"The book ... is likely to become the standard point of reference for anyone interested in its subject. But it is much more than that, as it gives invaluable insights into the financial realities of some of Europe's major religious institutions, and opens a windo on important aspects of medieval culture." - P.S. Barnwell, Kellogg College, University of Oxford
"What he has given us is a masterly piece of fine scholarship, describing and clarifying many difficult questions of institutional history with respect to cathedral building in the late Middle Ages. From this point of view, the book will remain a classic. It will be a precious and necessary basis for further research about problems of structural change in the period concerned" -- Prof.em. Herman Van der Wee, Anthony Van Dyck Chair, U.C.L.A.
"... deze monumentale , schitterend gedrukte, en erudiete, maar steeds even vlot leesbare ... economische analyse , die haar kracht ontleent ... aan de voortdurende verwijzing naar andere domeinen en dimensies van de geloofsbeleving'" -- Prof. Dr. Willem Frijhoff, Emeritus professor of Early Modern History, VU University
"... Depuis quelques années des études importantes telles celles de Duby ... ont démontré à juste titre la nécessité de replacer ... les cahtédrales non seulement dans leur cadre culturel et artistique, mais aussi dans leur contexte social, économique et administratif. L'étude de W.H.Vroom ... s'insère parfaitement ... dans le genre de travaux aussi bien pas ses buts que par ses qualités" - Prof.em.dr. Frans Verhaeghe
This first comprehensive overview of the process of commissioning and financing the construction of cathedrals in the Middle Ages reveals a financing system almost as monumental as the cathedrals themselves. Here we follow the historian on a fascinating examination of construction accounts and other sources – extant but never so minutely explored – bringing the bishop and the chapter to account, as it were.The book is divided into two parts. The first gives a broad overview of the resources on which medieval commissioners could draw, including contributions from the bishop, chapter, sovereign, city and, above all, the faithful of the diocese in which the cathedral was erected. The second part is a case study of the financing of construction at Utrecht Cathedral, whose archives are among the best preserved in Europe, followed by a brief discussion of the financing of several other cathedral building projects throughout Europe and of the church of St Peter’s in Rome.
Wim Vroom is former director of the Department of Dutch History at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. He was also professor by special appointment of Dutch Cultural History at the University of Amsterdam.