The Transformation of a Religious Landscape: Medieval Southern Italy, 850-1150 by Valerie RamseyerThe Transformation of a Religious Landscape: Medieval Southern Italy, 850-1150 by Valerie Ramseyer

The Transformation of a Religious Landscape: Medieval Southern Italy, 850-1150

byValerie Ramseyer

Hardcover | June 8, 2006

Pricing and Purchase Info


Earn 448 plum® points

In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores


The Transformation of a Religious Landscape paints a detailed picture of the sheer variety of early medieval Christian practice and organization, as well as the diverse modes in which church reform manifested itself in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. From the rich archives of the abbey of the Holy Trinity of Cava, Valerie Ramseyer reconstructed the complex religious history of southern Italy. No single religious or political figure claimed authority in the region before the eleventh century, and pastoral care was provided by a wide variety of small religious houses. The line between the secular and the regular clergy was not well pronounced, nor was the boundary between the clergy and the laity or between eastern and western religious practices.

In the second half of the eleventh century, however, the archbishop of Salerno and the powerful abbey of Cava acted to transform the situation. Centralized and hierarchical ecclesiastical structures took shape, and an effort was made to standardize religious practices along the lines espoused by reform popes such as Leo IX and Gregory VII. Yet prelates in southern Italy did not accept all aspects of the reform program emanating from centers such as Rome and Cluny, and the region's religious life continued to differ in many respects from that in Francia: priests continued to marry and have children, laypeople to found and administer churches, and Greek clerics and religious practices to coexist with those sanctioned by Rome.

Valerie Ramseyer is Associate Professor of History at Wellesley College.
Title:The Transformation of a Religious Landscape: Medieval Southern Italy, 850-1150Format:HardcoverDimensions:240 pages, 9.25 × 6.13 × 0.33 inPublished:June 8, 2006Publisher:CORNELL UNIVERSITY PRESSLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0801444039

ISBN - 13:9780801444036

Look for similar items by category:


Table of Contents


Part I. Christianity in the Lombard Era (c. 849–1077)

Chapter 1. Society and Government before the Normans

Chapter 2. Religious Authority and Ecclesiastical Organization before Centralization

Chapter 3. Religious Houses and the Clergy before Reform

Part II. Reorganization and Reform in the Norman Period (c. 1050–1130)

Chapter 4. The New Archbishopric of Salerno

Chapter 5. The Construction of a Monastic Lordship: The Abbey of the Holy Trinity of Cava

Epilogue: Changes and Continuities

Works Cited

Editorial Reviews

"This deeply impressive study of ecclesiastical life in Salerno reveals the enduring and creative coexistence of both the Greek and Latin Christian traditions in medieval southern Italy, as well as the limits of papal reform efforts in the eleventh and twelfth centuries to impose a Roman uniformity on this distinctive local church. Valerie Ramseyer demonstrates not only that ecclesiastical life in the Prinicipality of Salerno differed markedly from that in Carolingian Europe but also that it retained many of its distinctive features after the Gregorian reform. This highly significant and richly drawn portrait of the Salernitan church contributes to a new ecclesiastical history that acknowledges the rich diversity of Christian practice and institutional forms in medieval Europe."—Maureen Miller, University of California, Berkeley