Between 1466 and 1467 about twenty men and women from Poli (in Lazio) and Maiolati (Marche) were tried with the accusation of adhering to the heresy of the fraticelli. The examination repeatedly insisted on the “barilotto” (keg) accusation: more or less promptly confirmed by the accused – who were subject to torture – it regarded the incestuous orgies, the ritual infanticides and the acts of cannibalism in which the heretics would have indulged in their nocturnal meetings. From the accusations against the early Christians, medieval heretical groups and the Jews, the elements of this hostile stereotype had a long tradition, in which gender discrimination (the sexual unruliness typical of witches) met with class discrimination, since the barilotto was also a typical element of satire against peasants. After having recalled the accusation’s genealogy, the essay aims to interpret its strategical reasons. These connect to the theological and ecclesiological evolution of fifteenth-century papacy, which was by then disinterested towards compromise with the ideals of evangelical poverty, and, after the end of the Schism, less and less willing to tolerate whatever could jeopardize its hierarchical structure. The article examines the stereotype’s effectiveness, which was due to the wide reach of the pastoral activity of the minoritic Observance, that aimed at discrediting the fraticelli, whose ideals of Christian perfection were in competition with it. The article also analyses the literary fortune of this stereotype, from the historiographical and polemical literature of the Reformation and Counterreformation up to Bayle’s Dictionnaire.

Between 1466 and 1467 about twenty men and women from Poli (in Lazio) and Maiolati (Marche) were tried with the accusation of adhering to the heresy of the fraticelli. The examination repeatedly insisted on the barilotto (keg) accusation: more or less prompdy confirmed by the accused -who were subject to torture - it regarded the incestuous orgies, the ritual infanticides and the acts of cannibalism in which the heretics would have indulged in their nocturnal meetings. From the accusations against the early Christians, medieval heretical groups and the Jews, the elements of this hostile stereotype had a long tradition, in which gender discrimination (the sexual unruliness typical of witches) met with class discrimination, since the barilotto was also a typical element of satire against peasants. After having recalled the accusation's genealogy, the essay aims to interpret its strategical reasons. These connect to the theological and ecclesiologica! evolution of fifteenth-century papacy, which was by then disinterested towards compromise with the ideals or evangelical poverty, and, after the end of the Schism, less and less willing to tolerate whatever could jeopardize its hierarchical structure. The article examines the stereotype's effectiveness, which was due to the wide reach of the pastoral activity of the minoritic Observance, that aimed at discrediting the fraticelli, whose ideals of Christian perfection were in competition with it. The article also analyses the literary fortune of this stereotype, from the historiographical and polemical literature of the Reformation and Counterreformation up to Bayle's Dictionnaire.

Il sabba dei fraticelli. La demonizzazione degli eretici nel Quattrocento

Michele Lodone
2017-01-01

Abstract

Between 1466 and 1467 about twenty men and women from Poli (in Lazio) and Maiolati (Marche) were tried with the accusation of adhering to the heresy of the fraticelli. The examination repeatedly insisted on the “barilotto” (keg) accusation: more or less promptly confirmed by the accused – who were subject to torture – it regarded the incestuous orgies, the ritual infanticides and the acts of cannibalism in which the heretics would have indulged in their nocturnal meetings. From the accusations against the early Christians, medieval heretical groups and the Jews, the elements of this hostile stereotype had a long tradition, in which gender discrimination (the sexual unruliness typical of witches) met with class discrimination, since the barilotto was also a typical element of satire against peasants. After having recalled the accusation’s genealogy, the essay aims to interpret its strategical reasons. These connect to the theological and ecclesiological evolution of fifteenth-century papacy, which was by then disinterested towards compromise with the ideals of evangelical poverty, and, after the end of the Schism, less and less willing to tolerate whatever could jeopardize its hierarchical structure. The article examines the stereotype’s effectiveness, which was due to the wide reach of the pastoral activity of the minoritic Observance, that aimed at discrediting the fraticelli, whose ideals of Christian perfection were in competition with it. The article also analyses the literary fortune of this stereotype, from the historiographical and polemical literature of the Reformation and Counterreformation up to Bayle’s Dictionnaire.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10278/3702201
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