Episode 7: The Peasant Rusticus
Hello boys and girls, and welcome to Episode 7 of Thugs and Miracles. As we’ve seen in the first six episodes, I normally like to start off by introducing a grand story from one of the monarchs that we’re discussing and then break that story down to better understand what was happening in the region that set the conditions for that scene to happen. This week, however, we’re going to alter that approach, just for an episode, because this week it’s my great honor to work with David Powell, an alumnus of Villanova University. David spent his graduate studies focused on the evolution of late antique and early medieval urban and suburban morphology in Western Europe, and in particular Gaul, making him the perfect person to talk to about some of the dynamics that were taking place in the late 5th and early 6th centuries. One of his papers, edited here for length, discusses in brilliant detail the life of the common person at this time and makes for a nice understanding of the world we’re looking at from an angle other than top down. So this week, we’ll be looking up at the long-haired kings as they parade themselves in front of us, and we’ll be wondering what the arrival of Clovis in Paris really meant for a peasant – Rusticus, in this case, as David named his fictional peasant – whose life was so hyper-local that the thought of visiting the sea, even from Paris, would have seemed an unimaginable journey. This week, we’ll try to understand what it felt like for a normal person to live in a time of Thugs and Miracles.
Episode Seven: The Peasant Rusticus - Life near Paris in the Time of Clovis
Text from here on courtesy of David Powell:
History, wrote the late Eileen Power, ―is largely made up of Bodos. With that final sentence of her essay on Bodo, a Carolingian-era peasant near Paris, Power announced the arrival of the common man on the scene of popular historiography, a genre that was then dominated by examinations of famous men and their deeds. Among medievalists, Power needs little introduction. Medieval People, her most famous and popular work, has had ten editions and numerous reprints since its original publication in 1924. The first of its profiles was titled, ―The Peasant Bodo: Life on a Country Estate in the time of Charlemagne, and remains a common fixture on the reading lists of history undergraduates. Bodo was an unlikely revolutionary. A dutiful serf on an ecclesiastical estate, the most rebellious thought Power attributes to him is a wish that the [estate] house and all its land were at the bottom of the sea, expressed as he shivers and shakes the rime from his beard while plowing the abbot’s fields on a midwinter morning. It was in expressing such feelings at all, if only through the speculations of an historian writing eleven centuries later, that Bodo became an early standard bearer for the masses of so-called ordinary people and their everyday lives that have so thoroughly occupied generations of social historians since Power’s time. These efforts have benefited modern readers by giving new illumination, color, and depth to narratives that were once rendered in flatly political, military, or economic hues.
Historians of northern Gaul’s murkier past might wish they had a Bodo of their own to present to their students; someone who could, through a similar snapshot of his material world, comment on the great debates that have been churning through the field’s literature since Edward Gibbon published The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire in 1776. When Roman power receded from the region, what happened to the people who were left behind? Did they, in fact, regard themselves as having been left behind, or did they continue to lead some sort of Roman life? Was life in northern Gaul Roman enough to begin with that the absence of a Roman state would have made a significant difference to most people? What of the infamous barbarians who, in the popular narrative, brought down the grand but sclerotic edifice of Roman civilization in a wave of violent conquests throughout the fifth century? How barbaric were they, in practice? In short, what might an early 6th century Bodo tell us about northern Gaul’s transition from a province in a transcontinental empire, where his ancestors were citizens, to the proto-French backcountry where the actual Bodo lived?
Our proposed Bodo antecedent will be called Rusticus. For the sake of expediency, he’ll henceforth be referred to as though he had actually existed. So who, then, was Rusticus? He was, among other things, a resident of a region that had, at the beginning of the previous century, been a part of the Roman Empire for nearly 450 years. Ammianus Marcellinus, a former military officer who had once served in Gaul, offers a glimpse of how the provincials of Gaul were perceived by the educated classes of the imperial core during the late Empire. Writing in Rome around 390, he describes them as physically formidable, well-suited to military service, and sometimes prone to alcoholism, but also as possessing a certain self-respect. Though hardened by cold and by incessant toil (a description that Bodo, with his rime-caked beard, would have recognized), even the most destitute were clean and neat...throughout the whole region. This, he tells us, was in contrast to most of the empire, where the poor were dirty and in rags. To Ammianus, the people of Gaul may have been rustics, but they were more civilized—and thus more Roman—than most other Roman provincials.
