We’re back on manuscripts! No pictures, unfortunately, because this one’s currently in Russia; but at least I can feel more legit as a medieval scholar…
Recently – as part of the enormous deck-clearing exercise which is part of the reason that the blog ran low on content in the buffer at the end of last year – I revisited Shane Bobrycki’s article on the royal consecration ordines in the so-called Pontifical of Sens, which nowadays is St Petersburg Nat. Libr. Lat. Q.v.I no. 35, and noticed something interesting. Shane mentions in this article that the archbishops of Sens had their suffragan bishops place their loyalty oaths in and around these ordines. Now, the manuscript isn’t digitised, and as you can imagine I’m unlikely to be going to St Petersburg to see it anytime soon; but it so happens that the earlier medieval Latin manuscripts in St Petersburg have one of the most usefully detailed catalogues I’ve ever seen, from back in Tsarist times, and so I was able to go through and get a sense of the phenomenon Shane is talking about. The easiest way to present the results is in a table, as follows:
|59v, at the foot||Easter blessings||+ Ego Erbertus Antissioderensis episcopus promitto debitam subiectionem sanctae matri aecclesiae Senonum suisque praesulibus; ore promitto et manu confirmo. Signum Erberti episcopi||Heribert II of Auxerre (r. 1040-1052)|
|88v, at the foot||Ordo for consecrating a king||Ego Fulco promitto debitam subiectionem sanctae Senonum matri ecclesiae suisque presulibus ore promitto et manu confirmo.||Fulk I of Orléans (r. 1004-1012)|
|89v, at the foot||Idem.||Ego Teodericus promitto debita subgestionem sanctae Senonum matri ecclesiae suisque praesulibus; ore promitto et manu confirmo +.||Thierry II of Orléans (r. 1013-1021)|
|93v, in the margin||Ordo for consecrating a queen||Ego Hugo episcopus subiectionem et reuerentiam a sanctis patribus constitutam et oboedientiam sanctae sedi Sennonensis aecclesiae et domno Mainardo archiepiscopo perpetuo me exhibiturum ore promitto et manu propria confirmo. +||Hugh III of Nevers (r. 1074-1090)|
|93v, at the foot||Idem.||Ego Gerardus promitto debitam subiectionem sanctae matri ecclesiae Senonum suisque praesulibus; ore promitto et manu confirm.Ego Hugo promitto debitam subiectionem sancte matri ecclesiae Senonum suisque praesulibus; ore promitto et manu confirmo +.|
|93v, immediately after the final prayer||Idem.||Ego Iohannes episcopus promitto debitam subiectionem sanctae matri ecclesiae Senonum suisque presulibus ore promitto et manu confirmo.|
|94v, at the foot||Note on the archiepiscopal pallium||Ego Ragenaldus episcopus promitto debitam subiectionem sanctae matri ecclesiae Senonum suisque praesulibus; ore promitto et manu confirmo.|
|95v, at the foot||Mass for fighting against pagans||Ego Frontmundus episcopus promitto debitam subiectionem sanctae ecclesiae Senonum suisque praesulibus. Ore promitto et manu confirmo +.||Frotmund I of Troyes (r. 998-1034).|
|95r, in the margin||Idem.||+ Ego Frontmundus episcopus subiectionem et reuerentiam a sanctis patribus constitutam et oboedientiam sanctae sedi Senonensis ecclesiae et donno Mainardo archiepiscopo et sequentibus eius ecclesiae praesulibus perpetuo me exhibiturum ore promitto et manu propria confirmo.||Frotmund II of Troyes (r. 1049-1058).|
|95r, at the foot||Benedicto ubi volueris||Ego Odolricus episcopus promitto debitam subiectionem sanctae matri ecclesiae Senonum suisque praesulibus; ore promitto et manu confirmo +.||Odalric of Orléans (r. 1021-1033).|
