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Remigius of Reims

REMIGIUS OF REIMS: Bishop of that city; b. at Laon (87 m. n.e. of Paris) about 437; d. at Reims, probably Jan. 13, 532 or 533. In his twenty second year he became bishop; and his fame rests upon the record, according to Gregory of Tours, of his converting the Frankish king Clovis to Christianity (baptized, Christmas, 496). With this is connected the legend of the ampulla (see Ampullæ). It had its origin with Hincmar of Reims (q.v.). When Remigius crowned Charles the Bald at Metz (869) the sacred oil was produced and alleged to have been used by Remigius at the consecration of Clovis. This was to validate the right of the king of the West Franks over Lotharingia by establishing a connection, if traditional, with the Merovingians. The vial reappeared at the coronation of Philip II. in 1179 and was broken by a revolutionist in 1793. That Remigius exerted influence over Clovis and his sons may be surmised but can not be substantiated in detail, owing to the legendary character of the records. The letter in which Pope Hormisdas appears to have appointed him vicar of the kingdom of Clovis is proved to be spurious; it is presumed to have been an attempt of Hincmar to base his pretensions for the elevation of Reims to the primacy, following the alleged precedent of Remigius. Four letters of Remigius are all that are preserved of his writings (ed. Gundlach, in MGH, Epist., iii. 112–116).

(A. Hauck.)

Bibliography: For review of the literature on Remigius: H. Jodart, Bibliographie des ouvragas concernant la vie et le culte de S. Remi, Reims, 1891. For early sources consult: The Vita, formerly ascribed to Venantius Fortunatus, in ASB, Oct., i. 128–131, with commentary, pp. 59–128; MPL, lxxxviii. 527–532; and ed. B. Krusch, in MGH, Auct. ant., iv. 2 (1885), 64–67, with commentary, pp. xxii.–xciv (the Vita gives little information). Other materials of little value are in ASB, Oct., i. 167–176; MPL, cxxv. 1187–98; and Analecta Bollandiana, iv (1885), 337–343. Further sources are: Gregory of Tours, Historia Francorum, ii. 27, 31, viii. 21, ix. 14, x. 19; idem, In gloria confessorum, lxxix.; and Sidonius Apollinaris, Epist., ix. 7. Consult further: F. Dahn, Urgeschichte der germanischen and romanischen Völker, iii. 49–61, Berlin, 1885; J. Dorigny, Vie de S. Remi, Châlons, 1714; P. Armand, Hist. de St. Remi, Paris, 1846; H. Rückert, Kulturgeschichte, vol. i., chaps. xii.–xiv., Leipsic, 1853; P. Heber, Die vorkarolingischen christlichen Glaubenshelden am Rhein, Frankfort, 1858; C. von Noorden, Hinkmar, pp. 393 sqq., Berlin, 1863; H. Schrörs, Hinkmar, pp. 446–454, 508–512, Freiburg, 1884; E. d’Avenay, Saint Remi de Reims, Reims, 1896; L. Carlier, Vie de Saint Remi, Paris, 1896; A. Handecœur, Saint Remi, évêque de Reims, Paris, 1896; Hist. littéraire de la France, iii. 66 sqq., 155 sqq., Friedrich, KD, vol. ii., § 5; Hauck, KD, i. 119–120; DCB, iv. 541–542.

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