St Anselm and the Handmaidens of God: A Study of Anselm's Correspondence with Women 2503513379, 9782503513379

As abbot of Bec and archbishop of Canterbury, the renowned theologian St. Anselm spent most of his career working '

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St Anselm and the Handmaidens of God: A Study of Anselm's Correspondence with Women
 2503513379, 9782503513379

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Citation preview

ERRATA There are regrettably a number of errors in the captions to several illustrations and to one map. The correct details are as printed in the lists of maps and illustrations on pp. viii-xi.





Editorial Board Gerd Althoff (Westfalische-Wilhelms-Universitat MUnster) Michael Clanchy (University of London) Peter Gumbert (University of Leiden) Mayke de Jong (University of Utrecht) Rosamond McKitterick (University of Cambridge) Arpad Orban (University of Utrecht) Armando Petrucci (Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa) Richard H. Rouse (UCLA)



A Study of Anselm's Correspondence with Women

Sally N. Vaughn


British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data Vaughn, Sally N. St. Anselm and the handmaidens of God: a study of Anselm's correspondence with women. - (Utrecht studies in medieval literacy ; 7) l.Anselm, Saint, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1033-1109Correspondence 2.Anselm, Saint, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1033-1109- Relations with women 3.Christian saints- England - Correspondence 4 .Anglo-N orrnan letters 5 .England- Church history - 1066-1485 I. Title II.Rijksuniversiteit te Utrecht 282'.092 ISBN 2503513379

© 2002- Brepols Publishers n.v. Turnhout, Belgium

Printed in the E.U. on acid-free paper D/2002/0095/127 ISBN 2-503-51337-9 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publisher.

To my daughters-in-law and granddaughters Carolyn, LeeAnn, Cathy, Claudia and Camille and my niece Christy

Table of Contents

Maps Illustrations

viii IX



Chapter One: Amici et Amicae: St. Anselm's Correspondence and Correspondents


Chapter Two: Dominae et Matres Reverendae: The Mothers of Bee


Chapter Three: Dominae et Sororae Dilectae: Cherished Sisters


Chapter Four: Filiae Dulcissimae: Spiritual Daughters


Chapter Five: Dominae Carissimae, Gloriosae Reginae: Beloved Ladies, Glorious Queens


Chapter Six: Ancillae Dei: Handmaidens of God


Appendix: Select Genealogies Select Bibliography Index


304 315

Maps 1. Normandy and its environs From E.A. FREEMAN, History of the Norman Conquest of England, 6 vols. (Oxford, 1873), vol.2, p. 115.



Normandy, details 72 From Master Wace: His Chronicle of the Nonnan Conquest from the Roman de Rou, transl. E. TAYLOR (London, 1837), p. xxviii.


Savoy, details 77 From A. OAKLEY, Cloudlands of France (New York, 1927), frontispiece.


Savoy, Lotharingia, Flanders and Boulogne 117 From E.A. FREEMAN, The Historical Geography of Europe, vol. 2, 2nd edn. (London, 1882), p. xxi.


Lotharingia and Boulogne, details Adapted from FREEMAN, Historical Geography, vol. 2, p. xxi.


England, nunneries 161 From Abbot GASQUET, English Monastic Life (London, 1905), after p. 318.


Illustrations Norman woman (Emma of Normandy) receiving a letter Cover From Master Wace: His Chronicle of the Nonnan Conquest from the Roman de Rou, tr. E. TAYLOR (London, 1837), p. 31. 1. Woman writing (St. Radegonde, twelfth century) xn From L. DE LAMARCHE, Les Manuscrits et la miniature (Paris, 1884), fig. 44, p. 161. 2. Community in chapter house 12 From Abbot GASQUET, English Monastic Life (London, 1905), p. 122. 3. One of St. Anselm's archiepiscopal successors (St. Edmund, consecra28 tion, 1234) From a drawing in Matthew Paris, in B. WARD, St. Edmund of Canterbury (London, 1903), p. 77. 4. Seal of King William II Rufus 50 From Mme DE WITT, nee GUIZOT, Les Chroniqueurs de l 'Histoire de France (Paris, 1884), p. 3. 5. Seal of King Henry I of England From GUIZOT, Les Chroniqueurs, p. 55. 6. Virgin Mother and Child From an early twelfth-century continental manuscript, possibly Norman, in the University of Chicago, stamped Phillipps ms 25142




From E.F. DEXTER, Miracula Sanctae Virginis Mariae (Madison, 1927), frontispiece. 7. Drawing of the valley of Aosta, Castello di Penis From A. OAKLEY, Cloudlands of France (New York, 1927), p. 470.



A monastic school (English, fourteenth century) 83 From A.F. LEACH, The Schools of Medieval England (London, 1915), p. 165.


A game of ball (English, fourteenth century) From LEACH, Schools of Medieval England, p. 141.


10. Ninth-century Mother and Child in initial 88 From DE LAMARCHE, Les Manuscrits et la miniature, fig. 36, p. 145. 11. Seal of William the Conqueror From Master Wace, p. 260.


12. Married couple (Jean due de Berry and his wife, 1389) 120 From DE LAMARCHE, Les Manuscrits et la Miniature, fig. 56, p. 191. 13. The Abbey ofMontecassino 147 From Dam B. CAMM, Pilgrim Paths in Latin Lands (London, 1923), p. 49. 14. Plan of Christchurch Cathedral and Monastery, Canterbury From Eadwine's Psalter, in WARD, St. Edmund, p. 116.


15. Eleventh-century abbess offering her work to the Virgin From DE LAMARCHE, Les Manuscrits et la Miniature, p. 125.


16. St. Scholastica in her niche (Soccorpo, Montecassino) From CAMM, Pilgrim Paths in Latin Lands, p. 87.


17. Nun asking pardon of an abbess From GASQUET, English Monastic Life, p. 179.



18. Countess Matilda of Tuscany From H.K. MANN, Lives of the Popes (London, 1925), p. 188.


19. Coin of King Henry I From GUIZOT, Les Chroniqueurs, p. 55.


20. Countess Matilda of Tuscany 240 From J.H. MIDDLETON, Illuminated Manuscripts in Classical and Medieval Times (Cambridge, 1892), p. 185. 21. Mother teaching son From LEACH, The Schools of Medieval England, p. 71. 22. One of Anselm's archiepiscopal successors, St. Edmund, Council of London, 1237 From WARD, St. Edmund, p. 112.



23. Marble Throne of St. Gregory 267 From H.H. HOWORTH, St. Augustine of Canterbury (New Y ark, 1913 ), p. 19. 24. St. Augustine's chair, Canterbury Cathedral HOWORTH, St. Augustine, p. 97.


25. The old altar of St. Augustine's Canterbury From HOWORTH, St. Augustine, p. 186.


26. One of Anselm's archiepiscopal successors, St. Edmund From WARD, St. Edmund, p. 83.



Fig. 1

Woman writing (St. Radegonde, twelfth century). From: Master Wace: His Chronicle of the Norman Conquest from the Roman de Rou, tr. E. TAYLOR (London, 1837), p. xxviii.

Preface his book has had a long history. It began many years ago as a conference paper for the Pacific Coast Conference of the American Historical Association. Invited to go to Hawaii if I could contribute to a session on Medieval women, I noted that Anselm had written some of his letters to women, and so I set out to explore Anselm's relationships with women. I found that he was far more involved with the women of his day than I had suspected, having corresponded with women of many different ages, different stations in life, and especially with powerful aristocratic wives and widows, and even, rather extensively, with England's Queen Edith-Matilda, Henry r's wife. Over the years, the manuscript has changed materially. I began by just looking at Anselm and how he related to and viewed women, and that is still one of the major foci of this book. I did not, however, set out to write a book about women in general, nor even about Anselm's women friends in particular. Rather, this book is about St. Anselm and his beliefs about, attitudes towards, and relationships with his women correspondents and any other women with whom he had dealings. It is not, and is not intended to be, a work of 'women's history'. The women themselves are, of course, very interesting as a group and individually, and indeed some, such as Adela of Blois, Queen Edith-Matilda and Matilda of Tuscany, have been studied more or less extensively, as they deserve. I leave each of these studies to other historians, and especially those who specialize in women's history. I do not. My interest is in Anselm, his teachers, his students, his family, his friends and enemies. But the nature of the study led me to expand it in yet another direction. In order to place Anselm's women correspondents in an historical context, I had to reconstruct the family relationships of some of them, and more basically to identify some of them from among a number of possibilities, especially in early Normandy. I began finding whole families close to Anselm's abbey of




Bee, and to Anselm himself. Then I looked at Anselm's attitudes towards different women's roles, beginning with mothers, and starting with Anselm's own mother. I found his ideas about mothers' roles to be complex and central to many of his views about other facets of life, including childhood and teaching. His relationship with his blood sister Richeza and his 'spiritual' sister Ida revealed his views about women's roles in families- marriage as well as sibling relationships. Ida seems to have been perhaps his closest friend, a spiritual sister in a close, loving, but platonic relationship, rather like that between St. Jerome and his close platonic friend Paula. I expected to find many nuns as Anselm's spiritual daughters, but discovered that his relationships with nuns and abbesses were rather perfunctory. He seems to have had little to do with them, and gave minimal attention to them in his correspondence. I must qualify this by recalling a sweet letter he wrote to a very young woman as she was beginning her monastic life, identified only as 'M'. It is very likely, however, that she was a daughter of a family very close to Anselm and Bee, and thus his concern for her was more out of concern for her family than out of concern for her monastic vocation. Instead of nuns and abbesses, it appears to me that powerful aristocratic married women were his ideal women, and they were his true spiritual daughters and preferred correspondents, associates, political allies and friends. I began to see these married women and mothers, who indeed included his own mother and sister, as those whom Anselm saw as the Ancillae Dei, Handmaidens of God, who are contained in the title of this book. But the question of Anselm's correspondence itself soon became a central issue of this book. As I began my research, a dispute arose between Walter Frohlich and Sir Richard Southern over whether or not Anselm had collected his own correspondence. Frohlich argued that Anselm not only had collected the correspondence, but had done so to create a kind of 'public image'. Southern objected that such an action was not in Anselm's character, and later extended his argument to claim that William of Malmesbury made the original collection. In the midst of the argument, I came out on Frohlich's side, for reasons other than Frohlich had argued: that, in essence, the collection of the correspondence was part of Anselm's concern with politics and political issues. I outline the dispute in great detail in Chapter One. It may seem awkward to some readers that I have had to digress from the topic of Anselm's women correspondents in the first chapter to discuss the issues surrounding Anselm's collection of his own correspondence, in its several parts. But I have come to see these issues as absolutely essential to an



understanding of Anselm's correspondence with, views of, and relationships with women. As the Ancillae Dei appeared to me more and more to be ideal types - archetypical examples as Anselm presented them - as much as real women to Anselm, the nature of Anselm's correspondence itself, and especially whether or not he himself collected and edited it, became crucial. If indeed, as they appear, the women in Anselm's correspondence are in some sense archetypical, then they must be Anselm's conscious constructions in some manner. I see no contradictions in these women being both real women and ideal types because most of the letters are from Anselm to women - only a few from Queen Edith-Matilda are to Anselm- and thus he wrote to them instructing them, I think, as if they were, or wanted to be, what his ideal image of their type of woman required. In most cases Anselm preserved only one letter of each type to each type of woman. Moreover, in collecting the letters, he may well have omitted any that contradicted the ideals he wished to portray in the letter collection. Further, if Anselm did collect and edit his own correspondence, it is then something of a literary creation, rather than a 'true' record of the historical facts. That view does not mean necessarily that the correspondence is 'untrue', but rather that it represents a particular kind of truth, that meaning which Anselm, its collector and creator, intended to give it. An understanding of the construction and organization of the correspondence, the mechanics of the collection of the letters, and the structure and characteristics of the letters themselves thus became crucial to reconstructing Anselm's real relationships with women, and the ideal relationships I posit that he wished to portray in the artful collection of his letters. Thus the focus of the book shifted to become more a study of Anselm's correspondence than, as it had been originally, exclusively a study of Anselm's friendships with women. And thus I devote a good portion of Chapter One to an analysis of the letter collection itself, after having outlined the historiography behind a study of Anselm's relationships with women and a study of Anselm's correspondence. Some readers more interested in Anselm himself, or on the other hand primarily interested in the women, have found such an analysis at the very beginning tedious, but I assure you it will repay your time in reading it with very important insights into Anselm's character and personality, even genius, if you like. My argument stems a good deal from the internal evidence in the correspondence, correlated with the various stages of his career connected with its collection in four stages, and with the writings of Anselm's colleagues at Bee and Canterbury. Remarkably, by focussing primarily on the women in the



correspondence, I was able to use them as a prism through which to view Anselm's views of the total society without working through and analysing the entire unwieldy collection of some 475 letters to both women and men. The subset of letters to women proved to be a cross-section through which the whole collection could be viewed. However, it is crucial to distinguish between those letters in the original collection, which I believe were Anselm's choices, and those added to the collections later, which I believe Anselm deliberately omitted. In the interplay between these dual studies, of Anselm's correspondence and of Anselm's views of women, Anselm's views of society - of families, of aristocrats, churchmen, royalty, teachers, students, children, parents- emerge to form a complete picture of how he seems to have thought the world of human society ought to work, in its various interrelationships and its total construct. The women in Anselm's correspondence naturally fall into types, and I conclude Chapter One by trying to identify the very few women to whom Anselm wrote when he was prior. Most were Norman, most were noble, but some were young girls and some were older married women - even married many times. I found Anselm's relationships with these women appropriate to the role of the prior that he was. Chapter Two comprises an analysis of Anselm's views of mothers, from his own mother to the 'Mothers of Bee' he included in the abbey, to the mothers to whom he wrote in their specific roles as mothers. Clearly Anselm had a view of what an ideal mother should be, and expressed it in both his words and his deeds. He saw the mother as primarily a teacher, and clearly modelled his own teaching methodology on that of his mother. Chapter Three examines Anselm's sisters: his real sister Richeza, and his 'spiritual' sister and lifelong friend Countess Ida of Boulogne. In these letters Anselm revealed his views of the ideal marriage, relationship between husband and wife, and between parents and children. In short, the ideal family and its ideal relationships stand forth. Interestingly, Anselm's teaching to the nobles of England consisted entirely of lectures on the conduct and state of their marriages and marital relationships. Chapter Four looks at spiritual daughters: abbesses and nuns. Anselm only wrote to cloistered women after he became archbishop of Canterbury, and his dealings with them were rather perfunctory, unless an abbess seriously threatened the well-being of the state by her behaviour. Chapter Five reviews the letters Anselm wrote to aristocratic women and to the queen, and those the queen wrote to him. These powerful women, most except the queen widows and regents for their children, served as 'handmaidens of Anselm' in a very real



sense, shoring up his political campaigns and helping him in his diplomatic missions. Queen Edith-Matilda treated Anselm as both a respected adversary and a spiritual advisor, as she mediated between the archbishop and the king her husband, seeking to reconcile them both. I saw and still see most of the women to whom Anselm wrote both as real women whose lives can be more or less reconstructed, and also as a set of archetypes, symbols of the types of women in Norman and Anglo-Norman society whom Anselm wished to represent as ideal. I see him as artfully describing these women through his statements to them and demonstrating through his letters the ideal relationships that first a prior, then an abbot, then an archbishop ought to have towards them and with them. Thus, in most cases, each letter seems to represents a model of how a model cleric in Anselm's position ought to relate to a particular type of woman. In these letters I think Anselm was instructing these women, sometimes overtly and sometimes by innuendo, about how they ought to conduct themselves and live. In most cases, Anselm preserved only one letter to each type of woman: a young noble, a young nun, a young married woman, a countess in her prime, a powerful widow, an older widow, and so on. However, there are some women to whom Anselm wrote a number of letters, the foremost being Ida of Boulogne and Queen Edith-Matilda. I will argue that these are special cases. In the case of Ida of Boulogne, Anselm represented an ideal long-term relationship - a friendship - between a monk and an aristocratic woman modelled on historical friendships which served as his exemplars such as that between St. Jerome and Paula. In the case of Queen Edith-Matilda, a more complex long-term ideal relationship between the Primate of the English Church as a type and the English Queen as a type seems to be Anselm's desired representation. It is more complicated because the king must also fit into the equation of the relationship between Primate and Queen. Indeed, if my theories of Anselm's artful construction of his correspondence are correct, Anselm as archbishop was required by his political views to maintain a relationship with the queen. I will also argue that Anselm's ideal of women represented a particular regard for the equality of women. This view has been challenged by various of my pre-publication readers, largely because of Anselm's two surviving letters to Gunhilda, daughter of the slain Anglo-Scandinavian king Harold Godwineson (d. 1066). First, it is indisputable that these two letters were never included in any of the original collections, but only added to the modem collections. Nevertheless, in my detailed analysis in the text, I argue that Anselm forced Gunhilda into a nunnery against her will for the good of the state (as I think he



saw it), in line with what I think he saw as his clear duty as archbishop: to protect the state. This act on Anselm's part is rightly viewed by my critics as a clear oppression of a woman, with no regard to what I see as his usual concern and sensitivity towards women. First, again, clearly Anselm omitted these two letters from his collection. He never intended them to be circulated and read, and thus did not intend them to represent his ideal of women's treatment and place in society, nor to serve as a model for emulation. Indeed, their omission from the collection strongly argues that he did not wish this behaviour to be emulated. Second, he would and did treat men, even kings, in the same way. The outstanding example is King William Rufus, whom Eadmer reports that Anselm just as harshly condemned. For an example of rough treatment of one of Anselm's male political opponents in his goals to bring about an ideal state, I have argued elsewhere that Anselm's condemnation may have contributed to Rufus's assassination. I still assert that Anselm was pro-women's equality, and that his treatment of Gunhilda represents an anomaly because in his view the common good overrides the individual's good. However ideal Anselm may have been in his views of women, they were still part of a world in which he pursued political ends, however ideal. As we know, the world in reality is messier than our ideal vision of it. Anselm, indeed, could and did envision women as useful to him and to his cherished causes. He could and did objectify women and use them as pawns when he judged that God's plan for England might otherwise fail. My readers, of course, are still free to disagree with me in my view that nevertheless he favoured women's equality on an ideal level. Even though I set out to write only about Anselm, preliminary readers of this manuscript from the beginning have raised questions about a theoretical framework. Some wanted to see more about gender theory, religious women, and other men who mentored women such as Robert of Arbrissal. Some wanted to see much more about Anselm's alleged homosexuality, together with a discussion of the history of sexuality. Still others wished to see more about Anselm's correspondence in the context of the concurrent movement of AngloNorman culture from an oral to a written literate culture. I have tried to incorporate elements of most of these questions into this final version, although this is not my natural inclination. I much prefer to lay out the realities as I can see and reconstruct them, and allow them to speak for themselves -or rather point out what I see them saying. This I made my task in the final chapter, Chapter Six, Ancillae Dei. It is here that I constructed the theoretical framework that made the most sense to me, setting Anselm in the framework not of women's



history, homosexual history, orality and textuality, but rather in the realms of intellectual history, the origins of the twelfth-century Renaissance, and the discovery or invention of introspection and reason for which Anselm is justly famous. Nevertheless, I have in this book entered into regions with which I am unfamiliar and indeed uncomfortable: I am a political biographer of Anselm and a chronicler of the politics of Church and State, not a women's historian. But Anselm is a towering figure both in Medieval theology and in Anglo-Norman politics, and, as I hope to argue at a later date, in education in the AngloNorman world. He indeed cultivated the friendship of an unusually large number of women, for his time, as this book will show: unusual, too, is the fact that so many can be identified and their roles and families traced. His attitudes towards women, too, were somewhat unusual for his time. In the context of Norman and Anglo-Norman and Church history, with which I normally work, Anselm stands out as both a leading figure and an anomaly. Indeed, his ideas clearly stand out as different from those of his peers, harking back to the towering models of the Early Middle Ages such as St. Augustine and St. Gregory the Great, but at the same time resembling the later views of Abelard and St. Bernard and others, predating them by at least a generation. As usual, Anselm stands alone, fitting in no precise category but his own. I wish to thank Judith Brown and JoAnn McNamara for their early encouragement for the original conference paper, and their helpful comments on it. That paper eventually found publication in The Haskins Society Journal. The forbearance of the History Department of the University of Houston as I struggled with this book is much appreciated. My graduate students, as always, have been a fount of inspiration, encouragement and enjoyment - intellectual companions and friends. The Haskins Society has provided me also with much intellectual fodder over the years, and a much-appreciated depth of understanding of Normandy and Norman England. My children, Jerry, David and John, along with their wives Carolyn, LeeAnn and Cathy, have been, as always, supporters, cheerleaders and uncritical boosters. My special thanks to Harvey Rosenstock for his friendship and encouragement- even nagging. I would also like to thank Marielle Hageman for her sensitive and meticulous smoothing of my infelicities in the editing of the manuscript, and Marco Mostert' s patience and skill in managing the overall project. Simon Forde has been a pleasure to work with, and Brepols has been efficient and swift in their processing. Any mistakes I make in cultivating these new fields of women's and gender and sexual and literary history are of course my own, and I hope the reader will forgive me for them.

