The use of ecclesiastical staff in offices and duties depending on the municipal authority is appreciable in Modena since the 13th century, along with the well-rooted role of the Mendicant Orders that were present in town since the third decade of 13th century. Social and poltical dynamics in development between 13th and 14th century, connected to the new, active presence in towns of Franciscan, Dominican and Hermit Friars, show the employment of these Orders. Globally considered, religious were not being very intensely employed by Modena’s Commune, but they were nonetheless entrusted with a wide range of sufficiently important functions and offices, especially since the half of 13th century, when members of the newly founded Mendicant Orders were exclusively involved. They were generally appointed to an office of high prominence, that of massaro generale: it is not possible, anyhow, to understand when and for which reasons it was decided to employ religious staff in that office. Municipal authorities employed the fratres in another critical field, that is the warranty of electoral proceedings for the members of the town council, as well as for overseeing voting procedures in everyday deliberative activity of the same body. In this context, the Mendicant friars were entrusted with an even more essential task, that is the choice of citizens, belonging to the popular faction, called to give birth to the representative organs that were to found the new political and social order arisen from rebellion against the House of Este in January 1306. The first rule of Este, which had lasted 17 years, came thus to an end; a rule which had kept its standpoint in Ferrara and had not sought – as one of its chief targets, at least – to change the main features of the constitutional order of the Commune. There is one last field in which the involvement of religious in public functions can be examined, and it is a field ruled by both papal and imperial authority. It is the fight against movements that were deemed heretical and that were spreading in the urban society. Through 13th century Mendicant friars, and above all the Dominicans, were more and more involved in this activity: in Modena inquisitorial activities were entrusted to the Dominicans and since 1292 were expressly recorded in a register, which, unluckily, is no more extant. The sixth, still unpublished book of the 1327 statutes had till now been believed to include a set of rules against heretics, that were meant to help the work of inquisitors with the institution of a commission financed by the municipality and including, between its members, two Preachers and two Minor friars. These rules are actually just a slavish reception of the well-known 1252 bull of pope Innocent IV: this bull was sent to every Podestà and ruler in Lombardy and in the Marca Trevigiana. In the statutes it comes along with the laws against heretics issued by Frederick II in 1238-1239 and that were in force in the whole territory of the Empire. As to the involvement of Preachers and Minor friars in a commission designated by the Podestà, and in which laymen were also included, Innocent’s bull clearly repeated the provisions of the statutes of Milan of 13th January 1228, that had been inspired, on a more general point of view, by the statutes of Brescia required by bishop Albert a few years before.

Employment of religious in the administration of the Modena commune from the twelfth to the fifteenth century / Bonacini, Pierpaolo. - (2011), pp. 108-126.

Employment of religious in the administration of the Modena commune from the twelfth to the fifteenth century

BONACINI, PIERPAOLO
2011

Abstract

The use of ecclesiastical staff in offices and duties depending on the municipal authority is appreciable in Modena since the 13th century, along with the well-rooted role of the Mendicant Orders that were present in town since the third decade of 13th century. Social and poltical dynamics in development between 13th and 14th century, connected to the new, active presence in towns of Franciscan, Dominican and Hermit Friars, show the employment of these Orders. Globally considered, religious were not being very intensely employed by Modena’s Commune, but they were nonetheless entrusted with a wide range of sufficiently important functions and offices, especially since the half of 13th century, when members of the newly founded Mendicant Orders were exclusively involved. They were generally appointed to an office of high prominence, that of massaro generale: it is not possible, anyhow, to understand when and for which reasons it was decided to employ religious staff in that office. Municipal authorities employed the fratres in another critical field, that is the warranty of electoral proceedings for the members of the town council, as well as for overseeing voting procedures in everyday deliberative activity of the same body. In this context, the Mendicant friars were entrusted with an even more essential task, that is the choice of citizens, belonging to the popular faction, called to give birth to the representative organs that were to found the new political and social order arisen from rebellion against the House of Este in January 1306. The first rule of Este, which had lasted 17 years, came thus to an end; a rule which had kept its standpoint in Ferrara and had not sought – as one of its chief targets, at least – to change the main features of the constitutional order of the Commune. There is one last field in which the involvement of religious in public functions can be examined, and it is a field ruled by both papal and imperial authority. It is the fight against movements that were deemed heretical and that were spreading in the urban society. Through 13th century Mendicant friars, and above all the Dominicans, were more and more involved in this activity: in Modena inquisitorial activities were entrusted to the Dominicans and since 1292 were expressly recorded in a register, which, unluckily, is no more extant. The sixth, still unpublished book of the 1327 statutes had till now been believed to include a set of rules against heretics, that were meant to help the work of inquisitors with the institution of a commission financed by the municipality and including, between its members, two Preachers and two Minor friars. These rules are actually just a slavish reception of the well-known 1252 bull of pope Innocent IV: this bull was sent to every Podestà and ruler in Lombardy and in the Marca Trevigiana. In the statutes it comes along with the laws against heretics issued by Frederick II in 1238-1239 and that were in force in the whole territory of the Empire. As to the involvement of Preachers and Minor friars in a commission designated by the Podestà, and in which laymen were also included, Innocent’s bull clearly repeated the provisions of the statutes of Milan of 13th January 1228, that had been inspired, on a more general point of view, by the statutes of Brescia required by bishop Albert a few years before.
Churchmen and Urban Government in Late Medieval Italy, c. 1200-c. 1450
FRANCES ANDREWS
9781107044265
Cambridge University Press
REGNO UNITO DI GRAN BRETAGNA
Employment of religious in the administration of the Modena commune from the twelfth to the fifteenth century / Bonacini, Pierpaolo. - (2011), pp. 108-126.
Bonacini, Pierpaolo
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11380/1264532
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