The latin text below was scanned
and OCR'ed from the edition of A. Lecoy de la Marche, Oeuvres complètes
de Suger.... Paris, 1867 (Societé de l'histoire de la France,
vol. 139, pp. 151-209); it has been compared and collated with the recent
edition of Françoise Gasparri, (Les classiques de l'histoire de France
au moyen age: Suger. Oeuvres, tome I. Paris: Les Belles Lettres,
1996, pp. 54ff.)
|Introduction to the work
I. Book I. THE DOMAINS:
1 The castrum of Saint Denis
3 The Recovery of Argenteuil
4 The Vexin
13 Yvelines: Mesnil-St-Denis & Dompierre
20 Fains and Vergonville
22 The Tithes of Barville
23 The Burg of Essonnes, now called Corbeil
24 The Priory of Champs
25 The Miracle of the Mute
26 The Woman with Dropsy
27 Mareuil [in Champagne]
29 Chaumont [-en-Vexin, arr. Beauvais]
30 Berneval [-le-Grand, near Dieppe]
I. - In the twenty-third year of our administration, in our general chapter one day, while dealing with our brothers concerning personal and private affairs, these very dear brothers and sons asked us, in all charity, not to allow, through silence, the loss of the memory of the fruits of our great labors, but rather to commit to writing, for future generations, the [story of] the riches which the munificence of almighty God had conferred on this church during our abbacy [namely]: the acquisition of new properties, the recovery of those which were lost, an increase in the number of those restored, the construction of buildings, the laying up of gold, silver, precious stones and the finest vestments. In return for this one thing they promised us two benefits: to be worthy, by such a publication, of the instant and perpetual prayers of all our future brothers for the salvation of our soul, and to further by this example their zeal for the cult of the Church of God.
|I. - Anno administrationis nostre vicesimo tertio, cum in capitulo generali, quadam die, conferendo cum fratribus nostris tam de hominibus quam, de privatis negotiis consederemus, idem karissimi fratres et filii obnixe in caritate supplicare ceperunt ne fructum tanti laboris nostri preteriri silentio sustinerem, quin potius ea que larga Dei omnipotentis munificentia contulerat huic ecclesiĉ prelationis nostre tempore incrementa, tam in novarum acquisitione quam in amissarum recuperatione, emendatarum etiam possessionum multiplicatione, edificiorum constitutione, auri, argenti et pretiosissimarum gemmarum, necnon et optimorum palliorum repositione, calamo et atramento posteritati memoriĉ reservare; ex hoc uno nobis duo repromittentes: tali notitia fratrum succedentium omnium jugem orationum pro salute animĉ nostrĉ mereri instantiam, et circa ecclesiĉ Dei cultum hoc exemplo eorum excitare bene zelantem sollicitudinem.|
This is why, as much for piety's sake as to grant their pious and reasonable request, without any desire for vainglory, not through the love of human praise, nor fleeting profit, but rather that, after our death, the church would not be deprived of any of its revenues by anyone's fraud and that the important improvements given by the great munificence of God during the course of our administration would not disappear in silence through the negligence of our successors, we have judged it proper, concerning the body of the church of the very holy martyrs Denis, Rusticius and Eleutherius-the church which has nourished us at her breast so tenderly [from infancy] up to old age-to write of the construction of the buildings and the increase of riches, each in its proper place; but we have also considered it proper and useful to describe the castrum [of St. Denis], i.e., its original placement, and the places round about, to let present and future generations know how its revenues were increased.
|Nos igitur tam devote quam devotis et rationabilibus eorum petitionibus assensum exhibentes, nullo inanis gloriĉ appetitu, [p.56] nullam laudis humanĉ aut retributionis transitoriae exigendo retributionem, ne post decessum nostrum quacumque aut cujuscumque defraudatione redditibus ecclesia minuatur, ne copiosa quĉ tempore amministrationis nostrĉ larga Dei munificentia contulit silentio malis successoribus depereant incrementa, sicut a corpore ĉcclesiĉ beatissimorum martyrum dyonisii, Rustici et Eleutherii, quae nos quam dulcissime a mamilla usque in senectam fovit, de edificiorum institutione et thesaurorum augmentatione loco suo incipere dignum duximus, ita etiam a castello suo, videlicet prima ejus sede, et in vicinia circumquaque, de reddituum augmentatione tam prĉsentium quam futurorum notitiae significare honestum et utile proposuimus.|
1.- [St.-Denis and its Environs.]
1. - [Ejusdem Castri]
| It therefore appeared that the 10s. of
the Jew and the 10s. recently added represented an increase of 20s. per
week yearly. The rent due for the village (£20 to be paid on the Octave
of the feast of St. Denis) was now worth £20 or more, from which £8 in addition,
and £8 more for the rent of a house which we built in the butchers' quarter
through the purchase of another house and rented to the butchers, £8 which
we consigned to the nourishment of the sick among the monks: the whole therefore
worth £90. For the road tolls, we usually got £20, though it was supposed
to be £40(?). However, we often collected 70; we would have had more, easily,
if we had not excommunicated those who stole and countenanced theft.
||Cum igitur constet factum de decem Judei et decem noviter augmentatis uniuscujusque anni hebdomade, viginti solidorum augmentum, quinquaginta duas libras efficiunt, de villa vero viginti. Census autem ejusdem villĉ in octabis sancti Dionisii duodecim libras, qui modo constat viginti et plus; unde hujus rei inerementi libre octo, et octo de quadam domo quam constituens in macello, emptione cujusdam alterius domus usibus carnificum, fratrum infirmantium sustentationi contulimus. Sunt igitur quater viginti et decem. De pedagio vero viginti libras, cum prius essent quadraginta librarum. Nos autem inde sepe habuimus sexaginta et decem, cum multo plus, nisi rapinam et rapine [fautores] anathematizaremus, facile unoquoque anno habere possemus.|
| From the Lendit fair, which lord Louis
gave to father St. Denis, [we earn] 300s. free and clear, 35 from the stall
rents of the butchers in the Panetière square, which we gave in alms
to the monks at the festival of the holy apostle Peter and Paul, 10s. from
our nephew, Girard, five from the house and five from the tonlieu on
the dye-plants (madder). From the property of William of Cornillon which
I had bought for £80 [we received] a rent of 15s. for three houses, the
other two being vacant. In the little manor house of the brothers, in the
free space, 70s. of annual rent was due from the new peasants [installed
De Indicto vero, quod dominus Ludovicus pater beato
Dionisio dedit, trecentos solidos quiete et pacifice, triginta quinque
de censu stallorum pistorum in pantera, quos in festo beatorum apostolorum
Petri et Pauli refectioni fratrum apposuimus; decem solidos de Girardo
nepote meo, quinque de domo sua, et quinque de theloneo garantiĉ. De plateis
domus Guillelmi Corneilensis quam ego emi quater viginti libras, censum
quindecim solidorum de tribus mansionibus, reliquis duabus adhuc vacantibus.
In curticula fratrum in vacuo, de novis hospitibus sexaginta et decem
solidos de annuo censu.
| From the manor house, outside the village,
where no peasant had ever lived, but which was guarded by our own sergeants,
as well as another contiguous manor house (recently built, thanks to the
establishment of 80 or more peasants) which increased it to £20 per year.
And, in this same region (namely at St. Lucien) because our church had great
need there, we caused to be planted and cultivated there at great cost,
a vineyard of nearly 80 arpents area, it is said, from which we have added
to the coffers of the church £20 if it was well done: an important point
as, too often at many places-and even at Lagny-the lack of wine [vineyard?]
meant that the crosses, chalices and vestments had to be pawned.
|| De curia, vero quĉ extra villam est, cum
nec [p. 60]
unus hospes umquam ibi mansisset sed a servientibus expensis propriis servaretur, tam in ea quam in alia nova eidem adjacente, quater viginti et eo amplius novis hospitibus positis, viginti librarura constat singulis armis augmentatum. Ubi etiam, scilicet apud Sanctum Lucianum, magno sumptu, quia ecclesia his valde indigebat, clausum vinearum fere quater viginti arpennorum, ut aiunt, plantando excoli fecimus. Cui ad maximum ecclesix commodum ipsas viginti libras, ut inde bene excolatur, instituimus; consulte quidem omma pro defectu vini, quia sepius cruces et calices et pallia multis in locis, et etiam Latiniaci, in vadimonio ponebantur.
| The produce of the mills of this castle,
which once normally offered five mines per day to the refectory of the monks,
today produces eight, each day. This increase, carefully calculated each
week, is the equivalent of 391/2 muids. In money, this means £146 10s.
||Molendinorum vero ejusdem castri talis est augmentatio quod, cum olim singulis diebus quinque minas frumenti fratrum refectorio reddere consuevissent, modo singulis diebus octo reddere non desistunt. Quorum inerementum de singulis ebdomadibus certa computatione deductum, quadraginta modios dimidio minus recipit. Denariorum vero incrementum septies viginti et sex libras et decem solidos constat.|
| We purchased for 1,000s. a house near the
gate of Paris, on the way to St. Merry, to be used as a lodging place for
us and our horses when the affairs of the realm kept us or our successors
on the road. The [house at the?] gate of Paris, once yielding £12, now gives
us 50: this is an increase of £38.
|| Domum quĉ superest portĉe Parisiensi versus
Sanctum Medericum emimus mille solidis, quoniam, cura frequenter interessemus
negociis regni, nos et equos nostros, sed et successores nostros ibidem
honestius hospitari dignum duximus. De porta vero parisiensi, que solebat
reddere duodecim libras, quinquaginta nobis reddit: ubi incrementum est
triginta et octo librarum.
|2. - Tremblay.
