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Religious Women in Early Carolingian FranciaA Study of Manuscript Transmission and Monastic Culture$
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Felice Lifshitz

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780823256877

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823256877.001.0001

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The Anglo-Saxon Cultural Province in Francia

The Anglo-Saxon Cultural Province in Francia

(p.16) Chapter Two The Anglo-Saxon Cultural Province in Francia
Religious Women in Early Carolingian Francia

Felice Lifshitz

Fordham University Press

This chapter surveys the ecclesiastical and monastic landscape of the Main Valley during the eighth century. Although some men’s monastic communities did exist in the region, they were smaller, less wealthy, and less stable than the most important women’s houses at Karlburg and Kitzingen, both of which (at different points in the century) were proprietary houses of the ruling Carolingian family. These women’s communities are by far and away the best candidates to have produced the surviving eighth-century manuscripts from the region, manuscripts which have been associated with women since they were first studied by the paleographer Bernhard Bischoff during the 1950s. As the chapter demonstrates, claims that the manuscripts were produced in a men’s community depend upon an unreliable twelfth-century biography of bishop Burkhard of Würzburg. The chapter discusses a mythical figure from that narrative, Immina of Würzburg, alongside Kilian of Würzburg, two important regional saints whose legends paint a distorted, misleading picture of the history of the Main Valley.

Keywords:   Karlburg, Kitzingen, Burkhard of Würzburg, Immina of Würzburg, Kilian of Würzburg

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