In such a violent transformation of invasions and conquests it was not possible for the Church to maintain that character of regulated unity which the papacy later impressed in the great Catholic form, and society in those times showed a mixture of civil laws and canons. ecclesiastics, a perpetual confusion between the men of war and the cherics, between the counts and the bishops. The primitive Church of the Gauls was established on the ancient compartments of the Empire, with its provinces and metropolises, territorial partitions already thrown by Rome before the world. The Gaul christiana divided the metropolises and suffragans into thirteen provinces such as imperial Gaul, and the metropolitan represented in the spiritual constitution the magistrate that the emperor depicted in the government of those provinces.
The same compartments lasted even after the conquest of the Franks, except that then the confusion of the men of war and of the Cherici arose: the bishop and the abbot often brandish the rod in battles, and they fan themselves for the secular forests followed by packs of dogs and falconers, and covered with impenetrable iron, duel to death while the man of war, having become the owner, instead, of the abbey or of the bishopric, leads his soldiers, his families and his concubines to those rich lands, distributes the farms and the income among them; there are even women, who receive bishops and abbeys as fiefdoms: it is a tangle that the popes have not yet managed to unravel. The right of conquest is mixed with the ancient laws of the Church, the barbaric spirit with the Christian, from which we often have the explanation of those strange canons which are found scattered in the collection of the councils of Gaul; it is a conflict between the crude and primitive principles of the Germanic nations, and the maxims of morality taught by the Church of Christ, and they would like to impose a restraint on the impetus of the senses and their appetites that burst like lightning. L’ love of woman is the most operative principle among those conquering nations; why the frank man, when passion boils overwhelmingly in his heart, will he not be able to freely satisfy it? What makes him be joined to a partner for life? How badly he has concubines in his house, or if the woman he loves is a relative of him in very close degree! When the blood speaks, no one can tame it … The earliest councils of Gaul know a little about these customs, nor do they always have that character of sublime purity, which the pontiffs learned about following the Catholic system to be joined to a partner for life? How badly he has concubines in his house, or if the woman he loves is a relative of him in very close degree! When the blood speaks, no one can tame it … The earliest councils of Gaul know a little about these customs, nor do they always have that character of sublime purity, which the pontiffs learned about following the Catholic system to be joined to a partner for life? How badly he has concubines in his house, or if the woman he loves is a relative of him in very close degree! When the blood speaks, no one can tame it … The earliest councils of Gaul know a little about such customs, nor do they always have that character of sublime purity, which the pontiffs knew about following the Catholic system : the canons themselves reveal this mixture of clerical ideas with the violence of men of war. Not only the cherics attended the councils, but also the counts came with their fiery and brutal passions; the episcopate, originally Roman, counted in its ranks some of these impetuous Franks who were not restrained by any restraint: so it is no surprise that in such meetings the purity of the canons of the Church was lost. It is therefore permissible for men of war to repudiate, although chaste, the wife, nor the concubine is otherwise reviled, and the deviations of the flesh are tolerated and explained. Further on, it will be necessary to keep up with the laborious work of the papacy to restore marriage and protect the sanctity of the domestic roof  .
In the meantime, the Roman partition of the metropolises survived, as I already said, this confusion of civil and religious laws, and the podestà of the episcopate adhered to the jurisdiction that others exercised over the ecclesiastical province. In every city that had been the residence of the praetor or magistrate, a metropolis was fully established; but as for the territories more recently acquired by Christianity, the deliberation of the metropolitan institutions belonged to the popes, and we see an example of this in the bishopric of Mainz. Converted that this large village was from St. Boniface to the faith of Christ, Zacharias wrote that the seat of the metropolitan was established there  , since he could watch over all the Church of Germany and St. Boniface continue his preaching under the cope and the episcopal miter  . Curious is this correspondence of the popes, bishops and councils; there Rome is now the authority that others come to consult in all questions of morality, and it seems that the pope, persecuted as he is inside the holy city by the turbulent patricians, dominates the Christian world only with the principality of the word. This work is a long conflict, until the supreme papal authority assumes in the eleventh century, under Gregory VII, the universal dictatorship, for the sake of the moral universe and the ordered principle of government  .
