Isabella Laura Bolognese, The Monastery of Montevergine Its Foundation and Early Development (1118-1210), Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2013 (dir. G. Loud, The University of Leeds)
This thesis examines the institutional and socio-economic development of the monastery of Montevergine during the twelfth century in the Kingdom of Sicily.
Founded as a hermitage c. 1119 by the Italian hermit, William of Vercelli, Montevergine grew into a conventional Benedictine establishment by the end of the twelfth century. Over the course of the century, the religious community of
Montevergine built an extensive land patrimony that went hand in hand with the growth of its pool of donors, and consequently caused the institutional identity and structure to evolve, and the monastery to increase its network of dependencies across its landholdings. This thesis aims to disentangle the events surrounding the monastery’s foundation, to explore its economic activities, and its relationships with its donors and the local lay community.
The thesis is divided into two sections, the first taking a linear narrative approach to the study of Montevergine’s early development, and the second adopting a more thematic approach to the study of the economic, social, and institutional development of the monastery. Chapter 1 focusses on the foundation of Montevergine; Chapter 2 looks at its development during Norman rule of the Kingdom of Sicily; Chapter 3 follows its development during Hohenstaufen rule up to 1210; Chapter 4 surveys the geographical setting of Montevergine to provide a better understanding of its economic activities, which are the subject of Chapter 5.
Chapter 6 explores the monastery’s relationships with the laity and the networks it built among the local lay community; Chapter 7 looks at the internal administrative and institutional development of Montevergine, while Chapter 8 analyses the expansion of its monastic network, focussing on a number of the monastery’s dependencies as case studies.