Constructing Papal Identity during the Great Western Schism (1378-1417): Pierre Ameil and Papal Funerals




Great Western Schism, liturgy, body, Papal funerals, senses, Pierre Ameil.


This essay argues that liturgists responded to the Great Western Schism (1378-1417), with liturgical rubrics. During this period, authors were essentially motivated with the recovery of ecclesiastical unity. I will analyze how Pierre Ameil, a contemporary of the Schism and the author of a ceremonial book or ordo attempted to reconstruct unity by developing a new rubric centered on the rituals surrounding the pope's death. By keeping the papal body one, both natural and institutional, Ameil responded to the College of Cardinals whom he knew was responsible for the initiation of the crisis. Contrary to current historiography that sees liturgists building institutional continuity during the Vacant See on the college of Cardinals, the essay proposes that Ameil built continuity on the embalmed papal corpse presenting it as both natural and institutional, at once finite and eternal.

On cover:
Monks singing the Office and decorated initial A[sperges me.]. Gradual Olivetan Master (Use of the Olivetan Benedictines), illuminated manuscript on parchment ca. 1430-1439. Italy, Monastero di Santa Maria di Baggio near Milan, Ca 1400-1775.
Beinecke Ms1184: The olivetan Gradual. Gradual. General Collection, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University.




How to Cite

Rollo-Koster, J. (2019) “Constructing Papal Identity during the Great Western Schism (1378-1417): Pierre Ameil and Papal Funerals”, Acta ad archaeologiam et artium historiam pertinentia, 31(n.s.17), pp. 113–129. doi: 10.5617/acta.7803.