The year 2000 witnessed the 900th anniversary of the birth of Adrian IV, the only Englishman to sit on the papal throne. His short pontificate of four and a half years, distracted by crisis and controversy and followed as it was by an 18-year schism, could be judged a low point in the history of the papacy. The studies in this book challenge the view that Adrian was little more than a cipher, the tool of powerful factions in the Curia. This is the first large-scale work on Adrian since 1925, and is supported by a substantial appendix of relevant sources and documents in facing translation. Relations with the Empire, the Norman kingdom and the Patrimony are all radically reassessed and the authenticity of 'Laudabiliter' reconsidered. At the same time, the spiritual, educational and devotional contexts in which he was operating are fully assessed; his activities in Catalonia and his legatine mission to Scandinavia are examined in the light of recent research, and his special relationship with St Albans is explored through his privileges to this great abbey. These studies by leading scholars in the field, together with the introductory chapter by Christopher Brooke, reveal an active and engaged pope, reacting creatively to the challenges and crises of the Church and the world.
Table of Contents
Contents: Preface; The Pontificate of Adrian IV: Adrian IV and John of Salisbury, Christopher N. L. Brooke; The Canon Regular: Saint-Ruf in context, Christoph Egger; The abbot-crusader: Nicholas Breakspear in Catalonia, Damian J. Smith; The papal legate: Nicholas Breakspear's Scandinavian mission, Anders Bergquist; Summus pontifex. The ritual and ceremonial of the Papal Court, Susan E. Twyman; St Albans' loyal son, Brenda Bolton; Totius christianitatis caput. The Pope and the princes, Anne J. Duggan; Nova familia beati Petri. Adrian IV and the patrimony, Brenda Bolton; Servus servorum Dei, Anne J. Duggan; Sources and Documents: Narrative sources; Privileges and charters; Index.
'This is a solidly useful book about a Pope who is little known...His commemorative volume does him justice.' Church Times '... as close as we shall come to a definitive study of one of the great over-achievers of his age.' The International History Review 'Overall Adrian IV provides the most comprehensive view of Adrian IV's life and career that one is likely to find.' The Medieval Review