Banishing the bishops: The 'episcopus exclusus' in late medieval and early modern Germany.
AuthorTyler, John Jeffery.
Committee ChairOberman, Heiko A.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis study, based on archival holdings and chronicle literature, explores the vulnerability and resiliency of the German episcopacy in Late-Medieval and Early Modern Germany. The political, judicial, and ecclesiastical resources of these bishops are measured in the heat of battle, in the context of the growing German city wherein magistrates sought to strip episcopal rights and privileges and disenfranchise the very bishop who founded the city and once ruled it as lord. Although the gradual erosion of episcopal power, appearing in charters, chronicles, and contracts, is central to this study, the tactics of the lay city council and the countermeasures of the bishop are most clear when citizens attempt to drive the bishop out of the city (Episcopus exclusus). This exile is often lifted when a bishop agrees to surrender a right or institution of his waning lordship to lay magistrates. Two cities--Augsburg and Constance--serve as test cases, revealing how patterns of episcopal residency and violent confrontation vary in southern Germany. By the end of the Middle Ages the bishops of Augsburg had transferred their residence to Dillingen on the Danube, a town completely under episcopal control. In Constance the bishop had lost most of his political power, but he maintained his chief residence in this city. The Protestant Reformation marks the end of episcopal rule, when the bishops depart from their cities and magistrates seize control of civic churches.