuality of Gregory of Tours,” 44–45.

95 Gregory of Tours, Decem Libri Historiarum, VIII.22.

96 Priscus' service is recorded in his epitaph: Duchesne, Fastes épiscopaux de l'ancienne Gaule, II.168.

97 Gregory of Tours, Decem Libri Historiarum, V.45.

98 Gregory of Tours, Decem Libri Historiarum, VIII.39.

99 Fredegar, Chronica, III.89.

100 Gregory of Tours, Decem Libri Historiarum, VIII.22.

101 Gregory of Tours, Decem Libri Historiarum, IV.18 and X.31. Similarly, Chilperic's nephew, Childebert II, was responsible for the appointment of the referendarius Charimer to the episcopate of Verdun: Gregory of Tours, Decem Libri Historiarum, IX.23.

102 Gregory of Tours, Decem Libri Historiarum, VI.15. On the existence of an episcopal dynasty in Nantes, see Heinzelmann, “L'aristocratie et les évêchés entre Loire et Rhin,” 85. On the comes Nonnichius, see Martindale, J. R., ed., The Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992), IIIB.947–8. On the identification of the vir inlustris Nonnichius mentioned in Venantius Fortunatus, Vita Sancti Germani, MGH AA 4:2, ed. Krusch, Bruno (Berlin: Weidmann, 1885), chapter 158, see Heinzelmann, Bischofsherrschaft in Gallien, 214, note 180; Van Dam, Saints and their Miracles in Late Antique Gaul, 295, note 107.

103 Gregory of Tours, Decem Libri Historiarum, VII.16.

104 Gregory of Tours, Decem Libri Historiarum, VII.18.

105 Gregory of Tours, Decem Libri Historiarum, VIII.31 and VIII.41.

106 Gregory I, , Registrum Epistularum, ed. Norberg, Dag, Corpus Christianorum Series Latina 140 (Turnhout: Brepols, 1972), XI.41.

107 Gregory of Tours, Decem Libri Historiarum, X.26.

108 Fortunatus, Carmina, IX.12. On the identification of the referendarius Faramodus, see Karin Selle-Hosback, “Prosopographie merowingischer amsträger in der Zeit von 511 bis 613,” Ph.D. Diss. (Bonn: Universität zu Bonn, 1974), no. 91; Martindale, The Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire, IIIA.477; Weidemann, Margarete, Kulturgeschichte der Merowingerzeit nach den Werken Gregors von Tours (Mainz: Verlag des Romisch-Germanischen Zentralmuseums, 1982), 178.

109 Duchesne, Fastes épiscopaux de l'ancienne Gaule, II.467.

110 Gregory of Tours, Decem Libri Historiarum, V.44. While the suggestion of Halsall, “Nero and Herod,” 340–341, that the Trinitarian debate occurred around the time of the Council of Berny is plausible, I follow Heinzelmann, Gregory of Tours, 144, in dating this debate to the days immediately following the council. This would better explain Gregory's willingness to confront Chilperic.

111 Gregory of Tours, Decem Libri Historiarum, VI.5.

112 Gregory of Tours, Decem Libri Historiarum, VI.46: “Ecce pauper remansit fiscus noster, ecce divitiae nostrae ad eclesias sunt translatae; nulli penitus nisi soli episcopi regnant.”

113 Wallace-Hadrill, The Frankish Church, 124.

114 Durliat, Jean, Les finances publiques de Dioclétien aux Carolingiens, 284–889 (Sigmaringen: Jan Thorbecke Verlag, 1990), 138.

115 Heinzelmann, , Gregory of Tours, 181191. Durliat's explanation of the passage cited above is repeated by Heinzelmann in Gregory of Tours, 183–184. Concerning the reality of Gregory's ideal, see Prinz, Friedrich, “Die bischofliche Stadtherrschaft im Frankenreich vom 5. bis zum 7. Jahrhundert,” Historische Zeitschrift 217 (1973), 23. Prinz suggests that Chilperic “hit the nail on the head” when he complained that “periet honor noster et translatus est ad episcopus civitatum” (Gregory of Tours, Decem Libri Historiarum, VI.46). On Gallic bishops adopting civic functions following the disintegration of Roman imperial institutions (that is, Bischofsherrschaft), see also the contributions of Prinz, Heinzelmann and Kaiser to Herrschaft und Kirche. Beiträge zur Entstehung und Wirkungsweise episkopaler und monastischer Organisationformen, ed. Prinz, Friedrich (Stuttgart: A. Hiersemann, 1988), 1108.

