The paper focuses on the political, social and economic aspects of the seignorial power held by the rich abbey of Montevergine (Mercogliano, Avellino) nearby mount Partenio between the second half of the twelfth century and the first half of the thirteenth century. Until now, few scholars have turned their attention to Montevergine, in spite of the fact that several survey articles dedicated to feudalism in southern Italy are partly bassed on documents concerning the abbey. What emerges is an astonishingly complex reality, which is impossible to comprehend only considering the well-known grant of jurisdictional power by Emperor Henry VI dated 1195. In a restricted space, Montevergine experimented with different ways to build its seignorial power around two distinct settlements, the castle of Mercogliano and the casale of the Hospital, not so far from each other and destined to be included in a single manor, but able to perpetuate themselves until the middle of the thirteenth century.
Keywords: Montevergine, kingdom of Sicily, Henry VI Hohenstaufen, signorial power, fief, fidelity