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The Cult of the Saints
in the Barbarian Kingdoms:
A Bibliography

Compiled by Thomas Head
Hunter College and the Graduate Center, CUNY

Contents: 1) General historical studies; 2) General studies of religious history; 3) General hagiographic studies; 4) Italy; 5) Iberia; 6) Gaul / Francia; 7) England; 8) Celtic world.

General historical studies.

The brief overview of J.M Wallace-Hadrill, The Barbarian West, A. D. 400-1000 (London 1952 and reprints) is still useful. Judith Herrin, The Formation of Christendom (Princeton, 1987) focuses on the development of eastern and western Christianities. A good set of textbook surveys exist on the kingdoms of Gaul, Iberia, and Italy: Edward James, The Origins of France: From Clovis to the Capetians, 500-1000 (London, 1982); Chris Wickham, Early Medieval Italy: Central Power and Local Society, 400-1000 (London, 1981); Roger Collins, Early Medieval Spain. Unity in Diversity, 400-1000 (London, 1983). Each of these works contains an excellent annotated bibliography. For more focused treatments, see Herwig Wolfram, History of the Goths (Berkeley, 1979); Giovanni Tabacco, The Struggle for Power in Medieval Italy. Structures of Political Rule (Cambridge, 1989); Raymond van Dam, Leadership and Community in Late-Antique Gaul (Berkeley, 1985); Patrick Geary, Before France and Germany. The Creation and Transformation of the Merovingian World (Oxford, 1988); Ian Wood, The Merovingian Kingdoms, 450-751 (London, 1994). For Anglo-Saxon England, see either the massive survey by Frank Stenton, Anglo-Saxon England, third edition (Oxford History of England, 2; Oxford, 1971), or, more briefly Peter Hunter Blair, Introduction to Anglo-Saxon England, second edition (Cambridge, 1977). Several collections of essays have focused on the seventh century as a period of major cultural change in the west: Caratteri del scolo VII in occidente, 2 vols. (Settimane di studio del Centro italiano di studi sull'alto medioevo, 5; Spoleto, 1958); The Seventh Century: Change and Continuity, eds. Jacques fontaine and J. N. Hillgarth (London, 1992); The Age of Sutton Hoo: The Seventh Century in Northwest Europe, ed. Martin Carver (Woodbridge, 1992). The yearly volumes of "Settimane di studio del Centro italiano di studi sull'alto medioevo" (Spoleto, 1954-present) each focus on a particular theme in early medieval history, contain articles in French, English, and German in addition to Italian, and are an excellent way of keeping up on developments in the field.

General studies of religious history.

Particularly useful are several volumes from the estimable Spoleto conferences: La chiese nei regni dell'Europa occidentale e i loro rapporti con Roma sino all'800, 2 vols. (Settimane di studio del Centro italiano di studi sull'alto medioevo, 7; Spoleto, 1960) and La conversione al Cristianesimo nell'Europa dell'alto medioevo (Settimane di studio del Centro italiano di studi sull'alto medioevo, 14; Spoleto, 1967). Also see La città nell'alto medioeveo (Settimane di studio del Centro italiano di studi sull'alto medioevo, 6; Spoleto, 1959) on the urban context, important for many developing relic cults.

General hagiographic studies.

The treatment of hagiography and the cult of saints in the later fifth, sixth, and seventh centuries has tended to be highly specific as to region, saint, or author. The general remarks of Hanns Leo Mikoletzky on the cult of saints in "Sinn und Art der Heiligung im frühen Mittelalter," Mitteilungen des Instituts for österreichischen Geschichtsforschung, 57 (1949), 83-122 still retain their value and interest. See also the interesting agenda set by Sofia Boesch Gajano, "La littérature hagiographique comme source de l'histoire ethnique, sociale, et économique de l'Occident européen entre l'antiquité et moyen âge," XX Congrès international des sciences historique (Bucharest, 1980), 177-81. A good introduction to the vitae of the period may be found in Walter Berschin, Biographie und Epochenstil im lateinischen Mittelalter, II: Merovingische Biographie. Italien, Spanien und die Inseln im frühen Mittelalter (Quellen und Untersuchungen zur lateinischen Philologie des Mittelalters, 9; Stuttgart: A. Hiersemann, 1986). Claudio Leonardi has charted changing models of sanctity in Latin hagiography in "Dalla santità 'monastica' alla santità 'politica'," Concilium, 15 (1979), pp. 1540-53; "I modelli dell'agiografia latina dall'epoca antica al Medioevo," in Passaggio dal mondo antico al Medioevo: da Teodorico a Gregorio Magno (Atti dei Convegni Lincei, 45; Rome, 1980), pp. 435-76, and "Modelli di santità tra secolo V e VII," Santi e demoni nell'alto medioevo occidentale (secoli V-XI), 2 vols. (Settimane di studio del Centro italiano di studi sull'alto medioevo, 36; Spoleto, 1989), pp. 261-84. Alessandro Barbero has followed an interesting theme through early medieval lives in Un santo in famiglia: vocazione religiosa e resistenze sociali nall'agiografia latina medievale (Sacro/santo, 6; Turin: Rosenberg and Sellier, 1991).

There are three useful collections of articles which focus on various aspects of sanctity in the early middle ages: Sofia Boesch Gajano, (ed.), Agiografia altomedioevale (Bologna, 1976) (which has an interesting introduction and very valuable bibliography on pp. 7-48); Santi e demoni nell'alto medioevo occidentale (secoli V-XI), 2 vols. (Settimane di studio del Centro italiano di studi sull'alto medioevo, 36; Spoleto, 1989); Jacques Fontaine and Jocelyn Hillgarth (eds.), Le septième siècle: Changements et continuités / The Seventh Century: Change and Continuity (London, 1992). All will henceforth be cited in short title.

