Dissidence and Emigration in Late Antique Rome, Persia, and Neighbouring Lands

Jerzy Szafranowski: Cleric-Monks of Late Antique Gaul

In this paper, we will present some aspects of our research concerning the late antique Gallic monks who were invested in holy orders. The first part of the presentation will be devoted to the prosopography of such monks. We will describe the difficulties one faces when looking for monk-presbyters/priests or monk-deacons and the reasons why some scholars are arguing that the first Gallic monks were almost never ordained. Then, we will focus on some common features that characterised cleric-monks as a group. This inquiry will investigate, inter alia, which monks sought holy orders and which were forced to take them, what ranks such cleric-monks held, and, crucially, what kind of functions they performed in their monasteries. In the end, we will estimate how “clericalised” were in fact the earliest monastic communities in Gaul and show in what way the promotion of monks to ecclesiastical ranks affected the entire Gallic monastic movement.