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Szymon Sułecki (1975), a history graduate from the Pontifical University of John Paul II in Cracow (2000), PhD (2013), works at the Carmelite monastery at Piasek in Cracow (archive and special collections), his interests focus primarily on history of the Carmelites in Poland, as well as sphragistics and bibliological issues, author of scientific publications, participant of numerous scientific conferences, organizer of exhibitions devoted to Carmelite issues, member of The Carmelite Library Association.
The library of the Carmelite Convent at Piasek in Cracow is a unique treasure. It has survived in its basic shape from the 15th century, and almost entirely from the end of the 16th century. During the upheavals that befell the monastery throughout over 600 years of its existence (it was founded in 1397) its library would be moved to other places and hidden. The decoration scheme surviving in the library from the 17th century is a reflection of the special importance held by the book collection in the Cracow convent.
The Library of the Carmelite Monastery at Piasek in Cracow is the first monograph study on the library of the Cracow Carmelites at Piasek. It presents the first 400 years of its existence starting from its inception late in the 14th century, through its development in the course of the 15th and 16th centuries, to its flowering during the 17th and 18th centuries. The study deals with fundamental issues, such as the organization of the library, the Carmelite provisions regulating library issues, as well as reconstructs the contents of its book holdings over successive periods. Surviving manuscripts, including liturgical ones, are discussed. The Carmelite approach to the idea and the institution of a monastery library is traced throughout the ages, while the history of the book collection is linked both with specific events and developments within the monastery itself and with individuals who had the care and use of the library.
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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.
Via Sforza Pallavicini, 10
00193 Roma - Italia
COD. FISC.: 80044650580
PART. IVA: 02117031001
IBAN: IT67 Z076 0103 2000 0001 4069 009
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