Alan Thacker
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Gallic or Greek? Archbishops in England from Theodore to Ecgberht
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This chapter argues that in the course of the seventh century, because of its special status as a missionary Church, England developed forms of higher episcopacy unique in the Latin West. To be fully understood, these arrangements must be placed in a much wider context, ranging from Gaul at one extreme to the Greek East at the other. Janet Nelson, who has written so tellingly about the Franks and their neighbours, has encouraged readers to adopt a comparative approach when thinking about early medieval Europe, and the chapter is offered in gratitude for her teaching and example. The chapter starts with Pope Gregory the Great's celebrated plan for the English episcopate. Where Gregory the Great had his way, authority was mediated through a papal agent, whose position was personal and derived primarily from the pallium, a relic-vestment imbued with Petrine power, rather than from occupation of a specific see.

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The Franks and the world of the early middle ages

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