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Society for Confraternity Studies 

Volume 9, No. 1 

Spring 1998 


Konrad Eisenbichler 

Assistant Editor 
Dylan Reid 

Confraternitas is published biannually (Spring and Fall) by the Centre for Reformation 
and Renaissance Studies for the Society for Confraternity Studies. The subscription 
price is $15 per annum. 

Confraternitas welcomes brief articles, news and notes of interest to colleagues, notices 
of forthcoming conferences or papers, and general queries. Contributors are asked to 
use the A style of the Chicago Manual of Style. 

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ISSN 1180-0682 


Volume 9, No. 1, Spring 1998 



Death and the Fraternity. A Short Study on the Dead in Late Medieval 


Joe'lle Rollo-Koster 3 

Research on Confraternities in the Colonial Americas and Select 


Susan Webster 13 

News 25 


La chiesa del Purgatorio di Fasano. Arte e devozione confraternale, 

ed. Antonietta Latorre (Mary Watt) 27 

Eisenbichler, Konrad. The Boys of the Archangel Raphael: A Youth 
Confraternity in Florence, 141 1-1785 (Laura E. Hunt) 29 

Storia della Chiesa di Bologna, ed. Paolo Prodi and Lorenzo Paolini 

(Gabriella Corona) 31 

Publications Received 33 

Death and the Fraternity. A Short Study on the 
Dead in Late Medieval Confraternities 1 



Since the publication of Philippe Aries' ground-breaking The Hour of our Death, 
historians of confraternities have largely followed his lead and treated confraternities as 
a "guarantee of eternity." Later studies of confraternities echo Aries' words: "Of all the 
work of mercy, the service for the dead became the main purpose of the confraternities 
... the confraternities ... provided assurance regarding the afterlife. The dead were assured 
of the prayers of their confreres ... after burial, the confraternity continued the services 
and prayers that the church council or monasteries were suspected of neglecting or 
forgetting." We see Aries' influence in Coulet's "the union between living and dead that 
the confraternity built and preserved is evident in the great change in religious sensibility 
found in the later Middle Ages," and again in Jacques Chiffoleau's "the statutes show 
that the confraternity functioned as a family. And because the confraternity was a 
substitute family, it played a very important role in the preparation for death, funerary 
rituals and suffrages for the dead ... Rejection for non-observance of the statutes was the 
only form of confraternal exclusion, since death itself could not have untied the links that 
bound confreres ... in the mind of medieval men, the imaginary family assembled the 
dead and the living of each lineage, and confraternities considered that they (the dead) 
would always be part of the association." Thus, be it based on a study of confraternal 
statutes or individual wills, historians have often defined confraternities as extended 
surrogate families, regrouping the living and the dead under their parentage. According 
to these scholars, death never unbound confraternal ties. Synthesizing most of the 
research on French medieval confraternities, Catherine Vincent in her recent Les 

1 This short essay is part of a larger study entitled "Forever After. The Dead in the 
Avignonese Confraternity of Notre Dame la Majour (1329-1381)." 

2 Philippe Aries, The Hour of our Death (New York: Knopf, 1981). Originally published 
as L'homme devant la mort (Paris: Seuil, 1977). 

3 Aries, The Hour of our Death, 1 85. 

4 N. Coulet, "Le mouvement confraternel en Provence et dans le Comtat Venaissin au 
Moyen Age" in Le mouvement confraternel au Moyen Age. France, Italie, Suisse (Rome: 
Ecole Francaise de Rome, 1987), 108, my translation. 

5 Jacques Chiffoleau, "Les confreries, la mort et la religion en Comtat Venaissin a la fin du 
moyen age," MEFRM 9 1 (1979): 81 1, 814, my translation. Chiffoleau discusses at length 
the roles of southern French medieval confraternities in "Entre le religieux et le politique: 
les confreries du Saint-Esprit en Provence et en Comtat Venaissin a la fin du moyen age" 
in Le mouvement confraternel au Moyen Age. France, Italie, Suisse (Rome: Ecole 
Francaise de Rome, 1987), 9-40 and La comptabilite de Vau-deld: Les hommes, la mort 
et la religion dans la region d' Avignon a la fin du moyen age (vers 1320-vers 1480) 
(Rome: Ecole Francaise de Rome, 1980), 266-287. 

4 Confraternitas 9:1 

confreries medievales dans le royaume de France locates the training and supervision 
(V encadremeni) of death as the essential confraternal charitable activity. 

The aim of this short essay is to investigate the remembrance and com- 
memoration of the dead in European confraternities during the late Middle Ages. 
I will use the Avignonese confraternity of Notre Dame la Majour as a case study. 7 
Joining Notre Dame la Majour offered full benefits, especially after death. 
Composed of some thirty chapters, the association's statutes concern themselves 
with the dead on six occasions: (1) On the first Sunday of each month the 
association celebrated a high mass in honour of the Virgin; the following day a 
mass honoured the dead. All brothers had to participate and recite thirteen "Our 
Fathers" and thirteen "Hail Marys." (2) The confraternity owned six torches to 
be used as follows: four were lit at mass during the elevation of the host and during 
the funeral of a brother (in this instance the corpse was wrapped in a new 
confraternal shroud). The two other torches were lit at mass during the taking of 
the host and during the funeral of a brother's relative (in this case, the corpse was 
wrapped in an old confraternal shroud). (3) When a brother died in Avignon, 
masters and brothers carried four lit torches in procession from the deceased's 
house to his church. There followed the celebration of a High Mass for the Dead. 
Each brother subsequently ordered the celebration of additional masses for the 
dead (the timing of these masses is not specified) and recited thirteen "Our 
Fathers" and thirteen "Hail Marys." After the funeral all brothers were to leave 
the church and return to the deceased's house. (4) When a brother died outside 
Avignon and the administrators were aware of his death, the association followed 
similar liturgical rituals. (5) The confraternity's image of the "Virgin with 
Angels" was put on the altar when a brother was buried in the Augustine convent. 
(6) The association paid for the celebration of two daily masses, one in honour of 
the Virgin and one for the soul of deceased brothers. Each brother had to recite 
three "Our Fathers" and "Hail Marys" daily. 8 

The association nevertheless set limits to its benefits. The living would 
ritually remember the dead only when their dues had been paid within the three 
years (for those living in Avignon) or five years (for those living abroad) prior to 
their death. If a member' s payments lapsed for more than five years, the confrater- 
nity eschewed all responsibility for the departed soul. And, to symbolize the 

Catherine Vincent, Les confreries medievales dans le royaume de France (Paris: Editions 
Albin Michel, 1994), 77-78. 

This confraternity is discussed by P. Pansier in "Les confreries d' Avignon au XlVe 
siecle," Annales d'Avignon et du Comtat Venaissin 20 (1934), 34-43; B. Guillemain, La 
cour pontificate d'Avignon (1309-1376). Etude d'une societe (Paris: Editions E. De 
Boccard, 1 966), 596-605; Joelle Rollo-Koster, "The People of Curial Avignon. A Critical 
Edition of the Liber Divisionis and the lists of Matriculation of the Confraternity of Notre 
Dame la Majour" (Ph.D. Dissertation: SUNY Binghamton, 1992), 102-186. 
Chapters 4, 15, 16, 17, 20, and 21 of the Statutes in Pansier, "Les confreries d'Avignon," 
37, 39-40. 

Death and the Fraternity 5 

exclusion from the confraternal family, the association erased his name from the 
book of matriculants (abradatur libro nominum confratrum) 9 

It was not unknown for various confraternities to expel the living, or the dead, 
from their ranks. Nicholas Terpstra's research on Bologna for the fifteenth and 
sixteenth century shows expulsion rates ranging from 16% to 53% over a time 
span ranging from 30 to over 100 years. For comparison, Terpstra cites the 
research of John Henderson on a Trecento company in Florence that annually 
expelled 16% of its members. 10 Ronald Weissman's study on Florentine con- 
fraternities shows a yearly loss of membership close to 6%. n James Banker's 
research on the confraternities of the Italian town of San Sepolcro indicates that 
over a 40-year period nearly half of those who had entered the confraternity of 
San Bartolomeo died without commemoration. 12 

John Henderson's research on Florentine flagellants, most specifically on the 
company Gesu Pellegrino in the years 1334-1369, yields an expulsion rate of 
which 56% had no reason offered. In 4.8% of the cases mortal sins resulted in 
expulsion, and various offenses against the company counted for another 39% of 
the cases. Most importantly, non-payment of subscription dues, listed as one of 
the offenses against the company, never led to expulsion from the association but, 
in 5% of the cases between 1365 and 1369, to punishments. 13 

In general, these Italian confraternities expelled members who had violated 
their statutes through non-attendance and insubordination, those who had com- 
mitted moral lapses, those who were negligent, and, in some cases, for no clear 
reason. 14 None seems to have eliminated from their ranks members who had died 
in good standing vis a vis the association. 

The removal of debtors from confraternal registers was not peculiar to 
Avignon. A confraternity in Caceres eliminated members who did not pay their 

9 Among the statutes of the confraternity is a specific paragraph entitled Quod in 
confraternitate sint tres libri that sheds some light on the purpose of such books of 
matriculants: "Statutum est quod in dicta confraternitate sint tres libri: quorum unum 
teneat notarius, secundum librum teneat camerarius; in quibus duobus libris scribantur 
introitus et expense confraternitatis: tertius vero liber sit de pergameno in quo scripta 
omnia nomina confratrum vivorum et mortuorum," op. cit., 38. 

10 Nicholas Terpstra, "Death and Dying in Renaissance Confraternities," in Crossing the 
Boundaries. Christian Piety and Arts in Italian Medieval and Renaissance 
Confraternities, ed. K. Eisenbichler (Kalamazoo: Medieval Institute Publications, 1991), 
185, 194. 

1 1 Ronald F.E. Weissman, Ritual Brotherhood in Renaissance Florence (New York: 
Academic Press, 1982), 126. 

12 James Banker, Death in the Community. Memorialization and Confraternities in an 
Italian Commune in the Late Middle Ages (Athens, GA: The University of Georgia Press, 
1988), 64. 

13 John S. Henderson, Piety and Charity in Late Medieval Florence (Oxford: Clarendon 
Press, 1994), 136. 

14 Terpstra, "Death and Dying," 185, 198 n. 16; Banker, Death in the Community, 64; 
Weissman, Ritual Brotherhood, 126, 128. 

6 Confraternitas 9:1 

fines; the confraternity of Saint Denis withdrew from its ranks the names of all 
delinquents until their penance; in Paris, the confraternity of stevedores at the 
church of Saint Eustache expelled debtors; closer in spirit to Notre Dame la 
Majour, the confraternity of the merchants d' outre mer of Vitre expelled debtors 
after three consecutive years of non-payments. 15 The elimination of a delinquent 
member's name from a company's books also appears in Renaissance Bologna, 
and in two seventeenth-century confraternities in Marseilles. 16 

As previously seen, Notre Dame la Majour symbolized banishment from its 
corporate body by erasing the names from the matriculation list. This evidence 
supports the suggestion that writing the names of the living and the dead, and 
sometimes erasing them, was part of the administrative if not liturgical duties of 
a confraternity. It is also essential to question the extent to which lay confrater- 
nities wrote down the names of their dead. The question is difficult to answer. 
The authoritative works of J.L. Lemaitre and N. Huyghebaert establish a 
nomenclature of these lists of the names of the dead. Huyghebaert distinguishes 
between a necrology (a liturgical book) and an obituary (a non-liturgical book). 
For Lemaitre, these distinctions are too formal. For one, the terms obituary and 
necrology are not medieval words. The Middle Ages used words like regula 
(confraternities were, after all, of monastic origins), martyr ologium, or liber, to 
describe a calendar-type book in which one inscribed the names of the dead. For 
Lemaitre the mode of inscription, and not liturgical usage, separates the two types 
of book. A necrology records, on the known day of their death, members of the 
community who had been admitted to the fraternity of prayers (usually after an 
important gift). An obituary records the date of celebration of an anniversary paid 
by a bequest. Both books require three elements: a calendar, names of the dead, 
and anniversary foundations. 17 

Huyghebaert assigns to the various libri (vitae, memoriales, confrater- 
nitatum) and necrologies a purely liturgical dimension. During the Carolingian 
period, a liber vitae registered the names of the living and the dead remembered 
during mass. The names were read by priests or deacons during the offertory or 
during the first memento (the first of two prayers, one for the living and one for 
the dead, in the canon of the mass). In that case, "reading" could simply take the 
form of setting the book on the altar. 18 By the end of the tenth century necrologies 

15 Vincent, Les confreries medievales, 139, 143, 151. 

16 Nicholas Terpstra, Lay Confraternities and Civic Religion in Renaissance Bologna 
(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995), 1 1 1 n. 42; R. Allier, La compagnie du 
Tres-Saint-Sacrement de Vautel a Marseille (Paris: Honore Champion, 1909), 20; 
Andrew Barnes, The Social Dimension of Piety. Associative Life and Devotional Change 
in the Penitent Confraternities of Marseilles (1499-1792) (New York: Paulist Press, 
1994), 131 (penitents Carmelins). 

1 7 J.L. Lemaitre, Les documents necrologiques (Turnhout: Brepols, 1985), 1 1, 35 (this volume 
updated by Lemaitre was originally published by Huyghebaert); J.L. Lemaitre, Repertoire des 
documents necrologiques francais (Paris: Imprimerie nationale, 1980), 1:5-25. 

18 Lemaitre, Les documents necrologiques, 13-14. The order of the canon of the mass is 

Death and the Fraternity 1 

replaced the various libri (note that Lemaitre refutes this idea). Even though 
Huyghebaert allocates different functions to necrologies (liturgical, for they were 
read during mass) and obituaries (a reminder to the officiant to celebrate an 
anniversary), he insists on their imminent role in the commemoration of the dead 
(granting that the terminology can be tricky). 19 

Megan McLaughlin's study on prayers for the dead in early medieval France 
discusses at length the ritual use of the various medieval liturgical name-lists and 
their significance in the commemoration of the dead. Regardless of the semantic 
and historical differences between, for example, a liber memorialis and a necrol- 
ogy, their main purpose remained unchanged, that is, they linked the dead with 
the living. Naming a dead person was tantamount to bringing him or her to the 
presence of the namer, in most cases the person offering suffrages. 20 

It should be noted that, in general, confraternal devotions show a growing 
concern for the souls in Purgatory. 21 The belief in Purgatory created a dialogue 
between the souls of the dead expiating their faults and the living now praying to 
hasten the departed souls' expiation time. One can envision that, just like a 
monastic liber memorialis or a necrology, a confraternal "book of names" was 
placed on the altar during mass "to serve as concrete symbol of the liturgical 
community on earth and ... in heaven." 22 Thus, the list of members could be 
described as the "memory" of the brotherhood, linking past with present affiliates 
in an endless association. 

found in Andrew Hughes, Medieval Manuscripts for the Mass and Office: A Guide to 
their Organization and Terminology (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1982), 90. 

19 Lemaitre, Les documents necrologiques, 33-34. J. Avril, "La paroisse medievale et la 
priere pour les morts" in L'eglise et la memoire des morts dans la France medievale, ed. 
J.L. Lemaitre, (Paris: Etude Augustiniennes, 1986), 60, discusses the pre-mortem 
admission of lay people into monastic orders (professio ad succurrendum). Entering the 
monastic fraternity of prayers permitted those newly admitted members to be inscribed 
in a necrology. Avril speculates that the necrology was read daily, during the chapter 
office. In a fascinating discussion at the end of the volume Dom Jacques Dubois questions 
the procedure of inscribing names in necrologies knowing full well that they would not 
be recited on the days of their anniversaries. Various scholars agree with Dubois on the 
quick removal from circulation of the monastic rolls of the dead. Lemaitre points out that 
while the ones funding anniversaries did so for spiritual benefit (to shorten their stay in 
purgatory), the religious institutions involved in officiating those bequests were more 
interested in the measures of wine they would bring to their house than in the effectiveness 
of their prayers for a layman they did not know. Ibid., 1 19, 124-125. 

20 M. McLaughlin, Consorting with Saints: Prayers for the Dead in Early Medieval France 
(Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1994), 90-101. McLaughlin relies on the work of 
German historians focusing on memoria, for example, Karl Schmid, Joachim Wollasch, 
and Otto Gerhard Oexle. 

21 See for example, Black, Italian Confraternities, 105; Henderson, Piety and Charity, 155, 

22 According to McLaughlin "the living and the dead were present among the group gathered 
around the altar." McLaughlin, Consorting with Saints, 92, 100. 

8 Confraternitas 9:1 

Memorialization has been studied in European confraternities without clear- 
ly establishing the means of remembrance. Statutes, for example, are largely used 
to illustrate the fraternity between the living and the dead. 23 In some instances a 
"book of the dead" may increase our knowledge of the mechanics of 
remembrance. Usually, a lay confraternity remembered its dead on paper when 
the association was bound to and overseen by an ecclesiastical institution, be it a 
parish church, monastery, or convent. 24 The confraternity of the Rosary in Colmar 
offers a fitting example. Founded by the city's Dominicans in 1484, it assembled 
a large portion of the city's and the neighbouring population. Only an anniversary 
bequest permitted the entry of a layperson's name on the obituary of the Colmar 
Dominicans. The association did not keep a separate book of the dead. 25 

The significance of name-lists did not escape the laity of the later Middle 
Ages. For example, fourteenth-century Avignonese testators, lay persons for the 
most part, wished to benefit from the added consolation offered by the inscription 
of their names in monastic or cathedral matriculae. Most often, those testators 
demanded the inscription of their name on a church, monastery or convent's 
matriculae for anniversary masses in exchange for a donation. 26 

23 For example, James Banker, Death in the Community. Memorialization and 
Confraternities in an Italian Commune in the late Middle Ages (Athens, GA: The 
University of Georgia Press, 1988); Virginia Bainbridge, Gilds in the Medieval 
Countryside. Social and Religious Changes in Cambridgeshire (1350-1558) (Woodbrige: 
Boydell and Brewer, 1996); Andrew Barnes, The Social Dimension of Piety. Associative 
Life and Devotional Change in the Penitent Confraternities of Marseilles (1499-1792) 
(New York: Paulist Press, 1994); Christopher Black, Italian Confraternities in the 
Sixteenth Century (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989); Maureen Flynn, 
Sacred Charity. Confraternities and Social Welfare in Spain (1400-1 700) (Ithaca: Cornell 
University Press, 1989); John Henderson, Piety and Charity in Late Medieval Florence 
(Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1994); Gilles Gerard Meersseman, Ordo Fraternitatis (Rome: 
Herder, 1977), 3 vols.; and, Ludovica Sebregondi, Tre confraternitefwrentine (Florence: 
Salimbeni, 1991). Vincent, Les confreries medievales, 192-203, gives a "list of cited 
confraternities" that catalogs some 120 confraternities. The overwhelming majority uses 
confraternal statutes as primary sources. 

24 Few lay confraternities maintained corporate "books of the dead." For example, J.L. 
Lemattre, Repertoire des documents necrologiquesfrancais (Paris: Imprimerie nationale, 
1980), 2 vols., indicates only a few confraternal obituaries or necrologies. All had ties 
with an ecclesiastical establishment in order to benefit from an inscription in a chapter, 
monastic or conventual roll; ibid., N. 612, 1348, 1395-1399, 1833, 1836, 2016, 2212, 
2213, 2790, 3034-3035, 3064, 3189, 3200. 

25 J.C. Schmitt, "Apostolat mendiant et societe: une confrerie dominicaine a la vieille de la 
reforme," Annates 26 ( 1 97 1 ), 83, 93, 97, 1 03. 

26 For example, when Agnes de Beaufort in her testament bequests a house and garden to 
the church of Saint Didier and requests in exchange that a perpetual anniversary mass be 
celebrated in that church, she adds "et volo etiam et ordino quod dictum capitulum et 
canonici cjusdem ecclesie teneatur et promettant facere dicti anniversaria annis singulis 
et perpetuis temporibus ac scribere in eorum matricula," Archives departementales de 
Vaucluse, 1 0G 1 4 ( 1 8 Jan. 1 386). A transcription of her testament appears in L. Duhamel, 
"L' habitation, la famille et la sepulture de Pierre Obreri, architecte du palais des papes 

Death and the Fraternity 9 

Such name-lists also existed at the corporate level, as demonstrated by the 
presence of a "book of the living and the dead" in the confraternity of Notre Dame 
la Majour. But it seems that the confraternal books differed from monastic lists 
in their liturgical usage. Huyghebaert insists that most of the time, what is called 
a confraternal necrology was not read during the liturgical office but was placed 
instead at the beginning of the confraternal banquet, before the miserere or the de 
profundis. 21 The detailed liturgical use of the list is even more difficult to interpret 
when only one text (the coutume de Vabbaye de Farfa, third penning of Cluny 
customs) describes the actual reading of the name-lists, and historians are still 
debating if and when necrologies were read. 28 In any case, studies of confraternal 
statutes point out that the names of the dead were read during liturgical functions, 
for example, during the service for the dead at Lent, the weekly office of the dead, 
at masses (plain, commemorative and requiem), and at feasts. 29 

Confraternal books of the dead show other original aspects, and they do not 
fit neatly in the categories proposed by Huyghebaert and Lemaitre. In an un- 
published paper presented in 1994, entitled "Variety of Account Books from the 
Florentine Confraternities," Ludovica Sebregondi described the lack of distinc- 
tion between account books and other confraternal books. 30 This mixing of 
intentions and procedures may be applied to the books of the dead. Examples 

d' Avignon," Memoires de I 'academie de Vaucluse, 3 ( 1 884), 1-14. Other examples appear 
in various testaments: Angelus Melioris left several bequests to the church of Saint Agricol 
in exchange for anniversary masses with the condition that "domini canonici faciant et 
teneatur facere poni nomen meum in mortologio eiusdem ecclesie," Archives 
departementales de Vaucluse, 8G10 (20 Aug, 1374); Delphina Menduellia went a step 
further than other testators: she left donations to the convent Saint Catherine in Avignon, 
the Franciscan, Augustinian and Carmelite monasteries of Avignon, the monastery of 
Fonte in Nimes and the chapter of Notre Dame des Doms, all with the stipulation "teneant 
ponere nomen meum in eorum matricula"; Archives departementales de Vaucluse, 8G9 
(7 Dec. 1399). 

27 Lemaitre, Les documents necrologiques, 24. 

28 Lemaitre, Repertoire, 1 6. Regarding the debate concerning the reading of necrologies see 
L'eglise et la memoire des morts dans la France medievale, ed. J.L. Lemaitre (Paris: 
Etudes Augustiniennes, 1986), 125-126. 

29 In Italian confraternities of the sixteenth century the names of all dead brothers would be 
read out during the service for the dead at Lent; Black, Italian Confraternities, 105. In 
Bologna during the Renaissance "with the libro delle morti, members of all social 
conditions were sure that at least annually the living members would remember all their 
deceased spiritual kin by name in a special requiem mass and feast"; Terpstra, Lay 
Confraternities, 1 12. In 1384 Wisbech (England), the gild of St. John the Baptist ordered 
that the priest of the fraternity should record the names of the living and the dead "so that 
he might pray for both at mass and his prayers"; Bainbridge, Gilds in the Medieval 
Countryside, 84. In Renaissance Florence the names of the deceased were recalled 
frequently in any commemorative mass or at the office of the dead; Henderson, Piety and 
Charity, 165-166. 

30 Ludovica Sebregondi, "Variety of Account Books from the Florentine Confraternities," paper 
presented at the International Congress of Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, Michigan, 1994. 

1 Confraternitas 9: 1 

abound. For instance, the published necrology of the jongleurs and bourgeois of 
Arras, entitled a necrology by its editor, does not in fact resemble a necrology. 
Names are listed by date along with records of payment. The editor goes as far as 
to question its aims. The 1 1,000-name list could be a membership roll, a record 
of bequests, or a necrology. Internal evidence demonstrates that the names 
represent the confraternal dead, inscribed on the year of their death. 31 External 
evidence, like the marking of certain names with a cross, or the use of red ink to 
embellish a capital letter, corroborates this conclusion. 32 Conversely, 
Huyghebaert treats the document as, above all, a financial register. 33 Sometimes 
a confraternal necrology contains the names of the living and the dead, as does, 
for example, the fifteenth-century confraternity of Saint Nicolas at Bapaume. 34 
Most often, obituaries and necrologies are closer to matriculation lists than to 
"books of the dead." The White Brotherhood of Montfort-sur-Mer, for example, 
kept an obituary that lists the names of the dead but lacks dates and commemora- 
tive services. 35 The confraternity of Floreffe maintained a list of members onto 
which crosses were added. Of 156 names, 54 are marked by a cross. For Genicot, 
the symbol marks the confraternal dead. The membership list further adds an- 
niversary bequests founded by certain dead members. 36 Given that this associa- 
tion insisted on prayers for the dead and paid for weekly requiem masses, it is 
easy to re-define its matriculae as a necrology/obituary. 

Various associations combined their membership lists with a pseudo book of 
the dead. The Compagnie du Tres-Saint-Sacrement in Marseilles added the word 
"dead" to its list of members. 37 Terpstra notes that in Renaissance Bologna "while 
confraternities' statutes required the company to maintain a libro delle morti 
separate from the running matriculation list ... most company secretaries simply 
annotated the existing matriculation lists using either the symbol '+' or a phrase 
such as 'mortus est.'" 38 In a society where record-keeping was tedious, a simple 
list of members could take the attributes of a sacred document. In medieval 
England, Bainbridge notes that "entry into the fellowship of gild or other society 
might entitle new brethren to have their names registered on a bede roll. These 

31 R. Berger, Le necrologe de la confrerie des jongleurs et des bourgeois d 'Arras 
(1194-1361) (Arras: Memoire de la commission departementale des monuments 
historiques du Pas-de-Calais, 1963), 30, 34-37, 47. 

32 Ibid., 28. 

33 Lemattre, Les documents necrologiques, 24. For Huyghebaert the external aspect of 
confraternal "necrologies" is linked to their liturgical use, or rather their lack thereof. 
Since they are non-liturgical they do not need a precise calendar, thus their usual 
inscription of a name (in the order of death) without a date. 

34 Lemaitre, Repertoire, N. 1833. 

35 J.L. Lemaitre, Repertoire des documents necrologiques francais, supplement (Paris: 
Imprimerie nationale, 1987), 33, identifies it as a kind of matriculation list. 

36 L. Genicot, "Une paroisse namuroise a la fin du moye-age: Floreffe," Revue d'histoire 
ecclesiatique 80 (1985), 703, 705, 707, 726-730. 

37 Allier, La compagnie, 29. 

38 Terpstra, Lay Confraternities, 1 12. 

Death and the Fraternity 1 1 

documents, sometimes inadequatly described as membership lists, were not 
drawn up primarily for administrative convenience, but so that those named would 
receive the prayers of their parent institutions." 39 These examples leave no doubt 
that non-liturgical documents could still have liturgical use. 

In Avignon, the "book of the living and the dead" of Notre Dame la Majour 
evolved as a book of living and paying members only. As in testamentary practice, 
where bequests assured memorialization, confraternities also functionned on a 
system of gift-exchange. Participation in all confraternal activities, including 
payments of dues, guaranteed some form of memorialization. James Banker finds 
a similar trend among Florentine confraternities during the fourteenth century, 
starting with San Frediano, which recorded the dues of those paying in the 1330s. 
Further, Florentine confraternities developed the habit of recording those who did 
not pay. For Banker this practice testifies to the growing reliance on dues as the 
source of finances for the confraternities; "after a period of probation, the derelict 
member would be expelled from the confraternity, thereby losing all his confrater- 
nal benefits." 40 

Historians of confraternities have often emphasized the role lay confrater- 
nities played in memorialization without taking into account that the means of 
memorialization, the various necrologies or books of the dead, might not always 
preserve the memory of all the dead. Further, if, as McLaughlin indicates, calling 
aloud the name of a deceased inscribed on a list made a person "present" at the 
ritual, did it mean that the disappearance of a name from a list pushed the memory 
of that person away? Jean-Claude Schmitt's discussion of memoria in his recent 
Les revenants offers an interesting twist to McLaughlin's argument. He sees in 
the liber memorialis and its aim — to shorten the span of time spent in purgatory — 
a social practice of collective memory as well as a social technique of oblivion. 
That is, the inscription of a name on such a list allowed one to put the dead in 
their place (of death) in order for the living to remember them, if by chance they 
did, without fear or passion. 41 If we follow Schmitt and consider the various 
name-lists as means of social oblivion, it is probable that many confraternal books 
of the dead served to obliterate the memory of their members. 

Confraternities performed a multiplicity of functions that were not mutually 
exclusive. Memberships in an "international" brotherhood was recommended to 
medieval businessmen. In his Ritual Brotherhood in Renaissance Florence, 
Weissman cites the fourteenth-century Florentine Paolo da Certaldo counseling 
his sons that, when travelling in a foreign territory, one should always secure the 
friendship of the powerful of that region. This course of action provided protec- 
tion and a means of integration. 42 Further in his study Weissman, after consider- 
ing the fact that exchanges with strangers were quite hazardous for Florentines, 

39 Bainbridge, Gilds in the Medieval Countryside, 83. 

40 Banker, Death in the Community, 71. 

41 J.C. Schmitt, Les revenants. Les vivants et les morts dans la societe medievale (Paris: 
Editions Gallimard, 1994), 17-19. 

