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Re: 2nd summer mystery


Christopher Crockett <[log in to unmask]>


medieval-religion - Scholarly discussions of medieval religious culture <[log in to unmask]>


Sat, 15 Jul 2006 13:17:54 -0500





text/plain (256 lines)

medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

From: John Wickstrom <[log in to unmask]>

> Thanks, Christopher, it is "on the way down". The scene depicted is Maurus's
departure with some companions from Monte Cassino, setting out for France "up

yes, i see that now, and stand corrected.

>As for what text we are using, it's all the same thing: The Life of St.
Maurus by "Faustus". I was referring to the following edition of the AASS:
Vita auctore s. Fausto, AA SS (Antwerp, 1643-) I:1039-1050. My recollection is
that there are two versions of the AASS, and the pagination and even what's in
each volume is quite different. Maybe you have the other one. 

i'm using the on-line edition, which i assume is taken from the second
("definitive"??) ed.

being Digitally Challenged, i can't seem to find the text strings which i see
in your ms. page 


in the printed text i have; and the chapter headings don't seem to match,


>The text in question is supposedly by "Faustus", one of the companions of
Maurus in the journey to France (ADCE542 acc. to the text). 

i don't know what "ADCE542" might be.

>But all authorities (except a couple of defensive OSBs) agree that this text
was forged (like so many other Carolingian vitae) by the abbot of the
monastery Maurus supposedly founded, Glanfeuil (on the Loire, between Angers
and Tours), Odo. He wrote the text in the 860s or so, after the monks of
Glanfeuil community had fled to St. Pierre des Fossés in Paris to escape the
Northmen. The text was likely written to preserve the cult of Maurus, now
uprooted from its home and sojourning (permanently as it turned out) in

yes, and the Pseudo-Faustus' (i.e., Odo's) text will reflect, in its details,
many aspects of mid-9th c. life (rather than that of the period of Benedict
and Maurus), just as the details of suchlike things as riding crops and green
horses in the illuminations will reflect the marvelous things to be seen in
the Paris of c. 1100.

(i'm assuming that the illuminator of the Paris/Troyes ms. did not have an
extensively illustrated 9th c. model before his eyes, Odo comming as he did in
the last twilight of the Carolingian Renaissance.)

there were (in all probability) no Vidames in 6th c. France, but there  were
(we may assume) such creatures by the 9th c., and it may well be that the 9th
c. vidames of LeMans --Odo's contemporaries-- would have been flattered to
trace their lineage back to some fellow named Hardaradus, who (it was said)
had played an important role in the bringing of monasticism to France.

a c. 1100 traveller to Rome might well have picked up the pelt of a vanishing
species like the Alpine Leopard.

>As for "vidame", (which I still balk at, pace duCange, Niermeyer et al. as
archaic, at best in English usage.) 

i enclose below the full entry for VIDAME in the OED.

>Could one say the vicedominus in France  is more or less equivalent to the
German advocatus? 

check DuCange on this, if you can.

as i recall, he brings up examples of advocatus and vicarius in his discussion
of vicedominus.

in 11th and 12th c. chartres both these terms were used to denote lay
"protectors" of ecclesiastical institutions. in the cartulary of the abbey of
St. Peter's of Chartres they are also styled (by the abbot) "amicus noster" in

>Niermeyer's entries suggest that the office was rather more clerical, 

yes, i see that now.

"majordomoe, vidame du palais pontifical (clerc de haut rang)..."

but these early definitions of his are from 6th-8th c. Italian sources, i
note; and it's not clear to me from the snippets from those sources which he
quotes if we can, indeed, say that these guys were "clerics," although (as one
source says), "bishops, archdeacons and vidames" are "actoribus hujus

so, presumably, were the janitors who swept the place out, but they weren't

though i do see at least one instance which seems to style a vicedominus as a

"episcopus Reatine civitatis una cum sacerdotibus ipsius civitatis, id est H.

and a 9th c. _capitulus_ which is ambiguous, re his "clerical" status:

"Adjutores ministerii eorum [episcoporum], id est: corepiscopi, archidiaconi
et vicedomini et presbyteri."

this last seems to me to correspond to something which i see in withness lists
from Chartres: the Vidame will be mentioned after the Dignataries of a
chapter, but before the mere canons and priests --that was his Station and
Status, which is reflected in these very formal and status-conscious

the long (for a lexicon) explanation (new ed., II, p. 1425) which N. gives
reflects the complexity and topographically and chronologically speicfic
nature of the problem of trying to sort these guys out:

Dans certains regions de la France [Reims, Sens] les vicedomini deviendront,
aux Xe et XIe s., des seigneurs laics, souvent en possession d'un
chateau-fort. En ces seigneurs-vidames carolingiens, donc lieutenant et
protecteur arme de l'eveche, et principal intendant et administrateur du
palais et des biens episcopaux.

this certainly reflects the situation in Chartres, at least in the period for
which we have some documentation.

he was *not* a cleric (in the strict sense of the word) and the office was

it would appear from the Pseudo-Faustus/Odo text that this was also the case
in that author's mid-9th c. world as well (or, at least, that the Vidame of
LeMans could be casually spoken of as being married).

