Now Available – New Title in Ames Foundation Publication Series

Ames Foundation, New Book editor

The Spoils of the Pope and the Pirates, 1357: The Complete Legal Dossier from the Vatican Archives

Edited by:
Daniel Williman & Karen Ann Corsano

Over the course of almost fifty years, the editors have pieced together from the vast archive of the Avignonese papacy fifty-four documents that tell the story of a shipwrecked pirate ship carrying treasure of the papal Camera at Avignon from the estate of a worldly bishop of Lisbon.

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Most of these documents are accounts and inventories. In them we can trace the activities on a daily basis of the papal collectors and learn about the stunning amount of ‘stuff’ that the worldly bishop left behind at his death. Scattered throughout the inventories of goods are lists of manuscripts. A network of mercantile transactions can be traced as agents of the bishop admit to what they owe or argue that they are owed more than they owe. Pieces of the story can be filled in from papal and other official letters and from three sets of depositions. The documents not only tell this story, they also provide remarkable insights into how the most extensive of medieval bureaucracies worked.

The documents are edited in full in Latin, accompanied by English summaries. The editors have provided a brief introduction that tells the story more fully and gives guidance as to the many types of money that appear in the documents and to the different series of Vatican archives that they have used. There is a bibliography, an extensive index of persons and places, an index of topics, and a glossary.

Spoils of the Pope and the Pirate, 1357:
The Complete Legal Dossier from the Vatican Archives

Price: $90.00
Item #: 1000434
Published: Cambridge; Ames Foundation; 2014.
Distributed: William S. Hein & Co., Inc.

*This title will also be available online as an e-book via this link: and in HeinOnline’s Selden Society Publications and the History of Early English Law.

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