The count of Dammartin oppressed this vill with numerous
angarii, namely a taille of five muids of wheat which
I had conceded to him [once?] in return for peace, and which he took over
habitually, imposing on the béliers and right of hospitality several
times per year in the vill at the expense of the villagers. For these
reasons we reached an agreement with the count, reserving the whole vill
in peace for ourselves, without any impositions or customs, in return
for £10 paid to him from our treasury at the octave of the feast of St.
Denis, as the price of his hominio. We restored the vill and caused to
be built there, at its entry, a manor house with a new barn, to store
the general champarts and the harvest from four carrucates, and,
in another in the [same?] complex, the tithes from the land, straw being
kept for our use in both.
We get our rents, tensamentum, and mortmains, forfeitures and the taille of our own: this increased the grain revenue by 90 muids. We caused to be built there a wall around the old manor house and a good strong house next to the church. Thanks to these fortifications our successors will be able, if they wish, to defend their property against all enemies.
|2. - De Trembliaco.
Cum eadem villa
multis angariis a comite Domni Martini, videlicet exactione talliĉ, frumenti
seilicet quinque modiorum quos ei pro pace concesseram, cum [p.
62] ipse talliam pro voluntate sua facere consuevisset,
exactione arietum et hospitandi in villa multis vicibus in anno de rusticorum
sumptibus [premeretur], hanc pacem pro his omnibus cum comite fecimus,
ut tota villa in pace nobis remaneret absque exactione et consuetudine
aliqua, et nos pro ejus hominio decem libras singulis annis de marsupio
nostro in octabis sancti Dyonisii ei daremus. Nos autem eandem villam
ob hoc libentius edificavimus, et in introitu villĉ novam curiam cum granchia
nova erigi fecimus; et ut in ea campipars universalis et quatuor carrucarum,
in altera vero, quĉ in municipio est, decimĉ terrarum reponerentur, et
in utraque usibus nostris stramina reservarentur.
Et cum [de] eadem villa aut vix aut nunquam
quater viginti et decem modios annonarum olim habere possemus, ad hoc
ipsum rem deduximus quod ducentos modios decem minus inde a majore nostro
habemus, extra hoc quod seminant, et quod bubulcis et bubus quicquid necesse
fuerit amministrant, et carrucis boves et necessaria omnia suppeditant,
propter quod furni redditum habent.
of the Abbey of Argenteuil.
When, as an adolescent student, I read the old charters in the archives recording the abbey's possessions, as well as the books recording the immunities (due to the numerous abuses and frauds being perpetrated), I often came across the foundation charter of the monastery of Argenteuil by Hermenric and his wife Numma. It was written there that, in the time of king Pepin, this abbey belonged to St. Denis, but, due to a disadvantageous agreement, it was alienated during the time of Pepin's son, Charlemagne. This emperor obtained from the abbot and brothers the right to install there one of his daughters, who had refused human marriage, as abbess of a convent. This was done on condition that, on her death, the abbey would return to us. But, due to the disturbances in the realm caused by the quarrels of the children of his son Louis the Pious, this contract was not fulfilled.
Our predecessors had often studied the question, but without
significant results. This is why, in council with our brothers, we sent
our messengers to Rome with the old foundation and donation charters,
and the confirmations to the late Pope Honorius, asking him to examine
our rights and reestablish them canonically. Wise guardian of justice
that he was he returned this place to us, as much for the cause of justice
as for the scandal caused by the evil life which the nuns led there, and
to restore religious order.
Moreover, King Louis, [son of] Philip, our dear lord and
friend, confirmed this restoration and, by the authority of the royal
majesty, issued a charter confirming all the regalian rights which he
possessed there. Whoever wishes to better understand the nature of this
restoration will find more details in these charters of the kings and
the apostolic privileges. Those who study this question will see the importance
of this abbey and its dependencies: Trappes, Elancourt, Chavenay, Bourdonné,
Chérisy, the land of Montmélian, of Bondy, of Montereau near Melun, and
[On this episode, cf. Thomas G. Waldman, "Abbot Suger and the Nuns of Argenteuil," Traditio XLI (1985): 239-272.]
|3. - De recuperatione Argentoilensis abbatiĉ.
Cum etate docibili adolescentiĉ meĉ antiquas armarii possessionum revolverem cartas, et immunitatum biblos propter multorum calumniatorum improbitates frequentarem, crebro manibus occurrebat de cenobio Argentoilensi fundationis carta ab Hermenrico et conjuge ejus Numma, in qua continebatur quod a tempore Pipini regis beati Dyonisii abbatia extiterat. Sed quadam occasione contractus incommodi, in tempore Karoli Magni filii ejus, alienata fuerat. Prefatus enim imperator, ut quandam filiam suam matrimonium humanum recusantem ibidem abbatissam sanctimonialium constitueret, eo pacto ut post mortem ejus in usum ecelesiĉ reverteretur, ab abbate et fratribus obtinuerat. Sed turbatione regni filiorum filii ejus, videlicet Ludovici Pii, altercatione, quoadusque supervixerat, perfici non potuit.
Unde, cum antecessores nostri sepius super hoc laborantes parum profecissent, communicato cum fratribus nostris consilio, nuncios nostros et cartas antiquas fundationis et donationis et confirmationum privilegia bonĉ memoriĉ papĉ Honorio Romam delegavimus, postulantes ut justitiam nostram canonico investigaret et restitueret scrutinio. Qui, ut erat vir consilii et justitiĉ tutor, tam pro nostra justitia quam pro enormitate monacharum ibidem male viventium, eundem nobis locum cum appendiciis suis, ut reformaretur ibi religionis ordo, restituit.
Rex vero Ludovicus [p. 66] Philippi,
carissimus dominus et amicus noster, eandem restitutionem confirmavit,
et quecumque regalia ibidem habebat, auctoritate regiĉ majestatis ecclesiĉ
precepto firmavit. Cujus quidem recuperationis tenorem si quis plenius
nosse voluerit, in cartis regum et privilegiis apostolicorum enueleatius
poterit reperire. Cujus scilicet abbatiĉ et appendiciorum ejus, quĉ sunt
Trappe, Herencurtis, Chaveniacus, Burdeniacus, Cerisiacus, et terra de
Monte Meliano et Bunziaco, sive de Mosteriolo quod est prope Milidunum,
et aliorum incrementum quanti constet, qui sapienter illa tractabunt pro
magno prelati cognoscere poterunt.
|4. - The Vexin.
The Vexin, between the Oise and the Epte, is, according to the immunities of the church, a fief belonging to St. Denis. When the king of France, Louis, [son of] Philip, was hurrying to counter the invasion of the realm by the roman emperor, he recognized in the plenary chapter of St. Denis that he held it from the saint and, if he hadn't been king, would have done homage for it and its standard [the oriflamme].
