Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Medieval Studies

First Advisor

Dr. E. Rozanne Elder

Second Advisor

Dr. Otto Grundler

Third Advisor

Dr. John Wickstrom

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Campus Only


Robert of Turlande founded one of the most celebrated monasteries in medieval Christendom, La Chaise-Dieu. Yet, if mentioned in modern studies of monastic history, Robert is listed as one of the many pre-Cistercian reformers of the eleventh century. To dismiss him as merely "one of the many" is to deny him his place in monastic history.

The study begins with a review of tenth through twelfth century Italian and French reform movements. Chapter Two explains the significance Robert and his monastery have as crucial links between the Italian and French reforms. Chapter Three concludes with a discussion of the Vita of Robert, its author Marbod, bishop of Rennes, and his attempt to establish Robert as a prototype for the new hermits of France and thus La Chaise-Dieu as a model for the new French monasticism.

I conclude that the Casadeen reform movement remains relatively unknown today because monastic historians overlook the unique importance of Robert when they categorize him as simply one of the many eremitical reformers; and pass quickly on to the better known reform centers.

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