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The prophetic voice in St Birgitta’s Revelations: an analysis of Incominciano certi capitoli, a late fifteenth century Italian compilation (MS Florence, Bibl. Naz. Centrale II, II, 391)

digital The prophetic voice in St Birgitta’s Revelations: an analysis of Incominciano certi capitoli, a late fifteenth century Italian compilation (MS Florence, Bibl. Naz. Centrale II, II, 391)
Articolo
rivista AEVUM
fascicolo AEVUM - 2005 - 3
titolo The prophetic voice in St Birgitta’s Revelations: an analysis of Incominciano certi capitoli, a late fifteenth century Italian compilation (MS Florence, Bibl. Naz. Centrale II, II, 391)
autore
editore Vita e Pensiero
formato Articolo | Pdf
online da 2005
issn 0001-9593 (stampa) | 1827-787X (digitale)
€ 6,00

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It seems that in Italy St Birgitta of Sweden was received mainly as a prophetess, both as one who could forecast coming events (prophecies of political content were falsely attributed to her) and, more properly, as a preacher speaking in the name of God to call people to conversion. This second aspect of prophecy is the guiding principle of an Italian compilation, a sort of ‘thematic book’ consisting of selected chapters (113 in all) from the Revelations. This work exists in a manuscript from the end of the fifteenth century (Florence, Bibl. naz. centrale, II, II, 391), and in a book printed in Mondovì in 1518, of which only three copies appear to be extant in public libraries (Turin, Stockholm and Uppsala). A comparison shows that the two versions go back to the same source, although they have many differences both in wording and in layout. The content of the work is first summarily described, and the main themes of Birgitta’s preaching on conversion pointed out as they were perceived by the compiler. Then the section drawn from the Third Book of the Revelations (fifteen chapters out of thirty-three), containing particularly harsh criticism of clerical behaviour, is examined in order to find out criteria followed in the selection.

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