Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Adrian IV the English Pope (1154-1159): Studies and Texts

Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Adrian IV the English Pope (1154-1159): Studies and Texts

Article excerpt

Adrian IV the English Pope (1154-1159): Studies and Texts. Edited by Brenda Bolton and Anne J. Duggan. [Church, Faith and Culture in the Medieval West.] (Brookfield, Vermont: Ashgate Publishing Co. 2002. Pp. xv, 343. $84.95.)

The occasion for this volume was the nine-hundredth anniversary of the birth, c. 1100, at Abbots Langley, Hertfordshire, of Nicholas Breakspear, who was to become Pope Adrian IV (1154-1159), "the English pope" (a historical anomaly less striking perhaps to contemporaries in light of the existence of a Polish pope). This event was celebrated in a conference at St.Albans in the summer of 2000 devoted to "the world and legacy of the only Englishman to sit on the papal throne" (p. ix). But Adrian IV is not simply the proceedings of that conference. In addition to the papers originally presented at St. Albans five others were specially written for this book. Adrian's predecessor, Eugene III, reigned for more than eight years and his successor, Alexander III, for twenty-two. In their preface, the editors wrote that "since the pontificate [of Adrian IV] has been largely neglected in recent historical scholarship," not only have they produced this collection of essays but they have added an array of Latin sources concerning Pope Adrian, with English translations.

The volume opens with an elegant study by Christopher Brooke, "Adrian IV and John of Salisbury." Christoph Egger, in an essay titled "The Canon Regular: Saint-Ruf in context," focuses on the house of canons near Avignon that the young Nicholas Breakspear joined at an unknown date (but probably before 1140), and over which he later presided as abbot. Two papers-Damian J. Smith, "The Abbot-Crusader: Nicholas Breakspear in Catalonia," and Anders Bergquist, "The Papal Legate: Nicholas Breakspear's Scandinavian Mission"-are devoted to Nicholas' ecclesiastical career before he became pope. Susan E. Twyman, "Summits Pontifex. The Ritual and Ceremonies of the Papal Court," discusses the liturgical environment surrounding Adrian's pontificate. The volume's editors contribute two papers apiece. Brenda Bolton's article titled "St. Alban's Loyal Son" investigates the relationship between Pope Adrian and his birthplace, which he showered with papal privileges. In a second study, "Nova familia beati Petri: Adrian IV and the Patrimony," she deals with Adrian's relationship with the assemblage of lands centered on Rome over which the pope exercised and/or claimed various rights (adding [p. …

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