Caritaspatrum
Accueil du siteDES HOMMES ET DES LIEUX
Dernière mise à jour :
mardi 25 février 2020
Statistiques éditoriales :
843 Articles
1 Brève
76 Sites Web
63 Auteurs

Statistiques des visites :
485 aujourd'hui
313 hier
790982 depuis le début
   
Martin of Tours’ Monasticism and Aristocracies in Fourth-Century Gaul
lundi 20 juin 2016
par Matheus Coutinho Figuinha
popularité : 3%

THE DISCIPLES OF ST. MARTIN OF TOURS

Above all, it is necessary to clarify the meanings of the terms nobility (nobilitas) and noble (nobilis) in the fourth century. Timothy D. Barnes stated that « the nobilitas still formed a special group within the senatorial order » : at the time, the nobles were strictly the senators who had reached the ordinary consulate, the mayor of the city, or the mayor of the praetorium, as well as their descendants [16]. There can be no doubt that Barnes was correct, but, as some scholars have indicated, the terms nobility and noble can be used in a broader sense. Ausonius, in his works, claimed an ancient nobility for his family, which was actually curial [17], while Prudentius, in his poem Crowns of Martyrdom, and Paulinus, in his Poema 21, equaled the adjective ’noble’ to illustris, a position which could be achieved through a series of public positions [18].

The meaning with which Sulpicius used the term noble’ in section 10.8 of the Vita is not clear. It is logical to consider that he used it in the restricted sense, since in this case, the portrait that he traces of Martinian monasticism in the tenth chapter of the Vita become much more attractive and moving to the aristocrats to whom he is writing (cf. infra for Sulpicius’ audience). But he could well have referred to senators or even the curia. In the attempt to identify who were the disciples of St. Martin, in other words those who professed monasticism under his direction, and what was the social origin of each of them, I will leave open all possibilities.

For the period after the foundation of Marmoutier, between 373 and 374, we have a single and vague report. Sulpicius retorts that a « certain catechumen » (quidam catechumenus) put himself under the direction of St. Martin in his monastery a few kilometers from Poitiers (which later became known as Ligugé), but shortly afterwards, without any transition, alludes to the ’brothers’ who lamented the death of this catechumen [19]. Fontaine suggests that St. Martin’s originally hermetic project was soon transformed into a coenobitic one. Sulpicius does not narrate the origins and the development of the monastery because he was only interested in the miracle worked by St. Martin at that time, thus the abrupt mention of ’brothers’ [20]. At the same time, Sulpicius did not give any indication about the social origin of the catechumen and the ’brothers,’ but if these had been nobles it would have been strange if he had not done this. Sulpicius sought to guarantee the authenticity of the miracles of his hero, indicating, whenever possible, the distinct social condition of his witnesses. We will return to this question later.

In relation to St. Martin’s disciples after his ordination in the Tours cathedral, between 371 and 372, there exist more precise reports :

Anatolius, a « certain young man » (iuuenis quidam), put himself under the direction of Clarus in the hermitage that had been established near Marmoutier [21]. Fontaine suggests, based on his name, that he was of Asiatic origin, probably a pilgrim or a missionary from a pneumatic sect. In addition, he indicated that his name was the same as many Asiatic slaves [22]. I think that Fontaine was right about the social origin of Anatolius. However, it is enough to flick through the first two volumes of the Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire [23] to perceive that Anatolius was also the name of important people in the fourth and fifth centuries.

The priest Arpagius, probably from Tours [24], is cited by Galo as a witness of one of St. Martin’s miracles [25]. Sulpicius gives no information about his social origin.

Belgicus is mentioned by Gallus in Sulpicius’ Dialogues due to his reaction to reading Letter 22 by Jerome [26]. The attribution of the possessive adjective noster to his name suggests that he was a disciple of St. Martin [27]. There is no information about his social origin.

Brice, a native of Tours [28], was ordained deacon and priest by St. Martin [29]. When the latter died on 11 November 397, Brice was anointed his successor [30]. According to Sulpicius, he, who « had never possessed previously anything of the clergy (he was actually raised in the monastery by St. Martin), raising horses and buying slaves. At that time, he was reprehended by many for having bought not only young barbarians, but also girls of beautiful appearance » [31]. The fact that he had not possessed anything before being ordained a cleric clearly indicates that he was not of an aristocratic origin. He could raise horses and buy slaves thanks to the wage he came to receive after his ordination.

The deacon Cato, « who was responsible for the administration of the monastery, » was a skilled (doctus) fisherman [32]. This skill, certainly acquired before starting his ecclesiastic career, indicated that he had exercised a manual activity and was thus not an aristocrat.

