Victoria's Reviews > Papal Justice: Subjects and Courts in the Papal State, 1500-1750

Papal Justice by Irene Fosi
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's review
Jan 14, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: 2012, history, history-italy, history-early-modern, history-rome, non-fiction
Read from January 13 to 15, 2012

Very engaging synthesis, but not without problems:

- synthetic reading of the sources obviates the possibility for in-depth discussion of any of the thematic issues raised in each chapter; instead, each chapter contributes to an overall synthetic argument about the disjointed nature of early modern justice, which is already well known;

- poorly sourced, so it's not possible to trace the broader discussions that she alludes to;

- poorly defined chronology: claims to begin in 1500, but little discussion of anything before the 1540s (possibly the nature of the sources -- the Governor's tribunal's records only go back to 1542, and of course the Holy Office was only established in that year); never really explained how the period up to 1750 hangs together beyond the fact that it's all (arguably) "early modern";

- alludes to some mythologizing of the contrast between justice in decadent, baroque Rome and justice in rational, enlightened somewhere-else, but doesn't actually go anywhere with it.

Basically, it contained some really cool case studies but little else of any substance.

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