A house divided: San Pietro in Ciel d'Oro in Pavia and the politics of Pope John XXII

Sharon Dale

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3 Scopus citations


In 1327, Pope John XXII issued a bull granting the Hermits of St Augustine shared possession of San Pietro in Ciel d'Oro in Pavia, a church that had been controlled solely by the Canons Regular for over 100 years. The ostensible purpose of the bull was to 'reunite' the Hermits with their putative founder, St Augustine, whose relics had been brought to the church by the Lombard king Liutprand. This article traces the process by which the Hermits' long and mutually rewarding relationship with the papacy shaped the order's distinctive theological focus on papal supremacy, that, in part, explains John XXII's apparent generosity regarding San Pietro in Ciel d'Oro. I propose that this unprecedented bull was part of a carefully crafted policy of political action and retribution by the Pope in his battle with the Visconti and the Empire for temporal control of northern Italy. The role of the city of Pavia as the epicentre in the struggle between the papacy and the Empire is elucidated as is the overtly political acitivity of both religious orders at San Pietro in Ciel d'Oro, the Canons Regular allied with the Empire, the Hermits, with the papacy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)55-77
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Medieval History
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • History


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