The Martyred Inquisitor: The Life and Cult of Peter of Verona (†1252)

1st Edition

Donald Prudlo

Published February 21, 2008
Reference - 318 Pages
ISBN 9780754662563 - CAT# Y236567
Series: Church, Faith and Culture in the Medieval West

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Peter Martyr was one of the central Dominican saints of the thirteenth century, in some cases eclipsing Dominic himself. Born in Verona around 1206 to those with Cathar sympathies, he became a convert to Catholicism. As one of the first generations of Dominicans, he represents aspects of their primitive history both as a spellbinding preacher and as one of the earliest and most famous papal inquisitors. In 1252, shortly after his official appointment to the post of inquisitor for Lombardy, Peter was assassinated at the hands of a cabal of Milanese heretics. That there is no modern monograph on Peter represents a considerable lacuna in the study of medieval saints. This work therefore fills a very important gap, in both thirteenth century hagiographical studies, and studies of the interrelationship of heresy and imperial politics in the mid-thirteenth century. The first half of the book is a systematic study of the stages in the life, miracles and posthumous cult of Peter of Verona. Part One deals with many controversial issues of Peter's life, such as his role in the growth of the Dominican order and related confraternities in Lombardy and Tuscany, his status as papal inquisitor and his preaching. Part Two explores the cult of Peter Martyr. The brief time which elapsed between death and canonization makes Peter Martyr an especially interesting case in the field of cult study as for him, life led immediately to cult: a cult dominated by those who knew him personally. The second half of the book is a translation into English of the major primary sources concerning Peter. These will be of interest to students of papal canonization, the Dominican order, the Inquisition, hagiography, and local history.

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