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If The Count Should Send A Bishop: Lay Authority And The Bishops Of Aquitaine

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Chapter Summary

Aquitanian bishops, like those of other regions in this period, were tied to the lay aristocracy in manifold ways. For these bishops, it would have seemed foreign to separate their worldly from their religious duties, their activities on behalf of their churches and dioceses from those that benefited their families and their ruler. In this chapter, after establishing the manner in which these links were made through birth and election, the author explores the concrete ways in which those affiliations influenced bishops' behavior in their office, particularly their relations with religious houses. In particular, the decades around the year 1000 saw a striking evolution in relations between the bishops and dukes of Aquitaine, resulting in the formation of a coherent cadre of bishops who worked together and with the duke to support their mutual interests, most famously in the movement known as the Peace of God.

Keywords: Aquitanian bishops; family policy; lay aristocracy; religious houses



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