the practice of the monastery of the 'Sleepless Ones' in Constantinople.12 The monks were divided into a number of turmae or groups, which took it in turns to sing the liturgy so that it could be continued both by day and by night.

Soon after its foundation, Agaune received thebody ofits founder Sigismund and became an example of another important trend in monasticism. Despite Roman prohibitions against burial within cities, bishops, kings and aristocrats began to have themselves buried as near to the tombs of the saints as possible.13 In the sixth century, the Frankish ruler Chlothar I built a church to the powerful intercessor St Medard at Soissons, while King Guntram was the patron of St Marcel at Chalon. In the seventh century Dagobert I would richly endow St Denis. The rulers buried in such basilicas hoped to ensure the intercession of the saints through the performance of the liturgy by the monks whose monasteries were attached to the churches: both St Marcel and St Denis would adopt the solemn perpetual chant of Agaune as a liturgy suitable for the burial place of kings. This was an age when it was believed that lesser sins would be purged from the souls of the dead at the end of time, immediately before the last judgment, so the system of regular or continual prayer carried out in the basilicas was intended to be maintained in perpetuity. Only royalty could generally afford to establish such powerhouses of prayer for themselves, although others might later aspire - and pay - to be buried there. The case of Bishop Caesarius of Arles (d. 542) demonstrates just how costly the business of establishing such a monastery could be. Caesarius created the nunnery of St Jean to serve as a centre of intercession both for his city of Arles and also for his own soul: both he himself and its nuns were to be buried in one of the churches attached to it. He obtained papal support for his ring-fencing of the income from a number of diocesan properties to establish and maintain this foundation and both the rule he compiled for the nuns and his testament display an overriding anxiety that his extraordinary arrangements might be dismantled by future bishops.

Caesarius' foundation of St Jean was exceptional in its size, housing over two hundred nuns on his death. The vast majority of monasteries were much smaller foundations, often house- or villa-monasteries such as those at Lulling-stone or Llandough in the British Isles where the community consisted of the founder's family and servants. Others were meant to be rather larger and more permanent institutions, but the letters of Pope Gregory I reveal that, in the case of late sixth-century Italy, many only had small or medium-sized

12 See the Life of Alexander the Sleepless (PO 6).

13 F. Masai, 'La "Vita patrum iurensium"'.

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