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Aiding The Servants Of Faith: Bishops And Donations To Religious Houses

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Chapter Summary

Like countless other medieval men and women, Bishop Ebles of Limoges gave gifts to religious houses that held special meaning for him, particularly at moments when illness and death threatened him or his relations. The nature of the evidence that survives from tenth-century A quitaine dictates that one of the roles in which we know bishops such as Ebles best is that of donor. This chapter focuses on the mechanics of the donations themselves, including the communities bishops chose to benefit, the sources of the land and income that they gave, and the methods they employed to protect their generosity against future encroachment. It also uses episcopal donation charters-although they have not frequently been mined for evidence of this kind-to provide insight into the reasons bishops gave gifts.

Keywords: Bishop Ebles; episcopal donation; religious houses

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