Near the hierarchical institution of the bishops we find the foundation of the monasteries, which contributed so much to the civilization of the Christian world. In the midst of the invasions of the Barbarians, the weary souls of the world and its agitations consecrated themselves to solitude and to God, and most of the basilicas that we see today, those ruins, those remains, point out to us the greatness and fate of the monastic orders in Gaul. The seventh century was mainly famous for the founding of abbeys and monasteries. Whoever looks for the origins of the cities of France, of the large hamlets, of the villages, will find that most of them recognize their foundation from the monastery, originally built with marvelous symmetry in the most ancient places. At first they built a devout oratory, a hermitage in the desert, as the chronicle says, . After these cells were enlarged, pious brotherhoods changed the chapel into the basilica, and if it happened that one of those holy abbots died a martyr or confessor, his relics, the drops of his blood, his precious bones were collected, and were shaped in the monastery in deporvele, an area of Byzantine forms with the effigy of the Saint; and from all the parties flocked here people on pilgrimage, however that that ark refuge of the sick and the wretched had cry of miraculous. But if the pilgrims flocked, and their crowd grew more and more crowded, it would be better to try to host them, and for this purpose some wooden houses were built first, some modest habitations; then soon the merchants competed to offer their goods and to exercise their industry, in the way they came and did at the fairs of San Dionigi; then the fairs and markets that obtained patent letters and privileges in the name of the abbot, and then of the count or king; then industry for everything around there, so that a village was built next to the monastery, and the village then became a city. Such was the origin of most of the cities of France, .
The monastic geography of the Gauls in the seventh century is curious, but it points to the progress and development of love for the rule, it being possible to say that in every place where a monastery is founded, there it bows to a more perfect ordering of society. In Neustria, the abbeys and monasteries are multiplied, there a long line of great saints, with their legends, is shown; all made immeasurable benefits to the civilization of those districts, even though deserted by the invasion of the Barbarians. Here are the two Germans the relics of which they adored in the monasteries built on the banks of the Seine: one of them Saint Germano, the ancient bishop of Auxerre (the Auxerese, as the legends call him), the other San Germano ai Prati, in the flowery prairies, on which the University was later built; here is Saint Genoveffa al Monte, a monument to the memory of the virgin of Nanterre, who saved the town from the failures of the Barbarians, and preserved Paris from hunger. Then, two leagues on the Seine, here is Saint Dionysius, famous for his treasure, for his chronicles, for his beasts and for his landites  ; San Dionigi where he wrote the history of the country as an act of religion and homeland devotion.
The catalog of national saints of Neustria is precious! Gervasio, Eligio goldsmith, Landry, the founder of the hospices, Meri or Mederico, all artists or cherics, the arks of which, built in their own basilicas, shone more with gold and gems than the crowns of kings. Saint Ovano of Rouen, Saint Martin of Tours and Saint Vandrillo of Picardy had their hospitable cells; San Bertino saw the Sithieu monastery being built; St. Hubert, running through the woods, converted the savage inhabitants of the Ardennes to faith, more barbarous than the wild beasts themselves; Saint Hubert, I said, whose relics healed those bitten by angry animals: that faith in man’s morale could not be!  At the extremity of the ocean, on a promontory called the sepulcher and the danger of the sea, when its agitated and sparkling waves came to break there, the monastery of San Michele  was built to save the sailors, while San Bonifazio founded in Germany, over a peaceful Riviera, the abbey of Fulda where aveasi will write to among the works of the earth even then tilled, the annals of ‘Carolingian . In Neustria, Austrasia, Aquitaine and Germany, monastic institutions were established everywhere, under the patronage of holy names; the religious communities planted vines on the hills of the Rhine and the Rhone, plowed the vast plains for the first time, introduced order, work, rule, hierarchy, and founded the large cities that still bear their names so in Germany as in Gaul  .