A significant number of early medieval lives were devoted to female saints, and that hagiography has recently received much attention. The most ambitious scholarly project concerning these lives is that of Jane Tibbets Schulenburg. Her many essays will soon be published as: . For a general survey of the sources and scholarship, see her "Saints' Lives as a Source for the History of Women, 500-1100," in Medieval Women and the Souces of Medieval History, ed. Joel Rosenthal (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1990), pp. 285-320. Other general surveys include: Marie-Louise Portmann, Die Darstellung der frau in der Geschichtsschreibung des früheren Mittelalters (Basel, 1958); Antonella Del'Innocenti, "Agiografia femminile nel VI secolo," Biografia e agiografia nella letteratura cristiana antica e medievale, ed. Aldo Ceresa-Gastaldo (Pubblicazioni dell'Istituto di Scienze Religiose in Trento, 15; Bologna: EDB, 1990). For general bibliography on women in the early middle ages, see Frauen im Frümittelalter: Eine ausgewahlte kommentierte Bibliographie (Frankfurt, 1990).

Some studies which take a thematic approach to hagiography of the early middle ages include: Adele Simonetti, "Santi cefalofori altomedievale," Studi medievali, third series, 28 (1987): 67-121; Michel Lauwers, "La mort et le corps des saints. La scène de la mort dans les Vitae du haut Moyen Age," Le Moyen Age, 94 (1988): 21-50; Lisa Bitel, "In visu noctis: Dreams in European Hagiography and Histories, 450-900," History of Religions, 31 (1991), pp. 38-59.

One important relic cult to develop in the early middle ages did not focus on the relics of a saint, but rather on those alleged to be from the cross of Christ. See Stephan Borgehammar, How the Holy Cross Was Found: From Event to Medieval Legend, with an Appendix of Texts (Bibliotheca theologiae practicae, 47; Stockholm, 1991).


For an overview of hagiography in Italy during this period see Claudio Leonardi, "L'agiografia latina dal Tardantico all'Altomedioeveo," La cultura in Italia fra Tardo Antico e Alto Medioeveo. Stato e prospettive delle ricerche (Rome, 1981). Reginald Grégoire, "Aspetti culturalli della letteratura agiografica toscana," in Atti del 5 Congresso internazionale di studi sull'Alto Medioeveo (Spoleto, 1973), pp. 569-625 provides an exemplary and full study of one region for the early middle ages.

One of the most significant developments in this region is that of the cults of city patrons. The best general introduction is Alba Maria Orselli, "Il santo patrono cittadino fra Tardo Antico e Alto Medioevo," in La cultura in Italia fra Tardo Antico e Alto Medioeveo. Stato e prospettive delle ricerche (Rome: Herder, 1981), pp. 361-98. The most substantial work in the field remains the same author's L'Idea e il culto del santo patrono cittadino nella letteratura latina cristiana (Bologna: Zanichelli, 1965) [partially reprinted in: Agiografia altomedioevale, pp. 85-104], but also see Gian Piero Bognetti, "I 'Loca Sanctorum' e la storia della chiesa nel regno dei Longobardi," in Agiografia altomedioevale, pp. 105-43. For regional studies, see: Gian Piero Bognetti, "Le origini della consacrazione del vescovo di Pavia da parte del Pontefice Romano e la fine dell'Arianesimo presso i Longobardi," reprinted in L'età longobarda (Milan, 1966), 1:143-217; Alba Maria Orselli, "La città altomedievale e il suo santo patrono: (ancora una volta) il 'campione' pavese," Rivista di Storia della Chiesa in italia, 32 (1978), pp. 1-69; Alba Maria Orselli, "Immagine e miti di san Petronio nella tradizione bolognese," in La Bisilica di S. Petronio in Bologna (Bologna, 1983), pp. 41-52; San Procolo e il suo culto. Una questione di agiografia altomedievale bolognese (Bologna, 1989); and the studies collected in La coscienza cittadina nei Comuni italiani del Duecento (Todi, 1972). Jean-Charles Picard has added much to the understanding of city patrons in his study of the development of the cult and memoria of local bishops: Le souvenir des évêques. Sépultures, listes épiscopales et culte des évêques en Italie du Nord, des origines au Xe siècle (Rome, 1988). Hans Conrad Peyer, Stadt und Stadtpatron im mittelalterlichen Italien (Zurich, 1955) takes up these topics in a later time period. [Note: a full reprinting of Alba Maria Orselli's work, including the monograph mentioned at the head of this paragraph, may be found in: L'Immaginario religioso della città medievale (Ravenna, 1985)]. A model edition and study of a hagiographic text from the Lombard period is provided in Karl Schmid (ed.), Vita Walfredi und Kloster Monteverdi. Toskanisches Mönchtum zwischen langobardischer und fränkischer Herrschaft (Bibliothek des deutschen historischen Instituts in Rom, 73; Tübingen, 1991).

