Monks and Money
After introductory talks by the Rector and Head of Academic Affairs, one of the new Fellows, Frances Andrews, gave a talk on her planned research project. Andrews, who is Professor of Mediaeval History at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, discussed the remarkable finding that religious men occupied important financial and administrative posts within the secular governments of Late Mediaeval Italian cities. Even though involvement in worldly, secular affairs was deemed inappropriate in both Biblical texts and 13th-century canon law, it was not uncommon for monks and other professed religious men to work as treasurers or administrators in urban centres such as Florence, Como and Siena. Why this practice started, how it evolved and, interestingly, why it stopped, is what Andrews intends to investigate during her fellowship at NIAS.
Andrews’ presentation was followed by 1-minute presentations in which each of the new fellows introduced themselves and their projects to the community of scholars that they will be a part of over the next few months.
Research Group of the First Semester 2015/16 at the opening of the academic year.