The article focuses on the mobilization and reconfiguration of Roman law in the Merovingian kingdoms. It pays particular attention to a collection of legal texts first compiled in the late sixth century, in preparation for the Second synod of Mâcon in 585. Drawing heavily on an extraordinary collection of late Roman imperial laws, the so-called Sirmondian Constitutions, the bishops sought to declare themselves untouchably sacrosanct. A close analysis of the synodal canons shows that the bishops adapted these imperial rulings to legitimate their position in ways that had no basis in the original laws themselves. The study closes by linking the synod of Mâcon with a debate over episcopal privilege as ref lected in the writings of Gregory of Tours, and with a brief look at the further history of the debate in the Carolingian period.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)