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The Frankish Church$
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J. M. Wallace-Hadrill

Print publication date: 1983

Print ISBN-13: 9780198269069

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198269064.001.0001

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The Merovingian Cloister

The Merovingian Cloister

(p.55) IV The Merovingian Cloister
The Frankish Church

J. M. Wallace‐Hadrill

Oxford University Press

An analysis is made of the attitude of the early Merovingians towards monasticism in Gaul, of what they did to further it, and of the nature of monasticism in these times. The topics discussed include the Rules for monks and nuns, the expectations of founders and benefactors, the reasons for adopting the religious life, and the influence of Columbanus (who came from Ireland) at the close of the 6th century. The flourishing of monastic life in this period owed most to Columbanus, but would also have been impossible without the active patronage of the Merovingian family, who founded and endowed many monasteries. Merovingians of the 7th century also encouraged monasticism in practical ways, establishing major foundations intended to make a major changes in north‐west Francia and launch a formidable missionary drive on the northern frontiers. Merovingian Frankish missionaries also penetrated and settled the Rhine area and east from it into Germany among Germanic people who were not Franks, and some of whom were pagan, and thence to Bavaria; and wherever monastic colonizers settled under royal or aristocratic patronage there were the beginnings of a new social stability.

Keywords:   Bavaria, Columbanus, Frankish Church, Frankish missionaries, Gaul, Germany, history, Merovingians, missionaries, monastic Rules, monasticism, paganism, patronage, religious history

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