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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