The Burden of Property

J. M. Wallace‐Hadrill

in The Frankish Church

Published in print December 1983 | ISBN: 9780198269069
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191600777 | DOI:

Series: Oxford History of the Christian Church

 The Burden of Property

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Looks at the vast accessions of property that reached the churches and monasteries of Frankish northern Gaul from southern and eastern Gaul (which were gradually becoming under Merovingian control) from the 6th century, often causing serious hostility in their areas of origin. The ever‐accumulating wealth of the Frankish Church is then illustrated by tracing the fortunes of the greatest of all Frankish monasteries, the abbey of St Denis of Paris. This stood on the Gallo–Roman property of Catulliacus, where the bones of St Denis, the martyred first bishop of Paris, rested. The abbey at first benefited enormously from Frankish gifts, but later, under the general political disintegration of the late 7th century (which started with the Austrasian magnate Pippin II winning control of Neustria in 688, and led eventually in 751 to the start of the Carolingian period), suffered both gains and losses. The abbey finally became Carolingian after the death of Mayor Charles Martel (the illegitimate son of Pippin II), who had his son Pippin III, the first Carolingian king, educated there.

Keywords: St Denis of Paris; Carolingian period; Frankish Church; Gaul; history; Charles Martel; Merovingian period; monasteries; Pippin III; property; religious history

Chapter.  9584 words. 

Subjects: History of Christianity

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