Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Pope Alexander III (1159-81): The Art of Survival

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Pope Alexander III (1159-81): The Art of Survival

Article excerpt

Pope Alexander III (1159-81): The Art of Survival, ed. Peter D. Clarke and Anne J. Duggan, Church, Faith, and Culture in the Medieval West (Farnham and Burlington, Vt: Ashgate, 2012). xxi + 427 pp. ISBN 9780-7546-6288-4. £70.00. Thirteen substantial articles by a group of established scholars, together with Peter Clarke's introduction, set out a new picture of the position of the papacy within the western Church in the third quarter of the twelfth century. Several articles question the received view of international allegiance to Pope Alexander at the time of the schism (discussion of which has often centred on relations with Frederick Barbarossa and his response to the Becket controversy), placing greater weight on the complexity and diversity of the positions maintained in the ecclesiastical provinces of Germany, the North Italian city-states, France, Spain, and Venice than on the relations between the lay powers and the Curia. Alexander's relations with Byzantium are seen in a new light on the basis of some less well-known sources and a reassessment of the reliability of Boso's biography of the pope, whereas conversely a reappraisal of Boso places our view of his dealings with the city of Rome in a new, more positive light. …

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