IMC 2007: Sessions

Session 521: Rome: Readings and Projections

Tuesday 10 July 2007, 09.00-10.30

Moderator/Chair:Frances Andrews, Department of Mediaeval History, University of St Andrews
Paper 521-aRegistering Rome: The Eternal City through the Eyes of Pope Gregory VII
(Language: English)
Ken Grant, Department of History & Philosophy, University of Texas - Pan American
Index terms: Ecclesiastical History, Liturgy
Paper 521-bAssessment of the Political Symbolism of the City of Rome in the Writings of John of Salisbury
(Language: English)
Irene A. O'Daly, Gonville & Caius College, University of Cambridge / Trinity College, Dublin
Index terms: Learning (The Classical Inheritance), Political Thought
Paper 521-cRome in the Centre of Church History according to Revelationes Celestes by St Birgitta of Sweden
(Language: English)
Emilia Maria Żochowska, Uniwersytet Kardynała Stefana Wyszyńskiego, Warsazwa
Index terms: Political Thought, Religious Life, Theology

Paper a: The late 11th century found the Eternal City a shadow of its former glory. This diminished reality did not dampen the passions of those who lived in its environs, as is clear from the often contentious relationship between people and pope. Pope Gregory VII, deeply immersed in the life and character of Rome through his many years living in the city, reveals through the letters of his Register his view of the city and the people. From moments of great devotion to the final disgraced ‘rescue’ by Robert Guiscard and the Normans, Pope Gregory VII’s Register provides a unique perspective on the city and the people of Rome.
Paper b: Focussing on John of Salisbury’s analysis of contemporary Rome (its citizenry, its revived ‘republican’ institutions, its ecclesiastical role and its antique symbolism) the paper shall consider the extent to which John’s study and use of Roman political ideas was affected by his perceptions of the city. To what degree does John’s use of Roman political doctrine contrast with his Christian world-view, where, broadly speaking, the city of Rome conveys images of paganism and inept rulership? Through examining the rhetorical function of the city of Rome as a trope in John’s corpus of political writings the paper shall aim to determine the link between 12th-century conceptions of antiquity and contemporary political reasoning.
Paper-c: City of Rome has a crucial meaning in St. Birgitta’s political thought and theology. The New Testament history is concentrated in the City, where three main epochs of Christianity could be seen as in a spotlight: the age of the martyrs, present epoch of the sinners, and a future glory of the renewed Church. St. Birgitta sees Rome as a symbol of the Church and as a very center of it’s political and social life. By preaching her Revelations, kept in an Old Testament prophetic style, she tried to influence both of those levels. Saint Birgitta of Sweden spent many years living in Rome (1348-1373), where she preached her revelations to the popes, calling them to come back to the Apostolic See and finish the Avignon Captivity.