42 Weissman, Ritual Brotherhood, 63. 

1 2 Confrate rnitas 9: 1 

defines Florentine confraternities as a vehicle for expanding personal networks 
and gaining access to patronage chains throughout the city. 43 

The role confraternities played in social cohesion has long been noted, and 
nowhere more evidently than in late medieval England. M. Rubin describes 
English Corpus Christi fraternities as follows: "let us try to understand fraternities 
as providers of essential personal, familial, religious, economic and political 
services, as providing security in some essential areas of life; and let us see these 
activities as articulated most frequently in symbols from the language of 
religion." 44 

Confraternities promoted an active piety which, as acts of mercy and charity 
(like the care of the dead) were dispensed, increased the spiritual merits of the 
associations and of their members. The dead were present in these associations 
as a symbol of things to come. The personal identification of the dead with, for 
example, the reading of individual names, is left unclear in many statutes and in 
the practice described by administrative documents. It appears, however, that this 
individualism is an anachronism in the definition of medieval confraternities' 
corporate identity. 

Joelle Rollo-Koster 
University of Rhode Island 

43 Ibid., 40, 80. 

44 M. Rubin, Corpus Christi: The Eucharist in Late Medieval Culture (Cambridge: 
Cambridge University Press, 1991), 233. Rubin emphasizes the social and political roles 
played by fraternities on pages 235, 239, 241 ; idem, Charity and Community in Medieval 
Cambridge (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987), 250-259; and idem, 
"Religious Culture in Town and Country: Reflexions on a Great Divide" in Church and 
City: 1000-1500. Essays in Honor of Christopher Brooke, eds. D. Abulajia et al. 
(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992), 6. Examples abound of English 
gilds/fraternities' link to local politics and political aspirations, social cohesion, personal 
gain and commemoration. I am citing only a few scholars in a list that is far from 
exhaustive. G. Rosser, Medieval Westminster: 1100-1540 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 
1 989), 28 1-314; idem, "Going to the Fraternity Feast: Commensality and Social Relations 
in late Medieval England," Journal of British Studies 33 (October 1994), 430-447; idem, 
"Solidarites et changement social. Les fraternites urbaines anglaises a la fin du 
moyen-age," Annales E.S.C 5 (September-October 1993), 1127-1143; Ch. 
Phythi an- Adams, Desolation of a City: Coventry and the Urban Crisis of the Late Middle 
Ages (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1 979), 118-1 27; B.R. McRee, "Religious 
Gilds and Civic Order: The Case of Norwich in the Late Middle Ages," Speculum 67 
(January 1992), 69-97, and "Charity and Gild Solidarity in Late Medieval England," 
Journal of British Studies 32 (July 1993), 195-226. 

Research on Confraternities in the Colonial 


Research on the nature, development, and roles of confraternities in the colonial 
Americas is still in its initial stages. Few coordinated programs of investigation have 
been undertaken and the studies cited in this survey represent, for the most part, the 
results of scholars working independently. Yet the study of confraternities in the 
Americas offers rich and virtually inexhaustible research opportunities. The follow- 
ing remarks and bibliography are intended to form a preliminary, but by no means 
exhaustive, guide to areas for research in this field. 

The "spiritual conquest" of the Americas was undertaken in the sixteenth 
century almost exclusively by the mendicant orders. They arrived in New Spain 
(Mexico) shortly after the fall of Tenochtitlan in 1521 — the Franciscans in 1523, 
the Dominicans in 1526, and the Augustinians in 1533. Officially invested with 
all the powers of the secular clergy (for instance, they could administer the 
sacraments, consecrate their own churches and altars, etc.), the friars were 
inspired by the challenge and the prospect of preaching to, and converting the 
Indians, so much so that they may have suffered delusions of spiritual grandeur. 
They developed an euphoric, millenarian attitude in which all of New Spain was 
a splendid monastery. 1 In the indigenous peoples, the friars saw souls as yet 
untouched by corruption, worldliness, or sophistication; in the friars' view, these 
people had pure hearts and a childlike naivete, which meant that they could be 
molded into "ideal" Christians by the employment of a monastic model. 

The three orders soon staked out regions in central and southern Mexico, 
siting their monasteries in populous areas. In their evangelical efforts, the friars 
employed a variety of strategies to organize the indigenous people and to teach 
them Christian beliefs and practices. Foremost among these strategies was the 
establishment of confraternities. 

The mendicants had long been instrumental in founding and fostering con- 
fraternities in Spain, and many of the same confraternities were established in 
New Spain among the Indian, mestizo, Hispanic, and black populations. One of 
the most important and widespread penitential confraternities in Spain, the Vera 
Cruz (True Cross), was established under the tutelage of the Franciscans in 
Mexico City as early as 1527. 2 By the 1540s there were two highly active 

See John Leddy Phelan, The Millenial Kingdom of the Franciscans in the New World 
(Berkeley: University of California Press, 1956). 

See William Wroth, Images of Penance, Images of Mercy: Southwestern 'Santos' in the 
Late Nineteenth Century (Norman and London: University of Oklahoma Press, 1991), 
21. Another of the earliest confraternities was that of Our Lady of the Immaculate 
Conception, which founded the Hospital of Jesus Nazareno in Mexico City. Hernan Cortes 


1 4 Confra te rnitas 9: 1 

confraternities of the Vera Cruz in Mexico City, one for Indians and one for 
Spaniards. 3 The Dominicans and Augustinians likewise founded confraternities. 
By the end of the century, penitential brotherhoods of the Holy Burial and the 
Virgin of Solitude, and devotional confraternities of the Rosary, among others, 
were found in virtually all Dominican monasteries. 4 The Augustinians fostered 
groups dedicated to the Name of Jesus, and virtually all of the orders established 
sacramental confraternities and devotional brotherhoods dedicated to one or more 
of the saints. 5 

The foundation of confraternities followed a similar trajectory in the other 
regions of the Americas. In Guatemala, the earliest confraternity established was 
that of the Vera Cruz, fostered by the Franciscans in 1533. 6 In the Kingdom of 
Peru, the first brotherhoods in Lima were founded shortly after the establishment 
of the city in 1535. By 1541, four confraternities were located in the Dominican 
monastery in Lima, including that of the Rosary. 7 Certainly one fruitful area of 
research would be to examine and compare the effects or impact of the ideologies 
of the different mendicant orders on the nature and development of the confrater- 
nities that they fostered in the New World. 

Confraternities were one of the most significant forces in the transformation 
of indigenous societies. They were successful throughout the Americas, in rural 
and urban areas alike, among people of all social classes, race, gender, and 
ethnicity. In New Spain, as elsewhere, their numbers increased dramatically in 
the last quarter of the sixteenth and throughout the seventeenth century. 8 By all 

wrote of the existence of this confraternity in 1529. See Adolfo Lamas, Seguridad Social 
en la Nueva Espaha (Mexico: Universidad Autonoma de Mexico, 1964), 140-141. 
According to Alicia Bazarte Martinez, the earliest documented confraternity is that of Los 
Caballeros de la Cruz, founded by Hernan Cortes in 1526. See Las cofradias de espaholes 
en la Ciudadde Mexico, 1526-1860 (Mexico: Universidad Autonoma de Mexico, 1989), 

3 Fr. Toribio de Benavente Motolinia, Historia de los indios de la Nueva Espaha (Mexico: 
Porrua, 1941), 94-95. 

4 Wroth, 21. 

5 Wroth, 21 ; Fr. Juan de Grijalva, Cronica de la orden de N.P.S. Augustin en la provincias 
de la Nueva Espaha (1624; rpt. Mexico: Porrua, 1985), 161-162. 

6 Francisco de Fuentes y Guzman, Historia de Guatemala (Madrid, 1882) 1:237-238. 

7 Albert Meyers, "Religious Brotherhoods in Latin America: A Sketch of Two Peruvian 
Case Studies" in Manipulating the Saints: Religious Brotherhoods and Social Integration 
in Postconquest Latin America, ed. Albert Meyers and Diane Elizabeth Hopkins 
(Hamburg: Wayasbah, 1988), 9. For confraternities in Peru, see especially Olinda 
Celestino and Albert Meyers, Las cofradias en el Peru: region central (Frankfurt am 
Main: Vervuert, 1981). For Dominican confraternities in Quito, Ecuador, see Rosemarie 
Teran Najas, Arte, espacio y religiosidad en el Convento de Santo Domingo (Quito: 
Proyecto Ecuador-Belgica, 1994), 46-53. 

8 Although not all scholars believe that confraternities were established during the early 
phases of missionary activity, most agree that they began to proliferate in the late sixteenth 
and early seventeenth centuries. For example, see Charles Gibson, The Aztecs Under 
Spanish Rule (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1964), 127-33; James Lockhart, The 

Research on Confraternities in the Colonial Americas 1 5 

accounts, confraternities were especially appealing to the indigenous population, 
and in some towns virtually all the Indians belonged to one. By 1585 there were 
said to be over 300 Indian confraternities active in Mexico City alone. 9 The 
Kingdom of Peru experienced a similar increase; by 1619, there were more than 
60 officially recognized confraternities in Lima, and numerous other unofficial 
brotherhoods. 10 

In fact, the success of the confraternities turned out to be far greater than the 
religious authorities had anticipated. By the end of the sixteenth century, ec- 
clesiastic and civil authorities throughout the viceregal kingdoms had issued 
decrees calling for a reduction in the number of confraternities, and attempted to 
control them by requiring that they present statutes, obtain official approval from 
the bishop, be inspected, have their expenditure books reviewed, etc. 11 Such 
actions were consistent with reforms enacted in Spain under the edicts of the 
Council of Trent, indicating that the colonies were viewed as more than mere 

A variety of circumstances contributed to the widespread success and 
popularity of confraternities among the indigenous people. Perhaps foremost was 
that the structure and function of confraternities in many cases closely paralleled 
pre-Hispanic forms of social organization. Among the Mexica (Aztecs), for 
example, the pre-Hispanic calpul, or extended kin group, was a closed social unit 
that, among other things, held land in common and performed communal rituals 
focused on local deities. 12 Similar base units of social organization existed among 
the highland Maya (the chinamit) and the Pokom (the molab). Among the 
highland Maya of Guatemala, the confraternity system became the cornerstone 
of indigenous social organization, supplanting the civil and religious functions, 
and the religious symbolism, even, of the Mayan chinamit. 13 

Nahuas After the Conquest (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1992), 218-219, 538 n. 
63; John K. Chance and William B. Taylor, "Cofradias y cargos: una perspectiva historica 
de lajerarqufa civico-religiosa mesoamericana," Antropologia 14 (1987), 7; Ernesto de 
la Torre Villar, "Algunos aspectos acerca de las cofradias y la propiedad territorial en 
Michoacan," Jahrbuch fiir Geschichte von Staat, Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft 
Lateinamerikas 4 (1967), 418-419; Murdo J. MacLeod, "Papel social y economico de las 
cofradias indigenas de la colonia en Chiapas," Mesoamerica 4 (1983), 67-68; Serge 
Gruzinski, "Indian Confraternities, Brotherhoods and Mayordomias in Central New 
Spain," in The Indian Community of Colonial Mexico, ed. Arij Ouweneel and Simon 
Miller (Amsterdam: CEDLA, 1990), 206-207; Bazarte Martinez, 45^6. 

9 Gruzinski, 207. 

10 Meyers, 9. 

1 1 See Meyers, 10-11; Gruzinski, 206-208. 

12 See Lockhart, chaps. 2, 5, 6; MacLeod, 70-72. 

13 See especially Robert Carlsen, "Social Organization and Disorganization in Santiago 
Atitlan, Guatemala," Ethnology 35 (1996), 141-160; Robert Carmack, "La perpetuation 
del clan patrilineal en Totonicipan," Antropologda e Historia de Guatemala 18 (1966), 
43-60; Robert M. Hill II and John Monaghan, Continuities in Highland Maya Social 
Organization (Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Press, 1987), chap. 2. 

1 6 Confrate rnitas 9: 1 

The protean nature of the confraternity itself, its remarkable ability to adapt 
and transform in response to the environment around it, was also responsible for 
much of its success. Spanish confraternities were institutionally fluid; the char- 
acteristics of their types, structures, activities, and memberships varied widely, 
even from neighborhood to neighborhood. Furthermore, their ambiguous juris- 
dictional status, by which their activities were not wholly (in some cases, not at 
all) in the purview of either church or state, played a large part in creating the 
adaptable and relatively independent character of these groups. 14 

The extraordinary degree to which confraternities could be shaped to reflect 
the desires, needs, and goals of their membership undoubtedly was a major factor 
in their popularity among the indigenous peoples of the New World, and is an 
area of study that looms invitingly large in future research on such groups in the 
Americas. The sheer diversity of indigenous cultural traditions and social struc- 
tures that existed throughout the Americas before the conquest presupposes an 
equal diversity of subsequent confraternal forms, adaptations, and evolution. 
Thus, there exists a rich potential for studies of the adaptation and transformation 
of the Spanish and even the European confraternity model throughout the 
Americas. From this panorama of possibilities, the following issues appear to 
offer particularly rich potential for further research. 

I. Comparative investigations into the nature of rural versus urban confrater- 
nities (i.e., studies of the periphery versus the center) may offer useful insight into 
the process and effects of evangelization. The mendicant orders focused on 
organizing confraternities in both rural and urban areas, but from very early on 
the Spanish colonists also established brotherhoods, primarily in urban centers. 
Membership in the latter was initially limited to peninsulares (those born in 
Spain), but later often included Creoles, and such groups appear to have adhered 
quite closely to Spanish models. Research on urban colonial brotherhoods has 
increased considerably in recent years. However, studies of rural groups still 
predominate in the literature and are too numerous to mention here. 15 Broader 
comparative studies of urban versus rural confraternities would also be a useful 
area of research, for many of the differences between the two in the New World 
appear to be inventive departures from the traditional European models. 16 

II. Echoing European precedent, issues of race, ethnicity, and gender figure 
prominently in the dynamics of confraternal activity in New Spain, offering rich 
possibilities for investigation. For instance, Iberian confraternities often were 

1 4 See Susan Verdi Webster, Art and Ritual in Golden- Age Spain: Sevillian Confraternities 
and the Processional Sculpture of Holy Week (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 
1998), chap. 1. 

1 5 See especially Manipulating the Saints, ed. Meyers and Hopkins; The Indian Community 
of Colonial Mexico, ed. Arij Ouweneel and Simon Miller (Amsterdam: CEDLA, 1990). 

16 The only broad comparative study of which I am aware is Asuncion Lavrin, "Rural 
Confraternities in the Local Economies of New Spain," in The Indian Community of 
Colonial Mexico, Arij Ouweneel and Simon Miller (Amsterdam: CEDLA, 1990), 

Research on Confraternities in the Colonial Americas 1 7 

established along racial and ethnic lines; in seventeenth-century Seville there 
were confraternities of black, mulattos, and gypsies, as well as brotherhoods of 
Genoese, Catalans, and immigrants from other regions. 17 Black confraternities 
were also popular in the New World, where they were especially fostered by the 
Dominicans. 18 Such ethnic confraternities were established very early in the 
spiritual conquest. By 1541, the Dominican monastery in Lima had already 
established four ethnically-oriented brotherhoods for Spaniards, natives, mulat- 
tos, and blacks, respectively. 19 Especially in urban areas where various ethnic 
groups coexisted in close proximity, the mechanism of confraternities could be 
used to promote ethnic identity. 

Research on confraternities in Mexico and Guatemala suggests that in some 
brotherhoods with largely indigenous membership, the native elite frequently, 
though not always, assumed leadership roles in the confraternity, implying some 
continuity with the pre-Hispanic hierarchy. At the same time, the nature of the 
imported confraternity structure provided the novel opportunity for commoners 
to assume positions of power that may not have been available to them under 
pre-Hispanic forms of social organization. 

Women appear to have participated more fully in New World confraternities 
than they did in their Iberian counterparts. Throughout the Americas, women 
frequently participated as equals in the ritual activities of confraternities. There 
is even evidence of women leading confraternities and of the existence of 
exclusively female confraternities, for example, in the Andean region. The con- 
fraternity of Our Lady of Monsarratte, which was founded in the early decades 
of the seventeenth century in the town of Andahuaylillas in the southern Peruvian 
Andes, was open only to members of one sex and one age group, that of unmarried 
Indian women. 20 The equal participation of women in confraternity activities is 
particularly significant among the penitential groups of New Spain, where women 
and children participated fully in the flagellant processions of Holy Week, 
wearing the hooded attire of penitents and whipping themselves in expiation of 
their sins — activities that had been forbidden to women in Spain since the 
mid- 15th century. 21 

17 Isidoro Moreno, Cofradias y hermandades andaluzas (Sevilla: Editoriales Andaluzas 
Unidas, 1985), 46-51. 

18 See Patricia A. Mulvey, "Black Brothers and Sisters: Membership in the Black Lay 
Brotherhoods of Colonial Brazil," Luso -Brazilian Review 17:2 (1980), 253-279; idem, 
"Slave Confraternities in Brazil: Their Role in Colonial Society," The Americas 39 ( 1 982), 
39-67; A. John R. Russell-Wood, "Black and Mulatto Brotherhoods in Colonial Brazil: 
A Study in Collective Behavior," Hispanic American Historical Review 54 (1974), 
567-602; and Julita Scarano, "Black Brotherhoods: Integration or Contradiction," 
Luso-Brazilian Review 16:1 (1979), 1-17. 

19 Meyers, 9. 

20 Meyers, 7. 

21 See Fr. Geronimo de Mendieta, Historia eclesidstica Indiana (Mexico: Porrua, 1980), 
420-421; Fr. Toribio de Benavente Motolinia, Memoriales, ed. Edmundo O' Gorman 
(Mexico: Porrua, 1990), 55-56; idem, Historia de los indios de la Nueva Espana,. ed. 

1 8 Confraternitas 9: 1 

III. An issue of current interest, one that has recently generated a great deal 
of debate among scholars, concerns interpretations of the teleological effect of 
confraternities in the spiritual conquest and colonization of the native peoples of 
New Spain: were they instruments of acculturation and indoctrination, or were 
they vehicles of resistance in which native traditions and beliefs could be safely 
camouflaged? There is ample evidence throughout the Americas that confrater- 
nities were the primary didactive mechanism for the dissemination of Christian 
doctrine and ritual. However, it seems in some cases that these groups sheltered 
indigenous cultural identity in a context in which almost all other pre-Hispanic 
cultural institutions were persecuted. Since the confraternity system was osten- 
sibly Catholic, making it at least minimally acceptable to the Church, it offered 
the potential for what Murdo J. MacLeod has called a "barrier function:" that is, 
a barrier that protected the celebration of distinctly non-Christian rituals, such as 
native dances, the use of certain traditional costumes, masks and music in rituals, 
the continuation of feasts involving the heavy consumption of native alcoholic 
beverages, and the syncretic worship of sculpted images. 22 

For the most part, broader studies that examine stages in the temporal 
evolution of confraternities over the colonial period remain to be undertaken; 
however, it does seem clear that the form and structure of such groups changed 
dramatically over time in many regions of the Americas. Certain studies suggest 
that initially the confraternities may have served the goals of the Spaniards, but 
over time they were converted to native purposes that frequently subverted their 
original intent. 23 Different regions reveal varying evolutionary sequences in 
response to changing social and historical circumstances. 

IV. Syncretism is an especially interesting mechanism for interpreting the 
implantation of confraternities in the New World, and particularly, for assessing 
the development of ritual practices and visual images, since the specter of idolatry 
amongst the "converted" was never far from the minds of the friars and the Church 
in the New World. Inquisition documents record innumerable instances of 
idolatry throughout three centuries all over the Americas — all the friars wrote 
about idolatry and many, such as the Franciscan friar Bernardino de Sahagun, 
observed and recorded native traditions in order to extirpate idolatrous prac- 
tices. 24 

Comparative studies of ritual activities reveal significant differences as well 
as similarities between Iberian and New World confraternities that point to the 
unique adaptations and transformations that occurred in the Americas. For in- 
stance, if there were coincidences of form and function between Spanish con- 

Edmundo O' Gorman (Mexico: Porrua, 1 990), 93. See also the descriptions cited in Robert 
Ricard, La conquista espiritual de Mexico (Mexico: Fondo de Cultura Economica, 1986), 

22 Spanish Central America: A Socio -Economic History (Berkeley: University of California 
Press, 1973), 328. 

23 For example, Carlsen, passim. 

24 Historia general de las cosas de la Nueva Espana, 4 vols. (Mexico: Porrua, 1981 ). 

Research on Confraternities in the Colonial Americas 19 

fraternities and pre-Hispanic forms of social and religious organization, similar 
coincidences are present in the religious rituals and visual images employed by 
these groups. Documented confraternity practices in the New World became a 
sort of palimpsest, in which Christian images and rituals often overlaid, or were 
fused with, those of pre-Hispanic traditions. One of the most important public 
manifestations of the confraternity was its celebration of feast days, usually with 
lavish public processions and rituals. This tradition accorded well with pre- 
Hispanic practices, in which outdoor worship and ritual was the dominant tradi- 
tion among most groups. In Mexico, one of the most adaptive and original features 
the friars devised to serve the ritual needs of their Indian confraternities was the 
construction of the large walled atrio or forecourt of the monastery that served as 
an enclosed and protected processional and ritual arena. The atrio was a new and 
innovative feature of New World monasteries that apparently has no direct 
European precedent in terms of its intended New World functions. 

The friars encouraged the performance of Christian rituals and processions 
in this walled open space before an outdoor chapel or capilla de indios (another 
New World innovation). Additional smaller chapels, known as posas, were often 
built into the corners of the walled atrios, and were used, among other purposes, 
for stops in outdoor processions. 25 The form and function of the rectangular 
walled atrio was coincidentally aligned to the cardinal directions, because of its 
relationship to the east/west orientation of the monastery church. Therefore, the 
atrio also allowed for a fusion or continuity with the pre-Hispanic symbolism of 
the cardinally-oriented corners of the universe, which had governed the similarly 
open precincts of pre-Hispanic temple sites. 

It is not surprising that penitential confraternities were by far the most 
popular types of brotherhoods among the Indians of Mesoamerica. Traditionally, 
these confraternities held flagellant processions during Holy Week, flogging their 
bare backs with whips of cord. The widespread popularity of flagellant proces- 
sions among the Indians prompted the Franciscan friar Geronimo de Mendieta to 
remark that, "Among them [the Indians], he who does not carry a rosary and a 
flagellant whip is not considered a Christian." 26 The Augustinian friar Juan de 
Grijalva, writing in the early seventeenth century, lauded the intense devotion of 
the Indians to the penitential processions of Holy Week, declaring that they far 
exceeded the Spaniards in their numbers and in the fervour of their self-mortifica- 
tion. 27 Early visual depictions of such processions appear in several sixteenth- 
and early seventeenth-century mural paintings from monasteries in central 
Mexico, notably at San Miguel, Huejotzingo (Puebla), San Martin, Huaquechula 
(Puebla), and Teiticpac (Oaxaca), and offer abundant information about the form 
and appearance of these rituals. 28 The native predilection for flagellation and 

25 For the novel architectural features of sixteenth-century mendicant monasteries, see John 
McAndrew, The Open-Air Churches of Sixteenth- Century Mexico (Cambridge, MA: 
Harvard University Press, 1965). 

26 "Entre ellos, parece no es cristiano el que no trae rosario y disciplina." Mendieta, 429. 

27 Grijalva, 161-162. 

20 Confraternitas 9: 1 

other acts of self-mortification may on one level be seen as a continuation of the 
variety of pre-Hispanic traditions of ritual self-discipline. Alongside the more 
well-known native forms of ritual bloodletting and auto-sacrifice performed by 
pre-Hispanic Mesoamerican Indians, public "penitential processions" are 
recorded in which the population of entire towns lashed each other with ropes. 29 

In perhaps a more occult manner, the images of saints maintained by native 
confraternities came to represent aspects of far more inclusive Mayan or Mexica 
deities, conforming to the "chameleon nature" of such pre-Hispanic gods. For 
example, according to Nancy Farriss, "the addition of one more guise to the 
multiple permutations each deity already possessed would hardly have fazed the 
Maya theologians." 30 Pre-Conquest images could also be hidden in the local 
church, even inside the saint's images themselves, or could be ensconced in 
nearby caves if necessary. Numerous pre-Conquest stone images maintain their 
importance among many Maya confraternities today and sculptures of Christian 
"saints" continue virtually to defy identification in many areas of the Maya 

Each culture, indigenous and Spanish, depended and still depends on the 
mystic powers of ritual objects in sacred precincts. Even though the sixteenth- 
century friars constantly railed against "idol-worship," the Indians recognized 
what was plainly obvious, and quite readily accommodated their own traditional 
"idols" to those of the Christians. In fact, Indian response, especially among the 
lowland Maya of the Yucatan and the Pueblo in the U.S. southwest, was to infuse 
the powers of their old images into the new Christian ones, and worship the 
resulting syncretized image. 31 Accordingly, a multitude of "unorthodox" prac- 
tices have been recorded about the ways that Indian confraternities interacted with 
their Christian images, ranging from the offering of traditional substances (corn, 
maize beer, and copal) to the whipping and threatening of images of the saints to 
perform miracles and accede to demands. 32 Pre-Hispanic "idols" were also 
customarily polychromed, clothed in woven textiles and paraded in public on 
shoulder-borne platforms similar to the andas (processional platforms) used in 
the religious processions of Spanish confraternities. 

The visual, material evidence of Indian confraternities is abundant 
throughout the Americas, and yet there are few studies of such objects and their 
ritual functions. Christian images were introduced into the New World in order 
to instruct the native people and to serve as devotional objects. Extra-liturgical 
dramas that used sculpted images brought Christian narrative to life and 

28 Susan Verdi Webster, "Art, Ritual, and Confraternities at the Monastery of San Miguel, 
Huejotzingo," Anales del Instituto de Investigaciones Esteticas, in press. 

29 Joseph de Acosta, The Natural and Moral History of the Indies, ed. Clements R. Markham 
(New York: Burt Franklin, 1964)2:339. 

30 Maya Society Under Colonial Rule: The Collective Enterprise of Survival (Princeton: 
Princeton University Press, 1984), 313. 

3 1 Maya Society Under Colonial Rule, 309-3 1 9. 
32 Gru/.inski, 219. 

Research on Confraternities in the Colonial Americas 21 

transcended language barriers. Over time, the images were gradually appropriated 
and assimilated by the indigenous people. They penetrated the personal and social 
existence of native groups and became a part of their individuality and of their 
collective life, thereby allowing in some way for the continuity of pre-Hispanic 
traditions. Images and objects used by the native confraternities in Latin America 
thus deserve careful research. 

Susan Verdi Webster 
University of St. Thomas 

Select Bibliography 

for Confraternities in the Colonial Americas 

(with special emphasis on Mexico) 

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Cambridge: Peabody Museum, Harvard University, 1941. 
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Mexico: Porrua, 1990. 
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Mexico: Porrua, 1981. 
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Imprenta Triay e Hijos, 1937. 
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. Chronica de la Provincia del Santo Evangelio de Mexico (1697). Mexico: Porrua, 

Zorita, Alonso de. Historia de la Nueva Espana (late 16th c). Madrid, 1909. 

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Acosta Saignes, Miguel. "Las cofradfas coloniales y el folklore," Cultura Universitaria 47 

(1955): 82-98. 
Arroniz, Othon. Teatro de evangelizacion en la Nueva Espana. Mexico: Uni versidad Nacional 

Autonoma de Mexico, 1979. 

22 Confraternitas 9:1 

Barrett, Elinore M. "Indian Community Hospitals in Colonial Michoacan," Geoscience and 

Man 21 (1980): 83-96. 
Bazarte Martinez, Alicia. Las cofradias de espanoles en la Ciudad de Mexico (1526-1860). 

Mexico: Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, 1989. 
Brooks, Frances Joseph. "Parish and Cofradia in Eighteenth Century Mexico." Ph.D. diss., 

Princeton University, 1976. 
Burkhart, Louise M. Holy Wednesday. A Nahua Drama from Early Colonial Mexico. 

Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1996. 
Cardoso, Manuel S. "The Lay Brotherhoods of Colonial Bahia," Catholic Historical Review 

33 (1947): 12-30. 
Carlsen, Robert S. The War for the Heart and Soul of a Highland Maya Town. Austin: 

University of Texas Press, 1997. 
. "Social Organization and Disorganization in Santiago Atitlan, Guatemala," Ethnol- 
ogy 35 (1996): 141-60. 
Carmack, Robert. "La perpetuation del clan patrilineal en Totonicipan," Antropologia e 

Historia de Guatemala 18 (1966): 43-60. 
Celestino, Olinda and Albert Meyers. Las cofradias en el Peru: region central. Frankfurt am 

Main: Vervuert, 1981. 
Chance, John K. and William B. Taylor. "Cofradias y cargos: una perspectiva historica de la 

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Grassfield Press, 1995. 
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Strategy in Viceregal Peru." Ph.D. diss., University of California at Los Angeles, 1990. 
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go." Jahrbuchfur Geschichte von Staat, Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft Lateinamerikas 20 

(1983): 642-662. 
Farriss, Nancy. Maya Society Under Colonial Rule: The Collective Enterprise of Survival. 

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Foster, George M. "Cofradia and Compadrazgo in Spain and Spanish America," South- 
western Journal of Anthropology 9, no. 1 (1953): 1-28. 
Garcia, Clara. "Sociedad, credito y cofradia en la Nueva Espafia a fines de la epoca colonial: 

el caso de Nuestra Senora de Aranzazu," Historias 3 (1983): 53-68. 
Garcia Ayluardo, Clara. "Las cofradias como fuentes para la historia economica del Mexico 

colonial," Boletin de Fuentes para la Historia Economica de Mexico 3 (1991): 17-22. 
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1800. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1989. 
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Research on Confraternities in the Colonial Americas 23 

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Kutsche, Paul and Dennis Gallegos. "Community Functions of the Cofradia deNuestro Padre 
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dam: CEDLA, 1990. 

