Law as the Sermon: The "Sermones quadragesimales de legibus" of Leonardo Mattei da Udine (c. 1399-1469)

Visnjevac, Stefan (2018) Law as the Sermon: The "Sermones quadragesimales de legibus" of Leonardo Mattei da Udine (c. 1399-1469). In: Verbum e ius: predicazione e sistemi giuridici nell'Occidente medievale = preaching and legal frameworks in the Middle Ages. Reti Medievali E-Book (32). Firenze University Press, Firenze, pp. 213-227. ISBN 978-88-6453-809-9

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The participation of popular preachers in the creation and enactment of statutes in Italian towns of the Late Middle Ages is a phenomenon which has received significant scholarly attention. Less well known is the influence of laws and law-making on the preachers’ composition of their own sermons. This article explores one such example where the influence of laws is prominently in evidence – the Sermones de legibus Lenten cycle of sermons of the Dominican Leonardo Mattei da Udine (1399-1469). Leonardo explored numerous subjects within the framework of eight forms of law, from natural and divine, to ecclesiastical and secular. But in addition to shaping the structure of these sermons, laws also formed the main content, with frequent references to canon and Roman law. The article in particular focuses on a sermon on human laws, in which Leonardo expounded upon the obligations of those responsible for laws as well as those subject to them, and elaborated on the law’s stance on forty issues (mirroring the forty fasting days of Lent). Leonardo upheld the superiority of canon law to secular law, but stressed that harmony among types of law would promote comparable social concord. By linking his advice and examples with laws, Leonardo imbued the sermons with authoritative voice and simultaneously grounded them in a practical, if basic, legal education for his audience – whether ruler, lawmaker, or common man.

Item Type: Book Section
Additional Information: Nella Parte II: Predicatori e giuristi, predicatori giuristi = Preachers and Jurists, Preachers as jurists.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Middle Ages, 15th Century, Law and Religion, Italy, Canon law, Justice, Lent, Leonardo Mattei from Udine, Preaching, Roman law, Sermon, Ius, Law, Thomas Aquinas
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D111 Medieval History
Depositing User: dr Vincenzo De Luise
Date Deposited: 16 Mar 2019 11:21
Last Modified: 17 Mar 2019 05:47


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