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The four monasteries claimed immunity from secular control, but the counts of Flanders engineered their own appointment as lay abbots, acquired this control for themselves, and thereby consolidated their own position of power within the county.The territories of the early Flemish counts were referred to collectively as "Flanders" in contemporary documentation only from the early 1000s.The possible ancestry of Baudouin I Count of Flanders is set out in Chapter 1. None of the individuals named is referred to in surviving contemporary primary sources, although it is impossible to assess whether the later sources were based on earlier documentation which has since disappeared.Information relating to these individuals is incomplete and, in part, contradictory.The balancing of pressures from these two powerful suzerains provided a constant challenge for the Flemish counts throughout their subsequent history.The fact of the county of Flanders being pulled in two directions was also reflected in its ecclesiastical development.From the point of view of the Romans in Gaul, the territory represented the northernmost outpost of their domain and settlement was sparse in consequence.From the German side, Salian Franks moved westwards into Flanders, settling in the valleys of the Leie and Schelde rivers.
The pagus Tornacensis was east of the pagus Curtracensis and the river Escaut/Schelde, south of the river Espierre and north of the rivers Elnon and Pvle.
The county also included the area known as Mempisque, which comprised the pagus Mempiscus (on the North Sea coast between the rivers Aa and Yser), the pagus Pabula (between the river Marcq in the west, the Scarpe to the south, and the Elno and the pagus Tornacensis to the east), the pagus Caribantus (south of the river Lys, west of the pagus Medenentensis, east of the pagus Leticus, and north of the upper Deule river), and the pagus Medenentensis (east of the pagus Caribantus, west of the river Marcq, south of the river Lys).
The core territory of the county of Flanders remained under the suzerainty of the French kings.
The pagus was bound to the north by the North Sea, to the west by the river Yser upstream of Diksmuide, and located west of the town of Gent.
The pagus Gandensis lay east of the pagus Flandrensis, south of Waasland, and north of the river Schelde/Escaut.