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E06146: An authentic Merovingian royal diploma records the immunities guaranteed by Childebert III, king of the Franks, to the monastery in Angers (north-west Gaul) dedicated to *Sergius (soldier and martyr of Rusafa, S00023) and *Medard (bishop of Noyon, ob. 557/8, S00168). Written in Latin in Gaul, 694/711.

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posted on 2018-08-19, 00:00 authored by bsavill
MGH DD Mer. 145 (excerpt)

Childebertus rex Francorum vir[is] illustri[bu]s omnibus agentibus tam presentibus quam et futuris. Quidquid pro cęlesti amore vel pro aeterna retributione ad loca sanctorum ab antecessoribus principibus parentibusque nostris fuit indultum, si hoc nostris oraculis affirmamus, retributorem Dominum exinde habere confidimus. Igitur cognoscat magnitudo seu utilitas vestra, quod venerabilis vir Theodebertus abbas de monasterio, quod est in honore peculiaris patroni nostri sancti Sergii et domni Medardi episcopi in suburbio Andecauis urbis constructum, ad nostram accessit presentiam et clementię regni nostri suggessit, [eo] quod de curtibus predictę sanctae basilicae [...] Et tale beneficium bonę memoriae avus noster Clodoueus et genitor noster Theodericus [...] concesserunt, ut nullus iudex publicus in ipsas curtes ad agendum [...] Ideoque pro firmitatis studio petiit nostram celsitudinem, ut nostra auctoritas circa ipsum monasterium vel eius congregationem hoc denuo generaliter confirmare deberet [...]

'Childebert, king of the Franks, to his noble men, and all agentes present and future. Whatever it is that has been granted, out of a love of heaven or for eternal reward, to the places of the saints by the principes who came before us and our kinsmen, if we confirm these through our own words, then we are confident that we shall henceforth have the Lord as our retributor. Therefore, let your magnitude and utility recognise that the venerable man Theudebert, abbot of the monastery which is constructed in honour of our personal patron Saint Sergius and the lord bishop Medard, in the suburb of Angers, has come before us and pleaded to our royal clemency, concerning the curtes of the aforesaid holy basilica ... our uncle of happy memory Clovis, and our father Theuderic had granted a beneficium of such a kind, so that no public iudex could operate in those curtes ... And therefore, Theudebert has petitioned our majesty for the sake of security, that we might by our authority publicly confirm anew what concerns this monastery and its community ...'

Text: Kölzer 2001, 365-7. Translation: B. Savill.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Sergios, soldier and martyr of Rusafa : S00023 Medard, bishop of Noyon buried at Soissons (Gaul), ob. 557/558 : S00168

Saint Name in Source

Sergius Medardus

Type of Evidence

Documentary texts - Charter or diploma


  • 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 - Places

Cult building - monastic

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Saint as patron - of an individual

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Monarchs and their family Ecclesiastics - abbots


According to the judgement of their most recent editor, 54 authentic or substantially authentic royal diplomas/charters survive from Merovingian Gaul which are dated or datable to the period up to ad 700. Of these, 34 appear to relate directly to the cult of saints, and are included in our database. All but one, possibly two (E06133, E06141), of the charters included here date from the 7th century, mostly its final quarter. Although a number of these diplomas have come down to us only in later cartulary copies, a remarkably large proportion (21 of our 34) survive as single-sheet, original manuscripts, the great majority of which come from the monastery of Saint-Denis. Due to the nature of western archival survivals, all these documents concern either land, legal immunities, or rights to tolls, and are preserved exclusively through interested religious institutions. For a hint, however, of the kind of Merovingian documents we may have lost, the scribal templates found in the Formulary of Marculf are suggestive (see e.g. E06231, E06233). This Angers diploma survives in copies dating from the 11th century onwards.


The purported earlier immunities granted by Clovis (II) and Theuderic (III) do not survive.


Edition: Kölzer, T., Die Urkunden der Merowinger, 2 vols. (Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Diplomata; Hannover, 2001). Further reading: Brühl, C., Studien zu den merowingischen Königsurkunden, ed. T. Kölzer (Cologne, 2001). Kölzer, T., Merowingerstudien, 2 vols. (Hannover, 1998-1999).

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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