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K. Salzer
Vaucelles Abbey
Social, Political, and Ecclesiastical Relationships in the Borderland Region of the Cambrésis, 1131-1300

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XXXVIII+366 p., 5 b/w ill. + 3 maps, 7 b/w tables, 156 x 234 mm, 2017
ISBN: 978-2-503-55524-9
Languages: English
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This study examines Vaucelles' political, social, and economic life in order to explain how the Cistercian house (a direct daugher-house of Clairvaux) flourished in the borderland  region of Cambrésis in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.

Founded in 1131 by the castellan of Cambrai, Vaucelles Abbey thrived in a borderland region, where German emperors, French kings, Flemish counts, bishops of Cambrai, and the Cistercian Order all had active interests. To understand how Vaucelles flourished, we must look at the relationships that the house created and fostered with various international, regional, and local individuals and institutions. Vaucelles used these connections to protect the vast patrimony that the monks created in the two centuries after its foundation.

This study asserts that three principal factors influenced the foundation and development of Vaucelles. First, the abbey was fortunate in its local support, beginning with the castellan family and expanding to include numerous regional families and the bishops of Cambrai. Second, the abbey was established in a political borderland, a geo-political situation that Vaucelles survived and actually turned into a positive feature of its development. And finally, Vaucelles was a Cistercian monastery, a direct daughter house of Clairvaux. Vaucelles’ Cistercian observance fostered relationships that were particularly significant to the abbey’s development from the late twelfth century onward. These factors offer exceptional tools for demonstrating many features of Vaucelles’ political, social, and economic life during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.

Table of Contents

Lists of Illustrations

List of Abbreviations

Place and Proper Names


Chapter 1. Introduction

Chapter 2. Historiographical Context

Chapter 3. Physical Location and Politics: The County of the Cambrésis, the Diocese of Cambrai, and Vaucelles

Chapter 4. Cistercian Economic Practices and the Agricultural Foundation of Vaucelles

Chapter 5. Gift Patrons and Resultant Interactions

Chapter 6. Consolidation and Conflict

Chapter 7. Cistercian Relationships

Chapter 8. Conclusions


Index of Manuscripts

General Index


"Kathryn Salzer provides an accomplished study of the early Cistercian monastery at Vaucelles in the diocese of Cambrai (...)" (Constance Hoffman Berman, in Sehepunkte, 18/9, 2018)


Interest Classification:
Religion (including History of Religion) & Theology
Christian Church : religious orders
Medieval & Renaissance History (c.400-1500)
Medieval European history (400-1500) : main subdisciplines
Political & institutional history
Religious history
Medieval European history (400-1500) : local & regional history
Medieval History (400-1500) : subperiods
Central Middle Ages (c.900 -1250)

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