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E06225: An authentic Merovingian royal diploma records the foundation and endowment by Sigebert III, king of the Franks, of the monastery at Cugnon-sur-Semois (north-east Gaul) dedicated to the Apostle *Peter (S00036) and *Paul (S00008), and *John (either the Apostle and Evangelist, S00042, or the Baptist, S00020), and other *unnamed martyrs (S00066). Written in Latin in Gaul, 643/8.

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posted on 2018-08-20, 00:00 authored by Bryan
MGH DD Mer. 80 (excerpt)

Sigibertus rex Francorum viro inlustri Grimoaldo maiori domus. Singulariter et per cuncta feliciter ad mercedis nostrae augmentum credimus pertinere, si larga munera summi Dei omnipotentis devota mente offerre non dubitamus, quia tunc regia potestas suum cultum corroborare videtur, quando ex propria voluntate compendia servorum Dei destinare non dubitat. Ideoque sub devotione animę nostrae cum consilio magnificorum apostolicorum Chuneberti, Memoriani, Godonis vel inlustrium virorum Grimoaldi, Bobonis, Adalgisili monasterium regulare in honore patroni nostri Petri, Pauli, Iohannis vel ceterorum martyrum in terra nostra silva Ardenense in loco, qui dicitur Casęcongidunus, quem Sesomiris fluvius cingere videtur, et ex nostrae largitatis munere iuxta patrum traditionem coenobium construere volumus et ibidem Christo auspice Remaglum abbatem constituimus [...]

'Sigebert, king of the Franks, to his noble man Grimoald, mayor of the palace. We believe that through all things it happily and especially pertains to the increase in our riches, if we do not hesitate to offer, with a devoted mind, abundant gifts to high and almighty God; for royal power is seen to reinforce itself, when it does not hesitate to look by its own will to the gains of the servants of God. And for that reason, with the devotion of our soul, and with the counsel of our great apostles Cunibert, Memorianus and Godo, and the noble men Grimoald, Bobo, and Adalgisil, we have wished to found a monastery in honour of our patron(s) Peter, Paul, John and other martyrs, at the place in our forest of the Ardennes which is called Cugnon, which is seen to be girded by the river Semois; and a coenobium is to be constructed there out of the gift of our own largesse, and with Christ's aid we have appointed Remaclus as abbot of that same place ...'

Text: Kölzer 2001, 202-4. Translation: B. Savill.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Peter the Apostle : S00036 Paul, the Apostle : S00008 John, the Apostle and Evangelist : S00042 Martyrs, unnamed or name lost : S00060 John the Baptist : S00020

Saint Name in Source

Petrus Paulus Iohannes martyres Iohannes

Type of Evidence

Documentary texts - Donation document 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

Ecclesiastics - bishops Ecclesiastics - abbots Monarchs and their family Aristocrats


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 Cugnon-sur-Semois diploma survives in copies dating from the 10th century onwards.


The Abbot Remaclus mentioned here is the later Saint Remaclus/Remacle (ob. 673).


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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