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  • Das begrenzte Papsttum: Spielräume päpstlichen Handels. Legaten – delegierte Richter-Grenzen ed. by Klaus Herbers, Fernando López Alsina, and Frank Engel
  • Marie Therese Flanagan
Das begrenzte Papsttum: Spielräume päpstlichen Handels. Legaten – delegierte Richter-Grenzen. Edited by Klaus Herbers, Fernando López Alsina, and Frank Engel. [Abhandlungen der Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Göttingen, neue Folge, Band 25.] (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter. 2013. Pp. xii, 332. $140.00. ISBN 978-3-11-030463-3.)

The fourteen papers in this volume represent the outcome of a conference held at the Universidade Católica Portuguesa in Lisbon in July 2010, under the auspices of its Centro de Estudos de História Religiosa, the University of Santiago de Compostela, and the Göttingen Academy of Sciences and Humanities. This academy supports an ongoing project for the publication of extant original papal documents before the pontificate of Innocent III (1198–1216) and to date has published two volumes in its Iberia Pontificia series treating the exempt dioceses of Burgos and León. Scholars drawn from Austria, France, Germany, Portugal, Spain, and Switzerland (most presenting in their own languages but with brief English summaries provided) explored the actuality of papal authority on the Iberian peninsula between the eleventh and thirteenth centuries, focusing on the challenges and limitations posed by geographical distance from the papal curia, the activities of legates and papal judges-delegate, and the complex ecclesiastical structures in the Iberian realms that were still in the process of formation in the context of the Reconquista—the series of long and complex campaigns by Christian rulers to recapture territory that Muslims had conquered from the Visigoths between 711 and 718. One role of the papacy in this situation was to afford legitimacy to those structures and to adjudicate in the often protracted disputes over metropolitan jurisdiction and diocesan borders that it generated.

The papers are grouped under four sections. The first section considers general issues such as the reach of papal authority (as manifested, for example, in the itineraries of individual popes), the expanding range of addressees in papal privileges and responses to canonical queries directed to the papacy, the personnel of the college of cardinals (only three of whom were drawn from the Iberian peninsula in the period covered by this volume), and the geographical impact of papal conciliar [End Page 153] decisions and Roman liturgical developments. The second section provides more detailed case studies relating to territorial demarcation and tensions between ecclesiastical geography and political borders of consolidating secular lordships, including a dispute between the sees of Porto and Coimbra and boundary changes in the ecclesiastical province of Narbonne whereby the counts of Barcelona and Melgueil sought papal support to bolster their own spheres of influence. The third section considers the potentialities and limitations of the role of papal legates on the Iberian peninsula. An article by Clauda Zey compares legatine activity on the Iberian peninsula with two other outlying regions, the crusader states in the Holy Land and Scandinavia. Ludwig Vones surveys the activities of the cardinal-priest Richard of Marseille and the four legatine synods convened by him—namely, Burgos 1080, Husillos 1088, Palencia 1100, and Girona 1101. In a century-long conflict between the Dioceses of León and Lugo over the Archdeaconry of Triacastela, which was geographically closer to Lugo, both sides appealed to the papacy for definitive rulings, but might also expediently choose to ignore mandates. The concluding section considers the developing role of papal judges-delegate, which relied on a new cadre of clerics who had been trained in canon law, with case studies drawn from the Dioceses of Burgos and Avila (in the case of the latter by Frank Engel a useful table of the judges delegate, disputing parties, and sources is provided). Overall, this volume constitutes a valuable base for further investigations arising from the Iberia pontificia series, but it also has a wider relevance for all those interested in the reach of papal government from the eleventh century onward into the more peripheral areas of Western Christendom.

Marie Therese Flanagan
Queen’s University Belfast


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