Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Scott G. Bruce

Second Advisor

Anne E. Lester

Third Advisor

Paul Sutter


This thesis explores the relationship between eremitic revival in the eleventh century and Gregorian Reform through the themes of itinerancy, preaching, labor, and the environment in the lives of five eleventh-century hermits who operated in eleventh-century Francia. I have focused my study on five lesser-known hermits in order to bring their saints’ lives to the conversation about reform and examine how they contribute to these larger movements. I argue that these hermits ought to be considered local actors in the reform movement. Despite their proclaimed quest for solitude, it was their visibility as hermits, preachers, and pilgrims that ensured their fame and sanctity. Consequently, they were used by their biographers, who elevated them as appropriate models of sanctity, to legitimize and praise reform.