 

[16] Barnes, 1974, pp. 445-446

[17] cf. Barnish, 1988, p. 122

[18] cf. Salzman, 2001, p. 360

[19] Sulpicius Severus, Vita Martini 7

[20] Fontaine, 1967-1969, pp. 613-616

[21] Sulpicius Severus, Vita Martini 23.2

[22] Fontaine, 1967-1969, pp. 994-995

[23] Jones ; Mardindale ; Morris, 1971, pp. 59-62 ; Martindale, 1980, pp. 83-86

[24] Pietri ; Heijmans, 2013, p. 213

[25] Sulpicius Severus, Dialogi 3.3.1

[26] Sulpicius Severus, Dialogi 1.8.5

[27] Fontaine, 2006, p. 133 ; Pietri ; Heijmans, 2013, p. 335

[28] Gregório, Historiarum libri decem 10.31

[29] Gregório, Historiarum libri decem 2.1

[30] Gregório, Historiarum libri decem 2.1 and 10.31

[31] Sulpicius Severus, Dialogi 3.15.2

[32] Sulpicius Severus, Dialogi 3.10.2

Articles de cette rubrique
  1. Reprise de l’Histoire de la littérature grecque chrétienne, des origines à 451
    10 septembre 2017

  2. L’abbaye de Saint-Victor à Marseille (1)
    30 mai 2010

  3. L’abbaye Saint-Victor (2) : La « Traditio Legis »
    30 juin 2010

  4. L’abbaye Saint-Victor de Marseille (3). Les commencements
    30 juillet 2010

  5. L’abbaye Saint-Victor de Marseille (4) : le sarcophage de saint Jean Cassien
    30 août 2010

  6. L’abbaye Saint-Victor de Marseille (5) : le martyre du soldat.
    30 septembre 2010

  7. Disparition du P. Adalbert de Vogüé
    30 octobre 2011

  8. Disparition de Geza Alfoldy
    25 novembre 2011

  9. Lucien Jerphagnon, agnostique et mystique
    25 décembre 2011

  10. Disparition de Jean-Claude Fredouille
    15 août 2012

  11. Un site consacré à Henri-Irénée Marrou (1904-1977)
    10 septembre 2012

  12. La villa du Casale (Piazza Armerina)
    15 octobre 2012

  13. Catalogue en ligne de l’exposition "Transition to Christianity : Art of Late Antiquity, 3rd-7th Century AD}
    25 novembre 2012

  14. Promotion de 30% sur 30 titres des Editions MIGNE
    10 septembre 2013

  15. La villa de Noheda (Cuenca)
    20 mai 2014

  16. Deux curés ressuscitent les Pères de l’Eglise provençale
    10 juin 2014

  17. 60 ans de la Collection des Études augustiniennes
    10 août 2014

  18. Nouvelle URL Revue des Études Tardo-antiques (RET)
    25 août 2014

  19. Promotion aux Sources Chrétiennes.
    25 septembre 2014

  20. Irénée de Lyon : un chemin vers l’unité des chrétiens
    15 janvier 2015

  21. Une forêt de croix gravées dans le désert d’Arabie saoudite
    20 février 2015

  22. La Providence selon Irénée de Lyon (I)
    25 mars 2015

  23. La Providence divine selon Irénée de Lyon (II)
    25 avril 2015

  24. Disparition de Jacques Fontaine
    5 juin 2015

  25. Un film tuniso-algérien sur Saint Augustin
    25 novembre 2015

  26. Promotion à 50 % sur les ouvrages édités par CaritasPatrum
    15 mars 2016

  27. Martin of Tours’ Monasticism and Aristocracies in Fourth-Century Gaul
    20 juin 2016

  28. Portraits de moines de Palestine et d’ailleurs
    5 juillet 2016

  29. découverte de manuscrits rares dans le Sinaï
    15 juillet 2017

  30. Une grande église du IVe siècle découverte dans la ville israélienne de Beit Shemesh
    5 janvier 2018

  31. Des offres à saisir... chez les Pères du Désert
    10 mars 2018

  32. Des travaux d’excavation commencent sur le lieu du monastère de Saint-Hilarion, situé sur la bande de Gaza
    5 mai 2018

  33. Une nouvelle église découverte en Syrie
    5 juin 2018

  34. Une résidence épiscopale de Ve siècle retrouvée sur le site de Misionis en Bulgarie
    5 octobre 2018

  35. L’image de Jésus, cachée dans l’église du Néguev, est l’une des plus anciennes d’Israël.
    5 décembre 2018

  36. Disparition de Noël Duval (1929-2018).
    20 décembre 2018

  37. « Sources Chrétiennes » fête sa 600e publication
    20 janvier 2019

  38. Les polémiques religieuses du Ier au IVe siècle de notre ère. Hommage à Bernard Pouderon
    15 avril 2019

  39. Sauvegarde de manuscrits anciens
    20 avril 2019

  40. Des femmes engagées dans le processus de christianisation
    5 mai 2019

  41. A la recherche de la tombe de Dèce.
    15 juin 2019

  42. Découverte d’une nouvelle église (fin Ve) à Hippos en Galilée
    5 août 2019

  43. Une basilique du IVe siècle découverte en Éthiopie
    20 janvier 2020

  44. 100 ans de la CUF : pour une histoire véritable, par Jacques Jouanna
    10 août 2017