2nd Area

LEM-CERCOR - 2nd Area« Ordo, regimen, status ». Community and society governance, from the ecclesial experience to the modern State


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« Ordo, regimen, status ». Gouvernement des communautés et sociétés, de l'expérience ecclésiale à l'État moderne

Supervisor: Thierry PÉCOUT

The purpose of this area of research is to offer a comparative approach to the history of the ecclesial institution and the political communities.

The point is:

  • to base our research on a history of the structures and governmental methods applied in local churches, religious communities or principalities (deciding authorities, such as accounting);
  • to lead a sociological inquiry on the networks that outline political societies, by analyzing the role played by episcopacy and both regular and canon environments.

This research area has three research programs:

  “The processes of political meetings
The example of Angevine Europe, 13th–15th centuries.”
A program financed by the French National Agency of Research, 2014-2018

  • This program is established by the UMR 8584 LEM-CERCOR of the University of Jean Monnet, Saint-Étienne, and associates the French School of Rome, the Seconda Università di Napoli, the Università degli Studi di Bergamo, the Università del Salento, the Università degli Studi di Salerno, the Hungarian Academy of Sciences Center for Social Sciences, the University of Moncton (Canada), the UMR 6258 CERHIO (University of Angers), the UMR 7303 TELEMME (University of Aix-Marseille), the EA 4583 CEMM (University of Nîmes) and the UMR 5205 LIRIS (Computing Lab on Image and Information System, Lyon INSA).

    Modern Europe wonders about the methods and the founding principles of its political integration process, and about the role States and regions played in such process. Such interrogations are connected to the age-old system which has shaped our political and administrative culture, for which the three last centuries of the Middle-Ages have been decisive. Let’s remember the slow gathering movements that have led not only to the emergence of states during the medieval era, but also to a specific type of control and political language. The 13th-15th centuries are privileged periods to observe these phenomena, as they have seen the establishment of organisms, languages, methods and administrative bodies responsible for the first developments of national and princely states. This program focuses on a specific type of political development that evolves on a regional scale, does not stop at any foreseeable cultural and linguistic unit, and comes up with new stakes concerning the administration of men and things. Such split up political structures, sometimes founded on private union, did not give way to nation states in early modern period or late modern period (from 1789-1792 until today). Because of that, they have often been ignored by national historiographies, that saw them as most likely non-reliable. Yet, they seem full of significations if we study them through the way they were founded, their political and administrative innovations, and their pragmatism. Territories under Angevine domination during the 13th-15th centuries are well-documented specific cases. The purpose of the project would be to study the emergence of a political environment and a political society, by wondering about the constitution of an administrative body and the officers – with their networks, their training, their abilities – in all of Angevine territories; Anjou, Maine, Provence, Lorraine, Southern Italy and Sicily, Piedmont, Lombardy and Tuscany, Hungary, Poland, Peloponnese, Albania. All of these territories, which are both separated in space and fragmented in time, question the political authorities’ ability to unite, to administrate and to create a common political speech. A prosopographical database will be the starting point of this research, led on an international scale.

  • This program and its database Prosopange gave the team members an experience they are ready to share with other labs. Thus, the Research Center of the Château de Versailles (Centre de Recherche du Château de Versailles) which was trying to conceive a prosopographical database on the court of French monarchs during the 17th and 18th centuries, asked the CERCOR and the UMR LIRIS (Lyon INSA) for help in 2017. The two used their expertise in prosopographical database to collaborate, with Anne Tchounikine (LIRIS) and Thierry Pécout.

Fasti Ecclesiæ Gallicanæ                                                                                          

The purpose of the Fasti Ecclesiæ Gallicanæ is to put together a prosopographical repertoire on bishops, dignitary and canons of French dioceses within the country’s contemporary borders, from 1200 to 1500; which makes about 141 continental dioceses and 147 if counting the Corsican dioceses. The researchers working on the program are part of a team that holds an annual study day at the National Archives (Archives nationales), often during March. Each diocese leads to the publication of a volume; the people in charge also take care of supplying an online database. The first volume came out in 1996. The Fasti thus develop a collection hosted by  and bearing the name of the Brepols Editions (Éditions Brepols Turnhout). They welcome researchers and PhD students interested in the prosopography of clerics and the history of dioceses during the last centuries of the Middle-Ages.

