Saints and cities in medieval Italy

Translated by Diana Webb

Saints and cities in medieval Italy


  • Hardcover

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-7293-2
  • Pages: 272
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £16.99
  • Published Date: January 2007
  • BIC Category: Literature & literary studies / Literary studies: classical, early & medieval, Urban Communities, HISTORY / Medieval, SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / Urban, European history: medieval period, middle ages, Literary studies: ancient & classical, History, Medieval History
  • Series: Manchester Medieval Sources


The saints' Lives in this book were written in Italy in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. Here translated into English and in full for the first time, they shed light on the ways in which both lay men and women sought God in the urban environment, and how they were understood and described by contemporaries.

Only one of these saints (Homobonus of Cremona) was formally canonised by the Pope: the others were locally venerated within the communities which had nurtured them. Raimondo Palmario of Piacenza, contemporary with Homobonus, was remembered as both pilgrim and a vigorous exponent of practical charity. The nobleman Andrea Gallerani of Siena turned from a life of violence to good works, while another Sienese, the holy comb-seller Pier Pettinaio, exemplified the godly business man who insisted on the just price and on paying his taxes. Two very different women are included: Umiliana de'Cerchi of Florence, a widow with children, and the 'servant-saint' Zita of Lucca. The last of the Lives contains a bishop's account of how the cult of the humble Rigo was launched in Treviso in 1315.

The book will welcomed by students and other readers interested in medieval Italian cities during this period of growth and vitality, and in how the religious life was lived in urban settings.


1. Homobonus of Cremona (d. 1197)
2. Raimondo 'Palmario' of Piacenza (d.1200)
3. Umiliana de' Cerchi of Florence (d.1246)
4. Andrea Gallerani of Siena (d. 1251)
5. Zita of Lucca (d. 1278)
6. Pier Pettinaio of Siena (d.1289)
7. Enrico ('Rigo') of Bolzano (d. 1315)
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