The Papacy, Frederick II and Communal Devotion in Medieval Italy: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Papacy, Frederick II and Communal Devotion in Medieval Italy

1st Edition

By James M. Powell, edited by Edward Peters


392 pages

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Hardback: 9781472435699
pub: 2014-08-01
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Of the twenty-five essays in this volume, most were published between 1961 and 2013, but four are printed here for the first time. They represent the work of a great and original scholar in Mediterranean history whose unflagging interest in Frederick II and his world consistently led him out into broader fields, which he always viewed in original ways. In an age often called that of papal monarchy and secular-minded rulers, Powell found popes with complex agendas and extensive pastoral concerns, a rather more Christian Frederick II, the human personnel and mechanics of the Fifth Crusade, the sermons of the devout urban layman Albertanus of Brescia, and Muslims under Christian rule. His studies here assert a continuity between the pontificates of Innocent III and Honorius III as well as the pragmatic necessity that only secular rulers could launch and direct crusading expeditions. His interest in the northern Italian communes relates their devotional culture to the ideals of virtuous government and communal identity. The devotional culture of the communes was to be the subject of his next book, now unfinished; several parts of it could be rescued and are now included here.

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction: James M. Powell, historian, Edward Peters; Obituary for James M. Powell, Kenneth Pennington. The Papacy in the Early Thirteenth Century: Introduction to The Deeds of Pope Innocent III, by an anonymous author, translated with introduction and notes by James M. Powell; Introduction to Innocent III: Vicar of Christ or Lord of the World?; Innocent III and Petrus Beneventanus: reconstructing a career at the Papal Curia; Pope Innocent III and secular law; Innocent III: the making of an image; Two popes before and after the fourth Lateran council; Pastor Bonus: some evidence of Honorius III’s use of the sermons of Pope Innocent III; The prefatory letters to the sermons of Pope Honorius III and the reform of preaching; Honorius III’s Sermo in Dedicatione Ecclesie Lateranensis and the historical-liturgical traditions of the Lateran; The papacy and the early Franciscans; St Francis of Assisi’s way of peace. Frederick II and the Crusade: Frederick II and the church: a revisionist view; Frederick II and the church in the Kingdom of Sicily, 1220-1224; Canon law and the cults of peace and justice in the Liber Augustalis; Greco-Arabic influences on the public health legislation in the constitutions of Melfi; Frederick II’s knowledge of Greek; Church and crusade: Frederick II and Louis IX; A vacuum of leadership: 1291 revisited. Religion and the Communes: Mendicants, the communes, and the law; Forms of spirituality and the quest for ‘buon governo' in the 13th century; Religious diversity and communal politics in 13th-century Italy; Albertano da Brescia e i suoi lettori: studio sulla trasformazione del significato; The Misericordia of Bergamo and the frescos of the Aula Diocesana: a chapter in communal history; Dante’s vision of the past; Crisis and culture in Renaissance Europe. Index.

About the Authors

James M. Powell (1930 - 2011) was Professor of History Emeritus at Syracuse University, USA. A previous collection of his articles appeared in the Variorum series in 2007: The Crusades, The Kingdom of Sicily, and the Mediterranean.

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 [email protected]

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General
HISTORY / Medieval
RELIGION / History