Christopher David Schabel


The Vatican Archive remains a relatively untapped resource for the history of Patras, the ecclesiastical capital of the Frankish Morea, governed by its powerful archbishops. The recent publication of the full text of some papal letters has led to a number of discoveries about the establishment and early history of the Latin clergy of the Peloponnesos. For the later period, we are fortunate to have many private and Venetian state documents for Patras and its province. Nevertheless, the papal registers contain perhaps one thousand known items relating to the city and surroundings just for the period 1316-1378, most of which have merely been summarized, and a systematic search would reveal hundreds more. This paper examines papal bulls and other documents concerning the efforts of the popes to recover the property of the deceased archbishops of Patras from the 1340s to the 1370s. The results are fascinating, including an inventory of the archiepiscopal library in Patras.