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Look Inside Power and Patronage in Early Medieval Italy

Power and Patronage in Early Medieval Italy
Local Society, Italian Politics and the Abbey of Farfa, c.700–900

Part of Cambridge Studies in Medieval Life and Thought: Fourth Series

  • Date Published: December 2007
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521870375


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About the Authors
  • Founded around the beginning of the eighth century in the Sabine hills north of Rome, the abbey of Farfa was for centuries a barometer of social and political change in central Italy. Conventionally, the region's history in the early Middle Ages revolves around the rise of the papacy as a secular political power. But Farfa's avoidance of domination by the pope throughout its early medieval history, despite one pope's involvement in its early establishment, reveals that papal aggrandizement had strict limits. Other parties - local elites, as well as Lombard and then Carolingian rulers - were often more important in structuring power in the region. Many were also patrons of Farfa, and this book reveals how a major ecclesiastical institution operated in early medieval politics, as a conduit for others' interests, and a player in its own right.

    • Offers an interpretation of religious and social change in medieval Italy
    • Was the first full-length study in any language of the abbey of Farfa in the early Middle Ages
    • Challenges competing interpretations of the growth of the papal state
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    Reviews & endorsements

    Review of the hardback: 'As its title implies, this book deals with a rather broad issue on several levels and as such might appear at first blush to be somewhat overreaching. However, as a result of his superb research, impeccable organization and disciplined writing style, Marios Costambeys, a Lecturer in History at the University of Liverpool, has been able to synthesize enormous amounts of data into a coherent and insightful study that remains faithfully within the parameters of its main thesis.' The Medieval Review

    '… careful work of scholarship. Costambeys writes in a clear and engaging style while his arguments are based on sound methodological groundwork.' Journal of Ecclesiastical History

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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 2007
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521870375
    • length: 410 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 27 mm
    • weight: 0.77kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. Patronage and Lombard rulers
    3. Authority, rulership and the abbey
    4. The Farfa monks and abbots: identities and affiliations
    5. Sabine lands and landowners
    6. Elite families in the Sabina
    7. Farfa and Italian politics in the Lombard era
    8. Farfa, Italian politics and the Carolingians.

  • Author

    Marios Costambeys, University of Liverpool

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