The Holy Bureaucrat
Eudes Rigaud and Religious Reform in Thirteenth-Century Normandy
Publication Year: 2006
In a book that offers a fresh perspective on the complex relationship between thirteenth-century institutional power and evangelical devotion, Adam J. Davis explores the fascinating career of Eudes Rigaud, the Franciscan theologian at the University of Paris and archbishop of Rouen. Eudes's Register, a daybook that he kept for twenty-one years, paints a vivid picture of ecclesiastical life in thirteenth-century Normandy. It records the archbishop's visits to monasteries, convents, hospitals, and country parishes, where he sought to correct a wide range of problems, from clerics who were unchaste, who gambled, and who got drunk, to monasteries that were financially mismanaged and priests who did not know how to conjugate simple Latin verbs.
Davis describes the collision between the world as it was and as Eudes Rigaud wished it to be, as well as the mechanisms that the archbishop used in trying to transform the world he found. The Holy Bureaucrat also reconstructs the multifaceted man behind the Register, reuniting Eudes Rigaud the intellectual, Franciscan preacher, church reformer, judge, financial manager, and trusted councillor to King Louis IX. The book traces the growth of a complex bureaucracy in Normandy that insisted on discipline and accountability and relied on new kinds of written administrative records. The result is an absorbing study of the interplay between religious values and practices, institutions and individuals during the age of Saint Louis.
Published by: Cornell University Press
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Title Page, Copyright
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It is a pleasure to be able to thank those who have helped make this book possible. My greatest intellectual debt is to my teachers. A course with Jaroslav Pelikan that I took as an undergraduate first sparked my interest in medieval history. ...
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Its small and relatively compact size was essential for an itinerant archbishop. Measuring six by nine inches, the size of a fairly small book, it was not difficult to carry. Except for the last few folios, which are charred, and an occasional hole, it is in remarkably good condition for a document seven hundred and fifty years old.1 ...
1. The Formation of a Reformer at the Franciscan Studium in Paris
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In his 1957 book Les intellectuels au moyen âge, Jacques Le Goff suggested that the thirteenth-century intellectual was in danger of completely removing himself from the larger medieval society. According to Le Goff, the scholastic’s language—Latin—and his abstract and technical ideas distanced him from the masses of laymen, ...
2. Itinerant Archbishop, Itinerant Familia
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Little can be said with any certainty about Eudes Rigaud’s social origins, but it is possible that he was the son of Adam and Adeline Rigaud, who are recorded in 1209 as ceding a mill and land at La Louverie to the abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés for a sum of thirty livres tournois.1 In 1230, there is a record of an Adam Rigaud, ...
3. A Metropolitan’s Contested Jurisdiction
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Although the concept of ecclesiastical reform was extremely popular during the high Middle Ages, its implementation frequently provoked conflict. In addition to tensions between those who sought to carry out reforms and those who resisted being reformed, various jurisdictional conflicts arose among reformers themselves. ...
4. Fixing Broken Windows: Episcopal Visitation and the Mechanisms for Monastic Reform
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Benedictine monasticism flourished in Normandy during the high Middle Ages. Some of the most distinguished Norman monasteries, such as Mont-Saint-Michel, Saint-Ouen-de-Rouen, Montivilliers, Saint-Wandrille, and Jumièges, were pre-Viking foundations, some founded as early as the seventh century. ...
5. Shepherding the Shepherds: The Challenges of Supervising Normandy’s Secular Clergy
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Eudes’s Register suggests that he did not have much direct contact with ordinary, lay parishioners. Aside from some residents of the city of Rouen who would have heard him preach in the cathedral, most laymen and women in the diocese probably had little familiarity with the archbishop. During his visitations of the parish clergy, ...
6. An Ecclesiastical Administrator of Justice
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In his roles as a master of the Norman Court of the Exchequer and a member of the Parlement of Paris, Eudes Rigaud was deeply involved in the administration of justice in both the Norman province and the French kingdom as a whole. The Franciscan archbishop was also invested with seigneurial rights in several areas of his province, ...
7. A Franciscan Money Manager: The Archbishop’s Two Bodies?
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Although Franciscans first began holding episcopal offices only a short time after the death of Saint Francis in 1226, there was still something startling in the mid-thirteenth century about the notion of a friar minor serving as a bishop or archbishop.1 How could a minor remain true to his religious order while discharging the functions ...
8. A Friar, a King, and a Kingdom
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On his way to Aigues-Mortes in 1248, where he would depart on his first crusade, King Louis IX of France, dressed as a pilgrim, stopped at Sens to receive prayers from the Franciscans of France, who were holding a provincial chapter. According to the Franciscan chronicler Salimbene de Adam, who attended the chapter, ...
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On the feast day of Saint Catherine (November 25), sometime in the 1260s, the famous Franciscan archbishop of Rouen, Eudes Rigaud, returned to the University of Paris, where he had once been a student and a professor.1 The chancellor and masters of the university had invited him to preach on the occasion ...
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Page Count: 288
Publication Year: 2006