The text analyzes as case-history three fiefs nearby Asti, in Piedmont, through archive documents that define them as "pontifical fiefs". A papal brief of Pio IV given in 1560, 8th September, deputed Emanuel Philibert of Savoy as their vicar and, since then, the domain on Montafia, Roatto and Maretto was claimed by the dukes of Savoy but also by the local masters who wanted to stress their "pontifical" nature to get more autonomy. Three aspects are particularly considered: the francophile orientation of the lords of Montafia during the XVI century, and the following investiture of the family Simiane of Pianezza; the frictions among the court of Turin, the bishop of Asti and Rome about military housing and taxes; the first debates concerning the jurisdictional ambiguity of that area.
Keywords: Pontifical fiefs; vicariate; Asti; duchy of Savoy; jurisdiction; Pierre Mellarède
Blythe Alice Raviola, in "CHEIRON" 2/2016, pp. 89-113, DOI:10.3280/CHE2016-002005