Monday, May 7, 2012

Beam reviews Fosi, Papal Justice

Our friends at H-Law have published a review of Papal Justice: Subjects and Courts in the Papal State, 1500-1750 (Catholic University of America Press), by Irene Fosi. Originally published in Italian (2007), the book has been translated to English by Thomas V. Cohen. According to reviewer Sara Beam (University of Victoria), Fosi has also "expanded the text and footnotes with a North American audience in mind," producing a book that is "an invaluable addition to the English-language scholarship on criminal justice in early modern Italy." Here's a bit more of the review:
Papal Justice is an effective call to the archives, an appeal to readers unfamiliar with the landscape of Italian justice and its rich historiography to dig into and learn from the wealth of materials available. Fosi peppers her narrative with primary sources that evoke the diversity of responses to papal justice and the wide range of sources available for studying its functioning. Most of these documents are Roman--that is to say, they were either generated by Roman courts or addressed to curial officials located there. Fosi freely admits that her geographic center is Rome itself; as a result, we are rarely offered more than a glimpse of local politics and concerns, an imbalance that can addressed by future researchers. Precisely because it so effectively stimulates further investigation into criminal justice, Papal Justice should attract a wide readership and could be profitably assigned in either an upper-level undergraduate or graduate courses.
Read on here.