The Right of Spoil of the Popes of Avignon 1316 – 1415

The Right of Spoil of the Popes of Avignon, 1316–1415, 2d ed., rev. and augmented by Daniel Williman, L.M.S., Ph.D. and Karen Corsano, L.M.S., ed. for the Ames Foundation by Charles Donahue, Jr., LL.B., Docteur (h.c.) (Cambridge [MA]: Ames Foundation, 2020) is fully available on this site. Click on the title of the book immediately above or here to open and download the PDF version of the book. To download the Statistical Table (explained more fully below) click here.

A cloth-bound, paper copy of the book may be obtained from W. S. Hein & Co., Inc., 2350 North Forest Rd., Getzville, NY 14068 (phone: (800)828-7571; FAX: (716)883-8100; email; website. An order form is attached.

The two longest sections of the book, the Repertory of Cases and Index of Persons in the Cases, may also be viewed on this site as HTML webpages. (Click on the title of the section to open the page.) The difference between the two formats is that in the HTML version, the references in the Index link to the Cases, and there are search engines for the Index. The HTML versions are now the same as those in the PDF, but as time goes on they may be corrected or expanded. A disadvantage of using the HTML version is that references to other parts of the book, such as the Table of Moneys, the Introduction, the Abbreviations, or the Bibliography, require reference to the PDF. The PDF, however, may be kept open in a separate tab.

The Statistical Table of data abstracted from the Cases is not contained in the PDF version of the book. It may be downloaded as an Excel spreadsheet from this site (click), and manipulated however the user wishes. It may also be viewed on this site in HTML format ordered by Case number (click), or by year, and therefore by pontificate and chamberlain (click), or by diocese, each diocese associated with its region and sovereignty (click). The Guide (click) and the Abbreviations (click) that are on separate tabs in the spreadsheet are also viewable on the website in HTML format.

The first edition (Daniel Williman, The Right of Spoil of the Popes of Avignon, 1316–1415, Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, 78.6 [Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society 1988]) was a list of regesta of what purported to be all the exercises of the papal right of spoil by the Avignonese papacy. The second edition is greatly expanded: xxiv, 614 p., as opposed to viii, 269 p.; 1,353 cases, as opposed to 1,191. The Introduction has been totally rewritten, its Documentary Appendix expanded, and an Index of Proper Names in the Introduction added. The new edition has an Index of Persons in the Cases and a Bibliography, both of which the first edition lacked.

The first edition was published only in paper. It made no sense not to use the technology that was not available in 1988 to improve the accessibility of the material, but not everyone has access to the Internet at all times, and many people remain uncomfortable with using it. Hence, the second edition is published both online and in paper.

The first edition contained a very large amount of data; the second edition contains even more. Rather than making up tables that arranged this data in ways that the author(s) imagined might be useful to the user, as was done in the first edition, it seemed to make more sense to create one massive table in the form of an Excel spreadsheet that the user could download and arrange in any way that suited his or her purposes. This spreadsheet is freely downloadable from the online edition.

A somewhat different problem was presented by the very large number of personal names that appear in the cases (approximately 2700). The archival material tells us a great deal about some of these people, particularly about those who were despoiled. The authors have also searched the standard reference works, such as Eubel and Gallia Christiana, for those who were despoiled and have included some such material for those people who are mentioned just in passing. What seemed to be called for here was a quite elaborate Index of Persons in the Cases. The Foundation created a database of all the personal names that are in the second edition with all the information about them that is in the edition, with occasional expansion from standard reference works, and the modern spelling of the place-names with which the persons are associated. From this database the Foundation produced a traditional, but elaborate, Index of Persons in the Cases. This index is included in the printed edition. The online edition also hyperlinks the references to the cases in the index to the cases themselves, and includes a number of search engines that allow the user to find all the persons of a given type, e.g., collectors for the papal Camera.