The simony crisis of the eleventh century and the ‘Letter of Guido’

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Abstract / Description of output

The Epistola Widonis, or ‘Letter of Guido’, is a key source for the simony debates of the eleventh century, since it is usually considered the first major text to cast doubt on the validity of simoniacal ordinations. After examining the grounds for the letter's conventional dating to c. 1031 and attribution to Guido of Arezzo, this article makes the case for instead locating the letter's origins in the 1060s, and explores the implications of a re-dating for the dynamics of the eleventh-century ‘moral panic’ about simony.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-253
Number of pages25
JournalThe Journal of Ecclesiastical History
Volume73
Issue number2
Early online date8 Sept 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022

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