The program presented in this portal is part of a fruitful development of historical reflection, due to the work carried on since the 1990s by various teams and generations of researchers. It was marked by many international conferences that have awakened the so-called Angevin studies, which had declined since the post-war period because of the discouragement that captured researchers following the destruction of the Angevin records of the Archivio di Stato di Napoli in 1943.
Thanks to the support of the École française de Rome and the Italian historical institute for the Middle Ages, a first phase of research on the officers of Angevin central institutions was carried out in an international framework, whose inaugural volume devoted to Angevin State (1996) is a centrepiece. Between 1998 and 2010, further colloquia helped to reflect and improve our knowledge of the Angevin monarchy, nobility, practices of government, diplomacy, clerical culture, personal exchanges and networks that have developed within its range of political influence. These inquiries highlighted precisely the profile, the social origins and the training of political personnel which represented the princely authority in the territories under the Angevin domination. However, these studies have often remained fragmented, specific to circumscribed areas, in the absence of research tools and of a global approach.
Thus, for the Mediterranean area, Provence has been studied in depth for the 14th century: J.-L. Bonnaud was able to reconstruct the circulation of local officers during the reigns of Robert and Joanna (between 1309 and 1382), and to analyse the careers of this environment and the structures of their offices. He provided an exhaustive database, but in static form (pdf on CD); his work is now extending to the period until 1434. Michel Hébert (University of Quebec, Montreal) and Noël Coulet (University of Aix-Marseille) have studied the emergence of the central financial institutions, renewing an old and rich tradition of historiography (R. Busquet). Thierry Pécout (University of Saint-Étienne) continued in this direction analysing the personnel and methods of government of the central institutions (magistri rationales, archivists), while Jean-Paul Boyer (University of Aix-Marseille) has extended his studies to the Regno (Bartolomeo di Capua) in a perspective of cultural history. But the Central officers remain little known, despite the old catalogue provided by Fernand Cortez (1921), which moreover should be reviewed; it would be also useful to continue the research carried out by Mrs. M.-R. Reynaud on the central and local officers of the second house of Anjou. Finally, the reflection on the offices themselves, on their development and their structure, including the seneschalat, deserve special attention, in the light of the recent works on the papal officers (A. Jamme).
Other, less systematic studies (by M.T. Caciorgna, P. Grillo, S. Morelli, S. Pollastri and R. Rao) have focused on Italy. For the region of Rome, where the Angevin influence was indirect, there is no properly established list of officers. However, various studies produced by the research group coordinated by M.T. Caciorgna have highlighted the presence of Angevin officers at various levels of the local administration. The modes of their integration in the governments of the cities, their links with local élites were not considered in detailed studies, which would help to understand the processes at work between 13th and 14th century, the phase of the institutional genesis of an Angevin monarchy. The officers of many areas under Angevin domination are still little known: we should begin to work on the officers and their mobility in Tuscany, Anjou and the Balkans. For the Mediterranean, a recent study by G.-L. Borghese emphasized the activity of officers coming from the kingdom of Sicily.
For central and northern Italy and Provence, the attention paid to the Angevin officers dates back to the beginning of the 20th century, with the lists given by F. Cortez and L. Bertano, which appear today incomplete and imprecise. During the last century, historians were especially interested in the great officers of the princes (see Dizionario biografico degli Italiani), but only in the most recent decades, with the awakening of the Angevin studies, the officers were globally reconsidered. However, the weaknesses of those works are many: a biographical approach prevailed on a prosopographical approach, wich would allow to measure the modalities and characteristics of the circulation of the officers. With the exception of some recent studies, historians have especially focused on the central officers at the expense of local officers (vicarii, bajuli, clavarii). We still need systematic research studies which could help to consider regional specificities and to integrate them in a wide comparative reflection on public service in the Angevin space.
For the kingdom of Sicily-Naples, historians have accomplished during the last twenty years significant advances in the knowledge of a critical period in the history of Mezzogiorno, thanks to many studies on sources, prosopography and institutional structures. As regards documentation, the discovery of archival funds related to researchers (such as Cadier and Sthamer), and the acquisition of private archives by the Archivio di Stato di Napoli, have given a new stimulus to the publication of the 50 volumes of the Registri ricostruiti della Cancelleria Angioina; to the study of monastic charters published by Carlone; to the edition of Léon Cadier’s writings, by S. Morelli. Recent works have focused on more topics, such as the theme of administrative, institutional, cultural continuity between the periods of the Satufer and of the Anjou (Centro di Studi Normano-Suevi); the links between princely authority, societies and territories (S. Pollastri, G. Vitolo); the administrative geography of the Regno (S. Morelli, A. Peduto, A. Somaini). These studies have reconstructed the social, economic and administrative structures of the first age of the Angevin kingdom, and have left behind many historiographical preconceptions, such as the idea of the Mezzogiorno as a static feudal world. The many fields of research thus opened remain fertile. First of all, we have not an adequate knowledge of the second age of the Angevin monarchy, which still suffers from a significant reduction in sources known to date.
