Thomas Becket: Friends, Networks, Texts and Cult: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Thomas Becket: Friends, Networks, Texts and Cult

1st Edition

By Anne J. Duggan


368 pages

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Hardback: 9780754659228
pub: 2007-03-28

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Becket's life was lived on a European stage, his cause was conducted in a European setting, and the cult of the new martyr spread with extraordinary rapidity to the furthest reaches of Latin Christendom before the end of the twelfth century. The fifteen studies collected here reflect not only the global reach of the subject but the diverse expertise of their author, whose edition and translation of the Correspondence of Archbishop Thomas Becket (2000) and acclaimed biography (Thomas Becket, 2004) have established her place in Becket studies. Based on the critical examination of manuscripts and texts, this collection focuses first on the papal curia and Becket's household in exile. The following studies deal with Becket's letters and their authorship, the coronation of the young King Henry (1170), and Henry II's reconciliation at Avranches (1172). The final part traces the explosion of Becket's cult, the transmission of hagiographical and liturgical texts to France, Germany, and Portugal, and the role of diverse agencies of dissemination: Henry II's daughters, for example, in Saxony, Castile, and Sicily, and the Cistercian and Augustinian orders whose networks of houses embraced the whole of Europe.


’Anne Duggan's established reputation as an authority on Thomas Becket is further justified in this work. …the book provides an excellent and exhaustive study of the life, death, and cult of Becket, portraying a vivid picture of the fascinating cleric who was pivotal in the political, social, and ecclesiological development of medieval Europe.’ Medium Aevum

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface; Part I Friends and Networks: Thomas Becket's Italian network; John of Salisbury and Thomas Becket; The price of loyalty: the fate of Thomas Becket's learned household. Part II Letters and Texts: Classical quotations and allusions in the correspondence of Thomas Becket: an investigation into their sources; Authorship and authenticity in the Becket correspondence; The coronation of the young king in 1170; Diplomacy, status and conscience: Henry II's penance for Becket's murder; Ne in dubium. The official record of Henry II's reconciliation in Avranches, 21 May 1172. Part III Cult: The cult of St Thomas Becket in the 13th century; Aspects of Anglo-Portuguese relations in the 12th century. Manuscripts, relics, decretals and the cult of St Thomas Becket at Lorvão, Alcobaça and Tomar; A Becket office at Stavelot: London, British Library additional ms 16964; The Lorvão transcription of Benedict of Peterborough's Liber miraculorum beati Thome: Lisbon, cod. Alcobaça ccxc/143; The Santa Cruz transcription of Benedict of Peterborough's Liber miraculorum beat Thome: Porto, BPM, cod. Santa Cruz 60; The Salem FitzStephen: Heidelberg Universitäts-Bibliothek cod. Salem ix.30; The Lyell version of the Quadrilogus Life of St Thomas of Canterbury; Addenda and corrigenda; Index.

About the Author

Anne J. Duggan is Professor Emerita of Medieval History at King's College London, UK.

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:
ART / History / General
HISTORY / General