John of Salisbury and his correspondents : a study of the epistolary relationships between John of Salisbury and his correspondents
This dissertation deals with the relationships between John of Salisbury and his correspondents as observed through his letters. As a rule, the letters discussed are those written in John's own name, not those which were written on behalf of others. Most such letters fall into the period between 1164-1170 while he was an exile serving Becket. John's correspondents are divided into sixteen groups according to location and activities. The groupings have been made according to biographical order so that the correspondents whom John encountered in the early part of his life are treated earlier and those whom he encountered later are examined later in the thesis. The dissertation attempts to establish and evaluate the relationships between John and these groups and also between John and each individual correspondent. It aims to show what John meant to his correspondents and what they meant to him, how John adjusted himself to his correspondents, what effects he expected to produce through his letters and how successful he was in this. On account of the period to which most of this correspondence belongs, the dissertation is also much concerned with the Becket dispute and with John's role in it. However, while emphasis is placed on those years, attempts have also been made to trace John's relationships with his correspondents as far back and as far forward as possible. Consequently special attention is paid to chronology in order to depict in full the evolution of the relationships between John and particular groups or individuals over a long period of time whenever possible. The dissertation aims to shed clearer light not only on the activities of John of Salisbury but also on the numerous persons with whom he corresponded.