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E00701: The Chronicle of Fredegar describes three Frankish kings swearing oaths in the church of *Lupus (bishop of Troyes, ob. 479, S00418) at Troyes (north-east Gaul) in the year 574. Written in Latin in Gaul/Francia 659/700. This part of Fredegar's text is based on Gregory of Tours' Histories, but includes material not in Gregory.

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posted on 09.09.2015, 00:00 by dlambert
Chronicle of Fredegar 3.71

... hii tres germani Sigybertus, Gunthramnus et Chilpericus Trecas iuncxerunt et in ecclesia sancti Lupi sacramento contra Gunthramnum, ut pacem servarint, dederunt. Gunthramnus idemque cum eis pacem sacramentis firmavit.

'... these three brothers, Sigibert, Guntram, and Chilperic, joined together at Troyes, and in the church of St Lupus they gave an oath to Guntram that they would maintain peace. And the same Guntram made peace with them through oaths.'

Text: Krusch 1888, 112. Translation: David Lambert.

History

Evidence ID

E00701

Saint Name

Lupus, bishop of Troyes : S00418

Saint Name in Source

Lupus

Type of Evidence

Literary - Other narrative texts (including Histories)

Language

Latin

Evidence not before

659

Evidence not after

700

Activity not before

574

Activity not after

574

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 - independent (church)

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Oath

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Monarchs and their family

Source

The work known as the Chronicle of Fredegar dates from the second half of the 7th century. There is a long history of controversy over the questions of how many authors were involved in its compilation and precisely when they worked, but the current consensus is that it was produced by a single author working in one of the Frankish kingdoms at some point after 659 (Collins 1996, 83, 91-96). Book 3 consists of an epitomised version of the first six books of Gregory of Tours' Histories, but with interpolated material that is not in Gregory. The conflicts between Chilperic, Sigibert, and Guntram in the mid 570s are described by Gregory in Histories 4.47-51, but the incident discussed here is among the interpolated material, and is not mentioned by Gregory.

Discussion

This incident takes place during one of the many wars between Merovingian kings in 6th century Gaul, in this case Chilperic (based at Soissons), Sigibert (based at Reims), and Guntram (based at Orléans). All three were sons of Chlothar I (ob. 561). Sigibert and Chilperic had made an alliance against Guntram, and all three had armies in the vicinity of Troyes; however, fighting was forestalled when Sigibert and Chilperic sent envoys to Guntram, and the three kings met and swore oaths of peace as described. (The oaths were not very successful: Sigibert and Chilperic soon began fighting each other, and the following year Sigibert was killed in an assassination arranged by Chilperic's wife, Fredegund.) The incident, which the chronological structure of Fredegar's chronicle allows to be dated precisely to 574, is one of three pieces of literary evidence for the existence in the 6th century of a church at Troyes dedicated to Lupus (ob. 479); the others being the letter of *Nicetius of Trier to Queen Chlodosinda (E00674), and the entry on Lupus in Gregory of Tours' Glory of the Confessors (E00721). This was evidently the church in which Lupus was buried, and in which took place the exorcisms described by Nicetius and the punishment miracle described by Gregory. The church is not mentioned in the roughly contemporaneous Life of Lupus (E00673). The fact that the kings met in that particular church suggests (though not conclusively) that it was regarded as the most important in the city.

Bibliography

Edition: Krusch, B., Fredegarii et aliorum chronica. Vitae sanctorum (Monumenta Germaniae Historica: Scriptores Rerum Merovingicarum 2; Hannover: Impensis Bibliopolii Hahniani, 1888). Further reading: Collins, R., "Fredegar," in P.J. Geary (ed.), Authors of the Middle Ages: Historical and Religious Writers of the Latin West, vol. 4, nos. 12-13 (Aldershot: Variorum, 1996), 73-138. Pietri, L., "Troyes," in: N. Gauthier and J.-C. Picard (eds.), Topographie chrétienne des cités de la Gaule des origines au milieu du VIIIe siècle, vol. 8: Province ecclésiastique de Sens (Lugdunensis Senonia) (Paris: Boccard, 1992), 67-80.

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