The Papacy and Communication in the Central Middle Ages

Kynan-Wilson, William; Fonnesberg-Schmidt, Iben; Opitz-Trotman, Gesine and Lauge Christensen, Emil eds. (2021). The Papacy and Communication in the Central Middle Ages. London: Routledge.



This volume explores papal communication and its reception in the period c.1100–1300; it presents a range of interdisciplinary approaches and original insights into the construction of papal authority and local perceptions of papal power in the central Middle Ages.

Some of the chapters in this book focus on the visual, ritual and spatial communication that visitors encountered when they met the peripatetic papal curia in Rome or elsewhere, and how this informed their experience of papal self-representation. The essays analyse papal clothing as well as the iconography, architecture and use of space in papal palaces and the titular churches of Rome. Other chapters explore communication over long distances and analyse the role of gifts and texts such as letters, sermons and historical writings in relation to papal communication. Importantly, this book emphasises the plurality of responses to papal communication by engaging with the reception of papal messages by different audiences, both secular and ecclesiastical, and in relation to several geographic regions including England, France, Ireland, Italy and Switzerland.

The chapters in this book were originally published as a special issue of the Journal of Medieval History.

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