POPLAMA - The universal Rome in cross-cultural perspective. Perceptions of the Orient at the Papal court in the late Middle Ages

Programma SIR–Scientific Independence of Young Researchers, MIUR

The myth of the universal Rome has fostered for centuries patterns of self-representation and motifs of cultural and religious expansion of the medieval papacy. But how was this topos implemented when the see of Peter was ‘exiled’ in Avignon? How were universalistic ideals still fashioned at the end of the Middle Ages? Despite the cultural history of the Avignon court has attracted increasing attention, the way this chief intellectual centre of late Medieval Europe combined quest of identity and representations of the religious Other has so far been overlooked. The aim of the project is to provide the first comprehensive and comparative analysis of the intellectual debates that developed within the Avignon court concerning Oriental cultures and populations. The attitudes and strategies of the Papacy with respect to the world beyond its frontiers, will be analyzed through a selection of diplomatic, theological, historical, and geographical writings compiled or circulating in the papal entourage during the fourteenth century. Moreover, the study of Western representations of the East will be integrated by a complementary analysis of the way in which the Roman Church and the figure of the pope were portrayed, understood, and discussed in Eastern contexts in the given period. Exogenous views on the papacy in the late medieval period will be examined by focusing on a specific case study, represented by 14th century Armenia.

 Project duration
23-09-2015 / 22-09-2018

Unibo Team Leader
Irene Bueno, PI

Alma Mater Studiorum - Università di Bologna

308,000 EURO

ERC Sectors:

 SH6 The Study of the Human Past: Archaeology and history