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IMC 2016: Sessions

Session 711: Mastering Knowledge and Power, III: Episcopal Culture in Action in the 9th Century

Tuesday 5 July 2016, 14.15-15.45

Organisers:Giacomo Vignodelli, Dipartimento di Storia Culture Civiltà, Università di Bologna
Giorgia Vocino, Faculty of History, University of Cambridge
Moderator/Chair:François Bougard, Ecole Française, Roma
Paper 711-a'[…] correctionis gratia iuxta ministerium sibi iniunctum […]': Agobard and the Episcopal School of Lyons
(Language: English)
Marie-Celine Isaïa, Département d’histoire, L'Université Jean Moulin Lyon III
Index terms: Ecclesiastical History, Education, Manuscripts and Palaeography, Politics and Diplomacy
Paper 711-b'The blind leading the blind': Regino of Prüm's Representation of Episcopal Involvement in the Divorce Case of Lothar II
(Language: English)
Terje Breigutu Moseng, Institutt for arkeologi, historie, kultur- og religionsvitenskap, Universitetet i Bergen
Index terms: Ecclesiastical History, Manuscripts and Palaeography, Monasticism, Politics and Diplomacy
Paper 711-cHincmar as a Teacher: A Late Carolingian 'Quaestio' on Baptism and Penance
(Language: English)
Warren Pezé, Sonderforschungsbereich 923 'Bedrohte Ordnungen', Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen
Index terms: Ecclesiastical History, Education, Manuscripts and Palaeography, Religious Life

This third session will focus on the relations between episcopal culture and political action in Carolingian and post-Carolingian Europe.

Paper -a will focus on the archbishopric of Lyons that Charlemagne had chosen as the place where schools and Christian education were to be renewed under the supervision of a Bavarian master, Leidrad, at the very end of the 8th century. With such a royal impulse, one could expect Lyons to become a Frankish model school, i.e. orthodox, pro-imperial nay submissive in its achievements. Contrariwise, Agobard of Lyons' violent political critics against Louis the Pious prove that at the episcopal school of Lyons pupils could grow a strong sense of independence of mind and thought. Agobard's culture and his didactic methods will be investigated in the light of his unsuccessful interventions in public debates: if his ministerium urged him to reprimand his colleagues, his pedagogical and communicative strategies could not help him to convince anyone.

Paper -b will examine how Regino of Prüm, an author with a monastic background, portrayed bishops' use and abuse of their knowledge and power in the divorce case of King Lothar II in the 860s. In Regino’s version of the case, two bishops play an indispensable part in Lothar’s plot by providing justification for his unjust acts – acts which in turn would have contributed to God's condemnation of the Frankish realm and the extinction of the legitimate Carolingians. Furthermore, the paper will relate the depiction of bishops in this episode to wider representations of episcopal ideals in Regino's chronicle. The bishops' knowledge and power is a central part of Regino’s depiction of the divorce case, as the two most central bishops misused them in serving the king’s wishes in an illegitimate manner.

Paper c- will focus on a school manuscript of Bede from Auxerre that has preserved an exegetical piece on Hb 6, 4-6. Its structure is that of a 'quaestio', featuring contradictory authorities ('econtra') on the interpretation of a biblical excerpt connected with a series of key-issues: baptism, penance, but also the Eucharist, predestination, iconoclasm, and even marriage. Its most unusual feature, however, is the authority granted to Carolingian authors. The only names quoted are those of Hincmar of Rheims and Florus of Lyons, with no Church fathers at all, and mention to oral transmission is made ('fertur sensisse'). As such, this unedited document from the classroom bears witness to the oral teaching and preaching by the most powerful archbishop of Western Francia, to how schools dealt with past and present authorities - Church fathers, bishops, and school masters - and to the relationships between Rheims, Auxerre, and Lyons at the end of the 9th century.