Chapter One Dilecti Amici et Amicae: Anselm's Correspondence and Correspondents he eminent theologian St. Anselm of Aosta, Bee and Canterbury cradled all Christendom in the warm embrace of his inspiring love. From his childhood in Aosta (Savoy), overlapping the border of Burgundy and Lombard Italy, Anselm moved on to France and Normandy in the 1050s to become a model monk under his teacher Lanfranc (of Pavia, Bee, Caen and Canterbury); a superb ecclesiastical ruler as abbot of Bee in Normandy from 1079 to 1093; a consummately effective archbishop of Canterbury in England from 1093 to 1109- including two exiles in France and Southern Italy; and the foremost intellect of his era. In the course of the more than eight decades of his life, Anselm lived, worked and travelled in a great deal of Western Europe. He advised many of the crowned heads of Europe and the Crusader states, lay and ecclesiastical, in person and in letters, as well as their lay and clerical magnates and aristocracies. His theological tracts influenced students from his beloved brothers at Bee to the far-flung comers of Europe from the moment of their writing to the present day. Through his correspondence, his friendships and his scholarship he touched all Christendom with the ardour of his love for God and His Church, the gentleness of his spirit, his sweet affection for his neighbours near and far, and the intellectual rigour of his theological and philosophical meditations. Anselm's example provided a much-emulated model of love, compassion, dedication and integrity for his students, friends and admirers in his own lifetime; and for countless devoted disciples who knew him only by his words and deeds, from the twelfth century to the present.


Dilecti Amici et Amicae

Map 1 Normandy and its Environs From Edward A. Freeman, History of the Norman Conquest of England, 6 vols. (Oxford, 1873), 2, p. 115.



Chapter One

Seven years after Anselm's death in 1109, Eadmer of Canterbury, the archbishop's biographer, student, secretary and constant companion, travelled into exile with Anselm's archiepiscopal successor Ralph d'Escures. In 1116, the expatriate party was approaching the French archiepiscopal city of Lyons, where Anselm had spent much of his own two exiles with Hugh archbishop of Lyons, now also departed from this life. Eadmer and Ralph happened upon two old women who had been "well-known to Father Anselm for their true religion, [and] were learned in many things concerning his sacred instruction". These old handmaidens of God led the archiepiscopal party to the oratory of Blessed Mary Magdalene, built at Anselm's direction, and there they began "to speak for God" by telling this story: On the eve of Lord Anselm's departure from Lyons in 1105, a very serious argument had arisen among these daughters, inspired by the devil. For an entire day they had sat on the bank of the river disputing whose fault it was that Father Anselm was leaving. At nightfall one of them then went to Father Anselm himself to determine which of them was causing his departure. Anselm "corrected her with hard invective", saying they all had observed his own doctrine badly, "complaining about far-away parts of the world" until he was fatigued. And he ordered them to desist from their quarrelling and swiftly, without arguments, return to "the peace which was of God". "What the admirable priest persuaded was done; and behold they lived in the house of God with one mind, nor did they doubt Anselm himself to be present, whose correction they had experienced so healthfully".' With this story told, another woman - a certain Athelaida, well-known to Eadmer- immediately fell into a trance. Eadmer reports her vision "at the court of the Queen of Heaven", in which it was revealed to her "about my lord Anselm archbishop of Canterbury" by God's other fellow-judge Archbishop Hugh of Lyons that: "it is most certain that [Anselm] is in the great glory of God". "At this, having returned to herself, the rest of the night was spent in sweet and worthy consideration of the vision and what it will teach". 2 And with his usual circumspection, Eadmer leaves it to the reader to figure out the lesson that this vision would hold for Anselm's students and admirers. The juxtaposition of these two related stories evidently had great meaning for Eadmer. He may have intended these stories to parallel Anselm's life with Christ's - that the two old women and Athelaida should suggest the Three Maries at the Tomb, Athelaida' s vision of Anselm at the court of the Queen of 1 Eadmer, Historia Novorum in Anglia, ed. M. RULE (London, 1884: RS), pp. 240-241. Hereafter HN. 2 HN, p. 241.

Dilecti Amici et Amicae


Heaven should suggest the Ascension; or perhaps they were a precursor of the Miracles of the Virgin, soon to become well-known and wide-spread in Europe. 3 Clearly Eadmer meant to convey that Anselm was firmly ensconced in heaven, along with his dear friend, Archbishop Hugh of Lyons, especially favoured by St. Mary, to whom Bee was dedicated. As I have argued elsewhere, Eadmer seems to have recounted Anselm's life in his two biographies as a recapitulation of Christ's life and the lives of the great Fathers of the Roman and English Churches.4 Moreover, Eadmer' s early twelfth-century association of Anselm with both the Virgin and Mary Magdalene corresponds to the Europe-wide twelfth-century rise of the Cult of the Virgin. We discover in this episode that Anselm apparently spent a good deal of time during his two exiles in Lyons (1097-1100 and 1104-1105) teaching a group of women of unspecified number to live according to his own doctrines and tenets - probably monastic, and organized around the veneration of Mary Magdalene, the woman, other than the Virgin, closest to Jesus in the gospels. 5 And we discover that his teaching and the reverence he inspired apparently endured from his first arrival at Lyons in 1097, through his return to England in 1100, his stay in England and Rome from 1100 to 1103, his second exile in Lyons from 1104-1105, and from thence until Eadmer' s return with Archbishop Ralph in 1116. Thus Anselm seems to have devoted significant amounts of his time in Lyons to training this cell of women, who apparently were never formalized into any order or organization of their own, but endured for at least seventeen years. This episode, almost inadvertently revealed by Eadmer for purposes of his own, suggests that Anselm himself had a great deal of concern for women, their 3

According to Marina Warner, the virgin's role was debated from the earliest years of Christianity. While very many churches and monasteries in England, France and Normandy (including Anselm's and Lanfranc's Bee) were dedicated to the Virgin in the eleventh century, the "cult of the Virgin" only became widespread and "reached its zenith" in the twelfth century. M. WARNER, Alone ofAll Her Sex: The Myth and the Cult of the Virgin Mary (New York, 1983), Chapters 4 and 5 for the early Church; p. 134 ff. for the cult's zenith. Warner seems to date the beginning of the circulation of the Miracles of the Virgin to the late twelfth century, connecting them to the Troubadours, pp. 149-159, but also cites Anselm's prayer to the Virgin, pp. 315-316. M. HAMILTON, Hail Mary? The Struggle for Ultimate Womanhood in Catholicism (New York, 1995), glosses over the texts of the Miracles, without really considering them as a body of text. 4 Cf. S.N. VAUGHN, "Eadmer's Historia Novorum: A reinterpretation", ANS 10 (1988), pp. 259-289. 5 One of Anselm's closest friends among the Bee monks, Gundulf bishop of Rochester, also organized a cell of nuns dedicated to Mary Magdalene. Cf. The Life of Gundulf Bishop of Rochester, ed. R. THOMSON (Toronto, 1977). Hereafter VG.


Fig. 2

Chapter One

Community in chapter house From L. DE LAMARCHE, Les Manuscrits et la miniature (Paris, 1884), fig. 44, p. 161.

Dilecti Amici et Amicae


lives and their persons. It may be significant that Eadmer mentions no parallel cell of men at Lyons, suggesting that what monastic training Anselm dispensed there, he lavished on women alone (although Eadmer makes a point of Anselm's assumption of episcopal functions in Lyons). 6 The emphasis on the Queen of Heaven - the Virgin Mary, and Mary Magdalene, the reformed prostitute - in these stories also suggests that Anselm, as filtered through the pen of Eadmer, not only participated in the contemporary interest in the Virgin and the Magdalene, but also spoke to particular concerns and needs of specific women. And indeed, a glance at Anselm's collected correspondence reveals a number of letters to identifiable, real women who might be compared to the women in Eadmer's vignette. But before we tum to Anselm's correspondence as a guide to his views of women, let us look at some of the more general interpretations of this seminal figure. Today Anselm, like most of the monks of his day, is generally assumed to have avoided the company of women almost entirely. Jean Leclercq has written at great length of monastic views of women, stressing monastic literature which lumps all women into two stereotypical categories: Eve, the archetypal temptress, betrayer and destroyer of men; and the Virgin, the archetypal pure, undefiled paragon of motherly love and chaste womanly virtue. 7 In his Monks and Love in Twelfth-Century France, Leclercq, like most modem historians, assumes that medieval monks totally avoided the company of women, and thus omits any discussion of monastic relationships with real women, focussing instead on monastic fantasies of women as temptresses. All emotions of love were to be directed towards fellow monks in friendship as a means towards the ultimate goal of unity with God, the penultimate expression of love. Leclercq moderated this stance somewhat in his Monks on Marriage, 8 discovering Cistercian texts glorifying marriage and the woman's positive role in it. But he stresses that these texts are largely theoretical, and again asserts the traditional monastic isolation from women. Brian Patrick McGuire has epitomized this view as it is now applied to Anselm: "He loved men, and in terms of human bonds, his world was composed only ofmen ... ". 9 But the existence of the little cell of Anselm's spiritual 6 HN, p. 115; Vita Sancti Anselmi archiepiscopi Cantuariensis, ed. and trans. R. W. SOUTHERN (London, 1962), pp. 116-117, 130. Hereafter VA. 7 J. LECLERCQ, Monks and Love in Twelfth Century France (Oxford, 1979). Leclercq is not alone in these views, which are common to most of the modem commentaries on women, courtly love, and the Virgin (cf. WARNER, Alone of All Her Sex and HAMILTON, Hail Mary?). 8 LECLERCQ, Monks on Marriage (New York, 1982). 9 B.P. MCGUIRE, Friendship and Community: The Monastic Experience, 350-1250


Chapter One

daughters dedicated to St. Mary Magdalene at Lyons, and Anselm's apparent special relationship with them beyond what one would normally expect of the monks of his day, suggests that in reality Anselm's case was different from these standard views. St. Anselm is often regarded as one of the foremost examples of the ideal monk of the eleventh and early twelfth centuries - and indeed as a saint for all time. His creative leap into the realm of rational theology has made him a man for the ages, and his spirituality shines luminously as a model for his followers, then and now. Anselm has been studied endlessly- his theology has been dissected in literally hundreds of books and articles, 10 and his human relations are currently undergoing a new examination. Writing in 1966, Sir Richard Southern concentrated on Anselm's conversation with and teaching of his beloved and loving monks at Bee, 11 although he later altered this view slightly in his expanded version of his original biography of Anselm, to assert, on the evidence of Anselm's Prayers and Meditations, that Anselm expressed contrition for some sexual experience with a woman, 12 to refute John Boswell's assertions that Anselm was at least a latent homosexual. 13 Nevertheless, Southern offers little other evidence or discussion of Anselm's friendships or contacts with women. But long before Boswell imagined Anselm's sexual orientation, J.F.A. Mason looked briefly at Anselm's relationships with laymen, and discovered that they were many, significant, and often involved women. Indeed, Mason suggested that these relationships might be investigated fruitfully .14 My own emphasis in studying Anselm's life has been on his political career and his relationships with the statesmen, lay and ecclesiastical, great and small, of his age. 15 Having defined Anselm's political behaviour as insightful of hu(Kalamazoo, 1988), p. 211. 10 See J. HOPKINS, A Companion to the Study of St. Anselm (Minneapolis, 1972), pp. 257-275, for a comprehensive bibliography up to 1972. 11 R. W. SOUTHERN, St. Anselm and his Biographer (Cambridge, 1966), especially pp. 194229. 12 R. W. SOUTHERN, Saint Anselm: A Portrait in a Landscape (Cambridge, 1990), pp. 148153. 13 J. BOSWELL, Christianity, Social Tolerance and Homosexuality: Gay People in Western Europe from the Beginning of the Christian Era to the Fourteenth Century (Chicago, 1980), pp. 204 and 218-219. Cf. B.P. McGUIRE, "Love, friendship and sex in the eleventh century: The case of St. Anselm", Studia Theologica 28 (1974), pp. 11-52. 14 J.F.A. MASON, "St. Anselm's relations with laymen: Selected letters', in: Spicilegium Beccensis I (Paris, 1959), pp. 547-560. 15 S.N. VAUGHN, Anselm of Bee and Robert of Me ulan: The Innocence of the Dove and the Wisdom of the Serpent (Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1987).

Dilecti Amici et Amicae


man nature and effective in carrying through the stewardship of his ecclesiastical office (whether abbatial or episcopal) as he thought God's plan requiredand above all successful - I sought the sources or models for the ideas and behaviour Anselm seemed to exhibit. I have argued that these sources are to be found in the records of the monastic Fathers of the Church, primarily St. Augustine of Hippo, St. Benedict of Nursia, and St. Gregory the Great. 16 Thus I see Anselm's dealings with the secular world, as I have described them elsewhere, resting solidly on the monastic foundations that Southern has so long asserted are the heart of Anselm's life and the key to understanding his character. Sir Richard's sensitive and persuasive description of Anselm's personal relationships with his monks was derived largely from Anselm's monastic correspondence and from Anselm's secretary Eadmer' s portraits of the saint's life at Aosta, Bee and Canterbury, Vita Sancti Anselmi Archiepiscopi and Historia Novorum in Anglia. Southern sketches a quiet life at Bee in which Anselm and his monks poured forth their love for God partly through the exchange of conversation and love between themselves- God's servants, the men of Bee - in their communal life together; and in the extension of that life through correspondence as the monks of Bee spread to priories, abbeys and sees throughout the Anglo-Norman world. With Bee monks, Bee love likewise radiated outward to enfold the wider world of Europe. Southern describes primarily an intellectual world, but one filled with great emotional intensity as its members strove for union in the mutual love of God, at Anselm's inspiration and guidance. 17 Yet this monastic milieu did not circumscribe the limits of Anselm's world to the exclusion of all others. Mason rightly suggested that Anselm extended a similar friendship to a variety of eminent laymen not only in the Anglo-Norman world but also in the wider European world extending from Ireland and the Orkneys to Jerusalem, pointing out that Anselm's affectionate and tactfullan16 S.N. VAUGHN, "The models for Anselm's political beliefs: St. Augustine, St. Benedict and St. Gregory", Anselm Studies II: St. Augustine and St. Anselm, Episcopi ad Saecula (1988), pp. 53-92. 17 SOUTHERN, St. Anselm and His Biographer; he perpetuates this image in Saint Anselm: A Portrait in a Landscape, but has added a lengthy new analysis of Anselm's political career, portraying Anselm as effective, intelligent and successful in the political world in his new portrait of the archbishop- nevertheless asserting that to see Anselm as consciously active and successful in the secular world is a "warped picture of his acuteness", SOUTHERN, Saint Anselm: A Portrait in a Landscape, pp. 181-182. Compare, for example, Chapter 4 in Anselm and his biographer and Chapters 11, 12 and 14 in A Portrait in a Landscape.


