Princes of the Church brings together the latest research exploring the importance of bishops' palaces for social and political history, landscape history, architectural history and archaeology. It is the first book-length study of such sites since Michael Thompson's Medieval Bishops' Houses (1998), and the first work ever to adopt such a wide-ranging approach to them in terms of themes and geographical and chronological range.
Including contributions from the late Antique period through to the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, it deals with bishops' residences in England, Scotland, Wales, the Byzantine Empire, France, and Italy. It is structured in three sections: design and function, which considers how bishops' palaces and houses differed from the palaces and houses of secular magnates, in their layout, design, furnishings, and functions; landscape and urban context, which considers the relationship between bishops' palaces and houses and their political and cultural context, the landscapes and towns or cities in which they were set, and the parks, forests, and towns that were planned and designed around them; and architectural form, which considers the extent of shared features between bishops' palaces and houses, and their relationship to the houses of other Church potentates and to the houses of secular magnates.
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