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1 - The Place of the mensa

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  04 December 2009

Everett U. Crosby
Affiliation:
University of Virginia
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Summary

If, in the early Christian period, there was an emphasis on the communal nature of the goods which belonged to the church and which served to support both the bishop and the chapter, the idea was soon modified, not only by the canonical division of the assets into the traditional, and probably theoretical, four portions marked for the bishop, the clergy, the fabric, and the poor, but also by the practical necessity of providing for an administrative apparatus, however rudimentary, to insure that the income was allocated in a satisfactory way. Inherent, therefore, in the conception of the ecclesiastical endowment was the notion that a dichotomy of goods and services existed. Gregory I, while he emphasized a common way of life for bishops and clergy, had suggested a division of property and revenues in his answers to the questions of Augustine. Likewise, St. Benedict assumed in the Rule that the abbot would eat apart from his monks in a different room with a separate kitchen. Yet over all there prevailed the assumption that the primary position of power was held by the bishop as the chief administrator of his church. Chrodegang's Decretulum of c. 755 emphasized the prelate's importance in the affairs of the canons, and Hincmar stressed that the management of the ecclesiastical property was in his hands. It was a view which appealed to many of the bishops themselves who had occasion to deal with a recalcitrant chapter; it sat well with kings who saw the episcopate as an agency of royal domination over the church and its lands; and it found favor with certain of the popes who wished to reinforce their hold on the developing national churches by strengthening local episcopal authority.

Type
Chapter
Information
Bishop and Chapter in Twelfth-Century England
A Study of the 'Mensa Episcopalis'
, pp. 10 - 29
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 1994

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  • The Place of the mensa
  • Everett U. Crosby, University of Virginia
  • Book: Bishop and Chapter in Twelfth-Century England
  • Online publication: 04 December 2009
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511522390.003
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  • The Place of the mensa
  • Everett U. Crosby, University of Virginia
  • Book: Bishop and Chapter in Twelfth-Century England
  • Online publication: 04 December 2009
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511522390.003
Available formats
×

Send book to Google Drive

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

  • The Place of the mensa
  • Everett U. Crosby, University of Virginia
  • Book: Bishop and Chapter in Twelfth-Century England
  • Online publication: 04 December 2009
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511522390.003
Available formats
×