The Bishop's Palace: Architecture and Authority in Medieval Italy

The Bishop's Palace: Architecture and Authority in Medieval Italy

by Maureen C. Miller
     
 

ISBN-10: 0801435358

ISBN-13: 9780801435355

Pub. Date: 06/28/2000

Publisher: Cornell University Press

This lavishly illustrated book looks at the art and architecture of episcopal palaces as expressions of power and ideology. Tracing the history of the bishop's residence in the urban centers of northern Italy over the Middle Ages, Maureen C. Miller asks why this once rudimentary and highly fortified structure called a domus became a complex and elegant "palace"…  See more details below

Overview

This lavishly illustrated book looks at the art and architecture of episcopal palaces as expressions of power and ideology. Tracing the history of the bishop's residence in the urban centers of northern Italy over the Middle Ages, Maureen C. Miller asks why this once rudimentary and highly fortified structure called a domus became a complex and elegant "palace" (palatium) by the late twelfth century. Miller argues that the change reflects both the emergence of a distinct clerical culture and the attempts of bishops to maintain authority in public life. She relates both to the Gregorian reform movement, which set new standards for clerical deportment and at the same time undercut episcopal claims to secular power. As bishops lost temporal authority in their cities to emerging communal governments, they compensated architecturally and competed with the communes for visual and spatial dominance in the urban center. This rivalry left indelible marks on the layout and character of Italian cities.Moreover, Miller contends, this struggle for power had highly significant, but mixed, results for western Christianity. On the one hand, as bishops lost direct governing authority in their cities, they devised ways to retain status, influence, and power through cultural practices. This response to loss was highly creative. On the other hand, their loss of secular control led bishops to emphasize their spiritual powers and to use them to obtain temporal ends. The coercive use of spiritual authority contributed to the emergence of a "persecuting society" in the central Middle Ages.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780801435355
Publisher:
Cornell University Press
Publication date:
06/28/2000
Series:
Conjunctions of Religion and Power in the Medieval Past Series
Pages:
336
Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 10.00(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsix
Abbreviationsxi
Introduction1
I.Office/Space: The Architectural Expression of Episcopal Authority, 300-130013
Chapter 1The Episcopal Residence in Late Antiquity: The Episcopium16
Chapter 2The Episcopal Residence in the Early Middle Ages: The Domus Sancte Ecclesie54
Chapter 3The Episcopal Residence in the Central Middle Ages: The Bishop's Palace86
II.Culture/Power: The Character of Space and the Meaning of Actions123
Chapter 4Urban Space and Sacred Authority125
Chapter 5What Kind of Lord? The Bishop in His Hall170
Chapter 6Spiritual Space, Interiority, and Charismatic Authority: The Bishop's Chapel216
Conclusion253
Appendix261
Selected Bibliography277
Index/Glossary303

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