medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture
From: Tom Izbicki <[log in to unmask]>
> I went digging in our Latin dictionaries. The Oxford Latin dictionary
only gives "predecessor in office." Most give both meanings, but most give
"predecessor in office" as the first in line. [I am leaving out the sense of
the word as "military scout".]
Great Minds tending to Run in the same Ruts, my exercises in the Reference
Room here came up with about the same conclusion.
and the new Latham:
a. front-line soldier
b. (?) beadle [???]
most of the latter's instances of use are ambiguous, but there's this one
1080. concedo Lanfranco archiepiscop omnes consuetudines in ecclesia de N.
quas solebant habere antecessores ejus.
Lucian Merlet, learned Archiviste of the Eure-et-Loir and the editor of the
charter in question translates it as "ance^tre" in his historical introduction
to the cartulary.
as i said, the distinction, in the context of this particular charter, might
not be of any significance at all --shucks, maybe the Count meant *both*.
but i look upon these charters as little universes --or, rather, as little
windows into a little universe-- so i try and pick them apart as best i can.
in this particular case, i'm trying to see what role --if any-- the Count
might have played in the reform of this secular collegial.
my working hypothesis is that he played no role at all in that --it was a
project dreamed up by the Arch Reformer (esp. of collegials) Bishop Ivo (d.
1115), was contiuned and finally brought to fruition by his sucessor, Godfrey
of Leves, after what looks like more than a decade of resistance by the
Viscount of Chateaudun (who seems to have had the place in his pocket) and the
secular canons in place.
in early 1131 Godfrey finally had a reform abbot in place and obtained a bull
of confirmation from Innocent II (who happened to be in France, with Godfrey
as his Legate, looking for support against the anti-pope Anecletus).
Innocent's bull mentions that there are still some secular canons at the place
and outlined conditions under which they might remain in the enjoyment of
the 1148 act of the Count is the only one which mentions him at all in this
i'm thinking that he used the ocassion to simply "show the flag" by asserting
(or reminding everyone) that it was his "antecessores" who had founded the
place in the first instance --repeating the expression three times, just for
it is a charter of acquiescence to a fait accompli, not an assertion of power
or rights, and is certainly not indicative of any essential role the Count
played in the reform, as some recent historians have written.
> Christopher Crockett wrote:
>> a minor point, perhaps, but i would be interested to hear the opinions of
list members less Latiniacally-Challenged than myself regarding the meaning of
an expression in a 12th c. charter i'm interested in.
>> in 1149 (n.s.) Count Theobald IV of Blois(/Chartres) confirmed certain
justice rights exercised by the (newly reformed) canons of the abbey of St.
Mary Magdalen of Chateaudun, which had been granted (or so he claimed) by
_antecessores mei ab antiquo_, back in the time when it was (just?) their
chapel (_capelle eorum_).
>> he uses this expression three times in a rather short charter.
>> my question is: does he mean to say his "ancestors" or his "predecessors"
>> in this case it might be argued that it is a distinction without a
difference, since Teddy4 was a direct descendant of the earliest known Counts
of Blois, going back a century and a half, well before the foundation of St.
MMCD (which appears to have been c. 1060).
>> but i'm wondering whether or not there might have been some subtle nuance
of meaning intended here, since the thrust of the charter is to attempt to
establish (at least in principle, in the face of the new, bishop-driven
of the place) that, institutionally, the abbey owed its existence --and its
rights-- to the the counts.
>> any off-the-top-of-the-head thoughts would be appreciated.
>> i include the text of the body of the charter below, with the relevent
>> L. Merlet and L. Jarry, Cartulaire de l'abbaye de la Madeleine de
Châteaudun. (Châteaudun, 1896), no. 11:
>> Quoniam Deus veritas est et qui veritatem impugnant Deum quoque constat
impugnare, que vera scimus, ne posteros lateant, stilo memorie mandando
posteritati transmittere curavimus. Quamobrem ego Theobaldus, Blesensis
existencium presentie et futurorum posteritati notum fieri volo quod
**antecessores mei ab antiquo dederant*** ecclesie Beate-Marie-Magdalene
Castridunensis, sicut capelle eorum, ne alieni liceret exibere sancta ad
sacramenta juranda, in villa Castriduni, preterquam ministris predicte
ecclesie, omnibus duellis vel sacramentis que in curia eorum seu in manu
prepositorum ipsorum, in prefata villa, insumpta vel arramissa fuissent, que
videlicet ipsi per se possent accipere vel dimittere.
>> Judicia vero, que tunc temporis de ferro esse solebant, in curia eorum seu
prepositorum ipsorum insumpta, in prenominata ecclesia ferentur.
>> Ego autem Theobaldus comes hoc donum et hanc institutionem ***antecessorum
meorum*** prefate ecclesie Beate-Marie concedo et in perpetuum confirmo.
>> Et quoniam judicia ferri, que in temporibus ***antecessorum meorum*** esse
solebant, prevaricata erant, addo insuper et confirmo ut omnia judicia, seu
ferro sive de aqua, in curia mea seu prepositi mei apud Castridunum insumpta,
vel aliunde per justiciam nostram adducta; sacramenta vero de duellis et
rebus, sicut superius dicta sunt, ita teneri precipio, exceptis sacramentis
que unus homo fecerit alteri si fuerint adramissi ante me vel ante prepositum
meum, in parochiis illis in quibus insumpta fuerint expectabuntur et agentur.
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