Passiones Leudegarii

Leudegar of Autun (d. c. 679) could be considered one of the more political saints of the Merovingian period. He came from Poitiers, where his uncle Dido was bishop, and he became bishop in c. 662 thanks to the machinations of Queen Balthild. When King Clothar III died in 673, Leudegar led a faction which forced Mayor Ebroin into monastic exile, and then invited King Childeric II of Austrasia to become king. Enemies in Autun, however in Luxeuil, stirred up a plot against him, and in 675 he joined Ebroin at Luxeuil. Childeric’s assassination allowed both to leave Luxeuil and regroup, but Ebroin was able to denounce Leudegar for plotting against Childeric, and the bishop was murdered sometime between 677 and 679. In such a heated context, the speedy production of the first Passio Leudegarii was likely an attempt by Hermenar of Autun’s circle to make a claim for the cult and to establish a positive view of their role in events.

There are two early accounts:

 

Passio Leudegarii I – dedicated to Hermenar, Leudegar’s successor as bishop of Autun.

Latin text: ed. by B. Krusch, MGH SRM, 5 (Hanover and Leipzig, 1910), pp. 282-322 [link]

Translations: Fouracre & Gerberding, pp. 215-53.

Manuscripts:

C1a Vienna, ONB, 371 (s. ix)

 

Ursinus, Passio Leudegarii II – based on a précis of the original, but edited from the point of view of the church of Poitiers, to where the cult was moved in the 680s.

Latin text: ed. by B. Krusch, MGH SRM, 5, pp. 323-56 [link]

Translations: none but much of it is similar to the Hermenar version.

Manuscripts:

B1 St Gall, Stiftsbibliothek, Cod. Sang. 548  – written in St Gall in the last quarter of the eighth century in an Alemannic script [link]

B1* Karlsruhe, Badische Landesbibliothek, Aug. Perg. 202 (s. ix)

B1** St Gall, Stiftsbibliothek, Cod. Sang. 577 – the famous Big Book of Saints’ Lives, written in tenth-century St Gall [link]

B3a St Gall, Stiftsbibliothek, Cod. Sang. 563 – written in St Gall late in the ninth century or early in the tenth [link]