Page:The Normans in European History.djvu/182

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

168

NORMANS IN EUROPEAN HISTORY

lieve his fellow-bishops, but proud of his Latin style and his knowledge of law and prodigal of letters to the Pope. Their contemporaries continue to owe their promotion to service as chaplains or chancellors to the king, but they also have an eye toward Rome and must be canonists as well as secular officials. The contrast between Becket the king's chancellor and Becket the archbishop of Canterbury is symptomatic of the new age, although the conflict to which it led affected Normandy but indirectly. Relations with the lay power which once rested on local Norman custom come to be formulated in the sharper terms of the canon law of the universal church; appeals to Rome and instructions from Rome increase rapidly in volume and importance; the Norman clergy attend assemblies of the clergy of neighboring lands; and by the end of the Plantagenet period the Norman church is ready to be absorbed into the church of France.

Respecting the daily life and conversation of the cathedral and parish clergy the twelfth century is silent, save for the condemnations of particular evils in the councils of the province. From the middle of the thirteenth century, however, Normandy furnishes us, in the diary of visitations kept by the archbishop of Rouen, Eudes Rigaud, a picture of manners and morals which for authenticity and fulness of detail has probably no parallel in mediæval Europe; and one is tempted to carry back two or three generations his description of the