There has been a tendency to the view the history of the early medieval papacy predominantly in ideological terms, which has resulted in the over-exaggeration of the idea of the papal monarchy. In this study, first published in 1979, Jeffrey Richards questions this view, arguing that whilst the papacy's power and responsibility grew during the period under discussion, it did so by a series of historical accidents rather than a coherent radical design.
The title redresses the imbalance implicit in the monarchical interpretation, and emphasizes other important political, administrative and social aspects of papal history. As such it will be of particular value to students interested in the history of the Church; in particular, the development of the early medieval papacy, and the shifting policies and characteristics of the popes themselves.
Acknowledgments; Introduction; Part I: The Context 1. The Ideological Context 2. The Political and Religious Context 3. The Social and Economic Context; Part II: The Papacy under the Ostrogoths 4. The Acacian Schism 5. The Symmachan Schism (i) the events 6. The Symmachan Schism (ii) issues and participants 7. The Rapprochement with the East 8. The Gothic Reaction; Part III: The Papacy under the Empire 9. The `Three Chapters' Controversy 10. The Lombardic Crisis 11. The Monothelete Crisis 12. The Papal Revival 13. The Final Crisis; Part IV: The Popes 14. Class Origins 15. Age and Experience 16. Geographical Origins and Cultural Attainments; Part V: The Papal Administration 17. The Central Administration 18. The Patrimonial Administration 19. The Papacy and the Episcopate 20. Gregory the Great and the Episcopate; Afterword; Appendix 1: The Popes; Appendix 2: Papal Vacancies; Appendix 3: Papal Ordinations; Abbreviations; Notes; Bibliography; Index