Pons of Melgueil

Pons of Melgueil (c. 1075 – 1126) was the seventh Abbot of Cluny from 1109 to 1122. He was descended from a noble lineage of Languedoc which had long supported the Gregorian reform. He himself was a godson of Pope Paschal II.

Pons was elected to succeed Hugh of Semur after the latter's death. For most of his abbacy he continued Hugh's policies: the construction of the third great abbey church of Cluny ("Cluny III"), expansion of the Cluniac order into northern France and England, and mediating the Investiture Controversy between Emperor and Pope.[1] In 1120 Pons reconciled with Pope Calixtus II after a bitter quarrel. The result was the canonisation of Pons's predecessor and the raising of the Diocese of Santiago de Compostela to metropolitan status for the benefit of Pons's friend, Diego Gelmírez.[2]

In 1119 Pons's government was publicly protested by Bérard de Châtillon, the Bishop of Mâcon, and Humbaud, the Archbishop of Lyon. In 1122, on a pretext of extravagance, his own monks challenged his leadership and, receiving no Papal support, Pons was forced to step down.[1] He tried to regain his position in 1125 but was imprisoned, in which state he died. Historians, by and large, have not accepted the official rationale for Pons's removal. Pietro Zerbi argued that he was the victim of opposition from the bishops disadvantaged by the many privileges his order received under his and Hugh's management.[1] Adriaan Bredero believed he was brought down by a faction of reform-minded monks who desired to bring Cluny closer to the ideal of Cîteaux.[1] Financial difficulties had also appeared for Cluny during Pons's abbacy, after Alfonso VI of León defaulted on his pledged annual donations (the so-called "Alfonsine census") in 1111. They did not resume, as the source of the monies, the parias León had been collecting, had dried up c. 1100.[3]


Preceded by
Hugh the Great
Abbot of Cluny
1109–1122, 1126
Succeeded by
Hugh II
Peter the Venerable
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