The chapter, a collegial body formed by the canons, is entrusted with the celebration of the sacred offices of the cathedral. In the Middle Ages it had the task of electing the bishop and assisting him in his acts of government, as well as providing, in the event of a vacant see, in the person of a chapter vicar, the spiritual and temporal jurisdiction of the diocese. For these important tasks, and for the political weight that in fact it was to exercise, the chapter held a particularly prestigious role in medieval Florence. Its members, belonging to the most representative families, were very often involved in the events of the city, while the election of the prelate often turned into a clash between adverse factions. Therefore, the study of this important ecclesiastical body leads us to retrace the salient events of Florentine history.
University of Florence, Italy