We have, with the aid of God, been able to enlarge this lordship with the following acquisitions: we have obtained from the same king Louis the church of Cergy, and the liberty of the manor house. At the dedication of the church we have also received from his son Louis the viaturam of this villa and all of its revenues, save for wine and wheat, by royal gift, for the salvation of his soul and the protection of his person and of the realm. He also offered very piously to the holy martyrs his possessions at Cormeilles and Osny and all which he had at Trappes, except for the procuration rights. We have zelously protected these acquisitions from the rapacity of the mayors and sergeants, repulsing the abuses of dishonest "advocates," incurring no small expense thereby. We have thus, with the aid of God, increased the cultivation of the land and the vineyards to the point that, while during the time of our predecessors the brothers were content to receive 5s. per day for the kitchen, they now receive, thanks to these efforts, five more per day and fourteen every fifth day of the week and on Saturday, for their pittance. Moreover, the surplus of this increase is generally more than 100 muids of grain: we have decided to apply it, after Easter, to our needs, to the churches, to the poor or whatever, because in the last months of the year it sometimes happens that the increase in the price of wheat makes it difficult for some short-sighted communities. The increase in money amounts to £140, 12s. per year.
|4. - De Vilcassino.
Vilcassini siquidem, quod est inter Isaram et Ettam, nobilem comitatum, quem perhibent immunitates ecelesiĉ proprium beati Dyonisii feodum, quem etiam rex Francorum Ludovicus Philippi, accelerans contra imperatorem romanum insurgentem in regnum Francorum, in pleno capitulo beati Dyonisii professus est se ab eo habere et jure signiferi, si rex non esset, hominium ei debere, hoc insequente incremento dominicaturam, Deo auxiliante, augmentari eleboravimus. [p. 68] Ecclesiam de Cergiaco et curiĉ libertatem ab eodem rege Ludovico obtinuimus. A filio vero ejus Ludovico viaturam ejusdem villĉ et omnes redditus ejus, preter vinum et avenam, in dedicatione ecelesiĉ regia liberalitate pro remedio animĉ ejus, personĉ et regni protectione obtinuimus. Nec minus et quod in Cormeliis habebat et apud nitum, et quicquid Trappis habebat, preter hospitium, sanctis Martyribus devotissime contulit. Nos autem et de his et multis aliis incrementis, presertim continua sollicitudine et jugi providentia, terrie cultus et vinearum, majorum et servientium reprimendo rapacitatem, advocatorura etiam pravorum importunam refellendo infestationem, pro quo multa in novitate nostra militiĉ usibus expendimus, illuc usque Deo annuente perduximus ut, cum temporibus antecessorum nostrorum fratres nostri ad opus coquinĉ cotidie quinque solidos habere contenti fuissent, de superabundante incremento omni die alios quinque, et feria quinta atque sabbato quatuordecim pro toto, irrefragabiliter refectioni fratrum recipiant. Et quod adhuc his superest de incremento centum modios annonĉ large consuevit excedere. Quod nos post Pascha usibus nostris, ecclesiis et pauperibus vel quibuscumque opportunitatibus erogandum censuimus. Extremis enim mensibus anni, aliquando carior annona congregationum improvidentiam punire solet. Incrementum denariorum centum et quatuordecini librarum et duodecim solidorum singulis annis consistit.
|5. - Cormeilles-en-Parisis.
At Cormeilles, in the region of Paris, the increase in the rents is £8: previously we had from it £12, now it is twenty. We formerly got ten or twelve muids of grain; now eighteen.
7. - At Franconville [we receive] 40s. of new increase and 40 of old, in addition to the fief. The tithes of our fief, which we bought from Pagan of Gisors, we have given to the marguilliers for the love of God, save for the tithes of our [vineyard?] close which we have kept for ourselves.
|5. - De Cormeliis Parisiensibus.
De Cormeliis in pago Parisiensi, incrementum census octo librarum: cura prius haberemus duodecim libras,
[p. 70] modo viginti. De annona decem aut duodecim modios habebamus, nunc decem et octo.
6. - Apud Centinodium quatuor libras de iner, mento novi census, et de veteri centum solidos.
7. - Apud Francorum Villam quadraginta solidos de novo incremento et quadraginta de veteri preter feodum. Decimam de feodo nostro, quam emimus a Pagano de Gisortio, et dedimus clericis matriculariis pro amore Dei, excepta decima clausi nostri quam nobis retinuimus.
8. - De Montiniaco.
|10. - Louveciennes.
At Louveciennes we have the custom-as did our predecessors-of affirming all our revenues, whether in rents or in grain or wine, amounting to £15 per year; but, after certain placita on the old manors, thanks to which we stopped the cultivators who confiscated the revenues of the vineyards, we have acquired about 100 muids of wine, not counting the annual rents in money and grain.
|10. - De Lovecenis.
Apud Lovecenas, cum quicquid ibidem habebamus, tam censum quam annonam et vinum, pro quindecim libris tam nos quam antecessores nostri per annum dare consuevimus; post quĉdam placita de mansis antiquis, quibus rusticos vinearum cultores de retentione reddituum intercepimus, salvo annuo censu denariorum et annona, centum fere modios vini adquisivimus.
From Vernouillet, which was pawned 40 years ago, we receive £10 after interest, while before we got no more than 60s. The revenues which we possess in this place we have dedicated in their entirety to the care of sick brothers.
12. - Vaucresson.
11.- De Vernullello.
De Vernullello, quod quadraginta annis sub vadimonio fuerat, decem libras data redemptione recipimus, cum non nisi sexaginta solidos ante haberemus. Cujus loci redditus ad nos pertinentes fratribus infirmis ex integro contulimus.
12. - De Valle Crisonis.
- [Yvelines: Mesnil-St-Denis & Dampierre].
The possessions of St. Denis which includes Le Mesnil-St-Denis,
Dampierre and other villas in the valley of the castrum called
Chevreuse [were] for a long time subject to three tailles: to the lord
of the castrum of Chevreuse, to the lord of the castrum of
Neauphle and to Simon of Viltain, [and they were] almost completely ruined
by their rapacity. Not without great cost we freed them from these oppressive
duties, only conceding to these lords that which belonged to them as "advocates"
|13. - [Mesnile
Sancti Dyonisii et Domna Petra]
Possessionem beati Dyonisii in qua continetur Mesnile Sancti Dyonisii et Domna Petra, et ceterĉ villĉ in valle castri quod dicitur Cabrosa, a multis retro temporibus tribus talliis expositam, videlicet domino castri Cabrosĉ et domino castri Nielphe, et Simoni de Villa Aten, eorum rapacitate omnino fere destitutam, non sine magnis expensis ab hujusmodi oppressionibus emancipavimus; ea sola quĉ ad eorum advocationem jure pertinent remittentes.
Nec minus etiam venationem
[p. 74] Ivelinĉ, infra metas terrĉ quam beato Dyonisio
multis temporibus abstulerant, recuperavimus. Et ne in posterum oblivioni
traderetur, illuc exeuntes per continuam septimanam, ascitis nobis approbatis
amicis et hominibus nostris, videlicet comité Ebroicensi Amalrico de Monte
Forti, Symone de Nielpha, Ebrardo de Villa Perosa, et aliis quam plurimis,
in tentoriis demorantes, singulis diebus totius ebdomadĉ cervorum copiam
ad Sanctum Dyonisium, non levitate sed pro jure acclesiĉ reparando transferri,
et fratribus infirmis et hospitibus in domo hospitali necnon et militibus
per villam, ne deinceps oblivioni traderetur, distribui fecimus. Domino
vero Cabrosĉ preter antiquum feodum, videlicet advocationem terrĉ nostrĉ
et meditatem silvĉ, de proprio singulis annis centum solidos damus tanquam
feodato nostro, ne reducat manum ad talliam vel terrĉ oppressionem. Quos
quidem centum solidos in eadem terra pro voluntate nostra absque contradictione
14. - [The Beauce: Guillerval].
Thus, in fear that the fruit of our labor might be
brought to naught for want of memory, we have committed the history of
what we have done in the Beauce to writing.
On this new land, in the middle of the villa,
and well watered as it was, we built, at great cost, a wall and a good
curia, and a fortified house for the defense of the curia,
and the barns and whatever else was required there.
And, as insurance against the droughts which inflict this
part of the upper Beauce, we built a great pond (moat?) all round it,
stocking it with fish. We thus established there two carrucates-one on
the old part of the land and one one the new-and for this land we receive
up to 50 muids of grain per year, considering that, since the peasants
only paid the old small sum which they had paid, we kept the champarts
of the whole land (except for that of the fief of the mayor), in exchange
for which he contributes to the silencing of the peasants' grumblings
and opposition to the change of customs.
14. - [Belsa: Guillelvalis]
Ne igitur laboris nostri fructus ex oblivione in irritum
deducatur, illa etiam quĉ in Belsa auxiliante Deo augmentari eleboravimus,
scripto commendare curavimus.
|15. - Monnerville.
