Absolute Monarchs A History of the Papacy

ISBN-10: 0812978846

ISBN-13: 9780812978841

Edition: N/A

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Description: Critical praise for ABSOLUTE MONARCHS“Absolute Monarchssprawls across Europe and the Levant, over two millenniums, and with an impossibly immense cast: 265 popes, feral hordes of Vandals, Huns and Visigoths, expansionist emperors, Byzantine intriguers, Borgias and Medicis, heretic zealots, conspiring clerics, bestial inquisitors and more. Norwich manages to organize this crowded stage and produce a rollicking narrative. He keeps things moving at nearly beach-read pace.”—Bill Keller,New York TimesBook Review, Cover review “Renowned historian Norwich offers a rollicking account of the men who held the papal office, their shortcomings and their virtues, and the impact of the papacy on world history. He conducts us masterfully on a tour of the lives of the popes from Peter to Benedict XVI. . . . Entertaining and deeply researched, Norwich’s history offers a wonderful introduction to papal lives.”—Publishers Weekly “Historian, travel writer, and television documentarian Norwich presents an excellent, often surprising history of that 2,000-year-old institution….he focuses on political history as he traces the evolution of the papacy as an institution, while at the same time providing entertaining profiles of the most historically significant popes….An outstanding historical survey.”—Booklist “When Norwich writes, I read; this member of the House of Lords is a notable and engrossing historian, perhaps best known for his monumental study of Byzantium. Here he offers a history of the nearly two-millennia-old papacy that should be popular with many readers.”—Library Journal “A spirited, concise chronicle of the accomplishments of the most noteworthy popes. . . . Norwich doesn’t skirt controversies, ancient and present, in this broad, clear-eyed assessment.”—Kirkus Reviews  A SWEEPING CHRONICLE OF ONE OF THE MOST SIGNIFICANT—AND CONTROVERSIAL—INSTITUTIONS IN HISTORY With the papacy embattled in recent years, it is essential to have the perspective of one of the world’s most accomplished historians. InAbsolute Monarchs, John Julius Norwich captures nearly two thousand years of inspiration and devotion, intrigue and scandal. The men (and maybe one woman) who have held this position of infallible power over millions have ranged from heroes to rogues, admirably wise to utterly decadent. Norwich, who knew two popes and had private audiences with two others, recounts in riveting detail the histories of the most significant popes and what they meant politically, culturally, and socially to Rome and to the world.Norwich presents such brave popes as Innocent I, who in the fifth century successfully negotiated with Alaric the Goth, an invader civil authorities could not defeat, and Leo I, who two decades later tamed (and perhaps paid off) Attila the Hun. Here, too, are the scandalous figures: Pope Joan, the mythic woman said (without any substantiation) to have been elected in 855, and the infamous “pornocracy,” the five libertines who were descendants or lovers of Marozia, debauched daughter of one of Rome’s most powerful families.Absolute Monarchsbrilliantly portrays reformers such as Pope Paul III, “the greatest pontiff of the sixteenth century,” who reinterpreted the Church’s teaching and discipline, and John XXIII, who in five short years starting in 1958 “opened up the church to the twentieth century,” instituting reforms that led to Vatican II. Norwich brings the story to the present day with Benedict XVI, who is coping with a global priest sex scandal.Epic and compelling,Absolute Monarchsis the astonishing story of some of history’s most revered and reviled figures, men who still cast light and shadows on the Vatican and the world today.From the Hardcover edition.

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Book details

List price: $24.00
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 5/15/2012
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 528
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.25" long x 1.25" tall
Weight: 1.254
Language: English

John Julius Norwich was born on September 15, 1929. He was educated at Upper Canada College, Toronto, Canada as a wartime evacuee, at Eton College, and at the University of Strasbourg. He served in the Royal Navy before receiving a degree in French and Russian at New College, Oxford. After graduation, he joined the H. M. Foreign Service and served in Belgrade, Beirut, and as a member of British delegation to the Disarmament Conference in Geneva. In 1954, he inherited the title of Viscount Norwich. In 1964, he resigned from the Foreign Service to become a writer. He is an English historian, travel writer and television personality. His books include A History of Venice, A Short History of Byzantium, Shakespeare's Kings: the Great Plays and the History of England in the Middle Ages: 1337-1485, The Twelve Days of Christmas, and Absolute Monarchs: A History of the Papacy. He was the host of the BBC radio panel game My Word! from 1978 to 1982. He has written and presented more than 30 television documentaries including The Fall of Constantinople, Napoleon's Hundred Days, Cort�s and Montezuma, Maximilian of Mexico, The Knights of Malta, The Treasure Houses of Britain, and The Death of the Prince Imperial in the Zulu War.

Introduction
St. Peter
Defenders of the City (c. 100-536)
Vigilius (537-555)
Gregory the Great (590-604)
Leo III and Charlemagne (795-861)
Pope Joan (855?-857?)
Nicholas I and the Pornocracy (855-964)
Schism (964-1054)
Gregory VII and the Normans
Innocent and Anacletus
The English Pope
Alexander III and Frederick Barbarossa
Innocent III
The End of the Hohenstaufen
Avignon
Laetentur Coeli!
The Renaissance
The Monsters
The Medici Pair
The Counter-Reformation
Baroque Rome
The Age of Reason
The Jesuits and the Revolution
Progress and Reaction
Pio Nono
Leo XIII and the First World War
Pius XI and Pius XII
Vatican II and After
Bibliography
List of Popes and Antipopes
Maps
Modern Italy
Medieval Rome
Papal States in the 16th Century
Index
Illustration Credits
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