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  • Bulla, Legatus, Nuntius: Études de diplomatique et de diplomatie pontificales (XIIIe-XVIIe siècle)
  • Christine Shaw
Bernard Barbiche . Bulla, Legatus, Nuntius: Études de diplomatique et de diplomatie pontificales (XIIIe–XVIIe siècle). Mé moires et documents de l'É cole des Chartes 85. Paris: École des Chartes, 2007. 576 pp. index. illus. tbls. €55. ISBN: 978–2–900791–95–0.

This volume is a collection of twenty-five articles by Bernard Barbiche, professor emeritus of the École nationale des Chartes, some of them written in [End Page 868] collaboration with his wife, Ségolène de Dainville-Barbiche. In an introduction he gives an outline of his career as an archivist at the Archives nationales, his studies in Rome, based at the École française de Rome, and his teaching at the École des Chartes since 1977 as professor of the history of French institutions, and of archival and diplomatic studies. His has been a career centered on the cataloguing, transcription, and interpretation of documents, above all of papal documents. He has published three volumes of papal bulls and letters from 1198 to 1415 that he found in the Archives nationales de Paris, as well as the correspondance as papal nuncio in France from 1601 to 1604 of Innocenzo del Bufalo, and the letters of Henri IV concerning relations between the papacy and France. All the papers collected in these volumes are concerned with these two fields of study: the diplomatic analysis of papal bulls and letters concerning France in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, and papal diplomacy in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, especially during the reign of Henri IV.

Professor Barbiche' s love of the documents to which he has dedicated his career is reflected in the meticulous care with which he has studied and analyzed them. All the articles in the collection have as their starting point a group of documents, usually either to be found in the Vatican, or that originated in Rome or Avignon. In the first section of this volume, on the papal chancery in the Middle Ages, he uses both the content of the correspondence and the endorsements of, for example, the name of the procurator who was dealing with the matter with which a bull was concerned, to provide the basis for prosopographical studies of the scriptores of the papal chancery in the thirteenth century, and the procurators of the Kings of France at the pontifical court at Avignon. In other articles, he concentrates on the formulation of documents such as the litterae ante coronationem. In one, he uses papal documents in French archives to throw light on the relations between the papacy and the important Parisian abbeys of Sainte-Geneviève and Saint-Victor, and the sometimes difficult relationship between these two abbeys.

The articles collected in the second section on papal diplomacy are divided into those dealing with nuncios and legates, and those concerned with the papacy and France during the reign of Henri IV, although in fact these are largely concerned with some of the nuncios and legates discussed in the first group of articles. Barbiche analyzes who they were, the patterns of their appointment, the powers they held and how these changed, the frequency and length of their appointments, and so on; there is little consideration of the efficacy of their missions, or of their context. It is the three earliest articles of those printed here, concerning the revival of French influence at the papal court, deliberately pursued by Henri IV (1965), the unsuccessful attempts by the French nuncios to influence the fortunes of Catholics in England at the beginning of the seventeenth century (1967), and an examination of the policy of Clement VIII toward Ferrara and the excommunication of Cesare d' Este in late 1597 (1962), which deal with rather broader historical issues, and for which sources other than papal documents have been used.

Most of the articles collected here were originally conference papers, and in [End Page 869] the groups of papers looking at different aspects of the same subject, there is a considerable degree of overlap and repetition. They are reproduced as they were originally printed, with a running pagination provided at the bottom...


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pp. 868-870
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Archived 2009
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