Death and dying of bishops in Merovingian times Gregory of Tours and his Decem Libri Historiarum

Matthias Weber


Gregory of Tours, the most important writer in 6th-century Gaul, demonstrates within his Ten Books a clear understanding both of the bishops office and of dying, death and afterlife. In the tradition of the Bible and the patristics, especially Ambrose and Augustine, Gregory uses descriptions of death, especially cases of episcopal death, to underline his point of view. Fur-thermore, Gregory uses concepts of a good and a bad death to stress the bishops position compared to other groups like the Merovingian kings. The Ten Books present almost 100 de-scriptions of episcopal death, examples of good, bad, also realistic cases of death, but no orthodox bishop, according to Gregorys own evaluation, dies a bad, a cruel or unworthy death.


Bishop, Death, Gregory of Tours

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Brathair 2017 Esta revista recebe o apoio da Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa e ao Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico do Maranhão (FAPEMA)