The large number of extant documents concerning the early thirteenth-century Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Albert degli Avogadri (c. 1150-1214), demonstrate both his impact on his times and the ways in which his life was shaped by his historical circumstances. Among the documents that were written or co-written by him were those that established, or sanctioned, the normative way of life of three particular groups within the Church of his time: the canons of Biella, in the county of Vercelli, the first (clerical), second (Religious), and third (lay) orders of the Humiliati, and the Latin hermits who became known later as the Carmelites. It is primarily because of his foundational influence on the Carmelites that Albert is remembered today but, together, the surviving documents reveal Albert’s different fields of expertise, his adroit handling of his ecclesiastical responsibilities and the historical circumstances that shaped both his early development and later life. Introducing the reader to the relevant features of the feudal period in which he lived, and to the complex social forces that shaped that age, this documentary biography traces his engagement with the society and Church of his time as a canon regular and Prior of the Holy Cross of Mortara, as Bishop of Vercelli, and as Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem. Divided into two volumes, each of twelve chapters, the first section deals with the period before Albert’s appointment as Bishop of Vercelli in 1185 in two chapters. The three chapters of section two describe the first period of Albert’s ministry as Bishop of Vercelli, 1185-91. In five chapters, the third section presents the second period of Albert’s time in Vercelli, 1191-97, under Pope Celestine III. Section four outlines, in eight chapters, the final period of Albert’s episcopal ministry in Vercelli, 1197-1205, under Pope Innocent III. Albert’s ministry as Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem under Pope Innocent III is the subject of the six chapters of section five. Focusing on his roles as mediator and judge in the resolution of conflict and his commitment to reform, the conclusion tries to identify the principal influences and values that shaped Albert’s life.
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.
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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