One of the traditionally most important texts from fifth-century Italy was Eugippius' Life of St. Severinus. For a good summary of the traditional view, see Marc van Uytfanghe, "Eléments évangéliques dans la structure et la composition de la 'Vie de saint Séverin' d'Eugippius," Sacris Erudiri, 21 (1972-3), pp. 147-59 and "La Bible dans la 'Vie de saint Séverin'," Latomus, 33 (1974), pp. 324-52. For a complete revisionist deconstruction, see Friedrich Lotter, Severinus von Noricum. Legende und historische Wirklichkeit. Untersuchungen zur Phase des Uebergangs von spätantiken zu mittelalterlichen Denk- und Lebensforumen (Monographien zur Geschichte des Mittelalters, 12; Stuttgart, 1976). But also see van Uytfanghe's response in "Les avatars contemporains de l''Hagiologie'. A propos d'un ouvrage récent sur saint Séverin du Norique," Francia 5 (1977), pp. 639-71. An English translation of the text may be found in Eugippius, The Life of Saint Severinus, trans. George W. Robinson (Cambridge, Mass., 1914).

The most renowned hagiographer of early medieval Italy was Gregory the Great. A fine introduction to his work may be found in Carole Straw, Gregory the Great: Perfection in Imperfection (Berkeley, 1988). More specifically on his hagiography, see Joan Petersen, The Dialogues of Gregory the Great in Their Late Antique Cultural Background (Toronto, 1984). The best edition of that work is: Grégoire le Grand, Dialogues, ed. Adalbert de Vogüé, 2 vols. (Sources chrétiennes, 251 and 260; Paris, 1978-9). Other interesting analyses include: Baudouin de Gaiffier, "Les héros des Dialogues de Grégoire le Grand inscits au nombre des saints," Analecta Bollandiana 83 (1965), pp. 53-72; Giorgio Cracco, "Uomini di Dio e uomini di chiesa nell'alto Medioevo. Per una reinterpretazione dei "Dialogi" di Gregorio Magno," Richerche di Storia sociale e Religiosa, 12 (1977), pp. 163-202; Sofia Boesch Gajano, "Dislivelli culturalli e mediazioni cclesiastiche nei "Dialogi" di Gregorio Magno," Quadeni Storici, 14 (1979), pp. 398-415; John McCulloh, "The Cult of Relics in the Letters and Dialogues of Pope Gregory the Great: A Lexicographical Study," Traditio, 32 (1976), 145-84; Adalbert de Vogüé, "Benoît, modèle de vie spirituelle d'après le deuxième livre des Dialogues de saint Grégoire," Collectanea Cisterciensia, 38 (1976), 147-57; Gregorio Penco, "Sulla strutture dialogica dei Dialoghi di S. Gregorio," Benedictina, 33 (1986): 329-35. William McCready, Signs of Sanctity: Miracles in the Thought of Gregory the Great (Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 1989) provides a misguided attempt to question the authenticity of Gregory's belief in the miraculous. For specific comparisons to other important hagiographers of the barbarian kingdoms, see Owen Chadwick, "Gregory of Tours and Gregory the Great," Journal of Theological Studies, 50 (1949), 38-49 and Paul Meyvaert, "Bede and Gregory the Great," in Benedict, Gregory, Bede, and Others (London: Variorum, 1977), 1-26. For a full bibliography of scholarly works on Gregory the Great, see Robert Godding, Bibliografia di Gregorio Magno (1890/1989) (Rome: Città Nuova, 1990).


The best introduction is C. Garcia Rodriguez, El culto de los santos en la Espana romana y visigota (Madrid, 1966), as well as the relevant sections of Fernando Vallejo, La hagiografía como género literario en la edad media. Tipología de dece "Vidas" individuales castellanas (Ovideo, 1989). Relatively little exists in English of an analytic nature on hagiography in Visigothic Spain, but see Jacques Fontaine, "King Sisebut's Vita Desiderii and the Political Function of Visigothic Hagiography," and Roger Collins, "Mérida and Toldeo: 550-585," in Edward James (ed.), Visigothic Spain: New Approaches (Oxford, 1980), pp. 93-129 and 189-222. For a guide to the extensive literature in Spanish, see Roger Collins, Early Medieval Spain: Unity in Diversity, 400-1000 (London, 1983), pp. 280-2. On various primary sources, see: Angel Fabrega Grau, Pasionario hispanico (siglos VII-XI) (Barcelona, 1955); El pasionario hispanico: introduction, edicion critica y traduccion (Seville, 1987); Joseph Garvin (ed. and trans.), The "Vitas sanctorum patrum Emeritensium": Text, Translation, with and Introduction and Commentary (Washington, 1946); but see now the new edition by A. Maya Sanchez (ed.), Vitas SS Patrum Emeretensium (Corpus Christianorum, 116; 1992); Sister Consuelo Maria Aherne, Valerio of Bierzo: An Ascetic of the Late Visigothic Period (Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, 1949); Valerio of Bierzo, La vida de San Fructuoso de Braga. Estudio y edicion critica, ed. Manuel Diaz y Diaz (Braga, 1974); Charles Lynch, Saint Braulio, Bishop of Saragossa (Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, 1938); Sister Athanasius Braegelmann, Life and Writings of Saint Ildephonsus of Toledo (Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, 1942).

Gaul / Frankland.