More than a century later, however, how Roman was Rusticus? By modern reckoning, he was certainly not a citizen of a Roman Empire. Imperial control of northern Gaul, including Paris, had steadily ebbed since a large group of migrating Germanic peoples crossed the Rhine River, Gaul’s northeastern frontier, in 406. For Rusticus (or, more likely, for his father), perhaps a last vestige of actual Roman state authority had been wiped away in 486, when the Salian Franks defeated Syagrius, a Gallo-Roman military leader whose territory, based in Soissons, some fifty miles to the northeast, is believed to have encompassed Paris. Of course, Rusticus’s cultural identity was not defined solely by the presence or absence of a state, but it is a reasonable place to start.
‘Consul or Augustus’
By Bodo’s time, Paris’s status would return to something close to what it had been under the Romans. That is, it would decline in importance. While not a backwater, precisely, the Paris of the early 9th century was a town of secondary importance in the Carolingian kingdom, much as Lutetia Parisiorum had been in Roman Gaul. Rusticus, however, lived at the start of an era that foreshadowed Paris’s future as one of the world’s leading cities. Clovis, the first Christian king of the Franks, had just made Paris the seat of his kingdom—and thus, arguably, second only to Rome as the most important city in western Europe. The most influential source in our understanding of Clovis—and 6th century Gaul in general—is the Historia Francorum (“History of the Franks”) by Gregory of Tours. Gregory is a problematic source for Clovis, most obviously because he wrote more than half a century after Clovis’s death in 511, but also because his qualifications as a historian have been questioned by modern scholars. Guy Halsall compares the use of Gregory for early medieval history of north Gallic towns to “writing a history of late Tudor London from the props box of the Globe Theatre.” Be that as it may, his narrative is the only one that survives. Gregory’s account depicts a violent warlord who worships pagan deities and, after defeating Syagrius, allows his troops to plunder the region’s churches. His conversion to Christianity takes place under duress; he resists the entreaties of his wife to convert until a desperate fight against a rival Germanic people, the Alamanni, inspires him to make a battlefield conversion in exchange for victory. Through a combination of conquest and subterfuge, Clovis eliminates all of his rivals to the Frankish throne, including many members of his extended family. Some he executes personally by cleaving their skulls with his axe. When all other visible contenders for the kingship have been eliminated, Clovis publicly bemoans his familial solitude in a ploy to find some relative in the land of the living whom he could kill. He is, seemingly, the archetype of the violent barbarian ruler. In the midst of all the bloodletting, though, Gregory shows us a different Clovis. Arriving in Tours after defeating the Visigoths and expanding his domain over most of Gaul, Clovis stages his own coronation at the shrine of St. Martin, one of the holiest sites in western Europe, outside of Rome: He stood clad in a purple tunic and the military mantle, and he crowned himself with a diadem. He then rode out on his horse and with his own hand showered gold and silver coins among the people present all the way from the doorway of St. Martin’s church to Tours cathedral. From that day on he was called Consul or Augustus. The question of which, if any, official Roman titles Clovis actually received has never been settled (though we can safely assume that “Augustus” was not among them). A more useful question is what need an all-conquering, axe-wielding barbarian warlord would have for Roman titles and pomp. One plausible idea that has been advanced is that Clovis was competing for status with Theodoric the Ostrogoth, who then ruled Italy with the blessing of the remaining Roman emperor in Constantinople. Another, more compelling answer requires a return to Rusticus.
The Clovis who donned the imperial purple at St. Martin’s shrine in 507 was not merely posing for the benefit of Theodoric and the emperor Anastasius. He was giving notice to his subjects that for the first time in generations, they lived under the aegis of a man who was capable of ruling and defending his territory in the ancient manner. It is reasonable, then, to imagine that the entourage of the new “Clovis Augustus” indulged in a certain amount of ceremony as it arrived in Paris to establish the new capital. The resulting commotion might initially have given Rusticus, out working in the field, a scare. Should he take cover? Did he have time to run to his house and retrieve his family? Which belongings could he carry easily? Once he perceived that there was no immediate danger, he would have joined his gathering neighbors to watch the remarkable sight of a Frankish king progress up the old Roman road from Tours. They would have whispered amongst themselves about his bizarrely long hair and mustache, which would have drawn attention in any event but looked even stranger with a diadem and imperial purple cloak. Rusticus would recall the news of the coronation, which seemed a distant and irrelevant piece of information at the time, and look upon his new ruler with nervous awe. Would he have been filled with hope or dread? In material terms, did the new king matter to Rusticus’s life at all?
