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E05613: Desiderius of Cahors, in a letter written in Latin in Gaul in the mid 7th century, requests the favour of the Mayor of the Palace, Grimoald, and through him of King Sigebert, for a monastery which Desiderius had founded, dedicated to *Amantius, Bishop of Rodez (late 5th c., S00026).

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posted on 30.05.2018, 00:00 by dlambert
Desiderius of Cahors, Letters 1.2

DOMINO INLVSTRI ET A NOBIS PECVLIARIUS SVSPICIENDO, DOMINO ET IN CHRISTO FILIO GRIMOALDO MAIOREM DOMVS DESIDERIVS PECCATOR
Non ignotum uobis famulum ac bene cupientem cupio esse commendatum. Adest enim frater noster Lupus abba, cuius mentem agni cupio agminibus interesse. Iste ad uos rediuiuo desiderio perget et postulat se nostris affatibus commendari, quatenus eum uestra industria gloriosi principis domni Siggeberti regis optutibus representet. Age ergo, uir egregiae mihique patrone, et istum habe, ut supra petii, per omnia sodalem, quatenus gaudeat se nostris apicibus uestrae eminentiae commendatum. Interea, salute uberi fusa, precor inpense ut, iuxta quod ipse suggesserit, conditiones monasterii nostri, quem nuper in honore sancti Amanti aedificaui, digneris recipere per omnia commendatas, et talem exinde curam geratis, ut aeternam retributionem pro conlata benefitia expectetis. Dignamini etiam expectationem nostram de uestra ac domni regis salutem patrumque uel fratrum uestrorum reciprocante nos pagina consolare.
(Manu propria.) Incolomem excellentiam uestram superna pietas tueatur.

'DESIDERIUS THE SINNER TO THE ILLUSTRIOUS LORD, ESPECIALLY REVERED BY US, BOTH LORD AND SON IN CHRIST, GRIMOALD, MAYOR OF THE PALACE
I wish to be held in favour as a servant not unknown to you and as one wishing you well. Our brother Abbot Lupus is in your presence: he has the mind of a lamb [a play on Lupus' name, which means 'wolf'] and I wish him to benefit his flock. He comes to you with renewed desire and requests himself to be commended by our words, to the extent that your diligence may introduce him to the sight of the glorious prince, our lord King Sigibert. Come therefore, o eminent man and patron to me, and treat him as your friend in all things, as I asked above, so that he may rejoice to be recommended by our heights to your eminence. Meanwhile, having poured out a rich salutation, I pray fervently that, according to what he advises, you deign to accept the requirements of our monastery, which I founded in honour of St Amantius, as recommended in all things, and from then on take such care of it that you may await an eternal reward for the benefits you have conferred. Deign also to console our expectation of you with a letter, reciprocating us, and the greeting of our lord the king and your fathers and brothers.
(In his own hand.) May celestial love protect your untarnished excellence.

Text: Norberg 1961, 12. Translation: David Lambert.

History

Evidence ID

E05613

Saint Name

Amantius, bishop of Rodez in the late 5th c. : S00026

Saint Name in Source

Amantius

Type of Evidence

Literary - Letters

Language

Latin

Evidence not before

641

Evidence not after

655

Activity not before

630

Activity not after

655

Place of Evidence - Region

Gaul and Frankish kingdoms

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Cahors

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

Cahors 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

Construction of cult buildings

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - bishops Aristocrats Monarchs and their family

Source

The letter collection of Desiderius, bishop of Cahors from 630 to 655 (Norberg 1961, 5), contains fifteen letters by, and twenty-one letters to, Desiderius, covering the period from the 620s to Desiderius' death. The collection survives in a single manuscript, dating from c. 800 (Codex Sangallensis 190, the sole source for a number of late antique and early medieval Gallic letter collections). This letter is addressed to Grimoald, Mayor of the Palace in the Merovingian kingdom of Austrasia (Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire IIIA, 'Grimoaldus 2'). It is undated but must be from between Grimoald's accession in 641/642 and Desidierius' death in 655. The king mentioned in the letter is Sigibert III (r. 634-656).

Discussion

In this letter Desiderius writes to Grimoald, Mayor of the Palace in the Merovingian kingdom of Austrasia, requesting him to look with favour on the bearer of the letter, Lupus, and to introduce him to King Sigebert; Lupus was the abbot of the monastery Desiderius had founded at Cahors, dedicated to St Amantius of Rodez. Desiderius also asks Grimoald to favour the monastery itself, and tells him that if he does so he will be rewarded by God. Another letter in the collection (Desiderius, Letters 1.12) invites Bishop Paulus of Verdun to attend the dedication of the monastery, but does not mention that it was dedicated to Amantius. The Life of Desiderius (BHL 2143), probably written c. 800, refers to the monastery (Vita Desiderii 20), giving a detailed description of its site and buildings and stating that Desiderius himself was buried there. It does not mention the dedication to Amantius. The monastery later became known as Saint-Géry, a corruption of Desiderius. Desiderius' letter is a relatively rare attestation of the cult of Amantius, the first bishop of Rodez; Desiderius may have wished to honour Amantius because Cahors and Rodez were neighbouring sees. A church of Amantius in Rodez itself is mentioned by Gregory of Tours (E00034), and he appears in the Martyrologium Hieronymianum (E05008, E05018). There is also an extant Life, of uncertain date (E05662).

Bibliography

Editions: Norberg, D., Epistulae s. Desiderii Cadurcensis (Stockholm, 1961), with commentary (in Latin). Arndt, W., Desiderii episcopi Cadurcensis epistolae, in: Epistolae Merowingici et Karolini Aevi (Monumenta Germaniae Historica: Epistolae 3; Berlin, 1892), 193-214. Krusch, B., Vita Desiderii Cadurcae urbis episcopi, in: Passiones vitaeque sanctorum aevi Merovingici II (Monumenta Germania Historica: Scriptores Rerum Merovingicarum 4; Hannover and Leipzig, 1902), 563-602. Further reading: Prévot, F., "Cahors," in N. Gauthier and J.-Ch. Picard (eds.), Topographie chrétienne des cités de la Gaule des origines au milieu du VIIIe siècle, vol. 6: Provinces ecclésiastique de Bourges (Aquitania Prima) (Paris, 1989), 57-65.

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