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Lanfranc: Scholar, Monk, and Archbishop: Scholar, Monk, Archbishop [Hardcover]

H. E. J. Cowdrey

Price: 105.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

2 Jan 2003 0199259607 978-0199259601
Lanfranc of Pavia was archbishop of Canterbury from 1070 to 1089, and so for nineteen critical years in the history of the Anglo-Norman church and kingdom after the Norman conquest of 1066. He came to Canterbury with long experience of intellectual and ecclesiastical currents, including reforming currents, in mid-eleventh-century western Europe. At first concerned with the liberal arts, after migrating to Normandy he turned to sacred study; he commented upon the Pauline Epistles and engaged Berengar of Tours in eucharistic controversy. He became prominent in the fourishing monastic life of Normandy at Bec and as abbot of Duke William's foundation of Saint-Etienne at Caen. At Canterbury, he was King William's loyal and effective collaborator in renewing and reordering church life, using councils as a principal means.

By no means a 'court-prelate', Lanfranc may be best characterized as a monk-archbishop, a role in which he was reinforced by being ex-officio abbot of a cathedral monastery at Canterbury. Canterbury's prestige and interests were a major concern; Lanfranc claimed for the see a primacy over the whole British Isles. Towards the great pope of his day, Gregory VII (1073-85), he was surprisingly cool.

This is the first full scholarly study of Lanfranc for thirty years. It reconsiders his career and outstanding achievements in all major aspects, focusing on his qualities of wisdom, diligence, and statesmanship. It is an intelligent and considered historical biography which brings Lanfranc out from the shadow of his successor, St Anselm, and reveals him as among the very greatest of the archbishops of Canterbury.

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...a very comprehensive study that focuses on all the major aspects on Lanfranc's contribution. (Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae)

... the rich colour of recent research, major elements of it Cowdrey's own, shines out in this portrait. It is a work which presents, in the final analysis, a deeply erudite, sensitive, elegant, and largely convincing interpretation of its subject that brings Lanfranc compellingly to life. It significantly enhances our understanding of him and the Anglo-Norman and wider European ecclesiastical and secular landscape in which he moved. (History)

A major strength of the book is its contextualization of Lanfranc's life. Cowdrey's portrait of Lanfranc is 'in a landscape', and one that is rich and varied. (History)

[Cowdrey] provides a careful and exact account of this powerful, conventional churchman. (Robert Bartlett, Times Literary Supplement)

...an outstanding book which will be the standard work for years to come. (The English Historical Review.)

About the Author

H. E. J. Cowdrey is Emeritus Fellow, St. Edmund Hall, Oxford.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Lanfranc's birthplace, Pavia, had its origin in the Roman municipium of Ticinum which was established before the Christian era on the River Ticino, just north of its confluence with the River Po. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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