116 See note 25 above.

117 Heinzelmann, , Gregory of Tours, 184185, following Beyerle, Franz, “Das legislative Werk Chilperichs I,” Zeitschrift der Savigny-Stiftung für Rechtsgeschichte, Germanische Abteilung 78 (1961), 37.

118 Capitularia Regum Francorum, 10 (chapter 9): “Illas et marias qui nuntiabantur ecclesias nuntientur consistentes ubi admallat.” Beyerle, “Das legislative Werk Chilperichs I,” 10 and 16–17, reads “marias” as “wargos,” (outlaws). I follow Lupoi, Maurizio, The Origins of the European Legal Order, trans. Belton, Adrian (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000), 372, note 40, in rejecting this textual alteration.

119 Heinzelmann, Gregory of Tours, 185.

120 For example, Pactus Legis Salicae, MGH Leges Nationum Germanicarum 4:1, ed. Eckhardt, Karl (Hanover: Hahn 1962), chapters I, XLVII.2, XLIX, L.4, LII.1, LVI, LXXIII, and CII. On the protocol of summoning in Merovingian law, see Wood, Ian, “Jural Relations among the Franks and Alamanni,” in Franks and Alamanni in the Merovingian Period, ed. Wood, Ian (Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 1998), 216217.

121 C.f. Heinzelmann, Gregory of Tours, 185, who argues that the decree discussed above was “almost certainly accompanied by other comparable decrees [intended] to limit the social role of the churches.” No such decrees, if they ever existed, survive.

122 Gregory of Tours, Decem Libri Historiarum, V.34.

123 Gregory of Tours, Decem Libri Historiarum, VII.4.

124 Gregory of Tours, Decem Libri Historiarum, VI.27.

125 Gregory of Tours, Decem Libri Historiarum, VI.46; Liber Historiae Francorum, ch. 35.

126 Gregory of Tours, Decem Libri Historiarum, VII.19.

127 E.g. Gregory of Tours, Decem Libri Historiarum, VI.31, VII.14, VIII.31, and IX.20. On the late antique hagiographical tradition of episcopal ambassadors, see Gillett, Andrew, Envoys and Political Communication in the Late Antique West, 411–533 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003), 113171.

128 Gregory of Tours, Decem Libri Historiarum, VI.3.

129 Gregory of Tours, Decem Libri Historiarum, VIII.28. On Merovingian-Visigothic relations, see Wood, The Merovingian kingdoms, 169175. On Fredegund and Brunhild's rivalry as a ‘bloodfeud,’ see Wallace-Hadrill, J. M., The Long-Haired Kings (London: Methuen and Co., 1962), 134135; c.f. Wood, The Merovingian Kingdoms, 127.

130 Gregory of Tours, Decem Libri Historiarum, VIII.29.

131 Gregory of Tours, Decem Libri Historiarum, VIII.43.

132 Gregory of Tours, Decem Libri Historiarum, V.18.

133 Van Dam, , Saints and their Miracles in Late Antique Gaul, 7376; Wood, “The Individuality of Gregory of Tours,” 33 and 43; Halsall, “Nero and Herod,” 344–347.

134 On Egidius's role in political conspiracies, including the Gundovald affair, see Goffart, Walter, “Byzantine Policy in the West under Tiberius and Maurice: The Pretenders Hermengild and Gundovald (579–585),” Traditio 13 (1957), 73118; Bachrach, Anatomy of a Little War, 48–49, 78–81, and 107–108; Wood, “The Secret Histories of Gregory of Tours,” 267–268.