>somewhat like archdeaconries until the 10th c. when (perhaps owing to the
Dangers of the Times, they became lay protectors of the church's possessions).

i am not aware of any archdeacons who were laymen, at any time.

in the Chartres chapter they were, to my knowledge, always canons
(Dignataries/_Personae_] of the chapter, and thus "clerics."

furthermore (and, again, only speaking for Chartres), the archdeacons were
only charged with the *ecclesiastical* administration of their part of the
diocese, not with that of the material property of the Mother Church within
their bailiwick.

the latter job was that of the provosts (_praepositi_), and the diocese was
divided up into provosteries(?) which were topographically different in extent
from those of the archdeaconries.

like the archdeacons, the provosts were canons and Dignataries (_personae_) of
the chapter.

unddoubtedly due to the strong temptations which their jobs placed before
them, the provosts were all the time Messing Up and were several times
"reformed" (eg., in 1194 or so, after the great fire, when the 
fiscal situation of the church was in need of maximization, the boundries of
the provosteries of the diocese were totally re-drawn).

>Our Harderadus is clearly a layman, 


but, note that Ordericus Vitalis speaks of an 11th c. canon of Chartres (also
a doctor) who was married --and there appears to have been a canon (styled a
subdeacon of the cathedral) who was married in the time of St. Ivo
(1090-1116); though Ivo seems to have made short work of his delicate tookus.

i have seen, somewhere, an estimate that as many as 20% of the canons of 12th
c. London were married --though the evidence for this was not given in that
particular article.

(note that prudish clerics and scholars of later centuries tended to
bowdlerize mentions of married clerics which ocurred in earlier sources.)

>but interestingly in this text, proved more pious than the bishop of LeMans,
who refused to give the monks the land his predecessor had promised them. 

yes, all the more reason for me to think that there was another Agenda which
led your guy Odo to make such a big deal out of this fellow.

so, what were the names of the 9th c. Vidames of LeMans?

we'll probably never know.

but i'd be willing to guess that they contained some combination of HARD-
and/or -ARD.


p.s. i see that Niermyer mentions the book i was thinking of:

F. Senn, L'institution des Vidamies in France (1907).

i've never seen this.  might be interesting.


Formerly in France, one who held lands from a bishop as his representative and
defender in temporal matters. 

1523 LD. BERNERS Froiss. I. xlv. 25b/2 The Vydame of Calons dyd marueyles. 

1550 Acts Privy Council III. 121 Ordre..for the sending of..oone of the Gromes
of the Chambre, to be furrer or harbenger to the saide Visdamme. 

1614 SELDEN Titles Honor 252 Neither is there in France any Vidame which holds
not of some Bishoprik, vnlesse that of Beauuais,..and from the chief Town of
the Bishoprique are the Vidames denominated. 

1635 R. N. tr. Camden's Hist. Eliz. I. 47 The French Embassadour in England
solicited her that the Vidame of Chartres..might be delivered to the King. 

1680 MACKENZIE Sci. Her. 87 To Counts, Vidames, and Viscounts [they allow] a
direct standing Helmet, with 9 Barrs. 1725 tr. Dupin's Eccl. Hist. 17th C. I.
v. 179 The Advocates and Vidames succeeded the Defenders, and by little and
little these last Offices were abolish'd. 

1801 RANKEN Hist. France I. 334 They employed a vidame, vice-dominus or

1802 Ibid. II. 259 They commissioned generally their avoués, or vidames, or
some superior vassal, to levy and head the troops of their barony. 

1852 SIR J. STEPHEN Lect. Hist. France I. 131 The advocate or vidame of an
ecclesiastical corporation was usually some powerful count.

1622 in Birch Crt. & Times Jas. I (1849) II. 346 Here is a speech of a new
dignity of vidams to be created, which should wedge in 'twixt knights and

Hence vidameship. Obs. 

a1641 SPELMAN Ant. Deeds Eng. Wks. (1723) II. 242 These Officers obteyned
likewise of their Lords the Bishops to have the Office of Vidameship in Fee.

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