New PDF release: Medieval Rome. Stability and Crisis of a City, 900-1150

By Chris Wickham

This quantity doesnt in simple terms search to inform the tale of town from the conventional Church viewpoint as an alternative, it engages in reviews of the citys processions, fabric tradition, criminal adjustments, and experience of the previous, trying to get to the bottom of the complexities of Roman cultural id, together with its city financial system, social heritage as visible around the diverse strata of society, and the articulation among the citys areas. This new technique serves to underpin an enormous reinterpretation of Romes political heritage within the period of the reform papacy, one of many maximum crises in Romes heritage, which had a resonance around the complete continent. Medieval Rome is the main systematic research ever made up of and a part centuries of Romes historical past, one that observed centuries of balance undermined by way of exterior main issue and the lengthy interval of reconstruction which undefined.

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14 Medieval Rome Ottonian intervention, in the Crescenzian period, which lasted up to 1012; then the stable but still degraded Tuscolano papacy. Emperor Henry III again saved Rome at the synod of Sutri in 1046, when he overthrew three rival popes and installed a period of foreign pontiffs, first German, then Italian and French, which continued until 1130. The ‘reform’ papacy began here too, first under imperial patronage (Leo IX most notably), then increasingly independently of the emperors, until Gregory VII dramatically broke with them in 1076.

I shall write about Rome quite explicitly in terms of its seven best-documented areas as a result. The second conclusion is that, inside each of these areas, we must be aware that we are the prisoners of the interests of one single church, or at the most two. What we really have at the core of our urban documentation are the interests, strategies, social and economic choices, and lay clients of less than ten Roman churches and monasteries, which might rise to fifteen if we added churches with a largely rural economic interest.

Rome was in demographic terms the largest city in Latin Europe, and (for most of the period) second only to Constantinople in Europe as a whole, before it was overtaken by Milan, perhaps around 1100 (below, p. 112); and in spatial terms it was and remained far larger than anywhere else, with a complicated urban geography which writers in both the twelfth century and the twentieth have spent some time unpicking: it was a complex stage for the structural interplay I wish to describe, and was entirely absorbing for the Romans, as we shall see.

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