135 Gregory of Tours, Decem Libri Historiarum, V.18 and V.49.

136 Gregory of Tours, Decem Libri Historiarum, VII.31, VIII.2, and VIII.20.

137 Gregory of Tours, Decem Libri Historiarum, VIII.7, VIII.22.

138 Goffart, “Byzantine Policy in the West,” 104–105; Bachrach, , Anatomy of a Little War, 8892.

139 Gregory of Tours, Decem Libri Historiarum, VI.36.

140 Capitularia Regum Francorum, 19 (chapters. 11–12). Although this is the standard attribution, recently Woll, Ingrid, Untersuchungen zu Überlieferung und Eigenart der merowingischen Kapitularien (Frankfurt: Peter Lang, 1995), 1729, has identified Chlothar I as its author. C.f. however, da Silva, Marcelo Candido, “Le prince, la lex et la iustitia: le Bréviaire d'Alaric et l'Édit attribué à Clotaire II,” in Le Bréviaire d'Alaric aux origines du code civil, eds. Rouche, Michel and Dumézil, Bruno (Paris: Presses de l'Université de Sorbonne, 2008), 199212, who also summarizes the debate concerning authorship.

141 Weidemann, , Das Testament des Bischofs Berthramn von Le Mans, 89, no. 1 Fredegund and Chlothar conquered Étampes in 596 upon the death of Childebert II: Fredegar, Chronica, V. 17. Fredegund would die within a year of the victory.

142 Weidemann, , Das Testament des Bischofs Berthramn von Le Mans, 1112, no. 4.

143 Gregory of Tours, Decem Libri Historiarum, VIII.39.

144 Gregory of Tours, Decem Libri Historiarum, IX.18 and IX.41.

145 Wood, The Merovingian Kingdoms, 207.

146 Gregory of Tours, Decem Libri Historiarum, IX.42.

147 Baudonivia, Vita Sanctae Radegundis Liber II, MGH SRM 2, ed. Krusch, Bruno (Hanover: Hahn, 1888), chapter 7; Gregory of Tours, Decem Libri Historiarum, IX.39 and IX.42.

148 Baudonivia, Vita Sanctae Radegundis Liber II, chapter 10.

149 Fortunatus, Carmina, IX.1.125–128.

150 Gregory of Tours, Decem Libri Historiarum, VI.34. Gregory of Tours, Liber in Gloria Martyrum, MGH SRM 1:2, ed. Krusch, Bruno (Hanover: Hahn, 1885), chapter 5, reports without explanation that Chilperic ordered an orphaned blind girl named Chrodigildis to enter Radegund's monastery, where her sight was miraculously cured.

151 Wood, The Merovingian Kingdoms, 7375.

152 Capitularia Regum Francorum, 19, chapters. 11–12.

153 Gregory of Tours, Decem Libri Historiarum, V.34; Liber Historiae Francorum, ch. 34. Fortunatus composed epitaphs for the two princes: Fortunatus, Carmina, IX.4 and IX.5. On the Church of Sts. Crispus and Crispinian, see May Viellard-Troiekouroff, Les monuments religieux de la Gaule d'après les œuvres de Grégoire de Tours (Paris: H. Champion, 1976), 288289. On St. Denis, see Viellard-Troiekouroff, Les monuments religieux de la Gaule, 252–53.

154 Effros, Bonnie, Merovingian Mortuary Archaeology (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003), 122123.

155 Gregory of Tours, Decem Libri Historiarum, V.32.

156 Flobert, Pierre, La vie ancienne de Samson de Dol (Paris: Éditions du CNRS, 1997), 19.

157 Gregory of Tours, Decem Libri Historiarum, III.29 and VIII.33. On the church of St. Vincent (later Saint-Germain-des-Prés), see Viellard-Troiekouroff, Les monuments religieux, 211–14; Picard, Jean-Charles, Beaujard, Brigitte, et al. , Province ecclésiastique de Sens (Paris: De Boccard, 1992), 119122; Perin, Patrick, “Saint-Germain-des-Prés, première nécropole des rois de France,” in Médiévales 31 (1996), 2936.

