This is a study of papal bureaucracy during the Renaissance, a time when the Pope was among the most powerful of European rulers. The men who ran the Renaissance Papacy were an important and talented group, including among their number luminaries of Italian humanist literature and scholarship, distinguished church leaders, and statesmen of far-reaching influence. Based on extensive research in Italian archives, The Pope's Men
explores the bureaucracy of an early modern state, and the patronage network which permeated and in many ways controlled it. Peter Partner sets the ruling elite of the Renaissance Papacy in its social and political
context, and analyses its composition and the ways it operated. He shows the struggle for power in Rome among the competing Italian regions and families. This is a fascinating and scholarly study of men who could be scholars, poets, thinkers, and patrons of the arts, as well as servants of a state of great spiritual and temporal power.
'important study ... subtle and informative book'
Times Literary Supplement
'This book is a welcome addition to the literature on the papal Curia in the Renaissance. As so much of what has been written about the Curia is in German, it is useful for English readers to have this account of the workings of the Curia and the responsibilities of its officials in English.'
Christine Shaw, London School of Economics, History, June 1992
'a valuable companion to Peter Partner's earlier studies of the papal state and the society of Renaissance Rome ... this book is a welcome addition to the field of Renaissance studies, in particular because it shows us the shaky financial underpinnings and bloated bureaucracy that were beneath the beguiling artistic and cultural programs of the Renaissance papacy.'
Nancy Spatz, University of Colorado, Speculum - A Journal of Medieval Studies, July 1993
'without doubt the most important study of papal administration to date. ... an excellent analysis of the way early modern governments used buraucracy, and the political price paid to the oligarchies from which these governments recruited their senior officials.'
The Year's Work in Modern Language Studies Vol. 53
'important monograph ... The author explains most clearly and in detail how the pope's civil service functioned at the heart of government of the universal church. Dr Partner's scholarly and original study is fascinating in its implications, and it underlines the possibilities of institutional history, an area which in England has been neglected.'
Cecil H. Clough, University of Liverpool, Renaissance Studies, Vol. 7, No. 4 '93
List of tables; Abbreviations; Introduction; The Roman Court and Papal civil service; Why did men become Papal officials?; Recruitment, organization, and performance; The curial point of view; The Italian Notables and their church interests; The struggle for place in the Roman court; Bibliography; Appendix; Index