Inspired by these monastic foundations were the legends, poetic traditions of Christianity, colorful dramas that aimed to teach the world moral truths, and the laws of humanity with the intervention of heaven. In all times the gratitude of men to the great benefits attached to the history of the sovereign-minded man, and to the benefactor of mankind, something marvelous: the golden part therefore joins the true actions of life, and covers itself with gold and rubies are the modest sepulcher in which his relics are placed. So does the legend with the saints, an enthusiastic account of what the servant and the disciple saw or heard of the life of him whose bones rest in the precious ark; and these marvelous tales almost all contain a lesson in morality; to the riots of war, to the ardor of the Barbarians, the legendaries contrast the sweetness of solitude, the spectacle of tranquility and peace. If the men of war, violent and quarrelsome, oppress the servants and the stalks who work the land, the legends tell how the hand of the count (of the graff and of the hern) has dried up in giving an eye to the substance of the people, or to the reliquary of the Church; like the prayers and admonitions of a saint, they arrested the conquerors; fasting, abstinence, are there in contrast to the cupidity of the men of war, who devour the good of the poor, and make game bodies in their banquets. If any of those furious counts chases his chaste bride from the nuptial bed, the legend soon tells how death caught him in the midst of his carnal banquets  ; there a poor servant who has become a monk or a hermit exercises, by means of miracles, greater power than the count and the duke, for the celestial legions rush to his prayers, and the devils are the instruments that use legends. to score the wicked one.
The lives of the saints are the most sincere tale of those times, they entrust the weak, and frighten the powerful; in the Bollandists, the Middle Ages have to be learned more than anywhere else; Plutarchs of solitude who faithfully described the miracles by which the weak had been saved from the strong’s vengeance. The legends were the only stop for adventure whereby society was saved from the violence of war; these myths of Christianity were in harmony with the welfare state; there were sacred places against the violent hand of the soldier, there were weak spared, there was a morality maintained for the vivid impressions of the belief: read the miracles of St. Germain described by friar Aimoino ; the story of St. Benedict, the preacher of England; the life of Martin of Tours, and you will see that the example of these pious men had prepared and directed the generations towards a better path. In a still wild society, these human legends were also needed, which would ennoble the woman, protect the weak children, the servants, the cities, the markets and the pilgrims. And you noble, Genevieve of Brabant, were you not the woman persecuted by the traitor and the strong by the hand of God guided and saved from the outrages of the treacherous butler? 
Some of these legends tell of the wandering life of the Saints who consecrate themselves to the apostolate in unknown lands, and if most of the monks lock themselves up in their cells to teach the world there is happiness in the presence of God and oneself, and if others they pray and fast to accustom the world to mortifications, while the men of war fatten on game among the entranced of the banquet, other cherics devote themselves to the wandering life to banish the word of God, and precisely when society is more surrounded by Barbarians extraneous to the civilization and the Christian faith, bishops full of fervor set out to those inhospitable districts to preach and convert. San Benedetto Biscopo or Bischopo , teaches the peoples of the Saxon Hectarchy; Vilfredo or Bonifatius, also a Saxon, became an apostle of Germany, and founded as he passed cities and monasteries in Hesse and Thuringia with dark forests . All those countries are covered with barbarous throngs; in the Ardennes are also wild peoples; the idols of the ancient world are adored there, but nothing gives back the apostles, neither the cruelty of the Frisians, nor the brutal hatred of the Saxons against the maxims and laws of Christianity. They move to teach the truth, without doubt taking with them some letters from popes and princes, and preach to proclaim the true God, the sanctity of marriage, the life and mission of Christ in every place. Often to crown their work, those apostles suffer martyrdom, a tumult of the people sacrifices them at the foot of the idols, and they fall under the shaft or the ax. Thus ended St. Boniface  on the indomitable land of the Frisii, who tore his bowels,