Chapter One

guage to these notables parallels his gentle loving kindness to his own monks. In passing, Mason mentions that "in a few cases, of course, Anselm knew he could bring influence to bear through ladies like Clemence of Flanders and Matilda of England". 18 Mason's article rightly points out that Anselm's lay correspondence bears further study, that much yet remains to be done to date a large part of it correctly, and that women played some role in his lay friendships. This study has been taken up partially by a number of historians in the years since Southern and Mason wrote. Marjorie Chibnall, since her early monumental study of the English lands of the abbey of Bee, recently viewed Anselm's life at Bee as much involved with business and the secular world. 19 But the vast majority of commentaries on Anselm continue to look at his theology, philosophy, prayers and meditations, and to disregard his secular activities. The great and spectacular exception, of course, is John Boswell's assertion of Anselm's homosexuality, on the evidence of Anselm's passionate language and vivid physical imagery in his loving letters to his monks. 20 It is extremely significant that Boswell remarks that Anselm "frequently addressed letters to his 'beloved lover' (dilecto dilectori) and many of his epistles strikingly echo the passions of St. Paulinus and Walafrid" 21 , whom Boswell also numbered among the great gays of the Western World. Sadly, Boswell based his case almost entirely on these few monastic letters of Anselm's correspondence. Had he looked at other sources available to correlate with the correspondence, and at the correspondence in its entirety, he may well have reached a different conclusion. Boswell found his inspiration for classifying Anselm as a homosexual in an article by Brian Patrick McGuire, analysing these passionate letters and concluding that Anselm was not gay. 22 But in a later work, McGuire followed Boswell's line of interpretation, arguing that Anselm was "homoerotic", that his 18

MASON, "St. Anselm's relations with laymen", p. 560. M. CHIBNALL, "The English possessions of Bee in the time of Anselm", in: Les mutations socio-culturelles au toumant des Xle-XIIe silxles: Etudes Anselmiennes (IVe session), ed. R. FOREVILLE (Paris, 1984), pp. 273-282; cf. V. GAZEAU, "Le domaine contintental du Bee: Aristocratie et monachisme au temps d' Anselm", in: Ibid., pp. 259-271. 20 BOSWELL, Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality, pp. 218-219. 21 BOSWELL, Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality, p. 218. 22 McGUIRE, "Love, friendship and sex in the eleventh century". Boswell's comment on this article is that McGuire "concludes that Anselm was not gay but apparently means only that he lacked 'an obsession with male sexuality'", BOSWELL, Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality, p. 219, n. 36. Boswell seems to think that McGuire is really saying that Anselm was gay, or had gay tendencies. 19

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one great emotional attachment may be identified as the boy-monk Osbern of Bee, and that Osbern's death propelled Anselm into the use of such passionate and physical language - which in fact paradoxically masked an impersonal, analytical approach to love. This emerges in Anselm's letters, McGuire argues, as "an ideal of friendship rather than his personal feelings for any one" of the other monks to whom he wrote: the letters, McGuire argues, are symbols of spiritual reality. 23 A closer examination of the correspondence as a whole may well resolve the question of whether Anselm's letters to his fellow monks represented actual emotions towards real men, or expressions of symbolic ideals. Glenn Olsen has sought to refute Boswell on theological and rational grounds, 24 while Sir Richard Southern, as we have seen, speculated that Anselm, in his Prayers and Meditations, had expressed guilt over a supposed sexual relationship with a woman. 25 It seems to me that the evidence for all of these theories is decidedly thin, and that Boswell, who is not a Medievalist, leans heavily on McGuire's analysis of Anselm's letters. McGuire speaks with great knowledge of monastic culture, for example in his Friendship and Community: The Monastic Experience 350-1250, 26 yet walks a thin line between declaring Anselm homosexual, homoerotic, or just devoted to one of his boy students to an inordinate degree. But can McGuire, following Southern, have it both ways - that Anselm's correspondence is highly symbolic, based on Platonic ideals, reducing "all human reality into ideal images", yet at the same time is intensely personal, especially in the one case of its expression of love for one monk, Osbern, on which both he and Boswell have based their speculations about Anselm's sexuality? Only an analysis of the entire correspondence can put the letters about Osbern into any real perspective, along with the affectionate letters Anselm wrote to and about other monks. This study proposes to look at Anselm's voluminous correspondence through the mirror of his letters to, from, and about women, which are fewer in number and hence more manageable. These letters provide a microcosm through which to view the larger correspondence. Hopefully, this analysis of Anselm's correspondence will reveal his methods and purposes as he constructed first the individual letters, and then sculpted the collection for the portrayal of particular ideals and images, and hopefully will 23 MCGUIRE, Friendship and Community, p. 214. It is interesting that neither McGuire nor Southern mention the letters to women in the correspondence. 24 G. OLSEN, "Anselm and homosexuality", in: Anselm Studies ll: St. Augustine and St. Anselm: Episcopi ad Saecula (1988), pp. 93-142. 25 See above, p. 14 and note 12. 26 McGUIRE, Friendship and Community, see especially pp. 210-213 on Anselm.


Chapter One

put to rest forever the notion that through any one letter or small group of letters Anselm inadvertently revealed either his homosexuality or homoerotic tendencies. Anselm himself, the greatest intellect of his age, would have been horrified at such a view of his sexual orientation, which goes against all Christian and monastic ideals of sexuality. If, as I will argue, Anselm assembled and collected his letters with a great consciousness that they would be widely read both as individual models for thought and behaviour, and as collective ideals of the career of first the model abbot, and then the model archbishop - as he intended them- never would he have left an image of homosexuality. That this image is wholly in the eyes of the modem observers who do not understand either Anselm or medieval thinking is made clear by Eadmer' s rather scurrilous insinuation that, among his crimes, sins and misdemeanours of atheism, love of Jews, anti-Christian and anti-Church agendas, and finally his raving madness, the wild, evil king William Rufus was a homosexual. While this tangential question of Anselm's sexuality must be firmly laid to rest, a study of Anselm's correspondence concerning women will answer many more questions- and more important questions- concerning Anselm's character and his views of his own society, and also the ideals that he envisioned for that society. None of these ideals envisioned a role for homosexuality or homoeroticism. D.E. Luscombe, in a lengthy study of Anselm's letters, looks almost exclusively at men- and primarily the monks ofBec and Canterbury. 27 Nobody has yet looked at Anselm's relationships and interactions with the women of his world. Such a study, while it will not tell us of Anselm's sexual orientation, would illuminate several issues pertinent to a knowledge of his character, his attitudes, and his beliefs. Anselm's correspondence reveals that he maintained strong friendships with a number of women, great and small, and that these women were not insignificant in his life. Whether spiritual daughters, revered mothers, handmaidens of God, beloved friends, or aristocratic allies, these women seem to have played important roles in Anselm's personal and public occupations. He maintained strong friendships with his spiritual daughters, lay and ecclesiastic, and seems to have regarded both - whether aristocratic women or nuns - as ancillae dei, handmaidens of God, with their own important contributions to make to fulfil God's plan. Specific women among these friends played roles of overriding importance as his aristocratic allies in his administration first of the abbey of Bee, and later of the archbishopric of Canterbury, as he confronted the lay forces of his world in an attempt to bring D.E. LUSCOMBE, "Bee, Christchurch and the correspondence of St. Anselm", (1995), pp. 1-18. 27



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them all to "due order". 28 Indeed, without the aid of these key women, Anselm would have had far greater difficulties in achieving the political goals which he eventually realized. In Anselm's life, and his relationships with women, we see in action the "persuasive voices" of women a full century before Thomas of Chobham argued theoretically for wives' rightful role as moral correctors of their husbands, both in the spiritual and practical matters of life; 29 about half a century before the Cistercian monks expressed similar views; 30 and a full generation before Gilbert of Sempringham began his activities on behalf of women in the 1130s.31 Second, through an analysis of Anselm's friendships with women, we may come to some general conclusions about Anselm's broader human relationships with both men and women, his attitudes towards the Christian life whether celibate or conjugal; his attitudes toward sexuality in general; his views of the roles of both women and men in society; and perhaps the sources for his views on friendships as we may discover them. We may thereby discern what Anselm taught others about God's plan for women, for men, and for society as a whole. It is these tasks that this study endeavours to undertake. I will endeavour both to recreate Anselm's relationships with the actual women of his time, and the ideals he envisioned for women, both laywomen and nuns: their marriages, their roles in society, and their children. 32 The evidence for a study of Anselm's interactions with and attitudes towards women consists of six general sets of records: Anselm's correspondence; the modem collections of surviving charters; narrative sources such as chronicles, histories, and biographies of Anselm and his women friends; Anselm's prayers and meditations; his theological tracts; and, to a limited degree, the Sancti Anselmi Cantuariensis archiepiscopus Opera Omnia, 6 vats., ed. F. S. SCHMITI (Stuttgart and Bad Canstatt, 1963-1969) Aep. 198; cf. VAUGHN, Anselm of Bee, pp. 149-213. Hereafter cited by epistle number as Aep. 29 S. FARMER, "Persuasive voices: Clerical images of medieval wives", Speculum 61 (1986), pp. 517-543. 30 LECLERCQ, Monks on Marriage. 31 On Gilbert, seeR. GRAHAM, S. Gilbert of Sempringham and the Gilbertines: A History of the Only English Monastic Order (London, 1901). Gilbert was born in 1089, the son of a Saxon mother and the Norman knight Jocelyn, a vassal of Gilbert de Gant, brother of the Conqueror's queen, Matilda of Flanders. It is unknown where he was educated- Graham suggests Bee as one of a number of possibilities. But it was only in the 1130s that Gilbert turned his attention to nunneries: pp. 1-11. 32 I have summarized my early views on Anselm's friendships with women in S.N. VAUGHN, "St. Anselm and women", The Haskins Society Joumal2 (1990), pp. 83-94. In that same issue, cf. M. CHIBNALL, "Women in Orderic Vitalis", pp. 105-122, for Orderic's views of women, which were substantially different from Anselm's. 28


Chapter One

writings of his students. Of overriding importance, and the source to which all other sources must be correlated, is Anselm's correspondence, which contains the most references to specific women, and from which hard information about his actual (as opposed to theoretical or symbolic) friendships with women may be gleaned. On the other hand, Anselm's habit of thinking in the mould of Platonic ideals and exemplars may tell us of his own theoretical or symbolic images of women, and how he expected ideal abbots and archbishops to relate to them. But this correspondence currently is the subject of some debate between two points of view, that of Sir Richard Southern and of Walter Frohlich, Anselm's modem biographer and the translator of Anselm's correspondence, respectively. Because the structure, character, and purpose of Anselm's correspondence must dominate our evaluation of other sources on Anselm, a good part of this chapter will focus on an analysis of the nature of Anselm's correspondence- its predecessors and parallels in the Bee and Canterbury literature, parallel explanatory texts in the writings of Anselm's students, Anselmian ideas that might structure his thought on his correspondence, and events that might have influenced Anselm- as a necessary prelude to correlating the correspondence with the rest of the available sources. Let us begin with the differing opinions of Southern and Frohlich, and my own contributions to the debate. I will then add further arguments concerning the purpose of the correspondence growing from the Bee and Canterbury literature and traditions. Thus I will try to clarify the debate as it now stands, and then resolve it with further evidence. In brief, Frohlich has argued extensively that Anselm collected and edited his own correspondence, omitting certain letters (some of which have survived in the modem Schmitt collection) that might have proved embarrassing to him. His case is presented in minute detail in the introduction to volume one of Frohlich's translation and annotation of Anselm's letters. 33 Frohlich shows that Anselm first collected his monastic letters at Bee in 1089-1090 (in the manuscript now called N), suggesting that he did so possibly on the collection of Anselm's teacher and predecessor as prior and archbishop Lanfranc's letters at his death in 1089, for the collection of Lanfranc's letters preceded that of Anselm inN. But, as I have argued at length elsewhere, 34 Anselm may also at this time have suspected that God intended him to follow Lanfranc to Canterbury, as 33 The Letters of Saint Anselm of Canterbury, ed. and trans!. W. FROHLICH (Kalamazoo, 1990). 34 VAUGHN, Anselm of Bee, pp. 106-148.

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Anselm had followed his teacher's footsteps as prior of Bee. Anselm then seems to have set out to compile a record of his Bee career, which might be about to end, perhaps intending it as an example to his successors. 35 Frohlich argues that Anselm compiled a second, more complete, edition of his monastic letters, E, in 1092-1093, as he lingered at Westminster prior to his archiepiscopal appointment. He seems to have edited Nand E virtually to exclude all business letters, 36 so that what remains to us in this collection might well be an ideal image of a contemplative monk devoted almost entirely to scholarship and friendship. 37 This contrasts sharply with the collection ofLanfranc's archiepiscopal letters, which are nearly all concerning archiepiscopal, or papal, or royal business, high politics, or legal issues. In Lanfranc' s correspondence, only one letter is to a woman - Queen Margaret of Scotland - although two others concern legal issues about women as nuns, and one additional letter mentions an aristocratic lady. 38 It is significant that Anselm wrote and collected his correspondence just at a time when Northern Europe was moving from an oral tradition to a written tradition. Indeed, Anselm wrote at the very beginning of this transition. Thus, we might expect that Anselm's correspondence has many of the qualities of a transitional set of documents, retaining characteristics of oral literature. According to Michael Riffaterre, "orality endured long after textuality had conquered" and "aspects of orality [... ] inhere in any literary text, indeed in the very concept of textuality". 39 Riffaterre contends, quoting Dennis Tedlock,40 that narrators in oral cultures "do not memorize stories but remember them". They see with "the mind's eye". Taking off from this definition, Riffaterre argues that the written text is "a limited system of incomplete and deficient visual symbols that aid readers in rapid recovery of vastly more extensive remembered representations". 41 35

Anselm urged his successor at Bee, Abbot William of Beaumont, to follow his example:

Aep. 160, included in Anselm's collection inN. 36

We know such business letters existed from Eadmer's testimony: VA, pp. 32, 40. For this and the remainder of the discussion of these manuscripts, I will rely partially on my article, S.N. VAUGHN, "Anselm: Saint and statesman", Albion 20 (1988), pp. 212-215, by the kind permission of Albion. 38 Lanfranc, The Letters of Lanfranc, ed. and trans!. H. CLOVER and M. GIBSON (Oxford, 1979), Aepp. 50, 53, 59. Aep. 20 mentions Lady Eva Crispin, to whom we shall refer later. 39 M. RIFFATERRE, "The mind's eye: Memory and textuality", in: The New Medievalism, ed. M.S. BROWNLEE, K. BROWNLEE, and S.G. NICHOLS (Baltimore and London, 1991), pp. 29-45; p. 29. 40 D. TEDLOCK, "Toward an oral poetics", New Literary History 8 (1911), p. 507. 41 RIFFATERRE, "The mind's eye", p. 30. 37

Chapter One


Riffaterre sees texts as having three characteristics: monumentality, exemplarity, and artifice. Monumentality simply means the literary work as a "shape that endures", a work of art that cannot be changed without destroying it. Exemplarity means that the literary work is a token or symbol of a type or class that is elsewhere: "in our past experience, in our linguistic competence, or in the sociolect- in all three possibilities it is a matter of memory". 42 In other words, exemplarity refers to a preexistent model outside of and parallel to the text. We might call it an exemplar, as Anselm did. "All that counts is that the text recalls it in some way". 43 Moreover, "the text in its most striking and unique physical form would be ludicrous and unrealistic nonsense, except for a convention and its arbitrary transformation into a code at the level of the oral tradition, another name for collective memory [... ] the literariness of the text literally flows from orality". 44 This quality represents artifice- the text written "within the as if mode of allusion". And this kind of artifice usually contains contradictions, even direct opposites,45 that create the "unrealistic nonsense" to which he earlier referred. "In short, it is memory focussed on signs rather than experience [... ] it says one thing and means another [... ] the unwritten is the most important part of the written" .46 Riffaterre sees an oral text that is written down as "a sign system representing memory itself', in other words a collection of subtexts that are meant to recall to the reader's "mind's eye" particular exemplars or topoi, images from the reader's memory, that communicate to him or her the actual meaning of the text. 47 It is as if the text had returned from the written to the unwritten altogether. Its own interpretation, plus a collection of examples destined to prove the point, plus a system of signs meant to help readers perceive as a unified, harmonious whole a work of art - all this that gives the text its identity and its fullest artistic development is now as it were committed back to memory .... 48

This model of a written 'work of art' in a basically oral culture appears to me to fit Anselm's correspondence well, especially his monastic correspondence,

42 43 44









"The mind's eye", p. 31. "The mind's eye", p. 31. "The mind's eye", p. 35. "The mind's eye", p. 36. "The mind's eye", p. 36. "The mind's eye", pp. 37-38. "The mind's eye", p. 40.

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which we are sure he collected and edited, and also to argue for his collection of his archiepiscopal letters on the same model. If Anselm began to collect and edit his archiepiscopal letters, he may well have sought to create an ideal image of his archiepiscopate, as he had of his abbacy -but a different one, this time of an ideal archbishop, who necessarily would differ from an ideal abbot. He may well have envisioned Lanfranc's collection as a kind of model, as Eadmer viewed Lanfranc as an archiepiscopal exemplar for Anselm to follow. 49 As Frohlich argues, the collection of Anselm's archiepiscopal letters, L (Lambeth 59), was written in Anselm's lifetime and under his direction by a Canterbury scribe, probably Thidric (or Thidericus). It begins withAep. 148 to Prior Baudry and the Bee monks, a long description of and justification "by God's will" of Anselm's election to Canterbury, that denies that he desired the archbishopric through cupidity or avarice, and expresses with great emotional intensity Anselm's grief at leaving Bee. He requests that these facts be publicized far and wide. One dilemma for Southern here is the implication that Anselm had quietly but actively sought the archbishopric, while publicly refusing the office. It may well be significant that in his monastic correspondence (N and E - and indeed in L) there exist two letters, Aepp. 52 and 61, which advise proper procedure in episcopal and abbatial elections. In 1075 Anselm wrote to Abbot William Bona Anima of St. Etienne, Caen, on the matter of the Caen monk Hemost' s election to the bishopric of Rochester in England: I advise him [Hemost] that, while maintaining obedience and holy gentleness, his soul shun such a burden [the bishopric of Rochester] as far as it can; you [Abbot William], however, and the others to whom it applies [... ] I advise that you enjoin him by begging and admonishing; in this way his conscience may be more untroubled in God's sight once he perceives that he has been moved along by the fear of God alone and by holy obedience; and may God lead him to a good end .... 50

Likewise in 1078 Anselm wrote to the Bee monk Fulk, abbot-elect of SaintPierre-sur-Dives: We know that it is safer for a man to flee such a burden as much as possible, fearing his weakness, than lightly to take it on his shoulders, trusting in his strength. [... ] First of all, therefore, commend yourself by pure affection of mind to Divine Mercy, that He may arrange your life according to His good will. And then with a simple mind and humble effort, HN, pp. 10-23; cf. my discussion of these models in VAUGHN, "Eadmer's Historia Novorum", pp. 259-289. 50 Aep. 52. 49


Chapter One in whatever way you can- excepting only by sin- refuse to take on the burden. And if you cannot decline it except by sin then submit obediently and bear it conscientiously. May almighty God allow nothing to be done by you or to you except what may please Him and be good to you. 51

Through just such a process did Anselm himself become Archbishop ofCanterbury.52These two letters neatly outline Anselm's perspective: shun high office, but seek to obey God's will, as expressed through events. 53 The apparent clear contradiction- that one is obliged to take a position that one shuns and abhors, and may even seek it - fits the Riffaterre model which we have described above, as an exemplar that would vivify in the mind models such as Gregory the Great hiding in a water pot in the forest to avoid the papal office to which he was called and which he served so well. Lis neat, orderly, consistent and written in the same hand- and ends with what must surely be the two final letters of Anselm's life: Aep. 471 announcing Anselm's defrocking of Thomas archbishop-elect of York, and Aep. 472 to Thomas himself defrocking him and placing him under automatic excommunication if he should ever obtain episcopal confirmation without professing obedience to Canterbury. Because L was copied closely but not exactly in P and F, in this form, the continuation of L in two added supplements must be taken as a later addition. La (in two parts), containing portions of Anselm's uncompleted treatises, obituaries, and a number of letters at random which were omitted from L (and P and F, which do not contain the supplement La), begins in L with an inserted letter, totally out of the rational chronological order of L, spilling over from L to La. According to Frohlich, manuscript M, William of Malmesbury's autograph collection of Anselm's letters, was compiled from N, F, and Eadmer's Historia Novorum (we do not know why he did not use L). Sir Richard Southern, on the other hand, subsequently has argued that William of Malmesbury's collection, M, predates L, P and F, and that Anselm's letters lay neglected at Canterbury until William collected and or51

Aep. 61. For a full account of Anselm's election, cf. VAUGHN, Anselm of Bee, pp. 116-138. 53 Anselm displays just this interpretation inAep. 198, in which he summarizes his election to the bishops of Ireland. Anselm had journeyed to England in 1092 "by God's secret judgment". He had been "dragged violently" to the archiepiscopal office, "clergy and people shouting together, so that everyone present seemed pleased at what was being done". He had protested that he was being removed from the authority of the duke of Normandy and archbishop of Rouen without their knowledge, but was afterwards compelled by the command of these very men "and obeying, I took on the burden of office. In this manner I was raised to the pontificate, and I accepted it because I was powerless to resist". 52

