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The Dross Of The Earth. Benefices And Academics In The Early Modern Period

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Chapter Summary

In this chapter, the metaphor of an early modern clerical job market is used in order to shift attention from a seemingly inert system to a wide range of contingent practices deployed by multiple stakeholders. In the chapter, the reader is guided through episcopal palaces with their diocesan administrations; through buzzing Roman offices where thousands of bulls regarding benefices were sealed each year; and through the corridors of colleges and austere university halls. Universities and benefices are deeply entangled with each other from the start, an ecology that is to life in the last sections of the chapter. The first site that can serve as an excellent observatory of the benefice system in action is the register left by Matthias Hovius, archbishop of Mechlin from 1596 until his passing in 1620.

Keywords: benefices; early modern clerical job market; Matthias Hovius; Roman offices

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