A sliding scale of domination and subordination
An attempt to answer Rusticus’s question requires a closer examination of what is meant by describing Rusticus as a “peasant.” Rusticus was not a slave, at least not in the Roman mode. The evidence for agricultural slave labor in Gaul is very limited, particularly after the 2nd century. What slaves remained by the beginning of the fifth century in Gaul seem to have been engaged in domestic service for the rich. Slaves seem to have remained relatively rare in the early Merovingian period, despite references to them in the law codes. Rusticus was not, however, “free” in a modern, Western sense. He occupied a spot on what’s been aptly described as “a sliding scale of domination and subordination,” on which absolute servitude and absolute freedom were the terminal ends. This scale had many gradations and was subject to great regional variation. It is sufficient for current purposes to begin by grouping Gaul’s population at the beginning of the fifth century into three very broad economic categories: slaves, free people without land, and free people with land. Proposing what it meant to be a northern Gallic peasant a century later requires a brief look at the later two. During the late Roman republic and early empire, free rural laborers typically agreed to short-term sharecropping contracts with landholders. After the emperor Diocletian took charge of a late third century empire on the verge of economic dissolution, landlords were required to register these tenant farmers, or coloni, on tax rolls, thus identifying the tenant as “part of a chain of responsibility for the taxes of the land.” The length of the contracts grew. At the turn of the fifth century, landowners in Gaul were legally entitled to the services of their tenants for a period of thirty years. Together with laws that authorized the chaining of runaway tenants – in the same manner as if they were slaves – and other laws that required sons to pursue the professions of their fathers, membership in the colonate became effectively hereditary. On the other hand, most coloni were not responsible for actually paying any taxes themselves. That fell to the landowners. The more land one owned, it seems, the more flexibility one had in dealing with tax collectors. Smaller independent farmers faced a hard deadline. Ammianus regarded the disadvantageous terms reserved for poor freeholders as a matter of common knowledge. According to Ammianus, the poor had to pay their annual tax burden in full at the beginning of each year. Deferments, installments, or other alternate arrangements were not available. Given this, it is easy to understand why Julian inspired “everywhere...dances of joy” when he lowered the annual per capita tax in Gaul from 25 to 7 gold pieces. The relief was temporary. The praetorian prefect of Gaul regarded his authority to enforce levies as such a fundamental prerogative that when Julian attempted to overrule him in 357, he wrote a letter of complaint to the Emperor Constantius, who admonished Julian. Julian persuaded Constantius with his own letter and won that particular dispute, but it is reasonable to conclude that later prefects of Gaul remained quick to assert full authority over the provincial tax apparatus whenever it was expedient to do so.
When one looks for economic powers that remained prominent in late fifth century Gaul, one in particular stands out. There is a significant chance that Rusticus, like Bodo, would have worked on land owned by the Roman Catholic Church, whose landholdings in the late Empire dwarfed those of every other entity but the imperial fisc. Clovis’s conversion to Christianity and amicable relations with the regional clergy are positive indicators for the church’s ability to retain or even expand these holdings after the departure of the Roman state. As with so much else in northern Gaul c. 500, it is impossible to know the extent of church landholdings around Paris. However, we know from a letter written by Sidonius Apollinaris in 474 that Patiens, then bishop of Lyon, was able “to distribute corn to the destitute throughout all the ruined land of Gaul at [his] own expense,” so effectively that Sidonius, writing from landlocked Clermont, “saw the roads encumbered with [Patiens’s] grain carts.” Clovis would have had little reason to meddle with Rusticus, particularly if he were a tenant of church land, but Rusticus was not without grounds for concern. Chris Wickham notes that under the late Empire, laws governing the colonate were often trumped by “local customs, local parameters for social action, and, above all, local power relations.” By the start of the sixth century, this principle would have been still more applicable to whichever features of late Roman rural hierarchies had persisted into Rusticus’s time. The earliest segments of the body of Frankish law, the Pactus Legis Salicae (The Laws of the Salian Franks), are generally believed to have been codified near the beginning of the sixth century, during Clovis’s reign. That Clovis recognized a need for a Latin codification of Germanic law suggests that he was inclined to make use of any existing Roman customs and practices that suited his purposes. On the other hand, the law codes leave little doubt as to the status of Romans versus their new neighbors.
