Incest, penance and a murdered bishop
The legend of Frederic of Utrecht
in Religious Franks
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The title of this chapter refers to the early-eleventh-century Passio Friderici. In this saint's life bishop Frederic of Utrecht is murdered by a couple of minions of Empress Judith, wife of Emperor Louis the Pious, out of revenge for the bishop's accusations of incest and adultery against her. The chapter focuses on the question of how and why the author of Frederic's Life made a use of the Carolingian past in Utrecht just after the year 1000. It presents the views of Patrick Corbet on the Passio. The formation and consolidation of a bishopric, and the changing position of its oldest institutions, are important elements. A clear continuation is shown of Carolingian reform ideas in the duties of bishops. Finally, the chapter focuses on the role of Bishop Adelbold and on the function of the Passio in the education of young Utrecht clerics.

Religious Franks

Religion and power in the Frankish Kingdoms: studies in honour of Mayke de Jong


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