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Montmajour Abbey

Prestigious monument UNESCO World Heritage, the Benedictine monastery of Montmajour, established on a rocky island surrounded by a swamp two kilometers from Arles, was founded or rather confirmed in 948.

  • Personalities

Personalities

Abbot Riculfus

The name of Riculfus (RICUL) engraved in the 12th century on the ashlar walls of the central chapel of the later Romanesque crypt of Notre-Dame, erected in the second quarter of the 12th century Fig. 28, probably refers to abbot Riculfus, nephew of Teucinde and Gontard and bishop of Fréjus who was elected abbot of Montmajour about the year 996.42 A commemorative inscription of this type might suggest that graves in the crypt of the earlier church were located on the same spot or nearby.

Fig. 28: Montmajour. The name of Riculfus (RICUL) engraved in the 12th century on the ashlar walls of the central chapel of the later Romanesque crypt of Notre-Dame. Credit: A. Hartmann-Virnich

Fig. 28: Montmajour. The name of Riculfus (RICUL) engraved in the 12th century on the ashlar walls of the central chapel of the later Romanesque crypt of Notre-Dame. Credit: A. Hartmann-Virnich

Teucinde

Teucinde herself was buried at Montmajour. Though the original location of her tomb is unknown, her gravestone (end of the 10th century) is still present on the site (private property). Fig. 29 Three descendents of count Guillaume ‘the Liberator’ were buried at Montmajour: count Guillaume IV (+ 1018), his mother Adalaïde (+ 1026) and Geoffroy I (+ 1059/1063).43

Fig. 29: Montmajour. The gravestone of Teucinde (end of the 10th century). Credit: Aix – Marseille Université

Fig. 29: Montmajour. The gravestone of Teucinde (end of the 10th century). Credit: Aix – Marseille Université

References

42 Riculfus’ eviction by a monk of the nearby monastery of Saint-Gilles caused the monks to address a letter to pope Gregory V which recalls the foundation of “our monastery” (nostrum monasterium) under abbot Noringus. Laget-Mognetti, Élisabeth, L’abbaye de Montmajour, Ph.D. Thèse de l‘École des Chartes, Paris, 1969

43 Favreau, Robert and Michaud, Jean, Corpus des inscriptions de la France médiévale, 14, Alpes-Maritimes, Bouches-du-Rhône, Var, Meudon, 1989, p. 78-79, fig. 42

Abbot Riculfus Teucinde

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