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Looting The Empty See: The Great Western Schism

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Chapter Summary

The aim of this chapter is to continue the chronology of pillaging by focusing on the initiation of Great Western Schism that lasted between 1378 and 1417. Testimonies anchor the chapter, which engages and binds together the historiography of the Great Western Schism with the historiography of electoral pillaging. Both historiographies inform each other on the extent to which the more or less customary interregna pillaging or liminal violence affected the events that surrounded the initiation of the Schism. French popes ruled from Rome before Avignon. Much of the responsibility of April 1378 has been blamed on the return of the papacy to Rome. Liturgy, ritual, and space offer a way to gauge Rome's appreciation of Gregory XI's return. Most historians have concluded that a general atmosphere of violence that marred the 1378 Empty See were a consequence of its special character.

Keywords: Avignon; electoral pillaging; empty see looting; great western schism; liminal violence; liturgy; papal interregna; Pope Gregory XI; Rome 1378



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