Pope Alexander III (1159-81): the art of survival

Clarke, Peter D. and Duggan, Anne J. (eds.) (2011) Pope Alexander III (1159-81): the art of survival, Farnham, GB, Ashgate, 452pp. (Church, Faith and Culture in the Medieval West).


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Alexander III was one of the most important popes of the Middle Ages and his papacy (1159-81) marked a significant watershed in the history of the Western Church and society. This book provides a long overdue reassessment of his papacy and his achievements, bringing together thirteen essays which review existing scholarship and present the latest research and new perspectives. Individual chapters cover topics such as Alexander's many contributions to the law of the Church, which had a major impact upon Western society, notably on marriage, his relations with Byzantium, and the extension of papal authority at the peripheries of the West, in Spain, Northern Europe and the Holy Land. But dominant are the major clashes between secular and spiritual authority: the confrontation between Henry II of England and Thomas Becket after which Alexander eventually secured the king's co-operation and the pope's eighteen-year conflict with the German emperor, Frederick I. Both the papacy and the Western Church emerged as stronger institutions from this struggle, largely owing to Alexander's leadership and resilience: he truly mastered the art of survival.

Contents: Preface; Introduction, Peter D. Clarke; Alexander ille meus: the papacy of Alexander III, Anne J. Duggan; 'At last we reached the port of salvation': the Roman context of the schism of 1159, John Doran; The empire and the schism, Jochen Johrendt; 'A city to be built for the glory of God, St Peter and then whole of Lombardy': Alexander III, Alessandria, and the Lombard League in contemporary sources, Edward Coleman; The absentee lord? Alexander III and the patrimony, Brenda Bolton; Alexander III and France: exile, diplomacy and the new order, Myriam Soria; Alexander III and Spain, Damian J. Smith; The curious case of Becket's pallium: Guernes de Pont-Ste-Maxence and the court of Alexander III, Katherine Christensen; Beyond Becket: King Henry II and the papacy (1154–1189), Nicholas Vincent; Alexander III and Byzantium, Jonathan Harris and Dmitri Tolstoy; Alexander III and Venice, Thomas F. Madden; Alexander III and the crusades, Iben Fonnesberg-Schmidt; The master of the decretals: a reassessment of Alexander III's contribution to canon law, Anne J. Duggan; Index.

Item Type: Book
Additional Information: For full details of this volume click on the link below.
ISBNs: 9780754662884 (print)
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ePrint ID: 145515
Date :
Date Event
July 2011Accepted/In Press
May 2012Published
Date Deposited: 19 Apr 2010 10:40
Last Modified: 18 Apr 2017 19:57
Further Information:Google Scholar
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/145515

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