IMC 2013: Sessions

Session 1725: Law, Learning, and the French Connection: Three Archbishops of Lund and Their Networks

Thursday 4 July 2013, 14.15-15.45

Sponsor:Danish Medieval Historiography Project / Centre for Studies in Legal Culture, Københavns Universitet
Organiser:Mia Münster-Swendsen, Section of History, Roskilde Universitet
Moderator/Chair:Sigbjørn Olsen Sønnesyn, Centre for Medieval Studies, Universitetet i Bergen
Paper 1725-aBanking on (and with) the Victorines: The Strange Case of Archbishop Eskil’s Money
(Language: English)
Mia Münster-Swendsen, Section of History, Roskilde Universitet
Index terms: Ecclesiastical History, Monasticism, Politics and Diplomacy
Paper 1725-bArchbishop Absalon of Lund, Abbot William of Æbelholt, and Princess Ingeborg of Denmark: The Rise and Fall of a Franco-Danish Alliance
(Language: English)
Thomas Heebøll-Holm, Saxo Instituttet, Københavns Universitet
Index terms: Administration, Ecclesiastical History, Law, Politics and Diplomacy
Paper 1725-cFamula and domina: The Legal Universe of a Poetic Archbishop: Anders Sunesen and the Law
(Language: English)
Ditlev Tamm, Faculty of Law, Københavns Universitet
Index terms: Canon Law, Language and Literature - Latin, Language and Literature - Scandinavian, Law

The session focuses on three successive archbishops of Lund; Eskil (1138-1177), Absalon (1178-1201), and Anders (Andrew) Sunesen (1201-c.1223). From different angles, the papers seek to provide a picture of three major figures from 12th- and early 13th-century Denmark, their political and intellectual endeavours and their international connections. The first paper concerns an intriguing case, namely how Archbishop Eskil came to lose a large amount of money, which he had deposited at the Abbey of St Victor in Paris. There is other evidence of this type of ‘proto-banking’ at St Victor, indeed it seems that the abbey had made a business out of managing such money deposits, particularly from travelling ecclesiastics. But what went wrong in Eskil’s case? What was his devious friend Abbot Ernisius’ role? And not least: whose money was it? The theft/loss is shrouded in mystery and political intrigue, and eventually, developing into a full-blown international scandal, the case came to involve the major figures of the French ecclesiastical establishment, such as Maurice de Sully, bishop of Paris, and the mighty Archbishop of Reims and Sens, William of the White Hands, and of course the Victorines and their extensive and powerful network. The case offers a fascinating insight into the functioning of political and intellectual friendship networks in regard to escalating and resolving conflicts. It is also the story of how a purported theft was transmogrified into a gift. The second paper aims to examine Archbishop Absalon of Lund’s connections with the higher clergy of the Capetian court and with the intellectual centres in Paris from which William of Æbelholt hailed. The paper argues that Absalon continuously strove to build a Franco-Danish dynastic alliance. The culmination of this endeavour was the marriage of princess Ingeborg of Denmark to King Philip Augustus of France. When Philip repudiated her and this marriage turned into a scandal, it effectively spelled the end of all Absalon’s efforts and put a long-lasting strain on Franco-Danish relations in the Middle Ages. The third paper focuses on Archbishop Anders Sunesen in particular his Latin paraphrase of the vernacular Law of Scania. The Archbishop took a great interest in local law, he was a poet and scholar and a close personal friend of Pope Innocent III. All this combine to make him an important and intriguing figure in the history of Danish learning. As well as giving an introduction to the life and works of Anders Sunesen, the paper aims to provide an analysis of his language and an attempt to clarify the position of a learned archbishop towards the local ius proprium.