Near this place was another village of St. Denis called Monnerville, which had become even more miserable and reduced to poverty by the oppression of the castrum of Méréville-as though it were destroyed by Sarrasins-the lord of this place having abused the right of hospitality in this village as often and with whomever as he pleased, devouring the goods of the peasants, forcing them to transport his part of the harvest, taking his share of the woods two or three times per year from the carrucates of the village, and imposing as "customary" all sorts of intolerable taxes on the pigs, sheep, geese and chickens of the village. Since this village had lived for a long time under such oppression, it was almost already abandoned, and we decided to vigorously resist these oppressions. When we brought a case, he claimed to be exercising these customs by the hereditary right which came from his father [Viscount Guido of Étampes], grandfather [Hugo I Blavons of Le Puiset] and great-grandfather [Ebrard of Le Puiset]; but, with the aid of God and the council of our men and friends, Hugo, the lord of the castle, encouraged by his wife and sons, with the consent of King Louis [VII]-from whom he was said to hold them(?)- abandoned completely and forever all these customs in favor of St. Denis. Recognizing his error, he gave them up and took an oath renouncing them, as may be read in the charter of King Louis [Luchaire 139]. For our part, to retain his homage to our church, we conceded to him two muids (measure of Étampes) of grain, one of oats, one of wheat to be taken from our court [there] from the hands of one of our monks or from our servants. Thanks to this, liberated from this torment, this domain which had yielded for us 10 or 15 pounds now brought in 100 muids of Étampes per year, which means usually (according to the prevailing price of grain) 100 pounds.
15. - De Monarvilla.
Succedit et alia prope illam beati Dyonisii villa quĉ dicitur Monarvilla, villa omnium facta miserrima, quĉ sub jugo castri Merevillĉ conculcata non minus quam Sarracenorum depressione mendicabat; cum ejusdem castri dominus, quotienscunique vellet, in eadem hospicium cum quibuscumque vellet raperet, rusticorum bona pleno ore devoraret, talliani annone tempore messis pro consuetudine asportaret, lignaria sua bis aut ter in anno carrucarum villĉ dispendio aggregaret, porcorum, agnorum, anserum, gallinarum, importabiles quasque molestias pro consuetudine tolleret. Quĉ cum tanta oppressione per multa tempora in solitudinem fere jam redigeretur, audacter resistere et molestias hujusmodi ab hereditate sancta constanter exterminare elegimus. Cumque eum in causam traheremus et ipse sibi jure hereditario patris et avi atque at(t)avi consuetudines illas excusaret, ad hoc, auxilio Dei et hominum atque amicorum nostrorum consilio, res processit quod Hugo castri dominus, favore conjugis et filiorum, assensu domini regis Ludovici a quo se habere dicebat, beato Dyonisio inperpetuum omnes omnino consuetudines injustitiam suam recognoscendo relaxavit, remisit, manu propria jurejurando abjuravit, sicut plenius in carta domini regis Ludovici invenitur. Nos autem, ad ejus hominium ecclesiĉ nostrĉ retinendum, duos stampenses modios annonĉ, unum frumenti et alterum [p. 80] avenĉ, in curia nostra per manum, monachi aut servientis nostri concessimus. Quo quidem predicta villa eruta tormento, cum prius vix nobis valeret decem aut quindecim libras, centum stampenses modios armonĉ per singulos annos, qui sepius centum libras valent secundum precium annonĉ, per manus ministrorum reddere nobis consuevit.
|16. - [Rouvray-Saint-Denis].
In the same way we undertook the restoration of the property called Rouvray, which had been destroyed by the oppressive angaria of the castle of Le Puiset. One day, after the destruction of this castle, Hugo, lord of Le Puiset, proposed to us that we jointly cultivate the cleared land, which had become deserted by the oppressions of the castle. We declined this proposal, despite the opinion of some who thought it would be advantageous to us, and instead undertook to do ourselves that which we did not wish to do with him, for the good of the church. In the reconstruction of this land we did not wish to be associated with its destroyer, who-like his ancestors-had imposed the same customs there as we have enumerated for Monnerville: the taxes on grains, pigs, sheep, lambs, geese, chickens, and wood with which he had stripped the land, following the example of his ancestors, and left it barren, totally useless for us as well as for himself.
Thus, considering the sorry state of this land and the needs of our church, we caused to be built on this sterile land a courtyard and a tower over the entryway to repel thieves; we have there three carrucates.
Possessionem nichilominus quĉ dicitur Rubridum, depressione angariarum castri Puteoli omnino destitutam, emendare elaborantes, cum quadam die Hugo dominus Puteoli post ruinara castri etiam nos super hoc convenisset ut incultam terram, depressione castri in solitudinem redactam, sub medietate lucri ego et ipse excoleremus, licet hoc quidam compendiosum approbarent recusavimus ; et quod cum eo noluimus, per nos efficere ad commodum ecelesiĉ elaboravimus. Nec eum admiterre socium in restitutione terrĉ sustinuimus quem destructorem more antecessorum suorum gravissime persenseramus. Easdem enim consuetudines quas de Monarvilla enumeravimus, videlicet talliam annona, porcorum, ovium, agnorum, anserum, gallinarum, pullorum, lignorum, ab eadem terra more antecessorum suorum abripuerat, et ex hoc ipso tam nobis quam sibi infructuose jacentem omnino inutilem reddiderat. Nos igitur, miseriĉ terrĉ et damno ecclesiĉ nostrĉ condescendentes, in eadem sterili terra curtem ĉdificavimus, turrimque super portam ad repellendos raptores ereximus, tres carrucas ibidem posuimus.
|17 - [Villaines].
We restored the villa called Villaines and reorganized the parts of the land previously neglected, to the extent that we now receive from it £100 or £120 where previously there was only £20. For our part, we have, in recognition of the help of the holy martyrs, by a sealed charter pledged £80 per year towards the construction of their church [at St. Denis: pp. 28-30], until the work is done. We have also freed this land from the evil custom called the palagium, imposed by the viscount of Étampes.
17. - [Villana]
Villam quĉ Villana dicitur restituimus, incomposita terrĉ composuimus, usque adeo eam meliorando ut, cum vix consueverit viginti libras, singulis annis postea nobis centum libras sepius vero centum et viginti reddidit Nos vero sanctis Martyribus pro tantis beneficiis jure devoti, de eodem fructu laboris nostri edificationi ecclesiĉ eorum singulis annis quater viginti libras, usque ad operis expletionem, carta et sigillo assignavimus Removimus etiam ab eadem, terra quandam consuetudinem malam vice comitis stampensis quĉ palagium vocatur.
Toury, the well-known villa of St. Denis, renowned above others, special place of St. Denis, [now] offering to pilgrims, merchants, and all travelers sustenance, rest and repose, [was then] so oppressed by the impossible angerii of the lords of Le Puiset that, until the late Abbot Adam sent me (though still a young man) there as provost to administer this land, it was almost abandoned by the peasants, due to the rapacity of the men of Le Puiset, "given as pasture land to the Ethiopians." Even the very house of St. Denis [the church?] was not free from invasion by the Lord of the place or his henchmen, who committed whatever sacrilege they wished, devastating the neighboring villages by their frequent visits, forcing the peasants to transport to them the taxes on grains to the castle, first for himself, then for his seneschal, and even for his provost. Those who lived there were scarcely able to survive under such criminal oppression. While I lived there for almost two years, I saw these evils and was moved by a sweet compassion and by concern for our church. Not only we, but also all the other churches possessing land in this region were equally oppressed. For this reason we were decided to overthrow the impossible tyranny of this castle. It came about that, thanks to our efforts, Ivo, the venerable Bishop of Chartres, the chapter of St. Mary [of Chartres], the Abbot of St. Peter and the church of St. John-en-Vallée [of Chartres], the Bishop of Orléans, the church of St. Aignan, the Abbot of St. Benedict, and the Archbishop of Sens, each for his own good as well as for our own, came to King Louis and, tearfully told him of the devastation wreaked on our churches, the deplorable condition of the poor and orphaned, the loss of income by himself and his predecessors to the churches. Being a man of great nobility of spirit, full of piety, illustrious defender of churches, he promised to help us and confirmed by oath that he would not allow the churches or their properly to be destroyed by this vaurien. The full story of the remarkable deeds of this King in the history of his reign [which I have written?]. In this was was the castle of Le Puiset destroyed to its very foundations for the first time, as punishment for its crimes, and the lands of the Saints-our own as well as others-recovered their original liberty, after being in the war they prospered in the peace, the sterility which they suffered replaced by the fruits of cultivation. When, on the death of our late Abbot Adam, I was raised (although unworthy and absent) to the throne of this holy office, I renewed and increased my efforts in this provostship. In the courtyard, which I had reinforced with poteaux et de treillages, I had a fortified castrum with strong walls built and built a defensive tower above the principle gate. I had built there some fortified houses. I thus preserved intact the liberty of the whole village and even of the surrounding lands. Thus, it came to pass that, one day when I was on my way to Orléans with an armed entourage and encountered the King, being made aware that the provost of Le Puiset had backslid into his old ways, I was able to hold him captive and send him in chains and dishonored to St. Denis. However, while the property of churches must grow and prosper in peace and by the good administration of the clergy, we have admonished the peasants who live on these lands that we continue to possess over that place, by seigneurial right, including that of tithes, and we have established their rents in writing, so that they may not be forgotten. We estimate that, through our efforts at this place, the income from this provostship has increased from £20 to £80 per year. In addition, the increase [in the collection of] daily taxes was increased.
