1 Exceptions were Jacques de Vitry, Herman of Laon, and those interested in Hildegard of Bingen, see Herbert Grundmann, Religiose Bewegungen im Mittelalter (Berlin: Ebering, 1935), passim, or E.W. McDonnell, The Beguines and Beghards in Medieval Culture, With special emphasis on the Belgian scene (New Brunswick: Rutgers, 1954), or Simone Roisin, 'L’efflorescence cistercienne, et le courant ferninin de piété au XIl1e siècle," Revue d'histoire ecclésiastique 39 (1943): 342-78.
2 For example, R.W. Southern, Western Society and the Church in the Middle Ages (Harmondsworth, Eng.: Penguin, 1970), pp. 314-5.
3 See Janet Burton, The Yorkshire Nunneries in the Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries (York: Borthwick Papers, no. 56, 1979), or the work of the Women's Religious Life and Communities: 500-1500 Project, under the direction of Suzanne Wemple, Barnard College, Columbia University.
4 For example, see Jo Ann McNamara, "Comelia's daughters: Paula and Eustochium," Women's Studies, 11 (1984): 9-27, or Suzanne Wemple, Women in Frankish Society. Marriage and the Cloister, 500-900 (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1981), esp. pp. 127-87.
5 For example, Joseph Avril, "Les fondations, l'organisation et 1'évolution des établissements de moniales dans le diocèse d'Angers (du Xle au X11le siècle)," Les religieuses en France au XII1e siècle, ed. Michel Parisse (Nancy: Presses Universitaires, 1985), pp. 27-67, which includes a discussion of the organization of a community of canons to serve the needs of the religious women of Ronceray, or Nicolas Huyghebaert, "Les fernmes laïques dans la vie religieuse des Xle et XIIe siècles dans la Province ecclésiastique de Reims," I Laici nella "societas christiana" dei secoli XI e XIL. Atti della terza Settimana internazionale di studio, Mendola, 21-27 agosto 1965. (Milan: Vita e pensiero, 1968), pp. 346-95, or Constance H. Berman, "Women as Donors and Patrons to Southern French Monasteries in the Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries," The Worlds of Medieval Women: Creativity, Influence, and Imagination, ed. Constance H. Berman, Charles W. Connell, and Judith Rice Rothschild (Morgantown, West Virginia: University of West Virginia Press, 1985): 53-68.
6 This study grew out of research conducted for other purposes and unfortunately does not follow the research plan advocated here.
7 The official position is presented by Louis J. Lekai, The Cistercians: Ideal and Reality (Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, 1977), pp. 347-57, but see also Roisin, "L'efflorescence," esp. pp. 376-8, and Micheline de Fontette, Les religieuses à I'âge classique du droit canon. Recherches sur les structures juridiques des branches féminines des ordres (Paris: Vrin, 1967), pp. 13-63, or Ernst G. Krenig, "Mittelalterliche Frauenkloster nach den Konstitutionen von Cîteaux," Analecta Sacri Ordinis Cisterciensis 10 (1954): esp. 9-15, or Thompson article cited in note 11 below.
8 Bennett D. Hill, Cistercian Monasteries and Their Patrons in Medieval England (Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1968), pp. 92-115, or Southern, Western Society, pp. 312-18, or Lekai, Cistercians, pp. 347-57.
9 Often, houses which were founded in the twelfth century were only elevated to abbey status within the order in mid-thirteenth, as in the examples of Nonenque and Le Vignogoul discussed below. Others, like Marham in Norfolk were founded only in mid-thirteenth century; see, John A. Nichols, "The History and Cartulary of the Cistercian Nuns of Marham Abbey, 1249-1536," Kent State University Ph.D. dissertation, 1974.
10 That there was a certain amount of rewriting of their earlier history by Cistercians in the middle and second half of the twelfth century is now generally accepted, see Lekai, Cistercians, pp. 19-32.