It is especially in this direction that the program is likely to achieve innovative results, from a double point of view. First, the prosopographical method and the design of the first database on the Angevin officers will allow to go beyond the documentary limits of the history of the kingdom of Naples. Second, focusing on the biographical elements and the administrative career of men coming from heterogeneous geographical, cultural and social backgrounds will contribute to re-evaluate the contribution of Mezzogiorno to the networks of relationships which gathered together the different countries under Angevin rule, and the formation of a common European culture of government.
As regards Anjou and its neighbouring regions, historiography still depends on old research works. In the 19th century, lawyers, savant scholars, archivists (Ch. Beautemps-Baupré † 1899, L. Gontard de Launay, d'Espinay, Lecoy de la Marche † 1897, Port...) produced studies and research tools (dictionaries, articles, monographs, collections of documents...) which allow to glimpse not only the organization of administrative, judicial, financial and military structures in Anjou and Maine, but also the role played by the officers of the Angevin entourage. These publications, useful for today's researchers (they show the consistency and the location of archival and bibliographic sources), unfortunately contain many errors and gaps. To date, we do not have a comprehensive list of officers having served in Anjou and Maine and confusion exists between several individuals, due to the diffusion of homonymy in the Middle Ages. Biographies exist, although they are often partial (for example, individuals are not systematically monitored after they leave the Anjou and Maine) and they do not allow to reconstruct the normal career of the officers of the region. Today's historians have a persistent interest on the documentary dossier highlighted by old works (M. Le Mené, J.-M. Matz, F. Comte, I. Mathieu...), but so far we can only deplore the lack of a general synthesis on the subject of medieval officers in Anjou: each of these historians meets such officers in his research activity, flushes out the old errors and approximations, carefully compiles information on them, but data are still split between various publications.
Finally, the regions of central Europe and the Balkans were affected by the Angevin domination in a discontinuous way, between the end of the 13th century and the last decades of the 14th century. The apparatus of Angevin officers in Hungary is relatively well known. After a few partial studies carried out in the 19th and 20th centuries, Pál Engel provided a nearly complete database. In several publications, he analysed the structure of the royal court, the careers of the members of the Hungarian secular élite. He discovered an unknown government institution of the kings of the Angevin dynasty, which presents close analogies to feudalism: the fief related to a function (honor). According to his argument, the king confided to his barons not only a dignity, but also a large property (one or several fortresses, with their domain). Finally, Engel published his main work, L’archontologie laïque de Hongrie, 1301-1457. Since his death (2001), opportunities for research on the history of the Angevin kingdom have substantially improved: the archival material is completely available online. In addition, the publication of the Documenta res Hungaricas tempore regum Andegavensium illustrantia is ongoing (since 1990, 25 volumes have been published). These positive changes will allow our program to ensure corrections and additions to the database of Engel, besides its reformatting and its integration in a larger whole. With regard to the principality of Morea, the thesis of Isabelle Ortega (University of Nîmes) was able to reconstruct the presence of Angevin officers among the Morean nobility, although his work had not intended this social group. It is now necessary to deepen this aspect and replace this principality at the heart of the wide Angevin territorial set. The ongoing thesis of Aude Rapatout on Albania (La présence angevine dans l'Albanie médiévale, XIIIe-XIVe s., under the direction of M. Balard, University of Paris I), and the one of Brendan Osswald on Epirus (L'Épire du treizième au quinzième siècle: autonomie et hétérogénéité d'une région balkanique, University of Toulouse II), show the recent development of the research on Angevin south-eastern Europe. The presence of E. Csukovits for the Hungary, and the integration of Mrs. Ortega and Rapatout within the program, gives it a particularly innovative character to the group working on these areas, which have long been neglected by historiography.
You will find in the following study a state of the art for the first generation of academic works on Angevin domination, between the 1880s and the 1930s:
G. M. Monti, «Les Angevins de Naples dans les études du dernier demi-siècle», in Revue des questions historiques, 1934, 1, p. 419-456.