Moreover, the advocationem for this land belonged, of old, to [the lord of] La Ferté-Bauduin [-Alais], who had cruelly oppressed it for a long time and from whom there was no appeal; but it happened that this advocatione was inherited by a young girl, the daughter of the daughter of Adam of Pithiviers. When we heard this, with the council of our friends, we looked around to see whom we could marry her to, at our cost. To end the troubles with this land and to stop the peasants of this land from being exposed to these habitual brutalities, we gave this young girl and the rights of advocate to a young man of our house. We offered, from the purse of St. Denis, £100 to the spouse, as well as to the father and mother of the young girl, with the approval of King Louis-from whom the advocacy of this place was held in fief-on the condtion that, for this money and for another £30 which we receive from the King, they and their sucessors would give up to us and our sucessors the office of advocate and the justice [rights] when we reclaimed them, and, if they they failed to do this, we would retain for ourselves the whole advocatus fief, with their consent and that of their kinsmen, as well as the approval of King Louis.
As far as the fiefs which we bought with our own money to pay for two months' guard duty at the castrum of Toury, we have taken care to innumerate them below.
18. - de Tauriaco.
Tauriacus igitur, famosa beati Dyonisii villa, caput quidera aliarum et propria ac specialis sedes beati Dyonisii, peregrinis et mercatoribus seu quibuscumque viatoribus alimenta cibariorum in media strata, lassis etiam quietem quiete ministrans, intolerabilibus dominorum prefati castri Puteoli angariis usque adeo miserabiliter premebatur ut, cum, illuc temporibus antecessoris nostri bonĉ memoriĉ Adĉ abbatis, ut prĉpositus terrĉ providerem, satis adhuc juvenis accessissem, jam colonis pene destituta langueret, rapacitati Puteolensium, data esca populis Ethiopum, omnino pateret. Nec enim ipsa domus propria beati Dyonisii seipsam aliquando tuebatur quin ipse dominus per satellites suos eam frangera, quĉcumque reperta sacrilego spiritu asportaret, adjacentes villas frequentibus hospiciis confunderet, annone talliam sibi primum, deinde dapifero suo, deinde preposito suo, rusticorum vectiga- [p. 84] libus ad castrum, deferri cogeret. Vix qui aderant sub tam nefandĉ oppressionis mole vivebant. Cum ergo fere per biennium ibidem demorando his et aliis malis, et humanĉ compassionis doloribus, et ecclesiĉ nostrĉ dispendio defatigarer, nec nos solum verum etiam onmes ecelesiĉ quĉ in partibus illis terram habentes eque premebantur, convenimus et ut jugum importabile et tyrannidem nequissimi castri evitare possemus, diligenti deliberatione contulimus. Hinc emersit quod labore nostro venerabilis episcopus Carnotensis Ivo pro parte sua, capitulum Beatĉ Mariĉ pro sua, abbas Sancti Petri pro sua, ecclesia Sancti Johannis de Valleta pro sua, episcopus Aurelianis pro sua, ecclesia Sancti Aniani pro sua, abbas Sancti Benedicti pro sua, archiepiscopus Senon[ens]is pro sua, et nos pro nostra gloriosum regem adivimus Ludovicum, ecclesiarum depopulationem, pauperum et orphanorum deplorationem, ecclesiarum eleemosinis antecessorum suorum et suis exheredationem lacrimabiliter exposuimus. Qui, ut erat vir nobilissimĉ industriĉ, plenus pietate, ecclesiarum illustris defensor, auxiliari spopondit, et quod ecclesias et ecclesiarum bona deinceps destrui a prefato nequam nullo modo pateretur, jurejurando firmavit. Quod quidem egregie factum, quo labore, quibus expensis, quam graviter expletum fuerit, in gestis prefati regis enucleatius invenitur.
Destructo siquidem radicitus pro merito suĉ iniquitatis Puteolo castro, terra sanctorum, tam nostra quam aliĉ, pristinam adeptĉ libertatem, quĉ bello aruerant, [p. 86] pace floruerunt: sterilitate reposita foecunditatem cultĉ reddiderunt. Cum autem post decessum antecessoris nostri bonĉ memoriĉ Adĉ abbatis ad hujus sanctĉ amministrationis sedem tam immeritus quam absens assumptus essem, pristinĉ virtutis et laboris non immemor quia diutius in illa demoratus fueram prepositura, devotius ad hanc amplificandam accessi. In curte quam palo et vimine firmaram, castrum bene muratum erexi, turris propugnaculum principali portĉ supererigi feci; domos aptas et propugnabiles constitui; libertatem villĉ immo totius terrĉ intemeratam conservavi. Unde mihi aliquando contigit quod, cum Aurelianum cum militari manu post dominum regem festinarem, et prepositum Puteoli priora mala reciprocantem reperissem, turpiter captum tenui et ad Sanctum Dyonisium vinctum cum dedecore transmisi. Verum quia ecclesiarum bona industria prelatorum pace concrescere et confoveri debent, culturas nostras quas ibidem habebamus dominicas, retentis earumdem decimis, colonis qui ibidem inhabitarent censuales fecimus, quarum censum, ne oblivioni tradatur, scripto mandari precepimus. Et ut quanti constet nostro labore incrementum possessionis hujus ĉestimetur, de prepositura quĉ non plus quam viginti libras valere solebat, quater viginti libras singulis annis habemus. Cĉterarum vero consuetudinum cotidianus usus multo melioratus rerum incrementum facillime disserere poterit.
Antiquam vero ejusdem terrĉ advocationem ad Firmitatem Balduini antiquitus pertingentem, qua terra ipsa immaniter longevitate temporum, premebatur, cum nulla alia refellendi succederet via, contigit advocationem illam ad quandam puellam, filiam filiĉ Adĉ Pigverensis, hereditario jure [p. 88] pertingere. Quo cognito, amicorum nostrorum consilio, multo sumptu eam pro voluntate nostra nuptui tradere quesivimus. Ad sedandas ergo terrĉ illius inquietudines, nolentes more solito indigenarum molestiis eam affligi, cuidam domestico nostro juveni puellam cum advocationibus dari fecimus; centum libras denariorum beati Dyonisii tam matrimonio quam patri et matri puellĉ, favore domini regis Ludovici, de cujus feodo advocatio constabat, tali pacto contulimus ut pro pecunia ista et alia, videlicet triginta librarum quas dominus rex inde habuit, tam ipsi quam successores eorum nobis et successoribus nostris hominium et servitium, et justiciam, ubi eos submoneremus, exequerentur. Quod si ad hoc deficerent, totum advocationis feodum ac si proprium nostrum esset, eorum et parentum ipsorum concessione ac domini regis favore, donec nobis satisfacerent in plenitudine retinere liceret.
Feodos vero quos ex fisco proprio emimus ad faciendas stationes singulis annis per duos menses in eodem castro Tauriaco, subter intitulare curavimus.
|19. - Poinville.
In the same way we bought the village of Poinville which Godfrey the Red held from his kinsman, Bernard of Ensonville, who held it in fief from us.
|19. - De Poionis Villa.
Similiter et Poionis Villam, quam habebat Gaufredus Ruffus a cognato suo Berardo de Essenvilla, ut a nobis idem Berardus tanquam homo noster in feodo haberet, conduximus.
Fains and Vergonville.
