The missi dominici (in Latin, “sent of the lord”, in the singular missus dominicus ) are extraordinary envoys of the king mérovingien, become ordinary when Charlemagne in fact of the regular agents of control of the local government (Capitulaire of 802).
The missi go by two - a Laic (Count) and a Clerk (bishop or Abbot) - and are each year assigned to the visit of an area - said missaticum , plural missatica . Their competence is theoretically collective and universal.
HistoryTheir institution goes back from Charles Martel and Pépin the Brief, which send them to check the execution of their kinds. When Pépin becomes king into 751, it sends missi in a disordered way.
Charlemagne makes an element of the administration of it, and a Capitulaire of 802 defines their tasks precisely. They were to return justice, to make respect royal rights, to control the Count S (which were still royal officers), to receive the oaths of allegiance and to supervise the control and the work of the clergy. They were, together, to bring together the civils servant of the district and to explain their functions to them and to point out their civil and religious obligations. In short, they were the representatives of the king or the emperor. The inhabitants of the district were to provide for their subsistence and possibly they led the army to the combat.
Specific instructions were given to the missi , and of many reached us.
The districts placed under the control of the missi , that they were to visit four times in the year, were called missatici or legationes (term which illustrates the analogy with the Légat S of the Pape). They were not permanent civils servant, but they were generally selected among the people of the court and during the reign of Charlemagne of the people of high ranking carried out this work. They were sent in college, normally of two - an ecclesiastic and laic. They were in general foreign with the district which they managed. Moreover, there were extraordinary missi which represented the emperor in special circumstances, and possibly apart from its area. One knows some inspections of missi dominici , such those of Arimodus and Wernerius in 778 or of Leydrade and Théodulfe in 798. Even under the reign of Charlemagne, it was difficult to find men to carry out these functions without partiality, and after its death in 814 that became practically impossible.
As of the time of Louis the Piles, however, the insecurity and the political disturbances give an importance increased to the responsibilities exerted locally. The central government is not any more in a position to ensure a regular control and gives up the sending of missi .
The bond between the king and his large is not due then any more but to the participation of those in the assemblies, which prohibits the king from hearing the possible complaints of the population.
The missi were the last attempt to preserve the control centralized of the Saint Germanic Roman Empire. During the 9th century, the forces which led feudality to make the strongholds hereditary like only means to ensure stability and in particular vis-a-vis the external aggressions, in particular of Viking S.
missiaticaSome missiatica are known:
- In 802:
- In 853, Capitulaire of Separated:
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