The life of a “free Frank or other barbarian who lives by Salic law” was worth twice that of “a Roman landholder who is not a table companion of the king.” A section “concerning homicides committed by a band of men” equates “Romans” with “half-free men or servants” and levies a murder fine half of that charged to persons found guilty of attacking a freeman. There are numerous penalties specified for bondsmen and half-free men who leave their appointed places without permission, and for persons who entice them to do so, while a full section is dedicated to the conditions under which a man may settle in a particular village. Though it’s uncertain whether these particular laws were codified during Clovis’s time, it is likely that “free” status, were it available to Rusticus, would have been no guarantee of either freedom to move or of freedom from violence.
With this context in mind, let us begin an exploration of Rusticus’s Paris, where he lived along with a smattering of neighbors in sunken huts of thatch-and-post construction. Rusticus did not go into town every day, but he was going today, because his wife wanted to plant a new garden and her bush hook had proved too dull to remove the brambles. A friend had told him that a small group of traveling craftsmen and merchants had arrived on the river the previous afternoon. Perhaps one of them could sharpen it. Bush hook in hand, he headed up a foot trail that led to the southwest road. As he approached the road, he passed between a pair of small, overgrown pagan mausoleums, making the sign of the Cross as he did so. To the right, two days’ journey on foot, was Chartres, and Tours was two days further on. Rusticus proceeded to the other side of the road and onto the old decumanus, which had once been the east-west street of the Roman town.
Like most people he knew, Rusticus was slightly suspicious of outsiders. Before visiting the travelers, he would stop and ask others whether they were the right sort for doing business. He paid no attention to the road surface, a mixture of packed dirt, broken paving stones, and clumps of brush that reflected the street’s deprecated importance. Nobody lived at the west end of the decumanus anymore, and empty foundations marked the spots where buildings had once stood. Some of the foundations now housed carefully cultivated gardens. The building materials had long since been scavenged for use in other homes, some of which Rusticus now approached. They were of similar construction to his own hut, but they had been able to make some use of the remains of the brick and stone Roman structures that had preceded them. Some of these remains were loose spolia, taken from disused buildings elsewhere in the settlement. Other structures had integrated in situ remains such as walls and entryways in such a way that a well-traveled contemporary who squinted might imagine he was on a side street in Arles, or perhaps even Rome. The road was better maintained here, but the repairs were a piecemeal affair. There, part of a funerary monument (perhaps lifted from one of the pagan mausoleums Rusticus had passed) was used as a paving stone, while an inscription honoring a long- forgotten decurion was the front step of someone’s home. Rusticus may have had a vague notion that the street had once looked a bit grander, but it was not a thought that would have stayed with him as he dodged a passel of small children playing a game that their modern counterparts would recognize as “monkey in the middle.” A bit further up the hill, Rusticus approached the center of old Roman Paris, where the east-west decumanus met the north-south kardo. The latter still served as the main road into town. On Rusticus’s right was the old forum, which had once been the town’s central space for public congregation and the undisputed center of civic life. Like most Gallic fora, it had featured a basilica, which played a role roughly akin to that of a modern city hall, and a pagan temple. Now it was mostly a ruin. A few wooden huts squatted beneath the remnants of the old porticos; these probably housed beggars or recent arrivals. The remains of the temple had been converted into a crude Christian chapel to ensure that the old “demons” who had once inhabited it would be unable to reclaim the space. There was no room for exiled gods in the towns. Rusticus, though Christian, knew not to speak openly of the hollow tree with the face-like knots that stood between his home and the river. It was there, as a small child, that his father had taught him to make offerings for good weather. The Roman town fathers were gone, but the forum’s location at the old cross streets meant that its northeast corner, at least, remained an informal meeting place for people going hither and thither, whether they were going home, to the Île de la Cité, or to work the fields beyond the edges of town. Rusticus would soon encounter someone he knew, perhaps someone already engaged in conversation, and ask whether they’d heard anything about the merchants on the boat. Whether he was speaking with his family, his neighbors, or his betters, it is safe to assume that Rusticus would have spoken Latin. By itself, however, that description is insufficient, for the Latin of Rusticus would have immediately marked him as a country bumpkin to anyone in Rome, or even to those in the urban centers of southern Gaul. Evolved in a region where echoes of the pre-Roman, Celtic language would still be audible to Gregory of Tours, decades later, Rusticus’s Latin was a far cry from that displayed by his erudite near-contemporary, Sidonius Apollinaris. It was still further removed from the classical Latin that has come down to us from Cicero, Virgil, and other literary giants of Roman antiquity. It was, perhaps, no more closely related to that rarefied tongue than to the Germanically seasoned Latinesque stew from