The bones of the martyrs were therefore carefully collected and encased in the reliquaries, which the churches called their treasure : a treasure of faith and protection for the poor and the weak! Those reliquaries enclosed precious remains, and were covered with gold, studded with stones, emeralds, topazes that shone in the light of day. Those arks were the object of adoration of the faithful, who came to lay their present on them; the sanna of the cignale that threatened them, the ax that bounced off their heads; servants, peoples, Romans and Franks flock to pray around these relics which they accompany in solemn procession, among the scents of flowers and incense. If God denies the refreshment of the rain to the arid countryside, here we have had recourse to the sacred reliquary, to obtain the beneficial watering; if disease and hunger afflict the country, here is a concert of common prayers around the ark: it is the treasure and wealth of the church; vows are placed there, and lampane, pray and fast in his honor. The Lombard and Byzantine cathedrals of the seventh century are built on the model of such reliquaries; each is proud and honored to imitate the tombs of the Saints in everything; they are transformed into basilicas, in the way that before they were fashioned in pure silver or gilded, according to the use of the goldsmith Eligio, the owner and creator of the reliquary of St. Martin of Tours. A small fragment of the bones of some bishop in veneration was often the origin and cause of that beautiful monuments of the Middle Ages, Christian pantheos scattered here and there; each cathedral has its own legend, and each legend its cathedral. The stories on the life of the Saints are the most curious reading you can make around the Middle Ages; you see temperance, chastity, fasting preached, almost police provisions and disciplined hunger in the great families so frequent in those days; you see us examples of moderation. In the midst of a violently shaken and agitated society, the monastic life was like a counterweight placed in meeting the industrious and violent life of the barbarian horde; the solitude of the monastery reflects the wandering enthusiasm of the Germanic peoples Saints are the most curious reading you can make around the Middle Ages; you see temperance, chastity, fasting preached, almost police provisions and disciplined hunger in the great families so frequent in those days; you see us examples of moderation. In the midst of a violently shaken and agitated society, the monastic life was like a counterweight placed in meeting the industrious and violent life of the barbarian horde; the solitude of the monastery reflects the wandering enthusiasm of the Germanic peoples Saints are the most curious reading you can make around the Middle Ages; you see temperance, chastity, fasting preached, almost police provisions and disciplined hunger in the great families so frequent in those days; you see us examples of moderation. In the midst of a violently shaken and agitated society, the monastic life was like a counterweight placed in meeting the industrious and violent life of the barbarian horde; the solitude of the monastery reflects the wandering enthusiasm of the Germanic peoples the monastic life was like a counterweight, a place of encounter to the industrious and violent life of the barbarian horde; the solitude of the monastery reflects the wandering enthusiasm of the Germanic peoples the monastic life was like a counterweight, a place of encounter to the industrious and violent life of the barbarian horde; the solitude of the monastery reflects the wandering enthusiasm of the Germanic peoples .
The action of the councils, although still irregular, came to the aid of the political laws for the order of society, and these councils were frequent in Gaul in the eighth century, but since there was a great relaxation of morals, it was convenient to repress it. , have recourse to ecclesiastical laws. These acts still portray the mixture of men of war and cherics: one thing is confused with the other, there is nothing distinct, a purely ecclesiastical disposition, it is alongside an act of social police. The rules of marriage mainly occupy the councils, for the passions of the senses are the most difficult to tame among the savage nations, ruled as they are by everything that comes from the movements of the blood, as if to say the anger and the incontinence. The discipline of the cherics occupies the first place, since it is necessary first to introduce the order of the Church to make it prevail in society. The councils of Verberia and Nantes can take into account the two extremes of ecclesiastical system, for the whole duration of a century, in Gaul. The council of Nantes very ancient, it retains a Roman semblance, nor is it treated there except of the clerical discipline. – Deesi listen to mass at his parish; every Sunday, from the door of the church, one will ask if there are people in nimism among themselves, and they will have to make peace before mass. The cherici will not be able to cohabit with women, nor will it be lawful for them to approach the choir in church. The burials will be done under the portico of the churches or in the atrium; no priest can have more than one church, and the tithe is nothing but a subsidy for the poor and pilgrims. It is lawful to divorce a wife on account of adultery; the priest’s meal consists of a piece of bread and a cup of wine; the murderer is punished with fourteen years of penance; it is not permissible for women to meddle in public affairs, but to attend to the work of the needle; no one can change from one place to another without the consent of the bishop. The druidic trees should be landed as soon as possible, for which the people still retain some veneration, and the stones from the superstition of the ancient Gauls consecrated to the unknown deities .