11 This is the case with regard to the foundation of the house of Ardorel in the Albigeois, which has been described as practicing a mitigated form of the Cistercian rule, see L. de Lacger, "Ardorel," Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie ecclésiastique, 7 (1924): 1617-20. The tendency to give Burgundian documents or those of the General Chapter priority is also found in a recent article on the order's women; see Sally Thompson, "The Problem of Cistercian Nuns in the Twelfth and early Thirteenth Centuries,"Medieval Women, ed. Derek Baker (Oxford: Blackwell for the Ecclesiastical History Society, 1978), pp. 227-52. Thompson begins with the assumption that the Cistercian legislation and the minutes of the General Chapter are the most reliable source for the position of women within the Cistercian order. Although to some degree consulting the local evidence, she dismisses the claims by women's houses in England to Cistercian status, although that status is confirmed in local and papal documents, because she finds that such status is never mentioned in the early minutes of the Cistercian General Chapter meetings and is later denied at a particularly expedient moment, in 1270 by the abbot of Cîteaux. A good corrective to this view is that of Roger de Ganck, "The Integration of Nuns in the Cistercian Order, particularly in Belgium," Cîteaux: comm. cist., 35 (1984): 235-47, although it would have been possible for the latter author to go further in the re-evaluation of the position of women within the order in the twelfth century; see note 16 below.
12 Vincent Ferras, Documents bibliographiques concernant le rayonnement médiéval de l’ordre de Cîteaux en pays d'Aude (En Calcat, France: 1971), p. 117 and passim, and Beaunier-Besse, Archives Monastiques de la France Vol. 11 (Paris, 1911), pp. 125, 136, 14 1, 160, 173, 185, 201, 255.
13 Ibid., Vol. 19, p. 120, or M. de Framond, "Historique de I'abbaye de la Vernaison," Cîteaux dans la Drôme: Revue Drômoise 83 (1980): 151-154, and other articles in that special issue.
14 See the article on early houses for women, including Tart by jean de la Croix Bouton, "Saint Bernard et les moniales," Mélanges Saint Bernard (Dijon: Association bourguignonne des sociétés savantes, 1953), pp. 225-47. A survey of Beaunier-Besse, Archives Monastiques, shows several additional Cistercian houses dated to the thirteenth or later centuries, but which had an earlier history, for instance, St. Pierre du Puy in the diocese of Orange, which is listed as Benedictine until its incorporation by the Cistercians in 1200 (Vol. 7, p. 114), or St. Véran in the diocese of Avignon, which was a Benedictine foundation from 1140 until it became Cistercian in 1436 (Vol. 7, p. 139).
15 See Krenig, "Mittelalterliche Frauenklöster," loc. cit. which cites Statuta capitulorum generalium ordinis Cisterciensis ab anno 1116 ad annum 1789 ed. J. M. Canivez, "prima collectio" dated 1134, no. 29. "Quod nullus nostri ordinis abbas monacham benedicat. Prohibitum est ne quis abbatum vel monachorum nostrorum monacham benedicere, infantulum baptizare, vel etiam in baptismo tenere praesumat, nisi forte in articulo mortis fuerit, et presbiter defuerit."
16 Ibid., 119 1, no. 2 7, "Domino regi Castellae, scribatur, quia non possumus cogere abbatissas ire ad Capitulum de quo scripsit, et si vellent ire, sicut eis iam consuluimus, multurn nobis placeret," has been cited (along with the 1134 statute cited in previous note) by historians as evidence that until 1191 or later, the Cistercian order did not include women. See Lekai Cistercians, pp. 348-9 which relies on M. -A. Dimier, "Chapitres généraux d'abbesses cisterciennes," Cîteaux. comm. cist., 11 (1960): 268-73; but why argue that this specific decision concerning a general chapter in Spain for women only excludes the possibility of any jurisdiction over women in other cases? Attempts are often made to explain Cistercian nuns as subsidiary groups or branches or not wholly part of the order, see Coburn V. Graves, "English Cistercian Nuns in Lincolnshire," Speculum. 54 (1979), 492-99, Roisin, "L’efflorescence," 376-8, Fontette, Les religieuses, 27-63, or Thompson, "Problem of Cistercian Nuns," passim.
17 Cistercian legislative documents are sparse and unreliable for the order's earliest practice— for both men's or women's communities; it must be recalled that Canivez's edition is based on the collation of "available" surviving notes of General Chapter meetings which individual abbots took home or sent to 23 daughter-houses; they are not official transcripts of proceedings. Moreover, for the order's earliest "Statutes" such as the "prima collectio" of 1134, there is but a single manuscript source, whose dating may well be questioned. The statutes are interesting where they provide evidence of relationships and practices about which otherwise we know nothing; for example, records of a conflict between the monks of Bonneval in the Rouergue and the merchants of St. Gilles suggest a commercial contact otherwise undocumented (Statuta, ed. Canivez, 1200, no. 52). From such fragments we can know something of what early Cistercian abbots discussed, but there is absolutely no guarantee that they include the entire agenda. It is therefore inadmissible to assert that because the General Chapter never mentions nuns or the admission of a specific house of nuns into the order before the last decade of the twelfth century, that women in general or that specific house of nuns were not part of the order in earlier years.
