The Cartulary-Chronicle of St-Pierre of Bèze
Published: October 2019© 2019
448 Pages, 6.30 x 9.30 x 1.12 in
In the early twelfth century a Burgundian monk set out to tell the 500-year history of his monastery, embedded within a broader history of early medieval France. The Cartulary-Chronicle of St-Pierre of Bèze is both a history of the monastery and a collection of its 331 charters, from its seventh-century foundation until the middle of the twelfth century. Bèze was a Benedictine house whose history included at least six incidents of sacking and destruction – and according to its twelfth-century chronicler it always recovered and emerged stronger than ever.
Combining the history of Burgundy and Francia with the history of his house, John, the chronicler, created a past for Bèze as he wanted it to be remembered. Based on John’s autograph manuscript, The Cartulary-Chronicle of St-Pierre of Bèze is published here in full for the first time. While the monks of Bèze have often been overshadowed by their more famous neighbours, the monks of Dijon, this edition recounts the history of one of the oldest houses in Burgundy and gives it its proper due.
List of Abbreviations
List of Abbots
Chronological List of Documents
The Cartulary-Chronicle of Bèze
Index of People
Index of Places
Index of Topics
"Ever since its partial and imperfect publication in 1875, the Chronicle of Bèze has been, in the words of Louis Joliet, ‘an almost useless collection, like a rough-hewn tool that each must put back on the anvil every time one wished to use it.’ Finally, Constance Brittain Bouchard, drawing on her deep knowledge of Burgundian diplomatics and history, has produced a critical edition of this remarkable text from the original manuscript. Rather than extracting the charters from their context or publishing only those portions of the narrative that are ‘original,’ she cleverly combines a careful edition of the entire narrative portions of the text with critically presented and annotated editions of each of the 331 charters. At last scholars can begin not only to make serious use of the charters but also to understand how the chronicler subtly reworked the chronicle of nearby St-Bénigne of Dijon to the glory of his own community. Bouchard has sharpened the ‘rough-hewn tool’ to a cutting edge."Patrick J. Geary, School of Historical Studies, Institute for Advanced Study
"Including pieces left out of the earlier edition, this edition offers a better representation of the Bèze materials as a distinct text and makes a case for some possibly neglected Merovingian-era documents."Hans Hummer, Department of History, Wayne State University