In 1412 Sicily lost its independence and become permanently part of the Crown of Aragon. To rule the island, the new kings developed a system of long-distance government, through the action of local viceroys. But how did this system work in practice? This article engages with the lively historiographical debate concerning late medieval Sicily and more generally the Aragonese conglomerate by examining the series of the libri quictacionum ('books of salaries') produced by the financial office of the Conservatoria regii Patrimonii (1414). It shows that the management of information – by means of a new genre of documents, an innovative record-keeping system, and an apparatus of marginal annotations – became crucial to establish long-distance government and strengthen royal control over Sicilian institutions and officers. Moreover, including an array of heterogeneous documents these books also highlight the social dynamics of the island and the emergence of an urban class: the Aragonese promoted the inclusion of its main members into central government by granting them offices.

Ruling from Afar: Government and Information Management in Late Medieval Sicily

SILVESTRI A
2016-01-01

Abstract

In 1412 Sicily lost its independence and become permanently part of the Crown of Aragon. To rule the island, the new kings developed a system of long-distance government, through the action of local viceroys. But how did this system work in practice? This article engages with the lively historiographical debate concerning late medieval Sicily and more generally the Aragonese conglomerate by examining the series of the libri quictacionum ('books of salaries') produced by the financial office of the Conservatoria regii Patrimonii (1414). It shows that the management of information – by means of a new genre of documents, an innovative record-keeping system, and an apparatus of marginal annotations – became crucial to establish long-distance government and strengthen royal control over Sicilian institutions and officers. Moreover, including an array of heterogeneous documents these books also highlight the social dynamics of the island and the emergence of an urban class: the Aragonese promoted the inclusion of its main members into central government by granting them offices.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11386/4813167
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