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dered them. 54 With some logic Southern asserts that, disappointed because of Anselm's failures to promote the Canterbury primacy over York claims to archiepiscopal independence, the monks of Canterbury allowed Anselm's letters to gather dust in obscurity until William of Malmesbury began his researches, then collected and ordered them all. According to this view, L, (encompassing Frohlich's La) was the result of this process. 55 But elsewhere Southern himself suggests two arguments against this theory. First, the evidence for Anselm's collection and editing of his abbatialletters from 1089 to 1092 seems overwhelming even to Southern. 56 Second, Southern states that normally one seeks the influence and teachings of the master in the works of his major disciples, and that Eadmer follows Anselm's example most closely of all Anselm's students. 57 Moreover, the egregious affront felt by the monks of Canterbury at the four-year delay in installing Anselm's successor, and their hard-fought but successful battle against the king's nominee, Faritius of Abingdon, in favour of their own candidate, the bishop of Rochester Ralph d'Escures, seems to argue against this conclusion. Also, such bitterness on the part of the Canterbury monks may well have impelled Eadmer to rush to complete his Historia Novo rum, which Southern states he had begun well before 1100, the year in which Anselm had ordered him to destroy it58 - at least the first part up to the death of King William II Rufus and the accession of King Henry I. I have argued elsewhere that Eadmer set up a pattern in Historia Novorum in which he portrays each archbishop of Canterbury - including Anselm reenacting the pattern of the first archbishops, Augustine of Canterbury and his immediate successors, Laurentius, Mellitus and Justus, who set the original example or model of converting pagan kings. 59 Eadmer explains his main purpose for writing Historia Novorum in these words: ... I have determined to set down in writing the things I have seen with my own eyes and myself heard. This I do [... ] to render some slight service to the researches of those who SOUTHERN, Saint Anselm: A Portrait in a Landscape, appendix, pp. 458-481. SOUTHERN, Saint Anselm: A Portrait in a Landscape, Joe. cit. and pp. 394-402. 56 SOUTHERN, Saint Anselm: A Portrait in a Landscape, pp. 395-396, but seep. 399, where Southern seems to reverse this conclusion. Moreover, it is unclear what Southern means by the "chaotic" order of the letters inN, which are not arranged chronologically in L, as well. 57 SOUTHERN, Saint Anselm: A Portrait in a Landscape, pp. 404-405; yet here once again Southern suggests that really none of Anselm's students, even Eadmer, reflect his teaching directly. 58 SOUTHERN, introduction to VA, p. X; VA, pp. 150-151. 59 VAUGHN, "Eadmer's Historia Novorum". 54 55


Chapter One come after me if they should chance to find themselves involved in any crisis in which the events that I record can in any respect afford a helpful precedent.w

He later describes Historia Novorum in the preface to his Vita Anselmi as the record of Anselm's public career: Since we have seen many strange changes in England in our days and developments which were quite unknown in former days, I committed to writing a brief record of some of these things, lest the knowledge of them should be entirely lost to future generations. This work was chiefly concerned to give an accurate description of those things which took place between the kings of England and Anselm archbishop of Canterbury [... ] but it left out anything which seemed to belong merely to Anselm's private life, or to his character, or to the setting forth of his miracles. 61

While both accounts are complete in themselves, Eadmer continues, "I give warning [... ] that readers of the former work [Historia Novorum] cannot fully understand Anselm's actions without the help of this work [Vita Anselmi]; nor can readers of this work do so without the help of the other". 62 From these statements, we derive two principles under which Eadmer was operating. First, that history, the record of the past, helps those in the future resolve similar problems (or crises) by setting forth a pattern for solutions to such crises. Under this principle, the main actor - in this case Anselm - becomes a model or exemplar of the ideal archbishop of Canterbury. Other monks of Bee wrote under the same principles: "Let the descendants regard and follow the footprints of their ancestors so that without stumbling they can run the life of salvation with the steps of good work. ... ". 63 Second, that records of the past can come in different versions (i.e., public life and private life). It is only when all versions are taken into account that the full story is revealed. We must conclude, then, that if Eadmer wrote history under these principles, he also read history under these principles: that to Eadmer, the record of the past provided a pattern for action or exemplar of problems for the present and for the future. It is significant, then, that Eadmer begins the narrative of Historia Novorum with these words: While [... ] King Edgar was reigning in England, and diligently governing the whole realm with sacred laws, Dunstan, priest of Canterbury, a man of unblemished goodness, disposed w HN, p. I; cf. p. 175; my italics.




pp. 1-2; my italics. p. 2. vH, introduction in PL 150, col. 696.


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all Britain by administering Christian law. Under his influence and counsel, King Edgar showed himself a devoted servant of God. 64

This exemplum, of king and archbishop functioning in tandem, is carefully crafted to mirror Bede' s account of St. Augustine of Canterbury's relationship with King Ethelbert, as shown in a letter Bede quotes from St. Gregory the Great to Ethelbert: The reason why Almighty God raises good men to govern nations is that through them he may bestow the gifts of His mercy on all whom they rule.[ ... ] Zealously foster the grace that God has given you [... ] extending the Christian faith among the people committed to your charge. Make their conversion your first concern; suppress the worship of idols[ ... ] raise the moral standards of your subjects by your own innocence of life, encouraging, warning, persuading, correcting and showing them an example by your good deeds. So it was that the devout Emperor Constantine in his day turned the Roman State from its ignorant worship ofidols.[ ... ] Bishop Augustine has been trained under monastic rule, has a complete knowledge of holy scripture, and[ ... ] is a man of holy life [ ... ]listen to his advice ungrudgingly, follow it exactly, and store it carefully in your memory[ ... ] for[ ... ] he speaks for God. 65

Indeed, in this letter St. Gregory himself places before King Edgar a model or exemplar: Emperor Constantine the Great. It is not surprising, then, that Badmer continues his account with a model of William the Conqueror and Lanfranc re-creating the Edgar-Dunstan (Ethelbert-Augustine) archetype: ... Lanfranc had the ear of King William [... ] as his principal advisor. [... ] He always took great pains both to make the king a faithful servant of God and to renew religion and right living among all classes throughout the whole kingdom. [... ]He was, too, the first to set an example to the builders of [church] houses by building the church of Canterbury. 66

Eadmer then goes on to list Lanfranc's achievements in detail, continuing to portray him as recapitulating other elements in Bede. 67 In sum, Eadmer saw 64

HN, p. 3. Bede, Historia Ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum, I, 32, tr. L. SHIRLEY-PRICE, revised by R.E. LATHAM (Harmondsworth, 1968), pp. 89-90; cf. the translation in Bede, The Ecclesiastical History of the English People, tr. J. MCCLURE and R. COLLINS (Oxford, 1994), pp. 59-60. 66 HN, p. 12; cf. A. KLUKAS, "The architectural implications of the Decreta Lanfranci", ANS 6 (1984), pp. 136-171. 67 Lanfranc, Eadmer makes clear, was a monk, sent to England by Pope Alexander II and bringing with him a coterie of his own Caen and Bee monks, just as Pope Gregory had sent St. Augustine and his monks. HN, pp. 10, 15, 18-21; Bede, Historia Ecclesiastica Anglorum I, 23, pp. 66-67 Pope Gregory enjoined Augustine's monks to "obey him humbly in all things", and Augustine then installed them as the new bishops of England, creating monastic bishoprics. Augustine immediately built an abbey for St. Peter. Bede, Historia Ecclesiastica Anglo rum I, 23; 65


Fig. 3

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One of St. Anselm's archiepiscopal successors (St. Edmund, consecration, 1234). From a drawing in Mathew Paris, in: B. WARD, St. Edmund of Canterbury (London, 1903),p. 77.

30, pp. 66-67; II, 3, pp. 86-87: I, 3, pp. 104-105. Lanfranc, according to Eadmer, sought to restore or perpetuate monastic cathedral chapters in as many of the English bishoprics as he could, especially at Canterbury and Rochester; he immediately built a church dedicated to St. Gregory in Canterbury. HN, pp. 16, 19-22. I,

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Lanfranc's and Anselm's sources for the reform of the English Church as contained in the archetypal history of Augustine's foundation of the English Church as described by Bede and supported by the documentation of Gregory's papal letters. However, we might note Gregory's command to Augustine to "make a selection" from the different customs "of each of the churches ... ", Roman, French, or any other: "whatever things are devout, religious and right [... ]when you have bound them, so to speak, into a sheaf, let the minds of the English grow accustomed to it. 68 Eadmer's use ofBede in this way mirrors the use of Bede by other Anglo-Norman historians, specifically Symeon of Durham, Florence (rightly John) of Worcester, Orderic Vitalis and William of Malmesbury, among others. 69 Eadmer himself, clearly mirroring Bede, consistently documents nearly every important point- but especially legal ones- with letters which he explicitly intends to be "of use as precedents". Likewise, his descriptions of events are to serve as models: "Let those who come after us attend to how a thing ought to be handled in a situation of this kind, if it should come to pass". Badmer further argues that the actions of each of Augustine's successors, especially if they are following Gregory's original orders to Augustine, become part of the Canterbury custom: ... what blessed Gregory said to Augustine, he said in Augustine to his successors, through whom it is pleasing to God to fulfil what through Augustine himself He did not wish to fulfill, by his disposition .... 70

Thus Lanfranc also would contribute significantly to the Canterbury tradition, as the customs of each archbishop were selected and bound, as it were, into a sheaf of customs. Eadmer' s portrayal of first King Edgar and Archbishop Dunstan, then King William and Archbishop Lanfranc reenacting this topos, sets the stage for Anselm to strive to recreate the topos with King William II Rufus, and to fail when Rufus drove him into exile. But even this exile mirrored similar exiles among the earliest archbishops of Canterbury- Mellitus and Justus, driven out of England by bad kings. 71 Eadmer's further portrayal of Ralph d'Escures's 68

Bede, Historia Ecclesiastica Anglo rum, I, 27, p. 73. A. GRANSDEN, "Bede's reputation as an historian in medieval England", The Journal of Ecclesiastical History 32 (1981), pp. 397-425; cf. pp. 403-412. 70 HN, pp. 175, 245, 276-278; cf. HN, pp. 1, 21-22, 41, 42, 45, 46, 47, 51 as just a few examples. 71 VAUGHN, "Eadmer's Historia Novorum". 69


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exile, with which we began, clearly mirroring Anselm's exile not only by visiting Lyons but even by visiting the remnant of Anselm's foundation there and hearing an account of Anselm in heaven; and indeed Eadmer portrays himself as reenacting this same pattern of exile from the see of St. David's, in his own turn mirroring his mentor and teacher. 72 This pattern in Eadmer' s perfect example of the ideal archbishop, Historia Novo rum, suggests that indeed the monks of Canterbury - or at least Eadmer - were striving hard to maintain the gains Anselm had made in his struggles to preserve and extend Canterbury's primatial privileges well before William of Malmesbury began his researches in the 1120s. Since many of the letters, and especially the papal and royal ones, were in effect legal documents announcing the privileges Anselm had won or papal decrees made, it is inconceivable that the Canterbury monks would neglect to collect and preserve them until the 1120s. Indeed, the pattern of the historical writing of the Bee monks suggests that on Anselm's death they began a conscious program of commemorating Bee's great men, beginning with Bee's first abbot Herluin, whose Vita was the first to be written by Anselm's close friend and foster brother Gilbert Crispin in 1109-1117, 73 contemporaneously to or followed closely by Eadmer' s His to ria Novo rum - the record of Anselm's archiepiscopal career - and his Vita of Bee's second abbot Anselm in 1115 and 1116 respectively. 74 If, as I have argued, the Bee and Canterbury traditions were very closely interconnected and seen as emanating from Bee, it is not surprising that these first historical works were closely followed by the Vita of Bee monk and bishop of Rochester Gundulf (1114-1120), 75 the Vitae Willelmi et Bosoni, the next two abbots of Bee (1124-1138), 76 and the Vita Lanfranci (1140-1156). 77 Thus it may not be surprising that these Bee monks' apparent interest in creating historical records after Anselm's death was preceded by a more limited surge of historical writing immediately preceding and shortly following Lanfranc's death: the Scriptum Lanfranci de Primatu, documenting Lanfranc's case made in the 1070s to secure the Canterbury primacy; 78 'The plea at Penen72

HN, Books Five and Six. M. GIBSON, Lanfranc ofBee (Oxford, 1978), pp. 195-196; thus it appears that Gilbert began writing immediately on Anselm's death. 74 GIBSON, Lanfranc of Bee, pp. 219-220. 75 THOMPSON, The Life of Gundulf of Rochester, introduction, pp. 3-4. 76 S.N. VAUGHN, The Abbey ofBee and the Anglo-Norman State (Woodbridge, 1981 ), pp. 5859. 77 GIBSON, Lanfranc of Bee, p. 196. 78 GIBSON, Lanfranc of Bee, p. 211. 73

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don Heath', 1072; 79 De iniusta vexatione Willelmi episcopi primi, an eyewitness account of the negotiations between William bishop of Durham and King William Rufus in the last years ofLanfranc's life; 80 Acta Lanfranci, the annals of Lanfranc's archiepiscopate, ca. 1093;81 and finally, Lanfranc's own correspondence, the collection of which may well have inspired Anselm to begin to collect his own monastic correspondence in 1089. The fact that it then took Anselm probably a full four years (1089-1092) to gather up the first version of this correspondence, N, suggests the probability that Lanfranc himself collected his own archiepiscopal correspondence well before his death in 1089 - thus setting an example for Anselm to collect his own archiepiscopal correspondence before his death in 1109. We might perhaps liken each of these letter collections to what Patrick Geary has labelled Traditionsbiicher, libelli which collect charters- commonly called 'cartularies', but often containing other documents or texts as well. Sometimes these have been called chroniques cartulaires. 82 Lanfranc's inclusion of a short history of his confrontations with Thomas archbishop of York in his letter collection springs to mind, 83 as well as such chroniques cartulaires as the Textus Roffensis, compiled by a disciple of the Bee monk Gundulfbishop of Rochester, Orderic Vitalis' s incorporation of charters and documents, especially in the early books of his long history, and indeed Eadmer' s composition of his Historia Novo rum, especially covering the years 1100-1109, which consists primarily of his quotations of Anselm's correspondence. Frohlich's assertions that Anselm, by consciously editing and collecting his letters, was thereby creating a 'public image' of himself, and my own similar conclusions and extension of this view to analyse Anselm's political career, 79 GIBSON, Lanfranc of Bee, p. 214; note that J. LEPATOUREL, "The reports on the trial on Penendon Heath", in: Studies in Medieval History Presented to F. M. Powicke, ed. R. W. HUNT, et at. (Oxford, 1948), pp. 15-26, finds that this tract was progressively enlarged in three successive versions- i.e., it was revised to a final version. 80 GIBSON, Lanfranc of Bee, pp. 220-221. H.S. OFFLER, "The tractate de iniusta vexatione Willelmi episcopi primi", EHR 66 (1951), pp. 321-341, has argued that it was a polemic written in the 1120s-1140s, a skilful historical drama written in retrospect which seems to my mind quite similar in style and tone to Eadmer's Historia Novorum. 81 GIBSON, Lanfranc ofBee, p. 213; we must note that these annals must necessarily have been completed in 1093, although they may or may not have been begun in 1070. Gibson believes that they were entered in several stages. 82 P. GEARY, Phantoms of Remembrance: Memory and Oblivion at the End of the First Millennium (Princeton, 1994), pp. 81-83. 83 M. GIBSON and H. CLOVIS, The Letters ofLanfranc (Oxford, 1979): "Memorandum on the primacy of Canterbury", 21 April 1073-28 August 1075, no. 3, pp. 39-49.


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have raised the issues of the degree of truth which the resultant image can project, and the possible motivations Anselm may have had in constructing such a 'public image'. I have tried to explain Anselm's actions and intentions in two ways: first, with the concept of topoi - defined as models or exempla of a programme of correct behaviour in specific situations, such as election to high office -, 84 and secondly, by recalling Anselm's Augustinian view of the universe, seeing the here and now as pale and imperfect shadows in a dimly lit cavern, dim reflections of the perfect exempla in the bright light of God's mind - exempla which alone are real. Let us look at each of these two components which may possibly have led Anselm to create a public image of himself. Carolyn Bynum has discussed the phenomenon of models or exempla as it arose in the twelfth century, which she describes as "a new emphasis on conforming behaviour to types or models". 85 Drawing primarily on twelfth-century Cistercian literature, rather than correspondences, Bynum finds numerous expressions of exactly the concept Anselm had expressed a century earlier in, for example, the writings of Abelard, Gerhoh of Reichersberg, Hugh of St. Victor, Philip of Harvengt, the Carthusian Guigo II, and Aelred of Rievaulx. It may be significant that Hugh of St. Victor later uses exactly the metaphor Anselm had used in describing his training of his students: "the imitation of the saints is the imprinting of their lives in us as a seal moulds the wax on which it is impressed", as Bynum summarizes Hugh's concept. 86 And Aelred of Rievaulx echoes not only Anselm's concept of exempla, but his passionate language: Where have you gone, o example by whom I lived, pattern of my morals? Where shall I turn? Whom shall I take for my guide? How are you torn from my embrace, snatched from my kisses, hidden from my eyes? 87

While the construction of a 'public image' to set a good example for posterity and to teach the uninformed has its positive side, it also has its negative side, as Southern has suggested. 88 If Anselm omitted unedifying or less than perfect examples of his words and deeds, he may be seen as somehow concealing the truth, by our standards, or worse, deliberately prevaricating and creating Cf. above, at notes 34 and 35, Aepp. 52 and 61. C. WALKER BYNUM, Jesus as Mother (Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1982), p. 95. 86 BYNUM, Jesus as Mother, pp. 97-98; cf. VA, pp. 20-21 for Anselm's use of the wax image. 87 BYNUM, Jesus as Mother, pp. 96-97. 88 R.W. SOUTHERN, "Sally Vaughn's Anselm", review article in Albion 20 (1988), pp. 181204. 84 85

