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Introduction

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Chapter Summary

This chapter recalls the early achievements of Dominic and his first followers, but it will rediscover between the lines of the familiar success story the difficulties that Dominic and his brothers encountered as they set out to define, claim, and win the mendicant organizational niche. At issue is the increasing complexity of life for friar members of an organization that itself grew more complex with the passage of time. The success of any organization like the medieval Dominican Order – geographically extensive and deeply embedded in a social milieu that it participates in making and remaking – surely has something to do with the authority and aptitude of one or more leaders. Administrative sources from the fourteenth-century very clearly illustrate the evolving destructive potential. They show friars and friar factions vigorously attempting to disrupt or fix the outcomes of elections.

Keywords:Dominic; fourteenth-century; medieval Dominican Order

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