By (author) Rennie, Kriston R.
As the pope's alter ego, the medieval papal legate was the crucial connecting link between Rome and the Christian provinces. Commissioned with varying degrees of papal authority and jurisdiction, these hand-picked representatives of the Roman Church were nothing less than the administrative, legal, and institutional embodiment of papal justice, diplomacy, government, and law during the Middle Ages. By examining the origins and development of this ecclesiastical office in the early Middle Ages, this book defines the papacy's early contribution to medieval European law and society. Presenting a pioneering inquiry into the field, The Foundations of Medieval Papal Legation demonstrates the growth of papal government and its increasing reliance on representation beyond Rome, explaining how this centralized position was achieved over time, going further to legitimize the papacy's burgeoning need for increased supervision, mediation, and communication throughout western Christendom. In so doing, it contributes to a wider administrative, legal, and institutional understanding of papal government in early medieval Europe as a whole.