. "Mundos en contraste: cofradias rurales y urbanas en la ciudad de Mexico a fines 

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Nunez de Haro sobre las cofradias de Mexico," Hispania Sacra 46, no. 94 (1994): 

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MacLeod, Murdo J. "Papel social y economico de las cofradias indigenas de la colonia en 

Chiapas," Mesoamerica 4, no. 5 (1983): 64-86. 
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Latin America, ed. Albert Meyers and Diane Elizabeth Hopkins. Hamburg: Wayasbah, 

Mulvey, Patricia A. "Black Brothers and Sisters: Membership in the Black Lay Brotherhoods 

of Colonial Brazil," Luso- Brazilian Review 17, no. 2 (1980): 253-279. 
. "Slave Confraternities in Brazil. Their Role in Colonial Society," The Americas 39 

(1982): 39-67. 
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Nutini, Hugo G. and Betty Bell. Ritual Kinship: The Structure and Historical Development 

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los altos de Guatemala," America Indigena 35, no. 4 (1975): 845-856. 
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Rostworowski de Diez Canseco, Maria. Pachacamac y el Sehor de los Milagros. Una 

trayectoria milenaria. Lima: Instituto de Estudios Peruanos, 1992. 

24 Confraternitas 9:1 

Russell- Wood, AJ.R. "Black and Mulatto Brotherhoods in Colonial Brazil: A Study in 

Collective Behaviour," Hispanic American Historical Review 54 (1974): 567-602. 
Scarano, Julita. "Black Brotherhoods: Integration or Contradiction," Luso-Brazilian Review 

16, no. 1(1979): 1-17. 
Schwaller, John Frederick. "Constitution of the Cofradia del Santissimo Sacramento of Tula, 

Hidalgo, 1570," Estudios de Cultura Nahuatl 19 (1989): 217^14. 
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Press, 1972. 
Toor, Frances. A Treasury of Mexican Folkways. New York: Crown Publishers, 1947. 
Torre Villar, Ernesto de la. "Algunos aspectos acerca de las cofradias y la propiedad territorial 

en Michoacan," Jahrbuch fur Geschichte von Staat, Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft 

Lateinamerikas 4 (1967): 410-39. 
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Trens, Manuel. "La flagelacion en la Nueva Espana," Boletin del Archivo General de la 

Nation 24 (1953): 85-90. 
Webster, Susan Verdi. "Art, Ritual, and Confraternities in Sixteenth-Century New Spain," 

Anales del Instituto de Investigaciones Esteticas, in press. 
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Sculpture of Holy Week. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1998. 
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Art, and Music Review 19, no. 2 (1997): 69-85. 
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Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1976. 
Woodward, Dorothy. The Penitentes of New Mexico. New York: Arno Press, 1974. 
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Nineteenth Century. Norman and London: University of Oklahoma Press, 1991. 
. Christian Images in Hispanic New Mexico. Colorado Springs: Taylor Museum, 1982. 

Susan Verdi Webster 
University of St. Thomas 


Nerida Newbigin, an Italianist at the University of Sydney (Australia), has won an Aus.$ 
80,000 three-year grant from the Australian Research Council for a joint project with 
Barbara Wisch, an art historian at the State University of New York in Cortland, entitled 
"Easter Plays in the Colosseum, 1490-1539." The project will edit texts and documents, 
as well as analyse performances of Holy Week plays performed in the Roman Colosseum 
between 1490 and 1539. It will relate the plays to the devotional practices of the 
Confraternity of the Gonfalone in the context of late medieval lay piety, counter-refor- 
mation renewal, and sporadic but intense anti-Jewish sentiment and activity. It will 
explore the Renaissance perception of the Colosseum, a monument with symbolic links 
to the Roman Empire, the idea of Theatre, the destruction of Jerusalem, and the early 
Christian martyrs. The project will also examine the Gonfalone confraternity's use of the 
monument and its processional way. 

This year the Sixteenth Century Studies Conference will meet in Toronto on 22-25 
October 1998, hosted by the Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies. Lance 
Lazar (University of North Carolina) has organized the following four sessions on behalf 
of our Society: 

Session 1: "Confraternities, Education, and Conversion' 

Chair and commentator, Nicholas Terpstra. Speakers: 

Lance Lazar (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill) "The Institutional Face of 

Conversion in Early Modern Italy: The Houses for Catechumens" 

Chris Carlsmith (University of Virginia) "Schools of Christian Doctrine in Bergamo, 


Michael Maher, SJ (St Louis University) "Financing Devotion: The Congregations of 

the Church of the Gesu and their Method of Fundraising" 

Session 2: "Confraternities and Urban Culture: Charity, Music, and Art 
Chair and commentator: to be announced 

Roisin Cossar (University of Toronto) "Pro Elemosina Facienda: Civic Financial Sup- 
port for the Misericordia Maggiore in Fourteenth-Century Bergamo" 
Carolyn C. Wilson (University of Texas) "Confraternities and the Cult of St Joseph in Art" 
Mark Howe (New York University) Music in the Ritual Life of the Sixteenth-Century 
Aachen Johannisherren" 

Session 3 "Charity and Charitable Providers in Reformation Europe 

Chair and commentator, Lance Lazar. Speakers: 

David D' Andrea (University of Virginia) "Charity and the Reformation on the Venetian 

Mainland: The Hospital of Treviso" 

Susan Dinan (Long Island University) "Female Charity in Seventeenth-Century France: 

The Case of Saint Vincent de Paul's Confraternity of Charity" 

Timothy Fehler (Furman University) "The Evolution of Emden's Hospitals in an Age 

of Religious Change and Social Upheaval." 


26 Conf rate rnitas 9:1 

Session 4 "Confraternities and Art in the Early Modern World 

Chair and commentator: to be announced 

Randi Klebanoff (Carleton University) "The Vita and the Morte: Marking the Sacred 

in Renaissance Bologna" 

Jason Preater (University of Bristol) "Not Wood but Flesh: The Painted Statue in 

Counter Reformation Seville" 

Gauvin Alexander Bailey (Clark University) "The Meeting of Eastern and Western Art: 

Imagery of the Misericordia Confraternities in Japan and China, 1549-1630" 

Proposals for papers on confraternities at the 34th Annual Congress of Medieval 

Studies (May 1999) at the University of Western Michigan, Kalamazoo, should be sent 
to Professor Joelle Rollo-Koster either by email at or by fax at 
(401) 874-2595, or by post at the Department of History, Washburn Hall, University of 
Rhode Island, Kingston, RI 01881, USA. Deadline for submissions: 31 August 1998. 

This past March Paul Trio delivered a paper on "Democratization in the salvation of the 
soul: the change of membership in mediaeval confraternities (Low Countries and 
especially Ghent)" at the 1 1th Biennial New College Conference on Medieval-Renais- 
sance Studies, Sarasota, Florida. 

Gilles Gerard Meersseman' s fundamental three-volume work Ordofraternitatis has been 
out of print for more than ten years. Herder Editrice, which originally published it in 
1977, is considering reprinting the work (with the inclusion of a bibliographic essay by 
Agostino Paravicini Bagliani). In determining whether or not to reprint, Herder Editrice 
is collecting pre-publication orders. Colleagues are therefore urged to recommend 
purchase of the volume to their libraries and colleagues at the pre-publication price of 
L.200,000. Please contact Herder Editrice directly by fax at (0039-6) 678-4751. 


La chiesa del Purgatorio di Fasano. Arte e devozione confraternale, ed. Antonietta 
Latorre. Fasano: Schena, 1997. 287 pp., ill. 

Somewhere between heaven and hell there lies Purgatory. In Dante's Divine Comedy 
this way station on the road to heaven is represented as a mountain — an uphill climb 
that leads to paradise. On this mountain, a parade of souls toil ever upward to purge 
the nagging sins that linger even after death. Their burden, however, may be lightened 
by the prayers of the living who, in turn, look to the penitents for intervention in their 
mortal lives. Given this symbiotic relationship, it is not surprising that Purgatory finds 
itself amply represented in Christian religious art. Further, the nature of Purgatory, a 
sort of post mortem second chance for the "not so bad" but "not so good" either, 
makes it logical that lay organizations made up of ordinary men might identify 
strongly with the plight of those wending their way up its rocky slopes. In La Chiesa 
del Purgatorio di Fasano: arte e devozione confraternale, Cosimo Damiano Fonseca 
suggests yet another reason for the popularity of Purgatory as a focal point for lay 
confraternities. Purgatory, as a place of transition, provided a spiritual parallel to the 
earthly works of Post-Tridentine confraternities. The efforts of lay societies to 
provide not only spiritual but financial and social assistance to their members, and 
thus better the human condition, find a natural counterpart in the purgatorial quest 
for spiritual perfection. It follows that the socially ambitious nature of some con- 
fraternities also found a natural counterpart in the spiritual ambition inherent in the 
purging process. It is to any one of these factors or to a combination of them, Fonseca 
suggests, that we owe the profusion of sixteenth and seventeenth-century confrater- 
nities and confraternity churches dedicated to the souls in Purgatory. 

The Chiesa del Purgatorio in Fasano is one such example. Established and 
funded by the Confraternita del Pio Monte del Purgatorio (The Confraternity of 
the Pious Mount of Purgatory) it represents both the religious focus and social 
aspirations of its members. In a detailed account of the history of the confraternity 
from the seventeenth to the twentieth century, Antonietta Latorre explores not 
only the devotional practices of the Pugliese variant of the confraternity, but also 
the social, economic, and political pressures affecting the confraternity over the 
last three centuries. Starting from a brief overview of lay organization in the 
modern era, Latorre quickly delves into an examination of the emergence in 
late-sixteenth-century, early-seventeenth-century Fasano of a number of con- 
fraternities dedicated to the cult of the dead. The formation of the Confraternity 
of Pio Monte del Purgatorio, as with other confraternities formed during this 
period, represented an attempt by an upwardly mobile middle class to emphasize 
its new social status. The chapels of these new social clubs with restricted 
admissions to their crypts functioned, to a certain extent, as status symbols. 
Membership in a particular confraternity, and especially in the Pio Monte, was 
considered a definite sign of social belonging. Latorre notes that class distinctions 
among lay confraternities were maintained through the decoration and furnishing 


28 Confraternitas 9:1 

of their respective chapels, the value of which were greatly enhanced by the 
stature or fame of the artisans commissioned by the association. Latorre's re- 
search into the Pio Monte' s accounts, charters, contracts, and inventories provides 
the reader with a tangible record of the daily workings of a confraternity. The 
illustrations included with the text — reproductions of letters, architectural plans, 
contemporary drawings of Fasano, together with photographs of the modern 
activities of the confraternity — paint a vivid picture of confraternity activity that 
takes Latorre's essay beyond historical reporting. Her account of a dispute 
between the confraternity and the Catholic Church in the 1960s over the 
Confraternity's use of a statue of the Madonna during Holy Week observances 
provides a fascinating glimpse into the enduring solidarity of confraternities even 
in the Modern era. One can only imagine the depth of member loyalty in centuries 
past. Latorre concludes her history of the Pio Monte with a somewhat anti-climac- 
tic summary of the cultural activities that now take place in the confraternity's 
church. After reading Latorre's accounts of the Pio Monte' s battles with other 
confraternities for social eminence, the arduous task of funding and building a 
church, and the decade-long battle to use a revered statue in a procession, a 
computerized bar chart showing 1989 membership at 65 seems vaguely sad. 
Nonetheless, Latorre's comprehensive account of the Pio Monte' s history is an 
invaluable evolutionary record. Rather than a snapshot of a golden era, as 
historically relevant as that may be, Latorre's approach has produced a record of 
the confraternity as a social element as vulnerable to social evolution as any other. 
The last two thirds of the publication are dedicated to a series of essays on 
the history, architecture, and adornment of the Pio Monte' s church, La Chiesa del 
Purgatorio. In her essay, "La Chiesa del Purgatorio di Fasano esempio di com- 
mittenza confraternale," Tiziana Luisi considers the erection of the church a 
combination of the Pio Monte' s social aspirations and the commitment of its 
members to joint effort and shared experience. The Chiesa del Purgatorio is 
therefore a physical manifestation of the confraternity phenomenon as it existed 
in seventeenth-century Puglia. Luisi' s essay will be of particular interest to 
architectural historians given its attention to architectural and construction 
details. The accompanying photographs will be of great assistance to those who 
are not architectural experts and who may have difficulty visualizing the precise 
features noted in the text. Similarly, the essays which follow, "Opere d'arte 
pittorica nella chiesa del Purgatorio di Fasano" (Paintings in the Church of 
Purgatory of Fasano) by Massimo Guastella, "II tesoro della Confraternita" (The 
confraternity's treasure) by Giovanni Boraccesi, "I tessuti della chiesa" (The 
church's fabrics) by Maria Pia Pettinau Vescina and "Arredi musicali e sacre 
funzioni ad remedium animae" (Musical furnishings and sacred rituals for the 
healing of souls) by Elsa Martinelli will be, with their meticulous attention to 
detail and great number of accompanying illustrations, of great interest to art 
historians. Salvatore P. Polito's essay, "Note per una storia della cartapesta in 
area brindisiana. Gli esempi di Fasano" (Notes on the history of papier mache in 
the Brindisi area), is particularly fascinating. The genesis of these often disturb- 
ingly lifelike figures, originally substituted for live participants in Easter and 

Reviews 29 

other religious processions, can be traced to the imitation of the great wooden 
sculptures imported from Venice and Naples. Although they represent a unique 
regional cultural heritage, amidst the great artistic patrimony of Italy they are 
often relegated to second class status. Their importance to Pugliese confrater- 
nities, however, is indisputable and the photographs of these figures, in particular 
that of the dead Christ on p. 1 76, are a haunting reminder of the religious devotion 
out of which the confraternity movement was born. 

Margherita Latorre's closing essay "I restauri" (The restorations) provides a 
ray of hope consistent with the Pio Monte' s faith in the restorative power of 
Purgatory. The detailed account of the continuing efforts to repair the damages 
of water, insects, time, and neglect in an effort to restore the church to its Baroque 
glory suggests that the role of confraternities may be changing. Its new role as 
guardian of the past may breathe new life into an organization whose membership 
over the past decades has been waning considerably. The combined efforts of its 
members to preserve a part of their history echoes what Tiziana Luisi called 
"committenza confraternale" and may revive the confraternity's sense of social 

The purpose of this book is not, however, to speculate about the future of lay 
societies, but rather to document one particular case of lay religious association 
and trace its evolution in all of its dimensions. Accordingly, the appendices 
include the original enabling legislation, the statutes of the confraternity, the 
statutes of the "Consorelle della Vergine dei Sette Dolori" (The Sisters of the 
Virgin of the Seven Sorrows), the sister society of the Pio Monte, the Diocesan 
statutes of the confraternity, lists of the brothers and sisters of the Pio Monte, and 
an index of notable names, places, and subjects. This volume will be an invaluable 
research tool and source document for anyone interested not only in the Pugliese 
variant of confraternal association but also in studying the activities, organization, 
and evolution of a confraternity that spans three centuries. 

Mary Watt 
Department of Italian 
University of Toronto 

Eisenbichler, Konrad. The Boys of the Archangel Raphael: A Youth Confraternity in 
Florence, 1411-1785. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1998. 474 pp, illustra- 

This richly documented study by Konrad Eisenbichler is a significant contribution to 
a number of scholarly fields. In the first place, it helps to fill the significant gap in 
narrative descriptions in English of confraternity life. Eisenbichler' s choice of 
subject, the Compagnia dell'Arcangelo Raffaello in Florence, with its impressive 
membership, theatrical performances, and artistic possessions, is a particularly rich 
subject for such a study. Furthermore, by examining a lay religious organization for 
the young, he addresses many questions of interest to those studying children and 
youths in early modern Europe. Finally, Eisenbichler' s interdisciplinary approach 

30 Confraternitas 9: 1 

allows him to place the Arcangelo Raffaello and its young members in a variety of 
civic, religious, cultural and social contexts, thus giving a remarkably complete 
picture of what it was like to be a young person in Medicean Florence. 

Before proceeding with the narrative history of the Arcangelo Raffaello, 
Eisenbichler provides a discussion of the recent historiography of confraternity 
studies. Founded in 1411 by an anonymous Florentine battiloro, or gold-leaf 
worker, the Compagnia dell 'Arcangelo Raffaello (sometimes described in docu- 
ments as the Compagnia della Scala or Compagnia della Nativita) was originally 
intended to be a confraternity for male youths aged thirteen to twenty-four, with 
only two adults, the guardian father and the father corrector, involved in its 
operations; however, over the years, the average age of the brothers increased. 
The confraternity quickly gained papal approval, in 1430 and grew in status and 
membership to become the confraternity of the elite, counting Grand Duke 
Cosimo II and his Medici descendants as members. Eisenbichler pinpoints three 
phases of the confraternity's development: from its establishment in 1411 to the 
loss of its rooms and oratory on the Via della Scala in 1529; the move to Piazza 
Santa Maria Novella and the Arcangelo Raffaello' s subsequent rebirth and 
prosperity in the sixteenth century; and a slow decline in interest and membership, 
culminating in the confraternity's suppression by grand-ducal decree in 1785. 
Interwoven into the narrative history are individual chapters addressing thematic 
subjects such as recreation, theatre, art, membership, and religious observance. 

Eisenbichler' s own research has concentrated in part on the pageantry of 
confraternity life, and he dedicates much of The Boys of the Archangel Raphael 
to discussions of the processions and musical and theatrical performances given 
by its members. According to the author, these theatrical performances began as 
recreation for the young men, but post-Tridentine reforms and other forces caused 
a shift in emphasis from activities designed by its young members for the 
edification and education of a young Christian soul to performances created by 
elders specifically for theatrical and public display. 

In his narrative, Eisenbichler places a great deal of emphasis on certain key 
events in the confraternity's history. For instance, Christine of Lorraine, wife of 
Grand Duke Ferdinand I de' Medici, was so impressed by her visits to the 
Arcangelo Raffaello in 1590 and 1591 that she enroled her seven-month son 
Cosimo II in the confraternity. The event was certainly significant, for although 
Cosimo II does not appear to have attended confraternity events, his presence on 
the roster attracted other scions of the civic elite, which in turn increased 
membership in, and patronage of, the Arcangelo Raffaello. The emphasis on this 
incident does become somewhat repetitive, although such repetition is perhaps 
necessary as a result of the partially thematic structure of the book, which enables 
the same incident to be viewed variously through political, cultural and religious 

The descriptions and illustrations in the book are well chosen and give added 
insight into the life of the confraternity. The detailed discussion of the facade and 
the lavishly decorated rooms of the building on Piazza Santa Maria Novella are 
especially notable (pp. 58-70). Maps depict the Via della Scala and Piazza Santa 

Reviews 3 1 

Maria Novella locations from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries. Previously 
unpublished watercolours of the confraternity insignia, the Archangel Raphael 
with Tobias, are reproduced from the confraternity's ricordi, or record books, 
while an example of the lush illumination of the Arcangelo Raffaello's statute 
books is provided through a seventeenth-century drawing by Valerio Spada. The 
appendix consists of rosters of the two adult administrators of the confraternity; 
a list of the chapel masters; the musical and theatrical performances performed 
by the confraternity; and the works of art held by the Arcangelo Raffaello. 

In short, The Boys of the Archangel Raphael is an informative, engaging and 
often witty read for specialists in confraternity studies and non-specialists alike. 
Eisenbichler has set a high standard for future historians of confraternities. 

Laura E. Hunt 

Centre for Medieval Studies 

University of Toronto 

Storia della Chiesa di Bologna, ed. Paolo Prodi and Lorenzo Paolini. 2 vols. Istituto 
per la storia della Chiesa di Bologna. Bologna: Edizioni Bolis, 1997. xiii, 402, 670 
pp., ill. 

This two-volume work focuses on the history of the Church in Bologna from late 
antiquity to the present and includes a substantial collection of essays in various 
disciplines. The illustrations are excellently reproduced, very informative, and could 
be considered one of the salient features of the work. The two-volume format allows 
for a difference in approach to the extensive subject matter; more specifically, the 
second volume narrows the wider perspective laid out in the first. 

The purpose of the first volume is to prepare the historical field of analysis, 
provide the necessary information, and trace the history of the Bolognese Church 
over times. There are articles by Amedeo Benati on the Bolognese Church from 
its beginnings to the High Middle Ages, by Augusto Vasina for the 12-1 5th 
centuries, Umberto Mazzone for the 16th century to Napoleon's rule, and by 
Giuseppe Battelli for the 1 9-20th centuries. Vasina' s essay illustrates how Bolog- 
na grew and expanded her territory during the Middle Ages up to the year 1400. 
This was primarily an urban growth that resulted in economic growth and 
consequently favoured the expansion of the Church and, especially, of the 
diocese. Along the same line, Mazzone points out how Marian confraternities 
flourished from 1500 on, and how belonging to a confraternity was a sign of 
distinction and a re-affirmation of social status. Both articles also parallel the 
history of the Church with the political history of Bologna, clarifying many points 
of intimate connection between the Church and Bologna's oligarchic government. 
The chronological approach followed by the two authors is summarized in three 
appendices, the first on the organization of the diocese from the Middle Ages to 
the 20th century, the second is a list of the city's bishops, and the third a 
point-form schema of the principal moments in the history of the Church and the 

32 Confraternitas 9:1 

The second volume is divided into six thematic units, each structured accord- 
ing to a strict chronological order. The first thematic division touches on saints, 
cult, and liturgy. For the High Middle Ages Paolo Gonnelli analyses the beliefs 
in miracles and relics, all the while drawing on literary sources to corroborate his 
views. Gabriella Zarri's essay analyses the change in devotional practices from 
1400 on, with a main focus on the relatively large number of canonized women 
in the diocese of Bologna. The second thematic division touches on charity and 
social assistance. Mario Fanti's article is of great interest for scholars of confrater- 
nities for it points out that during the 15th century most religious orders were 
gradually replaced by religious and lay confraternities in the administration of 
hospitals and in social help. Fanti provides copious information on the administra- 
tion of these social entities and looks very closely, for example, at the Ospedale 
della Vita. In this section there are also essays by Giampaolo Venturi on 1 9th-20th 
century charity and social assistance, and by Alessandro Albertazzi on catholic 
social commitment, also in the 19th-20th century. The third thematic division 
touches on the relationship between the Church and the university (with an essay 
by Carlo Dolcini), and the Church and schools (by Gian Paolo Brizzi). The fourth 
thematic division examines the Church from an art-historical perspective focus- 
ing on architecture (Paola Porta for the High Middle Ages and Anna Maria 
Matteucci for the later period), on the relationship between art and devotion 
(Fabrizio Lollini), painting (Donatella Biagi Maino), and music (Piero Mioli). 
The fifth thematic division analyses the history of the religious orders active in 
Bologna with articles by Paola Foschi on the Middle Ages and Alfeo Giacomelli 
on the period 1400-1800. Giacomelli notes especially how the Certosini 
flourished most from 1400 on, and how many medieval orders gradually disap- 
peared from the Bolognese monastic scene. The sixth and last thematic division 
deals with preaching and with dissent in the city. Giandomenico Gordini analyses 
preaching up to the 1 6th century. Samuele Giombi's article is of particular interest 
for scholars of heretical movements because it provides an analysis of the remains 
of medieval heresy and its impact on Bologna's religious life after 1400. During 
the Reformation Bologna was one of the most open and receptive cities in Italy 
and the Church had to deal with many cases of heterodoxy there. Maurizio 
Tagliaferri examines preaching from the French Revolution to the present, and 
Guido Dall'Olio religious dissent in early modern times. 

While there is quite a variety of material in this volume, there is also a clear 
thread linking all the essays together into a coherent historical study of the 
different aspects of the Church in Bologna. The volumes are directed to as vast a 
readership as possible, while at the same time providing scholars with an en- 
lightening, interdisciplinary approach to the topic and many suggestions for 
further research. 

Gabriella Corona 

Centre for Medieval Studies 

University of Toronto 

Publications Received 

The following publications have been received by the SCS and have been deposited 
into the Confraternities Collection at the Centre for Reformation and Renaissance 
Studies (Toronto): 

Carnier, Marc and Paul Trio. La confrerie nommee 'kalande': reminiscence d'une 
organisation a base decanale, dans le comte de Flandre au Moyen Age. 
Preprints/Papers uitgegeven door de subfaculteit Letteren van de Katholieke Univer- 
siteit Leuven, Campus Kortrijk, No. 90 (November 1997), 1 1 pp. 

Casagrande, Giovanna. Religiosita penitenziale e citta al tempo dei Comuni. Roma: 
Istituto Storico dei Cappuccini, 1995. 508 pp. [reviewed in Confraternitas 8:1] 

La chiesa del Purgatorio di Fasano. Arte e devozione conf rate male, ed. Antonietta 
Latorre. Fasano: Schena, 1997. 287 pp. ill. 

Confraternite oggi, insert No. 46 of Parrocchia. Mensile di vita pastorale 52:2 
(Rome: January 1998), 19 pp. 

Dabrowka, Andrzej. "Die Textuberlieferung der Able Spelen und der Sotternien" 
Neerlandica Wratislaviensia 4 (1989): 7-46. 

Dabrowka, Andrzej. "Epoche, Gattung, individueller Wert. Zur empirischen Stelges- 
chichte des mittelniederlandischen Dramas" Zagadnienia Rodzajow Literackich 33:2 
(1990): 27-53 [theatre and confraternities] 

Dabrowka, Andrzej. "Fruhestes weltliches Theaterrepertoire in den Niederlanden" 
Acta philologica 20 (Warsaw, 1991): 65-98 [theatre and confraternities] 

Dabrowka, Andrzej. "Quando sagittari sagittaverunt papegay ... Der Medienstreit 
in mittelniederlandischen Theaterbetrieb" Neenlandica Wratislaviensia 1 (1994): 

Dabrowka, Andrzej. "Ontologisch Interpretatiekader voor het Middeleeuwse 
Drama" TydskrifvirNederlands en Afrikaans 2:1(1 995): 7-1 8 [theatre and confrater- 

Dabrowka, Andrzej. "Symbool en teken in de middeleeuwse media (vroomheidsvor- 
men en de culturele betekenis van de broederschappen)" De nieuwe taalgids 88:4 
(1995): 289-306. 

Dabrowka, Andrzej. "De Neidhartspiele tin het abel spel Van de Winter ende van de 
Somer op een solre te Arnhem rond 1400 ogevoerd?" in Studien zur deutschen und 
niederlandischen Sprache und Kultur. Festschrift fur Jan Czochralski. Warsaw: 
1996. pp. 223-226. 

Eisenbichler, Konrad. The Boys of the Archangel Raphael: a Youth Confraternity in 
Florence, 1411-1785. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1998. 474 pp, ill. 


34 Confraternitas 9:1 

Gentilcore, David. "The Fear of Disease and the Disease of Fear" in Fear in Early 
Modern Society, eds. William G. Naphy and Penny Roberts. Manchester and New 
York: Manchester University Press, 1997, pp. 184-208 [miraculous healings at the 
confraternity of Santa Maria della Vita in Bologna in the 16th— 17th centuries] 

Peterson, David S. "An Experiment in Diocesan Self-Government: The universitas 
cleri in Early Quattrocento Florence" in Quaderni di storia religiosa, vol. 4 Preti nel 
medioevo (1997), pp. 195-220. 

Rigon, Antonio. Review of Giovanna Casagrande, Religiosita penitenziale e citta al 
tempo dei Comuni (Roma: Istituto Storico dei Cappuccini, 1995) in Bollettino della 
Deputazione di Storia P atria per VUmbria 94 (1997): 237-241. 

Scuola dalmata dei SS. Giorgio e Trifone (Venezia), issue 32 (1997/1). 

Storia della Chiesa di Bologna, ed. Paolo Prodi and Lorenzo Paolini. 2 vols. Istituto 
per la storia della Chiesa di Bologna. Bologna: Edizioni Bolis, 1997. xiii, 402, 670 
pp., ill. 

Trio, Paul. See Carnier, Marc. 


Volume 9, No. 2, Fall 1998 



Les Confreries de Bratislava a la fin du Moyen Age d'apres les sources 


Marie-Madeleine de Cevins 3 

La fraternita di S. Maria del Mercato di Gubbio (secoli XIII-XV) 

Filippo Fiorucci 23 

News 29 

Forum 32 


Ad Summum 1248. Der gotische Dom im Mittelalter. Ausstellung des 
Historischen Archivs der Stadt Koln aus Anlafi der Grundsteinlegung des 
Kolner Doms vor 750 Jahren (Michael Milway) 33 

Aranci, Gilberto. Vittorio DelVAncisa. Un prete fiorentino del 

Cinquecento e Vorigine delle "Stabilite nella Carita" (Gabriella Corona) .... 34 

Arrizabalaga, Jon, John Henderson, and Roger French. The Great Pox. 