We bought, at great price (about 50 silver marks) another property called Fains[-en-Dunois], together with Vergonville and other associated villages, from Galeran Of Breteuil, his wife, Judith, and his son, Evrard, a courageous man who died on the expedition to Jerusalem: purchase or restoration, because it was said that this property belonged of old to St. Denis by a gift of Hugo of St. Gaury; we gave [?] this money to the almshouse of St. Denis in hopes that we might obtain from the omnipotent God, in his mercy, the grace of a divine retribution, as it is said that "just as water extinguishes a fire, so do alms erase sins," and for these alms more certain and eternal for the needs of the poor we had a charter of King Louis made up and preserved in the public archives.
|20. - De Feins et Vendrovillare.
Aliam etiam possessionem quĉ dicitur Feins et Vendrovillare, cum aliis pertinentibus villis, a Galeranno [p. 90] de Bretoilo et uxore ejus Juditha, et strenuo viro filio ejus Ebrardo qui in expeditione Hierosolymitana occubuit, multo sumptu fere centum quinquaginta marcarum argenti comparatam, sive restitutam. - dicebatur quippe quod beati Dyonisii antiquo tempore ex dono Huberti de Sancto Galarico extiterat-eleemosinĉ beati Dyonisii contulimus, sperantes de Dei misericordia quod ea pauperibus at[t]ributa eleemosina divinĉ retributionis beneficium nobis ab omnipotenti Deo misericorditer impetrabit. Dixit enim quod sicut aqua extinguit ignem, ita elemosina extinguit peccatum. Et ut in sempiternum necessitatibus pauperum firmius deserviat, precepto regis Ludovici, quod in archivis publicis repositum continetur, firmari fecimus.
[The Gâtinais] - Beaune.
One of the finest possessions of St. Denis is certainly Beaune in the Gâtinais, approximately four leagues in extent, very productive in wheat and wine, marvelously fruitful as long as it was not disturbed by the servants of either the King or ourselves. However, the excesses of the procurators had rendered it deserted and it became worthless. Being thus found in the hands of the Abbot because of an unpaid debt, the latter rented it out in totality for £30 per year. At the beginning of our tenure we found it almost abandoned and brought this state of affairs to the attention of our lord the King, [p. 93] who attacked the problem with more zeal than fidelity. He imposed on this land intolerable and almost ruinous customs (viz., procuration [gîte?] three times per year, paid once during the peasants' harvest, sufficient for him and his officers; the other two were taken from the very revenues of St. Denis, which consumed almost the whole of the land. But, in generous compassion and in recognition of the service of the church to the poor, he [the King?] ended forever the payment due the lord, in favor of one to the church and ourselves. By royal decree he fixed this tax on the peasants' harvest at £8 per year. Buoyed by this action, we took over for ourselves the land which had been usurped and alienated by the mayor and others; and we replanted a vineyard at St. Loup, restored carrucates which had not been cultivated for more than 20 years, replanted other vineyards near Beaune which were almost deserted which we bought from one of our men for £20 (Orléans), and we repopulated villages almost entirely deserted by exploitation.
|21. - De Belna.
Sane inter alias una de melioribus beati Dyonisii possessionibus in pago Guastinensi Belna dinoscitur, quĉ etiam spatiosa fere quatuor leugarum spatio, frumenti et vini opulentia ferax, quorumeumque fruc tuum mirabiliter capax, si non vexetur a servientibus domini regis seu nostris, omnibus bonis exuberat. Quĉ, per incuriam procuratorum raro inculta habitatore, ad tantam declinaverat inopiam ut, cum ad cameram calciamentorum ecelesiĉ hujus pertineret, nullomodo ea persolvere valeret. Inde erat quod, cum in manu abbatis pro defectu debiti remaneret, singulis annis servientibus ejusdem terrĉ pro triginta libris totaliter eam locabat. Quam, cum dissipatam et pene in solitudinem redactam in novitate prĉlationis nostrĉ reperissemus, karissimo domino nostro regi Francorum Ludovico, cujus nobili-[p. 92]tati tam devote quam fideliter deservire satagebamus, tantum ecclesiĉ detrimentura exposuimus. Qui etiam in hac terra intolerabiles et pene consumptivas consuetudines habebat, videlicet tres in anno procurationes, unam de collecta rusticorum, sufficientem tam sibi quam suis amministrantium, duas de propriis redditibus Sancti Dyonisii, qua calamitate terra penitus consumebatur. Qui, ut erat eximiĉ liberalitatis, ecclesiĉ tantum detrimentum et pauperum angarias miseratus, amoris et servicii nostri benivolus, procurationem illam de dominicatura ecclesiĉ et nobis imperpetuum, relaxavit. Illam vero quĉ fiebat de collecta rusticorum, octo librarum debito singulis annis sub precepto regiĉ majestatis firmavit. Cujus exhilarati beneficio, usurpatas et alienatas tam a majore quam ab aliis terras nobis retraximus; clausos vinearum, videlicet apud Sanctum Lupum, a viginti annis aratris redditos replantari fecimus; alias vineas juxta Belnam pene destructas restitui fecimus; alias a quodam homine nostro viginti libris aurelianensis monetĉ emimus; villas omnino rapinis exhospitatas rehospitari fecimus.
- The Tithes of Barville.
In addition we have restored, for the opus ecclesia, the tithes of Barville, which, for more than 100 years it is said, were possessed by some knights in return for two sous rent, and for which we have gained each year 20 or 30 muids of grain. And, as the modest manor house had fallen into ruin, we had it rebuilt, strong and elegant: I also decided to define our rights over this house and, one day receiving [there?] a divine sign which destroyed completely the bed in which I would have been lying had I been there, as well as the floor of the upper room, the barrels in the cellar and the casks of wine; witnessing such destruction it was clear that Divine Providence had sparred me.
We built there an excellent barn and two ponds which yield great numbers of fish, and will continue to do so if cared for.
....revenues were raised from £ 30 to £ 200 [!].
|22. - De decima de Barvilla.
Inter alia decimam quandam de Barvilla, quam milites quidam a centum annis, sicut dicebant, sub censu duorum solidorum habebant, quĉ nobis quotannis viginti aut triginta annonĉ modiis valet, sive quĉque perdita prout melius potuimus ad opus ecclesiĉ retraximus. Cumque dominicĉ domus satis vilissime ex toto corruissent, hoc potissimum ad bas quĉ modo sunt facetĉ et propugnabiles construendas excitavit: quod [p. 94] cum constituissem determinare causas nostras in eadem domo, una dierum nutu divino me absente, tam miserabiliter corruit ut etiani lectum in quo jacerem si adessem, et plancatum solarii, et tonnas inferioris promtuarii, et vasa vinaria omnino confregerit, et sub tanta ruina, quod divina propiciatio michi pepercerit, omnibus fidem fecerit.
Granchiam peroptimam ibidem extruximus et stagna duo, quĉ multa piscium copia multo tempore illuc adventantibus sufficientiam, si bene serventur, ministrabunt. Quĉ quidem terra quantum auxilio Dei sit meliorata et de quanta miseria fuerit suscitata, certum constat augmentura quod, cum prius triginta libras, nunc sepius plus quam ducentas tantum persolvat.
The bourg of Essonnes, on the Essonne river, belonged to Saint Denis, it having been given to the Holy Martyrs through the liberality of [our] ancient kings, [as is to be seen] in the contents of their ancient charters; but the barbarity of a tyrant in the castrum of Corbeil transferred its ownership to that place, thereby depriving the holy martyrs of a terrestrial-and himself of a celestial-heritage.
23. - [De Axonem] De Axone burgo, qui nunc est Corboilus.
Axonem burgum quidem Sancti Dyonisii super fluvium Issonam antiqua regum liberalitate sanctis martyribus collatum, sicut in antiquis eorum cartis continetur, atrocitas cujusdam tyranni in castrum Corboilum transtulit, et unde sanctos martyres in terra inde se de celo exheredare elaboravit.
[Champs] Of the cella built at the place called Champs.
After many years-about 200 or more-while the mother church of Essonnes (which is a parrish of Corbeil) remained, like a statue, in this place; the bishops of Paris, jelous of the original liberty of the monastery, took it from St. Denis [?] and gave it to Cluny and a member of Cluny, St. Martin des Champs, and the church of Gournay[sur-Marne].
But the tyrants of the castle of Corbeil, hardened in their evil-doing, were happy only with deserted land and, by outrageous sacriledge, took for their own the properties of the church as if they belonged to them by law.
However, there remained a chapel dedicated, it is said, to St. Mary (the smallest I have ever seen), half destroyed, in a place called Champs, with an old altar on which, having been long abandoned, a plant was growing which the sheep and goats often feed upon. In this place, according to numerous witnesses, often on Saturday, candles were often seen burning, as though to signify the holiness of the place.
