Avignon and Its Papacy, 1309-1417: Popes, Institutions, and Society

Avignon and Its Papacy, 1309-1417: Popes, Institutions, and Society

by Joelle Rollo-Koster


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With the arrival of Clement V in 1309, seven popes ruled the Western Church from Avignon until 1378. Joëlle Rollo-Koster traces the compelling story of the transplanted papacy in Avignon, the city the popes transformed into their capital. Through an engaging blend of political and social history, she argues that we should think more positively about the Avignon papacy, with its effective governance, intellectual creativity, and dynamism. It is a remarkable tale of an institution growing and defending its prerogatives, of people both high and low who produced and served its needs, and of the city they built together.

As the author reconsiders the Avignon papacy (1309–1378) and the Great Western Schism (1378–1417) within the social setting of late medieval Avignon, she also recovers the city’s urban texture, the stamp of its streets, the noise of its crowds and celebrations, and its people’s joys and pains. Each chapter focuses on the popes, their rules, the crises they faced, and their administration but also on the history of the city, considering the recent historiography to link the life of the administration with that of the city and its people. The story of Avignon and its inhabitants is crucial for our understanding of the institutional history of the papacy in the later Middle Ages. The author argues that the Avignon papacy and the Schism encouraged fundamental institutional changes in the governance of early modern Europe—effective centralization linked to fiscal policy, efficient bureaucratic governance, court society (société de cour), and conciliarism. This fascinating history of a misunderstood era will bring to life what it was like to live in the fourteenth-century capital of Christianity.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780810894990
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 12/15/2017
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 328
Sales rank: 570,281
Product dimensions: 5.94(w) x 8.95(h) x 0.76(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Joëlle Rollo-Koster is professor of medieval history at the University of Rhode Island and author of Raiding Saint Peter: Empty Sees, Violence, and the Initiation of the Great Western Schism and The People of Curial Avignon: A Critical Edition of the Liber Divisionis and the Matriculae of Notre Dame la Majour. She has been named a Chevalier of the Ordre des Palmes Académiques in recognition of her outstanding academic research in French history.

Table of Contents

Author’s Note

Chapter One: Early Popes
–Before Clement: Boniface VIII, Philip the Fair, and Rome
–Clement V: French Puppet or Able Diplomat?
–The Past Catching Up: Boniface and the Templars
–Why Not Return to Rome?
–Centralization: John XXII
–Satanic Beginnings
–The Franciscan Poverty Debate and Its European Implication
–Beatific Vision
–Monasticization: Benedict XII
–Staying in Avignon
Chapter Two: Papal Monarchy
–How to Be Pope: The Papal Monarchy of Clement VI
–Clement VI and Rome: Cola di Rienzo
–Clement VI and Joanna of Naples
–Clement VI and Italy: Milan and Louis of Bavaria
–Clement VI: Arbiter of the Hundred Years’ War
–The Arrival of the Black Death
–Clement VI: The Humanist
–Lawyer and Conqueror: Innocent VI
–The Lands of St. Peter
–The Hundred Years’ War: Poitiers and Its Aftermath
–The Free Companies in Provence
–Holy Roman Empire
Chapter Three: Returning to Rome
–Urban V
–A Fastidious Man
–How to Eliminate the Free Companies
–The Emperor’s Visit
–The Castilian Situation
–Returning to Rome
–The Last of the Avignon Popes: Gregory XI
–Florence and the Pope: Toward the Break
–Florence and the Pope at War
–The Interdict
–Returning to Rome

Chapter Four: Constructing the Administration: Governance and
–Personnel 149
–Governance and Finance: Avignon
–Apostolic Chamber
–Penitentiary and Rota
–The Pope’s Household
–The Administration’s Mark on Avignon
Chapter Five: Avignon: The Capital and Its Population
–Avignon’s Governance and Administration
–Citizens and Courtiers
–Avignon’s Urban Landscape
–Avignon’s Parishes and Their Social Topography
–To Live in a Medieval Capital City
Chapter Six: The Great Western Schism and Avignon
–Why a Schism
–The Early Years
–Toward a Solution
–Effects and Results

Additional Bibliography
–1: Early Popes
–2: Papal Monarchy
–3: Returning to Rome
–4: Constructing the Administration
–5: Avignon: The Capital and Its Population
–6: The Great Western Schism and Avignon

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