ANSEGIS, an-se'jis (abbreviated form of Ansegisil):


1. The Elder Ansegis: Abbot of Fontanella (St. Wandrille, 15 m. n.n.w, of Rouen); b. in the latter part of the eighth century; d. at Fontanella July 20, 833. He received his first instruction in a cloister-school in the diocese of Lyons, became a monk in the monastery of Fontanella, and was made abbot of St. Germain de Flay, in the diocese of Beauvais, in 807. His energy and good management attracted the notice of Charlemagne, who called him to his court of Aix-la-Chapelle, and put him with Einhard in charge of his building operations. Louis the Pious also held him in great favor, and endowed him in 817 with the abbey of Luxeuil, and in 823 with that of Fontanella. Here he published his collection of Frankish laws, Libri iv. capitularium regum Francorum, which in 829 obtained official authority. Most of these capitularia can be compared with the original documents, and the comparison shows that Ansegis altered very little in the text; but Benedict of Mainz (Benedictus Levita), who, twenty years later, continued the work, made arbitrary, not to say fraudulent, alterations. In the ninth century the work was translated into German, and up to the thirteenth century the German kings took an oath on the book as containing the rights of the realm.


2. The Younger Ansegis became archbishop of Sens in 872; d. Nov. 25, 882. In 876 he was appointed papal vicar in Gaul and Germany, with the right to convoke synods and to act as the representative of the pope in all affairs of the Church. At the synod of Ponthion (876), however, a number of the Frankish bishops refused to acknowledge his authority, and nothing is heard of a real activity on his part as papal vicar. In 877 he seems to have lost the confidence of the pope, and in the following year another papal vicar was appointed. On his tombstone he is called Primus Gallorum Papa, and up to the fifteenth century the Archbishop of Sens was styled Galliæ et Germanorum Primas.