Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ID
ER 1765
Prince Merovechus is ordained presbyter in the aftermath of the rebellion against his father, King Chilperic I. He is tonsured, clothed as a cleric, and sent to the monastery of Aninsola (near Le Mans, Gaul) for education, all in AD 576. Account of Gregory of Tours, "Histories", Tours (Gaul), AD 576-594.
V.14
 
Merovechus was son of King Chilperic I, who rebelled against his father.
Post haec Merovechus, cum in custodia a patre reteneretur, tunsoratus est, mutataque veste, qua clericis uti mos est, presbiter ordenatur et ad monasterium Cinnomannicum qui vocatur Aninsola dirigitur, ut ibi sacerdotali eruderetur regula. Haec audiens Gunthchramnus Boso, qui tunc in basilica sancti Martini, ut diximus, resedebat, misit Riculfum subdiaconum, ut ei consilium occulte praeberet expetendi ad basilicam sancti Martini. Qui cum abisset, ab alia parte Gailenus puer eius advenit. Cumque parvum solatium qui eum ducebant haberent, ab ipso Gaileno in itenere excussus est, opertoque capite indutusque veste saeculari, beati Martini templum expetiit.
After arriving at the church of Saint Martin, Merovechus wished to receive communion from the hands of Gregory of Tours himself. Gregory and Ragnemod, bishop of Paris, who was also present, were reluctant, most probably because Merovechus disregarded his presbyterial ordination. Merovechus, however, argued that he cannot be excommunicated without the consent of other bishops, and was granted communion. He then lived for some time in Tours and other places, never acting as a presbyter.
 
(ed. Krusch 1937: 207-208)
V.14
 
Merovechus was son of King Chilperic I, who rebelled against his father.
After this Merovechus, who was being held in custody by his father, was tonsured, had his clothes changed for those used by clerics, and was ordained a presbyter and directed to the monastery called Aninsola in Maine to be instructed there in the priestly rule (regula sacerdotali). Guntram Boso, who, as we have said, was then living in the basilica of Saint Martin [in Tours], heard of this. He sent Subdeacon Riculfus to secretly advise Merovechus to seek sanctuary in the basilica of Saint Martin. When Merovechus departed [to go to the monastery], from the opposite side came his servant Gailenus. Since those leading him were few in number (parvum solatium), he was set free on the road by Gailenus. Merovechus, having covered his head and put on secular clothes, made his way to the temple of Saint Martin.
After arriving at the church of Saint Martin, Merovechus wished to receive communion from the hands of Gregory of Tours himself. Gregory and Ragnemod, bishop of Paris, who was also present, were reluctant, most probably because Merovechus disregarded his presbyterial ordination. Merovechus, however, argued that he cannot be excommunicated without the consent of other bishops, and threatened to kill passers-by, and, therefore, he was granted communion. Merovechus then lived for some time in Tours and other places, never acting as a presbyter.
 
(trans. Thorpe 1974: 267, altered by J. Szafranowski)

Discussion:

Aninsola derives its name from the river Anille; the monastery was located near present-day Saint-Calais, some 40 km east of Le Mans.
 
These events took place, according to Gregory, in the first year of the reign of King Childebert II, that is, in 576.

Place of event:

Region
  • Gaul
City
  • Aninsola
  • Le Mans
  • Tours

About the source:

Author: Gregory of Tours
Title: The History of the Franks, Gregorii episcopi Turonensis historiarum libri X, Histories
Origin: Tours (Gaul)
Denomination: Catholic/Nicene/Chalcedonian
Gregory of Tours (Gaul) wrote his ten books of Histories (known commonly in English as the History of the Franks) during his episcopal reign in Tours between 573 and 594. The books vary in scope and length. The first book covers 5,596 years from the creation of the world to AD 397, that is the death of Saint Martin of Tours, Gregory`s predecessor in bishopric. The second book deals with the history of Gaul between 397 and 511, the latter being the year of death of King Clovis I. The third and fourth books cover the next 64 years till the death of Austrasian King Sigibert II in 575. Finally, the following six books describe exclusively the sixteen years from 575 to 591. Probably in 594, Gregory added the list of bishops of Tours in the end of the Histories, with brief accounts of their actions.
Edition:
B. Krusch ed., Gregorii Episcopi Turonensis Historiarum Libri X [in:] Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Scriptores rerum Merovingiciarum 1.1, Hannover 1884 (repr. 1951): 1­-537.
 
Translation:
Gregory of Tours, The History of the Franks, trans. L. Thorpe, London 1974.

Categories:

Non-Latin Origin - Frankish
Social origin or status - Monarchs and their family
Education - Monastic education
Food/Clothes/Housing - Clothes
Food/Clothes/Housing - Hairstyle
Described by a title - Presbyter/πρεσβύτερος
Attributes of clerical status
Ritual activity - Eucharist
Public law - Ecclesiastical
Former ecclesiastical career - None
Further ecclesiastical career - None
Further ecclesiastical career - Lay status
Administration of justice - Ecclesiastical
Administration of justice - Excommunication/Anathema
Education - Knowledge of canons
Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL: J. Szafranowski, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER1765, http://www.presbytersproject.ihuw.pl/index.php?id=6&SourceID=1765