Abbo of Provence

Abbo was the Patrician of Provence in opposition to Maurontus in the 730s. He was also rector of Maurienne and Susa. Abbo came from the family of Waldelenus in the Besançon. They controlled the Alpine passes of Susa, Embrun, and Gap.

Abbo assisted Charles Martel and Childebrand in campaigning against Maurontus in 736 and 739 in the lower Rhône Valley. After Maurontus was forced to hide in the Alps, Abbo was appointed patricius and showered with lands confiscated from the defeated. Though Abbo had not aligned with the Arnulfings until relatively late, his lack of heirs assured his quick rise to power. When he died, by his will,[1][2][3] all of his possessions went to his monastic foundation (726, dedicated to Saint Peter), Novalesa Abbey in the Piedmont.

Abbo's will is of immense historical interest for what it indicates about life in Provence in the early eighth century. It mentions, for example, that Abbo held lands by conquest, but very few fortresses, that he had Frankish and Gallo-Roman underlings in a variety of nonfeudal to semifeudal relationships, and that the legal system which the Franks used in that region was almost entirely Roman in character.


  1. Geary, Before France and Germany, 218. His will was composed in 739, and dates itself to the twenty-first year of Charles' government.
  2. Reference to the manuscript of the will: BnF, lat. 13879 (f. 38r-57r) – Cartulaire A de saint Hugues
  3. Digitized version of the will: BnF, lat. 13879 (f. 38r-57r) Bibliothèque nationale de France. Département des manuscrits.


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