Fra Dolcino

Fra Dolcino (* November era; † 1. June 1307 in cellos) was an Italian sparkling wine leader.

Table of contents


Fra Dolcino originates from the area from November era in north Italy. It made itself around 1300 the head of the layman movement of the Apostelbrüder, which had been brought 1260 by Gerardo Segarelli in Parma into being. The sparkling wines, their members itself after the certification of latin sources as “apostoli”, “fratres apostolici” and/or. “primarily from the low social classes (Landbevölkerung, craftsman and manufacturing one), received however inlet also from the regular medals and found partial supporters also designated, recruited themselves sorores apostolissae”, “minimi” or “pauperes Christi” also in wealthy and noble circles. Under the influence to franziskanischer poverty teachings and the historical theology of the Joachim of Fiore, as well as in increasingly more radical criticism at the secularization of the Roman church, the Apostelbrüder preached a life in poverty after the model of the first Apostel Christi, without lay possession and firm domicile, in free and mental community “sub nulla oboedientia nisi solius Dei” (to “alone to obedience commits nobody as God”), and in bus manufacturer preparation on as close forthcoming expected world end.

The movement had itself in its start time despite repeated papal prohibitions (1285 by Honorius IV., 1290 by Nikolaus IV.) first with tolerance of the local authorities in Parma and other regions of upper Italy to spread can. Since the 90's-years the pursuit measures, 1294 were intensified are in Parma for the first time executions by Apostolikern “because of shed they” testified. Dolcino, which was to have been according to statements of contemporary sources the illegitimate son of a priest, followed the movement at the latest 1292, its working as a Prediger of the sparkling wines is testified by Inquisitionsakten since the time of the turn of the century for the areas of Bologna and Trient.

After Segarelli, which had been already condemned 1294 in Parma to lifelong dungeon detention, 1300 during a renewed process by the Inquisitor Francesco Parma to death was condemned there and in Parma on the heap of failure burned, explained itself Dolcino in several sending letters as the leader of the movement. Under his guidance radicalized itself the sparkling wines in open opposition to the Roman church, as Dolcino requested the trailers of the church to the crossing into its community and the Pope and its clerics in several times renewed prophecies extinction by the “sword of God”, i.e. by an expected final emperor (Friedrich II. from Aragon), announced.

The sending letters Dolcinos are not received in the wording. Contents of two of these letters however from a writing of the Inquisitors Berne pool of broadcasting corporations GUI reported, which also the existence of a third letter testifies, further reference points result besides from 1310 ago of a cleric in the periphery of the bishop von Vercelli wrote “Historia fratris Dulcini”. In its first sending letter from August 1300 Dolcino had prophesied that Friedrich of Aragon within the next three years (“in brevi, videlicet infra tres annos quo predicta scripsit”) as emperors reveal themselves, new kings to appoint and Pope Bonifatius VIII. as well as the remaining trailers of the secularized church will kill. After Bonifatius in the consequence of its temporary setting by French chancellor Nogaret (assassination attempt of Anagni, 7. - 9. September 1303) at the 11. October 1303 died and 16 days later the Dominikaner Niccolo Boccasini than Benedikt XI. to its successor crowned, reacted Dolcino was in December 1303 with a second sending letter, in which he prophesied again during one period of three years: finally in the current year (1303) over Bonifatius and the “king of the north” (Philipp of France) spoiling came, in the following year (1304) Friedrich the fight against - did not designate of Dolcino yet in particular - the successor of Bonifatius will take up and in the year after (1305) the victory off will carry. Also this prophecy became however groundless, and Benedikt XI. already to 7. July 1304 deceased and the Kardinälte met in the Konklave of Perugia by June 1305 on a successor to agree could not. During this time Dolcino seems to have changed its prophecies again going by that Friedrich become in the holy evening 1305 or in following March or possibly also an indefinite later time emperor, the fight against the secularized church begin and within three and a half years the Pope “qui tunc eat” will kill.

Dolcino extracted themselves and the prominent members of the sparkling wines from pursuit by the Inquisition at first by a life as Wanderprediger in the underground, by recruiting with secret meetings in the dwellings of local supporters for their teachings and itself the access of the authority again in each case by escape extracted. This changed for 1304/05, when Dolcino changed after lectures in the northern areas of the Diözesen from cellos and November era to it to entrench itself with a larger number of trailers into the upper Valsesia (Diözese November era) first on a mountain named “Balma” (winter 1304/05) and then on the opposite Parete Calva (March 1305 until March 1306).

