Page:A book of the Cevennes (-1907-).djvu/385

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
289
LODÈVE

where they constitute the picturesque passage of l'Escalette.

The castle is mentioned in records from 790; it is called Castrum Morelinum, or Morazios Villa; Mourezés in 1625, and Mourèze in 1659.

The church, of two bays, has a seven-sided apse, and is of the thirteenth century. It is vaulted, and has no aisles. The tower is square.

The train will take one to Lodève, an ancient cathedral city, and before that a Roman Castrum Luteva. Paris was also a Luteva.

When Charlemagne completed the expulsion of the Arabs out of Septimania, he made of Lodève a county under his empire, and granted considerable privileges to the bishops.

There arose by degrees three powers to dispute possession of the land, the Municipality, the Count, and the Bishop, representing the people, the aristocracy, and the clergy. The history of Lodève is thenceforth a history of their conflicts for pre-eminence. In the tenth century arose a man who gave a new direction to affairs. Hitherto the counts had retained the mastery; now the Church would attempt to grapple with their power.

This man was Fulcran, who ascended the episcopal throne at the age of thirty in 947. He was noted for his beauty, for his grace of manner towards all men, so that, although a member of a noble family, he was greatly beloved by the common people. He wrote nothing; he was above all an orator and a man of action. He began to build a tower to his cathedral. The Count Eldin, who occupied the Castle of Montbrun, ordered him to pull it down. Fulcran refused.