Dilecti Amici et Amicae


a false impression. But these modern concepts would have no meaning for Anselm. For he perceived the universe and the mind's operation quite differently than we moderns do. Anselm discussed this very issue in De Veritate. As Jasper Hopkins summarizes Anselm's theories, following St. Augustine of Hippo, Anselm maintained that "truth in all things is ultimately one Truth because if something is true, it can only be so by virtue of its accordance with an eternal Truth". When God creates something, He creates in accordance with a model, or exemplar, in His mind. "Insofar as all beings correspond to a pattern in the Divine Mind, they may be said to be true. And since all created things necessarily so accord, there is truth in the essence of all things". 89 Therefore, it is possible to conceive of Anselm expressing the essence of his monastic life in his collection of his abbatialletters, and the essence of his archiepiscopal example in his collection of his archiepiscopal letters, omitting such imperfections as the perfect Truth required. This concept accords with the signs and visual images posited by Riffaterre in the literary model described above. However, human beings may not always perceive God's essential truth. According to Anselm, sometimes we may perceive in error, as when we see a straight stick look broken when half of it is seen through water. When we are deceived in this way, it is not the fault of our eyes, which report what in fact appears before them, but rather the fault of our judgment (iudicium), "which wrongly infers that such a stick is broken because it looks broken". 90 In Anselm's own words, truth or falsity is not in our senses, but in our belief about them. The outer sense (sensus exterior) does not report lies to the inner sense (sensus interior), but the inner sense deceives itself. This is sometimes easy to realize, other times difficult. For when a boy is afraid of the statue of a dragon posed as if to eat him up, we easily recognize that the sight of the dragon doesn't cause his fear (for the boy's sight reports to him nothing more than an older person's sight reports to him); rather, it is caused by his childish inner sense, which does not yet know well enough how to distinguish between a real thing and its likeness. 91

Thus what a child sees as a fearful reality, a more mature person would see as a mere image of a fearful thing - and not the true thing itself. Transferring this logic to Anselm's archiepiscopal record, what appears to be imperfect may be Anselm, De Veritate, 7, quoted in HOPKINS, Companion to the Study of St. Anselm, p. 20; my italics. 90 HOPKINS, Companion to the Study of St. Anselm, p. 21. 91 Anselm, De veritate, 6, as translated and quoted by HOPKINS, Companion to the Study of St. Anselm, p. 21. 89

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seen on a deeper level to be a more profound perfection: "For our knowledge is imperfect; but when the perfect comes, the imperfect will pass away". 92 Moreover, in the Christian view, God reveals himself through history, as well as through the Supreme Exemplar, Christ. Christ in the wilderness refusing the devil' s offer of all earthly wealth and power is the ultimate exemplar for innumerable reenactments of this scene by countless prospective Christian prelates, and even Christian emperors and kings, as they refused high office only to be forced to acceptance. 93 With Christ as his ultimate model, Anselm, too, endeavoured to set a good example for the people charged to his care by publicly refusing the archbishopric of Canterbury. But those who emulated Christ throughout history also served as Anselm's models: Lanfranc, Herluin, St. Augustine of Canterbury, St. Gregory the Great, St. Augustine ofHippo, St. Benedict and St. Paul. As the writers of Bee expressed it, men of the past served as "examples of good living.[ ... ] Let the descendants regard and follow the footprints of their ancestors, so that without stumbling they can run the life of salvation .... " 94 Gregory the Great often used historical examples: "It was in this way [step by step] that the Lord revealed Himself to the Israelite people in Egypt...." 95 The Rule of St. Benedict stresses that the abbot must teach by both words and deeds, 96 and that monks learn by following the examples of their superiors: "Let [the abbot] copy the example of the Good Shepherd" and "first show [his students] in deeds rather than words all that is good and holy ... ". 97 "Be imitators of me," St. Paul enjoined, "as I am of Christ". 98 "Set the believers an example in words and deeds". 99 In particular regard to the Christian bishop, Paul wrote: "Now a bishop must be above reproach [... ] moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders ... ".100 "For a bishop, as God's steward, must be blameless". 101 Anselm echoed these two passages in his 1093 letter to Fulk bishop of Beauvais, his former Bee student, defending himself against charges of cupidity and avarice in accepting the archbishopric, and requesting that Fulk publicize Anselm's true 92

Cor. 13:9-10. Anselm of Bee, pp. 117-119; cf. "Anselm: Saint and statesman", pp. 210-212. 94 Preface to Vita Herluini, in PL 150, cols. 695-696. 95 Bede, Historia Ecclesiastica Anglorum, I, 30, pp. 56-57; cf. I, 32, pp. 58-60. 96 The Rule of St. Benedict, Chapter 2, tr. Cardinal GASQUET (New York, 1966), pp. 10-11. 97 Chapter 7, The eighth step of humility, p. 33; Chapter 27, pp. 57-58. 98 I Cor. 11: I. 99 I Tim. 4:11. 100 I Tim. 3:2, 7. 101 Tit. 1:7. 93



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intention of following the will of God. As archbishop, "by word and example he should and can be useful to others". 102 And Anselm urged his successor at Bee to follow his own example: "Remember truly for what reason I took care to acquire friends for the Church of Bee; and by this example hasten to acquire friends on every side ... ". 103 Anselm believed that by his actions he established "customs for myself and my successors by my own example". 104 Thus Anselm consciously modelled his behaviour on the past, for the immediate benefit of those in the present, and as a pattern to guide those in the future. The collection of his correspondence would provide just such a pattern for future priors and abbots of Bee (and perhaps other Benedictines); and for future Archbishops of Canterbury, much as the collection of St. Paul's and others' letters in the New Testament set an example for the early Church- and the later Church up to Anselm's time, and indeed to the present. It is reasonable to conclude then, that, given the strong evidence for Anselm's collection and editing of the abbatial correspondence, Anselm also collected the archiepiscopal correspondence with the same motives. If this hypothesis is correct, Anselm was indeed shaping the history of his abbacy and episcopate - like so many others of the monastic writers of the tenth and eleventh century, as Patrick Geary has argued, to shape the history of the present and of the future. 105 Indeed, according to Geary, Arnold of St. Emmeram and Paul of St. Pere of Chartres, in their reconstruction of the past as they reordered the archives, "emphasized that not everything was to be preserved, only that which was useful". It may be relevant that modern historians tend to agree with this sentiment. In order to test our hypothesis that Anselm sought to create a model or exemplar of first the ideal abbot, and then the ideal archbishop, we must examine Anselm's correspondence as the consciously constructed perfect example Anselm provided by his words and deeds for the edification of his contemporaries and successors and the souls committed to his and their care. We may hope to find a rather clearly expressed pattern of Anselm's idea of how a Benedictine abbot and archbishop ought to hold himself toward women of all kinds. We would perhaps expect to find examples of both laywomen and nuns, 102 103 1

Aep. 160. Aep. 165; my italics.


GEARY, Phantoms ofRemembrance, p. 114 and passim. Although Geary does not deal with letter collections, but only with archives and chronicles, one can view these correspondences as collections of documents in the same way as a cartulary is a collection of documents, not always arranged in chronological order. 105


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young and old, celibate women and married, queens and commoners, Normans, Flemish, Anglo-Saxons, Germans, French and Italians. Anselm's correspondence is striking in that it does indeed contain just this variety, but often only one example of each. In the cases where there is more than one example, particular women stand out as having a special value for Anselm, not only as personal friends or patrons, but also as monastically ideal friends or patrons - or even model adversaries. With regard to women, at least, and perhaps to all manner of people as we find them, Anselm's correspondence may possibly be a virtual blueprint for how an ideal abbot and monk-archbishop ought to deal with the humanity around him. Anselm's correspondence in the modem Schmitt edition consists of 475 letters to, from, or about him. Of these, 73 are to, from or about women- about 15.4%. Thirty-six of these are to, from or about aristocratic lay women. With the 20 to, from or about Queen Edith-Matilda of England, those to laywomen total 56, or 77% of the total letters concerning women. Four are addressed to couples, two to a mixed congregation of ecclesiastical men and women, 17 to nuns, five to his sister, and 13 to third parties about women. Only the monastic letters consist almost entirely of Anselm's collection alone. The modem Episcopal collection must be considered from two perspectives: first perhaps, as Anselm's collection, and second as the modern augmented collection. These totals include the second. But nine of the letters mentioned above were among the 87 omitted from Anselm's original collection. 106 The remaining 61letters to, from or about women thus comprise some 15.5% of the 388letters probably collected by Anselm. ANSELM'S LETTERS TO, FROM OR ABOUT WOMEN 1. Correspondence Concerning Laywomen: Adela countess of Blois

Aepp. 181,286,287,340,

Adelide, daughter of Duke William Countess Adelide, sister of Duke William Basilia of Goumey Clemence countess of Flanders

Aep. 10 Aep. 86 Aepp. 68,118,147,420 Aepp.249,248, 180


106 Cf. FROHLICH, Letters of Saint Anselm, p. 64 note 134; Aepp. 151, 168, 169, 177, 181, 183, 184, 337, 352.

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Eva Crispin Ermingarde Frodelina Ida countess of Boulogne

Aepp. 22, 98, 118 Aep. 134 Aep.45 Aepp.82,114, 131,167,208,

Matilda countess of Tuscany Richeza, Anselm's sister

Aepp.325,330,350 Aepp. 211, 258, 264, 268,

Rohaise of Clare Countess of Vermandois Queen Edith-Matilda

Aep. 94 Aep.151 Aepp. 177, 242, 243, 246,

Unidentified 2.




288,296,317,318,320,321, 323,329, 346, 347,352, 384, 385,395,400,406 Aep. 11

Correspondence concerning Religious Women Atheleits abbess of Romsey Eulalia abbess of Shaftesbury Gunhilda daughter of King Harald M., a nun Mabillia, a nun Matilda abbess of Caen Matilda abbess of Wilton Seit and Edit, nuns (with Robert)


Aepp.183,208,337,406 Aepp.168, 169 Aep.184 Aep.405 Aep. 298 Aepp. 185, 208 Aepp.230,414

Boldfaced italicized = letters omitted from Anselm's collections Breaking the total down further, seven letters are addressed to abbesses Athleits of Winchester, Eulalia of Shaftsbury, Matilda of Caen and Matilda of Wilton- one Norman and three English abbesses (from a total of eleven to, from, or about abbesses, minus three omitted by Anselm). Thus a total of 17 (14) letters are concerned with female monastic communities or their occupants. Of the 54 concerning aristocratic lay women, 22 are to, from, or about a particular group of aristocratic women with whom Anselm maintained very close friendships - nine to or about Countess Ida of Boulogne, four to or about


Chapter One

Countess Adela of Blois, two to or about Countess Matilda of Tuscany, three to or about Lady Eve, wife ofWilliam Crispin, and Lady Basilia, wife of Hugh of Gournay (both prominent laymen in pre-Conquest Normandy), two to or about Lady Rohais of Clare, one to Countess Adelaide of Aumale and Champagne, three to or about Countess Clemence of Flanders, and one about the Countess ofVermandois. The remaining 20 of the 54 are to Queen Edith-Matilda (1100-1118), wife of King Henry I of England. 107 These letters are scattered throughout the entire correspondence, abbatial and episcopal. Some of these aristocratic women were remarkable not only for their high positions, but also for their royal bloodlines. Queen Edith-Matilda obviously outranks the others, but her title by no means fully describes her eminence. As the daughter of King Malcolm of Scotland and Queen Margaret of the old Anglo-Saxon royal line, 108 Edith-Matilda would unite in her children by King Henry I no less than three royal bloodlines -the Anglo-Saxon, the Scottish, and the Norman - and with them the family connections and kinship ties that formed so large a part of Anglo-Norman land-holding, inheritance, and political power. 109 Countess Ida of Boulogne was the second wife of Count Eustace II, daughter of Duke Godfrey the Bearded duke of Lower Lorraine, sister-in-law of Godfrey bishop of Paris and chancellor of the French king Philip I (1 060-1108), sister-in-law also of Lambert count of Lens, step-sister of Countess Matilda of Tuscany, and mother of two successive kings of Jerusalem, Godfrey count of Bouillon and Baldwin king of Jerusalem, as well as mother of Eustace III count of BoulogneY 0 Her granddaughter Matilda, daughter of Eustace III, would marry Stephen of Blois, grandson of the Conqueror through his mother Adela of Blois, and future king of England (1135-1154). Countess Adela of Blois was the daughter of William the Conqueror, sister of Kings William II Rufus and Henry I of England and Duke Robert Curthose of Normandy, wife of the crusader Stephen count of Blois, and mother of the future King Stephen of England as well as of Theobald future count of Blois and Champagne. Her aunt Adelaide countess of Aumale and Champagne, another of Anselm's correspondents, as a sister of William the Conqueror, was See pp. 36-37 for a chart of Anselm's letters to, from, and about women. Cf. D. BAKER, "'A nursery of saints': St. Margaret of Scotland reconsidered", in: Medieval Women, ed. D. BAKER (Oxford, 1978), pp. 119-142. 109 Cf. E. SEARLE, Predatory Kinship and the Creation of Norman Power, 840-1066 (Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1988). 110 J.C. ANDRESSOHN, The Ancestry and Life of Godfrey of Bouillon (Bloomington, 1947), pp. 10,20-22. 107


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likewise connected to the English royal house and the Norman ducal house. Countess Clemence of Flanders was second cousin to King Henry I - both were great-grand-children of Duke Richard II of Normandy- and her husband Count Robert was overlord to the counts of Boulogne. 111 The presence in the correspondence of the countesses of Vermandois and of Tuscany spreads Anselm's friendship network with women still wider. Adela of Vermandois, wife of Count Hugh and daughter-in-law of King Philip I of France, was connected with the Anglo-Norman court through the marriage of her daughter Isabel to Robert count of Meulan in France, lord of Beaumontle-Roger in Normandy, and Earl of Leicester in England - and chief advisor to Kings William II and Henry I. Matilda of Tuscany for many years in her own right ruled her huge, wealthy realm in which she was the mainstay of the Reform Papacy, in particular Pope Gregory VII's military support in the Papal States and the region south of Lombardy. 112 Closer to home, Lady Eve, Lady Basilia and Lady Rohais represented respectively the Crispin, Goumay and Brionne/Clare families of the lesser Norman, French and Anglo-Norman aristocracy who were tightly bound to the abbey of Bee by traditional family ties, and to the Norman duke-king by ties of blood, service and loyalty. The correspondence begins with Anselm's teacher Lanfranc, extends to neighbours of Bee, both men and women, then monks 'spiritual brothers' -of Bee, then priors and abbots who still carried on Bee's traditions, then monks, priors and abbots who belonged to other abbeys besides Bee, then laymen and women whom Anselm urged to become monks of Bee, and finally when Anselm leaves Bee and takes the responsibility of Canterbury, gradually broadens to include all Christendom- such as Christopher HarperBill has so aptly described the contours of Vita Herluini. 113 Thus Anselm numbered among his correspondents a broad range of women from simple nuns to queens, and from nearby neighbours such as the Crispins, Goumays and Clares, to the great aristocratic women rulers of France, Italy, England and Flanders- a galaxy of bright stars not only in the Anglo-Norman world but throughout Western Europe. All ofthese women, lay or ecclesiastic, considered Anselm their spiritual father, looking to him for spiritual advice and See the appendix for the genealogies oflda and Adela. Two biographies of Matilda were written at the turn of this century: M.E. HUDDY, Matilda, Countess a/Tuscany (London, 1906); and N. DUFF, Matilda ofTuscany: La Gran Donna d'Italia (London, 1909). A modern biography is sorely needed. 113 C. HARPER-BILL, "Herluin, abbot of Bee and his biographer", in: Religioius Motivation: Biographical and Sociological problems for the Church Historian, ed. D. BAKER (Oxford, 1978), p. 23. 111



Chapter One

guidance in living their lives, just as our little cell of Magdalenes in Lyons had. Anselm, on the other hand, more often addressed these women as "Beloved Ladies - dominae in deo dilectae", 114 "Cherished Friends - carissimae amicae"115 or "Reverend Mothers- dominae et matri, reverendae abbatissae". 116 The ecclesiastics he considered to be "handmaidens of God - ancillae Dei" the female equivalent to the servi Dei he addressed to male clerics, and often he specified this label for them. It might be useful to note the difference in these words applied to males and females. Servus has its roots in the old Roman meaning of 'slave' and there is no real indication that Anselm understood this word any differently from St. Augustine of Hippo, whose use of this word Peter Brown translates as 'slave' .117 Ancilla, on the other hand, means 'helper'- a softer, less submissive and less demeaning label, indeed almost an elevating concept. This is confirmed as Anselm calls these women "mothers", "daughters", or "sisters". 118 The laywomen he usually called "daughter", but sometimes "mother", for their roles as benefactors and guardians of churches, and nearly always "beloved lady". 119 To Queen Edith-Matilda, he evoked the image of Queen as "Angelic Hen" caring for her churches. 120 In order to understand the position of these women in Anselm's world view, it is necessary to examine the pattern of his correspondence as a whole. Anselm himself seems to have organized his letters in two parts: monastic and archiepiscopal. The modem Schmitt collection is arranged chronologically, so that we may now divide the collection into three parts: those (87) before his abbacy (before 1079), those (59) of his abbacy (1079-1093), and the archiepiscopal collection (328: 1093-1109). Let us further break down the archiepiscopal collection into two parts: those (62) from the reign of William Rufus (10931100), and those (266) from the reign of Henry I until Anselm's death (11001109).

Cf. Aep. 134, for example; or Aep. 114: "Dominae suae dilectissimae, generis et morum nobilitate carissimae comitissae Idae". 115 Cf. Aep. 45, in which Anselm begs to be admitted into Lady Frodelina's friendship, for example. 116 Cf. Aepp. 183, 298, for example. 117 P. BROWN, Augustine of Hippo (Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1969), p. 138. 118 Cf. Aepp. 168, 237,276, 298. 337,403, 405, 414, 169, 183, 184, 185, 230. 119 Aepp. 10,94,242,243,244,246,247,249,288,296,321,325,329,346,347,385,406, 420,448,45,82, 86,114,131,134,167. 120 Aep. 288. 114

Dilecti Amici et Amicae


If we survey the collection of Anselm's letters from beginning to end, we find that it commences with letters written while Anselm was prior of Bee, and not just as a simple monk - for Anselm almost immediately succeeded Lanfranc as prior upon entering the abbey as a monk. 121 Often the letters can be dated only with difficulty, butAep. 1 is addressed to Archbishop Lanfranc, and thus postdates 1070. However, there is no evidence that they were chronologically arranged in the original collections. Indeed, textual analysis often allows us to alter their apparent chronology. The vast majority of the early letters are letters of friendship addressed to other monks, and primarily monks from Bee, whether in Normandy or England. But among them one finds scattered letters to his Italian uncles Folcerold and Lambert and his Italian cousins Folcerold and Peter, to monks of other abbeys, and a few abbots, as well as four to aristocratic women and two more mentioning them. Anselm's world as prior seems relatively narrow, confined largely to Normandy and its immediate environs, except for contacts with his own family in Italy, other abbots largely nearby in and near Normandy, and of course Archbishop Lanfranc and the Bee monks who had moved on to England. It is interesting that of the 87 letters in the monastic group, only twelve are addressed to non-monks, minor clerics or laymen and women, and four of these are to Lady Frodelina and Countesses Adelida, Adela, and Ida of Boulogne (I am excluding in this reckoning Aep. 87, to Odo of Bayeux, as a distinctive case ). 122 The seven to laymen (Odo, Lanzo, Hunfrid, Girard, William, and Roger, otherwise unknown, one to his cousin Peter, and two to Albertus Medicus, a lay physician who accompanied Lanfranc to Canterbury) urge them to turn from the secular to the monastic life. The four to women seek to establish both friendships and relationships of spiritual guidance. Whether writing to men or women, Anselm's language is passionate. To the layman Roger he writes: To his own beloved Roger, longed for, hoped for, awaited in Christ; from brother Anselm, his own lover: May God be very gracious and health giving to [you] to choose prudently, to hold fast tenaciously, to ascend together with me joyfully,

as he urges Roger to embrace monasticism. 123 Likewise Anselm writes to those already in a monastic vocation: VA, pp. 10-11. Aepp. 2, 21, 36, 44, 56, 76, 81 to laymen; Aepp. 10, 45, 82, 86 to the countesses. 123 Aep. 76.




