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The Contentious Birth Of A New Province

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Chapter Summary

In Dominican historiography a first crisis – when an old-guard of recalcitrant bishops and jealous schoolmasters tried to block the progress of the newcomer mendicant preachers – ended in the friars' favor, with the result that the Order of Preachers continued its trajectory of growth and success into the decades approaching 1300. Crisis and decadence function well in so many contexts, to the point of having become tropes, precisely because their emotional tenacity substitutes for critical description. The population of the province's friars declined in the early 1350s, perhaps by as much as seventy percent, and declined again, perhaps just as severely, around 1363, but after each momentary decline the province resumed a growth trajectory. The Black Death was an immediate catastrophe, although the province's managers responded to mitigate the harm done. There existed in the Province of Aragon no insufficiency in the numbers of friars.

Keywords:Aragon; black death; Dominican historiography; preachers



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