The Chronicle of Hugh of Flavigny

Reform and the Investiture Contest in the Late Eleventh Century

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  • Patrick Healy, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
  • Series : Church, Faith and Culture in the Medieval West
  • This book is a detailed study of Hugh of Flavigny and his chronicle, which is widely recognised as one of the most important narratives of a crucial period of European history, that is, the Investiture Contest. Hugh's Chronicon is significant in a number of ways: as a unique source-book for some of the most important primary documents (especially papal letters) generated by the Investiture Contest; as a rare autograph manuscript which gives an important insight into contemporary modes of composition and compilation; as an important history of the 'local' effects of the Investiture Contest in the dioceses of Verdun and Autun; and as a striking autobiography of the author, Hugh of Flavigny. All these aspects are covered in this study by Patrick Healy. Other chapters investigate the context of the work in terms of ecclesiastical politics and use an analysis of the political and theological sources to illustrate the intellectual make-up of a contemporary monk, publicist - and polemicist.

  • Contents: Introduction; The Abbey of St-Vanne, Verdun, from its foundation until 1085; The life and career of Hugh of Flavigny; The manuscript of the Chronicon and its transmission; Sources of the Chronicon; Kingship and tyranny in the Chronicon; Lay investiture and simony: Auctoritas and Consuetudo; Reforming attitudes to ecclesiastical promotion; The Chronicon as polemic; Appendices; Bibliography; Index.

  • About the Author: Dr Patrick Healy is IRCHSS Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Department of History, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland.

  • Reviews: 'This is an important study, informed by close readings of the Chronicon itself, parallel texts and sources, and a very extensive body of scholarly literature. There is a real sense that no possible source for Hugh's text has been neglected. The analysis is persuasive and challenges readers to rethink ideas of a 'friendship network' and especially the ways in which both texts and intellectual/propagandistic concepts were transmitted in this period, all of which are underpinned by Healy's close reading of the autograph. The study is to be especially commended for its careful balance between the local and broader contexts of reform, both of which informed Hugh's outlook and the text itself… this book is and will be a key study for anyone working on the eleventh-century reform movement, its intellectual underpinnings, and perhaps especially the transmission of ideas, and of canonical and other texts in Western Europe during this period.' Archives

    ‘Healy’s study offers a mine of information about the Chronicon and its author.’ English Historical Review

    '… une importante contribution à l’histoire de la Querelle des investitures sur le terrain des monastères et des diocèses et non plus seulement vue de Rome; il démontre également la place exceptionnelle tenue par la chronique d’Hugues de Flavigny dans l’histoire du conflit entre Église et Empire à la fin du XIe s.' Cahiers de civilisation médiévale

  • Extracts from this title are available to view:

    Full contents list

    Introduction

    Index