|96r[?], at the foot [the catalogue doesn’t include notes of fol. 96 so I’m guessing here based on where the footnotes are…]||Blessing for tribulation||Ego Aieuertus episcopus subiectionem et reuerentiam a sanctis patribus constitutam et obedientiam sanctae sedi Sennensis ecclesiae et domno Mainardo archiepiscopo perpetuo me exhibiturum promitto et propria manu firmo. [A subsequent profession of obedience has been erased.]||Agobert of Chartres (r. 1048-1060)|
|96v[?], in the margin||Mass on the nativity of St Mary||+ Ego Gozfridus episcopus subectione et reuerentiam a sanctis patribus constitutam et obedientiam sanctae sedi Senonensis ecclesiae et donno Mainardo archiepiscopo et sequentibus eius de ecclesiae praesulibus perpetuo me exhibiturum ore promitto et manu propria confirmo.|
|97r, at the foot||Blessing for ordaining a king||+ Ego Hadericus episcopus subiectionem et oboedienciam a sanctis patribus constitutam sanctae sedi Senonensis ecclesiae et donno Richerio archiepiscopo et sequentibus eiusdem ecclesiae praesulibus perpetuo me exhibiturum ore promitto et manu confirmo.||Haderic of Orléans (r. 1063-1066).|
|97v, in the margin||Idem.||+ Ego Berrierius sanctae Meldensis ecclesiae episcopus promitto debitam subiectionem sanctae matri ecclesiae Senonum suisque praesulibus; ore promitto et manu confirmo +.||Berner of Meaux (r. 1028-1040).|
|97v, at the foot||Idem.||Ego Gislebertus promitto debitam subiectionem sanctae matri Senonum ecclesiae suisque praesulibus; ore promitto et manu confirmo.Ego Macharius promitto debitam subiectionem sanctae matri Senonum ecclesiae suisque praesulibus; ore promitto et manu confirmo +.||Gilbert of Meaux (r. 990-1009)Macharius of Meaux (r. 1015-1026)|
|98r, in the margin||Blessing on the birth of St Dionysius||Ego, Adalbertus, promitto debitam subiectionem sanctae matri Senonum ecclesiae suisque praesulibus; ore promitto, manu confirmo.||[anti-bishop of Chartres, c. 1028?]|
|98r, at the foot||Idem.||Ego Rodulfus promitto debitam subiectionem sanctae matri Senonum ecclesiae suisque praesulibus; ore promitto et manu confirmo.||Ralph I of Chartres (r. 1004-1006)|
|98v, in the margin||Idem.||Ego Arnulfus promitto debitam subiectionem sanctae matri ecclesiae Senonensi et Richerio archiepiscopo suisque successoribus, et manu confirmo.||Arnulf III of Orléans (r. 1083-1087)|
|98v, at the foot||Reconciliation of penitents||Ego Fulbertus promitto debitam subiectionem sanctae matris ecclesiae Senonum suisque praesulibus; ore promitto et manu confirmo. S. Fulberti episcopi.Ego Teodericus promitto debitam subiectionem sanctae matris aecclesiae Senonum suisque praesulibus; ore promitto et manu confirmo. S. Teoderici episcopi.||Fulbert of Chartres (r. 1006-1028)Thierry of Chartres (r. 1028-1048)|
|99r, at the foot||Idem.||Ego Franco promitto debitam subiectionem sanctae matri ecclesiae Senonum suisque presulibus; ore promitto et manu confirmo. S. Franconis episcopi.||Franco of Paris (r. 1020-1030)|
|99v, at the foot||Benedictio palmarum siue florarum.||Ego Hinbertus promitto debitam subiectionem sanctae matri ecclesiae Senonum suisque praesulibus; ore promitto et manu confirmo. Signum Ymberti episcopi +.||Imbert of Paris (r. 1030-1060)|
|100r, in the margin||Idem.||Ego Walteri debitam subiectionem sanctae matri ecclesiae Senonum suisque praesulibus; ore promitto et manu confirmo.||The following two bishops are Walter I (r. 1045-1082) and Walter II of Meaux (r. 1085-1102), but which is which is unknown.|
|100r, at the foot||Prayer for the birth of SS Cornelian and Cyprian||Ego Valterius promitto debitam subiectionem sactae matri aecclesiae Senonum suisque praesulibus; ore promitto et manu confirmo. Signum Valterii episcopi. PAX.|
