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E05939: The Chronicle of Fredegar states that when he died in 639, King Dagobert I was buried at Paris in the church of *Dionysius/Denis (bishop and martyr of Paris, S00349), and describes his patronage of the church, including an attempt to establish a perpetual chant modelled on the practice of the monastery at Agaune dedicated to the *Theban Legion (S00339). Written in Latin in Gaul/Francia, 659/700.

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posted on 10.07.2018, 00:00 by dlambert
Chronicle of Fredegar 4.79

Anno sexto decemo regni sui Dagobertus profluuium uentris Spinogelo uilla super Secona fluuio nec procul a Parisius aegrotare cepit. Exinde ad baseleca sancti Dionensis a suis defertur. ...

Hys gestis post paucus dies Dagobertus amisit spiritum sepultusque est in ecclesia sancti Dionensis, quam ipse prius condigne ex auro et gemmis et multis preciosissemis espetebus ornauerat et condigne in circoito fabrecare preceperat, patrocinium ipsius precioso expetens. Tante opes ab eodem et uillas et possessiones multas per plurema loca ibique sunt conlate ut miraretur a plurimis. Sallencium ibidem ad instar monastiriae sanctorum Agauninsium instetuere iusserat; sed facilletas abbatis Aigulfi eadem instetucionem nuscetur refragasse.


'In the sixteenth year of his reign Dagobert had an attack of dysentery at his villa of Épinay on the River Seine near Paris. They carried him from his villa to the church of Saint Denis. ...

Not many days after doing this, Dagobert gave up the ghost. He was buried in the church of Saint Denis which he had magnificently embellished with gold, gems and precious things and had decorated from end to end in a remarkable way, in the hope of ensuring the precious patronage of the saint. He gave the church such riches and so many domains and possessions in different places that many were struck with astonishment. He instituted a perpetual chant in the church on the model of the monastery of the Agaunensian saints, but this practice is known to have been allowed to fall into desuetude through the feebleness of Abbot Aigulf.'


Text and translation: Wallace-Hadrill 1960 (translation adapted).

History

Evidence ID

E05939

Saint Name

Dionysius/Denis, bishop and martyr of Paris : S00349 Theban Legion, commanded by *Maurice, martyrs of Agaunum, Gaul : S00339

Saint Name in Source

Dionensis sancti Agauninses

Type of Evidence

Literary - Other narrative texts (including Histories)

Language

Latin

Evidence not before

659

Evidence not after

700

Activity not before

623

Activity not after

638

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 - Liturgical Activity

  • Chant and religious singing

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Bequests, donations, gifts and offerings

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). While the first three books of the chronicle largely reproduce earlier sources, Book 4 is an original composition, covering events from 584 to 642.

Discussion

On the early history of Saint-Denis, see Vieillard-Troiekouroff 1976, 252-3. Though the church had been used for Merovingian burials in the past (see E02148), its status as a key royal church and necropolis seems to date from its renovation by Dagobert I (r. 623-639) and his subsequent burial there. For the perpetual chant of Agaune, see references by Fredegar (E05939), Avitus of Vienne (E07115), and by Gregory of Tours (E07789).

Bibliography

Edition and translation: Wallace-Hadrill, J.M., The Fourth Book of the Chronicle of Fredegar (London, 1960). 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, 1996), 73-138. Vieillard-Troiekouroff, M., Les monuments religieux de la Gaule d'après les œuvres de Grégoire de Tours (Paris, 1976).

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