"Una Città infetta": La Repubblica di Lucca nella crisi religiosa del Cinquecentoby Simonetta Adorni-Braccesi (review)
- The Catholic Historical Review
- The Catholic University of America Press
- Volume 82, Number 4, October 1996
- pp. 706-707
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- Additional Information
706book reviews of the institution of the Eucharist (1 Cor. 1 1:23),"For I have received that thing of our Lord by tradition without writing, the which I have also deUvered unto you" (p. 275 quoting CWM 11, 127/19-21, spelling modernized, emphasis added). Since most of Paul's Epistles, including 1 Corinthians, were written before the Gospels, Paul must have learned about the Lord's Supper from oral tradition . Thus More was not corrupting the text but drawing out the inference from scripture. In spite of my reservations about Daniell's views on Thomas More, I commend his book for its cogent and enthusiastic analysis of Tyndale's EngUsh translations from the Greek and Hebrew Testaments. I hope thatYale University Press wiU soon pubUsh a paperback edition to give a wider readership to David DanieU's biography, already recognized as a classic. Anne M. O'Donnell, S.N.D. The Catholic University ofAmerica "Una Città infetta": La Repubblica di Lucca nella crisi religiosa del Cinquecento . By Simonetta Adorni-Braccesi. [Studi e testi per la storia religiosa del Cinquecento, 5.] (Florence: Leo S. Olschki Editore. 1994. Pp. xvi, 414. Lire 95,000 paperback.) In the middle decades of the sixteenth century, few ItaUan cities attracted more attention from the Roman Inquisition than Lucca, denounced in 1550 by Cardinal Giovan Pietro Caraffa, head of the Inquisition and the future Paul IV, as one of the most "infected" cities of the peninsula. Covering the period 1525-1577, this book is an intriguing study of the pro-Reformation movement which penetrated into the patriciate of the Tuscan repubUc and involved an intricate network of relationships with merchants plying their trade in Lyon, Geneva, and ?????ef. Adorni-Braccesi begins with an overview of the government of Lucca, noting many paraUels to that of Nuremberg in southern Germany. NominaUy under the Holy Roman Empire, Lucca was controlled by a merchant oUgarchy led by a councU of nine caUed the "Anziani." The patriciate was jealous of its independence in aU matters, including religious affairs, and emphasized the civic virtues of "pietas, concordia, et libertas." Civic pride and independence, when combined with the decline ofthe moral authority ofthe CathoUc Church, the prevalence of heterodox preaching on grace and free wiU, and the existence of strong commercial ties with France, Switzerland, and Germany, made Lucca a hotbed for the growth of reUgious dissent. In the 1520's, 1530's, and early 1540's reUgious innovation took place against the backdrop of anticlericaUsm, Erasmian humanism, and the heterodox ideas of Juan de Valdés. The humanist Ortensio Lando, the Capuchin preacher Bernardino Ochino, -who visited Lucca in 1538, and the Canon Regular Pietro BOOK REVIEWS707 Martire VermigU, who spent two years as prior of the convent of San Frediano, were key figures in this early phase of development, which ended with the flight ofVermigU to the north, shortly after the reorganization of the Inquisition at Rome in 1541-42. It was between 1545 and 1555, however, that reUgious dissent reached its height at Lucca. Adorni-Braccesi notes the formation of"authentic circles ofdissent " and argues that a reformed "church" existed in the city. Its tendencies were Calvinist, manifest especially in a symboUc ???efp^???? ofthe Eucharist, an appeal to select members of the city's leading families, and a predUection for Geneva as a place of refuge. Adorni-Braccesi uses the trial for treason of the patrician Pietro FatineUi (1543), the unreaUstic schemes of the gonfalonier Francesco Burlemachi (1546), the heterodox teaching of the teacher Aonio Paleario, and the heresy trials ofthe soldier Rinaldino daVerona and the spinner Francesco Baroncini to throw Ught on the ideas of this church and on its methods of proselytizing. The final section of the book examines the resistance of the repubUc to the estabUshment of the Roman Inquisition in its territory. AU overtures on behatf of the Inquisition were deflected by professions of loyalty to Rome, appeals to leave matters of faith in the hands of the Archbishop of Lucca, and the establishment in May, 1545, of a lay magistracy, the "Offlzio sopra reltgione" to supervise reUgious matters. Despite the intrigues of Paul FV and his nephew Cardinal Carlo Caraffe, the interference...