The religious life of late Roman Gaul was dominated by Martin of Tours, while his hagiographer was to set the standard guide for later practitioners of the genre. Clare Stancliffe provides a thorough examination of the work of Sulpicius Severus in Saint Martin and His Hagiographer: History and Miracle in Sulpicius Severus (Oxford, 1983). Aline Rousselle, Croire et guérir. La foi en Gaule dans l'Antiquité tardive (Paris, 1990) presents a sensitive and provocative reading of the transition from Roman to Christian culture in Gaul, and of the role of Martin and his cult in that transition. A summary of her argument may be found in "From Sanctuary to Miracle-Worker: Healing in Fourth-Century Gaul," in Ritual, Religion, and the Sacred, ed. Robert Forster and Orest Ranum (Baltimore, 1982), pp. 95-127. The cult of Martin would continue to play a role of central importance in the Merovingian kingdom. Raymond Van Dam has charted the changing "Images of Saint Martin in Late Roman and Early Merovingian Gaul," Viator, 19 (1988), pp. 1-27. Also see the studies of the development of the cult of Martin by Peter Brown and Raymond Van Dam cited below, as well as the narrowly focused but useful J. van den Bosch, Capa, basilica, monasterium et le culte de Saint Martin de Tours: Etude lexicologique et semasiologique (Studia ad sermonem Latinum Christianum pertinentia, 13; Utrecht, 1959) and Christian Lelong, "Le Tombeau de saint Martin," Bulletin de la Société archéologique de Touraine, 42 (1988), pp. 91-138. For the development of that cult beyond Tours, see Eugen Ewig, "Die Martinskult im Frühmittelalter," Archiv für mittelrheinischen Kirchengeschichte, 14 (1962), pp. 11-30 [reprinted in Spätantikes und frankisches Gallien, 2 vols. (Beihefte der Francia, 3; 1979), 2:371-92]; Eugen Ewig, "Le culte de Saint Martin à l'époque franque," Revue d'histoire de l'Eglise de France, 47 (1961), pp. 1-18; [reprinted in Spätantikes und frankisches Gallien, 2 vols. (Beihefte der Francia, 3; 1979), 2:355-71]; Etienne Delaruelle, "La spiritualité des pèlerinages à Saint-Martin de Tours du Ve au Xe siècles," in Pellegrinaggi e culto dei Santi in Europa fino alla Ia crociata (Convegni del centro di studi sulla spiritualità medievale, 4; Todi, 1963), pp. 199-244. Sharon Farmer's exemplary study of twelfth-century social history, Communities of St. Martin: Legend and Ritual in Medieval Tours (Ithaca, 1991), studies the function of Martin's cult in a later period.

Other members of the Gallo-Roman nobility continued to be important as saints for many generations: A. Reyne and D. Bréhier, Saint Eutrope, Eveque d'Orange au V siècle (Avignon, 1991); Walter Goffart, "The Conversions of Avitus of Clermont and Similar Passages in Gregory of Tours," in "To See Ourselves as Others See Us". Christians, Jews, "Others" in Late Antiquity, ed. J. Neusmen and E. S. Frerichs (Chico, CA, 1985), pp. 473-497.

It was the Franks who adopted orthodox Christianity and its notions of sanctity most quickly among the Germanic peoples. The best general introduction to religion in Frankland has been provided by J. M. Wallace-Hadrill in The Frankish Church (Oxford, 1983), but also see the perceptive analyses of Yitzhak Hen, Culture and Religion in Merovingian Gaul, A.D. 481-751 (Leiden, 1995). Both works range widely and have much to say about hagiography in particular. More specifically on monasticism, see the foundational work of Friedrich Prinz, Frühes Mönchtum in Frankreich. Kultur und Gesellschaft in Gallien, den Rheinlanden und Bayern am Beispiel der monastischen Entwicklung (4. bis 8. Jahrhundert) (Munich, 1965). Cyril Vogel has traced one aspect of religious life from hagiographic sources in "La Discipline pénitentielle en Gaule des origines au IXe siècle, le dossier hagiographique," Revue des Sciences Religieuses, 30 (1956), pp. 1-26 and 157-86.

The foundation of the modern study of Merovingian hagiography was laid by Léon van der Essen, Étude critique et littéraire sur les vitae des saints mérovingiens de l'ancienne Belgique (Conférences d'histoire et de philologie, 17; Louvain, 1907). But the essential foundation of all recent studies is the remarkable work of Frantisek Graus, Volk, Herrscher und Heiliger im Reich der Merowinger. Studeien zur Hagiographie der Merowingerzeit (Prague, 1965). A thoughtful synthesis and overview may be found in Walter Berschin, Biographie und Epochenstil im lateinischen Mittelalter, Volume 2: Merowingische Biographie: Italien, Spanien und die Inselm im frühen Mittelalter (Stuttgart: Hiersemann, 1988). Important methodological reflections on the use of hagiographic evidence for the general history of this period include Frantisek Graus, "Hagiographische Schriften als Quellen der 'profanen' geschichte," in Fonti medievali e problematica storiografica. Atti del congresso internazionale tenuto in occasione del 90o anniversario della fondazione dell'Istituto storico italiano (1883-1973) (Rome, 1976), pp. 375-96; Friedrich Prinz, "Gesellschaftsgeschichtliche Aspekte frühmittelalterlicher Hagiographie," Zeitschrift für Literatur, Wissenschaft und Linguistik, 3.2 (1973), pp. 17-36; Paul Fouracre, "Merovingian History and Merovingian Historiography," Past and Present 127 (1990), pp. 3-38. Specifically on the very important issue of hagiographic forgeries, see Ian Wood, "Forgery in Merovingian Hagiography," in Fälschungen im Mittelalter, 5 vols. (MGH, Scriptores, 33; Hanover, 1988), 5:369-84. On the use of biblical and other topoi in the composition of Merovingian hagiography (and much else besides), see the work of Marc van Uytfanghe: "La Bible dans les Vies de saints mérovingiennes," Revue d'histoire d'église de France, 62 (1976), pp. 103-12; "La controverse biblique et patristique autour du miracle, et ses répercussions sur l'hagiographie dans l'Antiquité tardive et le haut Moyen Age latin," in Evelyne Patlagean and Pierre Riché (eds.), Hagiographie, cultures et sociétés. IVe-XIIe siècles. Actes du Colloque organisé à Nanterre et à Paris (2-5 mai 1979) (Paris, 1981), pp. 205-33; "Modèles bibliques dans l'hagiographie," in Pierre Riché and Guy Lobrichon (eds.), Le Moyen Age et la Bible (Bible de tous les temps, 4; Paris, 1984), pp. 449-88; "Le culte des saints et l'hagiographie face à l'écriture: Les avatars d'une relation ambiguë," Santi e demoni nell'alto medioevo occidentale, pp. 155-202. All of this is summarized in Stylisation biblique et condition humaine dans l'hagiographie mérovingienne cited above.

