The New Solomon

Robert of Naples (1309-1343) and Fourteenth-Century Kingship


The first full-length study of Robert of Naples’ reign in over seventy years, this volume analyzes Robert’s policies and image in the context of larger shifts in rulership from the Middle Ages to the early modern period.
Treating kingship as a joint enterprise of king and court, it draws on an interdisciplinary range of sources from chronicles, sermons, popular poetry, and works of art to diplomatic and archival records, to reassess the major issues of his reign and underscore the importance of image-making and negotiation to his rule. The final chapter tracks the legacy of his image as “the Wise,” adopted by later fourteenth-century kings of France, Bohemia, and England before its eclipse in favour of princely prudence in the Renaissance.

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Samantha Kelly, Ph.D. (1998) in History, Northwestern University, is Assistant Professor of History at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.
'The book Kelly has given us provides us with a wealth of information including two maps, a genealogical table, an annotated appendix listing all the manuscripts of political sermons used for the study...a model study in that it provides us with a fresh approach and new materials with which to understand both Angevin history and the nature of kingship and court culture in the medieval and early modern periods.'
Katherine L. Jansen, The Medieval Review, 2004.
'...a highly successful monograph...'
Ronald G. Musto, Renaissance Quarterly, 2004.

Winner in January 2005 of the 30th annual Howard R. Marraro Prize of the American Catholic Historical Association.
List of Illustrations .. ix
List of Tables .. xi
Acknowledgments .. xiii
List of Abbreviations .. xv

1. Introduction .. 1

2. Patronage .. 22
The Patron-Prince .. 26
Petrarch and Neapolitan Humanism .. 41
Patronage and Publicity as Instruments of Rule .. 49
Culture and the Court .. 54

3. Piety .. 73
Defender of Heretics: A Reassessment .. 74
Royal Piety and the Realm .. 90
Piety and the Pope: The Sacred Vassal .. 104
Sacred by Blood: Beata stirps .. 119
Pious Publicity in the Fourteenth Century .. 129

4. Justice .. 133
The Structure of the Royal Administration .. 137
The Crown and the Nobility .. 139
The Crown and the Municipalities .. 153
The Royal Administration: Personnel and Policy .. 162
Royal Publicity: Robert’s Sermons on Justice .. 173
The Limits of Royal Publicity .. 182

5. Prudence .. 193
Imperial Policy: Rhetoric and Practice .. 194
An Angevin Empire? .. 204
Italian Policy: Challenges and Solutions .. 214
Venice .. 214
Genoa .. 220
Florence .. 227
Prudence .. 235

6. Wisdom .. 242
Robert “the Wise”: Royal Practice and Publicity .. 243
Royal Wisdom: Sources and Models .. 259
Wisdom: Queen of Virtues or Feminized Vice? .. 269
Wisdom as Legitimacy: Robert and Carobert .. 275
Conclusion .. 283

7. Wise Kingship and the Fourteenth Century 287

Appendix: Angevin Dynastic Sermons from Robert’s Reign 307
Bibliography .. 315
Index .. 331
Those interested in political and intellectual history, preaching, and court culture in the Middle Ages and Renaissance, as well as specialists in Italian history and art.
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