the fifth century (particularly in the monasteries of Marseille and Lerins), favoured a rejection of strictly predestinarian views. Now, in the first quarter of the sixth century, the question was mooted again in Gaul, but also in North Africa and Rome by the so-called 'Scythian monks'. The bishop of Vienne convened a synod in Valence that censured Caesarius' position. Caesarius responded by assembling a synod in Orange (July 529). Fourteen bishops and eight aristocratic laymen attended. The synod issued twenty-five canons, framed by a brief preface and a definition of faith.117 It defined a moderate Augustinianism that stressed prevenient grace without undermining Christian moral effort. Part ofthe synod's decisions had probably been prepared in Rome. Pope Boniface confirmed its orthodoxy in 531.

The days of Ostrogothic dominion in Provence were numbered. After defeating the Burgundians in 534, the Franks annexed the province in 536 and Arles fell under Merovingian rule. Caesarius found himself sidelined as the ecclesiastical centre of power shifted northwards: Merovingian Gaul was partitioned among kings who resided in OrleƩans, Paris, Reims and Soissons. The bishops from these realms assembled for supra-provincial councils - such as the Council of Orleans (533), the Fifth Council of Orleans (549) and the first council of Macon (581-3) - to continue the legislative work of the first council of Orleans (511). Other councils were restricted to bishops from within a given realm. When Chlotar II reunited Gaul, bishops from all over Gaul assembled at two councils in Paris (614) and in Clichy (626/7). Merovingian kings often convoked these councils; the conciliar and political interplay was accordingly complex.118

In addition to ecclesiastical law, late ancient Gallic Christianity also bequeathed to the early middle ages an ideal of episcopal sainthood that offered a novel Christian way to preserve the ancient aristocracy's prestige. Energetic bishops who hailed from an aristocratic background, like Hilary or Caesarius of Arles (to name but two),119 belonged to this new type of ecclesiastical leadership.120 An important aspect of this new ideal was its adaptation of Christian ascetic values. Asceticism had long been important in Gaul: the

117 Concilia Galliaea.511-a.6g5 (CCSL 148a: 53-76); see Pontal, Synoden, 61-71.

118 See J. Gaudemet and B. Basdevant in SC 353, esp. 33-43.

119 The percentage of members of the senatorial aristocracy among Gallic bishops of the fifth and sixth centuries is difficult to estimate. For a concise analysis of recruitment patterns, see C. Rapp, Holy bishops, 192-5. The general trend is visible to a lesser degree also in Italy and elsewhere; see ibid., 188-95, C. Lepelley, 'Le patronat episcopal' and A. Demandt, Die Spatantike, 445-52.

120 See Heinzelmann, Bischofsherrschaft and, more recently, B. Beaujard, 'L'eveque dans la citeƩ'.

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