Chapter One As his own to his own, as friend to friend, as brother to brother, from Anselm to Gundulf: through your love you make me joyful as you persevere in sanctity; through this reward you sanctify me eternally injoyfulnessY4

And with scarcely less emotional fervour he writes to Lady Frodelina: To my beloved lady Frodelina, revered with love for the merit of her holiness: from brother Anselm of Bee, by life a sinner, by habit a monk, a servant of the servants and handmaidens of God, with the reverence of a lover: may your holiness persevere to grow in the present life and find eternal joy in the future life. 125

It may be instructive to look at the structure of the prioral collection. Anselm begins with a letter to Lanfranc, "his lord and father, revered with love and loved with reverence by all Christians", congratulating him with great joy that God had "placed the light of your faith and wisdom on a lofty lampstand", clearly the primatial seat of England, and expresses his continuing love and cooperation, requesting that Lanfranc show this letter to the Bee monks at Canterbury with him. 126 His second and third letters are statements to the laymen or minor clerics Odo and Lanzo, and to Robert a monk of Mont-SaintMichel, instructing them on how to live a good, spirituallife. 127 The letter he chose to put fourth is the first to his closest friend and confidant Gundulf, who was with Lanfranc in England - the first of a series of letters to Gundulf, one of a group of Bee and Caen monks with Lanfranc at Canterbury with whom Anselm maintained continuing close contact. The series to Gundulf, in particular, displays Anselm's theories of the strong love between Bee monks. InAep. 4, Anselm calls Gundulf soul most beloved of my soul [... ] everything I feel about you is sweet and joyful to my heart; everything I wish for you is the best my mind can imagine. For I see you as the sort of person I must love, as you know I do; I hear about you as the sort of person I must long

124 Aep. 41. Cf. Aep. 4, where Anselm addresses Gundulfas "soul most beloved of my soul ... everything I feel about you is sweet and joyful to my heart; everything I wish you is the best my mind can imagine; for I see you as the sort of person I must love, as you know I do; I hear about you as the sort of person I must long for, as God knows I do. From this it follows that wherever you go my love follows you; and wherever I may be, my longing for you embraces you". Aep. 7; Aep. 16, in which Anselm calls Gundulf "my second soul"; in Aepp. 28, Anselm refers to Gundulf as "my other heart". 125 Aep. 45. 126 Aep. 1. 127 Aepp. 2, 3.

Dilecti Amici et Amicae


for, as God knows I do. From this it follows that wherever you go my love follows you; and wherever I may be, my longing for you embraces you. 128

The next letter to Gundulf, "as lover to beloved [... ] you who are my other self', 129 continues the definition of right relationships between Bee monks, while its following letter expands this theme: Again and again it presses upon me, aware as I am of another's conscience, which is mine, that my letter should fly across the sea to it and fly more often as if wanting to receive information about the state of my friendship. But what will my letter tell you that you do not know, you my second soul? Go into the secret place of your heart and consider the affection of your true love and you will learn the love of your true friend[ ... our mutual love is similar]; for I confess that my tepid love is surpassed by your fervent love, but it is not dissimilar because it is formed by the same Rule. Just as you try hard to love me with no less ardour than you love yourself, so I strive not to love you with more coolness than myself.... 130

Quite obviously, Anselm is in this series ofletters carrying out step by step the logic of Christ's command to love your neighbour as yourself- and how much more than neighbours are brothers and friends, fellow Bee monks? Anselm sees them as identical souls and minds, mirror images of each other, in the same Rule. Consequently, when he writes to the other Bee monks at Canterbury, Henry, Ralph, Herluin, Hemost and Maurice, he always instructs them to show his letters to Gundulf and the other Bee monks. 131 The passionate language, that resembling physical love, recalls the notions of Riffaterre in describing the use of opposite images in texts that recall oral accounts- the use of symbols opposite to the real meaning to jog the mind toward a symbol or exemplar, and reveal its true meaning through the language of visual signs and images. 132 Continuing his definition of the relationship between Bee monks, Anselm places about 20th in the collection his letter to Gundulf sending his prayers to the Virgin- three versions of them. He begins: There is no need for my lips to speak at length about the constancy of our lasting friendship to someone whom I know to be my other heart in mutual affection: [... ]just as the love I have had for you from the beginning has never changed in me by diminishing, so I am anxious that it may always be changed by increasing .... 133

Aep. 4. Aep. 7 130 Aep. 16. 131 Aepp. 5, 8, 12, 13, 17, 24. 132 See above, pp. 20-24, 25-36. 133 Aep. 28. 128


Chapter One


And he takes up the theme of identification, self to self, in the next examples, Aepp. 34, 41 and 59: If you regard yourself as another Anselm [... ] through our mutual love, let this beloved brother and son of mine, dom Maurice, experience this, I beg you, by showing care for him in all things for the sake of the love of God and your neighbour, to show our love to him in my place. 134 Brother to brother, friend to friend, beloved to beloved, Anselm to Gundulf [... ] just as you are sure of your affection for me, so you do not doubt mine for you [... ] formed in our inmost hearts you may see written on paper what we equally bear; and seeing it you may read it, and reading it you may, with me, rejoice .... 135

Thus we can see in the letters to Anselm's closest monastic friend Gundulf, a progressive logical statement and illustration of the love Bee monks rightly ought to have for one another. They are to love each other as themselves, soul to soul, spirit to spirit, mind to mind, to mirror the Divine Love. The large majority of letters in the prioral collection are addressed to these Bee monks at Canterbury, often instructing them to copy the letters among their group, and to care for one another in the name of Bee love. Thus Anselm's prioral correspondence focuses very much on the Bee monks at Canterbury and elsewhere in the beginning of the correspondence, then but slightly broadens to include non-Bee monks, mostly in Northern France, then his relatives in Italy, and finally laymen nearby in Northern Europe whom he urges to embrace monasticism. Significantly, the letters to and about women are spread very evenly throughout the collection, which ends with the single letter in this group to a bishop - Odo of Bayeux, half-brother of Duke/King William who has never taken monastic vows. This symbolic closure to the prioral collection, which began with a letter to the monk-archbishop Lanfranc, suggests that Anselm as abbot is about to become more closely involved in the world of laymen. ANSELM'S LETTERS IN THE PRIORAL COLLECTION 1. Correspondence with Lanfranc and the Bee monks at Canterbury

134 Aep. 34; meanwhile, Anselm has placed 29 and 33 to other Bee monks at Caen between these two letters. Cf. 35, 40, 42, 43, 47, 50, 51, 53, 58, all to Bee monks at Canterbury. 135 Aep. 59.


Dilecti Amici et Amicae

Lanfranc Gundulf Henry Herluin Hernost Maurice Lanfranc, nephew of Lanfranc Gilbert Crispin Paul abbot of St. Alban's

Aepp. 1, 14, 23, 25, 27, 30, 31,32,39,49,57,66, 72,77 Aepp.4, 7, 16,28,34,41,51, 59,68, 78 Aepp. 5 , 17, 24, 33, 40, 50, 51,58,63,67, 73 Aepp.8,35,51 Aepp.9,53 Aepp.42,43,47,51,60,64, 69, 74, 79 Aepp. 31, 75 Aep. 84 Aep. 80

2. Correspondence with other Bee and Caen affiliated Monks Ralph prior of St. Etienne Caen William Bona Anima Arnulf monk of Beauvais Helgot prior at Caen William abbot of Fecamp

Aepp. 12, 13, 29 Aepp.l8,46,52 Aep. 38 Aep.48 Aep.65

3. Correspondence with non-Bee monks, priors and abbots Robert monk of Mont-Saint-Michel Ralph a monk Hugh the prior Gerbert abbot of St. Wandrille Avesgot the monk William monk of La Chaise Dieu Robert monk of La Chaise Dieu Abbot 0 Lanzo, monk of Cluny Fulk prior of St. Evroul, abbot-elect of St. Pierre-sur-Dives Abbot Walter Durand Abbot of La Chaise Dieu Walter the monk

Aep. 3 Aep.29 Aep.6 Aep. 11* Aepp. 19,20 Aep. 21 Aep. 21 Aep.26 Aep. 37 Aep.6l Aep.62 Aepp. 70,71 Aep. 85


Chapter One

Rainald abbot of St. Cyprian of Poitiers Odo bishop of Bayeux 4.

Correspondence with Anselm's relatives Folcerald and Lambert, Anselm's uncles in Italy Folcerald, Anselm's nephew in Italy Peter, Anselm's nephew in Italy


Aepp.22*,54 Aep. 55 Aep. 56

Correspondence with laymen and secular clergy Odo and Lanzo, layman (Lanzo was later a monk of Cluny) Albert the Physician Girard the moneyer of Arras Roger, a layman Hunfrid, a layman


Aep. 83 Aep. 87

Aep. 2 (cf. 37, above) Aepp.36,44 Aep. 15 (cf. 14, 23, above) Aep. 76 Aep. 81

Correspondence with laywomen Lady Adelaide, daughter of Duke/King William Lady Frodelina Countess Ida of Boulogne Countess Adela Anselm intercedes on behalf of a widow Anselm mentions Eva Crispin

Aep. 10 Aep.45 Aep. 82 Aep. 86 Aep. 11 (see above) Aep. 22 (see above)

The pattern of Anselm's abbatialletters remains somewhat the same, with the majority ofletters addressed to fellow monks, and continuing to focus more than on others on a particular group of close Bee friends: Gundulf, monk of Bee and Caen and now bishop of Rochester, Maurice and Henry, Bee monks now moved on to Canterbury and Battle Abbey, Anselm's beloved teacher Lanfranc, now archbishop of Canterbury, Gilbert Crispin, once at Bee, now abbot of Westminster, and a few other old friends from Bee. But the number of letters to each of these Bee friends decreases markedly, and the number of individual correspondents in the collection increases vastly. To the prioral

Dilecti Amici et Amicae


correspondents have now been added two previously unmentioned relatives of Anselm, Haimo and Rainald, 136 a number of previously unmentioned laymen, 137 Popes Gregory VII, Urban II, and Archbishop Hugh of Lyons, 138 quite large numbers of secular clergy and laymen relative to the prioral collection, and four more letters to aristocratic laywomen - two more to Countess Ida and one each to Rohaise of Clare (and her husband) and to a Lady Ermengarde. 139 Thus, although the number of women to whom Anselm wrote in the 87 letters of his priorate equals the number of letters to women preserved in the 59 letters of his abbatial correspondence, four in each case, statistically the proportion of letters to women is seen to be increased as Anselm's career progressed. When expressed as a percentage, these numbers are significant. The four letters of Anselm's priorate represent some 4.6% of this correspondence, and the four letters to women of his abbacy represent some 6.8% or this correspondence. Expressed somewhat differently, the eight letters to women of Anselm's Bee career represent only 5.3% of the total monastic correspondence, whereas we have noted that Anselm's letters to women in the whole correspondence total some 15.5%. Therefore the percentage of letters to women in the archiepiscopal correspondence represents a much larger sector of this portion of the collection- some 22%. While the increases are not enormous, they do represent a steady rate of growth in the inclusion of women in Anselm's world throughout his public life. ANSELM'S ABBATIAL CORRESPONDENCE 1. Correspondence with the monks of Bee, in Normandy and England The Monks of Bee (collectively) Baudry prior of Bee Gilbert abbot of St. Etienne Caen Archbishop Lanfranc Gundulf Bishop of Rochester Baldwin abbot of St. Neots in England Richard and the monks of Bee at St. Neots Henry prior of Christ Church Canterbury 136

Aep. 120. Aepp. 115, 117, 121, 101, 133. 138 Aepp. 100, 102, 109, 125, 126, 127. 139 Aepp. 114, 131, 134, 94. 137

Aepp.98, 116,118,147 Aep. 147 Aep. 139 Aepp. 89,90,124 Aepp. 91, 107, 141 Aep.92 Aep.96 Aepp. 93, 140

Chapter One

48 Fulk abbot of St.-Pierre-sur-Dives Maurice, now at the abbey at Conflans The Bee monks at Conflans Gilbert abbot of Westminster Robert a monk of Bee Lanfranc, nephew of Archbishop Lanfranc Ralph, a novice of Bee Helinand, a new monk Haimo and Rainald, Anselm's kinsmen William, a monk (probably of Bee) 2.

Correspondence with Bee dependencies Fulk bishop of Beauvais John a monk of Beauvais Walter the prior and the monks of St. Wandrille


Aepp. 138, 143 (cf. 137)

Aepp. 108 Aep. 110 Aep. 113 Aep.123 Aep. 132, 145 Aep. 112

Correspondence with non-Bee popes, archbishops and bishops Pope Urban II Hugh archbishop of Lyon Wale he lin bishop of Winchester Girard bishop of Therouanne


Aep. 136 (cf. 126, 127) Aepp. 128, 129

Correspondence with non-Bee monks and abbots Mainer abbot of St. Evroul Henry abbot (somewhere in Italy) Peter abbot (of Ivry?) Ernulf abbot of Troarn Robert and R, unknown abbots Hugh the Hermit


Aepp. 88, 105 Aep.97 Aep. 104 Aepp. 106, 130, 142 Aep. 119 Aep. 137 Aep.99 Aep. 101 Aep. 120 Aep. 135

Aepp. 125, 126, 127 Aep. 100 Aep. 122 Aep. 144

Correspondence with Anselm's relatives Folcerald, his cousin Haimo and Rainald, his kinsmen at Bee

Aep. 111 Aep. 120

Dilecti Amici et Amicae


6. Correspondence with laymen and laywomen Richard and Rohaise of Clare Odo Wilencus William Henry Lambert Ida countess of Boulogne Countess Ermingarde

Aep. 94 Aep. 95 Aep. 115 Aep. 117 Aep. 121 Aep. 133 Aepp. 114, 131 Aep. 134

Expressed in terms of years, these letters take on yet a different meaning. From Anselm's election as prior in 1060 to his election as abbot in 1079-20 years - he preserved four letters to women. From his abbatial election to his archiepiscopal election - 1079-1093, fifteen years - he again preserved four letters to women. During his archiepiscopate- 1093-1109, sixteen years -72 letters to women survive, but Anselm himself, if indeed he collected the episcopal collection, preserved only 263 of the surviving 328 archiepiscopal letters. Most strikingly, Anselm seems to have preserved only 35 of the surviving 64 belonging to the reign of William Rufus ( 1093-1100). In these years, he wrote only one to a laywoman, Aep. 167 to Countess Ida of Boulogne, but a total of five to nuns. However, this collection of archiepiscopal letters from the first half of Anselm's pontificate is crucial to understanding the monastic collection that we are certain Anselm made. For, if we take only the letters Anselm himself would have included had he himself made and edited this collection, it would look very much like Anselm's abbatial collection. Seldom would it include more than one letter to any one recipient, except Bee monks. A lot of the shorter, business letters would be omitted, along with the wrangling letters passed among all the Bee monks (preserved at Bee but not at Canterbury). It would omit letters that were originally meant to be secret (such as those to Pope Urban concerning Fulk of Beauvais ). 140 It would exclude letters of purely personal friendship, like those to the Bee monks in the prioral collection, and include letters of official business to be publicized, such as in the abbatial collection. And indeed this is just such a collection as we see in the 'Rufus collection' as Anselm originally must have intended it. Personal and behind-the-scenes business or negotiations- the many Bee letters omitted, the behind-the-scenes 140

Aepp. 126, 127, omitted from Anselm's abbatial collection.


Fig. 4

Chapter One

Seal of King William II Rufus From Mme DEp.WIIT (Paris, 1884), 3. nee GUIZOT, Les Chroniqueurs de I 'His to ire de France

Dilecti Amici et Amicae


business of Osmund of Salisbury and negotiations omitted about the young girl fated to become in time Queen Edith-Matilda, 141 the meaning of which we will discuss in chapter 3 -are, significantly, just the letters omitted from the "Rufus collection". Just as Anselm's abbatialletters have lost the personal tone of his prioralletters, and have taken a public stance more appropriate to an abbot, so the 'Rufus collection', less its omitted letters, is more proper and appropriate to a new archbishop. Anselm's concern to 'set a good example' to the people committed to his care could hardly impel him to do less. ARCHIEPISCOPAL COLLECTION Aepp. 148-211



1. Correspondence with Bee monks

Bee monks collectively Abbot William and the Bee monks Gundulf bishop of Rochester and the Bee monks Baudry the prior and the monks of Bee Boso monk of Bee; Boso and the Bee monks Ivo bishop of Chartres Henry prior of Canterbury Richard monk of Bee Osbern of Canterbury William monk of Chester Maurice bishop of London William Bona Anima archbishop of Rauen Fulk bishop of Beauvais

Aepp. 148, 151, 155, 165, 199 Aepp.166, 173, 178, 205 Aep.150 Aepp. 156, 157, 164, 179 Aepp.174, 209 Aep.181 Aep. 182 Aepp. 188, 196 Aepp. 149, 152 Aep. 189 Aep.200 Aep. 154 Aep. 160

2. Correspondence with monks and abbots Roger abbot of St. Evroul Ralph abbot of Sees Lanfrid abbot of St. Ulmar Lambert, abbot 141

Aepp. 177, 190, 195

Aep. 158 Aep.175 Aep. 186 Aep. 197


Chapter One

Aepp.203,204 Aep.208

Prior and monks of St. Albans Hugh archdeacon of Canterbury

3. Correspondence with bishops, archbishops, cardinal bishops and popes

Aep.159 Aep. 161 Aep. 162 Aepp. 170, 171 Aepp. 177, 190, 195 Aep.172 Aep.202 Aep. 187 Aepp. 191, 192, 194 Aep.176 Aepp.193,206 Aepp.210 Aep. 198 Aep. 201 Aep.207

Gilbert bishop of Evreux Gosfrid bishop of Paris Waleran cantor of Paris Wulfstan bishop of Worcester Osmund bishop of Salisbury Osbem bishop of Exeter Walchelin bishop of Worcester Gervinus bishop of Arniens(?) Walter cardinal-legate Hugh archbishop of Lyons Pope Urban II Pope Paschal II The Bishops of Ireland The Clerics and People of Waterford Malchus bishop of Waterford 4.

Correspondence with laymen and laywomen Robert duke of Normandy Eudo dapifer of the king Robert prince of Flanders Ida countess of Boulogne Burgundius and Richeza, Anselm's sister, husband


Aep. 153 Aep.163 Aep. 180 Aep. 167 Aep. 211

Correspondence with nuns Gunhilda of Wilton Abbess Eulalia and the nuns of St. Edward's Shaftesbury Matilda abbess of Wilton 'M', daughter of Richard (of Clare?)

