Monash University

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Matters of Honour: Pope Paul III and Church Reform (1534-49)

posted on 2018-01-25, 01:25 authored by BRYAN FRANCIS CUSSEN
This thesis explores the culture of honour in Renaissance Rome and how it shaped Pope Paul III’s engagement with issues of Church reform. The thesis argues that papal honour led Paul to pursue reform, but that he drew back when his chosen reformers offered a program that would have undermined the culture of honour and destabilised Roman society at a time of external threat. He thereby protected Rome and the Church from significant social and political peril. The arguments are supported by a close reading of texts, particularly personal letters, ambassadorial reports, and papal court sermons which reinforced cultural narratives.


Principal supervisor

Peter Francis Howard

Additional supervisor 1

Carolyn James

Year of Award


Department, School or Centre

Historical Studies


Doctor of Philosophy

Degree Type



Faculty of Arts

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    Faculty of Arts Theses