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The Dulcinians were a religious sect of the Late Middle Ages, originating within the Apostolic Brethren. The Dulcinians, or Dulcinites, and Apostolics were inspired by Franciscan ideals and influenced by the Joachimites, but were considered heretical by the Catholic Church. Their name derives from the movement's leader, Fra Dolcino of Novara (ca. 1250–1307), who was burned as a heretic on the orders of Pope Clement V.
The Late Middle Ages or Late Medieval Period was the period of European history lasting from 1250 to 1500 AD. The Late Middle Ages followed the High Middle Ages and preceded the onset of the early modern period.
The Apostolic Brethren were a Christian sect founded in northern Italy in the latter half of the 13th century by Gerard Segarelli, a native of Alzano in the territory of Parma. He was of low birth and without education, applied for membership in the Franciscan order at Parma, and was rejected. Ultimately he resolved to devote himself to the restoration of what he conceived to be the apostolic manner of life. Most of the spirit of the movement continued in the Dulcinian movement.
The Joachimites, also known as Joachites, a millenarian group, arose from the Franciscans in the thirteenth century. They based their ideas on the prior works of Joachim of Fiore, though rejecting the Church of their day more strongly than he had.
The Dulcinian sect began in 1300 when Gherardo Segarelli, founder of the Apostolic Brethren, was burned at the stake in Parma during a brutal repression of the Apostolics. His followers went into hiding to save their lives. Fra Dolcino had joined the Apostolics between 1288 and 1292, and became their leader. He published the first of his letters explaining his ideas about the epochs of history based on the theories of Gioacchino da Fiore.
Gerard or Gherardo or GherardinoSegarelli or Segalelli was the founder of the Apostolic Brethren. He was burned at the stake in 1300.
Death by burning is an execution method involving combustion or exposure to extreme heat. It has a long history as a form of capital punishment, and many societies have employed it for criminal activities such as treason, heresy and witchcraft.
Parma is a city in the northern Italian region of Emilia-Romagna famous for its architecture, music, art, prosciutto (ham), cheese and surrounding countryside. It is home to the University of Parma, one of the oldest universities in the world. Parma is divided into two parts by the stream of the same name. The district on the far side of the river is Oltretorrente. Parma's Etruscan name was adapted by Romans to describe the round shield called Parma.
Fra Dolcino, at the beginning of 1303, reunited the Apostolic movement near Lake Garda. He met Margaret of Trento (real name Margherita Boninsegna, his lover or sister in spirit), and wrote the second letter to the Apostolics. At the beginning of 1304, three Dulcinians were burned by the Inquisition, leading Dolcino to evacuate the community to the west side of the Sesia valley, near his native Novara. At the end of 1304, only 1400 survived on the top of Mount Parete Calva, in the fortified Piano dei Gazzari. They descended the mountain to pillage and kill the people in the valley, responsible in their eyes for not defending the group against the episcopal troops. The villagers called them "Gazzari" (Cathars), and joined the soldiers in opposition.
Lake Garda is the largest lake in Italy. It is a popular holiday location in northern Italy, about halfway between Brescia and Verona, and between Venice and Milan on the edge of the Dolomites. Glaciers formed this alpine region at the end of the last Ice Age. The lake and its shoreline are divided between the provinces of Verona, Brescia (south-west), and Trento (north). The name Garda, which the lake has been seen referred to in documents dating to the eighth century, comes from the town of the same name. It is the evolution of the Germanic word warda, meaning "place of guard" or "place of observation."
The Inquisition was a group of institutions within the Catholic Church whose aim was to combat heresy. The Inquisition started in 12th-century France to combat religious dissent, in particular the Cathars and the Waldensians. Other groups investigated later included the Spiritual Franciscans, the Hussites and the Beguines. Beginning in the 1250s, inquisitors were generally chosen from members of the Dominican Order, replacing the earlier practice of using local clergy as judges. The term Medieval Inquisition covers these courts up to mid-15th century.
A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight.
Dolcino justified the acts committed by the Dulcinians by affirming their perfection and holiness based on Saint Paul's Epistle to Titus (1:15):
The Epistle of Paul to Titus, usually referred to simply as Titus, is one of the three Pastoral Epistles in the New Testament, historically attributed to Paul the Apostle. It is addressed to Saint Titus and describes the requirements and duties of elders and bishops.
To the pure all things are pure, but to the corrupt and unbelieving nothing is pure; their very minds and consciences are corrupted.
Margaret and Dolcino were captured and executed.
The main concepts of the Dulcinian heresy were:
Humility is the quality of being humble. Dictionary definitions accentuate humility as a low self-regard and sense of unworthiness. In a religious context humility can mean a recognition of self in relation to a deity or deities, and self-debasement with subsequent submission to said deity as a member of that religion. Outside of a religious context, humility is defined as being "unselved", a liberation from consciousness of self, a form of temperance that is neither having pride nor indulging in self-deprecation.
Poverty is not having enough material possessions or income for a person's needs. Poverty may include social, economic, and political elements.
Fra Dolcino was inspired by the millenarist theories of Gioacchino da Fiore. He viewed the history of humanity as 4 epochs:
In his first letter, Dolcino gave his interpretation of the seven Angels and seven Churches of the Apocalypse of John:
Following the death of Boniface VIII, Dolcino produced a schedule of 4 popes:
Thus, the advent of the "new holy pope" was postponed to the second pope after the death of Boniface VIII. Dolcino never proposed himself as the new Pope in his letters, although this was one of the accusations of the Inquisition.