The French Disease in Renaissance Europe (Dylan Reid) 35 

Carlo Borromeo e V opera della " 'Grande Riforma" (Nicholas Terpstra) 37 

Czarcinski, Ireneusz. Bractwa w wielkich miastach panstwa krzyzackiego 

w sredniowieczu (Catherine Filejski) 38 

de Ghetaldi, Enrico. La Confraternita di San Martino e la Chiesa di N.S. 

di Loreto in Borgo Peri nella loro storia (Gabriella Corona) 39 

La devozione dei Bianchi nel 1399. II miracolo del Crocifisso di Borgo a 
Buggiano, ed. Amleto Spicciani (Mary Alexandra Watt) 40 

Dionigi, Renzo. SS. Quattuor Coronati. Bibliography and Iconograpy. An 
Essay (Jennifer Forbes) 41 

Gazzini, Marina. "Dare et habere ". // mondo di un mercante milanese 
del Quattrocento (con Vedizione del libro di conti di Donato Ferrario 
da Pantigliate) (Angela Presta) 43 

L' Oratorio di Santa Maria della Vita, ed. Marco Poli 

(Mary Alexandra Watt) 44 

Riepe, Juliane. Die Arciconfraternita di S. Maria della Morte in Bologna. 
Beitrdge zur Geschichte des italienischen Oratoriums im 17. und 18. 
Jahrhundert (J. Drew Stephen) 45 

Pellegrino Tibaldi pittore e architetto dell'eta borromaica (Maria Loh) 47 

Quellen zur Geschichte der Kblner Laienbruderschaften vom 12. 

Jahrhundert bis 1562/63, ed. Klaus Militzer (Michael Milway) 48 

Publications Received 50 

Les Confreries de Bratislava a la Fin du Moyen 
Age d'Apres les Sources Testamentaires 


Few records of confraternities survive in Hungary. By examining testamentary 
records in Bratislava, one of medieval Hungary's major cities, we can investigate the 
question of whether this dearth results from the loss of sources, or whether there were 
simply far fewer confraternities in Hungary than in western Europe. Only two sources 
related directly to particular confraternities survive from the city, but evidence from 
wills reveals a total of two dozen active in Bratislava, mainly in the late fifteenth and 
early sixteenth centuries. These confraternities were about equally divided between 
those organized around a saint or devotion (10), and those organized by trade (14). 

The most frequently cited and probably the largest were the confraternities of 
Our Lady and Saint Sebastian, followed by the Mother of Mercy, Corpus Christi (by 
far the oldest and best documented), and Saint Nicholas. These large confraternities 
probably averaged about a hundred members at the end of the fifteenth century, a 
fairly modest number by comparison to those in western European cities. The 
Confraternity of Corpus Christi is the only association whose statutes survive, along 
with some membership lists. This evidence provides some insight into its organiza- 
tion, finances, religious and charitable activities. Its membership included many 
members of the civic elite, while the other confraternities appear to have been more 

About a third of the wills studied included a donation to a confraternity, 
suggesting that even non-members made donations. These donations appeared along- 
side other religious donations, and were primarily directed towards the devotional 
rather than the trade associations, suggesting that the confraternities were seen to 
provide spiritual benefits. In general, Bratislava' s confraternities were similar to those 
of other European cities. While the evidence from wills still leaves many gaps in our 
knowledge of Bratislava's confraternities, it does demonstrate that there is still much 
that can be discovered about confraternities in Hungary. 

Parmi les nombreuses questions que posent les confreries du royaume de Hongrie 
au Moyen Age (recrutement, gestion materielle, activites cultuelles et caritatives), 
la plus preoccupante est certainement celle de leur nombre meme. Alors que dans 
les villes occidentales on a pu mettre en evidence le fait que les confreries, par 
leur foisonnement et leur implantation dans l'espace urbain, fonctionnaient en 
veritable reseau, a l'instar des paroisses ou des couvents mendiants qui les 
abritaient, cela ne semble pas avoir ete le cas en Hongrie. La ville de Sopron (en 
Transdanubie), concentrait suffisamment d' associations de laics a caractere reli- 

C. Vincent, Les confreries medievales dans le royaume de France (Paris, 1994), pp. 
\2-M>. Faute de place, je ne mentionnerai ici qu'une seule monographic recente, dont 
les cartes illustrent particulierement bien comment les confreries se repartissaient dans 
l'espace urbain : J.-M. Matz, "Les confreries dans le diocese d' Angers (v. 1350-v. 1 560)" 
Annates de Bretagne et des Pays de I 'Quest 98:4 ( 1 99 1 ), pp. 347-372. 

4 Confraternitas 9:2 

gieux pour y parvenir, de meme que Presov (aujourd'hui en Slovaquie); mais 
le fait n'est pas assure pour les autres villes hongroises, y compris Buda (pourtant 
parmi les villes les plus peuplees du royaume, et residence royale a partir de la 
fin du 14 e siecle). Si Ton s'en tient aux confreries mentionnees par les sources, 
le nombre de confreries par ville apparait incroyablement faible dans le royaume 
magyar jusqu'au tournant des 15 e et 16 e siecles (rarement plus de deux ou trois 
confreries de devotion par localite), meme rapporte au total des habitants; il 
progresse ensuite sensiblement jusque dans les annees 1520, alors meme que les 
villes sombraient dans une crise economique et demographique sans precedent. 
N'y a-t-il la que l'effet des enormes pertes subies par la documentation medievale 
hongroise? Ou faut-il chercher une explication du cote du fonctionnement de ces 
associations, en examinant de plus pres le role qu'elles jouaient dans la vie 
religieuse et sociale des citadins? 

A divers titres, l'exemple de Bratislava (Presbourg, Pozsony en hongrois) 
m'a paru susceptible de fournir des elements de reponse a cette interrogation. 
Dans cette ville, qui comptait parmi les plus populeuses et dynamiques du 
royaume de Hongrie a la fin du Moyen Age, l'historiographie ancienne (non 
renouvelee) n'a trouve la trace que de deux associations de devotion avant 1490, 
la confrerie du Saint-Sacrement et la confrerie Notre-Dame (du couvent francis- 
cain), 7 auxquelles six autres seraient venues se joindre de la derniere decennie du 
15 e siecle a la victoire turque de Mohacs en 1526. 8 Par ailleurs, Bratislava a la 
chance de disposer d'une documentation abondante (comparativement a la plu- 
part des villes hongroises) et insuffisamment exploitee, en particulier en ce qui 
concerne les testaments. 

2 Elle abritait une bonne dizaine de confreries de devotion et au moins une demi-douzaine 
de confreries de metier au debut du 16 e siecle. J. Hazi, Sopron kozepkori egyhdztortenete 
[Histoire ecclesiastique de Sopron] (Sopron, 1939), pp. 287-304. 

3 L. Pasztor, A magyarsdg valldsos elete a Jagellok kordban [La vie religieuse des 
Hongrois a l'epoque des Jagellon] (Budapest, 1941), p. 39. 

4 On y a repere l'existence d'une confrerie du Saint-Sacrement et d'une confrerie des 
bouchers, mais aucun document n'a subsiste sur les autres associations de laics de cette 
ville. A. Kubinyi, dans L. Gerevich (dir.), Budapest tortenete [Histoire de Budapest] 
(Budapest, 1975), t. 2, p. 71. 

5 M.-M. de Cevins, L'Eglise dans les villes hongroises aux XlVe et XVe siecle, These de 
Doctorat de l'Universite de Paris-Sorbonne (inedite), 1995, t. 1, pp. 291-292. 

6 En 1' absence d'inventaire exhaustif des creations confraternelles permettant de quantifier 
cet essor, voir les exemples cites dans Pasztor, A magyarsdg, pp. 22-39. 

7 II existait (au moins) une autre confrerie de vocable marial a Bratislava. Voir infra. 

8 Les confreries de Bratislava n'ont fait l'objet d'aucune recherche specifique. Dans sa 
monumentale Histoire de la ville de Bratislava, Tivadar Ortvay expose en details les 
donnees documentaires concernant la confrerie du Saint-Sacrement, mais ne consacre 
que quelques lignes aux autres associations: T. Ortvay, Pozsony vdros tortenete [Histoire 
de la ville de Bratislava], t. 2, vol. 4 (Pozsony, 1903), pp. 399-41 1, 414 et 507-508. 

Les Confreries de Bratislava 

Sources utilisees 

Les testaments ne sont pas les documents les plus instructifs pour l'histoire des 
confreries, on le sait; mais, en l'absence de sources internes, ils peuvent etre d'un 
grand secours. Or c'est precisement le cas pour Bratislava: elle ne dispose que de 
tres peu de textes (sans meme parler des sources iconographiques, inexistantes 
ou mal identifiers) se rapportant directement aux confreries medievales — les 
statuts fondateurs de la confrerie du Saint-Sacrement dans leur version revisee de 
1447, quelques lettres d'indulgences — ,les autres reglements et a peu pres tous 
les registres internes (livres de membres et de comptes) ayant disparu. 

Les Archives Municipales de Bratislava (Archiv Mesta Bratislavy) conser- 
ved, sous le nom de Protocollum Testamentorum, un fonds constitue de sources 
testamentaires, dont le premier volume contient 826 testaments differents, le plus 
ancien datant du debut du 1 5 e siecle (entre 1 409 et 1 422) et le plus tardif, de 1 529. 
C'est sur ces documents (inedits a ce jour) 11 et tres partiellement exploites que 
s'appuient les developpements qui suivent. 12 Certes, en Hongrie comme ailleurs, 
les testaments doivent etre manies avec precaution. Ils ne sont nullement repre- 
sentatifs de l'ensemble de la population d'une ville — la majorite des habitants des 
villes medievales mourait sans testament — 13 ni meme d'un groupe social aux 
contours nettement definis. 14 En outre, leurs auteurs devaient respecter certaines 
regies, formulees par ecrit dans les codes de droit urbain (a Bratislava comme a 

9 Tivadar Ortvay en donne le contenu et cite en note le document in extenso, dans Pozsony, 
t. 2, vol. 4, pp. 400-407. 

10 Seules ont survecu quelques listes (incompletes) de membres pour la confrerie du 
Saint-Sacrement. Ortvay, Pozsony, t. 2, vol. 4, p. 409. 

11 Je remercie ici Katalin Szende de m' avoir communique la transcription de ces documents. 
Ils seront indiques dans le present article par P.T., suivi du numero du feuillet dans le 
registre manuscrit, puis de la mention r. pour recto, ou v. pour verso. 

12 Tivadar Ortvay y a puise de nombreux elements de son Histoire de Bratislava, mais 
isolement, sans approche quantitative. Katalin Szende a commence a les etudier dans 
une perspective a la fois demographique, sociale et economique, avec des methodes 
statistiques et une approche comparative. On peut lire ses premiers resultats dans K. 
Szende, "Families in Testaments. Some aspects of demography and inheritance customs 
in a Late Medieval Hungarian town," Medium Aevum Quotidianum 35 (Krems, 1996), 
Otium 3:1-2 (1995), p. 108. 

13 Pour Bratislava, la proportion de testateurs des deux generations ayant vecu dans cette 
ville des annees 1420 a 1485 ne depassait pas 7,2%. Szende, "Families" p. 109. 

14 Les enquetes menees a Bratislava et Sopron par Katalin Szende ont montre que, 
contrairement a une idee recue, il ne s'agissait pas seulement des plus riches des citadins 
(meme s'ils sont plus nombreux a tester que les petits contribuables). Un cinquieme des 
430 testaments de Bratislava dates de 1420 a 1485 provient de membres du corps de ville, 
proportion tres inferieure a celle d' autres villes de la Chretiente latine (comme 
Constance). Certaines categories de la population urbaine y sont beaucoup plus repre- 
sentees que dans la realite (en particulier les elements les plus mobiles, et les plus instruits, 
c'est-a-dire les marchands, les notaires, les clercs et les artisans), tandis que d'autres (les 
indigents mais aussi les vignerons) y figurent en proportion tres faible. Szende, "Fami- 
lies" p. 109. 

6 Confraternitas 9:2 

Buda, 15 et de maniere generale dans l'ensemble des villes libres royales, selon le 
ius tavernicalis.^) Si le contenu des testaments montre que ces normes n'etaient 
pas toujours respectees a la lettre, 17 elles fournissent au moins un cadre general 
que Ton ne saurait negliger, d'autant qu'elles concernaient non seulement les 
droits des heritiers, mais aussi la part revenant a l'Eglise. 18 

Contexte local 

Bratislava regroupait entre 4.500 et 5.000 habitants au 15 e et au debut du 16 e 
siecle (avec un maximum d'environ 5.300 habitants vers 1450, suivi d'un net 
recul demographique), en majorite d'origine et de langue allemandes. Elle 
constituait le centre economique le plus important de Hongrie du Nord et de 
l'Ouest (avant Sopron). Ville royale libre dotees de privileges economiques des 
1297, elle connut un essor spectaculaire a partir de l'epoque angevine. L' acqui- 
sition du droit d'etape en 1402 en fit un carrefour commercial majeur sur l'axe 
routier menant de Vienne a Buda (par le Danube), done sur la voie qui reliait les 
villes d' Allemagne meridionale (notamment Nuremberg) et Buda, par 1' Autriche. 
Integree au groupe des sept "villes du Tresor" des les annees 1430, elle n'avait 
presque plus d'activites agricoles au 15 e siecle, ce qui la conduisit (pour assurer 
son appro visionnement) a acquerir les villages des alentours, jadis aux mains des 
families dirigeant la ville (au 14 e siecle). Les artisans representaient environ le 
quart des contribuables au debut du 1 5 e siecle, (comme dans la plupart des villes 
hongroises) et les viticulteurs etaient tres nombreux. Les membres des metiers les 
plus prosperes au 15 e siecle (bouchers, cordonniers, meuniers et tanneurs) se 

15 J. Kiraly, Pozsony vdrosjoga a kozepkorban [Le droit urbain de Presbourg au Moyen 
Age] (Budapest, 1903). K. Mollay, (ed.), Das Ofner Stadtrecht. Eine deutschsprachige 
Rechtssammlung des 15. Jahrhunderts (Budapest- Weimar, 1959), par. 315. 

1 6 Publie par G. Kovachich (ed.), Codex authenticus iuris tavernicalis (Buda, 1 803), chap. 

cxxiii, cxxiv, exxxm, cxl. 

17 On a pu observer par exemple que les testateurs de Bratislava ne se conformaient que 
partiellement aux dispositions du code urbain privilegiant la famille elargie (selon la 
coutume hongroise) par rapport a la famille nucleaire. Szende, "Families" p. 120. 

1 8 Les autorites urbaines entendaient ainsi eviter tout detournement ou fraude pouvant etre 
dommageable aux etablissements beneficiaires. D'ou le decret pris en 1418 par le conseil 
de ville de Sopron ordonnant que les testaments devraient lui etre soumis au plus tard un 
mois apres le deces, "afin que Dieu, les etablissements ecclesiastiques et les pauvres ne 
soient pas leses." K. Szende, "A soproni kesokozepkori vegrendeletek egyhaz-es targy- 
torteneti tanulsagai" Soproni Szemle (1990/3), p. 268. 

19 Elle comptait entre 4300 et 4800 habitants en 1434, entre 5100 et 5600 en 1452, puis 
entre 4200 et 4700 habitants en 1503. J. Szucs, Vdrosok es kezmiivesseg a XV. Szdzadi 
Magyarorszdgon [Les villes et l'artisanat dans la Hongrie du XVe siecle] (Budapest, 
1955), p. 41. Bratislava se situait done parmi les grandes villes du royaume, juste apres 
le groupe des tres grandes villes, celles qui regroupaient de 7 a 10 ou 12 000 habitants 
(Buda, Kassa, Pest et Szeged). 

20 Sztics, Vdrosok, pp. 21-35. 

21 SzttCS, Vdrosok, p. 47. 

Les Confreries de Bratislava 1 
lancerent peu a peu dans le grand commerce, au point de reussir a entrer 


progressivement dans le patriciat local. 

Sur le plan ecclesiastique, Bratislava abritait alors trois eglises paroissiales, 
dont le desservant etait elu par la communaute des paroissiens depuis 1302: la 
collegiale Saint-Martin-Saint-Sauveur, dont l'eglise remonte au 1 l e siecle, et, en 
dehors des remparts, les eglises Saint-Laurent et Saint-Michel dont le cure est 
mentionne pour la premiere fois (respectivement) en 1311 et 1325. Un couvent 
franciscain, place sous le patronage de Notre-Dame, y est mentionne des 1278 et 
fut reconstruit en 1297, date a laquelle un couvent de Clarisses s'installa dans les 
murs d'un ancien couvent de moniales cisterciennes. Parmi les edifices les plus 
importants, citons enfin la chapelle Sainte-Catherine, dependant de l'abbaye 
cistercienne d'Heiligenkreuz, construite entre 1311 et 1325. 23 Les etablissements 
ecclesiastiques de la ville y jouaient un role economique majeur, en tant que 
crediteur de la municipality entre 1 435 et 1 5 1 2, ils lui auraient prete au total plus 
de 35.000 florins d'or, 24 et vers 1439, rentes perpetuelles et prets a interets aux 
citadins et au corps de ville leur rapportaient environ 1.200 florins par an (en 
nature et en argent)! 25 Afin d'endiguer la diminution des biens imposables dans 
la ville, les autorites urbaines deciderent avant le milieu du 15 e siecle d'interdire 
les fondations perpetuelles associees a des biens fonciers situes intra muros. 26 

Je commencerai mon analyse par une description du reseau des confreries de 
la ville, l'apport des testaments etant capital de ce point de vue (nombre, taille, 
vocable, repartition, evolution chronologique). J'indiquerai ensuite quels rensei- 
gnements complementaires ils fournissent sur le fonctionnement de ces confreries 
(organisation interne, ressources, activites et vie associative), de meme que sur 
leur rayonnement dans la societe urbaine (recrutement et degre de popularite). 

1. Le reseau des confreries de Bratislava 

Nombre des confreries de Bratislava et evolution chronologique 

La plus ancienne association confraternelle de Bratislava mentionnee par la 

documentation est la confrerie du Saint-Sacrement : la confraternitas (ou cecha) 

22 Sur l'histoire generate de la ville de Bratislava a la fin du Moyen Age, voir Ortvay, 
Pozsony; V. Horvath, D. Lehotska, J. Pleva (dir.), Dejiny Bratislavy (Bratislava, 1978); 
plus recemment encore, H. Stoob, "Pressburg und das Stadtewesen im europaischen 
Sudosten vor derTurkenzeit", dans Westmitteleuropa - Ostmitteleuropa. Festschrift fiir 
Ferdinand Seibt zum 65. Geburtstag (Munchen 1992), pp. 319-330. 

23 Ortvay, Pozsony, t. 2, vol.4, passim. 

24 F. Ko vats, A pozsonyi vdrosgazdasdg a kozepkor vegen [L' economie urbaine de Pozsony 
a la fin du Moyen Age] (Pozsony, 1918), p. 17. 

25 F. Kovats, "Egyhaz es varosgazdasag a kbzepkorban" [Eglise et economie urbaine au 
Moyen Age], dans Szegedi M. Kir. Ferencz Jozsef-Tudomdny egyetem 1930/31 miikode- 
serbl szdlo beszdmolo (Szeged, 1934), p. 9. 

26 F. Kovats, "Egyhaz" p. 8. En consequence de quoi les donations aux etablissements 
ecclesiastiques se firent principalement en argent, mobilier ou objets precieux a partir du 
milieu du 15 e siecle. Ibid. p. 12. 

8 Confraternitas 9:2 

corporis Christi sacratissimi ou Bruederschaft Goczleichnams zech apparait dans 
les tout premiers testaments conserves, en 1 433. Surtout, des 1 349, sa fondation 

• • i 28 

est mentionnee dans un document municipal; ce qui en fait la plus precoce 


confrerie non sacerdotale attestee pour la Hongrie medievale. Bratislava semble 
done avoir ete l'une des premieres villes hongroises a prendre part au mouvement 

Faute de documents anterieurs aux testaments du Protocollum, la date reelle 
de creation des autres confreries demeure souvent obscure. Celle qui apparait en 
second (dans l'ordre chronologique) parmi les confreries de devotion n'est 
mentionnee qu'un siecle apres la precedente: e'est la confrerie Notre-Dame 
(unser lieben frawen zech ou fraternitas Beate Marie Virginis), citee dans un 
testament de 1446. 31 En realite, il est possible qu'elle naquit deux ou trois 
decennies auparavant: un autel de la Vierge, erige dans le couvent franciscain 
abritant cette confrerie, figure dans un testament vraisemblablement redige en 
decembre 1414. 32 Meme apres le milieu du 15 e siecle, les fondations confrater- 
nelles demeurent peu nombreuses. Les testaments revelent alors l'existence de la 
confrerie Mere-de-Misericorde (die zech der mueter der parmherzigkait, citee 
pour la premiere fois dans un testament de 1467), 33 peu avant la confrerie 
Saint-Nicolas (Sand Niclas zech en 1471 ), 34 puis un quart de siecle plus tard, celle 
de la confrerie Saint-Sebastien (die Zech Sand Sebastian en 1494). 35 Au debut du 
16 e siecle, il n'y avait done encore que cinq confreries de devotion a Bratislava. 
Apparaissent ensuite dans la documentation testamentaire les confreries Sainte- 
Anne (Sand Anna zech en 1503), 36 Sainte-Trinite (in der heiligen drivaltigkhait 
zech en 1505-1 506), 37 Saint-Jacques (Sandt Jacob bruederschafft en 1508), 38 et 
enfin Sainte-Barbe (Sand Barbara zech en 1512). 39 Par ailleurs, une confrerie des 

27 P.T. 8v-9r. 

28 Ortvay, Pozsony, t. 2, vol. 4, p. 399. 

29 Paztor, A magyarsdg, p. 24. 

30 Precisons que la plus ancienne confrerie mentionnee a Sopron (Saint-Georges) date de 
1 368 environ ( 1 393 au plus tard), celle de Buda (Saint-Sacrement) de 1436. Hazi, Sopron, 
p. 288; A. Kubinyi dans Budapest tortenete, t. 2, p. 71. 

31 P.T. 55 v. Tivadar Ortvay n'en parle qu'a partir de 1461. Ortvay, Pozsony, t. 2, vol. 4, p. 

32 Toutefois, l'auteur du testament ( Wennig Gilig) ne parle pas de confrerie a son sujet. Item 
am ersten so schaffich mein drittail an der durren mawt vnd ainen weingarten Hochgen- 
gel czu vnser lieben frawen zu ainemfrwampt, das der Gardian mit den prudern singen 
sol tegleich vnd ewigleich auf vnser lieben frawen altar in den eren vnser ft awn. P.T. 

33 P.T. 12r-v. 

34 P.T. 141 r. 

35 P.T. 243r-244r. 

36 P.T. 293r. 

37 P.T. 314r-v. 

38 P.T. 322r. 

39 P.T. 339r-340v. 

Les Confreries de Bratislava 9 

pauvres (die Zech der Armen Leut, fraternitas Pauperum, die armenlewtt Brue- 
derschaffi) est nominee pour la premiere fois en 1499. 40 En dehors de celles que 
je viens d'enumerer, il ne semble pas y avoir eu d'autres confreries de devotion 
(ou de charite) dans la ville. 41 Aucune disparition ne survint parmi elles avant 
1526: toutes les confreries sont citees jusque dans les dernieres annees couvertes 
par la documentation, la plupart au moins une fois jusqu'en 1526, la derniere en 
1529. 42 II faut dire que le corpus utilise s'interrompt en 1529: la Reforme ne 
parvenant a s'implanter a Bratislava qu'apres 1561, on ne sait rien des circon- 
stances de leur disparition. Si bien que le nombre maximal de confreries non 
professionnelles atteint dans la ville de Bratislava avant cette date semble avoir 
ete de dix confreries (a partir de 1512), dont deux anterieures a 1450, quatre 
fondees entre 1450 et 1500 et les quatre dernieres apres 1500 (voir graphique). 
Contrairement a ce que Ton croyait jusqu'a present, le mouvement des creations 
confraternelle se fit done autant dans la seconde moitie du 15 e siecle que dans le 
premier quart du 16 e siecle. 

L'origine de ces associations demeure inconnue. On sait seulement (d' apres 
le document de 1349) que e'est le conseil de ville et les bourgeois de Bratislava 
qui prirent V initiative de fonder la confrerie du Saint-Sacrement. 43 Faut-il mettre 
en relation 1' apparition de la confrerie Saint-Sebastien avec une epidemie de peste 
dans la ville? Peut-etre naquit-elle du projet de construction d'une chapelle de ce 
vocable dans l'eglise franciscaine (achevee quelques annees plus tard, en 1502, 
pendant qu'une terrible peste sevissait dans la ville), 44 mais rien ne permet de 
1 'assurer. 45 

Les confreries de metier suivirent de peu les groupements de laics a caractere 
non professionnel. Trois sont citees pour la premiere fois en 1376, reunissant les 
specialites les plus prosperes (les boulangers, les bouchers et les cordonniers). 46 
Les testaments evoquent egalement la confrerie des tailleurs (ou sneyder zech) 
des 1436, 47 apres quoi le nombre de confreries de metier s'accroit assez regulie- 

40 P.T. 270r-v. 

41 Un testament de 1516 mentionne dy gross Bruederschaffi, mais il ne s'agit pas d'une 
confrerie de Bratislava: le document precise qu'elle se trouve gein Padenn. P.T. 378 v- 

42 P.T. 425v-426r. 

43 Ortvay, Pozsony, t. 2, vol. 4, p. 399. 

44 C'est ce qu'affirme Tivadar Ortvay (Pozsony, t. 2, vol. 4, p. 505), repris par Lajos Pasztor 
(A magyarsdg, p. 35). 

45 On note seulement que de nombreux testaments font des dons a la confrerie Saint-Se- 
bastien zu dem paw en 1495 d'une part, puis en 1503-1504, et enfin pour un tableau 
d'autel destine a cette confrerie (zw dem pildt) en 1510-151 1. P.T. 248v-249v, 249v- 
250v, puis 294r-v, 300v-301r, et enfin 331r-v. 

46 L. Szadeczky, Iparfejlodes es a czehek tortenete Magyarorszdgon [Le developpement 
industriel et l'histoire des corporations en Hongrie] (Budapest, 1913). Les sources 
testamentaires de Bratislava les mentionnent respectivement en 1468 (die zech der 
maister der pekeri), en 1514 (die czech der Vleischaker) et en 1508 (dy zech der 
schuesier). P.T. 143v, 355r-356r et 320v-321r. 

10 Confraternitas 9:2 

rement, atteignant un maximum de 14 associations en 15 10. 48 Sont en effet 
mentionnees dans les testaments les associations suivantes (dans l'ordre chrono- 
logique de leur premiere occurrence): deux confreries de vignerons (hawer zech 
Saint-Paul de l'eglise Saint-Michel et hawer zech de l'eglise Saint-Laurent, a 
partir des annees 1450-1451), une confrerie des forgerons {die zech der smid ou 
zecha fabrorum, 1467), une confrerie des pecheurs Saint-Pierre {die zech der 
vischer, 1472), une confrerie des tailleurs de pierre {die zech der Stainmetz, 1486), 
une autre regroupant les fabricants de bourses {die peutler zech en 1487), celles 
des charpentiers {der erbern pruderschaft der Zymerleut, 1495), des fourreurs 
{die Kursner zech, die bruderschafft der Kiirschner, 1498), des tanneurs {dy 
ledrer zech en 1504), et enfin des chapeliers {die hutter zech en 1510). 49 Toute- 
fois, il convient de manier les donnees quantitatives fournies par les testaments 
sur les associations de metier avec une grande precaution, car seule une toute 
petite minorite de testaments (moins de 5%) y fait allusion. II est fort possible 
qu'en matiere de succession, on obeissait a des regies non ecrites transferant 
automatiquement une partie des biens du defunt a la confrerie professionnelle a 
laquelle il appartenait, en 1' absence de toute clause specifique dans son testament. 

Repartition des confreries dans la ville 

Comment s'articulaient les vingt-quatre associations de Bratislava par rapport 
aux etablissements ecclesiastiques, et a l'interieur de l'espace urbain? De maniere 
generale, les confreries de devotion semblent s'etre plutot concentrees a l'inte- 
rieur des remparts (ou se trouvaient a la fois la collegiale Saint-Martin et le 
couvent franciscain), a 1' inverse des confreries professionnelles. 

Parmi les dix confreries de devotion citees, l'une disposait d'un oratoire dans 
une eglise paroissiale (la confrerie du Saint-Sacrement, dans l'eglise de la colle- 
giale) 51 et trois avaient pour siege le couvent franciscain (Notre-Dame, 52 Saint- 
Sebastien, 53 Sainte-Anne 54 ). Mais les autres associations (Mere-de-Misericorde, 
Sainte-Trinite, Sainte-Barbe, Saint-Jacques, Saint-Nicolas et la confrerie des 
pauvres) demeurent impossibles a localiser, de meme que la plupart des confreries 

47 P.T. 28r-v. 

48 Voir graphique. Lajos Pasztor y ajoute une confrerie des bateliers, mentionnee vers le 
debut du 1 6 e siecle, dont je n' ai pu retrouver la trace dans la documentation. A magyarsdg, 
p. 44. 

49 P.T. 67r, 68r, 132r-v, 164v, 21 lr-v, 212v-213r, 248r-v, 281r-v, 300v-301r et 326v. 

50 Les exemples documented sont cependant trop peu nombreux pour que Ton puisse mettre 
en rapport la situation des confreries avec leur date de creation, ou meme leur nature. 

51 D'apres les statuts de 1349, reformes en 1447. T. Ortvay, Pozsony, t. 2, vol. 4, pp. 
399^00. Les testaments confirment cette localisation par des formules comme hintz 
Sand Merit ou bey Sand Merten pharrchirchen (en 1439 et 1446). P.T. 32r-v et 57v. 

