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Court and Politics in Papal Rome, 1492–1700


Part of Cambridge Studies in Italian History and Culture

Gianvittorio Signorotto, Maria Antonietta Visceglia, Marco Pellegrini, Irene Fosi, Elena Fasano Guarini, Mario Rosa, Antonio Menniti Ippolito, Olivier Poncet, Mario Infelise, Renata Ago
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  • Date Published: June 2011
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521283144

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About the Authors
  • This 2002 book attempts to overcome the traditional historiographical approach to the role of the early modern papacy by focusing on the actual mechanisms of power in the papal court. The period covered extends from the Renaissance to the aftermath of the peace of Westphalia in 1648 - after which the papacy was reduced to a mainly spiritual role. Based on research in Italian and other European archives, the book concentrates on the factions at the Roman court and in the college of cardinals. The sacred college came under great international pressure during the election of a new pope, and consequently such figures as foreign ambassadors and foreign cardinals are examined, as well as political liaisons and social contacts at court. Finally, the book includes an analysis of the ambiguous nature of Roman ceremonial, which was both religious and secular: a reflection of the power struggle both in Rome and in Europe.

    • Contains a wide variety of approaches to offer a new picture of politics and religion at the papal court during an 'unfamiliar' period
    • Places social and political activities in Rome within a European political context
    • Includes new and original work by leading Italian early modern historians
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    Reviews & endorsements

    Review of the hardback: ' … this [is an] important collection of articles … together they present a new and intriguing view of the early modern state apparatus.' The Historical Journal

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    Product details

    • Date Published: June 2011
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521283144
    • length: 268 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.4kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction Gianvittorio Signorotto and Maria Antonietta Visceglia
    1. A turning-point in the history of the factional system in the Sacred College: the power of the pope and cardinals in the age of Alexander VI Marco Pellegrini
    2. The court and the city in the ceremony of the possesso in the sixteenth century Irene Fosi
    3. 'Rome, workshop of all the practice of the world': from the letters of cardinal Ferdinando de' Medici to Cosimo I and Francesco I Elena Fasano Guarini
    4. The 'world's theatre': the court of Rome and politics in the first half of the seventeenth century Mario Rosa
    5. Factions in the Sacred College in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries Maria Antonietta Visceglia
    6. The Secretariat of State as the pope's special ministry Antonio Menniti Ippolito
    7. The cardinal protectors of the crowns in the Roman curia during the first half of the seventeenth century: the case of France Olivier Poncet
    8. The squadrone volante: 'independent' cardinals and European politics in the second half of the seventeenth century Gianvittorio Signorotto
    9. Roman avvisi: information and politics in the seventeenth century Mario Infelise
    10. Hegemony of the social scene and zealous popes, 1676–1700 Renata Ago.

  • Editors

    Gianvittorio Signorotto, Università degli Studi di Urbino, Italy

    Maria Antonietta Visceglia, Università degli Studi di Roma 'La Sapienza', Italy


    Gianvittorio Signorotto, Maria Antonietta Visceglia, Marco Pellegrini, Irene Fosi, Elena Fasano Guarini, Mario Rosa, Antonio Menniti Ippolito, Olivier Poncet, Mario Infelise, Renata Ago

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