The Fasti Ecclesiæ Gallicanæ team has existed since June 1990 at the instigation of d’Hélène Millet, who was assisted by Pierre Desportes starting from 1993. It successively took different institutional forms. First the GDR 993, between 1991 and 1993 (which associated the UA 10004 of the University of Paris I, the UA 1011 of the French School of Rome (École française de Rome), the UA 955 of the Study Department of legal history (Centre d’Étude d’Histoire juridique), the ER 52 – French Humanism of the 14th and 15th centuries –, the URA 6 of the Department of archaeological research (Centre de recherches archéologiques) and the IRHT). Between 1994 and 2001, the Fasti became affiliated with the GDR Gerson, first under the supervision of André Vauchez then of Hélène Millet. Then, between 2002 and 2009, they joined the GDR 2513 SALVE, Sources, Acteurs et Lieux de la Vie religieuse à l’époque médiévale (Sources, stakeholders and places of religious life during the medieval era), supervised by both Hélène Millet and Nicole Bériou. From 1991 to 2009, the Fasti were in Orléans, on the site of the IRHT. Finally, between 2010 and the beginning of 2018, they became an area of research of the Laboratory of Western Medievalists of Paris I (UMR 8589 LAMOP). Since February 2018, the Fasti are part of the LEM-CERCOR.

In association with similar teams in Portugal and Hungary, the Fasti see through the creation of a European group of research (GDRE, Groupement de recherche européen), called “At the base of the modern states in Europe, the legacy of medieval clerics,” led by Dominique Iogna-Prat and Fabrice Delivré (2010-2012, UMR LAMOP).

The Fasti are historically connected to the group Collegiate (Collégiales), led by Anne Massoni, hosted by the UMR LAMOP, as well as part of the program ANR COLEMON.


Executive team, led by Vincent Tabbagh (2010-2012), Jean-Michel Matz (2012-2017) et Thierry Pécout (2018-): Christine Barralis (University of Lorraine), Fabrice Delivré (University of Paris I), Élisabeth Lusset (CNRS, UMR LAMOP), Jean-Michel Matz (University of Angers), Pascal Montaubin (University of Amiens), Laurent Vallière (Pontifical department of Avignon: Centre pontifical d’Avignon).

The team members of the LEM-CERCOR involved in the Fasti:

  • Martine Alet
  • Christine Barralis
  • Noëlle Deflou-Leca
  • Sylvain Excoffon
  • Ahmad Fliti
  • Sébastien Fray
  • Vincent Jourd’Heuil
  • Véronique Julerot
  • Daniel Le Blévec
  • Jacques Madignier
  • Jean-Michel Matz
  • Pascal Montaubin
  • Thierry Pécout

The Trecento novelle of Franco Sacchetti                                                      

Édition critique et traduction en vue d'une approche historico-théorique.

Responsable : Sylvain TROUSSELARD

The publishing of the scholarly edition and the unprecedented translation of the Trecento novelle of Franco Sacchetti is part of a large program of joint research between the team members. Beyond the establishment of the text, made by Professor Michelangelo ZACCARELLO of the University of Verona, the six members of the team charged with the translation (Denise Alexandre, Laurent Baggioni, Ismène Cotensin, Franck La Barca, Cécile Terreaux and Sylvain Trousselard) will work on several tasks meant to highlight the thematic characterizations and the political, cultural and social stakes of the corpus. By analyzing the contextualizing elements, the purpose is to highlight the elements that triggered the political, cultural and literal changes of the civil society of the Comuni during the end of the 14th century. These analyses will, among other things, take the form of a paratext (introduction, notes and annexes) closely tied to the short stories and the contextualization.

« Le Trecento novelle de Franco Sacchetti. Scholarly edition and translation: a historical and theoretical approach ». [To find out more]

Establishments of oration and seigniorial order                          

Supervisor: Sébastien FRAY

If the strategic stake of the seigneury enacted in establishments of oration (subsuming all of those for whom prayer is an essential mission – monks and canons) has been highlighted long ago, the tangible methods used by ecclesiastics to practice seigneury still remain largely unknown: studies on the question mostly date back to the 19th century and are today completely obsolete due to the evolution of our knowledge on the structure of medieval societies. It is thus urgent to now address this issue, which is the main subject of the present research topic. The purpose is less to focus on the seigniorial language used by the clergy than to study how the ecclesiastic seigneuries were tangibly implemented, and what specific problems they presented.

A first workshop concerns the way clergymen saw legal life, especially focusing on the judicial rights they held as lords, on which we are working on with Sylvain Excoffon, from a diachronic perspective (Middle-Ages, modern era). The research is conducted through several annual study days (from 2016 to 2019), which will finish with a conclusive colloquium leading to a publication in 2020. It benefits from a financing by the labex Comod.

The second workshop is about the clergymen’s belligerent attitudes, conceived as consequences to them joining the seigniorial order of their time. For his research on the subject, Sébastien Fray focuses on the clergymen’s involvement in feudal wars and seigneurial conflicts, mostly in the center of Gaul. For his part, Thomas Lecaque studies the involvement of clergymen in the first crusade.

Alongside a collective inquiry on the cathedral chapter of the Puy (a local branch of the national program Fasti Ecclesiae Gallicanae ),  Sébastien Fray conducts a study on the construction and the wielding of powers (episcopal, canonical, communal, aristocratic) in the city of Puy.