Lucrezia Marinella's <i>Life of the Virgin Mary, Empress of the Universe</i>

in Who Is Mary?

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print August 2009 | ISBN: 9780226113982
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226113975 | DOI:
Lucrezia Marinella's Life of the Virgin Mary, Empress of the Universe

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The Life of the Virgin Mary, Empress of the Universe was Lucrezia Marinella's third major work, and consists of her first sacred prose narrative, or historia, and an epic poem in ottava rima on the same subject, the two published under the collective title. First published in 1602, an enlarged (“molto ampliata”) and revised edition was published in 1604, and reprinted in 1610 (the text here translated), with a further edition appearing in 1617 with new material, clearly showing its popularity. The first edition has an engraved title page and illustrations, which are included in this translation. Dedicated to the Doge and Senate (“al serenissimo Prencipe et all'eccelsa Signoria”), the ruling body of patricians of Venice, Marinella signs herself their “most devoted subject and servant” (“di Vostra Serenità Divotiss. Suddita, & Serva”). With such a dedication she is celebrating the link between Venice, the city, “La Serenissima,” and the Virgin Mary, “la serenissima Imperatrice dell'Universo.” Her decision to write on the subject may have had raisons d'état as well as those of conventional piety and the upsurge in Marian devotion after the Counter-Reformation.

Keywords: Lucrezia Marinella; Virgin Mary; Empress of the Universe; Counter-Reformation; Marian devotion

Chapter.  60152 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literature

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