Raging against Priests in Italian Renaissance Verse

Lauro Martines

in Society and Individual in Renaissance Florence

Published by University of California Press

Published in print October 2002 | ISBN: 9780520232549
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520928220 | DOI:
Raging against Priests in Italian Renaissance Verse

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  • Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)


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This chapter explores anticlerical verse in the fifteenth century, which appears to have been written principally by Florentines. Since the great wealth of early Renaissance manuscripts reveals that Italian poetry circulated and was often anthologized, writers who took the trouble to compose anticlerical verse clearly desired to convey their views to a select public. In the course of the fifteenth century, the power of the papal monarchy expanded dramatically. The main voice of criticism on the social history of anticlericalism in Renaissance Italy belonged to well-placed, educated men. The poems cited often pivot on accusations that seem to be commonplaces; and the metaphor of prostituting the church had biblical roots, to be sure. Literary anticlericalism appears to have been Tuscan preeminently.

Keywords: anticlerical verse; Florentines; Italian poetry; papal monarchy; anticlericalism; Renaissance Italy; church

Chapter.  6624 words. 

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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