Aepp. 168, 169 Aep.183 Aep. 185 Aep.184

Dilecti Amici et Amicae


Boldface italics are omitted from the Canterbury manuscript L.

While this fascinating collection merits much further and deeper study than space permits here, we must stay with our inquiry into Anselm's friendships with women. If we are correct in our suggestion that Anselm intended each of the sections of the correspondence - prioral, abbatial, archiepiscopal I and archiepiscopal II - to represent a model of an ideal prelate appropriate to that office, our findings that the archiepiscopal I, or 'Rufus collection' resembles the abbatial collection is significant. For both represent offices that deal with important members of the public, and both offices revolve around the welfare of the souls committed to their care. While the abbot must look to the spiritual and physical and financial well-being of his monks and of laymen who are either prospective donors or prospective members - or both, in the usual case of men -, the archbishop must tum his attention to the lay souls committed to his care, to teach them to live upright lives through his own word and example. Thus we have found the prior writing mostly to a small group of monks and neighbours, while the abbot broadens his world to include many more monks and abbots to be advised and nourished, and many more laymen to be converted, including women, and even ends with a last letter to a secular bishopwhich seems to open the new door to Anselm's new role in the secular world as archbishop. Now in the Archiepiscopal Collection I, we find the number of laymen increased enormously, as have also the secular clergy such as bishops, archbishops and popes. For the first time Anselm addresses nuns and abbesses, conspicuously absent from his monastic collection. Just as he must serve as their spiritual father in his new role, so he must expect to serve many more laywomen. As we expect, Archiepiscopal Collection II, the 'Henry I Collection', exhibits just such a balance. Here we see men and women of every station of life, rich and poor, lay and cleric, saints and sinners, men and women of every estate. As we thus see women in the context of these four parts of Anselm's correspondence, we may conclude provisionally that ideally a monkprior does not totally shun women, but does limit somewhat his concern with them, that an abbot would spend proportionately more of his time with women, perhaps because of his greater responsibilities to the abbey and to the community at large, that an archbishop with a difficult- even heretical- king ends up with a chaotic struggle in which not much is achieved to show as a good example (only 35 letters), and that an archbishop with a good, relatively cooperative king makes splendid progress and achieves a good deal (263 letters).


Chapter One


Aepp. 212-475

1. Correspondence with Popes, Kings and Queens Pope Paschal II

Aepp. 213, 214,216, 218,

219,220,222,223,224,225, 226,272,280,281,282,303, 304, 305, 315, 338, 340,348, 351,352,353,354,361,388, 397,398,422,423,430,441, 450,451,452,457, 458,459,

King Henry I of England

460,463 Aepp. 212, 215, 217, 221,

Queen Edith-Matilda of England

462,470 Aepp. 242,243,246,288,

King Baldwin of Jerusalem King Philip of France King-designate Louis of France King Alexander of Scotland King Muriardachus of Ireland

Aepp.235,324 Aep. 341 Aep. 342 Aep. 413 Aepp.426,427,435

228,265,294,301,308,318, 319,367,368,370,371,377, 378,391,392,393,394,396, 399,401,402,404,424,461,

296,317,320,321,323,329, 346,347,385,386,395,400, 406

2. Correspondence with Cardinals, Archbishops, Bishops, Deacons, Canons Cardinal John Archbishop Girard of York Archbishop-Elect Thomas of York Archbishop Hugh of Lyons

Aepp.284,339 Aepp. 238,250,253,255, 283,326,362,363,372,373, 440

Aepp. 443, 444, 445, 453, 454,455,456,472 Aepp.260,261,389,390


Dilecti Amici et Amicae

Archbishop William Bona Anima ofRouen Aepp. 266, 269, 271, 274, 279 Bishop of St. James of Compostella Aep. 263 Bishop Hildebert ofLe Mans Aepp. 239, 240,241 Bishop Gilbert of Lisieux Aep. 429 Bishop Jotserran of Lyons Aep. 432 Bishop Lambert of Arras Aepp. 437, 438, 439 Bishop John of Tusculum Aep. 339 Bishop Atseram of the London of the Danes Aep. 447 Bishop Waleran of Nuremberg Aepp. 415,416,417 BishopGundulfofRochester Aepp. 287,293,299,300, 306,314,316,330,359,374, 381 Aepp.464,465 Bishop Samson of Worcester Bishop Ralph of Chichester Aep.469 Aep. 473 Bishop Robert of Lincoln Aep.442 Bishop Rannulf of Durham Aep. 343 Bishop Rainald of Hereford Bishop Herbert of Thetford Aep.254 Bishop Malchus of Waterford Aep.277 Aep. 278 Bishop Samuel of Dublin Aepp.229,322,344 Bishop-elect William of Winchester Aep. 387 Bishops of England Aep. 471 Bishop R. Aepp.257,280,360 Archdeacon William of Canterbury Archdeacon Stephen of Winchester Aep. 236 Aep. 234 Foremost Canon Bernard of Ely Aep. 345 Canon Gun tor of St. Quintin of Beauvais Aep. 365 Anonymous churchman 3. Correspondence with Abbots, Priors, Monks and Nuns Prior Emulf and the Monks of Canterbury

Aepp. 286, 289, 291, 292, 295,307,310,311,331,349,

Subprior Antony of Canterbury Monks of Canterbury Ordwium monk of Canterbury

Aep. 313 Aepp.312,332,474 Aepp.327,336,355


Chapter One

56 Thidric monk of Canterbury Warner monk of Canterbury Hadrian monk of Canterbury Abbot William of Bee Prior John and the Monks of Bee Anselm, Anselm's nephew, monk of Bee Wlfric, Philip and William, monks of Bee Turold, a monk of Bee Abbot Hugh of Cluny Abbot Gilbert of Westminster Abbot Helgot of St. Ouen, Normandy Abbot Ernulf of Troarn, Normandy Abbot Lambert of St. Bertin Abbot Roger and Robert and the monks of St. Evroul Abbot Geronto Prior lElfric and the monks at St. Edmund's The monks of St. Edmund's The monks of St. Werburgh's Chester Bernard monk of Chester P., a monk of St. Martin's of Sees Odo, a monk and cellerar Hugh, a monk William, a monk Wido, a monk Walter, a monk Abbess Athleits and the nuns of Ramsey Abbess Matilda of Caen, Normandy Abbess Eulalia and the nuns of Shaftsbury Mabel, a nun Basilia (of Gournay?), a nun Robert, Seit and Edit, a mixed cell

Aepp. 334, 379 Aepp. 335, 375 Aep.43l Aep.468 Aep.450 Aepp.290,309,328 Aep. 333 Aep.4l8 Aepp.259,409,411 Aep. 366 Aep.407 Aep.425 Aep.42l Aep. 251 Aep. 302 Aepp.267,382,403 Aep. 252 Aep.23l Aep. 233 Aep. 410 Aep.436 Aep. 232 Aep.245 Aep. 383 Aepp.433,434 Aepp.237,276 Aep. 298 Aepp.337,403 Aep. 405 Aep. 420 Aepp.230,4l4

4. Correspondence with Dukes, Counts and Countesses; other laymen and women Robert Duke of Normandy

Aep. 273

Dilecti Amici et Amicae

Count Robert of Flanders Count Humbert (Italian) Count Robert and other landholders in See of St. David's Count Robert of Meulan Count Hugh Count Hugh of the Orkneys Count Elias (of Maine) Countess Matilda of Tuscany Countess Clemence of Flanders Countess Ida of Boulogne Countess Adela Burgundius and Richeza Raimo the Sheriff, William Calvas Eustace father of Godfrey monk of Bee Benedict, Roger, Conan, Gosfrid


Aep. 248 Aep.262 Aep.270 Aepp.396,467 Aep. 412 Aep.449 Aep.466 Aepp. 325,350 Aepp.249 Aepp.244,247 Aep.448 Aep.258,264,268 Aepp.356,358 Aep. 297 Aepp.227,275,285,446

The contrast between our Archiepiscopal Collection I (the 'Rufus Collection') and our Archiepiscopal Collection II (the 'Henry I Collection') is extraordinary. One would hardly guess that the first covered all of seven years and the second only nine years (compared to the 15 and 20 years respectively of the prioral and abbatial collections). Did Anselm and his friends write fewer letters during the first seven years of his archiepiscopate? This hardly seems likely, given the uproar William Rufus had created with the English Church, first over Anselm's election, then over his consecration and enthronement, then over the issue of the Primacy and its recognition of the papacy. 142 As in the 'Henry 1 Collection' (cf. letters of King Henry, Pope Paschal, Queen Edith-Matilda), letters must have been flying back and forth- and messengers wearing out the paths - between England and Rome and Lyons and all points in between. Clearly these missives had to have existed. And clearly they were not saved, as others were after 1100. Eadmer's Historia Novorum mirrors the correspondence. For Rufus's reign, Eadmer gives a narrative account. For Henry's reign, largely he quotes letters in the style of Bede' s account of St. Augustine and his followers' establishment of the English Church. 142 Cf. VAUGHN, Anselm of Bee, Chapter 4, for this full story; cf. also F. BARLOW, William Rufus (Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1983), and SOUTHERN, Saint Anselm: Portrait in a Landscape, for somewhat different interpretations of this reign. But no matter which interpretation one believes, a lot more letters must have been written between the parties than survive today.


Fig. 5

Chapter One

Seal of King Henry I of England From Mme DE WITT nee GUIZOT, Les Chroniqueurs de l'Histoire de France (Paris, 1884), p. 55.

Dilecti Amici et Amicae


But we must not see this circumstance as some sort of nefarious destruction of the historical record on the part of all these churchmen (including Anselm), as perhaps a historian might incline to do. Rather, the issues here have to do with salvation and the examples of 'right living' and 'due order' that lead the mass of humanity in Christendom to it. Looking only at Anselm's tenure in Rufus's reign, we see fairly unmitigated disaster and defeat of the Universal Church, especially Mother Canterbury. Looking only at Anselm's tenure in Henry's reign, we see a lot of struggle followed by an almost complete triumph for the Canterbury Primacy (admittedly marred by the nefarious stubbornness to conform of Archbishop-elect Thomas of York, but one might see that as minor compared to Anselm's victories over king and pope). 143 For readers in the twelfth century and after, a superficial glance at the whole Archiepiscopal collection as Anselm may well have left it in L (and as copied in P and F) would reveal the splendid archiepiscopal record of our Archiepiscopal Collection II alone, which reads like a 'who's who' of all eleventh- and early twelfth-century Europe. But a closer observer of Anselm's original collection (L, and its copies P and F), as Anselm trained his students to be, would discern the huge contrast between our 'Rufus Collection' and our 'Henry I Collection', and teach them well the possibilities existing under first a bad king, then under a good king. Anselm, by collecting his letters, was constructing a model, an archetype for future Anglo-Norman primates to imitate. It was to be a positive example for the future archbishops committed to Anselm's care, for whom his own example would set the customs, in his eyes. As we have constructed our chart of the Henry I collection, it has an almost pyramidal structure, with the most letters concerning the pope, the next most the king and queen of England, the next level of frequency the secular clergy, of which the archbishop of Canterbury and Primate of England was one, the next level its counterpart in the regular clergy, the next level the great men and women in the secular world, all finally supported by the mass of individual letters to all the little people, monks, nuns, canons, laymen of various stations - indeed, a structure reminiscent of the pyramidal diagram of the ideal church drawn by Anselm's correspondent Gilbert of Limerick. 144 Moreover, this pyramidal structure seemed to encompass the geographical world from the Orkneys to Jerusalem and from Scotland to St. James at Compostella to NuremCf. VAUGHN, Anselm of Bee, Chapters 5 and 6. Cf. VAUGHN, Anselm of Bee, pp. 151-152; Durham Cathedral ms. B. ii. 35, fol. 36v, printed in R.A.B. MYNORS, Durham Cathedral Manuscripts to the end of the Twelfth Century (Oxford, 1939), pl. 47. 143



Chapter One

berg, delimiting all Christendom within its structure. While this model Anselm has constructed is in one sense an ideal image, showing perfection, in another sense it is the highest truth, for Anselm did indeed correspond with all the brightest lights of Christendom, influencing the largest issues of his day and setting an example of perfect goodness, whether in his conversations, prayers and meditations, or his theological tracts, or in the customs he was building for Canterbury. Clearly women were an integral part of this model. It appears from our charts that, ideally, a monk-prior does not totally shun women, but does limit somewhat his concern with them. An abbot would spend proportionately more of his time with women, perhaps because of his greater responsibilities to the abbey and to the community at large. And an archbishop must spend a great deal of time and effort upon the education, care and guidance of women of all estates and circumstances committed to his care. But before we test this hypothesis through an analysis of the contents of all these letters to women, and to these women as individual friends of Anselm, with which the rest of this study will be concerned, let us briefly survey the kinds of other evidence with which we can compare the evidence in Anselm's letters, and measure its meaning. We are fortunate that a good deal of work has been completed on the documents of Bee, and especially the English lands. 145 Other collections of documents allow us to trace some of the land grants of women to Bee, although probably not all. Yet from the surviving documents we can get a sense of the participation of these and other neighbouring women in the endowment of Anselm's abbey of Bee. It is surely noteworthy to begin with the fact that Bee was initially endowed with the lands of its founder Herluin's mother. 146 The Norman charters suggest women played some role in early Norman Church history. Of the eleven major properties (including Bee's original domain and ten priories) transferred to Bee between its foundation in 1034 and Anselm's departure in 1093, five were given jointly by husband and wife donors. These figures are at least suggestive, if not conclusive, for in general, pre-Conquest charters mostly list male witnesses exclusively. But the full significance of these grants can only be determined through individual analysis in their contexts below. 145 Cf. M. MORGAN (Chibnall), Select Documents of the English Lands of the Abbey of Bee (London, 1951: RHS); The English Lands of the Abbey of Bee (Oxford, 1946). 146 Cf. M. FAUROUX, Recueil des actes des dues de Normandie (911-1066) (Caen, 1961), no. 98, Bee's foundation confirmation of Duke William, 1041.

Dilecti Amici et Amicae


The collection of English grants to Bee is scarcely more illuminating. Of the twenty-odd individuals, families or feudal groups of English donors to Bee, only two are women. But these women grant solely in their own right, and at least four of the male donors represent families in which the women either are correspondents of Anselm or grant jointly with their husbands in Normandy. Thus the duke-king and his duchess-queen, the Crispins, the Clares and the Goumays are represented in both groups. 147 While little can be done with these charters statistically, they are somewhat indicative that women played an unusually active part at Bee. The documents for Canterbury do not permit such analysis, as the emphasis of its archbishops was upon the recovery oflands lost between the time of St. Dunstan and roughly the Domesday survey, and for the Anglo-Norman period the archbishops claimed that the lands were held under the overlordship of God. For the role of women in Anselm's archiepiscopal world, we must also rely heavily upon his correspondence. Curiously, it is only here that we find Anselm in communication with nuns and abbesses. Except for the women directly attached to Bee in general with their husbands, Anselm seems to correspond with no nuns or abbesses during his monastic years. 148 On becoming archbishop, however, he immediately composed a large group ofletters to female heads of monastic houses in England and Normandy, outlining the 'good life' of the ascetic and the duties and roles expected of nuns and abbesses. 149 Anselm also either began to develop -or revealed for the first time -individual friendships with individual nuns, young and old. He also continued some of his prior friendships with Norman aristocratic women individually or along with other members of their families, whether in England or Normandy. We find a correspondence beginning with the Clare family, descended from Bee's first patron Gilbert of Brionne, in his priorate and continuing into his archiepiscopate. Likewise, the friendship with Ida of Boulogne overlaps the three periods of his life. And he expanded his friendships with women to include a number spread throughout the Continent: Clemence of Flanders, Matilda of Tuscany, his sister Richeza and Adela of Blois. Most remarkable perhaps is the relatively large correspondence with King Henry's queen, Edith-Matilda, comprising nearly half of his archiepiscopal correspondence with women. We must reserve consideration of these monastic,

VAUGHN, Anselm of Bee, appendix, pp. 367-369 and the sources cited there. Aepp. 1-147. 149 Aepp. 183, 184, 185; cf. Chapter Four. 147



Chapter One

aristocratic and royal women as individuals for later chapters, for we must first put them into the context of the narrative sources. We possess an unusually rich collection of narrative materials from Bee and Canterbury. Eadmer's biography of Anselm and his account of Anselm's episcopal career remain the most important narrative sources for his life, but other writers at Bee also produced a rich store of biographies of Bee's abbots: lives of the first abbot Herluin, Anselm's predecessor at Bee, of Lanfranc, and of Anselm's students and abbatial successors William of Beaumont, Boso, Theobald and Letardus. 150 Most, if not all, of these authors were Anselm's students, whose writings thus possess a particular value for their illumination of Anselm's thought as they received it. Bee also produced a Chronicle 151 and a major historian, Robert of Torigni, 152 in the generation after Anselm, both of which would have reflected to a degree any Anselmian tradition that had taken root at Bee. Thus the writings of Anselm's students must be considered a part of the Bee/Canterbury literature and tradition. This rich store of historical writing at Bee and Canterbury is augmented by a similarly impressive collection of contemporary chronicles in both Normandy and England. Orderic Vitalis and William of Jumieges provide much material on Norman families in particular, while William of Malmesbury, Henry of Huntingdon, John of Worcester, Symeon of Durham and numerous versions of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle provide general background for England. All of these narrative sources may be correlated with Anselm's correspondence to reconstruct his friendships with and views of women. Likewise, Anselm's own theological tracts provide some insights into his view, not so much on women as on the social and intellectual context from which he is operating. His general Platonic orientation is widely recognized. 153 The major treatises we have used include his Proslogion, Monologion, and Cur These vitae may all be found in PL 150; a better edition of Vita Herluini appears in J.A. ROBINSON, Gilbert Crispin, Abbot of Westminster: A study of the Abbey under Norman Rule (Cambridge, 1911), pp. 87-110 and, more recently, in The Works ofGilbert Crispin, ed. A. SAPIR ABULAFIA and G.R. EVANS (London, 1986), pp. 183-212.. Useful also is the biography of Anselm's closest monastic friend, Gundulf, as we have seen; and a Bee history of the Crispin family, also in PL 150. 151 Chronicon Beccensis, 1031-1154, PL 150, cols. 639-654. 152 Robert of Torigni, The Chronicle of Robert of Torigni, in: Chronicles of the Reigns of Stephen, Henry II, and Richard I (London, 1889: RS 4). 153 In general, I have relied on HOPKINS, A Companion to the Study of St. Anselm for much of Anselm's theological context; Hopkins and Richardson have just published a valuable translation of all Anselm's treatises: Complete Philosophical and Theological Treatises of Anselm of Canterbury, tr. J. HOPKINS and H. RICHARDSON (Minneapolis, 2000). 150

