Peace in the desert, peace in the realm: the Carthusian monastery of Durbon, protection and the safeguard of exempt monasteries in Angevin Provence


Shaul, Hollis


Durbon O.Cart. (protectio proprietatis)


“Through a case study of the Carthusian monastery of Durbon in Angevin Provence around the year 1300, this article explores the usage of the legal mechanism of safeguard by exempt monasteries. Though exempt monasteries and royal authorities were often at odds in fourteenth-century Europe, the safeguard allowed monasteries to seek royal protection for their property without relying upon or admitting subservience to lesser lords or bishops. By appealing to the count-king’s love of peace, Durbon secured the aid of a regional powerhouse, while maintaining claims to pristine ecclesiastical liberty. By inviting royal administrators to police its rural property, Durbon offered the Angevins a foothold in a strategically important yet previously impervious region. The safeguard functioned both as a representation of the king as peacemaker and as a tool for political centralisation, expanding royal jurisdiction and the temporal power of exempt monasteries at the expense of local elites and their tenants”.