Papal Justice: Subjects and Courts in the Papal State, 1500-1750

By Di Sivo, Michele | The Catholic Historical Review, April 2012 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Papal Justice: Subjects and Courts in the Papal State, 1500-1750

Di Sivo, Michele, The Catholic Historical Review

Early Modern European Papal Justice: Subjects and Courts in the Papal State, 1500-1750. By Irene Fosi. Translated by Thomas V. Cohen. (Washington, DC: The Catholic University of America Press. 2011. Pp. xiv, 272. $29.95 paperback. ISBN 978-0-813-21858-8.)

In these last thirty years studies on the Papal State during the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries have brought to light results with an intensity never experienced before. The institutions and social life that characterized the multiform realities of the Papal State have been the object of much research, especially after the publication of Paolo Prodi's The Papal Prince: One Body and Two Souls (Bologna, 1982; trans. New York, 1987), which opened the way to this fertile historiographical period.

The existence of Italian regional states in a European context characterized by absolute and centralized monarchies has been strictly connected with the role of the papacy in maintaining balance among the Italian states. The main area of interests for scholars in these last three decades has been the relationships and conflicts among the institutions of the Papal State, an absolute nonhereditary monarchy in which the demands of a state in construction had somehow to go hand in hand with the supra-national nature of religion.

Much attention has been given to the role of the institutions of justice and public order. The works of Irene Fosi on this topic have been substantial and based on an unrivaled range of sources. In La società violenta (Rome, 1985), the author concentrated on the role of the nobility in the origins of banditry, also interpreted as a form of hostile action against the control of the territory by the state. In All'ombra dei Barberini. Fedeltà e servizio nella Roma barocca (1997) she examined the separation of the role of the cardinalnephew- a position intrinsically linked to the personal nature of powerfrom that of secretary of state, a position in the framework of an impersonal administration. Moreover, the author has written various essays and edited collections on the papal judicial system.

With this work, the author presents scholars with a general picture of justice at the time of the papacy, which now can be appreciated by American scholars. She also includes additional material on Niccolò Orsini, third count of Nola and Pitigliano (pp. 92-99); conclusions; and an extensive bibliography.

The book presents for the first time an overview of the papal justice system in which the many conflicts are examined vis-à-vis their effects on the organization as well as on the control of the territory and personal conscience.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Papal Justice: Subjects and Courts in the Papal State, 1500-1750


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?