52 Les testaments 1'indiquent en 1487 (P.T. 212v-213r), en 1500 (P.T. 272v) et en 1504 
(P.T 302r). 

53 Les testaments 1c montrent, en 1494 (P.T. 243r-244r) comme en 1515 (P.T. 358v). 

54 Un testament de 1 5 1 7 1'indique formellement: in sandtAnna zech in das Munich kloster. 
P.T. 369v-37()r. 

Les Confreries de Bratislava 1 1 

de metier. On sait seulement qu'il existait un autel de la Trinite dans l'eglise 
Saint-Laurent des 1501 , 55 ce qui ne prouve pas c'etait l'autel de la confrerie de 
ce nom, mentionnee peu apres, d'autant qu'il existait un autel portant la meme 
dedicace depuis 1477 dans l'eglise Saint-Martin. 56 La remarque s'applique aussi 
a l'autel Saint-Nicolas, atteste dans l'eglise Saint-Martin depuis au moins 1503, 
mais dont on ne sait s'il avait un rapport avec la confrerie de ce vocable. 57 
S'agissant des confreries de metier, les incertitudes sont tout aussi grandes, 
d'autant que Ton connait rarement le nom de leur saint patron. Les testaments 
renseignent neanmoins sur les deux associations de vignerons: ils avaient leur 
oratoire dans les deux eglises paroissiales situees hors-les-murs, Saint-Michel 
pour l'une (in die hawer zech zu Sannd Paul in Sannd Michels pfarrkircheri), et 
Saint-Laurent (in die zech der hawer zu Sand Larenczen) pour 1' autre. 

Les donnees manquent done pour savoir si, a Bratislava, les paroisses 
accueillaient plus de confreries que les freres mendiants. II faut cependant 
souligner la forte integration paroissiale de l'une d'entre elles, la confrerie du 
Saint-Sacrement, qui semble avoir constitue un rouage indispensable au fonction- 
nement materiel de la paroisse Saint-Martin. Le testament de Martin Neittl en 
1462 montre en effet qu'elle avait la garde du tresor de l'eglise, decidant notam- 
ment de l'utilisation des objets liturgiques, 58 et qu'elle gerait les biens donnes par 
testament a l'eglise Saint-Martin, qu'ils fussent accompagnes ou non de fonda- 
tions perpetuelles ou d'un enterrement dans cette eglise. 59 En outre, cette confre- 
rie avait recu vers le debut du 15 e siecle le patronage d'un autel situe dans l'eglise 
de la collegiale, et en choisissait par consequent le prebendier. 60 Pour celles des 
confreries qui siegeaient dans le couvent franciscain, les obligations materielles 
des confreres envers les religieux etaient precisement definies. Du moins etait-ce 
le cas pour la confrerie Notre-Dame: ses membres devaient payer 15 florins par 
an au couvent pour l'habillement des freres, et remettre une offrande solennelle 
composee d'un veau et d'un tonneau de vin, ainsi que des pains a l'occasion des 
messes annuelles demandees par 1' association. 61 Les echanges entres confreres 
et religieux se reduisaient-ils a ces versements? On 1' ignore malheureusement. 

De quel type d'oratoire(s) disposaient les associations de laics de Bratislava? 
La confrerie du Saint-Sacrement semble avoir beneficie a l'origine d'un autel 
situe dans l'eglise collegiale (desservi par un pretre membre de celle-ci), 62 mais 

55 Ortvay, Pozsony, t. 2, vol. 4, p. 413. 

56 Ortvay, Pozsony, t. 2, vol. 4, p. 413. 

57 Ortvay, Pozsony, t. 2, vol. 4, p. 413. 

58 Item testor et lego [duos ornatus integros] (...), ut dominifratres iam dicti zeche ad usum 
ecclesie Sancti Martini infestivitatibus presertim beatissimi virginis Marie diligenter et 
circumspecte administrent, videlicet ita reponant. P.T. 104v-105v. 

59 P.T. 105r (1462), 126v-127v (1467), 184v-185r (1481), 208r-v (1487), 313r-314r 

60 Ortvay, Pozsony, t. 2, vol. 4, pp. 410-41 1. 

61 Ortvay, Pozsony, t. 2, vol. 4, p. 507; Pasztor, A magyarsdg, p. 28. 

62 D' apres deux documents de 1425, cites par Ortvay dans Pozsony, t. 2, vol. 4, p. 400, note 1 . 

12 Confraternitas 9:2 

aussi d'une chapelle. Mentionnee pour la premiere fois en 1420, 63 elle n'apparait 
pas dans le nouveau reglement confraternel de 1447, mais ses liens avec la 
confrerie semblent etroits, a la lecture de plusieurs testaments. 64 La confrerie 
Saint-Sebastien avait sa chapelle dans l'eglise franciscaine des 1495. 65 II est 
possible enfin que la confrerie Notre-Dame ait eu pour oratoire 1' autel de la Vierge 
mentionne dans le testament datant sans doute de decembre 14 14. 66 

Taille des associations et hier archie 

Aucune liste de membres n'ayant subsiste en dehors de la confrerie du Saint-Sa- 
crement, et les testateurs n'indiquant qu'a de tres rares exceptions pres leur 
appartenance a l'une ou 1' autre des confreries de la ville, on ne dispose que d'un 
seul indice pour evaluer la taille de ces confreries: la frequence de leur occurrence 
dans les testaments. Encore s'agit-il bien sur d'un instrument de mesure tres 
approximatif, puisque les dons pouvaient provenir de citadins non membres. Les 
confreries les plus grandes n'etaient pas forcement celles qui attiraient le plus de 
dons! II semble neanmoins que le reseau des confreries de devotion ait ete domine 
par deux associations nettement plus importantes que les autres, Notre-Dame et 
Saint-Sebastien (avec 94 et 91 mentions dans les testaments), suivies de Mere de 
Misericorde (68 mentions), Saint-Sacrement (65), puis Saint-Nicolas (49); on 
trouve ensuite la confrerie des pauvres (28 occurrences), et, loin derriere, les 
autres confreries (moins de 15 occurrences chacune). Chronologiquement, apres 
celle du Saint-Sacrement demeuree longtemps la seule et unique association de 
laics dans la ville, les deux confreries mariales dominerent le paysage confraternel 
de celle-ci des annees 1470 au milieu des annees 1490, avant d'etre supplantees 
par Saint-Sebastien (a partir de 1494). Bien que partielles (surtout pour les 
premieres), les listes de membres de la confrerie du Saint-Sacrement datees de 
1424, 1433, 1445 et 1476 (dans les registres municipaux) permettent de preciser 
les choses, en valeur absolue cette fois: ils nomment respectivement 27, 56, 23 et 
108 membres. On peut done raisonnablement penser qu'a la fin du 15 et au 
debut du 16 e siecle, les quatre plus importantes confreries de la ville avoisinaient 
chacune la centaine de membres; cela reste naturellement tres modeste, en 
comparaison des chiffres occidentaux. 

Compte tenu du faible nombre d' associations professionnelles mentionnees 
par les testaments, on ne se risquera pas a de telles hypotheses les concernant; les 
deux confreries de vignerons (avec 59 mentions contre 37 pour tous les autres 

63 Ortvay dans Pozsony, t. 2, vol. 4, p. 400. 

64 On litainsi dans 1'enumeration des executeurs testamentaires d'un legs effectue en 1517: 
die wirdigen ersamen weisen herren Augustin Engerstorffer Beneficiaten und phrient 
her in Gotsleichnambs zech und kapellen. P.T 375r-v. 

65 Item in Sand Sebastian zech in der Capellen im munichkloster. P.T. 249v-250v. Toute- 
fois, un testament de 1502 parle d'autel: vorSant Sebastians altar. P.T. 282r-v. 

66 aufvnser liebenfrawen altar, P.T. 23 v. 

67 Ortvay, Pozsony, t. 2, vol. 4, p. 409. 
6K Vincent, Les confreries, pp. 54-55. 

Les Confreries de Bratislava 1 3 

metiers rassembles) paraissent neanmoins les plus importantes au debut du 15 e 
siecle, comme a la fin des annees 1520. Cela s'explique a l'evidence par le role 
majeur que jouait la viticulture dans l'activite economique de Bratislava a la fin 
du Moyen Age. 

Vocables des confreries 

Les vocables des confreries de Bratislava illustrent fidelement les tendances de 
la Hongrie du Moyen Age tardif pour le choix du saint patron des edifices 
religieux, en particulier dans les villes, et plus encore, s'agissant des associa- 
tions de laics. On soulignera la forte representation des vocables mariaux: dans 
une localite dont le couvent franciscain portait deja le nom de la Vierge, deux des 
trois plus importantes confreries avaient aussi une dedicace mariale, sans compter 
l'association Notre-Dame qui fonctionnait dans l'hopital (sans avoir veritable- 
ment le nom de confrerie). L'une d'elle, Mere-de-Misericorde, peut (comme a 
Bartfa) etre mise en relation avec la popularite grandissante dans le royaume du 
Salve Regina (une priere frequemment prescrite par les fondations perpetuelles 


des citadins). La confrerie du Saint-Sacrement temoigne, par sa precocite et sa 
longevite exceptionnelles, du succes de la devotion eucharistique en Hongrie, 
presente des la fin du 13 e siecle (avec la celebration liturgique de la Fete-Dieu) 
et diffusee ensuite dans l'ensemble du royaume par les couvents franciscains 
(notamment sous la forme du culte au Saint Sang). 

Le saint patron des associations de metier ne figure que rarement dans les 
testaments: on ne connaft que celui de la confrerie des pecheurs (Saint-Pierre), et 
de l'une des confreries de vignerons (Saint-Paul, patron de la confrerie des 
vignerons de la paroisse Saint-Michel). Ces deux exemples laissent penser que, 
comme souvent a la fin du Moyen Age, 74 le choix du saint patron n'avait pas 
toujours un lien direct avec le metier. 

Les testaments consultes permettent done d'etablir que les confreries medie- 
vales de Bratislava etaient plus nombreuses que ce que Ton croyait jusqu'a 
present — et assez populeuses pour certaines — , meme si Ton se trouve encore 
bien en dessous des chiffres occidentaux. D' autre part, les paroisses n'etaient pas 
les seules a abriter des oratoires confraternels, le couvent franciscain jouant a ce 
titre un role peut-etre aussi grand que les eglises paroissiales. Les confreries 
semblent done y avoir constitue (involontairement d'ailleurs) 75 un veritable 

69 Pasztor, A magyarsdg. 

70 de Cevins, L'Eglise, vol. 3, pp. 1118-1121. 

71 Pasztor, A magyarsdg, pp. 24-33. 

72 Pasztor, A magyarsdg, pp. 31-32. 

73 J. Siimegi, "Az oltariszentseg es a szent Ver tisztelete a kbzepkori Magyarorszagon" [Le 
culte du Saint-Sacrement et du Saint-Sang en Hongrie medievale], Magyar Egyhdztor- 
teneti Vdzlatok 3 (1991), pp. 107-1 19; Pasztor, A magyarsdg, p. 23; S. Balint, Kardcsony, 
Husvet, Punkdsd [Noel, Paques, la Pentecote] (Budapest, 1973), pp. 347-348. 

74 Pasztor, A magyarsdg, pp. 44-45. 

75 Aucun document ne fait allusion a d'eventuels echanges (de quelque nature que ce soit) 
entre les confreries de la ville. 

1 4 Confraternitas 9: 2 

reseau; mais, faute de sources suffisamment explicites, on ne peut identifier avec 
certitude les poles majeurs autour desquels il s'articulait. 

2. Le fonctionnement des confreries et leur ray onnement 

Organisation interne 

En l'absence de reglements confraternels, l'organisation interne des confreries 
medievales de Bratislava echappe pour une grande part a 1' observation. La seule 
confrerie documented sur ce point est la plus ancienne, celle du Saint-Sacrement. 
Servit-elle de modele a toutes les associations nees apres elle? Pour le savoir, 
reprenons les points les plus importants des statuts de 1447 et comparons-les avec 
les (maigres) donnees que fournissent les testaments a propos des autres confre- 

Les statuts de 1447 mentionnent comme principal responsable de la confrerie 
du Saint-Sacrement un zechmaister (ou encore magister zeche, parfois vitricus), 1 ^ 
dont le role consistait a gerer les finances de la confrerie, assiste de quatre 
confreres elus (vier die dew prueder, die vier). II detenait le coffre de l'associa- 
tion, et a ce titre pouvait autoriser ou refuser les depenses. Une fois l'an, il devait 
etablir un bilan de gestion. C'est lui aussi qui se chargeait de se procurer les 
cierges qui etaient ensuite vendus aux membres de la confrerie. II controlait 
egalement les revenus des trois chapelains assurant les celebrations a l'autel de 
la confrerie. 77 Un zechmaister est mentionne en 1487 pour la confrerie Mere de 
Misericorde, 78 de meme que dans celles de Notre-Dame en 1495, 79 et de Saint- 
Sebastien en 1510. 80 Bien qu'aucun document ne permette d'en acquerir la 
certitude, leur fonction s'apparentait vraisemblablement a celle du maitre de la 
confrerie du Saint-Sacrement. 

Les clercs (membres inscrits ou non) jouissaient-ils de prerogatives specifi- 
ques leur assurant le controle (au moins partiel) des affaires confraternelles? II 
semble que non. Dans la confrerie du Saint-Sacrement en tous cas, les chapelains 
devaient promettre de respecter le reglement de V association et d'obeir a ses 
membres, sous peine de privation de leur charge. 81 Bien qu'ayant son oratoire 
dans une puissante collegiale, l'association etait controlee par des laics, non par 
les chanoines, pas plus que par le cure en titre de la paroisse Saint-Martin. Seuls 
trois chanoines de la collegiale Saint-Martin figurent dans la liste de membres 

76 Un testament de 1503 mentionne parmi les executeurs testamentaires le vitricum czeche 
Corporis Christi. Sans doute s'agit-il du maitre de la confrerie du Saint-Sacrement. Le 
terme, bien qu'exceptionnel dans la documentation consultee, cadre bien avec les 
fonctions (principalement economiques) que ce personnage remplissait au sein de 
l'association (comme le vitricus des paroisses hongroises ou polonaises a la meme 
periode). P.T 297r-v. 

77 Ortvay, Pozsony, t. 2, vol. 4, pp. 401^02, 405. 

78 P.T. 213v-214v. 

79 P.T. 253v-254v. 

80 P.T. 337r-v. 

X 1 Ortvay, Pozsony, t. 2, vol. 4, pp. 405-406. 

Les Confreries de Bratislava 1 5 

datee de 1424, et il n'etaient plus que deux en 1476. 82 Le cure de Saint-Martin, 
mentionne en tant que simple membre en 1476, n'apparait nulle part comme 
dignitaire de la confrerie, meme de facon purement honorifique. En outre, les 
chapelains de la confrerie etaient choisis non par lui, mais par le conseil de ville 
(en vertu du droit de patronage) en 1425, puis par les confreres eux-memes. 83 

Les ressources confraternelles 

En l'absence de comptes des confreries, il est impossible d'evaluer la part que 
representaient les diverses sources de revenus mentionnees par la documentation 
dans leur budget. On se bornera done a en presenter un bref inventaire. 

Des cotisations d'un faible montant etaient exigees des membres de la 
confrerie du Saint-Sacrement (un cierge d'une valeur de deux phenning, ainsi que 
10 phenning aux Quatre temps, selon les statuts de 1447). 84 D'apres un testament 
de 1500 (reconnaissant une dette au titre de quotember gelt), les membres de la 
confrerie Notre-Dame devaient eux aussi payer une certaine somme d' argent a 
leur association, a intervalles reguliers. 85 Les confreres de l'association du Cor- 
pus Christi etaient par ailleurs encourages a apporter du pain et du vin aux trois 
chapelains de la confrerie, dans la mesure de leurs moyens. 86 Les nouveaux 
membres devaient payer un droit d'entree de 80 neuer phenning et une livre de 
cire. 87 Des amendes frappaient les membres negligents (un quart de livre de cire 
en cas d' absence aux celebrations obligatoires). 88 

La plupart des dons aux confreries mentionnes dans les testaments se com- 
posent de sommes modiques, generalement un florin ou deux, soit l'equivalent 
de 5 a 10 jours de travail pour un artisan, et rarement plus de 10 florins. Les legs 
en argent dont le montant est nettement plus eleve (de l'ordre de 30 a 50 florins) 
se rarefient apres 1490. lis sont sou vent associes a des fondations de messes (ou 
completent une fondation existante), ou encore a l'entretien de lampes perpe- 
tuelles (pour la confrerie du Saint-Sacrement), tout comme les dons en biens 
fonciers. Ces derniers, vignes, maisons ou sieges de bouchers, figurent dans moins 
de 5% des testaments mentionnant les confreries. Nul doute qu'ils assuraient 
cependant des revenus durables a l'association qui en etait le beneficiaire: les 
registres urbains montrent en tous cas que plusieurs maisons et echoppes versaient 
des redevances a la confrerie du Saint-Sacrement, 89 et les testaments le confir- 
ment. 90 Pour le reste, les testateurs leur laissaient souvent des objets en metal 

82 Ortvay, Pozsony, t. 2, vol. 4, p. 409. 

83 Ortvay, Pozsony, t. 2, vol. 4, pp. 409-410. 

84 Ortvay, Pozsony, t. 2, vol. 4, p. 40 1 . 

85 P.T. 273v-274r. 

86 Ortvay, Pozsony, t. 2, vol. 4, pp. 402^03. 

87 Ortvay, Pozsony, t. 2, vol. 4, pp. 403^04. 

88 Ortvay, Pozsony, t. 2, vol. 4, p. 401 . 

89 Ortvay, Pozsony, t. 2, vol. 4, pp. 406^107. 

90 En 1479 par exemple, Anne Gravenpuchlerin reconnaissait devoir 40 florins a la 
confrerie du Saint-Sacrement auffdas haws. P.T. 178r-179r. 

16 C onf rate rnitas 9:2 

precieux (vaisselle liturgique ou profane, ceintures), des vetements (souvent des 
chasubles ou messgewant), des outils (notamment pour les confreries de metier), 
des armes, ou encore du vin (destine a la vente, dans une ville ou Ton pratiquait 
beaucoup le commerce du vin) et enfin de la cire. Parfois, les donateurs precisaient 
que leurs dons devraient etre affectes a l'embellissement de l'oratoire confraternel 
(in vnser frawen zech zu der Bildnus en 1504). 91 

Grace aux liquidites que leur procuraient cotisations, legs en argent et en 
biens marchands, les confreries de Bratislava pratiquaient-elles (comme on a pu 
le supposer a Sopron) 92 le pret a interet? Plusieurs testaments mentionnent des 
dettes envers la confrerie du Saint-Sacrement (6 florins en 1463, 10 florins en 
1465, 40 en 1479, 5 florins en 1501), 93 la confrerie Saint-Sebastien (5 florins en 
1499), 94 la confrerie Notre-Dame (1 florin en 1500), 95 la confrerie Saint-Nicolas 
(4 florins en 1473), 96 l'une des deux confreries de vignerons (3 florins en 1505), 97 
et la confrerie des pecheurs Saint-Pierre (4 livres deniers en 1515). 98 Les confre- 
ries de Bratislava auraient done, comme les eglises et couvents de la ville, servi 
d'etablissement de credit a de nombreux citadins. Rien ne prouve que ceux-ci en 
etaient tous membres, ni qu'ils y beneficiaient, le cas echeant, de taux moins 
eleves qu'ailleurs. 

Activites religieuses et caritatives des confreries 

Les statuts revises en 1447 de la confrerie du Saint-Sacrement prescrivent la 
celebration de nombreuses ceremonies par les trois chapelains de 1' association, 
dont certaines (on l'a vu) devaient etre suivies par tous les membres ou au moins 
leur representant, sous peine d' amende: une messe quotidienne pour le salut des 
membres vivants et defunts; une messe hebdomadaire solennelle, le jeudi en 
l'honneur du Saint-Sacrement, avec sons de cloches; et chaque trimestre (aux 
Quatre Temps), des vigiles suivies d'une messe en presence de tous les membres. 
En outre, lorsqu'un confrere ou une consoeur venait a mourir, on celebrait une 
veillee funebre, une messe de funerailles le lendemain (a laquelle tous devaient 
assister), de meme que le 7 et le 30 jour suivant le deces. La confrerie 
Notre-Dame faisait chanter trois messes par semaine (le lundi pour les defunts, 
le jeudi pour le Saint-Sacrement, le samedi pour la Vierge) et deux messes dans 
l'annee, le lundi suivant la Purification (l'une pour la Vierge, et une autre pour 
les defunts), avec un predicateur proclamant des indulgences. Le dimanche 
precedent, les freres devaient celebrer des vepres solennis. Mais on ignore dans 

91 P.T. 302r. 

92 Szende, "A soproni" p. 27 1 . 

93 P.T. 112v-113v, 118r-v, 178v-179r, 278 v. 

94 P.T. 270r. 

95 P.T. 273v-274r. 

96 P.T I60r. 

97 P.T. 308r-v. 

98 P.T. 358r-v. 

99 Ortvay, Pozsony, t. 2, vol. 4, pp. 399-402. 

Les Confreries de Bratislava 1 7 

quelle mesure les confreres etaient tenus d'assister a ces celebrations; leur 
frequence laisse penser que l'obligation de presence ne valait que pour les messes 

Au dela de ces prescriptions strictement cultuelles, les membres des confre- 
ries devaient-ils par ailleurs respecter a Bratislava des regies de moralite? Dans 
celle du Saint-Sacrement, tout etait fait pour maintenir la paix entre les membres: 
les statuts de 1447 imposent le pardon mutuel en cas de litige, sous peine 
d'exclusion! 101 En revanche, les pratiques caritatives n'y occupaient qu'une place 
reduite: elles se bornaient a offrir le meme service funebre aux membres morts 
loin de la ville qu'a ceux qui s'etaient eteints dans celle-ci. 102 Si la confrerie des 
pauvres jouait sans doute un grand role dans la charite urbaine, a V instar des autres 
confreries de ce nom mentionnees dans le royaume, 103 1' absence de document s'y 
referant ne permet d'en mesurer ni les manifestations, ni la portee. 

On a encore moins de traces des activites religieuses et caritatives des 
associations a recrutement professionnel. D'apres le reglement de 1516 (partiel- 
lement conserve) des compagnons cordonniers, leur confrerie financait une fon- 
dation de cierges, qui brulaient aux Quatre Temps, le Jour des Morts, aux fetes 
mariales, ainsi qu'a Noel, a Paques, a 1' Ascension et a la Pentecote. 104 Selon le 
meme texte, les maitres devaient secourir les membres malades et sans fortune, 
pour eviter qu'ils ne soient obliges de mettre en gage leurs affaires aupres des 
Juifs, ou ne se retrouvent a l'hopital. 105 Cet exemple semble contredire (pour 
Bratislava au moins) V affirmation selon laquelle la solidarite constituait le point 
fort des confreries de metier du royaume de Hongrie — par opposition aux confre- 
ries de devotion — ; 106 mais d' autres documents seraient evidemment necessaires 
pour s'en assurer. 

Rayonnement dans la societe urbaine 

La confrerie du Saint-Sacrement regroupait principalement des membres du 
patriciat urbain, en particulier les magistrats municipaux, au point qu'on a pu 
considerer cette confrerie comme une sorte d'organisme parallele au conseil de 

1 07 

ville. Les testaments confirment sur ce point les donnees des listes de membres, 
y compris au debut du 16 e siecle: ainsi, Jean Lachenperger, vitricus de la confrerie 
en 1503, etait-il alors membre du conseil (civemjuratum). En raison du faible 
montant des cotisations et droits d' entree dans cette association, il est probable 

100 Ortvay, Pozsony, t. 2, vol. 4, p. 507; PASZTOR, A magyarsdg, p. 28. 

101 Ortvay, Pozsony, t. 2, vol. 4, p. 403. 

102 Ortvay, Pozsony, t. 2, vol. 4, p. 403. 

103 Z. Somogyi, A kozepkori Magyarorszdg szegenyiigye [L' assistance aux pauvres en 
Hongrie medievale] (Budapest, 1941), pp. 21-22. 

104 Pasztor, A magyarsdg, p. 46. 

105 Pasztor, A magyarsdg, p. 48. 

106 Pasztor, A magyarsdg, pp. 47-48. 

107 Ortvay, Pozsony, t. 2, vol. 4, p. 409; KOVATS, A pozsonyi, p. 15. 

108 P.T. 297r-v. 

18 Confraternitas 9:2 

que 1' admission des nouveaux membres s'y faisait par cooptation. Les autres 
confreries de la ville recrutaient sans doute leurs membres dans des milieux 
sociaux plus heterogenes. 

La proportion globale d'habitants de Bratislava inscrits dans une ou plusieurs 
confreries demeure impossible a etablir, en V absence de listes de membres 
completes, et du fait de la pluralite d' inscription de certains citadins. En effet, on 
a lapreuve de leur appartenance simultanee a plusieurs associations de laics (hors 
confreries de metier). Un testament de 1 5 1 9 precise ainsi: Item in al Zech darinnen 
ich ain mitschwester pin, schaffich in yede Ifl. vngr. zw geben. 109 Bien que tous 
les donateurs ne fussent pas necessairement membres des confreries a qui ils 
faisaient des legs, on observe que 35% des testateurs citant une ou plusieurs 
confreries de devotion le font simultanement a au moins deux d'entre elles. Leur 
degre de participation a la vie materielle et spirituelle de celles-ci s'en trouvait 
immanquablement amoindri. 

Popularite et preferences 

A Bratislava, les confreries beneficiaient, par rapport a d' autres villes du royaume 
magyar, d'une popularite exceptionnelle. Plus du tiers des testateurs leur faisaient 
des dons a l'epoque considered (33,6 %), tandis qu'a Sopron, moins du quart 
d'entre eux y songeaient au moment de rediger leurs dernieres volontes. 
Compte-tenu des faibles effectifs des associations de Bratislava, on mesure 
combien le milieu des donateurs depassait le cercle etroit des membres inscrits. 
La place qu'occupaient tres souvent les dons aux confreries dans le texte des 
testaments, avant les dons a la famille, et en derniere partie des dons a l'Eglise, 
montre que Ton considerait qu'elles procuraient elles aussi des graces spirituelles, 
a l'egal (ou presque) des etablissements seculiers et reguliers (certes plus fre- 
quemment mentionnes que les confreries). Le testament de Dorothee Dillmann 
exprime d'ailleurs clairement cette conviction en 1503, en les mettant tous sur le 
meme plan. 111 Et, lorsqu' elles figurent parmi les beneficiaires, les confreries 
recevaient souvent des dons aussi importants que les autres institutions religieuses 
(eglises paroissiales et hospitalieres, chapelles ou couvents). 

Hommes et femmes manifestaient a l'egard des confreries un interet sensi- 
blement egal: les secondes representent 40% des bienfaiteurs des confreries de la 
ville. L'essor des associations de laics a Bratislava etait done aussi bien redevable 

109 P.T. 387r-388r. 

1 10 Etude menee a partir de 303 testaments dates de 1278 a 1524, pour la plupart rediges au 
15 e et au debut du 16 e siecle. Szende, "A soproni" p. 271. 

1 1 1 Zum virdten vnd letzten Ob der allmechtig got mich von diser weltfordern vnd nemen 
wurde, Schaff vnd beuilh ich mein sel in die Schos seiner gotlichen barmhertzigkhait, 
vnd der Jungfraw Marien seiner lieben Muter, Vnd wil das mein leichnamb zu der erden 
bestat werde, die grebnus, der Sibend vnd der dreyssigist loblich versehen von mein 
gelassen gutern, Als ich mich dann solchs zu meiner lieben Muemen obgenant, vnd zu 
I rem huuswirt treulichen verlass dester vleissiger auszereichen. Nachdem doch durch mich 
vor etlich kirchen kloster vnd Czechen durch meins lieben hauswirts vnd meiner seln hail 
vnd trost willen hegaht sind, Ich wil auch nichts destoweniger bezeugt hahen. P.T. 295r. 

Les Confreries de Bratislava 1 9 

aux unes qu'aux autres. Cependant, on note que les preferences pouvaient varier 
selon le sexe des donateurs. Si les femmes sont sous-representees parmi les 
bienfaiteurs de la confrerie Notre-Dame (constituant 35% d'entre eux), 1 12 et plus 
encore parmi ceux de la confrerie du Saint-Sacrement (29%), elles sont nom- 
breuses a tester en faveur des confreries Mere-de-Misericorde (41%) et Saint-Se- 
bastien (43%), et plus encore a l'intention de la confrerie des pauvres (50%). Les 
clercs residant dans la ville ne manifestaient guere le meme engouement que les 
laics pour les confreries: sur 278 testateurs, on ne repere que trois membres du 
clerge. L'un d'eux n'etait autre que le chapelain de l'association: Laurent Mis- 
chinger, recteur de V autel du Corps-du-Christ, fit un legs en faveur de la confrerie 
dece nom en 1498. ' 13 Lagenerosite deces clercs pouvait cependant atteindre des 
proportions peu communes, tel Martin Neittl, chanoine et cure de Saint-Martin, 
deja cite, qui laissait (entre autres) en 1462 a la confrerie du Saint-Sacrement 30 
florins et deux vignes. 1 14 Le troisieme membre du clerge, Jean Inngetl, recteur de 
la chapelle cimeterale Saint-Helene (dependant de la paroisse Saint-Martin), 
manifeste un interet plus eclectique que ses predecesseurs: son testament men- 
tionne en effet plusieurs confreries, dont deux avaient leur siege dans le couvent 
franciscain (Notre-Dame et Saint-Sebastien). 115 Les nobles s'interessaient moins 
encore que les clercs aux confreries de la ville: aucun des quatre testateurs 
mentionnes dans la documentation consultee comme nobilis (en 1493, 1517, 1525 
et 1527) ne les cite. La vitalite des confreries venait done des autres categories 
sociales representees a Bratislava. II m'est provisoirement impossible de definir 
plus precisement lesquelles, faute d' avoir pu consulter a ce jour les registres 
fiscaux de la ville, dans l'espoir d'y trouver le nom et le niveau d'imposition des 
bienfaiteurs des confreries. 

