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The Pope’s MenThe Papal Civil Service in the Renaissance$
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Peter Partner

Print publication date: 1990

Print ISBN-13: 9780198219958

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198219958.001.0001

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The Curial Point of View

The Curial Point of View

(p.111) 5 The Curial Point of View
The Pope’s Men

Peter Partner

Oxford University Press

During the Renaissance period, the Roman Church experienced external challenges, but it maintained its authority and supremacy through judicial, theological, and mystical powers and pronouncements. One way in which the Church maintained its primacy was through elaborate coats of arms and through various ceremonies, which were made public to indicate the power and dignity of the Roman See. Papal clerks and officials were pressured into conforming to the proceedings and practices of the Church and to observe confraternity; however, patronage and clientage often played a major part in the lives and the duties of court officials. This chapter discusses the emergence of disparate groups in the ranks of court officials in the fourteenth century. These groups created a new literary movement and headed the curial humanism that created sardonic and critical literatures on the Roman court and the clergy. In this literary movement, men of dissent aspired for moral nobility and rallied for the life of otium, of learned leisure, and to depart from a life of subservience, duty, and business.

Keywords:   Roman Church, Roman See, disparate groups, literary movement, curial humanism, sardonic literature, critical literature, moral nobility

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