1st Edition

The Papacy and Communication in the Central Middle Ages

    142 Pages
    by Routledge

    142 Pages
    by Routledge

    This volume explores papal communication and its reception in the period c.1100–1300; it presents a range of interdisciplinary approaches and original insights into the construction of papal authority and local perceptions of papal power in the central Middle Ages.

    Some of the chapters in this book focus on the visual, ritual and spatial communication that visitors encountered when they met the peripatetic papal curia in Rome or elsewhere, and how this informed their experience of papal self-representation. The essays analyse papal clothing as well as the iconography, architecture and use of space in papal palaces and the titular churches of Rome. Other chapters explore communication over long distances and analyse the role of gifts and texts such as letters, sermons and historical writings in relation to papal communication. Importantly, this book emphasises the plurality of responses to papal communication by engaging with the reception of papal messages by different audiences, both secular and ecclesiastical, and in relation to several geographic regions including England, France, Ireland, Italy and Switzerland.

    The chapters in this book were originally published as a special issue of the Journal of Medieval History.

    1. Framing papal communication in the central Middle Ages

    Gerd Althoff, Iben Fonnesberg-Schmidt and William Kynan-Wilson

    2. Innocent III and the world of symbols of the papacy

    Agostino Paravicini Bagliani (translated by Gesine Oppitz-Trotman)

    3. Clothing as communication? Vestments and views of the papacy c.1300

    Maureen C. Miller

    4. Visitor experiences: art, architecture and space at the papal curia c.1200

    Iben Fonnesberg-Schmidt

    5. Communication in a visual mode: papal apse mosaics

    Dale Kinney

    6. Ritual, what else? Papal letters, sermons and the making of crusaders

    Christoph T. Maier

    7. Subverting the message: Master Gregory’s reception of and response to the Mirabilia Urbis Romae

    William Kynan-Wilson

    8. Roman soil and Roman sound in Irish hagiography

    Lucy Donkin


    Iben Fonnesberg-Schmidt is Professor (MSO) of Medieval History at Aalborg University, Denmark. Her research focuses on the papacy in the central Middle Ages, particularly papal communication and papal involvement in the crusades.

    William Kynan-Wilson is Lecturer in the History of Art at the University of Bristol, UK. His research explores the relationship between travel literature and material culture in the medieval and early modern Mediterranean.

    Gesine Oppitz-Trotman is Honorary Research Fellow at the University of East Anglia, UK. Her research examines medieval hagiography, particularly in relation to Thomas Becket.

    Emil Lauge Christensen is External Lecturer in History at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, and Roskilde University, Denmark. His research examines the rituals and reception of papal legates in twelfth- and thirteenth-century Europe.