At the other end of the period, the Verberian council portrays the customs of the conquering nation, and you may say that if the council of Nantes is Roman that of Verberia is frank; hence continence is less respected, and the case of a priest who is married to his own niece is supposed to be possible, and the causes of repudiation are multiplied, and there are foreseen very varied cases of incest or of adultery, as if they were frequent, and the chastity of the domestic roof does not appear to be preserved. – If any wife complains, so the council, that the husband has never consummated the marriage, let them both go to the cross, and if what the woman affirms is true, they should be separated, and let her be free to do as she wishes. - The ban on carrying arms, their most cherished pastime, should be renewed for Cherici; restrictions are placed on hunting and penalties for murder; it is a social police code. These provincial councils have no character of universality, on the contrary they are often quite special to a metropolis, a city, a diocesan district; only sometimes they understand all the churches of Gaul  . In any case they are unable to comply with the general laws of the Church; they are like additions to the capitulars, diplomas, the acts of the royal councils. In the eighth century a mixture of religious laws was formed. And what difference can you find between councils and capitulars? Those and these deal equally with the Church, with the people, with penal laws and with civil edicts; there are capitulars who meddle with the episcopal discipline, and there are councils that are intermixed with the Counts of a village, and the royal envoys, for a perfect confusion of all systems. In vain would you choose the civil constitution from the ecclesiastical method as a method, because they still fit together and cross each other in the same codes  .
And what was this civil constitution in the eighth century? Political societies do not feel any complete and absolute change by conquest; the masses are of granite, and when a civilization already exists, the arrival and settling of a new generation of conquerors does not otherwise destroy the ancient social order, it is as if you were saying a new layer of earth that comes to place itself on the old. Hence it is that the Romans settled in Gaul with their large and vigorous institutions, and therefore the customs of the Gauls did not remain, because the traditions of a people are not so suddenly destroyed, and the customs survive for a long time even after the conquest has been established. Sometimes it also happened to the Franks, nor was it possible to believe that the rapid passage from one social order to another was due to the spirit of the system.
Anyone who closely examines the documents of the Gallic, Roman and Frankish epochs, is well aware that the original character of the three nations is preserved and portrays the customs of the paro and the laws, having the conquest let a multitude of ancient principles survive in the state of people, cities and territorial possessions.
