ill.-rstampa anastatica (aprile 2014). The book thus opens with a broad sweep covering the historical and religious environment of the eleventh to thirteenth centuries in 170 pages. It is not unlike that undertaken by, for example, Franco Dal Pino in his history of the Servites and indeed Mosca acknowledges his debt to him, though not to his work on the Servites (p.123, note 92). This chapter concentrates on juridical themes and on the founders and early rules closest to those of the Carmelites (p.140). This sort of synthesis is perhaps the most difficult form of history- writing, but the result is not very satisfactory. Much of it simply summarises the readily available work of others and Mosca constructs a deceptively simple and beguiling view of the medieval church. For example, the role of the papacy is modelled using normative texts without acknowledging the difficulties of implementation (on p.115 he records simply that the “verdict of the papal tribunal could substitute a government, or transfer its power,” as though this would not have been controversial). This section is also marked by an extraordinary absence of women, included only as an afterthought on pages 169-170.
The biography is of considerable interest for the history of the fourteenth century. Though Mézières writes of his friend in terms of exaggerated praise, and though he tends to oversimplify motives and events, he is on the whole a trustworthy and at times a unique witness to many important occurences of his times. Historians have occasion to consult him regarding such questions as the history of Catholic Church in Serbia, the Veneto-Hungarian War of 1356-1358, the efforts at religious union made by John V Palaeologus, the league against the Turks of 1359-1362, the peace of Bologna of 1364, the expedition against Alexandria of 1365. Against this varied background is enacted the dramatic life of Peter Thomas, Carmelite friar, soldier, diplomat, saint.
La biografia è di notevole interesse per la storia del XIV secolo. Anche se Mézières scrive del suo amico, in termini di lodi esagerate, e anche se tende a semplificare le motivazioni e gli eventi, nel complesso è un affidabile e, a volte un testimone unico per molti avvenimenti importanti del suo tempo. Gli storici hanno occasione di consultarlo per quanto riguarda questioni come la storia della Chiesa cattolica in Serbia, la guerra veneto-ungherese del 1356-1358, gli sforzi di unione religiosa realizzati da Giovanni V Paleologo, la Lega contro i turchi del 1359-1362, la la pace di Bologna del 1364, la spedizione contro Alessandria del 1365. In questo variegato sfondo viene emanata la vita drammatica di Peter Thomas, frate carmelitano, soldato, diplomatico, santo.
*Prima Ristampa anastatica maggio 2016.
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