Friday, 22 February 2013

A Scurrilous Letter to Paul III - text

Some time ago the essay A Scurrilous Letter to Paul III was posted on Capdox (here). For some reason, I overlooked the supplementary text containing the full transcription of the relevant manuscripts. As of today, that oversight is remedied.
This second document is in A3 landscape format and weighs in at 481 kb.
In synoptic layout, Benrath's slightly abbreviated transcription is compared with the two Guicciardini (Florence) Mss and the Sant Gallen Ms.

This letter is an example of a strident politicization of historiography. The author slanders Paul III, not so much for theological, but political reasons, while taking advantage of the scandal of Bernardino Ochino's flight to Geneva as well as his popular authority. The circulation of this letter would not have enhanced the reputation of the Capuchin Fraternity. Ochino's story demonstrates that a hermetically sealed demarcation  between Catholic and "Lutheran" or Protestant, or between spirituali (evangelicals) and intransigenti  in Italy in the 1530's and 1540's is inadequate. Such a polarised view will gain traction later.
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