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    Ruling from afar: government and information management in late medieval Sicily

    Silvestri, Alessandro (2016) Ruling from afar: government and information management in late medieval Sicily. Journal of Medieval History 42 (3), pp. 357-381. ISSN 0304-4181.

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    Abstract

    In 1412 Sicily lost its independence and became part of the Crown of Aragon. To rule the island, the new monarchs developed a system of long-distance government, through the action of local viceroys. But how did this system work in practice? This article engages with the lively historiographical debate about late medieval Sicily and more generally the Aragonese conglomerate by examining the series of libri quictacionum (‘books of quittances’) produced by the financial office, the Conservatoria regii patrimonii. It shows that the management of information – by means of a new genre of documents, an innovative record-keeping system and an apparatus of marginal annotations – became crucial in establishing effective government at a distance and in strengthening royal control over Sicilian institutions and officers. Moreover, these books and the documents they encompass highlight the social dynamics of the island and the emergence of an urban class: the Aragonese promoted the inclusion of the principal members of the latter into central government by granting them offices.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Crown of Aragon, fifteenth century, finances, information management, kingdom of Sicily, long-distance government, administration, record-keeping
    School: Birkbeck Schools and Departments > School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy > History, Classics and Archaeology
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 23 Jun 2016 12:45
    Last Modified: 23 Jun 2016 12:45
    URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/15629

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