Quelles etaient les associations confraternelles les plus appreciees? On a vu 
a propos de la taille des associations, que les confreries les plus souvent mention- 
nees par les testateurs etaient (dans l'ordre decroissant du nombre de leur occur- 
rence dans les testaments consultes) celles de Notre-Dame, Saint-Sebastien, 
Mere-de-Misericorde, Saint-Sacrement et Saint-Nicolas. J'ajouterai seulement, 
pour rendre compte du succes remarquable de la premiere, que la confrerie 
Notre-Dame beneficia d'indulgences pontificales en 1461, 116 et que le pape Paul 
II lui reconnut trois ans plus tard la participation aux bienfaits spirituels de l'ordre 
de saint Francois — les confreres defunts et vivants etant desormais associes aux 
prieres provinciales franciscaines. 117 

1 12 Est-ce parce que cette confrerie avait son oratoire dans le couvent (masculin) franciscain? 
Non, car la confrerie Saint-Sebastien, plus prisee parmi les femmes de la ville, se trouvait 
dans le meme cas. 

113 P.T. 267v-268r. 

114 P.T. 104v-105v. 

115 P.T. 333v-334r. 

1 16 Ortvay, Pozsony, t. 2, vol. 4, p. 507. 

1 1 7 Ibidem. 

20 Confraternitas 9:2 

Les confreries de metier n' avaient guere la f aveur des habitants de Bratislava: 
comme a Sopron (ou seulement 11,2% des testateurs y songeaient), 118 elles ne 
figurent que dans 10,7% des testaments consultes. De plus, les sommes leguees 
depassaient rarement un florin. En dehors des vignerons, l'enorme majorite des 
donateurs (oil leur conjoint, lorsqu'il s'agit de femmes) porte un nom correspon- 
dant au metier dont ils favorisaient la confrerie; seuls deux testateurs font des 
dons a des associations professionnelles differentes. Ceci montre le faible rayon- 
nement de ces associations en dehors de leur branche d'activite. Lews bienfai- 
teurs n'etaient pas toujours des hommes (pour plus de 30% du total). Les femmes 
etaient particulierement nombreuses a tester en faveur des confreries de vigne- 
rons, un metier avec lequel elles se trouvaient frequemment en relation dans les 
villes hongroises a cette epoque. 119 

Si les testaments de Bratislava offrent peu d' indications veritablement nou- 
velles sur 1' organisation interne et les activites des confreries de cette ville, ils 
permettent d'entrevoir l'etendue de leur rayonnement dans la societe urbaine. 
Dirigees et soutenues par les laics pour les laics, elles n' avaient pas toutes un 
recrutement elitiste, et parvenaient a se faire connaitre au-dela du cercle etroit de 
leurs membres inscrits, sauf pour les confreries de metier. 

Le depouillement de l'ensemble des testaments medievaux de Bratislava peut 
paraitre decevant a premiere vue. Au fond, il devoile bien peu de choses sur ce 
que fut la realite des confreries dans cette ville, a la fin du Moyen Age; il laisse 
d'immenses zones d'ombres, notamment sur les activites religieuses et charita- 
bles de ces associations — done sur leur raison d'etre. 

Neanmoins, la documentation consultee permet de constater que, loin d'etre 
definitivement etabli, le nombre d' associations de laics des villes du royaume 
magyar au Moyen Age demeure encore tres mal connu a ce jour. Cela tient non 
seulement aux destructions subies par les archives hongroises, mais aussi au fait 
que 1 'exploitation dans cette perspective de celles qui ont subsiste ne fait que 
commencer. Ce n'est qu'au terme de cette entreprise de longue haleine que Ton 
pourra determiner dans quelle mesure et selon quelles etapes chronologiques les 
villes de Hongrie medievale ont participe au mouvement confraternel. L'exemple 
de Bratislava revele par ailleurs la fragilite de l'hypothese selon laquelle les villes 
hongroises n'auraient pas eu besoin d'abriter beaucoup de confreries en raison de 
la presence de confreries de metier extremement actives sur le plan caritatif: 120 
dans cette ville en effet, les associations religieuses a recrutement professionnel 

1 IK S/.ende, "A soproni" p. 271. 

1 19 K. Szcnde, "The Other Half of the Town: Women in Private, Professional and Public 
Life in Two Towns of Late Medieval Western Hungary" East Central Europe 20-23, 
part 1 (1993-1996), p. 184. 

1 20 On pourrait le penser a la lecture de Lajos Pasztor qui, juste apres 1'evocation des 
confreries de devotion, souligne 1'etroite solidarity liant les memhres des associations de 
metier. A ma^yarsd^, pp. 47-48. 

Les Confreries de Bratislava 2 1 

ne semblent avoir ete particulierement charitables. Parmi d'autres — saint patron, 
oratoire, celebrations confraternelles — , ce trait temoigne de leur etroite parente 
avec les confreries de devotion. 

En definitive, les sources testamentaires montrent qu ' a Bratislava, les confre- 
ries constituaient moins des "families de substitution" 121 que des auxiliaires du 
salut, a l'instar des eglises et des couvents. 

Marie-Madeleine de Cevins 
Le Chene, France 

121 Pour rcprendre l'expression de Catherine Vincent dans Les confreries, p. 49. 

22 Confraternitas 9:2 

























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La Fraternita di S. Maria del Mercato di Gubbio 
(Secoli XIII-XV) 


The author examines several previously unknown archival documents relating to the 
confraternity of Santa Maria del Mercato, in Gubbio (Umbria, Italy), and uses them 
to shed light on the foundation and early history (mid- 13th to early 15th century) of 
this lay religious association. In so doing, he corrects a previous misconception that 
this was a confraternity of disciplinati (in fact, it was a laudese confraternity with a 
strong Marian interest), he examines the confraternity's role in the founding and 
running of a hospital for the poor and the ill, and considers the support the confrater- 
nity received from the Commune, the Church, and from eminent members of the 
community, in particular the Gabrielli family. In time, the confraternity of Santa 
Maria del Mercato became the largest lay religious organization in Gubbio, with 
nearly 4,000 men and women enrolled in it. Its importance within the civic context 
is reflected in the fact that in 1505 Pope Julius II folded all hospitals in Gubbio into 
the one founded and managed by Santa Maria del Mercato. 

Nel panorama delle varie confraternite eugubine di origine medievale, quella di 
Santa Maria del Mercato costituisce un caso unico non solo nell'ambito della storia 
cittadina, nel quale la sua vicenda si articolo per ben cinque secoli (dalla seconda 
meta del '200 al 1786, anno della sua soppressione), ma soprattutto per l'assom- 
marsi in essa di componenti caratteristiche di diverse correnti confraternali che la 
rivelano fraternita di natura dinamica e polimorfa. 

Cospicua e la documentazione che riguarda la fraternita. Tale documenta- 
zione, tuttavia, si trova sparsa, in quanto non vi e un fondo archivistico proprio 
della stessa. II codice II.C.13 dell'Archivio Vescovile di Gubbio e un codice 
membranaceo, composito, contenente due testi statutari, uno in latino, non datato 
ma certamente redatto tra il 1 3 1 3 e il 1 326, e uno del 1 463 in volgare, nonche varie 
matricole del '300, '400, e inizi del '500. Tale codice, presente nell'elenco degli 
statuti delle confraternite disciplinate umbre, 2 ha costituito fino ad oggi la princi- 
pal fonte documentaria relativa alia confraternita. Ora e stata rinvenuta una 
discreta mole di documenti tra i quali spiccano, oltre ad alcuni regesti sette- 
centeschi, una decina di pergamene originali, da me ritrovate neh" Archivio Vescovile 
di Gubbio. Queste pergamene originali risalgono al periodo che va dall' ultimo 
trentennio del XIII secolo ai primi anni del XV. Si tratta per lo piu di concessioni 
d'indulgenze a favore della confraternita, di importanza decisiva per far luce sulla 
sua dinamica di origine e sviluppo. Le tre pergamene piu antiche tra quelle ritrovate 
sono le seguenti: 

1 Per un elenco delle fraternite medievali di Gubbio, vedi Piero Luigi Menichetti, Storia di 
Gubbio dalle origini all' unitad' Italia (Cittadi Castello: Petruzzi, 1987), vol. 2, pp. 62-65. 

2 GiovannaCasagrande, Religiositapenitenziale e citta al tempo dei comuni (Roma: Istituto 
Storico dei Cappuccini, 1995), p. 416. 


24 Confratemitas 9:2 

- concessione di 40 giorni di indulgenza ai confratelli da parte di Rollando da 
Ferentino, rettore del Ducato di Spoleto, agosto 1270; 3 

- concessione di 40 giorni di indulgenza ai confratelli da parte di Uguccione di 
Monte Mezzano, rettore del Ducato di Spoleto, maggio 1277; 4 

- concessione di 40 giorni di indulgenza ai confratelli da parte di Ventura, 
vescovo di Gubbio, 7 luglio 1295. 5 

Questi documenti permettono di'attestare con certezza l'esistenza (fino ad 
oggi solo supposta) della confraternita nell' ultimo quarto del XIII secolo, periodo 
generalmente caratterizzato da scarsezza documentaria relativa alle associazioni 
confraternali in Umbria. La confraternita e originalmente, negli anni '70, intitolata 
alia Santa Trinita e riserva particolare devozione alia Vergine Maria. Sempre negli 
anni '70 essa e fornita di una organizzazione interna; si ha, infatti, esplicita 
menzione di priores. Dal 1295 la fraternita e chiaramente intitolata alia Vergine, 
il suo vertice gestionale e indicato col termine di rectores, possiede degli statuta 
nei quali forte attenzione e riservata alia pratica del canto delle laudi che il vescovo 
incoraggia con indulgenze per i fratelli che ad laudes ipsas decantandas con- 
venerint. Particolarmente significativa e l'attestazione del canto delle laudi prati- 
cato dalla confraternita eugubina gia nel 1 295. Tale attestazione precede di un anno 
quella che si ha per la confraternita dei Raccomandati di Maria di Assisi (datata 
appunto 1296), 6 e fa di quella di Santa Maria del Mercato di Gubbio una delle 
prime fraternite umbre in cui tale pratica e menzionata nei documenti. Dalle 
pergamene duecentesche nulla si conosce pero circa il luogo di riunione dei 
confratelli e nessuna menzione si ha riguardo una eventuale afferenza a qualche 
ordine religioso. 

Tra Vescovo e Comune. 

Data fondamentale per la storia della confraternita e certamente quella dell' agosto 
1313, periodo in cui si assiste ad una sua vera e propria rifondazione. Risale infatti 
a tale data l'emanazione di una solenne lettera di indulgenza indirizzata alia 
confraternita da parte di Francesco Gabrielli, vescovo di Gubbio; da essa si 
apprende che mold cittadini eugubini, appartenenti alia nobilta o dediti alle piu 
prestigiose attivita professionali cittadine, hanno stabilito di istituire una con- 
fraternita sotto l'intitolazione della Beatissima Vergine Maria al fine di rendere 
onore a Cristo, alia Vergine, e a tutti i Santi, e di sovvenire i poveri, gli infermi, e 
i bisognosi. Da tale documento risulta immediatamente chiara la duplice finalita 

3 Archivio Vescovile di Gubbio (in seguito AVG), Sezione Pergamene Curia Vescovile, 

4 AVG, Sezione Pergamene Curia Vescovile, 1,3. 

5 AVG, Sezione Pergamene Curia Vescovile, 1,5. 

6 Gio vanna Casagrande, "La Fraternita dei Raccomandati di Maria. Linee storiche e statuto" 
in Le fraternite medievaii di Assisi. Linee storiche e testi statutari, a cura di Ugolino 
Niccolini et al. (Assisi: Centro di ricerca e di studio sul movimento dei Disciplinati, 1989), 
p. 209. 

7 AVG, Sezione Pergamene Curia Vescovile, 1,8. 

La Fraternita di S. Maria del Mercato di Gubbio 25 

cultuale-devozionale e caritativo-assistenziale del gruppo e altrettanto evidenti il 
favore e l'appoggio vescovile alia rinnovata confraternita. 

Nel 1315 e l'autorita comunale a favorire l'organizzazione mediante la con- 
cessione ai suoi membri di un "casalino" e di un pezzo di terra su cui edificare la 
sede. 8 La terra concessa dal comune si trova nei pressi del "Campo del mercatale," 
percio appunto Santa Maria del Mercato. Dieci anni piu tardi, nel 1 325, si da inizio 
ai lavori per la costruzione dell'ospedale della confraternita al fine di ricevere e 
sostentare i poveri. L'opera di edificazione dell'ospedale procede con il pieno 
sostegno del vescovo eugubino Francesco Gabrielli, il quale elargisce indulgenze 
a coloro che concorreranno ad essa con denaro, materiali, e prestazioni personali, 9 
e del comune, che concede ai confratelli la facolta di servirsi liberamente della 
pietra dei monti della comunita eugubina sottolineando pero che il futuro ospedale 
deve considerarsi di proprieta del comune stesso. 10 

Negli anni '30 del XIV secolo, Santa Maria del Mercato appare ormai del tutto 
consolidata. Possiede una propria sede, un ospedale per l'assistenza dei poveri e, con 
tutta probability, una chiesa, edificata con temporaneamente all 'ospedale. 11 L'autorita 
vescovile da un lato ed il comune dall'altro favoriscono la confraternita. Le 
riformanze (delibere) comunali, infatti, riportano spesso elargizioni in denaro a 
favore della sua attivita caritativa. 12 I lasciti testamentari a favore della con- 
fraternita e dell'ospedale per il 1340-70 confermano come Santa Maria del 
Mercato sia ormai diventata indubbio polo di attrazione per i fedeli eugubini e 
1' ospedale per poveri ed infermi siaoradel tutto funzionante. 13 II libro delle entrate 
ed uscite della compagnia relativo al 1344 fornisce un eloquente spaccato delle 
attivita della confraternita e dell'ospedale. 14 

Nel 1399, in seguito al passaggio nella citta di Gubbio del moto penitenziale 
dei Bianchi, avvenuto nel mese di settembre, 15 Santa Maria del Mercato procede 
ad un vero e proprio rinnovamento chiaramente ispirato da tale devozione. Tes- 
timonianza di questo si ha nello stesso codice II.C.13 dell'Archivio Vescovile 
dove, nel proemio del Liber virorum fraternitatis Virginis Marie laicorum de 
Campo Mercatalis de Eugubio (datato appunto 1 399), si stabilisce che i confratelli 

8 Per tale documento siamo in possesso di un regesto settecentesco: M. Massarelli, Archivio 
di Stato di Gubbio (in seguito, ASG), Fondo Armanni, III.D.7, pp. 3-4, n. 3. 

9 AVG, Sezione Pergamene Curia Vescovile, 1, 1 2. 

10 Massarelli, ASG, Fondo Armanni, III.D.7, p. 5, n. 8. Conferma dell'affermazione di 
proprieta da parte del comune si ha nei registri delle Riformanze del 132; ASG, Fondo 
Comunale Riformanze, Reg. I, cc. 129v-130r. 

1 1 Menzione della chiesa della fraternita si e rinvenuta per la prima volta nel regesto 
settecentesco di una concessione indulgenziale del 1335 da parte del Presule eugubino 
Pietro Gabrielli rivolta proprio a coloro che nei giomi stabiliti faranno visita a tale chiesa; 
cfr. Massarelli, ASG, Fondo Armanni, III.D.6; III.D.7, p. 25, n. 1 1. 

12 ASG, Fondo Comunale Riformanze, Reg. II, cc. 190v-191r, 227v-228r. 

1 3 Piero Luigi Menichetti, / 50 ospedali di Gubbio (Citta di Castello: Petruzzi, 1 975), p. 43. 

14 ASG, Fondo Ente Ospedaliero, XB\HB,3. 

15 Daniel E. Bomstein, The Bianchi of 1 399. Popular Devotion in Late Medieval Italy (Ithaca 
and London: Cornell University Press, 1993), il quale tuttavia non menziona il passaggio 
dei Bianchi per Gubbio. 

26 Confraternitas 9:2 

sono tenuti d'ora in avanti ad indossare il sacco bianco e, cosi vestiti, ad andare 
per la citta cantando la laude Misericordi, Virgo Pia; e si legge che cio viene fatto 
"ad perpetuam rei memoriam dictorum alborum sic renovata fuit dicta fraternitas 
et sotietas." 16 

Nel corso del XV secolo la vicenda storica della confraternita e del suo 
ospedale e segnata da rapporti con vescovo e comune. A partire dal 1413 le buone 
relazioni con la curia eugubina sembrano incrinarsi irrimediabilmente. Ha inizio 
infatti in questo periodo una interminabile disputa tra confraternita e vescovo 
intorno ai lasciti testamentari destinati all' ospedale, sui quali il presule pretende il 
versamento della quarta canonica che i confratelli non sono piu disposti a cedere. 
Per far valere le proprie ragioni Santa Maria del Mercato non esita a ricorrere 
all'aiuto del pontefice. 17 Nel tentativo di porre fine alia controversia, nel 1420 
intervengono anche gli ufficiali comunali. 18 Nel 1440 lo stesso signore di Gubbio, 
il duca di Urbino Guidantonio da Montefeltro, e chiamato in causa dai confratelli, 19 
in qualita di vicario della Chiesa di Roma, per confermare l'esenzione dalla quarta 
e la rinuncia ad ogni giurisdizione e diritto vescovile sull'ospedale concessa nel 
1420 dal vescovo Francesco Billi. 20 

Dai documenti quattrocenteschi emerge il deciso mutamento nei rapporti tra 
la massima autorita cittadina e i confratelli di Santa Maria. Tali documenti inoltre 
attestano una diretta dipendenza dell' ospedale dalle autorita comunali eugubine. 
Le riformanze comunali sono infatti ricche, in questo periodo, di elezioni dei priori 
e dei camerari dell' ospedale da parte delle autorita del comune, di concessioni di 
licenze di vendita dei beni dell' ospedale, ed anche di nomine di particolari officiali 
comunali, i revisores rationum, aventi il compito di controllare la contabilita 
ospedaliera e giudicare dunque l'operato del suo priore. 

Per cio che riguarda l'ospedale della confraternita di Santa Maria del Mercato 
vanno inoltre segnalati due importanti avvenimenti, l'uno risalente al marzo 1452, 
l'altro al luglio 1505. Dalle riformanze si apprende infatti che nel 1452 il comune 
di Gubbio, preso atto delle precarie condizioni in cui versava l'ospedale, cedeva 
lo stesso alia confraternita che gia si occupava della sua gestione, pur mantenendo 
per se la prerogativa di eleggerne il priore. 21 Lo statuto in volgare redatto dalla 
confraternita nel 1 463, contenuto nel codice II. C. 13, mostra con chiarezza come il 
controllo della confraternita sull'ospedale avveniva ora in maniera piu diretta. Cio 
porta a credere che esso sia stato compilato al fine di ridisegnare la natura dei 
rapporti tra confraternita e ospedale alia luce della nuova situazione giuridica, 
venutasi a creare con la rinuncia del comune alia proprieta dell'ospedale stesso. 
Nel luglio 1505 il pontefice Giulio II stabilisce 1'annessione di vari ospedali 
eugubini a quello di Santa Maria del Mercato, piu grande e adatto a svolgere la 
funzione di ricovero per i malati ed i poveri della citta. 22 La nuova struttura, di 

16 AVG, II.C.13,c. 50r. 

1 7 AVG, Sezione Pergamente Curia Vescovile, 1, 1 0. 

1 8 ASG, Fondo Comunale Riformanze, Reg. XX, c. 19r. 

1 9 Massarclli, ASG, Fondo Armanni, III.D.6. 

20 AVG, Sezione Pergamene Curia Vescovile, 11,7. 

21 ASG, Fondo Comunale Riformanze, Reg. XXIV, cc. HOr-v, 1 1 1 v- 1 1 3v. 

La Fraternita di S. Maria del Mercato di Gubbio 27 

fatto il principale ricovero cittadino, sara in tutto e per tutto dipendente dall'autorita 
comunale, dunque dai duchi di Urbino. 

La complessa natura delta confraternita. 

Santa Maria del Mercato e caratterizzata dal convergere di componenti proprie di 
diverse correnti confraternali. I documenti del Duecento non lasciano dubbi sulla 
sua natura mariano-laudese; dal 1295 essa e infatti intitolata alia Vergine Maria e 
dedita al canto delle laudi. Tale originario carattere mariano-laudese puo con- 
siderarsi un elemento di novita negli studi riguardo la confraternita, ritenuta fin ora 
confraternita di disciplinati. A farla credere una congregazione di disciplinati ha 
certamente contribuito il passo dello statuto latino dei primi anni del Trecento nel 
quale si stabilisce che ogni venerdi, convenuti nella chiesa stabilita dai priori, i 
confratelli "dabunt sibi disciphnam ad reverentiam domini nostri Iesu Christi." 
Cio attesta la pratica della disciplina in seno alia confraternita in tale periodo, 
tuttavia la questione si presenta sicuramente piu complessa e ricca di sfumature: 
mai i confratelli si qualificano disciplinati; massiccia e la presenza femminile 
all'interno della confraternita riscontrabile nella matricola coeva alia stesura dello 
statuto latino; menzione della disciplina si ha unicamente nel passo sopracitato 
dello statuto. Tutto cio induce a credere che 1'inserimento della pratica della 
disciplina in seno alle norme dello statuto primo-trecentesco sia da mettersi in 
relazione al tentativo di adeguarsi al clima del periodo storico in cui esso fu redatto, 
cioe quei primi anni del '300 che videro il diffuso apparire di confraternite 
disciplinate in tutto il territorio umbro. In definitiva, dunque, la presenza nello 
statuto del capitolo relativo alia disciplina non sembra modificare il giudizio sul 
carattere prevalentemente mariano-laudese della confraternia tra fine Duecento e 
per quasi tutto il corso del Trecento. Durante questo periodo Santa Maria del 
Mercato non trascura l'esercizio di attivita caritativo-assistenziali. 

Nel 1399 si entra in una nuova fase della vicenda storica della confraternita 
con il gia menzionato passaggio per la citta di Gubbio del moto dei Bianchi. II 
rinnovamento della confraternita, nato dal connubio con la devozione "bianca," 
viene dunque a configurarsi come un potenziamento al suo interno del culto della 
Vergine e della pratica del canto delle laudi, tutto cio senza comunque abbandonare 
1' attivita caritativa e ospedaliera. 

La confraternita e i Gabrielli. 

Decisamente significativo e il ruolo svolto in seno a Santa Maria del Mercato dalla 
famiglia eugubina dei Gabrielli, in particolare tra fine Duecento e i primi decenni 
del Trecento. In questo periodo la famiglia Gabrielli esercita una vera e propria 

22 ASG, Sezione Pergamene della Congregazione di Carita, VS/IS. 1 . 

23 AVG, II.C.13,c. 7v. 

24 Cio discorda con la prassi delle fraternite disciplinate; vedi Casagrande, Religiosita 
penitenziale, pp. 436^438. 

25 Casagrande, Religiosita penitenziale, p. 385. 

28 Confraternitas 9:2 

egemonia sulla citta di Gubbio ed i suoi membri godono di un ampio prestigio in 
campo politico e militare che li porta a ricoprire la carica di podesta in molti dei 
principali comuni dell'Italia centrale legati alia causa guelfa. II vescovo di 
Gubbio, Francesco Gabrielli, favorisce, nell'agosto 1313, la rifondazione della 
confraternita con una solenne concessione indulgenziale e la appoggia appieno in 
ogni momento nel tentativo di facilitarne il consolidamento. Nel giugno 1315 e il 
maggior esponente dei Gabrielli, il famoso Cante (podesta di Firenze al momento 
della condanna all'esilio di Dante) ad adoperarsi favorevolmente presso il Con- 
siglio Generale del Comune affinche ai confratelli venga concesso un casalino e 


della terra sulla quale edificare la propria sede. Nell'elenco pnmo-trecentesco 
degli iscritti alia confraternita, inoltre, compaiono al gran completo i nominativi 
dei membri della famiglia Gabrielli, sia uomini che donne; il nome di Cante apre 
la matricola degli uomini. Durante i diciannove anni (dal 1326 al 1345) nei quali 
regge la cattedra vescovile eugubina, anche Pietro Gabrielli, successore di Fran- 
cesco, si adopera con favori e concessioni indulgenziali al prosperare della con- 
fraternita. Infine, nel 1337, un altro Gabrielli, Petruccio di Bino, nipote di Cante, 


ricopre la carica di priore della stessa. 

Alia luce di questi dati si pud affermare l'esercizio di un deciso patrocinio 
della famiglia Gabrielli sulla confraternita di Santa Maria del Mercato. Questo 
patrocinio attesta come tale ente confraternale, il maggiore della citta per numero di 
iscritti (la matricola primo-trecentesca conta ben 3.696 aderenti tra uomini, donne, e 
religiosi di ambo i sessi, appartenenti a tutti gli strati sociali ed a tutti i quartieri 
cittadini) e dotato della migliore struttura ospedaliera, assommi in se, oltre a quella 
sociale e religiosa, anche una decisa valenza politica nella Gubbio del XIV secolo. 

Filippo Fiorucci 
Gubbio, Italy 

26 Notizie circa la famiglia Gabrielli si hanno in: Menichetti, Storia di Gubbio, voll. 1-2; G. 
Franceschini, "Gubbio dal comune alia signoria dei Montefeltro" in Storia e arte in 
Umbria nelVeta comunale. Atti del VI convegno di studi umbri, Gubbio 26-30 maggio 
1968 (Perugia: Universita di Perugia, 1970), vol. 2, pp. 367 seq.; Oderigi Lucarelli, 
Memorie e guida storica di Gubbio (Citta di Castello: Lapi, 1888, 1888), pp. 391-393; 
A. Mele, "L'imposizione diretta a Gubbio nel XIV secolo: il liber summarum del 1301", 
tesi di laurea, Facolta di Lettere e Filosofia, Universita degli Studi di Perugia, rel. Claudio 
Regni, AA. 1 995/96; G. Degli Azzi Vitelleschi, "Serie cronologica degli umbri magistrati 
in Firenze," Bollettino della Deputazione di Storia Patria per V Umbria 10 (1904), pp. 
255-268; G. Degli Azzi Vitelleschi, "I Gabrielli da Gubbio e i Trinci da Foligno nella 
storia della Repubblica Fiorentina," Bollettino della Deputazione di Storia Patria per 
I' Umbria 14 (1908), pp. 299-304. Sui Gabrielli sta attualmente mettendo a punto uno 
studio specif ico Claudio Regni dell'Universita di Perugia. 

27 Per tale importante documento (la cui esistenza e attestata dalla segnalazione che ne fa 
Pio Cenci nel suo "Regesto delle pergamene della Sperelliana di Gubbio," Bollettino della 
Deputazione di Storia Patria per V Umbria 25 (1922), p. 64) siamo oggi in possesso solo 
di un regesto settecentesco: Massarelli, ASG, Fondo Armanni III.D.7, pp. 3-4. 

28 AVG, II.C.Bcc. 9r-v, 27r. 

29 AVG [I.C.13,c.77r. 


Florence 2000: the Society for Confraternity Studies and the Renaissance 
Society of America. 

In March, 2000 the Renaissance Society of America will mark the millenium by 
holding its annual conference in Florence. This will be a major event for a number 
of reasons, not least for the opportunity it will provide to bring North American 
and European scholars together to discuss their research. 

The Society for Confraternity Studies has approached the Renaissance Soci- 
ety of America for status as an Affiliated Society. If granted, this would allow us 
to organize a session at the annual RS A conference, much as we currently organize 
sessions both at the International Congress of Medieval Studies and at the 
Sixteenth Century Studies Conference. We have organized sessions at the RSA 
on a provisional basis for the past two years, and are confident that our request 
for Affiliate Status will be approved. This would give the Society for Confrater- 
nity Studies the opportunity to organize a session at Florence 2000. 

Although all of our conferences and sessions to date have been in North 
America, we have been very fortunate to attract a large number of European and 
Australian members to those sessions. Florence 2000 now gives us the opportu- 
nity to offer a forum which will be more convenient for those European members. 

We invite all members of the Society for Confraternity Studies to submit 
proposals for papers dealing with any aspect of Renaissance confraternal studies. 
Proposals should be submitted to: Nicholas Terpstra, Department of History, 
University of Toronto, 100 St. George Street, Toronto, Canada, M5S 3G3. FAX 
(+416) 978-^4-810. Proposals should not exceed 250 words, and should include 
full details on any audio-visual equipment required. 

Deadline for receipt of proposals is 15 January 1999. 

The Society for Confraternity Studies is sponsoring four sessions at the annual 
meeting of the 1998 Sixteenth Century Studies Conference, to be held in Toronto 
on 22-25 October. The first two sessions were organized by Professor Lance Lazar 
(University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill). The sessions are as follows: 

Session 1: Confraternities, education, and finance. Papers: (1) Lance Lazar (U of 
North Carolina, Chapel Hill) "The institutional face of conversion in early modern 
Italy: the houses for catechumens", (2) Christopher Carlsmith (University of Vir- 
ginia) "Schools for Christian Doctrine in Bergamo, 1 554-c. 1 620", (3) Michael Maher 
(St Louis University) "Financing devotion: the congregations of the church of the 
Gesu and their methods of fundraising." 

