Angelus Pacis: The Legation of Cardinal Giovanni Gaetano Orsini, 1326-1334


Angelus Pacis explores the largely overlooked legation of Cardinal Giovanni Gaetano Orsini, who served as Pope John XXII’s legatus a latere to central Italy from 1326 to 1334. Orsini's appointment constituted a break from the Avignon papacy's traditional reliance on Gallic agents in Italy — a fact which contributed significantly to both the successes and the failures of his legation. The book examines Avignonese papal policy in Italy and the peculiar circumstances that necessitated Orsini's legation; Orsini's powerful Roman family; the nature of the legatine power he wielded; his campaigns in Tuscany and the Papal States; his provocative signoria in Rome; his reform initiatives; and the reasons underlying the ultimate failure of his mission.
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Biographical Note

Blake R. Beattie, Ph.D. (1992) in Medieval Studies, University of Toronto, is Associate Professor of History at the University of Louisville. He has published articles on Avignonese curial preaching and later medieval Italy.

Table of contents

Acknowledgements . ix

Introduction .. xi

Chapter One Italy and Avignon, 1305–1325 . 1
Chapter Two MCCXXV .. 23
Chapter Three Cardinal Giovanni Gaetano Orsini and His Family .. 41
Chapter Four Legatus a Latere .. 65
Chapter Five Legatus Tuscie .. 89
Chapter Six From Tuscany to the Patrimony, 1328/1329 .. 111
Chapter Seven Capitaneus Urbis . 133
Chapter Eight Legatine Administration and Reform . 155
Chapter Nine The Failure of a Legation .. 179

Appendix A General Mandate of the Legation .. 203
Appendix B Subsidiary Powers . 207
Appendix C Familiares of Cardinal Giovanni Gaetano Orsini .. 213
Appendix D Benefices of Giovanni Gaetano Orsini .. 217
Bibliography .. 221

Index .. 231


The book is aimed at historians with an interest in the Avignon papacy or later medieval Italy as well as cultural historians and scholars of the medieval Church.


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