The rallying cry Poenitentiam agite (make penitence) was attributed to them in The Name of the Rose , a novel by Umberto Eco.
Pope Benedict XI, born Nicola Boccasini, was Pope from 22 October 1303 to his death on 7 July, 1304. He was also a member of the Order of Preachers.
Pope Boniface VIII was pope from 24 December 1294 to his death in 1303. Caetani was of baronial origin with family connections to the papacy. He spent his early career abroad in diplomatic roles.
Pope Clement V, born Raymond Bertrand de Got, was Pope from 5 June 1305 to his death in 1314. He is remembered for suppressing the order of the Knights Templar and allowing the execution of many of its members, and as the Pope who moved the Papacy from Rome to Avignon, ushering in the period known as the Avignon Papacy.
The 1300s was a decade of the Julian Calendar which began on January 1, 1300, and ended on December 31, 1309.
Year 1300 (MCCC) was a leap year starting on Friday of the Julian calendar.
The Fraticelli or Spiritual Franciscans were extreme proponents of the rule of Saint Francis of Assisi, especially with regard to poverty, and regarded the wealth of the Church as scandalous, and that of individual churchmen as invalidating their status. They were thus forced into open revolt against the whole authority of the Church and were declared heretical in 1296 by Boniface VIII.
Fra Dolcino was the second leader of the Dulcinian reformist movement who was burned at the stake in Northern Italy in 1307. He had taken over the movement after its founder, Gerard Segarelli, had also been executed in 1300 on the orders of the Roman Catholic Church. Although the beliefs and spirituality of the Dulcinian sect were inspired by the teachings of Francis of Assisi, who had founded the Franciscan Order in 1210, their beliefs were condemned as heresy by the Catholic Church. The Papacy condemned their practices of poverty, liberty and opposition to the feudal system.
Unam sanctam is a papal bull issued by Pope Boniface VIII on 18 November 1302. The Bull laid down dogmatic propositions on the unity of the Catholic Church, the necessity of belonging to it for eternal salvation, the position of the Pope as supreme head of the Church, and the duty thence arising of submission to the Pope in order to belong to the Church and thus to attain salvation. The Pope further emphasizes the higher position of the spiritual in comparison with the secular order. Historian Brian Tierney calls it "probably the most famous of all the documents on church and state that has [come] down to us from the Middle Ages." The original document is lost, but a version of the text can be found in the registers of Boniface VIII in the Vatican Archives.
Joachim of Fiore, also known as Joachim of Flora and in Italian Gioacchino da Fiore, was an Italian theologian and the founder of the monastic order of San Giovanni in Fiore. Later followers, inspired by his works in eschatology and historicist theories, are called Joachimites.
Fra Jacopone da Todi, O.F.M. was an Italian Franciscan friar from Umbria in the 13th century. He wrote several laude in the local vernacular. He was an early pioneer in Italian theatre, being one of the earliest scholars who dramatised Gospel subjects.
Heresy in Christianity denotes the formal denial or doubt of a core doctrine of the Christian faith as defined by one or more of the Christian churches.
Jean Lemoine, Jean Le Moine, Johannes Monachus was a French canon lawyer, Cardinal, bishop of Arras and papal legate. He served Boniface VIII as representative to Philip IV of France, and founded the Collège du Cardinal Le Moine, in Paris. He is the first one to formulate the legal principle of the presumption of innocence.
The Knights Templar trace their beginnings to the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem in c. 1120 when nine Christian knights, under the auspices of King Baldwin II and the Patriarch Warmund, were given the task of protecting pilgrims on the roads to Jerusalem, which they did for nine years until elevated to a military order at the Council of Troyes in 1129. They became an elite fighting force in the Crusades known for their propensity not to retreat or surrender.
Orvieto, Umbria, Italy, was the refuge of five popes during the 13th century: Urban IV (1261–1264), Gregory X (1271–1276), Martin IV (1281–1285), Nicholas IV (1288–1292) and Boniface VIII (1294–1303). During this time, the popes took up residence in the Papal Palace of Orvieto, which was adjacent to the Orvieto Cathedral and expanded onto the bishop's residence. None of these popes died in Orvieto, and thus no papal elections took place in there, nor are there any papal tombs.
Louis de Villars was a French prelate of the early 14th century. He was Archbishop of Lyon and Primate of Gaul and was the son of Humbert IV, sire of Thoire and Villars, and Beatrix of Burgundy. Louis Villars succèse to his great-uncle Henry I of Villars as prince-bishop of Lyon in 1301, and was himself succeeded by his nephew Henri II de Villars.
Apostolici, Apostolic Brethren, or Apostles, are the names given to various Christian heretics, whose common doctrinal feature was an ascetic rigidity of morals, which made them reject property and marriage.
Proto-Protestantism, also called pre-Protestantism or pre-Reformation movements, refers to individuals and movements that propagated ideas similar to Protestantism before 1517, which is usually considered the starting year for the Reformation era. Major representatives were Peter Waldo, John Wycliffe (1320s–1384), Jan Hus and the movements they started.
Gentile Portino da Montefiore was an Italian Franciscan friar and prelate, who was created Cardinal-Priest of Santi Silvestro e Martino ai Monti by Pope Boniface VIII in 1300. He served as Major Penitentiary of the Roman Curia from 1302 to 1305. Pope Clement V sent him to Hungary as a papal legate in 1308, with the primary task of assuring the Angevins the Hungarian throne. Gentile built the San Martino Chapel in the Lower Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi, dedicated to Saint Martin of Tours. He was buried in the neighboring Chapel of St. Louis.