Recherches sur les prieurés réguliers, monastiques et canoniaux des anciens diocèses de Chalon et Mâcon : (Xe - XIVe siècles)

Abstract : The study presented here is the result from an inventory of the priories in the former dioceses of Chalon and Macon, closely dependent on the metropolis of Lyon .This territory corresponds to the main roads of the former realm of Burgundy. Among the 183 priories which have been retained, only 69 depended on Cluny, all the others belonged to the other monastic or canonic families of St Augustine’s order. The majority of these priories was mentioned for the first time by sources from late ninth and beginning of tenth century.The data collected have allowed to draw a map of the implanted sites in the form of a poster attached to the thesis and an index of the sources which are, for the most part, hand-written in latin. Priories built 200 churches or chapels. Some were reserved exclusively to the use of munks, others had a mixed function shared between parishes. The work in the field rested on outside and inside architectural aspects, the carved decorations of the capitals and low-reliefs or tympanums, together with the most significative frescoes of the 99 buildings still existing. The life inside the priory was rythmed by the regular prayers of the canonic hours. It has been possible to compare several liturgic manuscripts, among which the Saint Victor-sur-Rhin breviary with its famous illuminations.The social background of the munks, sisters and canons was mainly from the neighbouring feudal families which also represented the parents who gave the most numerous and important donations . We have also found donations made by middle-class families, wealthy farmers and some villeins. The respect of the rules and official customs was to be associated with a vow of stability which prevented the passage of munks and canons from dependence on one abbey to another. Proof has been made of a operation of these secular clerics with secular priests in the cur animanum of the congregation and in the supervision of local pilgrims, and well identified for the services expected of them by churchgoers. Priories were often surrounded by walls and fortifications or directly set in castles they built or bought. These buildings originally designed as a protection against acquisitive squires turned priors into clerical squires, not very different from laymen on a judicial level. They rarely carried out “emancipations” but they exercised their rights, so it seems, with more flexibility. Munks and canons didn’t proceed to the clearing of land because, for the most part , it had been done in the gallo-roman times .They started country-planning , making lanes, bridges, canals for windmills and fisherie . While promoting the cultivation of vineyards, they maintained a balance with the cultivation of cereal, cattle raising and the exploitation of forests. Detailed documents allow us to note lapses of conduct concerning monastic and canonic rules: mostly the lure of profit making, thefts, lack of restraint, concubinage, not reciting canonic hours ,assaulting fellow members and superiors. These faults were relatively rare compared to those known in other dioceses. The census of the global number of munks and canons amounted to a number varying from 580 to 720 people .A tendency to recruit in lower classes was mainly due to the consequences of the Black Plague and the Hundred years’war in the 14th century. The century was also the time when the Papacy was in Avignon then of the Big Schism in Occident.This was a time of disorder linked to the appointment of priors under the authority of the Pope in Avignon ,more interested in receiving the incomes of priories than insuring the maintenance and their spiritual authority . The canonic priories were composed of a minimum of 4 members whereas the monastic priories were often inhabited by 2 or 3 lay brothers .It happened that only one munk was present with the title and responsibilities of the management of what seemed to be a farm like any other.
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  • HAL Id : tel-01063325, version 1



Patrick Defontaine. Recherches sur les prieurés réguliers, monastiques et canoniaux des anciens diocèses de Chalon et Mâcon : (Xe - XIVe siècles). Histoire. Université de Bourgogne, 2013. Français. ⟨NNT : 2013DIJOL016⟩. ⟨tel-01063325⟩



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