|107r, at the foot||Excommunicatory formula||Ego Nilo promitto debitam subiectionem sanctae matri Senonum aecclesiae suisque praesulibus; ore promitto et manu confirmo. Milo subscripsit.||Philip de Pons (AKA Milo) of Troyes (r. 1088-1121)|
|(We might note also St Petersburg Nat. Lib. Lat. Q.v.I. no. 43, fol. 5v, in the margin of a sermon of St Ambrose: Ego Rotbertus Carnotensium episopus sanctae Senonensis ecclesiae tibi Richeri et successoribus tuis promitto debitam subiectionem et stabilitatem mei ordinis ore profiteor et promitto atque manu confirmo).|
To start with, let’s talk a bit about the identifications. The earliest secure identification here is Bishop Gilbert of Meaux, from the 990s. There are a few others who could be earlier (Heribert of Auxerre, for example, could be Heribert I, whose reign started in 971), but I’ve worked on the assumption that there would have to be a very good reason to place any identification much earlier than 990. The only real exception here is Bishop Gerard – oddly enough, the only even vaguely plausible candidate I know of for this figure is a bishop of Nevers from the 950s, half a century earlier than any other entry. I suspect that (like Adalbert?) this is actually an eleventh-century ‘anti-bishop’ who fell out of our other sources, but obviously I can’t prove that and as it stands this is an anomaly. On the other end, the latest securely datable figure is Bishop Walter II of Meaux, whose tenure began in 1085. The presence of a Bishop John in the pontifical will certainly push these dates either earlier (if it’s John of Auxerre, r. 996-998) or later (if it’s John I or John II of Orléans, whose reigns began in 1088 and 1096 respectively). Nonetheless, this is a firmly (long-)eleventh-century phenomenon – all the possibilities for the three other unknown bishops (Hugh, Rainald and Geoffrey) fit neatly between 992 and 1072.
For the century or so the archbishops of Sens were collecting professions of obedience here, they managed a reasonably good go of being thorough. In particular, Meaux is more-or-less completely covered from start to finish, and the bishops of Chartres too are well-represented up to at least the 1070s. Orléans too is relatively well represented but has clear gaps, notably the thirty-year pontificate of Bishop Isembard. Paris certainly played ball for the mid-century, and if the uncertain bishops Ragenald and Geoffrey are Parisian (making them Rainald (r. 992-1017) and Geoffrey (r, 1061-1095)) the see is completely covered – I’m not sure that’s the most likely possibility, though. The see of Troyes, oddly enough given it’s so close to Sens, has notable gaps even if the solitary bishop Hugh is one of the two relevant bishops of that see. By the time we get to Auxerre and Nevers, we’re dealing with cases where we only have one certain profession from any of their bishops. In this case, the unknown Bishop Hugh is most likely to be either Bishop Hugh I of Auxerre (r. 999-1039) or Bishop Hugh II of Nevers (r. 1013-1065). If it’s Hugh of Nevers, then Nevers would be basically covered – his predecessor Bishop Roclend took up his see in 980, before professions began to be collected, Hugh himself ruled for over fifty years, and we definitely have his successor Hugh III. On the other hand, that would mean that Auxerre really is underrepresented. In either case, we can certainly say that the coverage of the professions is patchier in some cases than in others, and it’s not clear to me why. An obvious answer would be the loyalties of the bishops, but we happen to know that Bishop Odalric of Orléans (represented here) was opposed by his metropolitan Leotheric of Sens, so whatever’s going on it’s not necessarily working in any kind of direct way.