The two most prominent hagiographers of Merovingian Gaul were Gregory of Tours and Venantius Fortunatus. The literature on each is enormous. On Gregory, in addition to the works of Brown and Van Dam above, see Giselle de Nie, Views from a Many-Windowed Tower: Studies of Imagination in the Works of Gregory of Tours (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1987). Judith George, Venantius Fortunatus (Oxford, 1992) provides a reliable guide to this author, also see her earlier "Portraits of Two Merovingian Bishops in the Poetry of Venantius Fortunatus," Journal of Medieval History, 13 (1987), p. 189-205.

The fullest study of Merovingian vitae written after the deaths of Gregory of Tours and Venantius Fortunatus is provided in Marc Van Uytfanghe, Stylisation biblique et condition humaine dans l'hagiographie mérovingienne (600-750) (Verhandelingen van de Koninklijke Academie voor Wetenschappen, Letteren, en Schone Kunsten van België, Klasse der Letteren, 120; Brussels, 1987). Now also see the studies and translations included in Paul Fouracre and Richard Gerberding, Late Merovingian France: History and Hagiography, 640-720 (Manchester, 1996). The impact of Irish monks and their spirituality on Frankish notions of sanctity and the cult of saints is studied by some of the essays collected in Columbanus and Merovingian Monasticism, ed. H. B. Clarke and Mary Brennan (Oxford, 1981); Jean-Michel Picard (ed.), Ireland and Northern France AD 600-850 (London, 1991); Irland und Europa. Die Kirche im Frühmittelalter / Ireland and Europe. The Early Church, ed. Próinséas Ní Chatháin and Michael Richter (Stuttgart, 1984). For the development of some specific hagiographi traditions in the later Merovignian period, see: Ian Wood, "Saint Wandrille and its Hagiography," in Ian Wood and Graham Loud (eds.), Church and Chronicle in the Middle Ages: Essays Presented to John Taylor (London, 1991), pp. 1-15; Robert Folz, "Tradition hagiographique et culte de Saint Dagobert, roi des Francs," Moyen Age, 69 (1963), 17-35; Karl Firsching, Die deutschen Bearbeitungen der Kilianslegende unter besonderer Berücksichtigung deutscher Legendarhandschriften des Mittelalters (Würzburg, 1973).

One of the most important themes in later Merovingian sanctity and hagiography was that of the "noble saint." For studies of the adelsheilige, see Friedrich Prinz, "Heiligenkult und Adelherrschaft im Spiegel Merowingischer Hagiographie," Historische Zeitschrift, 204 (1967), pp. 528-44; Hagen Keller, "Adelheiliger und pauper Christi in Ekkeberts Vita sancti Haimeradi," in J. Fleckenstein and Karl Schmid (eds.), Adel und Kirche. Gerd Tellenbach zum 65. Geburtstag (Freiburg, 1968), pp. 307-23; Friedrich Prinz, "Aristocracy and Christianity in Merovingian Gaul: An Essay," in Karl Bosl, ed., Gesellschaft, Kulture Literatur. Beiträge L. Wallach gewidmet (Stuttgart, 1975), pp. 153-165; Friedrich Prinz, "Der Heilige und seine Lebenswelt Uberlegungen zum gesellschafts und kulturgeschichtlichen Aussagewert von Viten und Wundererzählungen," Santi e demoni nell'alto, [see above] pp. 285-312; Karl Bosl, "Adelsheilige. Idealtypus und Wirklichkeit. Gesellschaft und Kultur im merowingerzeitlichen Bayern des 7-8 Jahrhunderts," in Clemens Baur, ed., Speculum historiale. Geschichte im Spiegel von Geschichtsshreibung und Geschichtsdeutung. Festschirft für J. Spörl (1965), pp. 167-187; Lellia Ruggini, "The Crisis of the Noble Saint: The Vita Arnulfi," in The Seventh Century [see above]. pp. 116-48.

