Book Review: The Popes of Avignon

Newly released in paperback, Mullins presents an invaluable guide to Church history from 1308 to 1378. Increasing political pressures compounded by fear of hostile Roman mobs drove Pope Clement V to Avignon, a small French community of roughly 5,000. As the papacy changed so did Avignon and the surrounding countryside during a tumultuous time that saw periodic sweeps of the Black Death, the Hundred Years War between England and France along with ever changing political climates. Mullins offers considerable insight into each of the nine popes that oversaw the state of the church and Avignon, which became a prosperous hub in the financial world.

Offering a rare look at the people and political picture of the time, this balanced and fascinating book is a must read for anyone interested in late medieval history in general and church history in particular.

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