medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture
From: Jim Bugslag <[log in to unmask]>
>> [ME] the Bishop of Chartres, Goslen of Muzy
> I've never heard him called "of Muzy".
well, you live long enough, my son....
>Wasn't he part of the Leves clan?
depends on how you mean.
he was the son of the sister of Godfrey of Leves, who was bishop before him
his Mommie married into the house of Muzy[-sur-Avre], just over the
diocesean/county [and now Departemental] border in the dio. of Evreux,
the present departement of the Eure, part of the Duchy of Normandy.
so, while Goslen is sometimes "dit de Lèves", and might be considered by some
neophytes --and even some palaeophytes-- to have been "part of that clan",
strictly speaking he was a Muzy and should thus be styled "of Muzy".
that region of the valleys of the Avre and the Eure was, typically, a "marche"
area, being the border between seperate political and ecclesiastical
but there seems to have been quite a bit of interplay (including the
ocassional marriage) between the "gentlefolk" on both side of it, which we see
reflected in the ecclesiastical relationships of the region as well, the
ecclesiastical institutions being closely tied to the fortunes and aspirations
of their lay patrons.
thus, the 12th c. church of Muzy was a priory of the Benedictine abbey of
Coulombs (near Nogen-le-Roi), on the Chartrain side of the Avre/Eure, but,
perhaps (i'm not sure) within the "royal domain", as the County of Dreux was a
royal holding, seperate from that of the County of Blois/Chartres.
if this webpage can be believed
the priory was founded by the Lord of Muzy, who was named Raherius.
pertinent to the present "Christian names" thread upon which we are treading,
Raherius was probably the --or one of two-- names of choice in this family for
the firstborn son, who was desitined to inherit the domainal fief.
i assume that this Raherius was the father of our Bishop (1149-56) Goslen,
who, being destined for the clergy, would not have been the firstborn son.
i don't know the Muzy family at all, but would guess that the name "Goslen"
was not in the Muzy namengut.
but it *was* in that of the Leves family from which his mother came --and
there it was the *primary* name for firstborn sons (Bishop Godfrey's brother,
Goslen's uncle, Lord of Leves, was a Goslen).
thus, the firstborn son of Raherius of Muzy and Whatsername of Leves was named
Raherius (or whatever the alternative name for a firstborn might have been in
the family namengut), while the second (or third, or whatever he was) son was
named after his mother's father (or, perhaps, the uncle, then Lord of Leves).
(if my dim memory is right, most all of the Lords of Leves in this period
carried the name Goslen, whether because of family custom or because of
repeated deaths of firstborn sons with other names, i don't know.)
in the Pecking Order of the region, the Leveses were of considerably higher
status than the Muzyeses --as is suggested by the fact that the backsides of
scions of their house warmed the Bishop's cathedra continuously from 1115
until 1156 (and other sons were canons and dignataries of the chapter
throughout the 11th and 12th cc.).
the earliest known members of the Leves family (in the mid-11th c.) sometimes
carry the cognomen "divitis", which gives you an idea of their importance as
so, it is no accident that a second (or third) son of the house of Muzy would
have a name which was part of the "name goods" of the more prominent house of
but, wait, it is clear that the young Goslen of Muzy didn't pull himself up
the ecclesiastical ladder by his own chasuble.
we may safely assume that he had a bit of help, both from his powerful uncle,
Lord Goslen of Leves, and, particularly for ecclesiastical matters, in the
person of his other uncle, Godfrey, who just happened to be Bishop of
was Godfrey his godfather?
or was it his uncle Goslen, Lord of Leves, after whom he was clearly named,
who held him at the font ?
we don't know.
and, given the finite state of the documents, we can't.
Bishop Godfrey was a very, very busy fellow, especially in the earlier years
of his reign.
he was one of the most prominent Princes of the Frankish Church, a sometime
Papal Legate, avid Council goer, friend of royal Abbots (present at the
consecration of St. Suger's St. Denis), Saints and Kings, defender of Heretics
(Abelard, at Sens), etc.
so, he might have just been out of town on bidness when the time came to
christen his newly-arrieved nephew, his brother Lord Goslen filling the
obviously, there is a lot more to this naming business than first meets the
best from here,
To join the list, send the message: join medieval-religion YOUR NAME
to: [log in to unmask]
To send a message to the list, address it to:
[log in to unmask]
To leave the list, send the message: leave medieval-religion
to: [log in to unmask]
In order to report problems or to contact the list's owners, write to:
[log in to unmask]
For further information, visit our web site: