A Companion to the Early Modern Cardinal


A Companion to the Early Modern Cardinal is the first comprehensive overview of its subject in English or any language. Cardinals are best known as the pope’s electors, but in the centuries from 1400 to 1800 they were so much more: pastors, inquisitors, diplomats, bureaucrats, statesmen, saints; entrepreneurs and investors; patrons of the arts, of music, literature, and science. Thirty-five essays explain their social background, positions and roles in Rome and beyond, and what they meant for wider society. This volume shows the impact which those men who took up the purple had in their respective fields and how their tenure of office shaped the entangled histories of Rome and the Catholic Church from a European and global perspective.

Prices from (excl. shipping):

Add to Cart
Mary Hollingsworth, Ph.D. (1981), University of East Anglia, is author of The Cardinal’s Hat: Money, Ambition and Housekeeping in a Renaissance Court (Profile, 2004) and Conclave 1559 (Thistle, 2013).
Miles Pattenden, D.Phil. (2009), University of Oxford, is Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry, Australian Catholic University. His publications include Electing the Pope in Early Modern Italy, 1450-1700 (Oxford University Press, 2017).
Arnold Witte, Ph.D. (2004), University of Amsterdam, is Associate Professor at the University of Amsterdam and Head of Art History at the Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome, and specializes on patronage. He published The Artful Hermitage (L’Erma di Bretschneider, 2008).
“Any scholar who wishes to learn more about the early modern cardinalate and who seeks to contextualise its members within the early modern world should make use of this rich, accessible volume, whose editors should be commended.”
Charles R. Keenan, University of Michigan. In: Journal of Ecclesiastical History, Vol. 72, No. 3 (July 2021), pp. 656–658.

“This impressive tome spans the period from 1420, when the papacy returned to Rome from Avignon and the duties of cardinals began to grow exponentially, to 1800, when the role of the cardinal significantly diminished to what it is now—primarily papal elector. Other recent publications have discussed cardinals in the Middle Ages and in the 19th and 20th centuries, but this is the first comprehensive treatment of the intervening centuries. The 35 international scholarly contributors examine the social background, positions, roles, and influence of cardinals on society, politics, and their respective fields. — Summing Up: Highly recommended.”
Philip E. Blosser, Sacred Heart Major Seminary. In: CHOICE Connect, Vol. 58, No. 2 (October 2020).

“The individual chapters are written in an accessible manner and are suitable for the target audience of these companions—namely, both students and scholars. In a couple of cases the available source material has been described and explained, which is particularly useful for those aspiring to pursue the study of primary-source material themselves. However, since the source material is situated within a wider thematic framework, these chapters are interesting for more seasoned scholars as well. […] The present volume is a worthwhile contribution to the existing scholarship on early modern cardinals and an ideal starting point for those who want to familiarize themselves with, or broaden their understanding of, this topic.”
Jaap Geraerts, Leibniz Institute of European History. In: Renaissance Quarterly, Vol. 75, No. 1 (Spring 2022), pp. 310–311.

 List of Figures and Tables
 Notes on Editors and Contributors
Mary Hollingsworth, Miles Pattenden and Arnold Witte

Part 1: The Concept and Function

 1 The Medieval Background to the Cardinal’s Office
Barbara Bombi
 2 The College of Cardinals
Miles Pattenden
 3 The Rituals of the Cardinalate: Creation and Abdication
Jennifer Mara DeSilva
 4 Cardinals in Conclave
Mary Hollingsworth
 5 The Cardinal Nephew
Birgit Emich

Part 2: Cardinals and the Church

 6 Cardinals, Bishops, and Councils
Bernward Schmidt
 7 Cardinals and the Inquisition
Vincenzo Lavenia
 8  Cardinal Protectors of Religious Institutions
Arnold Witte
 9 Cardinals and the Apostolic Penitentiary
Kirsi Salonen
 10 Cardinals and Theology
Jean-Pascal Gay

Part 3: Cardinals and Secular Power

 11 Cardinal Legates and Nuncios
Alexander Koller
 12 Cardinal Protectors and National Interests
Bertrand Marceau
 13 Cardinals as National Politicians
Joseph Bergin
 14 Cardinals as Prince-Bishops
Bettina Braun

Part 4: Property and Wealth

 15 The Social Background and Education of Cardinals
Maria Antonietta Visceglia
 16 The Cardinal’s Household
Mary Hollingsworth
 17 Cardinals’ Property and Income
Lucinda Byatt
 18 Cardinals’ Testaments: Piety and Charity
Fausto Nicolai

Part 5: Cardinals and Rome

 19 Cardinals and the Government of the Papal States
Irene Fosi
 20 Cardinals and the Vacant See
John M. Hunt
 21 Cardinals and Their Titular Churches
Arnold Witte
 22 Cardinals’ Palaces: Architecture and Decoration
Patricia Waddy

Part 6: Cardinals and Mission

 23 Cardinals and the Non-Christian World
Miles Pattenden
 24 Cardinals and the Greek and Eastern Churches
Camille Rouxpetel
 25 Cardinals and the Creation of the Spanish Americas
Luis Martínez Ferrer
 26 Cardinals and the Congregation of the Propaganda Fide
Giovanni Pizzorusso

Part 7: Cardinals and Literature

 27 The Early Modern Historiography of Early Modern Cardinals
Miles Pattenden and Arnold Witte
 28 Treatises on the Ideal Cardinal
David S. Chambers
 29 Life-Writing and the Saintly Cardinal
Pamela M. Jones
 30 Cardinals and the Culture of Libraries and Learning
Maria Pia Donato

Part 8: Cardinals and the Visual Arts

 31 Cardinals as Patrons of the Visual Arts
Piers Baker-Bates, Mary Hollingsworth and Arnold Witte
 32 The Cardinal’s Wardrobe
 33 Portraits of Early Modern Cardinals
Clare Robertson
 34 Cardinals’ Tombs
Philipp Zitzlsperger
 35 Cardinals, Music, and Theatre
Franco Piperno
This book will interest researchers and students engaging with the history of the Catholic Church, its political and cultural dimensions, or the city of Rome, between 1420 and 1800. Keywords: Catholic Church; Popes; Rome; Italy; Early Modern History, Reformation, Renaissance; Counter-Reformation; Catholicism; Ecclesiastical History; Art History; Cultural History; Political History; Ecclesiastical History; 15th-18th centuries.
  • Collapse
  • Expand