18 See Louis J. Lekai, "Ideals and Reality in Early Cistercian Life and Legislation." Cistercian Ideals and Reality, ed. John R. Sommerfeldt (Kalamazoo, Michigan, 1978), pp. 4-29, on this new interpretation in general and Constance H. Berman, Medieval Agriculture, the Southern French Countryside, and the Early Cistercians (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, 1986), Chapter One with regard to early foundation history and economic practice, as well as idem, "The Growth of the Cistercian Order in Southern France," forthcoming, Analecta Cisterciensia.
19 For example in southern France there was often an ambiguous relationship among mother and daughter abbeys of male monasteries in the twelfth century. The daughter abbeys were treated as the actual property of the mother abbey, and the endowments of those houses used at the mother abbey's convenience, for example, see Recueil des actes de I'abbaye de Bormejont-en-Comminges, ed. Ch. Samaran and Ch. Higounet (Paris- Bibliothéque Nationale, 1970), no. 78 (1165); this is discussed with regard to pastoralism in Berman, Medieval Agriculture, chapter five.
20 See Catherine E. Boyd, A Cistercian Nunnery in Medieval Italy. The Story of Rifreddo in Saluzzo, 1220-1300. Cambridge, Mass. Harvard University Press, 1943.
21 Of forty-three Cistercian houses for men in that region, as many as twenty-one had roots linking them to that western French tradition or were founded by mother houses within southern France which had had such roots; see Berman, Medieval Agriculture, Table One, and idem, "Growth," passim.
22 Hill, English Cistercian, pp. 85ff., discusses Savigniac nunneries, Thompson, "Problem of Cistercian Nuns," pp. 230-232, and Jacqueline Smith, "Robert of Arbrissel's relations with women," Medieval Women, ed. Baker, p. 179, discusses other groups.
23 Fontevrault was a group of houses for contemplative nuns, for penitents (dedicated to St. Mary Magdalene), and communities of priests and lay-brothers to serve the material and spiritual needs of the nuns. Fontevrault has most recently been studied by Penny Schine Gold, The Lady and the Virgin. Image, Attitude and Experience in Twelfth-Century France (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1985), pp. 93-115, and idem, "Male/Female Cooperation: The Example of Fontevrault," Distant Echoes: Medieval Religious Women, vol. 1, ed. John A. Nichols and Lillian Thomas Shank (Kalamazoo, MI: Cistercian Publications, 1984), pp. 151-68. See also Jacques Delarun, "Robert d'Arbrissel et les fernmes," Annales, E.S.C. 39 (1984): 1140-60, and Smith, cited in note 22. Whereas Fontevrault itself has attracted considerable attention, for a number of reasons, for instance with regard to the development of courtly literature by Reto R. Bezzola, Les Origines et la formation de la littérature courtoise en Occident (500-1200) (Paris: Champion, 1966), part 2, Vol. 2, esp. pp. 275-92 (note that Bezzola can be unreliable on political details), other Fontevriste houses have received relatively little study thus far.
24 See the article by Avril, cited above note 5, and Mary Skinner, "The Benedictine Life for Women in Central France. 850-1100: A Feminist Revival," Distant Echoes, pp. 115-30.
25 Statuta, ed. Canivez, Vol. 11, 1251 no. 49, and 1255, no. 31, indicate a debate over control of Nonenque between Silvanès and its mother-abbey of Mazan. The introduction to Cartulaire de I'abbaye de Nonenque, ed. C. Couderc and J. -L. Rigal (Rodez: Carrière, 1955), p. xv, suggests that this debate occurred because the nuns at Nonenque had originally come from Mazan (which apparently founded a number of houses for women); this assertion, based on an assumption that Nonenque was a Cistercian foundation de novo is belied by the references to Bellecombe in other documents, cited below. Mazan and Silvaniès were presumably fighting over control of Nonenqe in the thirteenth century because of its access to superior pasture rights on the Causse de Larzac, which control of that convent would have given either of them. (See next note.) Ibid., no. 72 (1254) is the first reference to an abbess as opposed to a prioress at Nonenque; that document does not refer to Cistercians and no earlier documents make reference directly to the Cistercians, so the contention that it was a Cistercian priory may be based simply on the notoriously unreliable Silvanès chronicle, discussed in note 28 below. All indications are that Nonenque was the stronger of the two communities—founding a daughter house in the region of Toulouse in the 1250s, ibid., intro. p. xvi; by the 1290s it was in considerable conflict with Silvaniès and attempted unsuccessfully to remove itself from the Cistercian order; see ibid., intro. xvi-xix.
