Cover image for A Constellation of Authority: Castilian Bishops and the Secular Church During the Reign of Alfonso VIII  By Kyle C. Lincoln

A Constellation of Authority

Castilian Bishops and the Secular Church During the Reign of Alfonso VIII

Kyle C. Lincoln

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$114.95 | Hardcover Edition
ISBN: 978-0-271-09437-3

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230 pages
6" × 9"
1 map
2023

Iberian Encounter and Exchange, 475–1755

A Constellation of Authority

Castilian Bishops and the Secular Church During the Reign of Alfonso VIII

Kyle C. Lincoln

A Constellation of Authority is a significant accomplishment from a promising young scholar. By piecing together the evidence of numerous cases into a coherent picture amidst the relative absence of existing literature, Lincoln demonstrates considerable acumen as well as intellectual courage. Readers will come away with an increased appreciation of the crucial role that bishops played in the social and political order of Castile, and indeed of all Latin Christendom, in the age of Alfonso VIII.”

 

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During the long reign of Alfonso VIII, Castilian bishops were crusaders, castellans, cathedral canons, and collegiate officers, and they served as powerful intermediaries between the pope and the king of Castile. In A Constellation of Authority, Kyle C. Lincoln traces the careers of a septet of these bishops and uses this history to fill in much of what really happened in thirteenth-century Castile.

The relationships that local prelates cultivated with Alfonso VIII and the Castilian royal family existed in tension with how they related to the reigning pope. Drawing on diocesan archives, monastic collections, and chronicles, Lincoln reconstructs the complex negotiations and navigations these bishops undertook to maintain the balance among the papal and royal agendas and their own interests. Lincoln examines the bishops' ties to crusades and political influence, the growth of canon and Roman law, religious and church reform, and the canonization of local leaders. In the process, he makes the case that the medieval past is best illuminated by the combined luminescence of a “constellation of authority” represented, at least in part, by a conglomerate of bishops.

Through seven case studies, each examining a prelate in his individual historical context, A Constellation of Authority improves our understanding of the politics of thirteenth-century Castile and provides an important foundation for further consideration of the ties between Castile and the broader European medieval world. It will appeal to medieval Hispanists and historians of the medieval church and episcopacy.

A Constellation of Authority is a significant accomplishment from a promising young scholar. By piecing together the evidence of numerous cases into a coherent picture amidst the relative absence of existing literature, Lincoln demonstrates considerable acumen as well as intellectual courage. Readers will come away with an increased appreciation of the crucial role that bishops played in the social and political order of Castile, and indeed of all Latin Christendom, in the age of Alfonso VIII.”
“As a work of Iberian ecclesiastical history, A Constellation of Authority participates in the vigorous scholarly conversation of the last few decades. As a study of the twelfth-century Castilian episcopate, it is wholly original—its painstaking archival research has uncovered previously unknown documentary evidence.”

Kyle C. Lincoln is Assistant Professor of Pre-Modern European History and Interdisciplinary Humanities at Southeastern Oklahoma State University. He is coauthor of The Remaking of the Medieval World, 1204 and coeditor of King Alfonso VIII of Castile: Government, Family, and War.

Acknowledgements

1. “A Constellation of Authority”: Using Episcopal Sources to Recover Castilian History in the Time of Alfonso VIII

2. The Importance of Being Archbishop: Celebruno, Bishop of Sigüenza and Archbishop of Toledo

3. Homo Ignarus or Reparator Regni? The Curious Case of Ramón II de Minerva of Palencia

4. A Milanese Lawyer at the Castilian Court: Alderico di Palacio of Sigüenza and Palencia

5. A Reformer and a Gentleman: Martín Bazán of Osma

6. “His Name Was Martín Magnus”: Martín López de Pisuerga and an Archiepiscopate for the Thirteenth Century

7. A Mozarab? A Reformer? A Saintly Professor? Julián ben Tauro of Cuenca

8. How to Get Away with Murder: Rodrigo de Finojosa, Bishop of Sigüenza

9. Palea, Comparanda, and Conclusions

Appendix: Summary Profiles of the Castilian Episcopate, 1158–1214

Notes

Bibliography

Index

Download a PDF sample chapter here: Chapter1