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Spatial Analysis


This map provides an overview of the geographic scope of Foigny's friendship network superimposed over the episcopal diocese. As you can see, it is highly concentrated in the north-east of modern-day France, although there are a not-insubstantial number of connections to the south. Foigny itself is marked by the yellow cross but, as you will notice on subsequent maps, it is not connected to the network itself. To do so would render the social network visually incomprehensible.

Blois Sub-Network

The first of 6 sub-networks identified by Gephi’s modularity algorithm, the sub-network around Blois is small, with two distinct geographic centers. This geographic spread is the result of feudal ties. The counts of Blois, some of the most powerful nobility in medieval France, were also the hereditary lords of Avesnes during the time in question, which in turn made them suzerain lords over Estrées, Waslers, and Boué. St-Michel-en-Thiérache is a Benedictine foundation near Foigny, with whom it had occasional territorial disagreements, most notably over the forest of Watigny (not shown).

Chimay Sub-Network

The Chimay sub-network is one fairly local to Foigny, and covers a good portion of the north-east of modern France. It is less hub-like than the Blos sub-network, with Chimay acting as the center point of its own network but having many trees off the points immediately associated with it.

Laon Sub-Network

Given the importance of the Laon episcopate to the founding of Foigny, the size and scope of the Laon sub-network is not surprising. Its geographic scope is, however, telling. Instead of seeking out the support of their own local bishop or archbishop, individuals outside of the diocese of Laon who wish to contribute to Foigny seek the support of the local episcopate. In short, the ecclesiastic authority closest to the site in question is the relevant authority, a marked contrast to the Blois network which is entirely based off of feudal ties.

Liège Sub-Network

While not as large as the network around Laon, the network around the nearby prince-bishopric of Liège shows similar characteristics. Here, too, we see a reaching across diocesan lines for support, although not to the same degree as with Laon.

Reims Sub-Network

As befits its archiepiscopal status, the Reims network is large and broadly distributed. Reims is the metropolitan see of Laon, and constitutes a higher authority in the same geographic area. Moreover, as we shall see, Reims had a fairly active role in the crusade in Languedoc, perhaps explaining some of the southern connections.

Ploiart Sub-Network

The smallest network in both size and geographic scope, the Ploiart network seems to represent the feudal ties of the house of Roucy, of which Barthélemy de Jur, the episcopal founder of Foigny, was a member.

Finding Friends
Spatial Analysis