26 Specifics mentioned here are found in Cartulaire de Nonenque, nos. 17 (1170), 18 (1171), 32 (1189), and 53 (1206). On Nonenque's properties generally, see G. Bourgeois, "Les granges et l'économie de l'abbaye de Nonenque au Moyen Age," Citeaux: comm. cist., 24 (1973): 139-60. On the importance of pastoralism generally in the area, see Jacques Bousquet, "Les origines de la transhumance en Rouergue," L'Au, brac: Etude éthnologique, linguistique, agronomique et éonomique dun établissement humaine (Paris: CNRS, 1971) vol. 2, pp. 217-55.
27 Raymond Noël, Dictionnaire des châteaux de L’Aveyron, I, pp. 337-8.
28 Cart. de Silvanès, pp. 3 70 ff. is the text of the chronicle; that chronicle, its general unreliability, and its relationship to the post-1160s Silvanès cartulary are discussed in detail in Constance H. Berman, "The Foundation and Early History of the Monastery of Silvanès: the Economic Reality," Cistercian Ideals and Reality, Studies in Medieval Cistercian History III, ed. J.R. Sommerfeldt (Kalamazoo, MI: Cistercian Publ., 1978):280-318.
29 Cartulaire de Nonenque, no. 3 (1152) indicates the relationship to Bellecombe in a conveyance of land to Silvanès; that early relationship is still referred to in the late thirteenth century when conflict arises between Nonenque and Silvanès, see, ibid., intro., pp. Xix
30 Cartulaire de Nonenque, no. 6 (1162) is the confirmation of a tithe exemption granted by Alexander 111, which is made by Peter, bishop of Rodez.
31 Cartulaire de Silvanès, no. 47 (1139), Cartutaire de Nonenque, no. 1 (1139): "quicquid de nobis aliqua persona habet in valle Elnonenca."
32 See Avril reference in note 5 above, and references in note 23 above.
33 The presence of the Garonne between the two houses did not present an insurmountable barrier, since it is clear from Grandselve's documents that the monks of that abbey had granges and kept animals on both sides of the river. See Berman, Medieval Agriculture, esp. Map 2, and Mireille Mousnier, "Les granges de l'abbaye cistercienne de Grandselve," Annales du Midi 95 (1983): 7-27.
34 On this house's association with Fontevrault, see John Hine Mundy, Liberty and Political Power in Toulouse, 1050-1230 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1954), pp. 16-17, Bezzola, Origines, p. 290, and documents in Toulouse, A.D. Haute-Garonne, H 205 Lespinasse, liasse 1, a copy of a privilege of Alexander (III) granting exemption from both old and new tithes in the parishes pertaining to it. A short history of the abbey is found in ibid., liasse 12, in a sixteenth-century hand.
35 See Mundy, Political Power, p. 17; A Jongler, "Monographie de I'abbaye de Grandselve." Mémoires de la société archéologique du Midi 7 (1853-1860): 179-234; Victor Fons, "Les monastères cisterciens de Fancienne province ecchésiastique de Toulouse," Revue de Toulouse et du Midi de la France 25 (1867): 112-34; R. Rumeau, "Notes sur l'abbaye de Grandselve," Bulletin de la Société de géographie de Toulouse 19 (1900): 247-85; and Mireille Mousnier, "L'abbaye cistercienne de Grandselve du XIIe au début du XIVe siècle," Citeaux: comm. cist., 34 (1983): 53-76 and 221-44, which mentions the original double dedication to the Virgin and to Mary Magdalene.
36 Mousnier, p. 57, relying on Philippe Wolff, Histoire de Toulouse, (Toulouse: Privat, 1958), p. 95, says that she retired to Lespinasse and gives the date of Philippa's death as 1116; Mundy, Political Power, p. 17 also says that she retired to Lespinasse; Bezzola, Origines, p. 290, says that Philippa retired to Fontevrault itself and died there in 1117 or 1118; all interpretations are based on Alfred Richard, Histoire des comtes de Poitou, (Paris: Picard, 1903), vol. 1, pp. 470-4, which cites an obituary notice from another Fontevriste house, that of Fontaines (Bas-Poitou) for Philippa. Bezzola's seems to be the inaccuracy; however, Delarun, "Robert d'Arbrissel," p. 1143, follows Bezzola without explanation. Given that William VII's first wife Ermengarde was living at Fontevrault at the time, it seems less likely that Philippa would also retire there; see next note.
