Papal Letters, Networks, and Geographies, 844-1032
This project stems from my dissertation research which studies the social and political networks of the later early medieval popes through the medium of papal letters. In order to understand how the popes interacted with and used both these networks and the genre of ‘the letter’ to pursue their aims, I mine the texts for information about correspondents. Using geographic data about these correspondents, I map what locations and regions the popes mention in their letters and the relative frequency of these references. These maps and their underpinning data will serve not only to interrogate arguments about the disintegration of political units and the localisation of power in Western Europe at the end of the first millennium from the perspective of a notable contemporary institution, but also to raise questions about the relationship between power, authority, and geography.
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