Many of these noble Frankish saints were female. Marie-Louise Portmann provided the first thorough study of Merovingian hagiography of female saints in Die Darstellung der frau in der Geschichtsschreibung des früheren Mittelalters (Basel, 1958). Suzanne Wemple has since used that hagiography to study the general history of Women in Frankish Society (Philadelphia, 1981), further refined in "Female Spirituality and Mysticism in Frankish Monasteries: Radegund, Balthild and Aldegund," Medieval Religious Women, Volume 1: Distant Echoes, ed. John Nichols and Lillian Shank (Kalamazoo, MI: Cistercian Publications, 1984), pp. 39-53. JoAnn McNamara has explored that same hagiography as a source for the history of women's monasticism in "A Legacy of Miracles: Hagiography and Nunneries in Merovingian Gaul," in Women of the Medieval World, eds. Julius Kirschner and Suzanne Wemple (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1985), pp. 36-52 and elsewhere. On the liturgical life of those convents, see G. Muschol, Famula Dei, Zur Liturgie in merowingischen Frauenklostern (Beiträge zur Geschichte des älten Mönchtums und des Benedikitertums, Veröffenlichugen des Abt-Herwegen-Instituts Maria Laach, 41; Münster, Aschendorff, 1994). Janet Nelson has provided compelling suggestions concerning this hagiographic literature in "Les femmes et l'évangelisation," Revue du Nord, 68 (1986), pp. 480-81, "Women and the Word in the Earlier Middle Ages," in W. J. Shiels and Diana Wood (eds.), Women in the Church (Studies in Church History, 27; Oxford, 1990), and "Perceptions du pouvoir chez les historiennes du Haut Moyen Age," in Les Femmes au Moyen Age, ed. Michel Rouche (Paris, 1990), pp. 77-85. Perhaps the most important of these Frankish female saints was Radegund. See F. E. Consolino, "Due agiografi per una regina: Radegonda di Turingia tra Fortunato e Baudonivia," Studi storici, 29 (1988), pp. 143-59; Sabine Gäbe, "Radegundis: sancta, regina, ancilla. Zum Heiligkeitsideal der Radegundisviten von Fortunat und Baudonivia," Francia, 16 (1989):1-30; Jean Leclercq, "La sainte Radegonde de Venance Fortunat et celle de Baudovinie," in "Fructus Centesimus": Mélanges offerts à Gérard J. M. Batelink, ed. A. A. R. Bastiaensen (Instrumenta Patristica, 19; Steenbrughe: Kluwer, 1987), pp. 207-216; Claudio Leonardi, "Fortunato e Baudonivia," in Aus Kirche und Reich. Studien zu Theologie, Politik und Recht im Mittelalter, ed. Hubert Mordek (Sigmaringen: Jan Thorbeke, 1983), pp. 23-32; Cristina Papa, "Radegund e Bathilde: modele di santità regia feminile nel regno merovingia," Benedictina, 36 (1989): 13-33. To put Radegund into context, see Robert Folz, Les saintes reines du moyen âge en occident (VIe-XIIIe siècles) (Subsidia hagiographica, 76; Brussels). On another Frankish royal female saint, see Robert Folz, "Tradition hagiographique et culte de sainte Bathilde, reine des Francs," Comptes rendues de l'Académie des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres (1975), pp. 369-385.

Many of the Frankish saints earned their reputation for sanctity in part because of their contributions to the efforts of Christianization along the borders of the Merovingian kingdoms. On this process more generally, see La Christianisation des pays entre Loire et Rhin, IVe-VIIe siècles, ed. Pierre Riché (Revue d'Histoire de l'Eglise de France, 62, 1976); Nancy Gauthier, L'évangelisation des pays de la Moselle (Rouen, 1980); Alain Dierkens, "Quelques aspects de la christianisation du pays mosan à l'époque mérovingienne," La Civilisation mérovingienne dans le Bassin Mosan (1985). On the role of women in the processof conversion, see Janet Nelson, "Les femmes et l'évangelisation," Revue du Nord, 68 (1986), pp. 480-81 and Felice Lifshitz, "Des femmes missionnaires: L'exemple de la Gaule Franque," Revue de l'histoire ecclésiastique, 83 (1988), pp. 5-33. On the use of art in the conversion process, see Herbert Kessler, "Pictorial Narrative and Church Mission in Sixth-Century Gaul," Studies in the History of Art, 16 (1985), pp. 75-91. On specific missionary saints, see Arnold Angenendt, Monachi Peregrini. Studien zu Pirmin und den monastischen Vorstellungen des frühen Mittelalters (Munich, 1972); Eugen Ewig, "Die ältesten mainzer Patrozinien und die Frühgeschichte des Bistums Mainz," Das erste Jahrtausend, ed. V. H. Elbern (Düsseldorf, 1961-3), 1:336-43 [reprinted in Spätantikes und frankisches Gallien, 2 vols. (Beihefte der Francia, 3; 1979), 2:154-70]; J. Semmler, "Pirminius," Mitteilungen des historischen Vereins der Pfalz, 87 (1989), p. 91-113; H. Anton, "Liutwin-Bischof von Trier und Gründer von Mettlach (+um 722). Zugleich ein Beitrag zu dem historischen Wandlungsprozess im ausgehenden siebenten und im frühen achten Jahrhundert," Zeitschrift für die Geschichte der Saargegend, 38/39 (1990/1991), pp. 21-51.

On the role of the cult of relics in Frankish society and religion, see Peter Brown, "Relics and Social Status in the Age of Gregory of Tours," in Society and the Holy in Late Antiquity (Chicago, 1982), pp. 222-50; Raymond Van Dam, Leadership and Community in Late Antique Gaul (Berkeley, 1985); Raymond Van Dam, Saints and Their Miracles in Late Antique Gaul (Princeton, 1993); Ian Wood, "Early Merovingian Devotion in Town and Country," Studies in Church History, 16 (1979), pp. 61-76; Friedrich Prinz, "Stadtrömisch-italische Märtyrerreliquien und fränkischer Reichsadel im Maas-Moselraum," Historisches Jahrbuch, 87 (1967), 1-25.

