Reference : Klostervogtei zwischen monastischem Diskurs und bilateraler Aushandlung am Beispiel d...
Scientific congresses, symposiums and conference proceedings : Paper published in a book
Arts & humanities : History
Klostervogtei zwischen monastischem Diskurs und bilateraler Aushandlung am Beispiel des zentralen lotharingischen Raums (10. – Anfang 12. Jahrhundert)
[en] Advocacy between monastic rhetoric and bilateral negotiation
Margue, Michel mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education (FLSHASE) > Identités, Politiques, Sociétés, Espaces (IPSE) >]
Kirchenvogtei und adlige Herrschaftsbildung im europäischen Mittelalter
Adermann, Kurt
Bünz, Enno
Vorträge und Forschungen 86
Reichenau-Tagung 2015
29.09 - 02.10.2015
Konstanzer Arbeitskreis für mittelalterliche Geschichte
Insel Reichenau
[de] Vogtei ; Adel ; Lotharingien
[en] Within the Lotharingian space, the role played by advocacy in the shaping of princely territories from the tenth to the eleventh century has been viewed as fundamental by ancient studies sharing a juridical and institutional perspective. However, a recent reassessment of relationships between nobility and monasteries, makes necessary a re-evaluation of the links between advocates and monasteries.
Our rereading is carried out in three steps: a critical view on the historiography of advocacy, a deconstruction of the monastic discourse on advocates and a fresh look at the links between comital advocates and abbey and on advocacy as a space of bilateral negotiation.
The dominant discourse on the advocacy’s evolution has led to the development of an image from an institutional perspective, starting with its Carolingian origins and the « advocates-agents » of the central power (« Beamtenvogtei »), then moving to the ducal and comital advocates during the eleventh and twelfth centuries (« Edelvogtei » or « Herrenvogtei »), leading to the progressive abandonment of advocacy in the course of the last three centuries of the Middle Ages. To oversimplify, advocacy is pictured as an institution (« Rechtsinstitut ») with well-defined normative and juridical characteristics. However, its socio-cultural aspects, viewed in the larger context of relationships between nobility and regular clergy, remain neglected. As a result, advocacy is frequently perceived negatively as a source of conflicts with monasteries.
It was in the course of the second half of the eleventh century that was born the image of a society polarised between a reformed monastic environment attempting at freeing itself from the laity and « usurping » counts-advocates « oppressors » of monks and rural communities. It then developed before entering modern and contemporary historiography.
One needs to relativize and nuance such views, on the one hand by deconstructing the monastic discourse, by disclosing its strategies, and, on the other, by taking a wider look at other socio-cultural links between advocates and monasteries for which they ensure protectio. Indeed, the polarizing discourse carried by monastic sources hide many instances of positive representation of ducal and comital advocates, particularly between the middle of the tenth century and the middle of the twelfth, pertaining to the « high » advocacy exerted by dukes and counts. It is only with the development of the « inferior » advocacy (“Untervogtei”), which occurred in the beginning of the twelfth century, that advocacy started to be portrayed as a plague to be fought. One must therefore view the usage of that negative image of the advocate in terms of a strategy adopted by monasteries, aiming at permanently renegotiate rights between the two parts in the management of monastic patrimony.
The analysis of links between the advocates and their monasteries necessitates taking into account elements that are at the same time complex and of various orders: social features such as the seigniorial world’s social and political hierarchy, economical factors such as the evolution of monastic lordship, religious factors such as memoria shared between monks and prominent laypeople. By taking into account other actors such as central power, ministerials and representatives of rural communities, the so-called gradual regulations of the advocates’ rights appear more like parts of exchange processes, of (re)negotiations or strengthening of common interests, shared between the lay and the monastic worlds.

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