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E02107: The council of Épaone (Gaul, 517 AD) decrees that no relics should be deposited in rural oratories unless there is a cleric to attend them.

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posted on 2016-12-12, 00:00 authored by CSLA Admin
Council of Épaone, Canon 25
Sanctorum reliquiae in oratoriis uillarebus non ponantur, nisi forsitan clericus cuiuscumque parrochiae uicinus esse contingat, qui sacris cinerebus psallendi frequentia famulentur. Quod si illi defuerint, non ante propriae ordinentur, quam eis conpitens uictus et uestitus substantia depotetur.

'The relics of saints should not be placed in oratories in the countryside unless there happens to be a cleric from some neighbouring parish who can constantly attend to the sacred ashes with psalmody. If there are no such clerics, no cleric should be ordained specifically [for this service] until sufficient resources for his nourishment and clothing are provided for.'

Text: de Clercq 1963, p. 30. Translation: J. Szafranowski, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER 1159.


Evidence ID



  • Latin

Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Gaul and Frankish kingdoms

Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)

Tours Tours Toronica urbs Prisciniacensim vicus Pressigny Turonorum civitas Ceratensis vicus Céré

Cult activities - Liturgical Activity

  • Chant and religious singing

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - dependent (chapel, baptistery, etc.)

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - lesser clergy

Cult Activities - Relics

Bodily relic - corporeal ashes/dust


The council of Épaone gathered bishops from the lands ruled by the Burgundian kingdom. The direct impulse for the council was the ascension to the throne of Sigismund in AD 516. The new king, unlike his Arian predecessors, followed the Catholic creed. Avitus, metropolitan of Vienne, and Viventiolus, metropolitan of Lyon, asked the bishops to convene on 6 September 517 in Épaone, the exact location of which is unknown. It was probably situated in the province of Vienne, see: J. Szafranowski, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER 1159


The oratories mentioned in this canon were most probably located on private estates and were not really controlled by the bishop. It is not clear whether the singing mentioned in this canon refers specifically to the liturgy of the hours or to pious celebrations in general.


Text: de Clercq, C., Concilia Galliae a. 511-a. 695 (Corpus Christianorum, Series Latina 148A; Turnhout, 1963). French Translation: Gaudemet, J., and Basdevant, B., Les canons des conciles mérovingiens VIe-VIIe siècles (Sources chrétiennes 353; Paris, 1989). English translation and discussion: J. Szafranowski, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER 1159:

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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