Attracted by this, the sick of the place as well as many other persons, came there seeking health and were healed. So, providentially, the place being frequented by folks from near and far, our late venerable brothers, Prior Herveus and Odo of Torcy, were sent there [at Notre-Dame-des-Champs, "dionysian priory of Essonnes"] to serve our Lord and his holy Mother and to restore this place to the divine cult.
Thus, in a little time, such a great number of miracles occurred as to cause universal admiration and veneration and make it the object of generousity.
The multitude of sick, those bothered by evil spirits, and the blind, lame and those who suffered from "langueur" were freed from their infirmities there. Because of the innumerable miracles which were worked there by the holy Mother of God, we have taken care, in these pages, to recount two in her honor.
|24. - [De Cella in loco qui
Igitur post multa annorum curricula, fere ducentorum
aut plus, cum mater ecclesia Axonĉ, quĉ parrochialis est Corboili, sola
quasi statua eodem in loco remansisset, eam etiam episcopi parisienses
ex emulatione ingenite monasterii libertatis beato Dyonisio abstulerunt,
et ut hoc ipsum fortiter defenderetur, Cluniaco et Cluniaci membris, videlicet
Sancto Martino de [p. 96] Campis et ecelesiĉ de
Gornaco contulerunt. Ipsi vero tyranni corboilensis castri in malitia
sua congelati, tam miserabiliter omnia sibi subjugaverunt, ut vix quicquam
reliqui preter vacuum terrĉ fundum dimiserint et in proprios usus, tanquam
proprii essent juris, ausu sacrilego redegerint.
Quo facto excitati indigenĉ infirmi, et post etiam alienigenĉ multi illuc in spe sanitatis concurrebant, et sanabantur. Cum autem divino nutu locus ille a multis tam propinquis quam remotis frequentaretur, destinati sunt illuc fratres nostri venerabiles viri bonĉ memoriĉ Herveus prior et Odo Torcetensis, qui et Domino nostro et ejus beatĉ Genitrici deservirent, locellumque illum divino cultui adaptare et exaltare operam darent.
Ubi statim tanta miraculorum copia sub ammiratione omnium
in brevi effloruit, ut et ab omnibus amaretur, ab omnibus predicaretui
et a quibus augmentaretur.
|25. - The Miracle
of the Mute.
There was a noble matron, a widow of many years, [who was] the mother of the Robert, venerable abbot of Corbie [1127-42], a monk of our house. As she was accustomed to visiting holy places, she came there with a young girl of 12 years who had never spoken. While she kept vigil with the girl in this little church one Saturday night, praying to God, when the brothers began the Te Deum, there appeared, it is said, to this little girl like an ecstatic dream, a glorious queen, beautiful as the moon, shining like the sun, dressed in royal garb, crowned with gold and precious jewels. She passed before her from the left corner of the altar to the right.
When she called the little girl by her own name-"Lancendis"-
the latter responded, in a clear voice and an unusual accent: "My Lady."
This was heard by the woman who was with her and many others. And from
this moment she was able to speak, as if she had spoken all her life.
|25. - Miraculum de muta. [p. 98]
Erat quedam nobilis matrona, multis annis viduata,
videlicet mater venerabilis viri abbatis Corbeie Roberti monachi nostri;
quĉ, cum loca sanctorum ob remedium animĉ suĉ frequentare consuevisset,
cum quadam puella jam duodenne, quĉ nunquam fuerat locuta, illuc devenit.
Nocte vero sabbati in eadem ecelesiola cum ipsa muta pernoctans, dura
pro se et pro suis divinas solficitaret aures, ubi fratres inceperunt
Te Deum laudamus, visum est, sicut referebat, eidem puellĉ quasi in extasim
raptĉ quod quedam gloriosa regina pulchra ut luna, electa ut sol, cicladibus
regiis vestita, auro gemmisque pretiosis coronata, a sinistro cornu altaris
ad dextrum contendens, ante eam transibat.
|26. - The Woman with
As we have promised, we think it appropriate to recount
the story of another miracle. A woman with dropsy, driven crazy by fear,
was brought by friends to St. Mary at this place.
Prostrate for several days before the alter, several people were disgusted
by her putrid and corrupt skin. She received no help and the illness even
deformed her face. Many people, both sick and well, started saying that
she should be chased from the little church.
Those who witnessed this-our brothers and others-....
This is why, deciding by divine will, for the love of the Mother of God,
to honor and exalt this place which has been made so remarkable by these
and other miraculous and prodigious; and we have undertaken improvements
On our own domains we fenced off (?) a field for a garden sufficient to supply the vegetables [for the community].
However, St. Denis possessed another [piece of land], poor and abandoned for a long time, which, thanks to some who come from neighboring villages, yielded a muid or less of grains and 2 or 3 setiers of nuts. We established there 3 carrucates in a new curia and a new barn.
We placed there sheep and cows and the nourishment necessary
for them thanks to the abundant pastures and proper use of the land.
|26. - De ydropica.
Secundare dignum duximus et aliud, sicut promisimus, miraculum. Ydropica quĉdam tumida more [p. 100]
pregnantis, nec minus pre dolore clamosa voce insanientis-premebatur enim humore aquatico intolerabiliter-manibus amicorum ad sanctam Mariam prefato loco portata est. Quĉ, cum per multos dies ante sanctum altare delituisset, ipso suĉ putredinis et corrupti elementi fetore adventantes multos reiciebat. Cumque jam nulla spes succederet sanitatis-tumor enim et sanies ipsam etiam faciem jam fere in informitatem confuderat-murmurabant multi tam sani quam infirmi, suppliciter postulantes ut ab eadem ecclesiola exponeretur. Verum fratres nostri venerandi viri maluerunt sustinere misericordes ejus ingratam presentiam, quam inmisericordes absentiam. Contigit igitur quadam nocte dominica-in his enim potissimum divina manus operabatur-illam hydropicam, quod non consueverat, obdormisse; cum subito gloriosa imperatrix Virgo Maria invisibiliter ad uterum humore refluo exhaustum, tam gracile quam nitidum cito restituit. Videres, et qui aderant tam fratres nostri quam alii multi viderunt tantam effusi humoris et decursi flegmatis in terra abundantiam, ut cum, scutellis et situlis et ollis illa asportare statim oporteret. Quanto autem qui aderant ob rei magnitudinem stupuerunt, tanto devotius laudes ommpotenti Deo et ejus Genetrici reddiderunt. Te Deum laudamus deplorando cantaverunt, et ut Deus omnipotens sicut inceperat honorem Genitricis suĉ ibidem continuaret suppliciter efflagitaverunt.
His igitur et aliis miraculorum et prodigiorum signis prefatum, locum insignem, divina dispositione, ob amorem Dei Genitricis honorare et exaltare amplectentes, edificatum iri instanter incepimus; et ut conventus [p. 102] fratrum ibidem Deo deserviret duodecim fratres cum priore suo constituimus, claustrum, refectorium, dormitorium ceterasque officinas regulares extraximus. Ecclesiam ornamentis, sacerdotalibus indumentis, palliis et palliorum cappis decenter adaptavimus. Textus duos, videlicet antiquum textum cotidianum et gradalem Karoli imperatoris, a matre ecclesia illuc defferi fecimus. Bibliothecam honestam tribus voluminibus posuimus. Nec minus circa victualia fratrum solliciti, duits carrucas in propria terra prope locum locavimus. Clausura vinearum aptum magnĉ abbatiĉ et bene valentem eis plantavimus, vinearum copiam multis modis adquisivimus. Torcularia quatuor penes se, in proprio fere quater viginti modios vini valentia, absque sumptu aliquo, ipsi loco edificavimus, usque adeo de copia eis providentes ut quandoque ducentos quinquaginta, quandoque trecentos modios vini large recipiant. Prata etiam sufficienter in propriis cespitibus circumfodi fecimus; hortos satis habiles pulmentorum seminibus satis fecimus.
Erat autem quĉdam altera beati Dyonisii a multis jam temporibus destituta et in solitudinem redacta, uno etiam carens cultore, quĉ forsitan a vicinis villis alieno cultore annonĉ modium aut minus reddere consueverant, aut duos aut tres de nucibus sextarios, in qua tres carrucas in curia nova et granchiam novam eis instituimus. Oves et vaccas, et nutrituram ad opus eorum propter pascuorum ubertatem et terrarum emendationem ibidem locavimus. Aliam etiam, beati Dyonisii possessionem prope Brunetum ex qua sepe decem modios annonĉ et vini fere decem, et fenum pabulo jumentorum recipiunt, de proprio obligavimus. De molendino etiam a saxaginta fere annis perdito, quic-[p. 104]quid recuperavimus eis dimisimus, ea tamen conditione ut in sequenti die festi beati Dyonisii viginti solidos refectorio, beati Dyonisii persolvant. In eadem etiam villa centum solidos inter censum et talliam habent.
