MALE Manassès

Count of Autun, Chalon, Dijon, fl. 894-918.

Manassès appears in 894 and 900 as a supporter of duke Richard of Burgundy ["Per idem tempus Teutboldus Lingonicae urbis episcopus excecatus est a Manasse Ricardi dilecto." Ann. Vedast., s.a. 894, 75; "Manasses, quidam ex fidelibus Ricardi" Ann. Vedast., s.a. 900, 82]. The secondary sources are very inconsistent about the places over which he was count. To give a few examples, he was called count of Avallon by Duchesne [Duchesne (1619), 247], L'Art de vérifier des dates calls him lord of Vergy and count of Chalons, Auxois, Beaune, and Dijon [L'Art, 11: 127], Verneuil called him count of Chalon and Auxois [Verneuil (1876), 30] Poupardin called him count of Dijon [|Poupardin (1901), 343] and count of Chaunois [Poupardin (1907), 206 & n. 2], and Chaume called him count of Chalon, Langres, and Beaune [Chaume (1925), 1: 549]. He is often called "de Vergy", based on Duchesne's 1625 history of the "house" of Vergy (which I have not seen). It was at the location of the castle of Vergy where Manassès was the founder of the monastery of Saint-Vivant ["Dehinc extitit quidam militiæ studiis ac seculi industria clarus vir strenuus Manasses, prædicti scilicet ducis Richardi amicissimus; atque post illum in totius Burgundiæ indeptus ducamine; cujus etiam filius Gislebertus ejusdem Burgundiæ dux postmodum fuit. Qui videlicet Manasses post multa secularis vitæ negotia peracta, suorum memor quærens remedia peccaminum, cum consilio suæ uxoris, Hermengardis nomine, fratrisque sui Walonis Æduorum urbis pontificis, ceterorumque nobilium amicorum suorum, c[oe]pit ædificare monasterium in territorio Augustudunensi, tutissimo in loco montis Vergiaci castri; ..." Vita S. Viventii presbyteri, RHF 9: 131]. In 918, Manassès gave restitution of Tillenay to his brother bishop Walo, which he had usurped ["Walo, superna dispensante miseration, humilis Eduorum episcopus, ...; ... pro fratris nostri Manasse absolutione, ..." Cart. Autun, 36-8 (#23)]. He appears giving his counsel in a charter of duke Richard of Burgundy on 18 May 918 ["... et consilium Manasse ceteroroumque fidelium nostrorum ..." Ronserot (1897), 184 (#13)].

Date of Birth: Unknown.
Place of Birth: Unknown.

Date of Death: 918×920.
Manassès was alive at the time of two charters in 918 (see above), but evidently deceased at the time of bishop Hervé's charter of 31 October 920 (see below), which mentioned Hervé's mother, uncle, and brothers without mentioning his father.
Place of Death: Unknown.

Father: Unknown.
See the Commentary section.

Spouse: Ermengarde, living 924.
Ermengarde appears with her four sons in a charter of bishop Hervé on 31 October 920 (see below), and she appears with her son Giselbert in a charter dated June 924 ["... Ermengardis comitisse et deo devote, seu filii ejus Gisleberti comitis illustris, ...; S. Ermengardis que fieri et firmare rogavit. S. Gisleberti qui consensit." Cart. S.-Marcel-lès-Chalon, 28-9 (#27)].


MALE Walo, living 924.
Walo appears as a son of Ermengarde in Hervé's charter of 31 October 920 (see below). Along with his brother Giselbert, he was opposing his uncle Rainard in 924 ["... hoc Raginardus invaserat ac retinebat. Hortatu tamen nepotum suorum, Walonis et Gisleberti, ceterorumque quos rex ad id expugnandum miserat, obsidem regi filium suum transmisit;" Flodoard, Annales, s.a. 924, 21]

MALE Giselbert, d. 8 April 956, duke of Burgundy, m. Ermengarde.

