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E06228: A substantially authentic Merovingian royal diploma records the immunity confirmed by Theuderic III, king of the Franks, to the monastery at Montier-en-Der (north-east Gaul) dedicated to the Apostles *Peter (S00036) and *Paul (S00008), and other *unnamed saints (S00518). Written in Latin, probably at Compiègne (north-east Gaul), 685.

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posted on 2018-08-21, 00:00 authored by bsavill
MGH DD Mer. 128 (excerpt)

[Theudericus rex Francorum viris inlustribus]. Principalis serenitas semper in cuncto debet prospicere, precipue petitionibus sacerdotum, que rite poposcerint, benigno animo suscipere et ad effectum perducere, ut de obtento beneficio valeant gratulari, et eos melius delectet pro quiete regni nostri et constantia adtentius Domini misericordiam deprecari. Ideoque venerabilis vir Bercharius, abba de monasterio Putiolos, quod bonę memorię germanus noster Chil[d]ericus quondam rex ob amorem Dei in foreste Deruo et fine Uuasciacinse supra fluvium Uigore in honore beati Petri et Pauli vel ceterorum sanctorum Domino cognoscitur edificasse, clementię regni nostri suggessit, eo quod ipse princeps integram emunitatem ad ipsum monasterium fecisset; unde et ipsam emunitatem nobis in presenti protulit relegendam. Sed pro rei totius firmitate petiit celsitudinem nostram, ut hoc circa ipsum monasterium confirmare deberemus [...] Dat[um] [sub die] X Kalendas Iunii, anno decimo regni [nostri], Compendio [...].

'Theuderic, king of the Franks, to his noble men. Princely serenity should always provide for all things, especially the petitions of priests which are rightly sought, receiving them and bringing them into effect with a happy heart, so that they [the priests] might rejoice in obtaining a beneficium, pleasing them to pray better for the peace of our kingdom, and with attentive constancy for God's mercy. And therefore that venerable man Berchar, abbot of the monastery of Putiolus, which is known to have been built by our brother Childeric of happy memory, the late king, for the love of God in the forest of Der, in the region of Wasciacinse over the river Voire, in honour of the blessed Peter and Paul and other saints in the Lord, has approached our royal clemency, concerning a full immunity which that princeps had made for the monastery, which he has presently brought before us, asking of our majesty, for its full security, that we might confirm it for this monastery ... Given on the day of the 10th kalends of June, in the tenth year of our reign, and enacted at the palace of Compiègne.'

Text: Kölzer 2001, 325-7. Translation B. Savill.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Peter the Apostle : S00036 Paul, the Apostle : S00008 Saints, unnamed : S00518

Saint Name in Source

Petrus Paulus sancti

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, village, etc


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

Compiègne 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

Bequests, donations, gifts and offerings

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - abbots Monarchs and their family


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 Montier-en-Der diploma survives as a copy in the monastery's 12th century cartulary.


A purported earlier grant of immunity of 665 by King Childeric III to this foundation survives in its 12th century cartulary: the most recent editor of the Merovingian diplomatic corpus has rejected this as a forgery (Kölzer, 2001, 268-70), although the editor of the cartulary considers it authentic (Bouchard, 2004, 45-8).


Edition: Kölzer, T., Die Urkunden der Merowinger, 2 vols. (Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Diplomata; Hannover, 2001). Bouchard, C.B., The Cartulary of Montier-en-Der, 666-1129 (Toronto, 2004). 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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