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Power and Place in Europe in the Early Middle Ages$
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Jayne Carroll, Andrew Reynolds, and Barbara Yorke

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780197266588

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197266588.001.0001

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Churches as Assembly Places in Early Medieval Italy

Churches as Assembly Places in Early Medieval Italy

Chapter:
(p.203) 9 Churches as Assembly Places in Early Medieval Italy
Source:
Power and Place in Europe in the Early Middle Ages
Author(s):

Alexandra Chavarría Arnau

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197266588.003.0009

Since the end of the 19th century, Italian historiography concerning the beginnings of the ‘comune’ has identified the expression ante ecclesia in convento, from chapter 343 of the Lombard Edict of Rothari, as evidence of an early medieval communal organisation based on earlier Roman structures. This interpretation is of significance not only for the history of cities, but also for the countryside and the organisation of commons. This chapter explores the function of churches and their surroundings as places of assembly, analysing other Italian written sources that mention meetings of a non-ecclesiastical character in relation to these buildings, and introduces the archaeological evidence to identify where exactly these meetings could have been conducted

Keywords:   ‘comune’, ante ecclesia in convento, Lombard Edict of Rothari, early medieval communal organisation, churches, places of assembly

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