37 Montpellier, Société archéologique, "Cartulaire dit de Trencavel," fols. 107-8, undated, published in Devic and Vaissete, Histoire Générale de Languedoc, (Toulouse: Privat, 1872-93), vol. 5, col. 845, in which Philippa receives a feudal oath from Bernard-Aton IV (Trencavel) (husband of the Cecilia of Provence discussed below) in the presence of Robert of Arbrissel. That Philippa is actively ruling in her own realm of Toulouse suggests that this would be the natural place for her to stay once abandoned by her husband William VII of Poitou, rather than to remove to Fontevrault.
1 Toulouse, A.D. Haute-Garonne, H 205 Lespinasse, liasse 12, no. 11, suggests that additional gifts were made by the count of Toulouse before 1150; Grandselve received gifts from the count Alphonse jourclain before 1133, Paris, B.N. Latin MS 11011, fol. ir, (undated).
39 See Mundy, Political Power, p. 17 and 17, n. 22. Philippa's granddaughter, Eleanor of Aquitaine would also be interested in both Fontevrault and Cistercian foundations. See Gold, "Male/Female,” her note 41, and M. Rossignol, "Une charte d'Aliénor, duchesse d'Aquitaine, d’an 1172," Revue d'Aquitaine et du Languedoc 5-6 (1861):224-8, on efforts made by Eleanor to found a house in memory of one of her sons; the date, however, is probably not 1172, see Berman, "Women as Patrons:' note 54.
40 Reference to Lespinasse's nemora as a boundary for property conveyed to Grandselve in 1163 is made in Paris B.N. Latirt MS 11008, Grandselve, fols. 133v-134v.
41 Pressure was placed on Grandselve among other houses in that region to found a community for women; see Ibid., no. 65 (1164). Perhaps Lespinasse, despite remaining under the aegis of Fontevrault, did fulfill that function.
42 Beaunier-Besse, Archives Monastiques 12 (1911), p. 201, "Le Vignogoul, Sancta Magdalena de Bono Loco, d'abord prieuré avec la règle bénédictine, dont la fondation est antérieure à 1130, abbaye après 1245 avec les observances de Citeaux, sous la dépendance des abbés de Valmagne . . ."
43 See Pierre de Gorsse, L’abbaye cistercienne Sainte Marie de Valmagne au diocèse d’Agde en Languedoc. Histoire de l’abbaye (Toulouse: Lion, 1933), pp. 7 ff., and Berman, "Growth,” forthcoming. Despite foundation by Ardorel it was incorporated into the Cistercian order in the filiation of Cîteaux, as a daughter of the Cistercian house of Bonnevaux in the 1150s.
44 Avril, "Fondations," note 13, mentions that a study of the religious houses for women in the "diocese of Maguelonne" is being conducted by Mme. Moreau, but whether this will include Vignogoul is unclear.
45 Beaunier-Besse, loc. cit. and Statuta ed. Canivez, vol. 2, 1246, no.
46 AN, A.D. Tarn, H3 Ardorel (1138) refers to Cecilia's patronage of Ardorel, if not Valmagne, and Montpellier, Soc. archéologique, "Cartulaire dit de Trencavel," fols. 160v ff. (1157), shows her ownership of land near Mèze in the vicinity of Valmagne. Montpellier, A.D. H~rault, film (private deposit) "Cartcle Valmagne," 1, 100r (1179), 100v (1180), 138v (1147), and 137v (1148) and 146 (1175), show the family's association with Valmagne. See also Devic, Histoire de Languedoc, vol. 3, p. 707, which attributes the foundation to Raymond Trencavel, her eldest son. Cecilia's daughter Trencavella was also among donors to Valmagne, see "Cart. de Valmagne," vol.1, fol. 13 7v (1148).
47 See Gorsse, Valmagne, passim
48 See note 37 above.
49 Huyghebaert, "Femmes laïques," pp. 373 ff.
50 A survey of Beaunier-Besse, Archives monastiques, passim, shows that most houses in the "order" of Fontevrault were located in western France.
51 Cart. De Valmagne," vol.2,fol.86v(1196,n.s.1197?).