Throughout the ninth and tenth centuries the look and language of West Frankish royal charters were extraordinarily stable. This changed with dramatic suddenness under Robert the Pious (987/996-1031). Among the most important changes in his precepts is the appearance of third-party subscriptions. Historians have seen this as evidence of Robert’s weakness or of more pragmatic uses of writing. Here it is argued that they were an expression of Robert’s distinctive Christian devotion, developed through his exposure to contemporary monastic reform, and that the same complex of ideas that led Robert to introduce third-party subscriptions in his acts also led him to support the Peace of God.

Tout au long du neuvième et dixième siècles, la forme et la langue des chartes royales du royaume des Francs furent extraordinairement stables. Le règne de Robert le Pieux amorça un changement soudain. Un des changements les plus notables fut l’introduction de souscriptions de tiers, que les historiens ont généralement interprétée comme une preuve de la faiblesse de Robert le Pieux ou d’un usage plus pragmatique de l’écriture. Cet article avance que les souscriptions de tiers étaient l’expression de la dévotion chrétienne de Robert le Pieux, forgée au contact des moines réformateurs, ce qui expliquerait aussi son soutien à la Paix de Dieu.

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