The first character that we will recognize in these times is the personality of the laws or codes applicable to each people; here again it is not a question of stable nations, but only of tribes, each of which retains its titles and its political institutions. The Gauls and the Romans have the Theodosian code  ; the Franks the lex salica or ripuaria ; the Lombards the leges Longobardorum ; the Visigoths, councils of bishops, who remove most of their prescriptions from the laws of Rome . There is nothing territorial, so that when the Franks and the Burgundians turn into other lands, they do it with their own particular code. Thus the state of the people in the eighth century is regulated for a thousand different forms by the laws proper to each people: servants, free men, men of war, bishops, counts, all have their privileges written in their special legislation. False those who affirm that the Romans or the Gauls were all servants or subject to an exclusive dominion under the mass of the Franks, encamped as conquerors, on the lands of the ancient owners; because bishops, priests and counts often belonged to the Gallic and Roman races, nor has this civilization been canceled otherwise, but so mixed and confused, but that when a people has reached so high, the conquest
Gallic society before the Carolingic period is manifested in everything and especially in the constitution of the municipalities; because the commune did not already arise spontaneously in the tenth century as a fact of sedition  , nor did the municipal institutions otherwise emerge from the people in a day of tumult and boiling in the servants. All of Roman Gaul was covered with cities, with communes, with their privileges and their curias: at the south Arli, Aix, Carpentrasso, Marseilles, Frejus; to the north Amiens, Auxerre, Tournai, San Quentin. In all of which cities we find the completed establishment of the curia and the municipal magistrates, and there is an entire order of them, and the law Julia municipalia ordered the police in the cities of Gaul  . Rome admitted communities municipal, the free election of citizens, and the colleges of shopkeepers and merchants, and the nautes of the Saone and Duranza had retained great reputation in the glories of the Empire  ; nor had the institutions disappeared at the passage of the conquest and many municipalities had remained standing over the centuries.
In the establishment of the Barbarians there was by chance more order than others do not believe. A sort of division was made: in one place the vanquished are obliged to work the land by means of tax; elsewhere the parties were more equal, the Roman civilization survived, and Clovis, if he wanted to establish the conditions of his government, was obliged to accept the religion of the Romans; the holy legend of Clotilde was like the symbol of this passage of the Franks to Christian customs and habits, and Clotilde was the image of the ancient homeland, before which the head of the Barbarians knelt. Hence, in every place there are, under the first lineage, vestiges of previous institutions. If the Franks went up or rethought they kept their laws, the Romans and the Gauls also kept their prische institutions:Instituta and the Theodosian code  . These studies also influence the laws of the Frankish kings, and it is seen that they have studied the legislation of Rome, the preambles of the edicts of the Merovei, manifesting this inclination towards the codes which have been preserved as traditions among the Gauls subject to Rome. Almost all the formulas are compiled in this spirit , and the Merovingian kings endeavored to bend their proud companions to the milder customs of the vanquished. «The Franks, says Agatia, have for themselves accepted most of the Roman law; they govern themselves with the same laws, they marry in the same fashion as the Romans, they embraced the religion of the latter, but that the Franks are all Christians and Catholics, they have magistrates and bishops in their cities, nor in any other way differ from the Romans, who in the dressing and speaking  . ”
This is a fact which is very important to note, because it establishes and proves the elements which Charlemagne used to accomplish his great work, in which he did not only have to employ Frankish and Germanic civilization, but still invoke the Christian and pontifical strength mixed with the remembrances of Rome. The Greek and Byzantine institutions  also ruled over the Barbarians, and the codex with the basilicasretained their reputation and authority; Gauls, Romans, Franks, all mingled together before the altars in the communion of Christ. The codices served as a basis for councils and capitulars, and we see their vestiges right up to the formulas of the conquerors, who had certain special customs of theirs, which soon became confused. The curias, the municipalities were the principle of the communes; the magistracies were perpetuated under other names, the communities and companies of the arts  remained in conditions almost similar to the ancient ones.
If Gauls and Romans in large numbers found themselves reduced to the status of colonists, the Franks remained free and proud, and here is one of the first distinctions. A stronger fine was the one who had to pay whoever killed a Franco or a Roman, and the victor was exempt from any seriousness, nor was he required to serve with the person in case of war. Except for these distinctions, there were no absolute divisions or separations between the conquering and conquered races; the transition from one welfare state to another was almost insensitive; the Franks marked the subject lands of Germanic tradition only briefly, and the Carolingians were by chance the proudest manifestation of this spirit of conquest. The power of civilization and its wonders is so great that we will see Charlemagne, , the Germanic par excellence, often imprinted his acts and laws of the Roman spirit. Could it be that the final understanding of Charlemagne, suggested to him by the emperors and the popes, was that not to reconstitute the empire of the West on the foundations and traditions of Rome?