158 Gregory of Tours, Decem Libri Historiarum, VIII.33.

159 Gregory of Tours, Decem Libri Historiarum, IV.51.

160 Epistolae Austrasicae, MGH Epistolae 3, ed. Gundlach, Wilhelm (Berlin: Weidmann, 1892), no. 9.

161 Gregory of Tours, Liber in Gloria Confessorum, MGH SRM 1:2, ed. Krusch, Bruno (Hanover: Hahn, 1885), chapter 88. For a different reading of this passage, see Halsall, “Nero and Herod,” 348.

162 Weidemann, , Das Testament des Bischofs Berthramn von Le Mans, 1819, no. 18; Picard, Province ecclésiastique de Sens, 126127.

163 Brühl, Carlrichard, Kölzer, Theo, Hartmann, Martina, and Stieldorf, Andrea, eds, Die Urkunden der Merowinger (Hanover: Hahn, 2001), Dep. 58 and 59.

164 Gregory of Tours, Decem Libri Historiarum, VI.34.

165 Gregory of Tours, Decem Libri Historiarum, VI.46; Liber Historiae Francorum, ch. 35.

166 Gregory of Tours, Decem Libri Historiarum, VIII.10.

167 Liber Historiae Francorum, chapter 37. Erwin Panofsky notes that the mosaic slab marking Fredegund's tomb is a later replica, see Tomb sculpture: four lectures on its changing aspects from Ancient Egypt to Bernini (New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1964), 50.

168 On the Church of St Martin in Tours, see Viellard-Troiekouroff, Les monuments religieux, 311–24.

169 On the Church of St. Medard in Soissons, see Viellard-Troiekouroff, Les monuments religieux, 289–90.

170 Gregory of Tours, Decem Libri Historiarum, V.14. Chilperic supposedly composed a letter to the saint asking whether Guntram Boso could be ejected from the saint's church, but he received no response.

171 Gregory of Tours, Decem Libri Historiarum, VI.10.

172 Gregory of Tours, Decem Libri Historiarum, X.11. While Fredegund enjoyed considerable personal wealth, she had limited access to the funds of the royal fiscus. See Stafford, Queens, Concubines, and Dowagers, 104105; Hen, Yitzhak, “Gender and the Patronage of Culture in Merovingian Gaul,” in Gender in the Early Medieval World, eds. Brubaker, Leslie and Smith, Julia M. H. (Cambridge: University of Cambridge Press, 2004), 227229.

173 Van Dam, Saints and their Miracles in Late Antique Gaul, 22–28. C.f. Ewig, Eugen, “Le culte de Saint Martin à l'époque Franque,” in Spätantikes und fränkisches Gallien, ed. Atsma, Hartmut (Munich: Artemis, 1976–2009), II.360–363.

174 Gregory of Tours, Decem Libri Historiarum, IV.19, IV.21, and IV.51. Medard of Noyon had consecrated Chlothar's wife Radegund a deaconess: Fortunatus, Venantius, Vita Radegundis, MGH AA 4:2, ed. Krusch, Bruno (Berlin: Weidmann, 1885), chapter 12.

175 Van Dam, Saints and their Miracles in Late Antique Gaul, 72.

176 Gregory of Tours, Decem Libri Historiarum, V.3.

177 Poetae Latini Aevi Carolini, MGH Poetae 4:2–3, ed. Strecker, Charles (Berlin: Weidmann, 1923), 455457. For evaluations of Chilperic's poetic efforts, see Norberg, Dag, “La poésie du roi Chilperic,” in La poésie latine rythmique du Haut Moyen Age, ed. Norberg, Dag (Stockholm: Almquist and Wiksell, 1954), 3140; Kindermann, Udo, “König Chilperich als lateinischer Dichter,” Sacris Erudiri 41 (2002), 247272. Gregory of Tours, Decem Libri Historiarum, V.44, expresses the bishop's own low opinion of the king's poetic efforts.

178 Gregory of Tours, Decem Libri Historiarum, V.34.

179 Wallace-Hadrill, The Frankish Church, 49.

180 Halfond, The Archaeology of Frankish Church Councils, 6769 and 200–208.

I would like to thank for their helpful comments and questions, the anonymous reader for Church History, as well as Dr. Allen Jones, and the audiences at the 2010 Southeastern Medieval Association Annual Meeting and the 2011 American Historical Association Annual Meeting, where I presented some of the research that informs this study.

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