In terms of the manuscript context of these professions, Shane argues that the section of the pontifical containing the royal consecration ordines became a place where Sénonais claims about archiepiscopal authority were made, including professions of episcopal submission. I don’t want to say this is wrong, but I do think it should be qualified. The very earliest professions (those of Gilbert of Meaux and perhaps John of Auxerre, if him it be) went straight for the royal ordines, certainly; but Frotmund I of Troyes apparently chose a mass against the pagans. Shane does argue this mass is intimately related to royal authority which, OK; but Ralph I of Chartres, shortly afterwards, went for a blessing on the birth of St Dionysius. Then Fulk I of Orléans went back to a different royal ordo – but after that Franco of Paris went for a mass on the reconciliation of penitents. So, yes, there must be an element of significance that it’s close to the royal ordines, but it may well simply be that the presence of other episcopal professions was the main factor. Certainly, at least two bishops (Heribert II of Auxerre and Philip de Pons of Troyes) went for completely different places in the manuscript and Robert of Chartres (either Robert I (r. 1065-1069) or Robert II (r. 1075-1076) went for a different manuscript entirely. That is, Gilbert’s choice may say something about his opinions on the relationship between episcopal and royal authority; but subsequent decisions may be more closely related to ideas of episcopal collegiality.
This brings us to an interesting phenomenon, which is the location of episcopal professions relative to others of the same see. For example, about half a century of bishops of Meaux were on the same folio, presumably as an expression of institutional continuity; and three subsequent bishops of Chartres put their professions next to one another, as did Franco and Imbert of Paris. In the case of the bishops of Meaux, Walter I and Walter II moved to a different folio – but in this case (and this is where it would be nice to actually have seen the manuscript) I wonder if it might simply be the case that they ran out of space. The bishops of Orléans are a different question: Thierry and Fulk are close, although you wouldn’t be able to see them together; but Odalric then moved several folios up. His episcopate was disputed with Thierry, so he might have tried to create distance, but his successors Haderic and Arnulf III also made their professions quite distant from one another. Even more was Philip de Pons of Troyes, who put his profession right at the end of the manuscript, quite apart from Frotmund I and Frotmund II. I don’t know why that would have been, but it’s quite distinctive.
Finally, we can talk about the overall chronology of the professions. There are a few parallels to this document – Georg Waitz published some of them in the nineteenth century – but the nearest case, that of Besançon, includes abbatial professions and goes for a much longer period of time. In this case, we have a defined focus (bishops) and a defined century (eleventh). It is therefore noteworthy that this crosses over with a period in Sénonais history where the archbishops’ claims to ecclesiastical primacy were both made and accepted. It’s one of the shibboleths of the history of tenth-century Sens that the church was constantly quarrelling with Rheims over – well, over a number of issues including the coronation of kings; but most relevantly in this case the question of who got to be primate of Gaul. This was never an issue for Sens for most of the tenth century, but by the 990s and the end of Archbishop Seguin’s reign, not only had Sens reclaimed the primacy but it had more-or-less been accepted. I think it’s in this context that Seguin began to collect new professions in this manuscript. (But not to gather them from bishops who had already come before, which is interesting, and suggests a kind of ‘born in the purple’ thing, where the interest was in securing recognition from bishops consecrated after the primacy was relatively secure.) We have various kinds of evidence – notably some writings of the monk Odorannus – suggesting that the primacy continued to be actively at play during the mid-eleventh century, and we know that Archbishop Richer, at the end of the eleventh century, was concerned about it too. However, Richer was concerned about it largely because he lost it to the archbishops of Lyon, and for this reason it is very striking that we don’t have any subscriptions postdating Richer’s death in 1096 and not that many postdating the pope’s initial backing of Lyon for the primacy in 1078. It suggests that whatever is going on with this manuscript was intimately tied up with the question of Sénonais primacy. Once Richer started to lose, his suffragans began to stop subscribing. Once he died and his successor Dagobert accepted the loss, they ceased entirely.