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E.A. Jones

press, they represented a key strand in the fabric of charitable giving in the Middle Ages. With so many demands on the charity of the faithful, an indulgence was a way of certifying particular individuals or projects as bona fide good causes, and worthy recipients of support. Alternatively, a hermit could seek validation for himself and his project from the secular authorities, in the form of letters of protection [ 37 ], inviting the

in Hermits and anchorites in England, 1200–1550
Editor: C. E. Beneš

This book provides the first English translation of the Chronicle of the city of Genoa by the thirteenth-century Dominican Jacopo da Varagine (also known as Jacobus de Voragine). While Jacopo is better known for his monumental compilation of saints’ lives, the Golden legend, his lesser known Chronicle of Genoa exemplifies the important medieval genre of the civic chronicle. The work mixes scholarly research about the city’s origins with narrative accounts based on Genoese archival sources, more didactic and moral reflections on the proper conduct of public and private life, and personal accounts of Jacopo’s own experience as archbishop of Genoa from 1292 until his death in 1298. Divided into twelve parts, the work covers the history of Genoa from its ancient origins up to Jacopo’s own day. Jacopo’s first-hand accounts of events in which he himself participated—such as the great civic reconciliation of 1295, over which he himself presided—provide a valuable contrast to the more scholarly and didactic sections of the work. Together they form an integrated, coherent approach to urban history, which illustrates some of the most important styles of historiography in the Middle Ages.

E.A. Jones

written in Latin for his enclosed sister was one of the most popular and enduringly influential works of guidance for English anchorites. Two separate translations into Middle English survive, though only one of them is complete. This excerpt is from the longer version which was made around the middle of the fifteenth century in the south of England, with the title ‘A Treatise that is a rule and a form of living pertaining to a

in Hermits and anchorites in England, 1200–1550
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E.A. Jones

in secular life [ 67 ]. But those who had survived the process of dissolution faced a dilemma. Should they attempt to continue with their chosen form of life, or bow to the pressures of the time, and leave of their own volition? For hermits, the jibe had always been that their manner of living was almost indistinguishable from normal secular life [ 36 ], and those who were prepared to keep their

in Hermits and anchorites in England, 1200–1550
E.A. Jones

after the health of both the body and soul of this recluse, and having taken the advice of experts, have graciously given our assent to his aforesaid petition in the form given below: that is, that such a door should be made under your supervision, and [secured] with a strong lock whose key should remain in your possession; and that you should come to him in

in Hermits and anchorites in England, 1200–1550
Abstract only
C. E. Beneš

chronicles while also investigating the words of other authors, however, we have found certain details about the city of Genoa that we have decided to transcribe in the present fashion: among these are expressed something of the city of Genoa, as well as its age and founder; a rationale for its name is given, and many useful things are explained. 6 And since we mentioned the form of government by which Genoa is ruled and

in Jacopo Da Varagine’s Chronicle of the city of Genoa
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E.A. Jones

Solitude, or at least some form of significant separation from the rest of society, carries symbolic power – often with religious connotations – in most, if not all, cultures. But the particular forms that solitariness and withdrawal take vary from culture to culture, and are sensitive to changes in place and time. 1 This book is concerned with the principal forms of solitary religious life in England between the

in Hermits and anchorites in England, 1200–1550
C. E. Beneš

Janua is the medieval form of the classical Genua : see prologue n. 8, above, and part 3.4, below. 2 Bernard of Clairvaux, discussing the name of Jesus in sermon 15 on the Song of songs ( Opera 1.86); trans. Walsh ( 1981 ), p. 110. 3 Solinus, De

in Jacopo Da Varagine’s Chronicle of the city of Genoa
E.A. Jones

. The nuns hoped to see him recognised as a saint, and put together a collection of readings – anecdotes and excerpts from his writings – that would form the basis of his office. In the event, Rolle was never canonised, but the Officium remains as our chief biographical witness to his life. 4 Its first reading describes Rolle’s return from Oxford and his inception as a hermit. The hagiographical topos of the world

in Hermits and anchorites in England, 1200–1550
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C. E. Beneš

Paradoxically, Jacopo da Varagine may be one of the least-known authors of the Middle Ages. As Jacobus de Voragine —the commonest Latin form of his name 1 —the collection of saints’ lives he compiled in the 1260s, which came to be known as the Golden legend ( GL ), became one of the great medieval ‘bestsellers’. The work was translated into most of the European vernaculars, survives in

in Jacopo Da Varagine’s Chronicle of the city of Genoa