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Conflicts, Confessions, and Contracts

Diocesan Justice in Late Fifteenth-Century Carpentras


Elizabeth Hardman

Diocesan Justice in Late Fifteenth-Century Carpentras uses notarial records from the 1480s to reconstruct the procedures, caseload, and sanctions of the bishop’s court of Carpentras and compare them to other secular and ecclesiastical courts. The court provided a robust forum for debt litigation utilized by a wide variety of people. Its criminal proceedings focused on recidivist clerics who engaged in fights, disobedience, anti-Jewish activities, and sexual transgressions. Its justice varied depending on whether cases involved violence, sex, or contracts. The judge applied sanctions gingerly and protected litigants’ rights carefully, in ways we might not expect: his role was to intervene in, explore, and document conflicts, and to elicit confessions and mediate disputes. Participants exploited this narrative and archival space well.

Scotland's Long Reformation

New Perspectives on Scottish Religion, c. 1500-c. 1660


Edited by John McCallum

Exploring processes of religious change in early-modern Scotland, this collection of essays takes a long-term perspective to consider developments in belief, identity, church structures and the social context of religion from the late-fifteenth century through to the mid-seventeenth century. The volume examines the ways in which tensions and conflicts with origins in the mid-sixteenth century continued to impact upon Scotland in the often violent seventeenth century, while also tracing deep continuities in Scotland's religious, cultural and intellectual life. The essays, the fruits of new research in the field, are united by a concern to appreciate fully the ambiguity of religious identity in post-Reformation Scotland, and to move beyond simplistic notions of a straightforward and unidirectional transition from Catholicism to Protestantism.

The Vacant See in Early Modern Rome

A Social History of the Papal Interregnum


John M. Hunt

In The Vacant See in Early Modern Rome John M. Hunt offers a social history of the papal interregnum from 1559 to 1655. The study concentrates on the Roman people’s relationship with their sacred ruler. Using criminal sources from the Archivio di Stato di Roma and Vatican sources, Hunt emphasizes the violent and tumultuous nature of the lapse in papal authority that followed the pope’s death. The vacant see was a time in which Romans of modest social backgrounds claimed unprecedented power. From personal acts of revenge to collective protests staged at the Capitol Hill and citywide discussions of the papal election the vacant see provided Romans with a unique opportunity for political involvement in an age of omnipresent hierarchy.