MALE Manassès, count, living 925.
Manassès appears as a son of Ermengarde in Hervé's charter of 920 (see below). He was evidently the count Manassès who fought against the Norsemen in 925 when they ravaged Burgundy [Flodoard, Annales, s.a. 925, 26].

MALE Hervé, d. ca. 929, bishop of Autun.
A charter of Hervé, bishop of Autun ["Heriveus ejusdem miseratione humilis Eduorum episcopus"], dated 31 October 920, mentioned his mother Ermengarde and his brothers ["dilectæ genetricis nostræ domnæ Hirmingardis venerabilis comitissæ et fratrum nostrorum"], his avunculus bishop Walo ["domnus Walo, pius presul et noster avunculus"], and was signed by his mother and brothers ["Hirmingardis Dei misericordia comitissa firmavit. Signum Walonis filii ejus. Signum Gisleberti filii ejus alterius. Signum Manassæ filii ejus." Cart. Autun, 42-4 (#26); see also RHF 9: 717-8].

FEMALE Ermengarde, m. Liétaud, count of Mâcon.
The names of the parents of Ermengard appear in a charter of 935, in which count Liétaud and his wife Ermengarde gave the names of their parents ["... ego Leotaldus, Dei gratia comes, necnon et uxor mea Ermengardis, pro Dei amore et eterna retributione, ut pius Dominus animas nostras vel parentum nostrorum, Alberici atque Tolosane, Manassei et Ermengardis, ..." Cart. Cluny, 1: 420 (#432); for the date, see ibid., 421, n. 1]. Although the identification is not directly documented, there does not seem to be any reason to doubt that Ermengarde's parents Manassès and Ermengarde were the same individuals as the present Manassès and his wife.


Rainard (Ragenardus), fl. 924, viscount of Auxerre.
["Erat autem ea tempestate vir quidam potens Ragenardus nomine, ejusdem civitatis vicecomes, ... Manasse ejus germano ...; ... isdem Ragenardus ..., Manasses frater ejus potentissimus ..." Gesta pontificum Autissiodorensium, c. 42, Bib. Hist. Yonne, 1: 367-8] Flodoard refers to two sons of Manassès, Walo and Giselbert, as his nepotes ["... hoc Raginardus invaserat ac retinebat. Hortatu tamen nepotum suorum, Walonis et Gisleberti, ceterorumque quos rex ad id expugnandum miserat, obsidem regi filium suum transmisit;" Flodoard, Annales, s.a. 924, 21].

Walo, d. 918×920, bishop of Autun.
In 918, bishop Walo obtained restitution of land of Tillenay from his brother Manassès, which the latter had usurped ["Walo, superna dispensante miseration, humilis Eduorum episcopus, ...; ... pro fratris nostri Manasse absolutione, ..." Cart. Autun, 36-8 (#23)]. He was succeeded as bishop by his nephew Hervé, who referred to him as avunculus in a charter of 31 October 920 (see above).

Manno, fl. 18 October 910.
Manno appears on 18 October 910, giving his consent to a charter of his brother Manassès ["Ego Manasses comes hanc cartam traditionis feci et propria manu firmavi subscriptorumque manibus firmare precepi. Signum Mannonis, fratris ejus, qui consensit et firmavit." Ronserot (1897), 184 (#12)].


Conjectured mother (unproven): NN, sister of Richard, duke of Burgundy, and of Boson, king of Provence.

Conjectured father-in-law (unproven): Boson, king of Provence.