which Old French was just beginning to emerge in Bodo’s time. One of Rusticus’s acquaintances knew of someone who’d purchased supplies from one of the craftsmen, and directed Rusticus to the foreman of a building site across the kardo from the forum. It was there that the blessed Genevieve, who’d once deflected the Huns through force of prayer, had been entombed just a few years earlier. In Roman times, entombing someone within the settlement would have been highly unusual, but hopeful Christian ideas about the temporary nature of death had helped to erode old taboos about living among the dead. One of Clovis’s first actions upon entering the environs of the city would have been to pay homage at the tomb of the saint who his father, though pagan, had known and respected. Now, Clovis was replacing the small shrine erected by the locals with a great church in her honor. The structure being raised by the laborers might not have impressed a modern observer. Paris’s Pantheon, which replaced the ruin of Genevieve’s later, medieval church in the 18th century, would have utterly dwarfed it. To contemporaries, though, it promised to be a church to rival the greatest shrines in Gaul. It was an ideal project for a recently crowned monarch who sought to make a trademark public building in the Roman tradition, and it would give the once abandoned Roman town on the left bank a new life as a pilgrimage center. A monastery would soon follow the church, and a small constellation of other facilities would eventually spring up to meet the demands of visitors. Having received a favorable report on the merchants from the site foreman, Rusticus returned the favor by setting out to retrieve a tool inadvertently left behind by the foreman earlier that day. Further east, beyond the settlement, the hillside sloped towards the incipient course of the Bièvre river. Off to the left, some rafts or skiffs may have been visible on the Seine, cargoes fastened precariously to fragile decks. Dominating the view was perhaps the greatest remnant of the departed empire: the old amphitheater, which remained the largest structure in the town. Rusticus had never been a patron, and rarely had reason to visit, for the stage and arena where the comedies of Terence and other, bawdier (and bloodier) entertainments had once played was covered in a thick layer of earth. A handful of disturbed areas betrayed the presence of recent graves. The amphitheater of Lutetia had become a sparsely populated cemetery. Now disused for more than two centuries, most of its monumental bulk was shrouded in ivy and other overgrowth, but some signs of activity were evident; bright, jagged sections of freshly exposed marble were visible atop the ancient walls, and entire sections of the stands had been hauled away to serve as building material elsewhere. Rusticus inspected this area and found the tool, an iron mallet, right where the foreman had told him to look. After returning the mallet to its owner, Rusticus was at last ready to make his way to the Île de la Cité to get his wife’s bush hook repaired. As he crossed the bridge and approached the city gate, Rusticus passed a wicker chapel dedicated to St. Martin of Tours. He may also have drawn an appraising glance from a mustache-wearing Frankish man-at-arms. Among the first things Rusticus would have seen inside the walls was the episcopal palace, home to the local bishop, which was probably built sometime during the late fourth century. It was on Rusticus’s right as he entered the walls, and its growing cathedral complex was the forerunner of today’s Notre Dame. Off to the left, under construction but perhaps not yet developed enough to draw Rusticus’s notice, was Clovis’s new palace. A Merovingian palace on the Île de la Cité is not firmly attested until the seventh century, but it is reasonable to guess that Clovis would have ordered the construction of a royal residence, and that the episcopal palace would have been the lowest bar against which he would have measured his ambitions. Somewhere between the two was a marketplace, and it is here that Rusticus finally found his craftsman. As he waited for the metalworker to sharpen the blade of the bush hook, Rusticus received a valuable commodity from one of the man’s colleagues: news from elsewhere. Under the Roman Empire, the rapid spread of news from place to place was greatly assisted by a well-maintained road system and by the cursus publicus, the imperial post system. Though the latter was primarily used for official purposes and probably did not disseminate much public news, both had ceased to exist in Rusticus’s time. The hearsay available from traders, markets, and fairs was virtually the only remaining avenue that Rusticus had for gaining any sense of the wider world. In this sense, Gaul was reverting to a condition that it had not experienced for more than 500 years. Prior to the Caesarian conquest, Gaul beyond the Central Massif—Gallia Comata, or “long-haired Gaul” in the parlance of the day—was divided by thick primeval forests, impassable marshlands, great rivers and other formidable natural barriers that formed the territorial borders of rival Gallo-Celtic tribes. Though the economic unity and infrastructural advances of the Roman era had diminished the ability of these barriers to carve the Gaulish hinterland into disparate political units, the fifth century retreat of the Roman administrative apparatus had allowed them to regain much of their ancient power. Gregory of Tours, who lived on the de facto border between northern and southern Gaul, the Loire River, was under the jurisdiction of three different rival Frankish factions during the 20 years of his episcopate. Rusticus was laboring in the early morning of an age of extreme localization. It is no wonder that his distant descendant, Bodo, “had never seen and could not imagine” the sea.
