Download Eclipse of Empire? Perceptions of the Western Empire and Its Rulers in Late-medieval France (Cursor Mundi) epub
by Chris Jones
Through an innovative and wide-ranging exploration this book examines the reality behind the assumption that the idea of a universal ruler became increasingly irrelevant in late-medieval Europe. Focusing on France in the century before the outbreak of the Hundred Years War, it explores attitudes towards the contemporary institution of the western Empire, its rulers, and its place in the world. Historians have tended to assume that there was little place for a universal Empire and its would-be rulers in late-medieval thought. Pointing to the rapid decline in the fortunes of the Empire after the death of the Emperor Frederick II, the rediscovery of Aristotle's Politics by western Europeans, and the growing confidence - and burgeoning bureaucracy - of the kings of France and England, it is often argued that the claims to universal domination of men like the Emperor Henry VII, or indeed of popes like Boniface VIII, were becoming increasingly anachronistic, not to say a little ridiculous. Perceptions of the Empire undoubtedly changed in this period. Yet, whether it was in the cloisters of Saint-Denis, the pamphlets of Pierre Dubois, or even the thought of Charles d'Anjou, the first Angevin king of Sicily, this book argues that the Empire and its ruler still had an important, indeed unique, role to play in a properly ordered Christian society.
Brepols (distributed) (October 2007)
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