Lecture: Ian Wood, "The Wealth of Merovingian Bishops: the Case of the Desiderii"

Apr 14, 2023, 2:30 pm4:00 pm
Scheide Cladwell House, room 103


Event Description

This seminar will expand on ideas presented in Ian Wood’s lecture “The Rise of the Christian Economy in the post-Christian West

” held on Tuesday, April 11 at 4:30 pm in 010 East Pyne.

Scholars have long talked about the wealth of one Merovingian bishop, Bertram of Le Mans.  But the wealth of Desiderius of Cahors has recently attracted attention, because of the new edition of the Vita Desiderii.  And the bishop of Cahors is not the only wealthy member of the clan of the Desiderii in the late sixth and early seventh centuries:  apart from his two brothers and sisters, we can point to the wealth of Desiderius of Auxerre, and, in the eighth century, perhaps even to that of Abbo of Provence.  The evidence for the Desiderii allows us to see one massively rich Late Roman clan transferring its wealth to the Church in the seventh century. 

Sponsored by the Program in Medieval Studies, Seeger Center for Hellenic Studies and the Committee for the Study of Late Antiquity.

Please RSVP here

You do not need to have attended the lecture to attend this seminar. All are welcome to RSVP for one or both events.


Ian Wood is emeritus Professor of Early Medieval History, having retired from the University of Leeds, where he had taught for 39 years, in 2015.  He has also held guest-professorships at Vienna and Aarhus, and research fellowships in the Netherlands, the British School at Rome, the Collegium Budapest, the Polish Institute of Advanced Studies, and Tübingen.  He was involved in the foundation of the International Medieval Congress at Leeds.  From 1989-92 he was on the working party involved in setting up the European Science Foundation project on the Transformation of the Roman World, of which he was one of the coordinators from 1992-8.  He has published on Gregory of Tours, the Merovingians, Missionary Hagiography, the modern historiography of the early Middle Ages, the Transformation of the Roman World, and the Christian Economy of the early Medieval West, and has co-authored volumes on the Ruthwell and Bewcastle monuments, Avitus of Vienne and Columbanus.  He was elected fellow of the British Academy in 2019. 

  • Sponsored by Medieval Studies
  • Cosponsored by the Committee for the Study of Late Antiquity
  • Cosponsored by the Seeger Center for Hellenic Studies