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Papal Genealogy: The Families and Descendants of the Popes

3 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0786403158
ISBN-10: 0786403152
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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

In a sweeping review of papal families, replete with numerous genealogy tables, Williams provides a complex who's who of illustrious kinships, primarily Roman/ Italian aristocracies, as they relate to the popes through the ages. Williams, who has a political science background, has taught in secondary schools and colleges in New York and published on Italian education and local history. To complete this work, he relies on Pompeo Litta's Famiglie celebri italiane as well as the standard works of Pastor, Ranke, and Mann and has conducted extensive archival research in Italy. However, Latin sources by Gams and Eubel and the Regista pontificum romanorum and Liber Pontificalis are not in the selected bibliography. The good and the bad pass through the pages as nepotism, simony, and greed within the families vie with virtue and orderly administration of the church's earthly government. The major focus is on the Middle Ages, the Baroque period, and the Renaissance. The author has done yeoman's service in painstakingly sifting through Italian publications unavailable in English. Not intended to be a readable history, such as Richard McBrien's Lives of the Popes (LJ 10/15/97), this work will serve well historians seeking papal lineage links. Recommended for specialized religious and academic collections.?Anna M. Donnelly, St. John's Univ. Lib., Jamaica, NY
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.


"a sweeping review of papal families, replete with numerous genealogy tables...will serve well historians.... Recommended" -- Library Journal

"examines the families of the popes, their influence on history, and, in some cases, traces their descendants" -- Theology Digest

Product Details

  • Library Binding: 271 pages
  • Publisher: McFarland & Company (January 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786403152
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786403158
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 7.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,330,578 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The book is well written with Genealogy trees interspersed for most of the Popes and their associated Clans.It covers a lot of territory so is lacking in real depth - some of the related trees are in separate parts of the book which is a bit hard to follow. Obviously the earliest Popes have the scantiest information, and perhaps a bit more of the background clan politics could have been added,feuds and the reasons for the feuds, but overall it is well researched and a great reference book to have on hand.Well recommended.
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Format: Library Binding
It's interesting to observe how dry academic language can take the juiciest gossip, the most outrageous of unfounded rumors, and the most gruesome tales of betrayal, debauchery, and degeneration and turn it into a tedious labor requiring considerable concentration just to keep track of the action.
Weakened by unimaginative writing, this tome is primarily of interest for its wealth of genealogical detail. It includes stories of the popes from the tenth century to the nineteenth, but there has to be a more readable source for that material.
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