It was the city of Tours which provided the context for the cult of Martin. On that civitas during this period, see Luce Pietri, La ville de Tours du IVe au VIe siècle: Naissance d'une cité chrétienne (Rome, 1983). For an illuminating study of another civitas, see J. Le Maho, "Le groupe épiscopal de Rouen du IVe au Xe siècle," in Jenny Stratford (ed.), Medieval Art, Architecture, and Archaeology at Rouen (Oxford, 1993). For a guide to other civitates, see Nancy Gauthier and Jean-Charles Picard, Topographie chrétienne des cités de la Gaule des origines au milieu du VIIIe siècle, 8 vols. (Paris, 1983-present). (1: Trier [Belgica Prima], ed. Nancy Gauthier; 2: Aix and Embrun [Narbonensis Secunda et Alpes Maritimae], ed. Yvette Duval et al.; 3: Vienne and Arles, ed. Jacques Biarre et al.; 4: Lyon [Lugdunensis Prima], ed. Brigitte Beaujard et al.; 5: Tours [Lugdunensis Tertia], ed. Luce Pietri et al.; 6: Bourges [Aquitania Prima], ed. François Prevot et al.; 7: Narbonne [Narbonensis Prima], ed. Paul Albert Fevrier et al.; 8: Sens [Lugdunensis Secunda], ed. Jean-Charles Picard et al.). The general remarks of Charles Pietri, "Remarques sur la topographie chrétienne des cités de la Gaule entre Loire et Rhin," Revue d'histoire de l'église de France, 62 (1976), pp. 189-204 are still useful. Eugen Ewig, "Kirche und Civitas in der Merowingerzeit," in La chiese nei regni dell'Europa occidentale e i loro rapporti con Roma sino All'800, 2 vols. (Settimane di studio del Centro italiano di studi sull'alto medioevo, 7; Spoleto, 1960), 1:45-71 [reprinted in Spätantikes und frankisches Gallien, 2 vols. (Beihefte der Francia, 3; 1979), 2:1-20] looks at relationship of city and suburbs from the point of view of ecclesiastical institutions and remains. On city patrons, see Eugen Ewig, "Die Kathedralpatrozinien im römischen und im fränkischen Gallien," Historisches Jahrbuch, 79 (1960), pp. 1-61 [reprinted in Spätantikes und frankisches Gallien, 2 vols. (Beihefte der Francia, 3; 1979), 2:260-317].

To understand the disposition of relics in the Merovingian kingdoms, it is essential to understand the archeology of burial practices. The fullest study of Merovingian burial remain the works of Bailey Young, "Paganisme, christianisation et rites funéraires mérovingiens," Archéologie Médiévale, 7 (1977) and "Exemple aristocratique et mode funéraire dans la Gaule mérovingienne,' annales E. S. C., 41 (1986), pp. 386-94. But see now the important revisions offered in the ongoing research of Bonnie Effros, "Symbolic Expressions of Sanctity: Gertrude of Nivelles in the Context of Merovingian Mortuary Custom," Viator, 27 (1996), pp. 1-10 and "Beyond Cemetery Walls: Early Medieval Funerary Topogrraphy and Christian Salvation," Early Medieval Europe, 6 (1997), pp. 1-23. On one specific cult site, see G. R. Delahaye and P. Huguin, "Le sarcophge de saint Ebregislle dans les cryptes de Jouarre," Bulletin du Groupement archéologique de Seine-et-Marne, 27 (1986), pp. 49-58. Guy Halsall has offered an exemplary model for the employment of archeological evidence, including burials, for early medieval social history in Settlement and Social Organization: The Merovingian Region of Metz (Cambridge, 1995). On the development of funerary rituals, see Frederick Paxton, Christianizing Death: The Creation of a Ritual Process in Early Medieval Europe (Ithaca, NY, 1990), a thoughtful reflection on the Christian use and development of ritual, which, however, emphasizes the Carolingian period.

On the problematic subject of the audience of hagiography, in addition to the assigned work of van Uytfanghe, see Roger Collins, "Observations on the Form, Language, and Public of the Prose Biographies of Venantius Fortunatus in the Hagiography of Merovingian Gaul," in H. B. Clarke and Mary Brennan (eds.), Columbanus and Merovingian Monasticism (British Archaeological Reports, 113; London, 1981), pp. 105-31 and Michael Banniard, "Latin et communication orale en Gaule franque: le témoinage de la Vita Eligii," in The Seventh Century: Change and Continuity, pp. 58-79. On the use of the acts of the martyrs in the early middle ages: Baudouin de Gaiffier, "La Lecture des Actes des marytrs dans la prière liturgique en Occident. A propos du passionnaire hispanique," Analecta Bollandiana, 72 (1954), pp. 134-66 and "La Lecture des passions des martyrs à Rome avant le IXe siècle," Analecta Bollandiana, 87 (1969), pp. 63-78; Eric Palazzo, "Le role des Libelli dans la pratique liturgique du haut Moyen Age. Histoire et typologie," Revue Mabillon, new series, 1 (1990), pp. 9-36. On the perhaps even more problematic question of the audience of religious art, see the important remarks of Herbert Kessler, "Pictorial Narrative and Church Mission in Sixth-Century Gaul," Studies in the History of Art, 16 (1985), pp. 75-91.


