medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture
From: Ms B M Cook <[log in to unmask]>
> I probably ought to read more carefully, but I am confused.
confusion is not a function of careless reading.
like flat feet.
you just have to learn to live with it.
> Was the Council of ETAMPES called by King Louis to consider the validity of
Pope Innocent II (1130) actually held in the Benedictine Abbey of Morigny ?
i have no reason to believe that it was, though, as far as i am aware, no
contemporary source says where, eggsactly, it was held.
Morigny (just a km or so north of the northern-most part of Etampes) was a
newcommer to a rather old neighborhood, founded c. 1100 by monks from St.
Germer-de-Fly in the Beauvaisis.
the oldest part of the surviving church (can't seem to find a pic) appears to
date from shortly after the foundation and, while a modest structure, would
have been large enough to hold a council in, i suppose.
but the fact that a major source for the council (and a good deal of the
regional history in the first half of c. 12) is a chronicle written by monks
of Morigny is, i believe, purely hapenstance.
the king's tower, which overlooks the valley and town
seems to have been built in the early 12th c., and *could* have hosted a
council, i suppose, but that's not likely, given the somewhat ecclesiastical
nature of the get-together in question.
the collegial of St. Mary's would have been the logical place to hold such a
gathering --assuming that one wanted to hold it in Etampes at all (as opposed
to, say, Orleans or Paris, both of which had spiffy cathedrals which would,
arguably, have been more suited as hosts).
the choice of Etampes for the council has always been curious to me, and i
have no explanation for it.
but, we have to remember that Etampes was not the sleepy little town which it
was up until the R.E.R. from Paris was extended down to it in the '70s,
transforming it into a bedroom suburb.
stragicially located astride the road from Paris to Orleans, about mid-way
between both, it was a Royal stronghold absolutely essential to the contiguity
of the northern and southern parts of the Royal Domain (as Suger's account of
the immense difficulties which Fat Louis had with the minor castelains of the
region makes clear).
Innocent’s itinerary in France from early January to 22 February, 1131 may
be traced in Jaffé (pp. 846-7), where he is seen to travel, successively, to
Fleury, Orléans, Chartres, and Morigny/Étampes, before going to
Châlons-sur-Marne and Rebais-en-Brie (Seine-et-Marne). During his stay at
Chartres (January 13th to, at least, the 17th), he met with Henry I of
But Chartes wasn't a royal town, and the purpose of the council was to
solidify support for Innocent in as much of the "kingdom" as possible; so, it
might be argued, a town firmly under the King's hand, more or less centrally
located within his domains was the most appropriate place.
Etampes fits that bill.
the present church of St. Mary's
is really a rather spectacular building, a testimony to the very experimental
nature of the style which we term "Early Gothic" but the vast choir which we
was the work of the second half of the 12th c. --after Henry D. France's
conversion (and with the legacy of his money, i'm thinking).
the building which was there in 1130 would have been still under construction,
envisioning the scale of the present one, but not quite there yet.
you are standing in the "gothic" choir, looking West into the 2-3 bays of the
groing vaulted nave:
here we are in the south transept, looking north, with that original nave of
the 1120s on the left
note that the cylendrical column terminating that nave wall (on the left) is
repeated in the pier just to the right of it, though that one has been
"encased" in a complex of colonettes which go with the "gothic"
so, while the building was certainly still under construction, it would have
been quite large enough to hold a councilitory pow-wow in, i believe.
>Or was Innocent's visit to Morigny in Jan 1131 a separate event ?
i think the chronicler makes that clear.
> What IS the connection between ETAMPES & MORIGNY ?
well, they were within site of each other (once each had a nice tower to view
the collegial of St. Mary was a royal foundation (Robert the Pious/Constance)
and was (as best i can make out) *totally* under royal control through out the
Morigny was a Benedictine house, not a royal foundation but patronized by Fat
Louis and Louis the Kid --sometimes at the expense of the canons of St. Mary's
(e.g., when the king gave Morigny the church of St. Martin's of Etampes, about
a mile south of St. Mary's).
they were neighbors and, to a certain extent, rivals; there were disputes
between the two.
that's about it, as best i can make out.
> A bothered Brenda.
well, better Bothered than Dumb, i always say (though sharing the worst of
both worlds is also a possibility).
From: Tom Izbicki <[log in to unmask]>
> You might consult:
> A Translation of the "Chronicle" of the Abbey of Morigny, France, c.
1100-1150/. Edited and translated by Richard Cusimano. [Mediaeval
Studies, Vol. 22.] (Lewiston, New York: Edwin Mellen Press. 2003. Pp. ix,
quite unreliable in its notes and, i think you may find, in the precision of
its translation, as well.
a terribly overpriced, ugly little book, cheaply produced by a kind of
academical Vanity Press.
don't get me started on That One.
as far as i am aware the best discussion of the Etampes council is still
Schmale, Franz Josef. Studien zum Schisma des Jahres 1130. Köln, 1961.
(Forschungen zur kirchlichen Rechtsgeschichte und zum Kirchenrecht, 3. Bd.)
(Innocent in France & the Étampes Council : pp. 220ff)
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