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E06236: An authentic Merovingian royal diploma in the name of Theuderic III, king of the Franks, records the settlement of a dispute (placitum) at Luzarches (northern Gaul), during which oaths were sworn over the cape of *Martin (ascetic and bishop of Tours, ob. 397, S00050). Written in Latin, probably at Luzarches, and dated 30 June 682.

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posted on 2018-08-23, 00:00 authored by bsavill
MGH DD Mer. 126

Theudericus rex Franc(orum) v. inl. Cum ante dies in nostri vel procerum nostrorum presencia Conpendio in palacio nostro ibique veniens fimena nomene Acchildis Amalgario interpellavit, dum dicerit, eo quod porcione sua in villa noncobanti Bactilioneualle, quem de parti genetrici sua Bertane quondam ligebus obvenire debuerat, post se malo ordene retenirit. Qui ipse Amalgarius taliter dedit in respunsis, eo quod ipsa terra in predicto loco Bactilioneualle de annus triginta et uno inter ipso Amalgario vel genetore suo Gaeltramno quondam semp(er) tenuerant et possiderant . Sic eid(e)m n(un)c a nostris procerebus ipsius Amalgario fuissit iudecatum, ut de nove denomenatus aput sex, sua mano septima, dies duos ante istas Kal(en)d(as) Iulias in oraturio nostro super cappella domni Martine, ubi reliqua sacramenta percurribant, hoc dibirit coniurare, quod antedicta terra in predicto loco Bactilioneualle inter ipso Amalgario vel genetore suo Gaeltramno de annus trigin[ta] et uno semp(er) tenuissint et possedissint, nec eis diger numquam fuissit nec aliut exinde non redebirit, nisi edonio sacramento. Sed veniens antedictus Amalgari[us] ad ipso placito Lusareca in palacio nostro una cum hamedius suos ipso sacramento, iusta quod eid(em) fuit iudicatum et nostras equalis precepcionis locuntur, in quantum inl(uster) vir Dructoald(us) com(es) palati noster testimuniavit, ligibus visus fuit adimplissit et tam ipse quam et hamediae suae diliguas eorum derexsissint. Propteria iobimus, ut ipsa porcione in predicto loco Bactilioneuualle, unde inter eus orta fuit intencio, memoratus Amalgarius contra ipsa Acchilde vel suis heridibus omne tempore abiat evindecata. (C.) Erdiinberth(us) re[cognavit]. (S.R., N.T.) (S.I.) [B]en(e) [v]al(iat). (C.) Dat(um) sub d(ie) segundo Kal(en)d(as) Iulias, annum VII rign(i) nos(tri), Lusareca, in D(e)i nomen(e) f(e)l(iciter).

'Theuderic, king of the Franks, to his noble men. Some days ago a woman by the name of Achildis came into the presence of us and our nobles at our palace at Compiègne and accused Amalgarius, claiming that he wrongfully held a portion of her land in the villa known as Bailleval, which was lawfully hers through her mother, the late Bertana. And Amalgarius said in response that this land in the aforesaid place of Bailleval had been continually held and possessed by him and his father, the later Gaeltram, for thirty-one years. And so it was decided by our nobles concerning Amalgarius, that six men nominated out of nine, with himself as the seventh, were to go on the second kalends of July to our oratory, and over the cape of Saint Martin (super cappella domni Martine), where our oaths take place, they would have to swear that the aforesaid land at the aforesaid place of Bailleval had been held and possessed by Amalgarius and his father Gaeltram for thirty-one years, and that this would be sufficient for them, and that they would need to do nothing else, if they made the suitable oath. And the aforesaid Amalgarius came to our palace at Luzarches, and made this oath in our palace with his oath-helpers, as the noble man Dructoald, count of our palace has testified, and he was seen to have lawfully fulfilled it, and both he and his oath-helpers delivered it with their own tongues. We declare, therefore, that the aforesaid Amalgarius is to hold by lawful judgement this portion of land in the aforesaid place of Bailleval, about which this dispute arose, against the claims of Achildis and her heirs for all time. Confirmed by Erchinbert. Farewell. Given on the second kalends of July [= 30 June], in the 7th year of our reign, at Luzarches, happily in God's name.'

Text: Kölzer 2001, 319-20. Translation: B. Savill.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Martin, ascetic and bishop of Tours, ob. 397 : S00050

Saint Name in Source


Type of Evidence

Documentary texts - Charter or diploma Documentary texts - Other private document


  • 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)

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

Cult activities - Places

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

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs


Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Women Monarchs and their family Aristocrats

Cult Activities - Relics

Contact relic - saint’s possession and clothes


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 diploma recording a dispute settlement (placitum) survives as an original parchment manuscript, now Paris, Archives nationales, K 3 n. 13.


This document provides our earliest datable evidence for the presence of Martin's cape (cappella domni Martini) at the royal palace (and by extension, the notion of a royal 'chapel', i.e. capella). It is directly connected to a formula (scribal template) found in the broadly contemporary Marculf collection (E06231), which orders the resolution of a dispute over Martin's cape 'in our palace'. Evidently the documents represent two stages of the settlement process: the Marculf charter as a 'summons' for the oath-taking after an accusation had been made, and a diploma of this kind as the final legal proof awarded to the defendant, once the oath had been successfully taken.


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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