CLERICS of VERDUN

Three presbyters Franco, Paul and Valerian and a deacon, Sisinno, authors of a letter written in the 2nd half of the 5th c., addressed to Polychronius or Pulchrone, bishop of an unknown diocese, perhaps Verdun, handed down in a 6th-c. MS Paris, BN, Lat. 12097, f. 143r from the canonical collection of Corbie. Speaking for all the clerici, they tell their bishop of the exile to which, like him, they had been subjected, and thank him for his intervention on their behalf; they also tell him that they have found refuge with Castor, perhaps bishop of Chartres, probably the same person who had given asylum to Polychronius; finally, they ask him to come and visit at Easter, to encourage themselves and their fellow citizens.

From the letter it is clear that it was not just individuals who were exiled, but the entire population of the city, Immunities and Privileges of perhaps in consequence of Frankish expansion toward the S at the time of Chilperic and Clovis. CPL 1000: Epistula de patria ad Polochronium. PLS 3, 831-832 = ed. Turner 1929. L. Duchesne, Fastes piscopaux de l’ancienne Gaule, 3, Paris 1915, 69-70; C.H. Turner, Chapters in the History of Latin MSS of Canons. IV. The Corbie Ms C, now Paris. Lat. 12097: JTS 30 1929 225-236; G. Morin, Castor et Polychronius. Un pisode peu connu de l’histoire ecclsiastique des Gaules: RBen 51 1939 31-36; R.W. Mathisen, Roman Aristocrats in Barbarian Gaul. Strategies for Survival in an Age of Transition, Austin 1993, esp. 64ff.; Patrologia IV, 343.

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