Katherine Fellows: SRS Study Fellowship (2016-17)

 

Awarded £1,200 towards the cost of travel to work in the archives of the Archivio Segreto at the Vatican, Rome

 

Rodrigo Borgia as Papal Vice Chancellor 1457-1492

 

My research examines the office of the Papal Vice Chancellor through the example of Rodrigo Borgia who held the office from 1457 to his election as Pope Alexander VI in 1492.


The purpose of my thesis is to investigate a role in the Curia which was the invisible manifestation of papal power, with its vast control over Curial offices including the College of Abbreviators and the Sacred Roman Rota and also to illuminate a period of Rodrigo's career that portrays him as a reformer and a dedicated servant of the church rather than as the avaricious scheming individual history has so often portrayed him. As this period of Rodrigo's career coincided with one of the most important periods of the church's history, the recovery from the Western Schism and the lead up to both the Reformation and Counter Reformation a study will reveal the importance of the role and our understanding of the Curia at one of its most turbulent times.