These two conjectures are based on two different, and mutually contradictory, interpretations from a now lost manuscript, containing the Series abbatum Flaviniacensium. It was printed in 1657 by Philippe Labbe from a manuscript which was lost in the seventeenth century, and reprinted from Labbe in Monumenta Germaniae Historica in 1848 [MGH SS 8: 502-3], which indicates an illegible section equivalent to a little more than three lines of printed text which were indicated only by dotted lines [ibid., 502, lines 37-40], a section which includes the passage of interest here. In 1968, Eduard Hlawitschka pointed out an earlier transcript of the Series, by André Duchesne, which contained the passage "Richardus dux et Ingelbertus Walonem fratrem Manasserii comitis genitos ex sorore Richardi ducis successorem jusserunt ordinari." [Hlawitschka (1968), 242, n. 4, citing Bibliothèque nationale de France, Collection Baluze 57, fol. 210r. (not seen by me)]. From this, Hlawitschka concluded that Manassès was a son of a sister of duke Richard [ibid., 242]. Following Hlawitschka, Bouchard also noted the passage and accepted his genealogical conclusion [Bouchard (2001), 193]. In a followup article (which I have not seen) Hlawitschka quoted Duchesne's marginal notation regarding the word genitos: "id legi g'tos, id est genitos, seu q g'ti s', id est qui geniti sunt" (where g' indicates g with an acute mark of abbreviation, and s' indicates s with a bar over it, also indicating abbreviation) [reading courtesy of Peter Stewart, Stewart (2008), quoting from Hlawitschka (1970)]. Bouchard quoted this marginal notation as "Videtur legere genitos, id est genibus, seu qui generi fratris, id est qui geniti sunt." [Bouchard (2001), 193] However, Hlawitschka's reading, which makes more sense, is to be preferred. Bouchard also noted that a variant of the same passage had been published in 1625 in Duchesne's Histoire généalogique de la maison de Vergy, which contained the following passage (with some of the words crossed out in ink in virtually all surviving copies of the book): "Richardus dux et Ingelbertus Walonem fratrem Manasserii comitis qui gener erat B. fratris Richardi ducis successorem jusserunt ordinari." [Bouchard (2001), 192-3, citing Duchesne (1625), preuves, 17 (not seen by me)]. This is the source of the claim, followed by some [e.g., Chaume (1925), 1: 266, n. 2, 545, 549], that Manassès's wife Ermengarde was a daughter of king Boson of Provence. In the absence of further evidence, it is difficult to accept either of these versions. It appears that the manuscript was already partially illegible by the time Duchesne was writing, and it is not clear that the surviving transcripts are sufficient to deduce the contents of the missing manuscript with confidence.

Conjectured father (onomastically based - no other evidence): Giselbert, fl. 877, 885, count of Condroz.
This conjecture appears in one of Chaume's genealogical tables, and appears to be based mainly on the fact that Manassès had a son named Giselbert [Chaume (1925), 549 (Table 11)]. The existence of Chaume's count Giselbert of Condroz is based on the appearance of a Giselbert in the Capitulary of Quierzy on 11 June 877 [MGH Leg 1: 539], and on the appearance of a count Giselbert in a donation of emperor Charles "the Fat" involving land in Condroz on 6 September 885 [see Parisot (1898), 480, n. 1; Vanderkindere (1902), 2: 265, n. 5], but it is not even clear that the Giselberts in these two records should be identified as the same person, or that they are distinct from Giselberts appearing in other records. Chaume would make the Giselbert of 11 June 877 and 6 September 885 a son of Giselbert, count of Darnau, and a grandson of Giselbert, count of Masau, while others would identify all three Giselberts [see the Commentary section of the page of Regnier I for more]. There does not seem to be any good reason to accept this conjecture.

Supposed father (doubtful): Thierry, d. October 883, count of Chalon.
L'Art de vérifier des dates states that Duchesne gives this parentage [L'Art, 11: 127], and Verneuil states it without any citation [Verneuil (1876), 27].

Falsely attributed father: Manassès.
This error appears in the Medieval Lands website, and is based on a charter which is mentioned in the Chronicle of Saint-Bénigne de Dijon ["Manasses comes ... Walo filius eius et Manasses comes iunior" Chron. S.-Bénigne, 118]. Medieval Lands erroneously interprets the Walo of this charter as being the elder of the two Walos, thereby giving an otherwise unknown count Manassès as the father of the count Manassès who died 918×920 and his brothers. However, it seems clear that the Walo and Manassès junior of the charter were sons of the Manassès who died 918×920.


