By Robert Brentano
Distinct historian Robert Brentano presents a wholly new viewpoint at the personality of the church, faith, and society within the medieval Italian diocese of Rieti from 1188 to 1378. Combing via a cache of formerly overlooked files kept in a tower of the cathedral, he makes use of wills, litigation lawsuits, economic debts, and different files to reconstruct the way of life of the diocese.
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Extra info for A New World in a Small Place: Church and Religion in the Diocese of Rieti, 1188-1378
At its most distant from its episcopal city the diocese stretched away to the northeast past Campotosto (if one measures simply by drawing a straight line) for more than forty-seven kilometers, and to the southeastern past Corvaro and Cartore for more than fifty-two; although its boundary to the east past Contigliano was hardly more than ten kilometers from Rieti. The physical size of the diocese changed drastically in the mid-thirteenth century, when in 1256 and 1257 Pope Alexander IV constituted the new diocese of L'Aquila and removed (or began to remove) from Rieti much of the large territory of Amiterno to the east of Rieti and to the west of the new city of L'Aquila, and reduced the surface of the diocese from an area of about thirty-five hundred square kilometers to one of about three thousand.
Whose is the land, Andrea's or Santa Maria's? 62 These may be stories of memories of larger tracts once held by Santa Maria and later divided: memories already in the time of Bishop Rainaldo de Labro, grown more distant but of renewed interest in the < previous page page_32 next page > < previous page page_33 next page > Page 33 time of Bishop Giovanni Papazurrinot major sources of income in the time of Bishop Biagio da Leonessa. The chapter's inquest, like the city statutes' securing of the adherence of the towns in the valley of the Canera and their talk of San Salvatore, San Pastore, and the Franciscan hermitages, takes one outside the city walls to the near country, not in these cases generally to identical places, but to places with the same sorts of closeness to the city, forming the same kinds of neighborhood in the nearest reaches of the big diocese of Rieti.
The heretic produces more talk; there is more sound around him; and, although it is almost entirely Latin talk, that does not entirely obscure the Italian sound beneath it. The heretic in his parody of sanctity and others' reaction to this parody offers a kind of diagram of what sanctity or at least piety have become, a century after Francis's death; the reaction to reaction offers, too, a new diagram of Reatine society in which the doors of city dwellings are hooked together by spreading gossip and begging friars, who go among them hostiatim.