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 bookpossible. My greatest intellectual debt is to my teachers. A course withJaroslav Pelikan that I took as an undergraduate ﬁrst sparked my interest inmedieval history. In graduate school, over lunches at the Institute for Ad-vanced Study, Giles Constable helped me think in new ways about medieval...
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Medieval monies are given in livres tournois (l.t. or l.) unless livres parisis(l.p.) is indicated. The internal rate of exchange during the thirteenth cen-tury was 4 livres parisis for every 5 livres tournois. 1 livre (l.) was worth 20 sousEudes Rigaud’s Register used the medieval Paris calendar, which markeda new year at Easter rather than January 1. All dates in this book, however,...
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Its small and relatively compact size was essential for an itinerant arch-bishop. Measuring six by nine inches, the size of a fairly small book, it wasnot difficult to carry. Except for the last few folios, which are charred, andan occasional hole, it is in remarkably good condition for a document sevenhundred and ﬁfty years old.1 At 387 folios (774 pages), it is by no means...
1The Formation of a Reformer atthe Franciscan Studium in Paris
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In his 1957 book Les intellectuels au moyen âge, Jacques Le Goff suggestedthat the thirteenth-century intellectual was in danger of completely remov-ing himself from the larger medieval society. According to Le Goff, thescholastic’s language—Latin—and his abstract and technical ideas dis-tanced him from the masses of laymen, their problems and their psychol-...
2Itinerant 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 arerecorded in 1209 as ceding a mill and land at La Louverie to the abbey ofSaint-Germain-des-Prés for a sum of thirty livrestournois.1 In 1230, there is arecord of an Adam Rigaud, a knight from Courquetaine, selling all that he...
3A Metropolitan’s Contested Jurisdiction
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Although the concept of ecclesiastical reform was extremely popularduring the high Middle Ages, its implementation frequently provoked con-ﬂict. In addition to tensions between those who sought to carry out reformsand those who resisted being reformed, various jurisdictional conﬂictsarose among reformers themselves. During the archiepiscopate of Eudes...
4Fixing Broken Windows
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Middle Ages. Some of the most distinguished Norman monasteries, such asMont-Saint-Michel, Saint-Ouen-de-Rouen, Montivilliers, Saint-Wandrille,and Jumièges, were pre-Viking foundations, some founded as early as theseventh century. Although religious life in the province was disrupted dur-ing the late ninth and early tenth centuries, when churches and abbeys...
5Shepherding the Shepherds
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Eudes’s Register suggests that he did not have much direct contact withordinary, lay parishioners. Aside from some residents of the city of Rouenwho would have heard him preach in the cathedral, most laymen andwomen in the diocese probably had little familiarity with the archbishop.During his visitations of the parish clergy, Eudes did not question the...
6An Ecclesiastical Administrator of Justice
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In his roles as a master of the Norman Court of the Exchequer and amember of the Parlement of Paris, Eudes Rigaud was deeply involved in theadministration of justice in both the Norman province and the French king-dom as a whole. The Franciscan archbishop was also invested with seigneur-ial rights in several areas of his province, including Pontoise, Gaillon,...
7A Franciscan Money Manager
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Although Franciscans ﬁrst began holding episcopal offices only a shorttime after the death of Saint Francis in 1226, there was still something star-tling in the mid-thirteenth century about the notion of a friar minor serv-ing as a bishop or archbishop.1 How could a minor remain true to his reli-gious order while discharging the functions of a maior in the secular...
8A Friar, a King, and a Kingdom
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On his way to Aigues-Mortes in 1248, where he would depart on his ﬁrstcrusade, King Louis IX of France, dressed as a pilgrim, stopped at Sens toreceive prayers from the Franciscans of France, who were holding a provin-cial chapter. According to the Franciscan chronicler Salimbene de Adam,when the king of France had left Paris and arrived at the place of the...
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On the feast day of Saint Catherine (November 25), sometime in the1260s, the famous Franciscan archbishop of Rouen, Eudes Rigaud, re-turned to the University of Paris, where he had once been a student and aprofessor.1 The chancellor and masters of the university had invited him topreach on the occasion when students who had completed the most ad-...
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Page Count: 288
Publication Year: 2006