Inquiring into Adultery and Other Wicked Deeds: Episcopal Justice in Tenth- and Early Eleventh-Century Italy
This article suggests that Italian bishops often had recourse to spiritual penalties to exercise their coercive authority over serious offences during the tenth and early eleventh centuries. Tracing the history of episcopal jurisdiction over serious offences from the ninth century, where it was supported by the Carolingian rulers, into the post-Carolingian world of the tenth and early eleventh centuries, it argues for continuity between the earlier and later periods. It thus revises the widely accepted view that episcopal interest in the use of such penalties only reemerged in the period after the Gregorian reform as a consequence of the political marginalization of bishops created by the emergence of the communes.
Vol. 41, No. 2, pp.21-44