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Financing Cathedral Building in the Middle Ages

The Generosity of the Faithful

Wim Vroom Elizabeth Manton

736 pages
Amsterdam University Press
This first comprehensive overview of the process of commissioning and financing the construction of cathedrals in the Middle Ages reveals a financing system almost as monumental as the cathedrals themselves. Here we follow the historian on a fascinating examination of construction accounts and other sources – extant but never so minutely explored – bringing the bishop and the chapter to account, as it were.
The book is divided into two parts. The first gives a broad overview of the resources on which medieval commissioners could draw, including contributions from the bishop, chapter, sovereign, city and, above all, the faithful of the diocese in which the cathedral was erected. The second part is a case study of the financing of construction at Utrecht Cathedral, whose archives are among the best preserved in Europe, followed by a brief discussion of the financing of several other cathedral building projects throughout Europe and of the church of St Peter’s in Rome.
Author Bio
Wim Vroom is former director of the Department of Dutch History at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. He was also professor by special appointment of Dutch Cultural History at the University of Amsterdam.