Ansegis of Fontenelle, St.
ANSEGIS OF FONTENELLE, ST.
Abbot, collector of Carolingian capitularies; b. Lyonnais, France, c. 770; d. Fontenelle, July 20, 833. After being educated in a Lyonnaise monastery, he became a monk at Fontenelle (Saint-Wandrille) in Normandy, as advised by benedict of aniane. His abbot Gervold presented him to Charlemagne, who entrusted him with various political missions. He was named abbot at Saint-Germer-de Flay (Diocese of Beauvais), which he restored to prosperity. The emperor called him to the imperial court at Aachen, and sent him to the Spanish March (Catalonia). He was a friend and correspondent of einhard. Louis the Pious made him abbot of two more abbeys: Luxeuil (817) and Fontenelle (823), where he restored the observance of the benedictine rule, enriched the libraries, and encouraged education (at Luxeuil, Angelomus was his disciple). In 827, for the convenience of the emperors and in order to safeguard the goods of the Church, he undertook to make a collection of the imperial laws from 789 to 826, divided into four books: (one) Capitularia Caroli Magni ad ordinem pertinentia ecclesiasticum, 176 chapters; (two) Capitularia Ludovici Pii ad ordinem pertinentia ecclesiasticum, 46 chapters; (three) Capitularia Caroli Magni ad mundanam pertinentia legem, 90 chapters; (four) Capitularia Ludovici Pii ad mundanum pertinentia legem, 74 chapters. All these capitularies are authentic—even those that are preserved only in this collection of Ansegis. The collection (Monumenta Germaniae Historica: Leges 2: Capitularia regum Franc. 1:382–450) enjoyed great authority from the time it first appeared. Louis the Pious referred to it already in 829 (cf. the capitulary of Worms, 829). It was one of the principal sources for the similar work of benedict the levite in 845. Several chapters passed into the Decretum of gratian, but through the intermediary of canonical collections. The collection is not without minor errors in chronological order, transcription of names, etc. (It was E. Baluze who correctly reattributed this edition to Ansegis of Fontenelle rather than to the nonexistent "Ansegis of Lobbes.") Ansegis is inscribed in the catalogue of saints at Luxeuil.
Feast: July 20.
Bibliography: Gesta abbatum Fontanellensium, Monumenta Germaniae Historica: Scriptores 2:293–300. Gallia Christiana 11:173–174. m. buchner, "Zum Briefwechsel Einhards und des hl. Ansegis von Fontanelle," Historische Vierteljahrschrift 18 (1918) 353–385. p. fournier, Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques, ed. a. baudrillart et al. (Paris 1912) 447–448. a. amanieu, Dictionnaire de droit canonique, ed. r. naz (Paris 1935–65) 1:564–567. a. j. kleinclausz, Eginhard (Paris 1942) 47, 160.