Il Trono di Pietro: L'universalità del papato da Alessandro III a Bonifacio VIIIby Agostino Paravicini Bagliani (review)
- The Catholic Historical Review
- The Catholic University of America Press
- Volume 84, Number 1, January 1998
- pp. 83-84
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- Additional Information
BOOK REVIEWS83 In the interest of full disclosure: In 1971 I finished a doctorate under Professor Constable's direction, a formative experience in my Ufe. Joseph H. Lynch The Ohio State University Il Trono di Pietro:L'universalità delpapato da Alessandro III a Bonifacio VIH. ByAgostino Paravicini BagUani. [Studi Superiori NIS / 299, Argomenti di storia médiévale.] (Rome:LaNuovaItaUaScientifica. 1996.Pp.301.Lire 35.000.) This book is part of a series intended to provide works of synthesis on subjects heretofore treated only in speciaUzed studies or in out-of-date syntheses. Paravicini Bagliani has made a splendid addition to the series. Because he assumes the reader's famUiarity with the basic outline of papal history of the period , he is able to present a remarkably wide range of scholarship about the papacy in a relatively smaU space.The author relates his subject to broad cultural developments (e.g., the connection between the development ofthe curia and the growing importance of writing), and in doing so, he provides an abundance ofconcrete detail, including quantified data.The range is even wider than the title suggests, since the book gives considerable attention to the Gregorian reform and its aftermath. The unifying theme of the book is the movement toward universaUty in the seU-understanding and the operation of the papacy. The elaboration of the theme is best indicated by reviewing the topics of the individual chapters. The first describes evolving procedures and rituals whereby a man became pope.The second discusses the image of the pope as presented in contemporary literature and art.The third describes the composition and the developing functions of the coUege of cardinals.The fourth presents the work of the curia. The fifth is entitled "Ecclesiastical sovereignty and jurisdictional powers," ranging from the pope's role as legislator to his taking control of canonizations and episcopal appointments.The sixth deals with papal dealings with new forms of religious life, both orthodox and heterodox. The seventh is entitled "councils and synods," and begins with Lateran I (1123).The eighth deals with the Papal State and the secular powers of Europe, including the aristocratic families of Rome and Lazio.The ninth is a highly informative treatment of the papal curia as a center of culture and learning.And the final chapter is entitled"The Papacy, Christendom, and the Idea of Europe," and it also deals with the papacy's relations with the cultures beyond the limits of Christendom. The book gives the reader easy access to a wide range of modern scholarship . Each chapter has brief end notes, followed by informative bibUographical essays. Here titles are abbreviated, referring the reader to a complete bibliography at the end of the book.This apparatus is complemented with a Ust ofpopes and with a table that shows the percentage oftime from 1 198 to 1304 that each pope spent outside of Rome. 84BOOK REVIEWS There are minor lapses.The bibUographical essay for chapter nine contains a two-page description of the writings of Innocent III without a single reference to modern analyses of those works, and Walter Pakter appears in the bibUography asW. Parker.The author's concluding argument seems to work at cross purposes when he says that the papal conception of Christendom was being restricted to Europe at the same time that the popes were dreaming of converting theTartars. But these are minor flaws.The author has brought clarity of expression, detaUed factual information, and sure synthetic judgment to make for an altogether admirable book. No one interested in the medieval papacy should miss it. John C. Moore Hofstra University Peter des Roches: An Alien in English Politics, 1205-1238. By Nicholas Vincent . [Cambridge Studies in Medieval Life and Thought, Fourth Series,Volume 31] (NewYork: Cambridge University Press. 1996.Pp.xx, 543. $79.95.) This biography of Peter des Roches, the French bishop of Winchester (1205-1238), is very much a poUtical biography. In it, Nicholas Vincent shows that des Roches, servant of King John and chief advisor to his son, exemplified devotion to the Angevin Empire, both in its concatenation ofcontinental and insular lands and in its style of governance, centered on royal vis et voluntas.Yet, asVincent argues...