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The bishops of Meaux (France, Champagne), 1195-1510


Between 1195 and 1510, 33 bishops occupied the seat of Meaux. Although three-quarters of them died here, the average duration of their episcopate is less of nine years long. This high turnover is among others things linked to the fact that it is a seat very often occupied by king’s officers, for several reasons. However, the low financial resources of this bishopric are not likely to attract or hold ambitious prelates. We have consequently two prelates' figures : on one hand (the most frequent case), a man with experience, from rarely highest social origin, for whom the Meaux’ bishopric is a reward for a lifetime work within the cathedral chapter or in the king’s service. On the other hand, a prelate who is only beginning there a career which will lead him towards richer and more prestigious seats : a more reduced, less homogeneous group observed especially from the 14th century. From the end of the 12th century to the beginning of the 16th century, the development of the bishops’ appointement is particularly clear. We cross from a majority of elections in the 13th century to a papal appointments only system during the age of the Avignon’s papacy and Great Schism, before reemergence, in the 15th century, of some chapter’s appointment, punctual and submitted to the papal approval. An essential point, from 1298 onward, is the intervention of the king, who influences almost all the later appointments. All these elements draws an important break between the 13th and 14th centuries, bound to several factors, and leading to a decrease of the influence of the chapter on bishop’s appointment and a greater geographical diversity in the pre-episcopal careers.


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hal-03323465 , version 1 (21-08-2021)


  • HAL Id : hal-03323465 , version 1


Christine Barralis. The bishops of Meaux (France, Champagne), 1195-1510: from chapter’s men to king’s men. Sarah E. Thomas. Bishops' Identities, Careers and Networks, 44, Brepols, pp.85-103, 2021, Medieval Church Studies, 978-2-503-57910-8. ⟨hal-03323465⟩
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