Perseigne Abbey

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Remains of the abbey church

Perseigne Abbey (French: Abbaye de Perseigne) is a former Cistercian abbey, formally established in 1145 on land given by William III, Count of Ponthieu,[1] and suppressed in 1791 during the French Revolution. It is located in the north of the Sarthe département near to Neufchâtel-en-Saosnois,[2] on the edge of the Perseigne forest, not far from Alençon.

The ruins, comprising a few stretches of wall, have been listed since 1932 as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture.[2]

The abbey was a daughter house of Cîteaux itself; it was of modest importance within the Cistercian Order and founded no daughter houses of its own. Its temporal life was organised in the 12th and 13th centuries around a network of barns that have been discovered by archaeological excavation. Two agricultural buildings have left significant traces.[3]

Intellectual life there flourished particularly in the early days. Between 1165 and 1189, the monk Thomas of Perseigne (also called Thomas le Cistercien) composed his Commentaire du Cantique des Cantiques ("Commentary on the Song of Songs"), which enjoyed great success in the west (there are 87 known copies).[4]

The abbot Adam of Perseigne, author of a vast correspondence,[5] served as the link between the Roman papacy, Cistercian Burgundy and English royalty.[6]

List of abbots (incomplete)[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ the abbey had been in preparation however since 1130, and William's wife Helie of Burgundy died there in 1141/42
  2. ^ a b Ministry of Culture: Abbaye de Perseigne (in French)
  3. ^ Bertrand Doux, "L'abbaye de Perseigne : évolution et gestion d'un patrimoine cistercien dans le Haut-Maine", Les cisterciens dans le Maine et dans l'Ouest au Moyen Âge, Ghislain Baury, Vincent Corriol, Emmanuel Johans et Laurent Maillet (dir.), Annales de Bretagne et des Pays de l'Ouest, v. 120, n° 3, September 2013, p. 65-84.
  4. ^ David N. Bell, "Le Commentaire du Cantique des Cantiques de Thomas de Perseigne revisité", Les cisterciens dans le Maine et dans l'Ouest au Moyen Âge, Ghislain Baury, Vincent Corriol, Emmanuel Johans et Laurent Maillet (dir.), Annales de Bretagne et des Pays de l'Ouest, v. 120, n° 3, September 2013, p. 117-131.
  5. ^ Aurélie Reinbold, "Les cercles de l'amitié dans la correspondance d'Adam de Perseigne (1188-1221)", Les cisterciens dans le Maine et dans l'Ouest au Moyen Âge, Ghislain Baury, Vincent Corriol, Emmanuel Johans et Laurent Maillet (dir.), Annales de Bretagne et des Pays de l'Ouest, v. 120, n° 3, September 2013, p. 87-98.
  6. ^ Laurent Maillet, "Les missions d'Adam de Perseigne, émissaire de Rome et de Cîteaux (1190-1221)", Les cisterciens dans le Maine et dans l'Ouest au Moyen Âge, Ghislain Baury, Vincent Corriol, Emmanuel Johans et Laurent Maillet (dir.), Annales de Bretagne et des Pays de l'Ouest, v. 120, n° 3, September 2013, p. 99-116.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 48°23′26″N 0°15′44″E / 48.39056°N 0.26222°E / 48.39056; 0.26222