Bishops, Saints, and Historians: Studies in the Ecclesiastical History of Medieval Britain and Italy, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Bishops, Saints, and Historians

Studies in the Ecclesiastical History of Medieval Britain and Italy, 1st Edition

By Robert Brentano, edited by William L. North


448 pages

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Throughout his career, Robert Brentano attempted to understand the nature and 'style' of ecclesiastical institutions in Italy and the British Isles, the specific qualities of saints and the communities that formed around them, and the ways in which seemingly cryptic archival remains of medieval administrative activity, as well as chronicles and lives, could reveal vital details about change and continuity in local and regional religious life and even 'the color of men's souls'. These issues are explored in the essays assembled in Parts I (Bishops) and II (Saints). Part III (Historians) brings together articles that examine the writing of history by both medieval authors and modern historians, and includes Brentano's reflections on his own practice as an historian. The introduction by W. L. North offers a brief biography and introduction to reading Brentano's works, followed by a complete bibliography of his publications.

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction, W.L. North; Bibliography of the works of Robert J. Brentano, W.L. North. Part 1 Bishops: The Whithorn vacancy of 1293-94; Late medieval changes in the administration of vacant suffragan dioceses: province of York; The bishops' books of Città di Castello; Sealed documents of the medieval archbishops at Amalfi; Vescovi e collocazione socio-culturale del clero parrocchiale; Notarial cartularies and religious personality: Rome, Rieti and Bishop Thomas of Secinaro (1339-1341); Vescovi e vicari generali nel basso medioevo; The local church of Amalfi in the context of Italian ecclesiastical institutions in the 13th and 14th centuries. Part 2 Saints: Francis of Assisi's gloss of Matthew 6:34; Early Franciscans and Italian towns; 'Do not say that this is a man from Assisi'; Catherine of Siena, Margery Kempe, and a caterva virginum; Filippa Mareri, la santa baronessa, la santa del Cicolano; Santa Filippa Mareri nel movimento religioso femminile del secolo XIII; Il movimento religioso femminile a Rieti nel secoli XIII-XIV; Peter of Morrone, space, and the problem of relics; Sulmona society and the miracles of Peter of Morrone; Identities and national formation: does religion integrate or disperse communities?. Part 3 History and Historians: Il sogno di Sant' Anselmo e lo sviluppo della biografia medievale; Samson of Bury revisited; The Jurisdictio Spiritualis: an example of 15th-century English historiography; The sound of Stubbs; Frederic William Maitland (1850-1906); The chronicle of Francesco Venimbeni da Fabriano; Matteo Camera's masterpiece; Italian ecclesiastical history: the Sambin revolution; Bishops and saints; Index.

About the Authors

Robert Brentano was Professor of History at the University of California, Berkeley, USA. William L North is Assistant Professor of History, Director of European Studies and Director of Medieval and Renaissance Studies at Carleton College, USA.

About the Series

Variorum Collected Studies

The first title in the Variorum Collected Studies series was published in 1970. Since then well over 1000 titles have appeared in the series, and it has established a well-earned international reputation for the publication of key research across a whole range of subjects within the fields of history.

The history of the medieval world remains central to the series, with Byzantine studies a particular speciality, but the range of titles extends from Hellenistic philosophy and the history of the Roman empire and early Christianity, through the Renaissance and Reformation, up to the 20th century. Islamic Studies forms another major strand as do the histories of science, technology and medicine.

Each title in the Variorum Collected Studies series brings together for the first time a selection of articles by a leading authority on a particular subject. These studies are reprinted from a vast range of learned journals, Festschrifts and conference proceedings. They make available research that is scattered, even inaccessible in all but the largest and most specialized libraries. With a new introduction and index, and often with new notes and previously unpublished material, they constitute an essential resource. 

For further information about contributing to the series please contact Michael Greenwood at

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General
HISTORY / Ancient / General