The sudden rise of lay devotion to the Egyptian hermit Onuphrius in 14th century Tuscany began when Domenico Cavalca, OP (d. 1341), translated part two of the tripartite Peregrinatio Paphnutiana (BHL 6334a) as the Vita di Sant’Onofrio (VSO) as the final addition to book IV of his Vita dei santi padri (VSP). Although present on ff. 123vb-127ra of Rome, Casanatense 422, the only surviving fourteenth-century Pisan manuscript to contain all four books of the VSP, it was omitted by Carlo Delcorno in his recent 2009 edition of this manuscript. Using codicological, philological, and art-historical analysis, I demonstrate Cavalca’s authorship and explain Onuphrius’s presence in the Camposanto fresco.
Cavalca, Onuphrius, lay piety, hagiography.