University of Leicester
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Christianity’s Slow Revolution in Northern France: The Religious Transformation of the Medieval Countryside in the Yvelines (AD 350-1300)

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posted on 2020-03-05, 11:03 authored by Claudia Eicher
This thesis identifies the archaeological and non-archaeological signatures of rural Christianization in the French department of the Yvelines. It questions the roots of Christianization from the influence of villae and Gallo-Roman cult sites to settlement development, and Gallo-Roman and early medieval necropoleis; it also identifies patterns, ruptures, continuities, and discontinuities as well as historical sequences of Christianization after Antiquity. I have created maps for each step to analyze spatial patterns and determine blank spots in the distribution map; this exercise also allows the identification of potential early churches. The thesis further discusses the role of monasteries across the early medieval to medieval periods as well as their influence on settlement development, and questions parish growth and parish networks. Special attention is paid to less well-researched areas such as prieurés-cures, proprietary churches, and leprosaria. I also explore the main players of early and continued Christianization – lords, saints, and bishops, but without neglecting the ‘ordinary’ people. Finally, this thesis identifies gaps in the current research on rural Christianization in Gaul/France, and debates the processes, character, and significance of late and slow Christianization.
These research questions are examined with the help of an extensive Gazetteer of sites which includes published archaeological and historical data.



Neil Christie; Deirdre O’Sullivan

Date of award


Author affiliation

School of Archaeology and Ancient History

Awarding institution

University of Leicester

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

Qualification name

  • PhD



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