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The Papal Reform of the Eleventh Century: Lives of Pope Leo IX and Pope Gregory VII


The Papal Reform of the Eleventh Century: Lives of Pope Leo IX and Pope Gregory VII Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The eleventh-century papal reform transformed the western European Church and society and permanently altered the relations of Church and State in the west. The reform was inaugurated by Pope Leo IX (1048-54) and given a controversial change of direction by Pope Gregory VII (1073-85). This book contains the earliest biographies of both popes, presented here for the first time in English translation with detailed commentaries. The biographers of Leo IX were inspired by his universally acknowledged sanctity, whereas the biographers of Gregory VII wrote to defend his reputation against the hostility generated by his reforming methods and his conflict with King Henry IV. Also included is a translation of Book to a Friend, written by Bishop Bonizo of Sutri soon after the death of Gregory VII, as well as an extract from the violently anti-Gregorian polemic of Bishop Benzo of Alba (1085) and the short biography of Leo IX composed in the papal curia in the 1090s by Bishop Bruno of Segni.

Book News Annotation:

In this collection of primary resources, many translated for the first time, Robinson (medieval history, Trinity College, Dublin) gives readers a chance to experience the earliest biographies of popes that changed the Church and its relationship with Western states forever. After an extended introduction that provides context, Robinson provides able commentary on The Life of Pope Leo IX, To a Friend, also known as The Book of Bishop Bonizo of Sutri, and Paul of Bernried's The Life of Pope Gregory VII and also provides works by Benzio of Alba and a sermon on Simoniacs by Bruno of Segri. The result is a compelling picture of two very different men with very different ideas about what constitutes the role of the Church on earth and its responsibilities in guiding both the crowned heads of Europe and the common laity. Distributed by Palgrave.
Annotation 2005 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

About the Author

Ian Robinson is Professor of Medieval History at Trinity College, Dublin.

Table of Contents

Preface * Abbreviations * Introduction * The Life of Pope Leo IX * The Book of Bishop Bonzio of Sutri which is entitled To a Friend * Paul of Bernreid, Life of Pope Gregory VII * Appendix I: Benzo of Alba, To Emperor Hnry IV, Book VII.1-2 * Appendix II: Bruno of Segni, Sermon concerning Simoniacs, chapters 1--9

Product Details

Robinson, Ian
Manchester University Press
Robinson, Ian
Robinson, Ian
Christianity - Catholicism
Western Europe - General
Christianity - Catholic
Europe - Western
Religion Comparative-General
Edition Description:
Trade Paperback
Manchester Medieval Sources
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
Professional and scholarly
8.25 x 5.50 in

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » World History » European History General
History and Social Science » World History » General
Religion » Comparative Religion » General

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