"De hereticis et Patarenis". The "straccioni" on the scene of history. XI-XII centuries


  • Rita Bellelli Ιόνιο Πανεπιστήμιο - Ionian Uni




Popular Movements Religious Poverty, Gregorian Reform, Investiture Controversy, Medieval Commune


Between the black legend of an era of the “ages of darkness” (where there was hunger, famines, plague, political disorder and outrages of the landlords, superstitions of the people and clergy corruption, etc.) and the golden legend of a medieval “belle époque” (where there were weapon festivals, court life, fairies, knights faithful to magnanimous princes, etc.), there was the reality of everyday life. The reality of a world of monks, clerics, warriors, farmers, merchants, and of the “straccioni”, “all those dirty and shabbily clothed people”: of urban laics of low origin descent and social condition. The protagonists were almost all servants, bakers, shoemakers, greengrocers, blacksmiths, dyers, leather binders, wool spinners, and especially weavers, men, women and children in whose workshops matured «malicious conspiracies fomenting the orderly pity of God» as the monk Sigeberto of Gembloux complained around 1074-75, when the “investiture controversy” and the incitement of Ildebrando of Soana (the future pope Gregorio VII) were not yet at the climax phase (Sigeberti Monachi Gemblacensis, Apologia contra eos qui calumniantur missas coniugatorum sacerdotum, in M.G.H., Libelli de lite, t. 2, Hannoverae, 1892, pp. 436-448, p. 448). And, in an attempt to achieve their “program”, the “straccioni”, those “dirty and shabbily clothed laics”, spread new form of interaction and public communication, with consultation for and deliberation of all members of the community, with a common oath (iuramentum) for all and sanctions in case of violation of the oath, with the recognition of community representatives who will soon be called consuls (consules).This is the nucleus from which, during the twelfth century, the medieval Commune (commune) will be born and raised.



How to Cite

Bellelli, R. (2017). "De hereticis et Patarenis". The "straccioni" on the scene of history. XI-XII centuries. Montesquieu.It, 9(1). https://doi.org/10.6092/issn.2421-4124/7299