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Complaints against clerics in the Portuguese courts of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries

Grant number: 19/04782-0
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2019
Effective date (End): April 30, 2022
Field of knowledge:Humanities - History
Principal Investigator:Susani Silveira Lemos Franca
Grantee:Rodolfo Nogueira da Cruz
Home Institution: Faculdade de Ciências Humanas e Sociais (FCHS). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Franca. Franca , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:13/14786-6 - Writings on new worlds: a history of the construction of moral values in Portuguese, AP.TEM


From the reigns of D. Dinis (1267-1325) and D. Afonso IV (1291-1357), the kings of Portugal launched offensives against the misconduct of clerics within their lands and to the detriment of their subjects. In this period, when the universalism of the Church was confronted with royal sovereignty, growing accusations, made by representatives of the councils of the kingdom in the Cortes, that the Portuguese clerics infringed various laws and did not behave according to their state and office. Given the more intense coexistence of the prelates and monks with the lay people and subjects of the king within the cities, the deviations and bad clerical behaviors became more visible and began to bother more, so that, besides being accused of disobeying the royal legislation, were reproached for violating priestly honesty, exhibiting themselves with a slovenly appearance and a deviant conduct. Aiming at the principles that support the judgments and condemnation they received, the purpose of the proposed research is to map out recurring claims about practices considered to be inconsistent with their state and which could induce addiction and sin also the Christians with whom they coexisted. From these denunciations of the deviations or misrepresentations of the men of the Church brought to the Cortes, we will question not only the clerical practices in the period in question but also the moral value of individual and social conduct and the expectations of such a social group in that kingdom. In summary, the research will be driven by the following question: what ecclesiastical attitudes were commonly object of complaint by the Portuguese of the XIV and XV centuries and to what extent the complaints made public about them reveal social pacts that go beyond this group? (AU)