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E07765: Gregory of Tours, in his Histories (5.47), mentions that King Chilperic's emissary Ansovald arrived in Tours on the feast day of *Martin (ascetic and bishop of Tours, ob. 397, S00050), in 579. Written in Latin in Tours (north-west Gaul), 580/594.

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posted on 05.09.2019, 00:00 by dlambert
Gregory of Tours, Histories (Historiae) 5.47

Audiens autem Chilpericus omnia mala quae faciebat Leudastis ecclesiis Toronicis vel omni populo, Ansovaldum illuc dirigit. Qui veniens ad festivitatem sancti Martini, data nobis populo optionem, Eunomius in comitatum erigitur.

'When Chilperic heard of all the crimes which Leudast kept committing against the churches and, indeed, the entire population of Tours, he sent Ansovald to the city. He arrived on the feast of Saint Martin and gave me and the people a free choice. Eunomius was elected as the new Count.


Text: Krusch and Levison 1951, 257. Translation: Thorpe 1974, 313.
Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity

Categories

Keywords

History

Evidence ID

E07765

Saint Name

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

Saint Name in Source

Martinus

Type of Evidence

Literary - Other narrative texts (including Histories)

Language

Latin

Evidence not before

580

Evidence not after

594

Activity not before

579

Activity not after

579

Place of Evidence - Region

Gaul and Frankish kingdoms

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Tours

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

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

Major author/Major anonymous work

Gregory of Tours

Cult activities - Festivals

  • Saint’s feast

Source

Gregory of Tours wrote the Histories (Historiae) during his episcopate in Tours (573–594). They constitute the longest and most detailed historical work of the post-Roman West. Gregory's focus is Gaul under its Frankish kings, above all the territories of Tours and (to a lesser extent) Clermont, where he had been born and brought up. Much of his work tells of the years when, as bishop of an important see, he was himself centrally involved in Frankish politics. The Histories are often wrongly referred to as a History of the Franks. Although the work does contain a history of the rulers of Francia, it also includes much hagiographical material, and Gregory himself gave it the simple title the 'ten books of Histories' (decem libri historiarum), when he produced a list of his own writings (Histories 10.31). The Histories consist of ten books whose scope and contents differ considerably. Book 1 skims rapidly through world history, with biblical and secular material from the Creation to the death in AD 397 of Martin of Tours (Gregory’s hero and predecessor as bishop). It covers 5596 years. In Book 2, which covers 114 years, the focus moves firmly into Gaul, covering the years up to the death of Clovis in 511. Books 3 and 4, which cover 37 and 27 years respectively, then move fairly swiftly on, closing with the death of king Sigibert in 575. With Book 5, through to the final Book 10, the pace slows markedly, and the detail swells, with only between two and four years covered in each of the last six books, breaking off in 591. These books are organised in annual form, based on the regnal years of Childebert II (r. 575-595/6). There continues to be much discussion over when precisely Gregory wrote specific parts of the Histories, though there is general agreement that none of it was written before 575 and, of course, none of it after Gregory's death, which is believed to have occurred in 594. Essentially, scholars are divided over whether Gregory wrote the Histories sequentially as the years from 575 unfolded, with little or no revision thereafter, or whether he composed the whole work over the space of a few years shortly before his death and after 585 (see Murray 2015 for the arguments on both sides). For an understanding of the political history of the time, and Gregory's attitude to it, precisely when the various books were written is of great importance; but for what he wrote about the saints, the precise date of composition is of little significance, because Gregory's attitude to saints, their relics and their miracles did not change significantly during his writing-life. We have therefore chosen to date Gregory's writing of our entries only within the broadest possible parameters: with a terminus post quem of 575 for the early books of the Histories, and thereafter the year of the events described, and a terminus ante quem of 594, set by Gregory's death. (Bryan Ward-Perkins, David Lambert) For general discussions of the Histories see: Goffart, W., The Narrators of Barbarian History (A.D. 550–800): Jordanes, Gregory of Tours, Bede, and Paul the Deacon (Princeton, 1988), 119–127. Murray, A.C., "The Composition of the Histories of Gregory of Tours and Its Bearing on the Political Narrative," in: A.C. Murray (ed.), A Companion to Gregory of Tours (Leiden and Boston, 2015), 63–101. Pizarro, J.M., "Gregory of Tours and the Literary Imagination: Genre, Narrative Style, Sources, and Models in the Histories," in: Murray, A Companion to Gregory of Tours, 337–374.

Discussion

Leudast (PLRE IIIB, 'Leudastes') was comes civitatis at Tours in 567-8, 574, and 576-579. Gregory, who disliked him intensely, provides an extremely hostile account of his career in Histories 5.48-9. For further entries relating to Leudast's downfall, see E02176 and E02177. On the date (11 November 579, not, as often given, 580), see Heinzelmann 2001, 47.

Bibliography

Edition: Krusch, B., and Levison, W., Gregorii episcopi Turonensis Libri historiarum X (Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Scriptores rerum Merovingicarum I.1; 2nd ed.; Hannover, 1951). Translation: Thorpe, L., Gregory of Tours, The History of the Franks (Penguin Classics; London, 1974). Further reading: Heinzelmann, M., Gregory of Tours: History and Society in the Sixth Century, trans. C. Carroll (Cambridge, 2001). Murray, A.C., "The Composition of the Histories of Gregory of Tours and Its Bearing on the Political Narrative", in: A.C. Murray (ed.), A Companion to Gregory of Tours (Leiden-Boston 2015), 63-101. Vieillard-Troiekouroff, M., Les monuments religieux de la Gaule d'après les œuvres de Grégoire de Tours (Paris, 1976).

Licence

Exports

Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity

Categories

Keywords

Licence

Exports