Hincmar of Reims
HINCMAR OF REIMS
Archbishop (845–882), canonist, and theologian; b. probably northern France, c. 806; d. Épernay, Dec. 21,882. He was educated at Saint-Denis, Paris, under Abbot hilduin, who in 822 introduced him at the court of louis the pious. He shared Hilduin's exile at corvey (830–831), though he did not support the abbot against the emperor in 833. charles the bald gave him the administration of abbeys at Compiègne and Saint-Germerde-Flay. Already a priest, he was chosen archbishop of Reims (April 845) at the Council of Beauvais and was consecrated by Wenilo of Sens on May 3, 845. Archbishop ebbo of reims, his predecessor, had been deposed on March 4, 835, though for a time after Dec. 6, 840, he had reoccupied the see and had then ordained nine clerics. Sergius II reduced Ebbo to lay communion in June 844, but two years later Emperor lothair i secured from the pope a directive that a synod at Trier settle the issue of legitimacy between Hincmar and Ebbo. Ebbo refused to go to Trier and died unrestored to Reims in March 851. A council at Soissons on April 22, 853, declared for Hincmar's canonicity and ratified his suspension (June 845) of Ebbo's nine clerics. While leo iv entertained an appeal from the clerics, succeeding popes gave qualified approval to Soissons. Upon Charles the Bald's decision to appoint Wulfad, one of Ebbo's clerics, to the See of Bourges, nicholas i instructed Hincmar on April 3, 866, to withdraw the censure. Hincmar and a council at Soissons (August 866) declared themselves incompetent to reverse a sentence ratified by Rome, but in September the Crown obtained the installation of Wulfad.
On occasion, Hincmar was at odds with the papacy. On May 23, 851, Leo IV, who had granted him the pallium in 847 and 851, decried Hincmar's treatment of the imperial vassal Fulkrich. When Bp. Rothad II of Soissons (c. 832–869) had been deposed by Hincmar and his colleagues, a long series of papal letters ended in Pope Nicholas's restoration of the prelate in January 865. The conflict between the archbishop and his nephew, Bp. hincmar of laon, occasioned a lengthy dossier and the younger man's deposition in 871. adrian ii declined to confirm the sentence until the case had been heard at Rome, but john viii ratified the judgment on Jan. 5, 876.
Hincmar's De divortio Lotharii (Patrologia Latina, ed. J. P. Migne 125:623–772) is a defense of a Christian wife against Lorraine's king, lothair ii, and its episcopate, which in 860 had decreed the separation of the monarch from Queen Tetberga. Hincmar protested the installation of Lothair's creature, Hilduin, in the See of Cambrai late in 862; ultimately (July 866) he brought about the consecration of a canonical bishop, John. Over the opposition of the West Frankish kings Louis III (879–882) and Carlomann (879–884) the archbishop was equally successful in securing legitimate prelates for Noyon in 879–880 and Beauvais in 882.
The Council of Mainz (October 848) condemned gottschalk of orbais for erroneous teaching on predestination and handed him over to Hincmar, who, unable to obtain his recantation at Quiercy (849), imprisoned him at Hautvillers. In 849–850 the archbishop published his Ad reclusos et simplices, a refutation of the monk. However, a number of theologians, prudentius of troyes, lupus of ferriÈres, and florus of lyons, attacked Hincmar's views and those of his ally, john scotus erigena. The Reims prelate assembled a council at Quiercy in April 853, which asserted but a single predestination to glory or judgment and affirmed that Christ had died on behalf of all. When interprovincial councils at Valence (855) and at Langres (859) and counter capitula by Prudentius in 856 (Patrologia Latina 125: 64–65) took issue with Hincmar, he composed a second treatise on predestination in 856–857 (Monumenta Germaniae Historica : Epistolae 8, n.99) and a third in 859–860 (Patrologia Latina 125:55–474). The attempt by the Council of Thuzey (October 860) to reconcile the opposing theologies reflects a limited victory for the archbishop. He proved his loyalty to Charles the Bald in 858 and 875 against the machinations of King Louis the German (840–876); yet in June 876 he stoutly resisted Charles's project for obtaining a papal vicariate for Abp. Ansegis of Sens. Hincmar died in flight before Norse invaders.
The De jure metropolitanorum (Patrologia Latina 126:189–210) reveals Hincmar's concern for archiepiscopal authority. The question of his possible authorship of the Lex Salica has been diversely viewed by S. Stein [Speculum 22 (1947) 113–134, 395–418] and by J. M. Wallace-Hadrill [Tijdschrift voor rechtsgeschiedenis 21 (1953) 1–29]. More recently Devisse has argued that Hincmar mentioned the false decretals only after 875 and that he showed them scant respect. The archbishop's works fall into many categories: canonical (Opusculum LV capitulorum ), pastoral (Capitula synodica ), historical (Annales Bertiniani, 861–882; Vita s. Remigii ), political (De ordine palatii; De institutione regia ), dogmatic (De una et non trina deitate; the predestination opera ), moral (De cavendis vitiis ), and philosophical (De diversa animae ratione ), along with some verse and letters, the latter of high interest.
Bibliography: Works. Opera omnia, Patrologia Latina, ed. j. p. migne, 217 v., indexes 4 v. (Paris 1878–90) v.125–126; projected ed. in Corpus Christianorum ; De ordine palatii, ed. m. prou (Paris 1884); Collectio de ecclesiis, ed. w. gundlach in Zeitschrift für Kirchengeschicte 10 (1889) 93–144; Ad reclusos et simplices, ed. w. grundlach in ibid. 258–309; Vita Remigii episcopi Remensis, Monumenta Germaniae Historica: Scriptores rerum Merovingicarum (Berlin 1826–) 3: 239–341; verse, Monumenta Germaniae Historica: Poetae (Berlin 1826–) 3.1:409–420; letters, Monumenta Germaniae Historica: Epistolae (Berlin 1826–) v.8; Annales Bertiniani, 867–882 a.d., ed. r. rau in Quellen zur karolingischen Reichsgeschichte 2 (Berlin 1958) 104–286. Literature. h. schrÖrs, Hinkmar, Erzbischof von Reims (Freiburg 1884). É. lesne, "H. et l'Empereur Lothaire," Revue des questions historiques 78 (1905) 5–58. g. ehrenforth, "H. von Rheims und Ludwig III. von Westfranken," Zeitschrift für Kirchengeschicte 44 (1925) 65–98. f. arnold, Das Diözesanrecht nach den Schriften H. s von Reims (Vienna 1935). f. m. carey, "The Scriptorium of Reims during the Archbishopric of H.," Classical and Mediaeval Studies in Honor of Edward Kennard Rand, ed. l. w. jones (New York 1938) 41–60. k. weinzierl, "Erzbischof H. von Reims als Verfechter des geltenden Rechts," Episcopus: Festschrift Kardinal Faulhaber (Regensburg 1949) 136–163. m. andrieu, "Le Sacre épiscopal d'après H. de Reims," Revue d'histoire ecclésiastique 48 (1953) 22–73. h. g. j. beck, "Canonical Election to Suffragan Bishoprics According to H. of Rheims." American Catholic Historical Review 43 (1957–58) 137–159; "The Selection of Bishops Suffragen to H. of Rheims, 845–882," ibid. 45 (1959–60) 273–308. j. devisse, Hincmar et la loi (Dakar 1962). e. s. duckett, Carolingian Portraits: A Study in the Ninth Century (Ann Arbor 1962) 202–264.
[h. g. j. beck]