Celebrating local saints in a civitas. The role of archbishops in the production of local liturgy in Trier (882- c. 1050)
Van Raaij, L
Date: 19 October 2020
University of Exeter
PhD in Medieval studies
This dissertation investigates the liturgical evidence for saints’ cults produced within the different religious houses in the city of Trier between the Viking attacks in 882 and 1050 AD. It considers the different forces at work in the recording of these local liturgies. Using an episcopal city as its centre stage, it wishes to ...
This dissertation investigates the liturgical evidence for saints’ cults produced within the different religious houses in the city of Trier between the Viking attacks in 882 and 1050 AD. It considers the different forces at work in the recording of these local liturgies. Using an episcopal city as its centre stage, it wishes to contribute to the developing debate on the function, authority and power of post-Carolingian bishops. . It thus seeks to nuance Timothy Reuter’s powerful image of the tenth and eleventh centuries as ‘A Europe of Bishops’. For bishops were not the only powerful authorities to emerge within tenth-century localities. As this dissertation reveals, both local counts and abbots of major monasteries, together with patron saints, all contributed to the balance of power within and around the episcopal cities in which bishops were deemed so powerful. As this case study demonstrates, the episcopal city of Trier was not inhabited by the bishop alone. It also housed monasteries and canonical houses that were centuries old and accommodated saintly patrons who had worked many miracles. The episcopal city was not invented with the coming of powerful and authoritative bishops, but had a rich past of its own, with local traditions and collective memories. It is in this framework of local religious and cultural life, that the hegemony of the bishop was contested. Engaging with a single case study, this dissertation seeks to understand how the bishops responded to the existing cultural and religious traditions within their episcopal city. The growing fragmentation of political power in the tenth century was accompanied by a growing sense of self-awareness within individual religious houses. Liturgical celebrations were especially helpful to communicate a sense of belonging to their audiences. This dissertation takes hagiographical and liturgical sources composed to celebrate the patron saints of the local religious houses at its centre. Through careful analysis, I discuss three major questions: which parts of local traditions were communicated in these liturgies; who was in charge of composing these texts and chants; and thirdly, what influence did the archbishops have on these processes. Modern scholarship has put tenth-century bishops on pedestals. This dissertation seeks to find out whether the local communities living inside one episcopal centre would have agreed with this assessment.
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