Ann. Vedast. = B. de Simson, ed., Annales Xantenses et Annales Vedastini (MGH SRG 12, 1909), 41-82.

L'Art = L'Art de vérifier des dates (1818 edition).

Bib. Hist. Yonne = Louis-Maximilien Duru, ed., Bibliothèque historique de l'Yonne, 2 vols., (Auxerre & Paris, 1850-63).

Bouchard (2001) = Constance Brittain Bouchard, "Those of my Blood" Constructing Noble Families in Medieval Francia (Philadelphia, 2001).

Cart. Autun = A. de Charmasse, ed., Cartulaire de l'église d'Autun (Paris & Autun, 1865).

Cart. Cluny = A. Bernard & A. Bruel, Recueil des chartes de l'abbaye de Cluny, 6 vols., (Paris, 1876-1903).

Cart. S.-Marcel-lès-Chalon = Paul Canat de Chizy, ed., Cartulaire du prieuré de Saint-Marcel lès-Chalon (Chalon-sur-Saône, 1894).

Chaume (1925) = Maurice Chaume, Les origines du duché de Bourgogne, 4 vols. (Dijon, 1925).

Chron. S.-Bénigne = E. Bougaud, ed., Chronique de l'abbaye de Saint-Bénigne de Dijon (Dijon, 1875).

Duchesne (1619) = André Duchesne (du Chesne), Histoire des roys, ducs, et comtes de Bourgogne et d'Arles (Paris, 1619).

Duchesne (1625) = André Duchesne, Histoire généalogique de la maison de Vergy (Paris, 1625). [I have not seen this work]

Flodoard, Annales = Ph. Lauer, ed., Les Annales de Flodoard (Paris, 1905).

Hlawitschka (1968) = Eduard Hlawitschka, Lotharingen und das Reich an der Schwelle der deutschen Geschichte (Schriften der MGH 21, Stuttgart, 1968).

Hlawitschka (1970) = Eduard Hlawitschka, "Textkritisches zur Series abbatum Flaviniacensium", in Landschaft und Geschichte: Festschrift für Franz Petri (Bonn, 1970). [Not seen by me]

Medieval Lands = Medieval Lands website (Burgundian nobility page),

MGH Leg. = Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Leges series.

MGH SRG = Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Scriptores rerum Germanicarum (separate editions).

MGH SS = Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Scriptores series.

Parisot (1898) = Robert Parisot, Le Royaume de Lorraine sous les Carolingiens (1898, reprinted Geneva, 1975).

Poupardin (1901) = René Poupardin, Le royaume de Provence sous les Carolingiens (Paris, 1901).

Poupardin (1907) = René Poupardin, Le royaume de Bourgogne (888-1038) - Étude sur les origines du royaume d'Arles (Paris, 1907).

RHF = Recueil des historiens des Gaules et de la France.

Ronserot (1897) = Alphonse Ronserot, "Charter idédites des IXe et Xe siècles appartenant aux archives de la Haute-Marne (851-973)", Bulletin de la Société des Sciences Historiques et Naturelles de l'Yonne 51.1 (1897), 161-207.

Stewart (2008) = Peter Stewart, "Link between Burgundy and Chalon", posting to soc.genealogy.medieval, 13 March 2008.

Vanderkindere (1902) = Léon Vanderkindere, La Formation Territoriale des Principautes Belge au Moyen Age (2 vols., 2nd ed., Brussels, 1902, reprinted 1981).

Verneuil (1876) = "Le comté de Chalon, le Charollais, et la ville de Paray-le-Monial", Annales de l'Académie de Mâcon 15 (1877), 3-200.

Compiled by Stewart Baldwin

First uploaded 24 April 2008, with thanks to Todd Farmerie and Peter Stewart, for comments on Bouchard (2001) on soc.genealogy.medieval.

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