Dilecti Amici et Amicae


Deus Homo, all of which clearly reflect Anselm's orientation toward Platonic ideals. In his correspondence, Anselm is far more concerned with ideals than with the details of reality, which could be messier than the ideal world he en visioned. This becomes particularly clear in an examination of the letters omitted from his correspondence, as compared to those he includes. One example of this may be found in the 'Rufus Collection', to which we referred above, in which the sheer number of letters saved as compared to those in the 'Henry I Collection' suggests the systematic omission of unedifying letters. One glaring example will be the earliest letter to Bishop Osmund of Salisbury concerning the future Queen Edith-Matilda, omitted from the collection, in which Anselm made clear that she had wrongly "cast off the veil" of her nunnery and left it. 154 Later, the archbishop was at pains to arrange the sanctioning of her marriage to King Henry I, as we shall see. 155 We have already drawn on some of Anselm's tracts in the argument above, and will continue to augment the analysis of his correspondence with women with his more general comments on the nature of things from his tracts. Remarkably, saints' lives of two of Anselm's closest women friends survive: one of Ida of Boulogne, and two of Matilda of Tuscany .156 Although neither of these vitae mention Anselm by name, a comparison of these tracts to the abbots' lives emerging from Bee contemporary to them, and to Anselm's letters, suggests his strong influence on their lives. Remarkably, too, one of the tracts emerging from Bee is a family history of one of Bee's major patrons the Crispins that may well be of larger importance than has so far been thought in the context of the rest of this literature. Indeed it is the Bee-Canterbury nexus that provides the most material for women in Anselm's world. The specific women to whom Anselm wrote often appear prominently in these sources and can be correlated with Anselm's personal letters to them. Orderic also discusses women to a surprising degree in his monumental history, and Anselm's correspondents often may be traced further through his work. While Anselm taught many students at Bee and Canterbury who took up historical writing either in Normandy or England, 157 and the Bee vitae and other Aep. 177. See below, Chapter Five. 156 Vitae B. Ida Comitissa Vidua, by a monk of St. Vaast, ed. G. HENSCHENIUS and D. PAPEBROCHIUS (Antwerp, 1645: Acta Sanctorum, Aprilis, II), pp. 139-145; Vita Comitissae Mathildis: Duobus Libris a Domnizoze Presbytero Conscripta, one prose and one a carmen, in PL 148, cols. 939-954; Vita Comitissae Mathildis: Oratione soluta ab auctore anonyma, in PL 148, cols. 1039-1058. 157 For a list of Bee students who took up historical writing, see S.N. VAUGHN, "Lanfranc, 154 155


Chapter One

writings augment our knowledge of Anselm, Eadmer remains the richest single narrative source on Anselm's life and friendships, whether female or male. The Canterbury monk met Anselm on the abbot's first visit to England in 1080/1081 158 and in 1093 Eadmer became Anselm's secretary and constant companion for the rest ofthe archbishop's life. In the years between 1080 and 1093, Eadmer may well have spent some time at Bee as Anselm's student, for Anselm explicitly calls Eadmer a "monk of Bee". 159 Eadmer' s biographies are clearly eyewitness accounts in some sense. Nevertheless, they are quite complex literary constructions. As we have seen, Historia Novo rum seems to have been modelled directly on Bede's account of Canterbury's foundation by St. Augustine and Gregory the Great. Thus what we seem to have in this work is an attempt to reconstruct Anselm's political career within the mould of that of the first archbishops of Canterbury as a recapitulation of their lives, words and deeds. 160 Thus as Anselm himself seems to have attempted to create a public image with his correspondence as a model for his contemporaries and successors, so Eadmer seems to have attempted to create a public image of Anselm as the perfect archbishop who in essence relived the perfect pattern created by Canterbury's founders, setting an example for his successors as archbishops. Thus as Anselm's exiles echoed those of Canterbury archbishops Laurence, Mellitus and Justus, 161 so Ralph d'Escures' exile, with which we began, echoed Anselm's. Like his near contemporary Ralph Glaber, then, Eadmer may well have been systematically structured to "divide the past into discrete units that provide exemplars for the present", 162 first the idealized patterns seen in Bede, then the exemplar of Lanfranc, the detailed career of Anselm, and finally the recapitulations of Ralph d'Escures. If Eadmer had a notion of a perfect pattern Anselm, and the school of Bee: In search of the students of Bee", in: The Culture of Christendom, ed. M.A. MEYER (London, 1993), pp. 155-182; for historical writing at Bee, see S .N. VAUGHN, "'Among these authors were the men of Bee': Historical writing among the monks of Bee", in: The Uses of History, ed. A.J. FRANTZEN (=Essays in Medieval Studies: Proceedings of the Illinois Medieval Association 17 (2001)), pp. 1-18. 158 VA, p. 50. 159 Aep. 209; cf. Calendar of Documents preserved in France, ed. J. H. ROUND (London, 1899), vol. 1, no. 376, a grant to Bee witnessed by an "Eadmer chaplain of the same church". 160 VAUGHN, "Eadmer's Historia Novorum". 161 Cf. Bede, Historia Ecclesiastica Anglorum, II, 5, p. 109. 162 GEARY, Phantoms of Remembrance, p. 119 ff. It may well be significant that one of Geary's examples, the anonymous monk of Novalesa, wrote in Susa, which Anselm visited during both his exiles as he crossed the Alps at Mount Cenis, at the foot of which Novalisa is located. cf. GEARY, Phantoms ofRemembrance, p. 127. As Geary concludes, "At Novalesa, [the creation of texts as points of departure for subsequent institutional memory] meant largely placing the fragments of the past into a form that silenced other possible interpretations".

Dilecti Amici et Amicae


which an archbishop of Canterbury and Primate of All Britain must follow, and that model had been revealed through history, as recorded in Bede's Ecclesiastical History, and Anselm had a similar notion of an archetypal exemplar in God's mind, one would expect that Eadmer, as Anselm's student, would largely reflect Anselm's ideas. Thus the appearance of women in both Vita Anselmi and Historia Novo rum may be expected to reflect Anselm's own views of women. We find these appearances with surprising frequency in both works, beginning with Anselm's mother and including some of the key women in his lifeIda of Boulogne, Adela of Blois, Queen Edith-Matilda- as well as references to women in general. The longest and most detailed of these episodes, excluding the accounts of Anselm's mother, is the story of Eadmer' s encounter with the old handmaidens of God dedicated to St. Mary Magdalene at Lyons, a cell for women apparently founded and nourished by Anselm himself. Here, Anselm's special attention and care for women towards the end of his life (and indeed after his death) is suggested. But this attention began long before Anselm's exile in Lyons. Eadmer's account implies that from the beginning of his monastic life Anselm paid particular attention to women's needs and concerns, and this interest was displayed first in his care for the Mothers of Bee, to whom we shall now turn.



dtt . tdi. ctttn fepr ttrttmf' CCov- mt Clefa. qut r ror 'Wf otnfUt'mnt'13

Fig. 6

Virgin Mother and Child, from an early twelfth-century continental manuscript, possibly Norman, in the University of Chicago, stamped Phillipps MS 25 142 From E.F. DEXTER, Miracula Sanctae Virginis Mariae (Madison, 1927), frontispiece.

Chapter Two Dominae et Matres Reverendae: The Mothers of Bee


nselm arrived at Bee around the year 1059, or somewhat before. 1 The abbey had been founded between 1034 and 1037 by Herluin, a converted knight, under circumstances unusual in theN orman world of that time. Bee's early history served very much as a pattern of customs for future monks of Bee, Bee priors, and Bee abbots, as I have argued elsewhere. 2 By about 1042, 3 Lanfranc of Pavia, an Italian lawyer, had arrived at Bee, converted to monasticism, and had begun to assume the mantle of Bee's second founder. He became the first prior of the abbey and partner in governance to its unlet-

1 VA, p. 8; cf. VAUGHN, Anselm of Bee, p. 47, where it is suggested that Anselm arrived somewhat before the traditionally accepted date of 1060. VA says that the Bee monks objected to Anselm's appointment as prior in 1060-1063 because he had so recently become a monk of Bee, pp. 15-16. But earlier (pp. 10-11) Eadmermakes clear that Anselm spent some time in the school of Bee under Lanfranc, with whom he had come to study, before he made his profession. Because it was Archbishop Maurilius who persuaded Anselm to enter Bee, this profession could have been made as early as 1055, when Maurilius replaced Mauger as archbishop of Rouen. 2 The primary account of Bee's foundation is Vita Herluini, but see a correlation of this source with other sources in VAUGHN, Anselm ofBee, pp. 19-47, 52-56, 72-77; Abbey of Bee, pp. 43-60, and the translation of "The Life of Herluin". Each of the Vitae of Bee abbots (as well as Vita Anselmi) begins with a prologue stating that the life is being written as "a pattern for those who will come after us". At Bee in the 1130s, a summary of these customs was compiled as De Libertate Beeeensis Monasterii, printed in Annates Ordinis Saneti Benedieti, ed. J. MABILLON (Paris, 1745), vol. 5, pp. 601-605. 3 Cf. VAUGHN, Anselm of Bee, pp. 22-35; and Abbey of Bee, pp. 10-16; GIBSON, Lanfrane of Bee, pp. 23-26, sees him arriving somewhat later, ca. 1045.


Chapter Two

tered first founder. 4 Herluin's own mother played a key role in the foundation of the abbey, and during Anselm's tenure as prior a few specific women became associated with Bee when their husbands professed there as monks. At least one of these women brought to the abbey her unmarried niece in this new association of women to Bee. When Anselm succeeded first Lanfranc as prior of Bee in 1063, and then Herluin as abbot in 1079, he encouraged these women, included them in his correspondence, and began attempting to draw other women into the Bee confraternity, as we shall see. But Anselm naturally had come to Bee with his own family history and of course had been raised by his own mother. Eadmer goes into some detail on Anselm's own family background in Vita Anselmi, and, as the future abbot and archbishop's most accomplished and conspicuous student, can be assumed to have reflected accurately Anselm's own attitude towards his own mother and her influence on his life. An analysis of his description of her, and Anselm's early life with her, along with Gilbert Crispin's portrayal of Anselm's model, Herluin's mother, and the Bee materials on the aristocratic women whom Anselm normally called "the mothers of Bee" may give us some view of Anselm's notion of the ideal mother, and of the ideal role of mothers in both monastic and aristocratic society in his world, and help us to understand his views of women in his world. Let us begin with Bee's founder Herluin as the model for future monks of Bee, including Anselm, for Gilbert Crispin specifically stated that Herluin was to serve as "a model of great faith in God". 5 When Herluin founded Bee, which at some point became dedicated to St. Mary, he associated his own mother with the abbey in a special way, as Herluin' s biographer Gilbert Crispin relates. Gilbert, one of Anselm's closest friends, students and compatriots in their years at Bee, stresses the superb example Herluin set for the few monks who joined him in the infant abbey's first site at Bonneville. Herluin was the first to set to work, preceding his followers in the manual labour necessary to support the monks: clearing fields of briars and thorns, manuring, sowing seeds, planting, weeding. The first monks of Bee subsisted on only one meal a day, made up of coarse bread and vegetables seasoned only with salt, sometimes- but not often- supplemented with a little cheese or better bread. Herluin was also the last to stop work for the day, and at night he pressed himself to learn to read (learning the alphabet at the age of forty), write, play instruments and sing in the service of God.




p. 87.

Anselm of Bee, pp. 22-35; Abbey of Bee, pp. 10-16.

Dominae et Matres Reverendae


[Herluin's] noble mother dedicated herself to similar service in that place for God's sake, and consigned to him the estates which she held. She performed the duty of a handmaid (ancilla), washing the garments of God's servants and doing most scrupulously all the extremely hard work imposed upon her. 6

The implication is that Herluin's mother likewise might have tried to learn to read, write, play and sing in addition to her menial labour - and that her work was equally pleasing to God. We learn that it was she who baked the monks' bread in the story of a fire which nearly killed her, attributed to the continuing efforts of the devil to place adversity in Herluin' s way in his foundation of the abbey. One wonders just how skilled these Danish nobles were in the performance of servile duties and the building with their own hands of such necessities as ovens, for the account seems to imply that the baking of the bread was connected to the burning down of the house. 7 It was at about this time that Herluin decided to move the abbey to a healthier site, closer to good and abundant water. Although Gilbert Crispin has no more details of Herluin's mother and her role at Bee, he does inform us that her name was Heloise, that she was "related closely by blood to the leaders (duces) of Flanders", and that her husband Asgot, Herluin's father, was descended from "the first Danes who had ruled Normandy",8 seeming to say that Asgot's forefathers had come with Rollo before 911, or indeed perhaps that Asgot was descended from the ducal line itself. He then married a woman, Heloise, who may have been Frisian and/or Frankish, or may have been also of Danish or Norwegian descent, as the area of Flanders had been ravaged in the ninth and tenth centuries by such Viking bands. 9 Sandwiched between Denmark, Lorraine and the Germans, Normandy, and England across the Channel, Flanders was indeed a crossroads for all these peoples, so 6

p. 93; my italics. pp. 93-94. 8 VH, p. 87. 9 Frisia and Flanders (including the county of Boulogne), were among the first parts of the Continent to suffer Viking raids in great force, partly as a reaction to King Alfred's success in defending England and reestablishing the kingdom of Wessex. Viking raids began in Frisia in the early 800s, and over the next two centuries this area immediately southwest of Denmark suffered what might well be called an occupation by Vikings. Two war chiefs, Sigfrid and Godfred, held areas of Frisia as settled land grants over extended periods of time: cf. G. JONES, A History of the Vikings ((Oxford, 1968), pp. 105-112; It was just at this time, the ninth century, that the county of Flanders was coalescing, in reaction against both Viking raids and Scandinavian pressure from the settlement in Normandy. Indeed, Count Arnulf the Great's biggest rival was the Norman duke William Longsword: cf. D. NICHOLAS, Medieval Flanders (London, 1992), p. 40. cf. pp. 13-61 for Flanders during the rise of Normandy and in Anselm's time. 7



Chapter Two

that Heloise could have been a combination of any of them. 10 It is significant, however, that at the time As got married her, ca. 990-995, 11 the line of Flemish counts traced their descent mainly from the Carolingian kings of the Franks. It is possible to reconstruct a probable lineage for both of Herluin' s parents that supports Gilbert's claim that Heloise was 'noble' in birth, as well as in character, and that Herluin was of the line of the 'first' Danes in the sense of 'foremost' as well as 'original'. This determination is important to establish the character of Bee's models for future emulation, and to portray Bee's apparent co-founders Herluin and his mother as the Normans reading Vita Herluini as the kind of 'visual history' they would have understood from the signs and symbols Gilbert included in his carefully-crafted text. 12 From this analysis, we may discern something of the reality of Bee's foundation from the careful ideal portrait that Gilbert presents. 13 In 942 Arnulf count of Flanders "had treacherously slain William Longsword, duke of Normandy". 14 Apparently acting in concert with him, King Louis d'Outremer of France then kidnapped William's heir Richard I, then a boy, on a ruse, intending to kill or maim the young duke so that he would be incapable of ruling, but telling the Normans that the boy would be trained in government at the royal court. 15 Interestingly, Harold king of the Danes came to Normandy to avenge William's death, "and in that battle on the river Dive Herluin count of Montreuil was slain with his brother Lambert and sixteen 10 J. DUNBABIN, France in the Making, 843-1180 (Oxford, 1985), pp. 68-71, traces the origin of the Flemish counts to Baldwin I Iron-Arm, whose forebears are unknown. The line of counts gains its royal blood from this Baldwin's marriage to Judith daughter of King Charles the Bald, grandson of Charlemagne. Dunbabin makes clear that Baldwin Iron-Arm created Flanders through his military strength and this marriage; cf. pp. 71-74 for the early counts of the dynasty. 11 If Herluin withdrew from his lord Gilbert's court at the pinnacle of his knighthood, at the age of 40, he must have been about 30 when he began to ponder leaving Gilbert's court, and hence must have been born in the early 1000s to leave Gilbert's court in 1034, now approaching 40. Hence his parents must have married in the late 900s. 12 See above, Chapter One, pp. 21-22, 25-35. Recall the nature of written texts composed in a predominantly oral culture, and how their readers would have perceived them as a collection of signs and signifiers recalling cultural, shared memories. On this subject as applied to the writing of history specifically, seeK. MORRISON, History as a Visual Art in the Twelfth-Century Renaissance (Princeton, 1990). 13 While the many names and dates may distract the general reader, I hope that those readers well-versed in Norman history will, through this discussion, be able to place Herluin and his mother Heloise in the appropriate context for their time. 14 Orderic Vitalis, The Ecclesiastical History of Orderic Vita/is, 6 vols., ed. and trans!. M. CHIBNALL (Oxford, 1969-1978), vol. III, pp. 306-307 (hereafter ov). 15 Ibid.

Dominae et Matres Reverendae


French counts", 16 clearly a disastrous defeat for the French and Count Arnulf. King Louis himself was captured. Orderic reports that in the settlement after this great battle, King Louis's wife Gerberga, Queen of the Franks, daughter of Emperor Henry, made peace with the Normans by sending hostages- her son Lothair and two bishops, Hilderic of Beauvais and Guy of Soissons - as pledges of good faith. Hence King Louis was released from his bonds. 17 Although Orderic doesn't tell us so, it is very probable that Count Arnulf might have sent hostages also, one of whom may well have been a daughter of the comital house who was betrothed to a son of the Norman ducal house, and hence, perhaps, our Herluin. For Montreuil was on the border between Normandy and Flanders, continually fought over by both principalities. 18 It appears that a similar marriage alliance was arranged between Adelaide, sister of William the Bastard (future duke of Normandy) and Enguarand of Ponthieu, nearby to Montrieul and also much desired by the Normans. Indeed, it was because of a battle between this Enguarand and our Herluin's feudal lord, Gilbert ofBrionne, at Ponthieu, that Bee's future abbot Herluin is said to have vowed to leave his lord's service and found a monastery .19 It may well be significant that another Herluin, apparently Enguarrand's brother, succeeded as count ofPonthieu and ofMontrieul, 20 suggesting that in this battle of ca. 1034, Herluin (later of Bee) must choose to fight for either his Lord Gilbert of Brionne or for his possible mother's family, the counts of Montrieul and Ponthieu, and was thus the reason for his decision to leave Count Gilbert's court. Adelaide's subsequent marriages suggest that she was only a child at the time of this marriage. 21 Clearly Duke William Longsword, his sons and grandsons had designs on Flanders, but at this stage the boy Richard I had to delay following through on those Norman ambitions. But a marriage alliance between a son or nephew of the Norman ducal house and a daughter of the house of Montrieul, probably related to the Flemish ducal house, would set the Normans towards that goal. 16

vol. III, pp. 82-83. III, pp. 82-83. 18 NICHOLAS, Medieval Flanders, p. 40. 19 ov, vol. II, p. 12. 20 ov, vol. III, pp. 82, 308. This Herluin is listed as "count of Ponthieu or Montrieul". 21 Enguarrand died at some time before this Adelaide's second husband's death (Lambert of Lens d. 1053), yet she married a third time to Eudes count of Champagne. As she bore Enguarrand a son, Enguarrand II, Adelaide must have been very young at the time of the first marriage, but as she bore Eudes a son, Stephen of Aumale, still of childbearing age for the third marriage - probably in her forties. 17


ov, vol.


Chapter Two

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