Corboilo vero in circuitu sui decerri et septem libras de proprio censu, preter alios redditus et venditionum et nundinarum, et aliarum consuetudinum, nec non molendinum et furnum, et octo modios avenĉ cum gallinis, et prebendam integram Sancti Exuperii.
- Mareuil [in Champagne].
In the pagus of Meaux, the villa called Mareuil suffered greatly from a right of way tax imposed by Ansold of Cornillon which extended alomost up to the very houses of the villa. Neither the peasants nor anyone else could leave the place without risk of being set upon by the servants of Ansold who collected this tax and brought to his court and forced to pay for leaving the villa.
This is why we gave Ansold 1,000s for the peace of the villa when he gave up this right to us when he went on the expedition to Jerusalem; and, so that this right might remain in the property of St. Denis, we caused this to be confirmed by the hand of Bishop Manasses of Meaux and his church, as well as by the seal of Count Theobald, with the consent of his wife and son. As he admitted, he held this right unjustly.
|27. - De Marogilo.
In pago Meldensi villa quĉ dicitur Marogilum, occasione cujusdam viaturĉ quam Ansoldus de Cornello fere usque ad ipsas villĉ domus possidebat, gravissime infestabatur, cum nec agricolĉ nec alii quilibet villani exire tuto auderent, quin occasionibus multis viaturĉ a servientibus, Ansoldi raperentur et ad curiam ejus intercepti ducerentur, nec minus de pecoribus villam exeuntibus redimerentur. Nos ergo mille solidos pro pace ejusdem villĉ, ut eandem nobis diniitteret viaturam, ei in Hiero[so]limitanara expeditionem proficiscenti donavimus, et ut beati Dyonisii deinceps constaret, per manum episcopi Meldensis Manasse et ecclesiĉ ejusdem, nec non et sigillo comitis Theobaldi, annuente ejus uxore et filio, nobis firmari fecimus. Eam enim, sicut confessus est, injuste occupaverat.
Desiring to make known to our successors a certain exchange, just in case, with the aid of God, it might one day be better exploited, we have taken care to write it down.
When the noble realm of France was raised to the status of a monarchy, the church of St. Denis benefited, thanks to the generosity of the kings, from the gifts of great and multiple possessions over the whole tetrarchic real, viz., in Italy, Lorraine, France and Aquitaine. However, while the unity was preserved, the disputes among the sons corrumpted and diminished it.
This is why St. Denis abandoned Arlange, Ebersing, Salonnnes and many other possessions, and also lost villla in the pagus of Metz (namely the castrum of Guemines, Blidestroff and Cochelingen).
To reclaime them we have often asked the Pope, as much because of the injustice of those who took over these possessions as the fact that they died in a very bad state, without confession.
As an exchange [the count of Marimont] gave to St. Denis the place called La Celle, with all its appurtenances as enumerated in the charter of Emperor Louis, and we have placed there some of our brothers to serve God and in hopes of regaining [more] in the future.
Commutationis etiam cujusdam formam successoribus nostris innotescere cupientes, si forte Dei auxilio hoc ipsum in melius aliquando posset immutari, intitulare curavimus. Dum nobile regnum Francorum in statu monarchiĉ consisteret, circumquaque sicut se regia potestas extendebat, per totam regni tetrarchiam, [p. 106] videlicet in Italia, Lotharingia, Francia, Aquitania, ecclesia beati Dyonisii magnis multisque possessionibus liberalitate regum abundabat.
Verum quod unitas illibatum conservabat, filialis divisio et corrumpere et diminuere elaboravit. Hinc est quod beatus Dyonisius Hecelingas, Herbertingas et Salonam, et quamplures alias possessiones amittens, villas etiam quie in pago Metensi existunt, videlicet castrum Gomundas, Blistetot et Cochilingas, perdidit.
Pro quarum reclamatione, cum sepius apostolico conspectui insisteremus, tum pro injustitia sua, tum pro incommoditate personarum suarum-qui enim eas auferebant male et pessime absque confessione moriebantur-quasi pro commutatione locum qui dicitur Cella, cum appendiciis suis in cartis Ludovici imperatoris denominatis, plena libertate beato Dyonisio contulit, ubi fratres nostros ad serviendum Deo, in spe augmentationis et succedentis recuperationis locavimus.
- Chaumont[-en-Vexin, arr. Beauvais]
We have also worked to obtain the church of St. Peter in
the castrum of Chaumont, as well as the abbey when the prebends come free
upon the death of the canons, thanks to Archbishop Hugo of Rouen [1130-64]
and King Louis [VII, cf. Luchaire 167, 168 (1146)]. We established there
12 brothers with a 13th as prior, to exalt this church and for the propogation
of the divine cult, and, thanks to God, we have had the church and cemetery
consecrated by the venerable Archbishop.
|29. - De Calvo Monte.
Ecclesiam quoque Sancti Petri in castro Calvo Monte sitam, tam abbatiam quam ipsas canonicas, canonicis decedentibus tam a Rotomagensi archiepiscopo Hugone quam a domino rege Francorum Ludovico obtinere elaboravimus, necnon et duodecim fratres cum tredecimo priore, ad exaltationem ejusdem ecclesiĉ et divini cultus propagatione[m], reverenter locavimus; et eandem ecclesiam ab eodem reverendo archiepiscopo consecrari et ante eam cymiterium benedici, Deo annuente, obtinuimus. Quĉ siquidem nova quasi nobile membrum capiti suo ecclesiĉ beati Dyonisii copulata, [p. 108] quanto transeuntibus successoribus nostris a Vilcassino ad Normanniam, vel etiam pro conservatione reliquarum possessionum in eodem pago demorantibus apta sive idonea existit, tanto de propriis ut de acquisitis eam locupletare tanquam novam plantam et confovere jure decertabit. Fratribus vero ibidem Deo deservientibus, quia vineis egent, de decimis quas nobis dedit rex Ludovieus apud Cergiacum unoquoque anno viginti modios vini, et de decima quam nos acquisivimus apud Ablegiacum medietatem confirmavimus.
30. - Berneval [-le-Grand,
|30. - De Bernevalle.
In ea autem quĉ dicitur Bernevallis possessione, super Normannici littus maris, in qua etiam primam alicujus prepositurĉ ab antecessore meo suscepi obedientiam, quam etiam in tempore strenuissimi regis Henrici, adhuc satis juvenis, ab oppressione exactorum regiorum quos dicunt graffiones, multo labore multisque placitis emancipaveram, parrochiales ecclesias, quas Rogerius presbyter et frater ejus Gaufredus hereditario jure sibi vendicabant, ad dominicaturam ecclesiĉ in novitate prelationis nostrĉ retraximus, easque et redditus earum thesaurario ad renovandas et augmentandas ecclesiĉ hujus palliaturas, in sempiternum contulimus. Et quia fere nullos redditus ad hoc supplendum habebat, aliam quandam villam in partibus istis quĉ dicitur Quadraria nuper ĉdificata, adjunximus. Et hĉc quidem quatuor marcas, ecclesiĉ vero septem libras, si tamen meliorari non poterit, persolvit. Redditus vero alios consuetudinarios prefatĉ villĉ Bernevallis, tam in censibus quam in aliis, fere usque ad quindecim libras, sicut credimus, augmentari fecimus. Consuetudinem [p. 110] autem quam vulgo dicunt aquariam, quanique in tempore bonĉ memoriĉ antecessoris nostri a preposito nostro qui eam occupaverat, excutere adjuvimus, festivo piissimi regis Dagoberti anniversario refectioni fratrum assignavimus.
Villas etiam, Moriniacum, Liliacum et Floriacum, cum non consuevissent reddere plus quam septem aut decem libras, ut triginta aut ad minus viginti quinque reddant elaboravimus. Idem et de Monte Fusceoli.
1. II. - On the Ornaments of the Church
[An English translation of this text by Professor David Burr is available through Paul Halsall's Medieval Sourcebook: http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/sugar.html
[A new edition of the Latin text with a French translation may be found in the new work of Madame Gasparri mentioned at the top of this page.]