Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Lordship, Reform, and the Development of Civil Society in Medieval Italy: The Bishopric of Orvieto, 1000-1250

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Lordship, Reform, and the Development of Civil Society in Medieval Italy: The Bishopric of Orvieto, 1000-1250

Article excerpt

David Foote, Lordship, Reform, and the Development of Civil Society in Medieval Italy: The Bishopric of Orvieto, 1000-12/0 (Notre Dame, Ind.: University of Notre Dame Press, 2004). xiii + 254 pp.; 2 maps. ISBN 0-268-02872-9. $50.00. In this well-researched monograph, David Foote argues for the importance of ecclesiastical institutions in the development of communal government and civil society in medieval Italy. Foote focuses on the bishopric of Orvieto as a site for the interplay of reform ideals, aristocratic power, and the political aspirations of the popolo. The bulk of Foote's documentation comes from the late twelfth and early thirteenth centuries, but he skilfully uses these sources to illumine complex relations across the communal era between ecclesiastical reform, religious dissent (Catharism), and state building. Key to his study are three episcopal registers in Orvieto's Archivio Vescovile. Foote reads these as repositories of episcopal and civic memory, but also as artefacts of powerful new bureaucratic tools developed by urban notaries in the service of the see. …

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