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Santa Giustina of Padua in Santa Fiora of Arezzo: the Reformation between Literary Invention and Social Demand in a Fifteenth-Century Tuscan abbey

Abstract : The reform of the Benedictine monastery of Santa Fiora e Lucilla in Arezzo, during the second half of Quattrocento, I will explore in my paper, appears at first glance a matter of monks and clerics. The main leader of the reformation project is indeed its abbot, the Benedictine scholar and humanist Girolamo Aliotti (1412-1480), and he interacts mainly with clerics: firstly with members of the monastic congregation of Santa Giustina of Padua and then with all curialists who could sustain and work for the success of the project in papal curia. But I’d like to argue that clerics are not the only actors of the reform and that the reform of Santa Giustina is meaningful for the lay community as well. Not only it concerns the construction of identities of the civic community of Arezzo, in a time where Arezzo has came since 1384 under the power of Florence, but it also involves a large number of lay Aretine cives some of whom – mainly humanists and/or lawyers – were dispatched all over the Italian peninsula and especially at the papal curia, others leaved in Arezzo and were directly concerned in chapel’s control, liturgical participation, saint’s devotion or, in a more pragmatic way, in financing the church building and ornamentation or in land’s rent and cultivation. Dealing with these topics, I will pay a particular attention firstly to the nature, composition and performance of social networks involved in the quest for the abbey reform by congregation of Santa Giustina of Padua, and secondly to some strategies – especially hagiographical and architectural one – that sustain the reformation project and its epistolary representation by Girolamo Aliotti. The main sources I will investigate are actually the letters of Girolamo Aliotti, especially those he gathered in his epistolary during the last twenty years of his life. But my approach aims to offer a new way of understanding monastic reform and its rhetorical representation by crossing various typologies of sources – humanistic works like letters, dialogue o speeches, pragmatic documents such as account books or communal deliberations – to demonstrate how humanist learning and monastic reform could collaborate and become valuable as social capital in Quattrocento Tuscany.
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Contributor : Cécile Caby <>
Submitted on : Monday, November 30, 2020 - 3:48:55 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, December 1, 2020 - 3:26:06 AM


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Cécile Caby. Santa Giustina of Padua in Santa Fiora of Arezzo: the Reformation between Literary Invention and Social Demand in a Fifteenth-Century Tuscan abbey. Miri Rubin. Modus vivendi. Religious Reform and the Laity in Late Medieval Europe, Viella Historical Research (19), Viella, pp.107-119, 2020. ⟨halshs-03031713⟩



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