André Vauchez


Prix Balzan 2013 pour l'histoire du Moyen Âge

Projet de recherche

The Cult of Saints in the West in the Latter Centuries of the Middle Ages, Research on Shrines and Religious Life in France and Italy

André Vauchez is Professeur émérite d’histoire du Moyen Âge at the Université de Paris Ouest Nanterre. The second half of his 2013 Balzan Prize in Medieval History is devoted to the endowment of the Fondation André Vauchez pour le développement des recherches en histoire religieuse du Moyen Âge, established under the aegis of the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-lettres in Paris in 2014. It has the aim of assisting researchers in carrying out their projects and advancing their scientific programmes.
It can also provide financial assistance for young researchers under thirty-five years of age who are engaged in doctoral or postdoctoral research. Several projects are currently underway: editing texts related to the religious history of the Middle Ages (thirteenth-fifteenth century); research on sanctuaries and religious life in France and in Italy; publication of works related to religious life and culture in the Middle Ages.
Among the scientific projects that the André Vauchez Foundation has decided to support, some are already well advanced, whereas others have experienced difficulties in getting off to a timely start due to administrative or financial issues.

1) Funds for publication
In 2015, thanks to contributions from the Foundation, the volume by Immacolata Aulisa (University of Bari), Les Juifs dans les récits chrétiens du Moyen Âge, was published by CNRS Editions, and a collection of studies by Geneviève Hasenohr (IRHT-CNRS) entitled Textes de dévotion et lectures spirituelles en langue romane (France, XIIe-XVIe siècle) was published by Brepols.

2) Funds for editing texts and documents
Damien Ruiz corrected the proofs for his critical edition of the Opera omnia of Hugh of Digne, a Franciscan from Provence, with plans for future publication in the series of the International Society of Franciscan Studies in Assisi. He has also undertaken a critical edition of the Sermons of the French Cardinal Hugues de Châteauroux in collaboration with Alexis Charansonnet (Université de Lyon II). About 25% of the texts have been processed.

3) Research programmes
a) Research under the direction of Catherine Vincent (Université de Paris-Ouest-Nanterre) and her collaborators with the aim of compiling an inventory on sanctuaries and pilgrimage sites in France in the Middle Ages (Inventaire des sanctuaires et lieux de pèlerinage en France à l’époque médiévale) is well underway after two years of work, and an agreement has been made with a computer programmer for digitisation and the creation of an Internet site. A programme was developed for the treatment of data already collected.
b) Conventions were ratified with the University of Rome “La Sapienza” in June
2015, but the grant could not be transferred there until November 2015. Hence, the research program on sanctuaries and sacred places in the Sabine region in the Middle Ages, Sanctuaires et espaces sacrés de la Sabine à l’époque médiévale et moderne, got off to a late start, but should catch up quickly. The group in Rome under the directorship of Sofia Boesch Gajano and Umberto Longo held a colloquium on the digitisation of data already collected (Ricerca scientifica e tecnologia digitale) in Rieti on 9 and 10 February 2016.
c) An agreement was signed with CIHAM (CNRS-Université de Lyon II) in order
to draw up an online atlas, the Atlas de la Thébaïde on line, under the direction of Alessandra Malquori (Florence) and Cécile Caby (Université de Lyon II) and Nicole Bériou (IRHT-CNRS). A programme to process data (texts and images) has been developed and tested. This project has the aim of assembling a base of knowledge providing access to figurative themes in representations of hermits in the Tuscan Thébaïdes in connection with other documents (manuscripts and manuscript illumination, the Bible and its commentaries, moral and spiritual texts).

Prospects for 2016
By now, the André Vauchez Foundation has become widely known, and applications for financial aid are flowing in, which is a good sign.
1) Funds for publication
- An application came from Ludovic Viallet (Université de Clermont-Ferrand) to prepare the conference proceedings from Dévotion au Saint-Sépulcre et sanctuaires à réplique à la fin du Moyen Âge, which he organized together with Laura Gaffuri (University of Turin), for publication. It was accepted.
- Assistance was granted to Claudine Delacroix, Professeur Émérite at the University of Amiens, for publishing a volume in memory of Evelyne Patlagean, eminent specialist in the history of medieval Judaism and the religious history of Byzantium (Publications de l’EHESS).
- The André Vauchez Foundation decided to participate in a campaign launched in 2015 by the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, which would enable the library to acquire from its current owners the illuminated manuscript of the Psautier des Dominicaines de Saint-Louis de Poissy, dated to the beginning of the fourteenth century. This contribution, combined with many others, has recently led to the purchase of this document of great importance for the history of female piety in France in the Middle Ages.
2) Funds for editing medieval texts and documents
- Luc Ferrier, project engineer at EHESS, will resume and finish the edition that he had previously started under the direction of André Vauchez on the process of canonisation of Philippe Berruyer, Archbishop of Bourges (†1261), which took place in 1265-66 and was prolonged until 1331 according to manuscripts in the Vatican Library.
- Following the death of Jean-Christophe Cassard, who had agreed to do the project, Laurent Théry and Armelle Le Huérou (Rennes) will resume the study and editing of documents related to the process of canonisation of Charles of Blois, Duke of Brittany (†1364), of which one part, housed in the Archives of the Vatican, is still unpublished. It is a fundamental text for the religious history of Brittany in the fourteenth century.
3) New research programmes
- A research project concerning liturgical manuscripts from the Middle Ages in Italy (Iter liturgicum italicum) was presented by François Bougard, director of the IRHT. He would like to be able to get permission during the year 2016 to use the rich repertory of liturgical manuscripts amassed by Giacomo Baroffio and valorize it by creating an online database with free access. A contribution will be made to this programme.
- Assistance was granted to Ludovic Viallet and Sylvie Duval (former member of the Ecole française in Rome, CIHAM-Lyon II) to launch a research programme on Observance in Europe from the fourteenth to the beginning of the sixteenth century from a comparative point of view, including all of the religious orders. The first stage of this study will be a round table at the end of 2016, with various teams employed in this project, which will be situated in a European perspective.
On the other hand, the project on wall paintings of saints in Alpine regions, Préalpes. Recherches sur les peintures murales des saints dans les régions alpines, could not benefit from assistance from the André Vauchez Foundation because of unfavourable circumstances that currently make it impossible to carry out. All of the works and documents published by the research teams funded by this Foundation must include this citation: published with the support of the Fondation pour le développement des recherches en histoire religieuse du Moyen Âge (André Vauchez, 2013 Balzan Prize). The programmes of the conferences and round tables organised with support from Vauchez’s research project funds must use the logo on the front page and on posters.

Hasenohr, Geneviève. Textes de dévotion et lectures spirituelles en langue romane (France, XIIe-XVIe siècle). Turnhout: Brepols, 2016.
Aulisa, Immacolata. Les Juifs dans les récits chrétiens du Moyen Âge. Paris: CNRS Editions, 2015.


Excerpt from the: The Balzan Prizewinners’ Research Projects: An Overview 2016