Fontana, Emanuele (2008) Formazione biblica e culturale dei "lectores" dell'ordine francescano: ricerche nell'ambito della provincia della Marca Trevigiana (secoli XIII-XIV). [Ph.D. thesis]
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In recent decades a lot of studies was published concerning the teaching of the mendicant orders during the XIIIth and XIVth century. In particular the last researches developes the specific topic of the scholastic organization of friars Minor (Greyfriars). In fact they have provided long-term considerations and broad reconstructions, but are neaded further verification applied to single cases. This work examines a precise spatial context (the province of Marca Trevigiana, known as the province of St. Anthony, including the current regions of Veneto and Friuli, with the addition of Trento and Mantua), within a chronological framework. The period covers from 1260, the year of general constitutions known as Narbonesi, to 1363, when the theological faculty of Padua started.
On the basis of substantially scarce and heterogeneous sources this work aims to test the actual size of Franciscan schools and "studia" in the area of the ancient province of the Marca Trevigiana, searching for traces relating to biblical and cultural training of the lectors, a sort of inner teachers among the mendicant friars. They awarded no academic degree from the University structures - at least up to the institution of theological faculties in Italy - and followed scholastic training which was not focused on Paris, excepted a few cases. In fact, the lectors, during 13th and 14th centuries, were trained generally within the schooling structures of the regular provinces.
The thesis is divided into four chapters. After an introduction that briefly reviews the historiographical researches about Franciscan schools, and about the problem of the relationship of friars Minor with the culture, the first chapter examines, in a cronological way, the legal framework with special reference to the constitutions adopted in the general Minoritic chapters relating to the study and the schools.
Chapter 2, after examining few constitutions of the province of Marca Trevigiana or province of St. Anthony dating to the end of 13th century, traces an overview of education and spatial distribution of the schools and the "studia" in the province, dwelling on lectors and bachelors that were found in the documentation. The Appendix gathers a few but not insignificant records related to Franciscan lectors and bachelors from archival sources and manuscripts, arranged in the alphabetical order of Christian name.
Chapter 3 starts considering the manuscripts still stored and used within the province of Marca Trevigiana by friars, based on an analysis of textual and codicological aspects, such as the notes of use and possession. The aim of such reordering is to rebuild the way of acquirement of the books and to see the kind of works which the friars are served.
Chapter 4, finally, consideres extant works by lectors active in the Marca Trevigiana in the period 1260-1360 approximately. They are a coherent expression of the most popular genres of the textual typologies of Scholastic age. They are a part of the culture of the mendicant orders: collections of sermons, hagiographic texts, philosophical commentaries, compilations of world history.
Albeit the actual difficulty of reaching a comprehensive and coherent framework of schooling structures of the Greyfriars in the Marca Trevigiana, due to scarceness of sources, it is clear that a variety of schools were active in the province. Among them the role of pivot was played by the "studium" active in Padua at St. Anthony's convent, which became as early as the 1310 (and particularly in the years 1330-1350) an essential reference point in the educational network of Franciscans in Italy, and finally was inserted into the theological faculty of Padua, which was set up officially in 1363, shortly after the departure of a similar faculty at the University of Bologna.
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