Session 2: Confraternities and urban culture: charity, music, and art. Papers: (1) 
Roisin Cossar (University of Toronto) "Pro elemosinafacienda: civic financial support 
for the Misericordia Maggiore in fourteenth-century Bergamo", (2) Carolyn Wilson 
(University of Texas) "Confraternities and the cult of Saint Joseph in art", (3) Mark Howe 


30 Confraternitas 9:2 

(New York University) "Music in the ritual life of the sixteenth-century Aachen 
Johannisherren", (4) Carolyn Muir (University of Hong Kong) "Anthony Van Dyck' s 
'The mystic marriage of the Blessed Herman Joseph' and the Sodality of the 
Bachelors of Antwerp." 

Session 3: Charity and charitable providers in Reformation Europe. Papers: (1) 
David D' Andrea (University of Virginia) "Charity and the Reformation on the 
Venetian mainland: the hospital of Treviso", (2) Susan Dinan (Long Island Univer- 
sity) "Female charity in seventeenth-century France: the case of Saint Vincent de 
Paul's Confraternity of Charity", (3) Timothy Fehler (Furman University) "The 
evolution of Emden's hospitals in an age of religious change and upheaval." (This 
session was organized by Professor Dinan) 

Session 4: Confraternities and art in the early modern world. Papers: (1) Randi 
Klebanoff (Carleton University) "The Vita and the Morte: marking the sacred in 
Renaissance Bologna", (2) Jason Preater (Univeristy of Bristol) "Not wood but flesh: 
the painted statue in Counter-Reformation Seville", (3) Gauvin Alexander Bailey 
(Clarke University, Mass.) "The meeting of eastern and western art: imagery of the 
Misericordia confraternities in Japan and China, 1549-1630." (This session was 
organized by Professors Klebanoff and Bailey). 

At this same conference, other papers on confraternities will be given in other 
sessions (not sponsored by the SCS), in particular: Tracy Hoskins (Ohio State 
University) "The Christliche Gemeinschaften of Strasbourg, 1547-1549"; Jill R. 
Fehleison (Ohio State University) "The state of confraternities in the diocese of 
Geneva- Annecy during the time of Catholic reform, 1580-1640"; Ann W. 
Ramsey (University of Texas at Austin) "The politics of eucharistic devotion: the 
Confraternity of the Holy Sacrament at Bordeaux"; Christopher W. Stocker 
(University of British Columbia) "Mayenne's Confraternity of Saint Michael the 
Archangel at Orleans." 

Nicholas Terpstra has organized, on behalf of the Society, a session on confraternities 
at the 1999 Renaissance Society of America meetings, to be held at the University 
of California, Los Angeles, on 25-28 March. The session is entitled "Ritual Kinship 
in Cross-Cultural Contexts" and contains the following presentations: Elliott Horo- 
witz (Bar-Ilan University, Israel) "Processions and piety in the Venetian Ghetto"; 
Lance Lazar (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill) "Jesuits, confraternities, and 
missions in Renaissance Italy: centers and peripheries"; Gauvin Alexander Bailey 
(Clarke University, Mass.) "The formation of a Jesuit mission iconography: artists 
in Rome in the service of the overseas missions (1540-1600)." 

The Society is also sponsoring two sessions at the 34th Annual Congress of 
Medieval Studies, 6-9 May 1999, to be held as always at the University of Western 
Michigan in Kalamazoo. The sessions have been organized by Professor Joelle 
Rollo-Koster (University of Rhode Island) and they are as follows: 

Session 1 : Medieval and Renaissance Confraternities in the Low Countries. 
Papers: ( 1 ) Dick E.H. de Boer (University of Groningen) "Members and Miracles. 
The Golden Book of the Confraternity of Our Lady of Halle ( 1 4th- 1 5th century)"; 
(2) Michael Galvin (Hofstra University and Fordham University) "Confraternities 

News 3 1 

and parochial charity in late medieval Bruges"; (3) Andrea R. Harbin (Catholic 
University of America), "The Puy's Imperfect Potter: Adam de la Halle and the 
Jeu de la Feuillee". 

Session 2: Medieval and Renaissance confraternities in Spain and Italy. Papers: 
(1) Roisin Cossar (University of Toronto) "The resourceful widow: women and 
property in a late medieval confraternity"; (2) David Graizbord (University of 
Michigan) "£/ Cristo de la paciencia: Flagellation as a dynamic motif in Castilian 
popular piety"; Libby Bailey (Wesleyan College) "Laudar voglio per amoreT 

For further information on the Society please contact the editors of this bulletin; 
for information on the Medieval Congress please contact the organizers at tel. (616) 
387-8745, fax (616) 387-8750, email 

Please remember to send Confraternitas a copy of your articles and books for 

inclusion in our bibliography and for deposit into the Confraternities Collection. Use 
the address on the inside of the front cover. In 1998 we received 18 books, 18 articles, 
4 issues of periodicals, and 1 book review. They have all been entered into the 
bibliography of recent scholarship and deposited into the collection. This brings the 
total received in the past nine years to 145 books, 288 articles, 24 book reviews, 92 
issues of periodicals, 2 theses and 1 Compact Disk, for a grand total of 55 1 items 
related to the study of medieval and Renaissance confraternities. Our collection is 
thus growing steadily and is becoming an important repository of our work. 

Also, don't forget to bring Confraternitas to the attention of your colleagues 
and, just as importantly, of your university librarian. Ask your library to 
subscribe to Confraternitasl The annual cost is minimal, but the scholarly value 
is enormous. 


Information is sought on the present whereabouts of the 1444 illuminated 
statutes of the Florentine Confraternity of the Purification of the Virgin and 
of St. Zanobi. The manuscript was sold by Sotheby in 1958 to the bookseller 
Martin Breslauer, who in turn sold it in 1960 to Lathrop C. Harper, booksellers 
in New York. There is no information on the manuscript after this date, though I 
am reliably informed that it was most likely purchased by one of the large 
American libraries, perhaps at a Catholic institution since the Statutes are fol- 
lowed by an autograph confirmation, dated 1448, signed by Saint Antoninus, 
Bishop of Florence. I should be most grateful for any information and will 
acknowledge the help received in the monograph I am completing on the confra- 
ternity of the Purification. Please write to Dr. Lorenzo Polizzotto, Department of 
Italian, University of Western Australia, Nedlands, 6009 Australia; or email at 



Ad Summum J 248. Der gotische Dom im Mittelalter. Ausstellung des Historischen 
Archivs der Stadt Koln aus Anlafi der Grundsteinlegung des Kolner Doras vor 750 
Jahren. Koln: Historisches Archiv, 1998. 239 pp., 8 colour plates, 8 b/w plates, 4 

The title of this book harkens to Petrarch, and more specifically to his amusement 
that people spoke of the cathedral in Cologne simply as "the highest," bequeating 
money to it in their willins by writing only ad summum. The book celebrates the 
750th year of the Cologne cathedral, as dated from 1248 when archbishop Konrad 
laid its cornerstone. To remember the jubilee, the city archive of Cologne hosted 
an exhibition on "Gothic cathedrals in the Middle Ages" (14 August - 2 October 
1998). More than an exhibition catalogue, however, this work is a critical study 
of documents related to the construction of the Cologne cathedral. It is a 'calendar' 
of sorts for manuscript sources, joined not by their proximity in one archive, but 
by their relevance to one topic. 

The scholarship is the joint contribution of eight authors. Joachim Deeters 
examines, in two chapters, plans for the cathedral and its construction progress 
over the next centuries. After a catastrophic fire in 1248 that burned much of the 
existing building, the cornerstone was laid for a new Gothic cathedral (document 
A8, pp. 19f.). The magnificent church marks the endpoint, both architecturally 
and chronologically speaking, in a series of High Gothic cathedrals that includes 
Chartres, Reims and Amiens. Manfred Huiskes, in the next two chapters, studies 
construction finances and the selection of chief architects (Dombaumeister). In 
contrast to other cathedrals, Cologne's bishopric did not profit from benefices 
dedicated specifically to the expense of construction. The lion's share of those 
costs was borne by parish churches in the archdiocese. Klaus Militzer, in the 
following four chapters, analyses relationships between the cathedral in Cologne 
and other cathedrals; the cathedral and its canons; its archbishop; and finally the 
citizens of Cologne. 

This last chapter (the eighth of thirteen) is no doubt the most germane to a 
study of confraternities; yet because of its place in a book about medieval Gothic 
architecture, it may not be seen by scholars intrigued by confraternities. The fist 
document described is a thirteenth-century, one page text on vellum about the 
Dreikonigenbruderschaft, or confraternity of the Epiphany (HI, p. 137). Follow- 
ing it are descriptions of three manuscript volumes (H3-H5, pp. 138f.), dating 
from the fifteenth to the seventeenth century, which contain documents from, 
respectively, the confraternities of St. James, the Holy Cross, and St. Eloi (see 
below my review of Militzer, Quellen ...). 

Each chapter includes a bibliography and a detailed list of pertinent manu- 
scripts. The beautiful colour plates, rare today because of high printing costs, are 
the result of generous sponsorships, duly acknowledged in the foreword. In spite 
of the book's promise, implied by its title, to discuss "medieval Gothic cathe- 


34 Confraternitas 9:2 

drals," it is instead a fine, labour intensive list of documents, related to Cologne 
and its cathedral, ranging from the thirteenth to the seventeenth century. Each 
chapter is introduced with a solid, if short, summary of the literature and sources, 
written by one of Cologne's archivists. 

Michael Milway 

Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies 

Victoria University (Toronto) 

Aranci, Gilberto. Vittorio Dell'Ancisa. Un prete fiorentino del Cinquecento e 
Vorigine delle "Stabilite nella Carita. Pubblicazioni dell' Archivio Arcivescovile di 
Firenze, Studi e Testi 4. Firenze: Giampiero Pagnini Editore, 1997. 141 pp. ISBN 

This is a study of the origins of the "Stabilite nella Carita," a women's organiza- 
tion (and eventually a convent) originally established in Florence in the sixteenth 
century but now in Monticelli (Tuscany). With this work Gilberto Aranci focuses 
on the figure of Vittorio Dell'Ancisa and on his role in the founding of the 
Stabilite. He analyses carefully the relatively limited source material available at 
the convent and Dell'Ancisa's correspondence. 

The volume is divided into seven chapters. Chapters one to five focus on 
Dell'Ancisa's life (1537-1598), something that has not received sufficient atten- 
tion in other scholarly works on the Stabilite or on Florentine religious life in the 
Cinquecento. In providing such a detailed biography, Aranci's expressed inten- 
tion is to shed more light on the progressive steps that finally led to the founding 
of the convent. One of the most important sources for this section is the late 
seventeenth-century biography of Dell'Ancisa by Francesco Cionacci, who also 
gathered a number of Dell'Ancisa's letters into a folder. Aranci also pays careful 
attention to Dell'Ancisa's friendship with Saint Philip Neri, a key figure in his 
life for he encouraged and supported Dell'Ancisa's already generous inclination 
to charitable activities. Aranci also stresses the fact that the Stabilite were 
originally established as a hostel for pilgrims, it then became reserved exclusively 
for women, and only at a later date (1589) did Dell'Ancisa decide to turn it into 
a temporary shelter for homeless young women. Some of these young women 
eventually took the veil and remained in the community for the rest of their lives 
(hence the name Stabilite, meaning "established, settled"). 

The last two chapters are dedicated to Vittorio Dell'Ancisa's written works, 
especially to those that established the regulations for the running of the House 
and set the rules to be followed by the women in it. Aranci explains in detail the 
elaborate allegories of Dell'Ancisa's works on the body and the soul, and looks 
closely at his treatise on meditation, providing an edition of it in the appendix. 

Aranci's study will be of interest to scholars working on Florentine con- 
fraternities and on the religious life of Cinquecento Italy because of the enormous 
contribution it makes in bringing to light the life and works of Vittorio 
Dell'Ancisa, a Florentine priest (an Oratorian) whose spiritual life and whose 

Reviews 35 

charitable mission found their roots in the Florentine confraternity network of that 
time. Dell'Ancisa had been, in fact, an active member of Florentine confraternit- 
ies, from the Arcangelo Raffaello (in his youth) to San Tommaso d'Aquino (in 
his adulthood). 

Gabriella Corona 

Centre for Medieval Studies 

University of Toronto 

Arrizabalaga, Jon, John Henderson, and Roger French. The Great Pox. The French 
Disease in Renaissance Europe. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 
1997. xv, 352 pp., 30 plates, 8 figures, 7 tables. ISBN 0-300-06934-0 

The great pox — a loathsome disease, often transmitted venereally, characterized 
by sores and great pain — appeared suddenly and virulently in Europe in the last 
decade of the fifteenth century. Its arrival in Italy coincided with the French 
invasion of the peninsula, giving rise to its most common name (at least outside 
of France), "the French Disease." Modern scholars associate it with syphilis, but 
the authors of this new study on the impact of the disease on Europe choose to 
restrict themselves to the terms commonly used in the sixteenth century. Their 
choice of terminology is the signal of a new approach. The authors do not study 
syphilis itself as a biological entity (the traditional approach), but rather the 
phenomenon of "the French Disease," that is, the reception of the disease by 
Renaissance Europe — the social, cultural, and especially intellectual reaction to 

Despite its general title, the book is in fact a series of case studies, which are 
focused almost entirely on Italy, with one comparative excursion into Germany. 
The bulk of the case studies deal with the debates between physicians as they tried 
to cope with a disease that was not described by the classical and Arabic medical 
authorities, and did not fit into traditional, Galenic explanations of diseases and 
their treatments. The authors approach these debates, not from hindsight as a 
march towards enlightenment, but rather as a strategy to protect the reputation 
and profession of the physician, which was damaged when doctors could neither 
explain nor treat the disease. This approach yields useful insights, relating the 
theories developed by the doctors to explain and categorize the disease to their 
individual training, and their theoretical and political allegiances. In the process, 
the authors demonstrate how the sudden appearance of the disease forced the 
doctors to develop original ways of looking at disease in general, thus helping to 
transform medical theory. However, the authors' approach leads to a curiously 
fragmented discussion of the doctors' debates, which are framed almost entirely 
in terms of their training, their desire to further their careers, and the socio-eco- 
nomic necessity of protecting their profession. There is little consideration given 
to whether or not they were intellectually intrigued by the disease, or whether they 
provided any actual insight into its nature or cure. It is as if scholars' publications 
were discussed purely in terms of the influence of their teachers and as a strategy 

36 Confraternitas 9:2 

to advance their careers, without reference to whether they were genuinely 
engaged with their subjects or contributed new insights into them. The chapters 
on physicians' debates are, in essence, intellectual history, and they will be rather 
arcane and dry to non-specialists. 

Scholars of confraternities will be gratified to know that the two chapters 
devoted to the confraternal response to the pox form the most accessible and 
interesting case study in the book. Confraternities provided the strongest social 
(as opposed to intellectual) response to the appearance of the disease. This 
confraternal response began in Genoa, with the foundation at the end of the 
fifteenth century of the Company of Divine Love. It quickly set up a hospital for 
incurables (incurabili), a category of the sick normally excluded from traditional 
hospitals, but which had suddenly become prominent as a result of the French 
Disease. A few hospitals for incurables were set up in cities in northern Italy 
(notably Ferrara and Bologna) under the auspices of confraternities dedicated to 
St. Job (chosen because he too was afflicted with sores). The majority of hospitals 
for incurables, however, were set up by branches of the Company of Divine Love. 
It was launched beyond Genoa by the patronage of Pope Leo X, who provided 
considerable assistance in setting up a Roman branch of the confraternity and 
helped to launch it elsewhere in Italy as well. The Roman hospital, whose records 
survive, provides the focus for an in-depth study of the patients (only some of 
whom actually suffered from the French Disease) and the treatment at a hospital 
for incurables. 

The expansion of the confraternity was closely linked to the Catholic reform 
movement. Many of the Company's lay and clerical sponsors were active in 
reforming the Catholic church, notably as members of the new order of the 
Theatines. The authors, however, make a concerted effort to distance their 
discussion from traditional Catholic historiography, focusing instead on the 
political and social factors that helped the company's rapid expansion. They 
demonstrate that the foundation of these confraternities was a project close to the 
heart of many important individuals, and that the influence and money of these 
powerful individuals were vital in establishing the companies and hospitals in 
cities throughout Italy. These people were motivated partially by their desire for 
Catholic reform and by a sense of charity towards the suffering of the sick, but 
equally also by a sense of disgust and desire for public order prompted by seeing 
the revolting effects of the disease paraded on the streets of their cities. The 
foundation of hospitals was, therefore, both a benefit for the ill, who received care 
they could otherwise not afford, and a benefit for the city, who removed a 
revolting presence from its streets. 

While the authors' unconventional approaches to the French Disease provide 
welcome new perspectives, the book's overall analysis of the phenomenon 
remains curiously dislocated, a result of the explicit exclusion of the biological 
reality of the disease from the discussion. Like the doctors they discuss, the 
authors are reluctant to admit the independent existence of the disease itself. For 
instance, one of the authors states that "Their [the doctors'] picture of the disease 
was a construction, not an unveiling, of a medical entity" (87). Yet the pox was 

Reviews 37 

a genuine disease, and the doctors' picture was as much shaped by its biological 
reality — new, often venereal, chronic and incurable — as by their cultural and 
intellectual conditioning. The limitations of the authors' approach is particularly 
noticeable when the strong moral reaction to the pox is related to social and 
cultural attitudes towards sexuality, without really taking into account the fact 
that this moral reaction originated in the simple realization by observers that the 
disease was often spread through sexual contact. The French Disease, as a 
phenomenon, was a synthesis between the biological condition and the society 
that received it. While the new perspective provided by the authors is vital to 
understanding the phenomenon, their exclusion of any biological analysis means 
that their discussion is as incomplete as a traditional, primarily medical approach 
to the subject. In spite of this limitation (and the inexplicable absence of a 
bibliography), their study of the reception of the pox will prove a useful resource 
to scholars of the French Disease. 

Dylan Reid 

Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies 

Victoria University (Toronto) 

Carlo Borromeo e V opera della "Grande Riforma": Cultura, religione e arti del 
governo nella Milano del pieno Cinquecento. Milan: Credito Artigiano. 1997. 383 
pp., illustrations 

This large volume is an example of the kind of cultural patronage so common in 
Italy and so rare elsewhere. Danilo Zardin conceived of a collection dealing with 
Carlo Borromeo' s reform program for the Diocese of Milan, Credito Artigiano 
was persuaded to underwrite the project as one means of marking its fiftieth 
anniversary, and the Accademia di San Carlo in the Biblioteca Ambrosiana 
offered the necessary institutional collaboration to carry the project through to 
completion. Volumes of this kind are frequently published by Italian banks, and 
favorable tax laws are only a small part of the reason. 

Zardin assembled leading scholars from both sides of the Atlantic for this 
project. The individual articles are of varying length, complexity, and depth. Most 
are roughly ten pages long and, though uniformly well-documented, offer either 
an overview or a snapshot of work which the scholar has developed at greater 
length elsewhere. These cover a very wide range, including ritual, liturgy and 
iconology (Cesare Alzati, Maria Luisa Gatti Perer, Claudio Bernardi & Annama- 
ria Cascetta), music and architecture (Giancarlo Rostirolla, Robert Kendrick, 
Stefano Della Torre), books and literary production (Claudia di Filippo Bareggi, 
Amedeo Quondam, Sandro Bianconi, Silvia Morgana), spirituality (Franco 
Buzzi), issues related to clerical authority, preaching and confession (Flavio 
Rurale, Luigi Prosdocimi, John O'Malley, Wietse de Boer), and the educational 
program of the Schools of Christian Doctrine (Angelo Bianchi). A few of the 
authors tackle their subjects in far greater depth, including Samuele Giombi on 
Borromeo' s preaching, and Zardin himself on reform of manners as a theme 

38 Confraternitas 9:2 

within Borromeo's general reform program; Agostino Borromeo offers two 
pieces, one on the archbishop's jurisdictional disputes with Spanish authorities, 
and the other on his fights against heresy. Finally, roughly a third of the volume 
is given over to beautifully reproduced colour plates of paintings, both individual 
works and cycles, depicting Borromeo and the broader reform program which he 

Borromeo's reforms have been controversial, not least because of their use 
of and impact on such traditional lay forms of religious life as confraternities. His 
defenders have argued that the reforms were well received by large segments of 
lay believers who shared the conviction that some change was necessary; this is 
why they could be successful at all, since even someone of Borromeo's determi- 
nation would not have been able to overcome united lay resistance. This is a 
reasonable point, but it begs the question of whether all those who thought change 
was necessary wanted the Borromean approach to change; it would be interesting 
to hear more about the contrary voices which were raised at the time, and how 
they were dealt with. 

While the individual authors see Borromeo's program as generally neces- 
sary, well-meant, and positive, the volume is far from a hagiography. It is, on the 
whole, well-rounded, well-documented, and fair-minded, with many good articles 
and some genuinely excellent ones. 

Nicholas Terpstra 
Department of History 
University of Toronto 

Czarcinski, Ireneusz. Bractwa w wielkich miastach panstwa krzyzackiego w 
sredniowieczu. Torun: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Mikolaja Kopernika, 1993. 126 
pp., illustrations. ISBN 83-231-0382-8 

Czarcinski' s aim in this concise work is to describe the origin and development 
of the religious confraternities in the large cities of the Teutonic state, as well as 
to establish the social basis on which these brotherhoods were founded and the 
motives which guided their organisers. As a result of the scarcity and restricted 
availability of sources, most of the book is confined to the brotherhoods operating 
in the cities of Gdansk (Danzig), Torun, Elblag and Braniew, although attempts 
were made to obtain material on the other cities of the Teutonic state. 

The work is divided into five chapters. The first of these, entitled "Historical 
origins of the development of confraternities in the Middle Ages" (pp. 10-29), 
describes the assumptions at the root of the hypothesis that the model of the 
corporation functioning for the west-European cities is identical to that for the 
cities of the Teutonic state. Czarcinski's second chapter (pp. 30-57) then presents 
the circumstances surrounding the establishment and the direction of develop- 
ment of religious brotherhoods in the Teutonic cities. This leads to a discussion 
of the actual organisation of the confraternities, the socio-profcssional structure 
of their memberships and the financial administration of the corporations (pp. 

Reviews 39 

58-81). The fourth chapter (pp. 82-102) describes the concept of the religious 
cult and its function, paying particular attention to the interdependency between 
the invocations of the brotherhoods and their devotional profiles, including a look 
at the role of devotional services and indulgences in the life of the brotherhood 
and some of the questions surrounding the cult objects (mainly paintings) among 
the brotherhoods. Finally, the author addresses the question of the place of the 
religious corporations in the social welfare system of the Middle Ages (pp. 

One of the main theories in the book is that the economic growth of the cities 
of the Teutonic state in the fourteenth century found its reflection not only in the 
construction of monumental religious buildings, but also in the development of 
new forms of religious life. For the Catholic Church, the end of the Middle Ages 
was a time of significant change, especially in the area of the dissemination of 
Christian doctrine. The Church aimed to deepen the catechism and substantiate 
faith. One of the means to realise these aims was the confraternities. 

Appended to this study is a list of documents detailing indulgences for the 
brotherhoods in Prussian cities in the Middle Ages, a list of the representatives 
of Elblag families in the Brotherhood of Corpus Christi in the years 1443-1537, 
and a list of the members of the Brotherhood of Corpus Christi of the Old City of 
Elblag participating in Prussian conferences in the 1480s (pp. 1 10-1 14). Scattered 
throughout the book, there are a number of illustrations of pages from confrater- 
nity books found in the archives listed in the sources for the work. 

The author provides an extensive bibliography (pp. 1 16-1 22), with a sizeable 
listing not only of primary sources, but also of secondary works (mainly Polish, 
but with some German entries as well). At the end, Czarcinski also includes a 
short German summary of his book (pp. 123-125). 

Catherine Filejski 
Department of History 
University of Toronto 

de Ghetaldi, Enrico. La Confraternita di San Martino e la Chiesa di N.S. di Loreto 
in Borgo Peri nella loro storia. Imperia: n.p., 1994. 252 pp. 

This work covers an area in which very little has been written: the origin of the 
confraternity of Saint Martin of Tours in Oneglia (Liguria, Italy). The author 
stresses the importance of the confraternity for the life of the town which, owing 
to its geographical position on the Ligurian coast near France, has been exposed 
throughout the centuries to foreign attacks and invasions. 

De Gheraldi researched carefully the archives of the church of Our Lady of 
Loreto in Borgo Peri (Oneglia), finding many charters and other diplomatic 
evidence with information on the origin of the confraternity and its history. The 
volume contains several facsimiles of the documents, mostly dating from 1700 
onwards. The history of the church is accurately traced, the author provides all 
the evidence he has unearthed, and also mentions the confraternities of the 

40 Confraternitas 9:2 

Annunciation and the Misericordia, both of which had been active in that church 
even before the establishment of the confraternity of Saint Martin. One praise- 
worthy feature of the book is the large number of photographs of the church itself, 
which will be of interest to art and architecture historians. These include photo- 
graphs of the interior of the church, its paintings, and its relics. 

Before providing a detailed account of the history of the confraternity in the 
church of Our Lady of Loreto, De Gheraldi gives a very useful synopsis of the 
leading theories on the origin of confraternities in Italy, which makes the volume 
amenable to newcomers to the field. He then traces the history of the confraternity 
of Saint Martin of Tours, including in it a biography of the saint and quoting 
relevant passages from Gregory of Tours' Historia Francorum (in Italian trans- 
lation). Among the documents provided by the author is the modern (1993) Statute 
of the Confraternities in the Diocese of Albenga-Imperia, which may be of interest 
to scholars of contemporary religious organizations. The volume ends with 
photographs of the confraternity's current ceremonies. Particular attention is paid 
to the celebrations in honour of Saint Martin (1 1 November). 

The volume is clearly organized with an aim to celebrate the confraternity's 
long history and current vitality. It is, therefore, intended primarily for a local 
audience. Advanced scholars in confraternity studies may quibble with the idio- 
syncratic organization of the enormous amount of information presented in this 
volume, or with the absence of self-contained thematic units. Nevertheless, the 
volume makes a significant contribution to the history of lay spirituality and lay 
religious organizations in Oneglia over the course of many centuries and sheds 
light on local piety in a small Italian town in western Liguria. 

Gabriella Corona 

Centre for Medieval Studies 

University of Toronto 

La devozione dei Bianchi nel 1399. II miracolo del Crocifisso di Borgo a Buggiano, 
ed. Amleto Spicciani. Pisa: Edizioni ETS, 1998. 201 pp., 15 illustrations. ISBN 

Few elements of Christian theology have coloured medieval religious observance 
as vividly as penitence. Starting with the great processions of flagellants in the 
late thirteenth century and culminating in the movement of the Bianchi in 1399, 
the quest for physical expiation of sin and public demonstrations of remorse 
provided an outlet for lay devotion and worship rarely experienced after the 
Renaissance. It is often difficult, however, to appreciate the full significance of 
these penitence-based movements without a closer examination of the socio-polit- 
ical circumstances from which they emerged. Fortunately for scholars of the 
Bianchi movement, this is precisely the type of examination Amleto Spicciani's 
collection provides. 

Starting with Mario Marrocchi's examination of the various sources and 
research methods used in recent studies (including his own) of the Bianchi 

Reviews 41 

movement ("Fonti e metodi di ricerca nello studio dei Bianchi"), the book seeks 
to answer why, in the summer of 1399, great bands of pilgrims throughout 
northern Italy donned white vestments emblazoned with red crosses and went 
about the countryside fasting and calling for peace and mercy. Marrocchi exam- 
ines a number of sources, including the traditional account of an apparition of the 
Virgin Mary, and concludes that the movement may be traceable as much to social 
unrest as to religious devotion. Another theory Marrocchi proposes is that the 
movement may also have been tied to plague avoidance, suggesting that many of 
the elements of the movement bear a striking similarity to the contemporary 
precautions against infection. 

Marrocchi's overview is followed by Amleto Spicciani's "II miracolo e la 
conoscenza storica," where he considers the best known of the miracles attributed 
to the movement: the crucifix in Borgo a Buggiano which, by all contemporary 
accounts, actually bled in response to the movement. Spicciani examines the 
varying details of the miracle, as well as the popular beliefs and the iconography 
of the time, in order to determine the extent to which such a miracle conformed 
to contemporary religious and historical expectations that would allow it to be 
accepted as genuine. 

Fabrizio Mari presents a view of the movement throughout the Valdinievole 
region in his "I Bianchi in Valdinievole. Testimonianze contemporanee e sviluppi 
storiografici." In this work the author draws on contemporary accounts and 
examines their historiographical development. The volume returns to the miracle 
of the crucifix, as Rossano Pazzagli examines the persistence and the revival of 
the tradition in the modern era ("Persistenza e rinnovamento di una tradizione. 
La celebrazione del crocifisso di Borgo a Buggiano in eta moderna"). Paolo Vitali 
completes the study with a wonderfully illustrated look at the iconography of the 
crucifix in question ("Iconografia del crocifisso ligneo della Chiesa di S. Pietro 
Apostolo di Borgo a Buggiano"). 

For confraternity scholars, the book will provide a view of one of the more 
significant lay movements of the late Middle Ages, but one which did not translate 
into continued association. For this reason it will be particularly useful for 
comparative studies. 

Mary Alexandra Watt 

Department of Modern Languages and Literatures 

State University of New York at Buffalo 

Dionigi, Renzo. SS. Quattuor Coronati. Bibliography and Iconograpy. An Essay. 
Milano: Aisthesis, 1998. 255 pp. ISBN. 88-87361-04-5. £. 25/Lit. 75.000. 

