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The ‘vigorous rule’ of Bishop Lull: between Bonifatian mission and Carolingian church control

James Palmer

This paper argues that the reputation of St Boniface, one of the ‘founders of Christian Europe’, needs to be understood in relation to the career of  Lull of Mainz, the saint’s pupil and successor. It analyses Lull’s literary, pastoral and missionary interests, as well as his political networks, to illustrate how he helped give form to the legends of Boniface and, in  particular, Willibald’s Vita Bonifatii and the Bonifatian letter collections. Study of the commemoration of Lull, principally in Mainz, Fulda, Hersfeld and Malmesbury, also reveals much about the ways Lull used the cult of Boniface to pursue a ‘vigorous rule’ over his flock in Mainz and in the process alienate many contemporaries.