In the southern Italian city of Lucera, the former medieval Muslim settlement turned re-Christianized city in Apulia's fertile Tavoliere plain, a small road just north of the city's impressive early fourteenth-century cathedral is dedicated to an individual integral to the city's late medieval history (Figures 1 and 2).1 That person, a Frenchman named Pierre d'Angicourt, the “prothomagister et provisor operum curie” (headmaster and supervisor of the court's works) under the Angevin king of Naples Charles I (1266–85) and still active at royal construction sites under the successor king Charles II (1285–1309), is identified by a street sign as the cathedral's “architect,” a title bestowed on Pierre for his involvement in nearly a dozen other southern Italian constructions roughly contemporary to Lucera's cathedral.

The erection of this sign, a local initiative, speaks to wider popular and scholarly attitudes about the Frenchman. Since the nineteenth century, historians of multiple...

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