Quatre notes biographiques sur Guillaume de Champeaux

Abstract : The life of William of Champeaux is not well known. Historians have mostly repeated 19th century historiography which amplifies with more or less gusto the classical story of Abelard's History of my calamities. This article lays a more solid foundation by gathering the documents in which William testifies, drafts or is just mentioned. Some thirty items are listed in an appendix with numerous biographical or bibliographical annotations. This fastidious but necessary work sheds new light on some events of William's life, that are summed up in four notes. The first one is a rereading of a 1108 document by which William renounces some ecclesiastical benefices. This document has been used as a proof of the religious conversion of William to regular canonry and a way to date the foundation of Saint-Victor Abbey. However, this document must be understood in the context of the struggle against the personat, a complex method of dividing parish revenues. This analysis of the 1108 document leads to a new narrative of the foundation of Saint-Victor. Sources are few and elliptical; but, it seems that the foundation took longer and was more complex that once thought. The foundation must be replaced in the Parisian context and in the context of the wider crisis of the order of Canons regular.The third note uses a yet unknown Châlons' source that reveals that William, then the bishop of Châlons-sur-Marne, kept teaching theology, inspired by the model of Augustine of Hippo in the Life of Possidius. We have some information about the short-lived school of Châlons. The fourth note is an analysis of William's 'will'. An edition of this unpublished is provided in an appendix. The 'will' is the foundation charter of the hospital of Châlons where the memoria was kept for a short period. The 'will' is a long, well written and rather personal text. It makes use of a canonical collection, maybe the collection of Anselm of Lucca.
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Charles de Miramon. Quatre notes biographiques sur Guillaume de Champeaux. Rosier-Catach Irène. Arts du langage et théologie aux confins des XIe et XIIe siècle, Brepols, pp.45-82, 2011. ⟨halshs-00658369⟩

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