End David Powell's text.
OUTRO: Alright, thank you again to David Powell for writing and letting me share his outstanding paper. As I’ve been researching this podcast and talking with people about the past, I’ve found it to be pretty common for most of us to imagine ourselves in times past as living the lives of great men and women and kings and queens; realistically, however, the law of numbers would indicate that most of us, if we had the chance to go back, would be much more likely to inhabit the life of a Bodo or a Rusticus, working the fields and only tangentially concerned with those people who sat at the pinnacle of power, just as most of us today don’t worry about the comings and goings of Presidents and Prime Ministers on a moment-to-moment basis. At any rate, I think it’s interesting and altogether proper that we take a moment to step back from simply looking at the monarchy and spend some time considering just what the rulers were ruling, who they were affecting, and how they were perceived by the people they placed themselves above.
With all of this as context, we will move on to our final episode in the Clovis series by looking at how the great King acted after his success in Vouillé in 507. His military chops are well established at this point, but as he dons the Imperial purple and looks forward to leading his Kingdom, he’ll find that diplomacy and treachery are oftentimes just as effective as brute force. We’ll also look to explore the legacy he’ll leave to his four sons because, fair warning, the story starts to get a lot more convoluted from here on in. You see, Kings Chlodio, Merovech, Childéric and Clovis all had the courtesy to rise to power in a linear and relatively unquestioned manner, but when Clovis died, rather than passing the baton of power to the oldest at his death, he instead tried to appease all of them with a small slice of the royal pie. As Neville Chamberlain can no doubt attest, appeasement works for about 30 to 40 seconds before things go wrong and start to get bloody. That will definitely be the case here as the four brothers, rather than working together to solidify their father’s legacy and push even further across the Continent, instead square off to grab as much power from one another as they can.
Before we go, a quick note that David’s full paper, “The Peasant Rusticus: Life near Paris in the Time of Clovis,” will be available in full on the website, along with notes, transcripts, and source lists of for all of our episodes, at thugsandmiracles.com. His paper contains maps and diagrams that help to flesh out what we talked about here today, so please, check it out. As always, the music used for the show comes from Josh Woodward and includes his songs “Bully” and “Lafayette.” For a free download of these songs or hundreds of other great tracks, check out his site at joshwoodward.com. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and you can also hit me on Twitter at @thugsandmiracle, or leave a comment on Facebook at facebook.com/ThugsAndMiracles/. As unveiled last episode, T+M now has an Instagram account, so be sure to head over there and explore the pictures and stories we’re posting. Our screen name, as I’m sure you can guess, is thugsandmiracles. Finally, if you enjoyed the show and have a moment, I’d like to ask you to do us a favor and tell a friend about us. Word of mouth is great, as is a shout-out on any social media platform. Leaving a review on whichever platform you get your podcasts is also awesome, and gives my fragile ego that sense of validation that it so eagerly craves. If you feel the show is worth five stars, we’d love to see that. Once again, my name is Benjamin Bernier, and I look forward to seeing you in two weeks with the next episode of Thugs and Miracles.