The literature on hagiography and sanctity in Anglo-Saxon England is enormous. Fortunately David Rollason has provided a comprehensive overview, with full bibliography, in Saints and Relics in Anglo-Saxon England (Oxford, 1989). But also consult Antonia Gransden, Historical Writing in England c. 550 to c. 1307 (London, 1974), pp. 67-104. Further guidance to the sources may be found in Michael Lapidge, "The Saintly Life in Anglo-Saxon England," in Malcolm Godden and Michael Lapidge (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to Old English Literature (Cambridge, 1991), pp. 243-63. Henry Mayr-Harting, The Coming of Christianity to Anglo-Saxon England, third edition (University Park, 1991) provides a useful introduction to the conversion of England, as well as many interesting observations on Anglo-Saxon saints both in England and on the continent. See also Arnold Angenendt, "The Conversion of the Anglo-Saxons Considered Against the Background of the Early Medieval Mission," Angli e Sassoni al di qua e al di là del mare, 2 vols. (Settimane di studio del Centro italiano di studi sull'alto medioevo, 32; Spoleto, 1986), pp. 747-81. For a wide-ranging introduction to the most famous of all Anglo-Saxon hagiographers, see Peter Hunter Blair, The World of Bede, second edition (Cambridge, 1990). Also see: C. G. Loomis, "The Miracle Traditions of the Venerable Bede," Speculum, 21 (1946), pp. 404-418; Bertram Colgrave, "Bede's Miracle Stories," in Bede: His Life, Time, and Writing, ed. A. Hamilton Thompson (New York, 1966), pp. 201-229; Gerald Bonner, Famulus Christi: Essays in Commemoration of the Thirteenth Centenary of the Birth of the Venerable Bede (London, 1976); Charles Thomas, Bede, Archaeology, and the Cult of Relics (Jarrow Lecture, 1973; Jarrow, 1974). Gerald Bonner, David Rollason, and Clare Stancliffe (eds.), Saint Cuthbert, His Cult and His Community to AD 1200 (Woodbridge, 1989) treats one important Anglo-Saxon saint and his cult. On the development of the cults of Anglo-Saxon royalty, see Susan Ridyard, The Royal Saints of Anglo-Saxon England (Cambridge, 1988), although it primarily treats texts composed after the Conquest. Specifically on the cult of the Virgin, see Mary Clayton, The Cult of the Virgin Mary in Anglo-Saxon England (Cambridge, 1990). A good introduction to the topic of changing burial practices may be found in C. J. Arnold, An Archaeology of the Early Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms, chapter 4, "The Topography of Belief." Stephanie Hollis considers much hagiographic evidence in Anglo-Saxon Women and the Church: Sharing a Common Fate (Woodbridge, 1992). Philip Rahtz summarizes the tangle of traditions surrounding one of the oldest of English shrines in English Heritage Book of Glastonbury (Batsford: English Heritage, 1994). Studies of specific hagiographic traditions include: Christine Fell, "Saint Aedelthryd: A Historical-Hagiographical Dichotomy Revisited," Nottingham Medieval Studies, 38 (1994), pp. 18-34.

The Celtic World.

Nora Chadwick, The Age of the Saints in the Early Celtic Church (London, 1961) and Kathleen Hughes, Early Christian Ireland (Ithaca, 1972) provide good introductions to the piety and hagiography of the Celtic lands. For more scholarly detail, one can consult Richard Sharpe, Medieval Irish Saints' Lives (Oxford, 1991) on Ireland, Elissa Henken, The Welsh Saints: A Study in Patterned Lives (Woodbridge, 1991) on Wales, and Bernard Merdrignac, Recherches sur l'hagiographie armoricaine du VIIème au XVème siècle: 1, Les saints bretons, témoins de dieu ou témoins des hommes? and 2, Les hagiographes et leurs publics en Bretagne au moyen âge (Saint Malo, 1985-86) on Brittany. For a comprehensive guide to the sources, see Michael Lapidge and Richard Sharpe, A Bibliography of Celtic-Latin Literature, 400-1200 (Dublin, 1985). Maire Herbert, Iona, Kells, and Derry: The History and Hagiography of the Monastic Familia of Columba (Oxford, 1988) studies one of the most important groups of monastic hagiography. Lisa Bitel, Isle of the Saints (Ithaca, 1991) makes innovative use of hagiographic sources to consider the wider religious history of early Ireland. On the idea of the miraculous in Irish hagiography, consult Jean-Michel Picard, "The Marvellous in Irish and Continental Saints' Lives of the Merovingian Period," in H. B. Clarke and Mary Brennan (eds.), Columbanus and Merovingian Monasticism (British Archaeological Reports, 113; London, 1981), pp. 91-104 and Clare Stancliffe, "The Miracle Stories in Seventh-Century Irish Saints' Lives," in The Seventh Century, pp. 87-111. On relics and shrines, see Charles Doherty, "Some Aspects of Hagiography as a Source for Irish Economic History," Peritia, 1 (1982), pp. 300-28; Charles Doherty, "The Use of Relics in Early Ireland," in Irland und Europa. Die Kirche im Frühmittelalter / Ireland and Europe. The Early Church, ed. Próinséas Ní Chatháin and Michael Richter. 2 vols. (Stuttgart, 1984), 2:89-104; A. T. Lucas, "The Social Role of Relics and Reliquaries in Ancient Ireland," Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, 116 (1986), pp. 5-37; Wendy Davies, "Property Rights and Property Claims in Welsh vitae of the Eleventh Century," in Evelyne Patlagean and Pierre Riché, eds., Hagiographies, cultures, et sociétés. IVe-XIIe siècles (Paris, 1981), pp. 515-33. Some interesting recent articles include: P. O Riain, "St Abban: the Genesis of an Irish Saint's Life," Proceedings of the Seventh International Congress on Celtic Studies (1988), pp. 159-70; P. O'Riain, "Sainte Brigitte: paradigme de l'abbesse celtique?," La Femme, ed. Michel Rouche et al. (Maubeuge, 1989), pp. 27-32; Thomas O'Loughlin, "Adomnan the Illustrious," Innes Review, 46 (1995), pp. 1-14.

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