The history and iconography of the SS. Quattuor Coronati, or the Four Crowned 
Martyrs, patron saints of many stonemason guilds from the late medieval period 
onwards, has been presented in this new and very handsome book, containing 
thirty seven colour plates and numerous other black and white illustrations. The 

42 Confraternitas 9:2 

author, Renzo Dionigi, a Professor of Surgery and Dean of the Medical School at 
the University of Pavia, is not a professional art historian or iconographer. His 
interest in the topic developed instead from personal interest, Masonic connec- 
tions, and an effort to expand the corpus of research on these saints by a more 
through examination of southern European, mainly Italian, sources (though much 
northern European material is also included). 

The book is divided into four main sections: an introduction to the saints' 
legends and history; a large annotated bibliography of references and representa- 
tions of the saints; a twelve page essay on the iconography of the saints, accom- 
panied by fifty seven pages of illustrations, many of them in colour; and, finally, 
a collection of appendices of documents and records, as well as indices of persons, 
subjects, places, etc. 

The book will be welcomed by readers with Masonic interests, especially 
since it relies heavily on Masonic publications. The bibliographical section 
contains many references to articles in Ars Quattuor Coronatorum (Transactions 
of the Quatuor Coronati Lodge No. 2076), the proceedings and papers of the 
London Masonic Lodge No. 2076; along with many references to other, less 
known and sometimes privately printed, Masonic journals and monographs. 
Rivista Massonica, Transactions of the Missouri Lodge of Research, The Short 
Talk Bulletin, Freemason's Monthly Magazine, as well as publications from 
Lewis Masonic Books, are just some of the Masonic series and publishers 
mentioned. Among the Masonic publications in the bibliography, there are also 
many traditional academic works with references to the Four Crowned Martyrs. 

The iconographical section is primarily descriptive and is supplemented with 
a large section of plates (also with short descriptions). It is clear the author has 
tried to be as comprehensive as possible in finding all known images of these 
saints and all textual references to them. He includes frescoes, sculpture, enamels, 
images on gravestones, manuscripts, capital carvings, engravings, etchings, ban- 
ners, and even a candlestick. He has collected material from many public art 
collections in Europe and North America and has also included material that, 
although destroyed, is known from secondary sources or drawings. It is this 
comprehensiveness that may make SS. Quattuor Coronati useful to traditional 
scholars who are not necessarily Masonic researchers. In fact, for the academic 
scholar the book can be a quick and u,seful guide to find images or other references 
to these saints. It is, however, a guide that should be used with care. Along with 
primary source references and accredited scholarly works, there is much that is 
of marginal academic use and interest. 

Jennifer M. Forbes 

Centre for Medieval Studies 

University of Toronto 

Reviews 43 

Gazzini, Marina. "Dare et habere ". II mondo di un mercante milanese del Quattro- 
cento (con Vedizione del libro di conti di Donato Ferrario da Pantigliate). Milano: 
Camera di Commercio Industria Artigianato e Agricoltura di Milano, 1 997. xxiv, 432 
pp., frontispiece. 

This volume is an in-depth examination of the life and commercial activities of 
the Milanese merchant Donato Ferrario da Pantigliate, founder of the Scuola della 
Divinita, complemented by a critical edition of his account books, the Liber 
rationum Donati de Ferrariis anni 1413 usque ad annum 1426. Marina Gazzini, 
who had earlier written a doctoral thesis on the confraternity founded by Ferrario 
and shorter articles on devotion and social assistance in fifteenth-century Milan, 
expands on this earlier work in order to provide the reader with a fuller, more 
detailed, and quite far-reaching analysis not only of Ferrario but also of the world 
in which he lived. Biographical information on Ferrario is thus contextualized 
within the larger spheres of the commercial, economic, cultural, literary and 
religious world of fifteenth-century Milan. This examination thus becomes an 
important text for the study of lay religious and confraternal life in Milan and, 
more generally, in Lombardy during the Quattrocento. 

A well-focused introductory essay on the world of Milanese merchants in the 
fourteenth and fifteenth centuries sets the stage for the examination to follow (pp. 
xiii-xxiv). It provides an intriguing look into the life of a typical Milanese 
merchant, including not only a merchant's commercial activities, but also his 
charitable works and his place in the local society. The study then proceeds with 
a closer view of one such merchant, Donato Ferrario da Pantigliate. The exami- 
nation is divided into three major sections, each subdivided into chapters. The 
first deals with Ferrario' s life (pp. 1-58), the second with his commercial activi- 
ties (pp. 59-1 1 1), and the third with his account books (pp. 1 13-121). 

In the biographical section, the first chapter deals with the period from 1 397 
(the date of the first document dealing with Ferrario' s commercial activities) to 
1429. Details describing his family and social life are juxtaposed, in this section, 
to the wider spectrum of the civic and social life of Milan at the turn of the fifteenth 
century. The second chapter, covering the years 1429-1441, contains a thorough 
description of the founding of the Scuola della Divinita, which will be of great 
interest to confraternity scholars. The second and central portion of the volume 
is an analysis of Ferrario's commercial undertakings and investments. In partic- 
ular, there are discussions of his involvement in real estate, trade, agriculture, 
livestock, and even the textile industry. The third and final section of this volume 
is an analysis of Ferrario's account books, the Liber rationum (pp. 113-121), 
followed by an edition of the same (pp. 123-356). Several appendices, charts, 
maps, and an index complete and enrich the volume. 

Gazzini' s study and edition provides a wealth of information not only for 
economic and social historians, but also for scholars working on confraternities 
and lay religion in late-medieval/early-modern times. Her work helps to illustrate 
the place, role, and power of a profoundly religious merchant in fifteenth-century 

44 Confraternitas 9:2 

Milan whose involvement in the life of his society reached out across a very wide 
spectrum of activities. 

Angela Presta 

Department of Italian Studies 

University of Toronto 

L' Oratorio di Santa Maria della Vita, ed. Marco Poli. Bologna: Costa Editore, 1997. 
127 pp., ill. 

One suspects that the modern reader will never quite know or appreciate the 
impression made by the arrival of the penitenti in the towns and cities of medieval 
Italy. There is no way for us to feel the emotional or spiritual response to the 
human columns wending their way through the narrow streets, entranced in song 
and self-flagellation. Yet the impact was clearly enormous and immediate. On 10 
October 1260 the first of these processions passed through Bologna then, a mere 
nine days later, the Bolognesi emulated them and embarked on a similar trek to 
Modena. The proliferation of societies of disciplinati, flagellanti, or battuti, and 
the establishment of their many churches, oratories and social institutions began 
shortly thereafter. The passage of time and the evolution of the goals and activities 
of these lay brotherhoods have succeeded in erasing all but a few traces of the 
humble yet fervent, almost fanatical devotion which spawned the confraternity. 

The Oratory of Santa Maria della Vita may provide a small window into the 
early origins of the movement in Bologna. Its location on Via Pescherie ("Fishmon- 
gers Street") dates at least as far back as 1502 and speaks to the less than noble 
standing of early confraternity members. (The Confraternity of Santa Maria della 
Vita itself can be traced back to 1261.) The massive renovations undertaken in the 
seventeenth century reflect the evolution in confraternity focus from penitence 
and self-flagellation in darkened rooms to civic consciousness and collegiality in 
brilliantly decorated oratories. The recently completed renovations, and the much 
lauded installation of an elevator, have transformed the oratory into a museum piece. 

Nonetheless, even if the spiritual or emotional experience of the confraternity 
are no longer accessible to us, Marco Poli's superb edition chronicling the 
renovations carried out in the oratory provides a more than adequate scholarly 
view of the movement and its evolution. It recounts the early activities of the 
confraternity, its places of worship and the steps in its formalisation. As a record 
of the restorations of the oratory, it is invaluable. The book contains many full 
colour illustrations of the paintings, the sculpture, the flooring and the architecture 
of the oratory. Photographs of the restoration work in progress give a good 
indication of the state of disrepair into which the Oratory had fallen, as well as 
the extent and the difficulty of the restorations. 

Starting with Mario Fanti's introductory essay describing the origins of the 
Confraternity and its historical context, the book is organized into a series of 
essays devoted to a variety of related topics. Silvia D'Altri's piece on the daily 
life of the oratorianU and in particular on their musical and theatrical activities, 

Reviews 45 

includes an appendix that will be of interest to scholars of Medieval and Renais- 
sance drama. Francesco Giordano's essay on the architectural and decorative 
aspects of the Oratory traces the origins of the present building. The architectural 
and technical sketches included in Giordano's survey will enable the reader to 
visualize better the lay-out of the Oratory and appreciate its artistic treasures, in 
particular, Lombardi's spectacular sculpture group, // Transito della Vergine 
(later in the volume there is a more comprehensive treatment of the work by Maria 
Delbianco). The wealth of paintings housed in the Oratory is set out, in brilliant 
colour, in Giovanni Sassu's fascinating essay that speaks not only to the artistic 
merit of the various pieces but to the religious and social implications they 
represent. The painstaking nature of the restorations is highlighted in Daniele 
Meneghini's article on the flooring and decorative tiling of the Oratory. The final 
essay by Emma Biavati outlines the technical details of the project and emphasizes 
it sweeping nature. While each of these specialized essays will appeal to a 
particular field of scholars, taken together they comprise a comprehensive and 
dizzying view of the enormity of the renovations and the spectacular results they 
achieved. As such the volume is a valuable addition to confraternity studies. 

Mary Alexandra Watt 

Department of Modern Languages and Literatures 

State University of New York at Buffalo 

Riepe, Juliane. Die Arciconfraternita di S. Maria della Morte in Bologna. Beitrage 
zur Geschichte des italienischen Oratoriums im 17. und 18. Jahrhundert. Beitrage 
zur Geschichte der Kirchenmusik, 5. Paderborn, Munchen, Wien, Zurich: Ferdinand 
Schoningh, 1998. 604 pp. ISBN 3-506-70625-X 

This well-documented and thorough study by Juliane Riepe is a valuable and 
important contribution to research on confraternal life and the Italian oratorio in 
the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Her starting point is the role of Italian 
confraternities, specifically the Arciconfraternita di S. Maria della Morte, in com- 
missioning and organizing oratorio performances beginning around 1650. In this 
book she seeks to trace the origin of, and reasons behind oratorio performance 
traditions, what these traditions were, and how they developed over a period of more 
than 100 years. 

Riepe originally planned to focus on the oratorios of the Bolognese composer 
Giacomo Antonio Perti (1661-1756). In the course of her research, however, she 
discovered strong connections between the composer and the Arciconfraternita 
di S. Maria della Morte; the title pages of his oratorio libretti often referred to the 
confraternity and all of his known Passion oratorios were performed several times 
and almost exclusively by the confraternity. As she pursued these links, the focus 
of her study shifted away from the oratorios of Perti and towards the Arci- 
confraternita di S. Maria della Morte. 

The choice of this particular confraternity was fortunate: this was one of the 
oldest, wealthiest, respected and influential of the Bolognese fraternities; its 

46 Confraternitas 9:2 

members maintained the largest hospitals of the city, gave spiritual assistance to 
those condemned to die, and cared for the inmates of the city prisons. They also 
organized one of the most important annual Bolognese processions, the Proces- 
sion of the Madonna di S. Luca. From the end of the sixteenth century onwards, 
its members belonged to the middle and upper classes; by the seventeenth and 
eighteenth centuries, a majority came from noble families. They were prepared, 
and could afford, to spend large sums of money on music, and hired the most 
distinguished Bolognese composers to provide them with music. They also kept 
meticulous records that have been well preserved; these contain descriptions of 
oratorio performances that are colourful and full of detail. Of all the confraternities 
in Bologna, S. Maria della Morte offers the most complete and detailed information 
on the organization, financing and development of Good Friday ceremonies, and, 
consequently, oratorio performances over a period of many decades. 

Based on the extent to which documentation was preserved, Riepe was able 
to investigate the role the confraternities played in the origin and early history of 
oratorio. She then sought to discover why oratorios were performed, the function 
of the performances, the conditions under which the performance traditions 
developed, which devotional practices the performances supported, how they 
were financed and organized, who was responsible for choosing the works, and 
which criteria were used to choose librettists and composers, singers and instru- 
mentalists, and even the audience members. 

The book is divided into four sections. In the first section, Riepe provides 
background information on Italian confraternities and their musical practices, 
music in Bologna in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and the current 
state of research in these areas. She also addresses the question of commissions 
and the kinds of occasion on which oratorios were performed in Bologna during 
this period. In the second part she concentrates on the Arciconfraternita di S. 
Maria della Morte, and the occasions on which musical performances took place. 
Part three discusses the oratorio performances which took place annually on Good 
Friday in the prayer hall of the confraternity, and part four provides an extensive 
appendix with documentation on the confraternity and individual musicians as 
well as a chronological list of oratorios performed at S. Maria della Morte. 

Riepe focuses primarily on the institutional history of a genre and the 
founding and development of a performance tradition. She admits that this leaves 
too little room to analyze and classify adequately the individual musical texts of 
oratorios that were written and performed by the confraternity over a period of 
more than 100 years. By concentrating on questions which relate to the Arcicon- 
fraternita di S. Maria della Morte, however, she has written a book that will appeal 
to a readership beyond musicologists. It is a welcome contribution to existing 
scholarship on the early development of the oratorio as well as the social context 
in which it matured. 

J. Drew Stephen 

Faculty of Music 
University of Toronto 

Reviews 47 

Pellegrino Tibaldi pittore e architetto delUeta borromaica. Special issue of Stud ia 
Borromaica. Saggi e documenti di storia religiosa e civile della prima eta moderna 
11 (1997), 309 pp. 

In this special issue of Studia Borromaica, Marco Rossi and Alessandro Rovetta 
bring together ten essays originally presented at a conference at the Accademia 
Ambrosiana in Milan on the occasion of the 400* anniversary of the death of 
Pellegrino Pellegrini (1527-96), also known as Tibaldi. Tibaldi began his career 
in the 1540s in Bologna as a painter in the style of Raphael. For most scholars, 
however, he is remembered as a Mannerist painter and as Carlo Borromeo's 
architect in post-Tridentine Milan. Given the focus of Studia Borromaica, the 
majority of the articles highlight the influence of Borromeo upon Tibaldi' s 
architectural production. 

The story of Tibaldi is, in many ways, intimately attached to the pastoral 
reforms associated with the great Counter-Reformation saint and archbishop of 
Milan. This collection of essays opens with Sandro Benedetti's comparative 
survey of artistic and religious milieus in Rome and Milan in the second half of 
the sixteenth century. The politics of post-Tridentine architectural construction 
indicate the way buildings were used to manifest social power and religious 
authority. In this regard Tibaldi's church of San Fedele, as Della Torre indicates 
in his essay, could be read as a Milanese response to Vignola's church of II Gesu 
in Rome and as an attempt to compete with the Roman prototype for the status of 
being the Jesuit f/r-building. 

Borromeo's attempt at codifying a post-Tridentine architectural norm, how- 
ever, was largely achieved through the publication of his Instructiones Fabricae 
(1577) and through Tibaldi's collaboration. To a certain extent, Borromeo care- 
fully groomed the young architect by guiding his stylistic development in accor- 
dance with the larger vision of his own aesthetic programme and by securing a 
number of difficult commissions for him (such as the project for the Jesuit church 
of San Fedele and a twenty year tenure as the architectural supervisor of the Milan 
cathedral). Marco Navoni provides a concise summary of the architectural 
reforms proposed by Borromeo, and Aurora Scotti and Francesco Repishti illustr- 
ate the way in which the theorist's principles were visualized in the architect's 
renovation of liturgical space within the Duomo of Milan. The similarities 
between Tibaldi's scurolo in the Duomo and late antique martyria are discussed 
by Scotti, while Repishti 's paper analyzes the theological issues surrounding 
Tibaldi's reconstruction of the baptistery in accordance with the cardinal's pre- 
scriptions. In the wake of these iconographical approaches, Perer compares and 
contrasts the intellectual relationship between Carlo Borromeo and Tibaldi with 
that between Federico Borromeo and Tibaldi's pupil Lelio Buzzi. 

While a significant degree of exchange occurred between theologians and 
artists in this period, Stefano Della Torre rightfully warns against the facile error 
of attributing Tibaldi's architectonic purity solely to the influence of Borromeian 
aesthetics. The critical reassessment of extant artistic traditions was already an 
issue in Tibaldi's pre-Borromeo work on the Loggia dei Mercanti in Ancona, as 

48 Confraternitas 9:2 

John Alexander's article indicates. It would also be equally fallacious to conclude 
that Borromeo was the only figure implementing Tridentine decrees in Northern 
Italy after the closing of the Council. In this regard, T. Barton Thurber brilliantly 
situates Tibaldi's activity within the larger context of late sixteenth-century 
building projects by distinguishing between the independent vision of a reformer 
such as Borromeo from the more acquiescent imagination of a papist reformer 
such as Cardinal Ferrero, who hired Tibaldi for the (unrealized) renovations of 
the cathedral of Vercelli. 

Finally, two commendable essays by Adele Buratti Mazzotta and Marzia 
Giuliani give us an insight into the intellectual formation of the artist. The first 
depicts Tibaldi as a humanist carefully poring over the vast array of Renaissance 
architectural treatises, which effectively reinstates Tibaldi's reputation as an 
independent theorist. Giuliani's sociological approach re-evaluates the status of 
the architect, while his brief section on the contents of the artist's library (which 
included religious works by Thomas a Kempis, Diego de Estella, Panigarola, Don 
Gabriele Fiamma, et al.) is especially illuminating for the social and intellectual 
historian. The series of essays contained within this volume offers a good 
introduction to Tibaldi, whose reputation is finally beginning to emerge from 
beneath the Borromeian penumbra, and also to the critical issues of post- Trident- 
ine architectural reform. 

Maria Loh 

Department of Fine Art 
University of Toronto 

Quellen zur Geschichte der Kolner Laienbruderschaften vom 12. Jahrhundert bis 
1562/63, ed. Klaus Militzer. Publikationen der Gesellschaft fiir Rheinische 
Geschictskunde, 7 1 . Diisseldorf : Droste Verlag Gmbh, 1997. 2 vols, cxlviii, 1 363 pp. 
ISBN 3-7700-7597-8 and 3-7700-7598-6 respectively. 

The words fraternitas and Bruderschaft, in Cologne as elsewhere, had a wide 
range of meaning. Either term could be used to designate a guild of merchants 
(e.g. the fraternitas Danica) or a society of legal aides {fraternitas scabinorum). 
It could point to a group of priests (Priesterbruderschaften), or laymen 
(Laienbruderschaften), or priests and laymen alike. In spite of the overlap in 
usage, Militzer focuses his study and collection of sources related to 
Bruderschaften on, as we know them, confraternities. He distinguishes them from 
guilds, even though both could be called Bruderschaften, on the basis of their 
purpose more than their activity. Both guilds and confraternities could be devoted 
to prayer, intercession, remembering the dead, celebrating meals and masses 
communally, and honouring a specific saint. But guilds purposed primarily, 
beyond their religious activity, to regulate members vis-a-vis a world of goods 
and markets. With that distinction in view, Militzer limits his collection of 
documents to those dealing with lay confraternities, as defined by Christopher 
Black, exclusive of pure clerical brotherhoods, merchant societies and guilds. The 

Reviews 49 

time frame extends from the beginning of the twelfth century to the end of the 
council of Trent. 

The 148 page introduction is a study of change and continuity, both chrono- 
logically and geographically, in Cologne's confraternities. Of the 127 known 
Bruderschaften, the largest concentration (a full 33%) was active between 1450 
and 1500, and most of those in the old city. An examination of the patron saints 
of those confraternities, 22 different patrons in all, shows that the Virgin Mary 
was by far the most honoured. In addition, Militzer analyses statutes, discusses 
membership, and details the goals of confraternities, before he turns to their role 
in society and their relationship to the church. The introduction alone is a 
remarkable work and is much more than just a gateway to the collection of sources 
that follows it. It is marked by solid analysis and rich discoveries. 

The majority of the work, more than 1300 pages in two volumes — a contri- 
bution that will survive all articles and monographs based on it — is a collection 
of sources. It is organized, in 127 chapters, by confraternity. In some cases, for 
example the fourteenth-century confraternity of St. Agnes, only one passage is 
transcribed. For others, like the confraternity of St. Eloi (see above my review of 
Ad summum ...), there are more than 160 pages of descriptions and transcriptions, 
in both Latin and German, of statutes, membership lists, and account books (here 
alone with more than 2600 footnotes to identify people and places or to explain 
difficult passages). There is a wealth of material in these sources for researches 
of varied concern, whether social, intellectual, religious or political. That one 
archivist could have amassed these sources and edited them is remarkable. It 
forces one to take seriously, more than usual, the debts of thanksgiving expressed 
in the acknowledgements. 

The editors had the foresight to supply a full table of contents in each volume. 
Had they gone further and included the 20 page bibliography and table of 
abbreviations in both volumes, the second half could have been used indepen- 
dently of the first cumbersome, not to mention expensive, half. As it stands, if the 
confraternity you want is in the second volume, both enormous tomes are 
required. On a more positive note, a third volume is still to appear — an index — 
that will make the entire work more searchable, and the needles in the haystack, 
precious as they promise to be, more accessible. 

Michael Milway 

Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies 

Victoria University (Toronto) 

Publications Received 

The following publications have been received by the SCS and have been 
deposited into the Confraternities Collection at the Centre for Reformation and 
Renaissance Studies (Toronto): 

Ad Summum 1248. Der gotische Dom im Mittelalter. Ausstellung des Historischen Archivs 
der Stadt Koln aus Anlafi der Grundsteinlegung des Kolner Doms vor 750 Jahren. Koln: 
Historisches Archiv, 1998. 239 pp. 

Aranci, Gilberto. Vittorio Dell 'Ancisa. Un prete fiorentino del Cinquecento e I 'origine delle 
"Stabilite nella Carita ". Pubblicazioni dell' Archivio Arcivescovile di Firenze, Studi e Testi 
4. Firenze: Giampiero Pagnini Editore, 1997. 141 pp. 

Arrizabalaga, Jon, John Henderson, and Roger French. The Great Pox. The French Disease 
in Renaissance Europe. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1997. xv, 352 pp. 
30 plates, 8 figures, 7 tables. 

Bowsky, William M. "Chiostro con vista: i canonici di San Lorenzo a Firenze." Ricerche 
storiche 25 (1995): 239-274. 

Bowsky, William M. "The Confraternity of Priests and San Lorenzo of Florence: A Church, 
a Parish, and a Clerical Brotherhood." Ricerche storiche 27 (1997): 53-92. 

Carlo Borromeo e V opera della "Grande Riforma": Cultura, religione e arti del governo 
nella Milano del pieno Cinquecento. Milan: Credito Artigiano, 1997. 383 pp., illustrations 

Casagrande, Giovanna. "Misericordie e gonfaloni come espressioni della religiosita pop- 
olare." La materia del santo. Immagini e oggetti diprotezione e devozione. Catalogo a cura 
di Giancarlo Baronti. Perugia: n.p., 1998. pp. 19-31. 

Confraternite oggi, insert No. 48 of Parrocchia. Mensile di vita pastorale 52:5 (Rome: May 
1998), 19 pp. 

Czarcinski, Ireneusz. Bractwa w wielkich miastach panstwa krzyzackiego w sredniowieczu. 
Torun: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Mikolaja Kopernika, 1993. 126 pp., illustrations [Ger- 
man resume on pp. 123-125 entitled "Bruderschaften in den GroBstadten des Ordensstaates 
in Mittelalter"] 

de Ghetaldi, Enrico. La Confraternita di San Martino e la Chiesa di N.S. di Loreto in Borgo 
Peri nella loro storia. Imperia: n.p., 1994. 252 pp. 

La devozione dei Bianchi nel 1399. II miracolo del Crocifisso di Borgo a Buggiano, ed. 
Amleto Spicciani. Pisa: Edizioni ETS, 1998. 201 pp., 15 ill. 

Dionigi, Renzo. SS. Quattuor Coronati. Bibliography and Iconograpy. An Essay. Milano: 
Aisthesis, 1998. 255 pp., illustrations 

French, Katherine. "Maidens' Lights and Wives' Stores: Women's Parish Guilds in Late 
Medieval England." Sixteenth Century Journal 29:2 (1998), pp. 399^23. 

Gazzini, Marina. "Dare et habere". II mondo di un mercante milanese del Quattrocento 
(con I'edizione del libra di conti di Donato Ferrario da Pantigliate). Milano: Camera di 
C lommercio Industria Artigianato e Agricoltura di Milano, 1 997. xxiv, 432 pp., frontispiece. 


Publications Received 5 1 

Luttazzi Gregori, Elsa. "La 'morte confortata' nella Toscana dell'eta moderna (XV-XVIII 
secolo)" in Criminalitd e societd in eta moderna, ed. Luigi Berlinguer and Floriana Colao. 
La "Leopoldina", 12. Milano: Giuffre, 1991. pp. 25-91. 

Manno Tolu, Rosalia. "Echi savonaroliani nella Compagnia e nel Conservatorio della Pieta" 
in Savonarola 1498-1998. Savonarola e la politica, ed. Gian Carlo Garfagnini. Firenze: 
SISMEL Edizioni del Galluzzo, 1997. pp. 209-224. 

L' Oratorio di Santa Maria della Vita, ed. Marco Poli. Bologna: Costa Editore, 1997. 127 
pp., ill. [contains: Marco Poli "Introduzione" pp. 12-13; Mario Fanti "La Confraternita 
bolognese dei Disciplinati e la Chiesa di Santa Maria della Vita" pp. 15-23; Silvia D'Altri 
"Le attivita degli oratoriani della Vita" pp. 25-37; Francisco Giordano "L' Oratorio dei 
Battuti. Vicende architettoniche e decorative" pp. 39-59; Giovanni Sassu "Le decorazioni 
pittoriche deH'Oratorio della Vita" pp. 61-83; Maria Delbianco "I Funerali della Vergine 
di Alfonso Lombari" pp. 85-95; Daniele Meneghini "Le pavimentazioni alia veneziana in 
Bologna" pp. 97-107; Emma Biavati "'Si tu non piangi quando questo vedi ..."' pp. 109-1 23] 

Padoa Rizzo, Anna. "Bernardo di Stefano Rosselli, un nuovo affresco e un ricordo sanminit- 
ese." Bollettino dell 'Accademia degli Euteleti di San Miniato 64 (Dec. 1997), pp. 27-37, 9 

Pellegrino Tibaldi pittore e architetto dell'eta borromaica. Special issue of Studia 
Borromaica. Saggi e documenti di storia religiosa e civile della prima eta moderna 1 1 
(1997), 309 pp. [includes: Sandro Benedetti "Aspetti e connessioni nell'architettura della 
riforma cattolica tra Roma e Milano" pp. 13^6; Marzia Giuliani "Nuovi documenti per la 
biografia e la formazione culturale di Pellegrino Pellegrini" pp. 47-69; Stefano Della Torre 
"Elementi distintivi deH'architettura pellegriniana" pp. 71-80; Maria Luisa Gatti Perer "Un 
prototipo di 'artium concordia' tra Cinque e Seicento e Fevoluzione del linguaggio classico 
durante l'episcopato di Federico Borromeo" pp. 81-107; Aurora Scotti "Un disegno di 
architettura militare di Pellegrino Pellegrini e qualche riflessione a margine di alcuni fogli" 
pp. 109-130; Adele Buratti Mazzotta "L' architettura del Pellegrini tra teoria e 
rappresentazione" pp. 131-151; T. Barton Thurber "Pellegrino Tibaldi and the rebuilding 
of cathedrals in post-Tridentine Italy: the planned reconstruction of the Duomo of Vercelli" 
pp. 153-166; Marco Navoni "Tentativo di lettura liturgica-teologica delle Instructiones 
Fabricae" pp. 167-178; Francesco Repishti "Un primo porgetto per il nuovo battistero del 
Duomo di Milano" pp. 179-192; John Alexander "Documentation of the Loggia dei 
Mercanti in Ancona, 1556-1564" pp. 193-238; RiccardoBottoni "Eretici edebrei nei concili 
e nei sinodi di san Carlo Borromeo" pp. 239-275; Leonida Besozzi "Destinazione e tipologia 
delle reliquie di un Santo dell' Eta Moderna" pp. 277-296]. 

Quellen zur Geschichte der Kolner Laienbruderschaften vom 12. Jahrhundert bis 1562/63, 
ed. Klaus Militzer. Dusseldorf: Droste Verlag, 1997. 2 vols, cxlviii, 1363 pp. 

Riepe, Juliane. Die Arciconfraternita di S. Maria della Morte in Bologna. Beitrdge zur 
Geschichte des italienischen Oratoriums im 17. und 18. Jahrhundert. Beitrage zur 
Geschichte der Kirchenmusik, 5. Paderborn, Munchen, Wien, Zurich: Ferdinand Schoningh, 
1998. 604 pp. 

Rondeau, Jennifer Fisk. "Prayer and Gender in the Laude of Early Italian Confraternities" 
in Gender Rhetorics. Postures of Dominance and Submission in Human History, ed. Richard 
C. Trexler. Binhamton, NY: Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies, 1994. pp. 

52 Confraternitas 9:2 

Scuola dalmata del SS. Giorgio e Trifone (Venezia), issue 33 (1997/2). 

Zardin, Danilo. "II rilancio delle confraternite nell'Europa cattolica cinque-seicentesca." / 
tempi del Concilio. Religione, cultura e societa nell'Europa tridentina, ed. Cesare 
Mozzarelli and Danilo Zardin. Roma: Bulzoni, 1997. pp. 107-144. 

MAR : 3 2002