At the latest on the Parete Calva ignored the sparkling wines to the open military resistance. By the documents of the Inquisition of Bologna proven that already in the preceding time individual members weapons with itself, living in the underground, led, like that Zaccaria di Sant'Agata, one is a prominent Prediger of the sparkling wines, who was seen 1300 “in habito layco cum UN stocco” and in the winter 1302 “cum to UN ense et UN capello”. On the Parete Calva began the sparkling wines now to defend themselves militarily and to secure its living costs by plunderings and takings of hostages in the surrounding region. Into this time, perhaps already into the year 1304, also alleged meeting Dolcinos with the leader of the upper-Italian Gibellinen, Matteo Visconti, in Martinengo falls, where in August 1304 from Bergamo refugee a party of the Suardi was besieged by Guelfen from Bergamo, Milan, Lodi, Pavia and Cremona. According to a statement of 1321 during the process, that of Pope Johannes XXII. against Matteo and Galeazzo Visconti one led, is Matteo with Dolcino in the lock of Martinengo a conversation to have led and Dolcino to the collection of his “army on the mountain” to have arranged (“quod ipse Matheus fuit in castro Martinengi cum Dulcino heretico,… et audivit [sports club the witness] quod ex conducto et ordinatione dicti Mathei hereticus Dulcinus congrevavit exercitum super montem ").

After the sparkling wines the winter 1305/06 under most difficult conditions on the Parete Calva had gotten over and by hunger emergencies weakened and dezimiert was, Dolicno gave this camp up in the spring 1306 and pulled with the survivors into the neighbouring region of Biella (Diözese cellos), where he above Trivero on the “Monte Rebello” or “Zebello” (today San Bernardino) again fastened and the plunderings in the environment, which the bischöflichen and the lay Judisdiktion of the bishop von Vercelli (at the same time count von Biella) were subordinate, continued.

Only as a Pope Clemens V., after which more than one year's Sedisvakanz had been selected in June 1305 to the Pope and crowned in November 1305 in Lyon, in the summer 1306 to the crusade against Dolcino, became those had called up to then little successful military measures against the Dolcinianer with Unerstützung of forces from other regions of Italy, France and Savoyens intensifies. During the winter 1306/07 the camp on the Monte Rebello was cut off by the supply successfully with food and the inlet of new trailers, and with a large-scale attack at the Green Thursday of the yearly 1307 the camp was finally run over, whereby Dolcino as well as other prominent members of the sparkling wines could be living taken prisoner by men of the bishop von Vercelli.

Pope Clemens V., which had arranged its commitment first for the case of a capture Dolcinos to the Kurie in France, was informed by the capture Dolcinos by messengers and gave thereupon his permission for a local process in the region directly concerned, in order to make for the population possible a satisfaction for suffering and damage caused by the sparkling wines. This process obviously did not become in Biella, where Dolcino had been demonstrated after the capture the bishop von Vercelli, but accomplished in cellos, where Dolcino of the bishop into the papal force -- thus probably into those of the papal Inquisitors -- handed over and eingekerkert was. Dolcino, which refused itself swearing off was condemned to death and after public tortures on the roads of cellos at the 1. June 1307 executed and before the city on the bank of the Cervo burned.

After representation of the contemporary anonymous “Historia fratris the death sentence was imposed to Dulcini” against Dolcino by the bishop von Vercelli, Raniero Avogadro († 1310). In 16. Century more developed “Commentarius in fastos coenobii novariensis ordinis praedicatorum”, whose anonymous author possessed access to older local excessive quantity, celebrates against it the Dominikaner Emanuel Testa from November era than responsible person judge, who pleases as for cellos of responsible Inquisitor already with publicising the crusade an outstanding role easily and during the process against Dolcino the death sentence has. In contemporary documents of the Inquisition from Bologna is a “frater Emanuel ordinis predicatorum, inquisitor vercellensis” (actively before December 1305) and/or. “frater Emanuel ordinis predicatorum, inquisitor mediolanensis” (1308 testify) actually with processes against Apostolier testifies. There the authority to the Inquisitionsprozess normally with the papal assigned Inquisitoren from the begging medals -- in the questionable region the medal of the Dominikaner -- it lay which had to strive for an agreement with the local bishop, one can assume that also in the case Dolcinos the responsible Inquisitor led the process and the judgement fällte in agreement with the bishop von Vercelli.

The literary memory of Dolcino was justified through for the following centuries by Dante Alighieri. In 28. Singing inferno describes Dante, like Höllensünder Mohammed, split by the sword of a devil and also to out-hanging entrails, to who the other world visitor Dante opposite-in relation to in the hell ditch “seminator scandalo the e scisma” (Anstifter of discord and Schisma) and him prophetische the message at at the time of the fictitious happening (1300) the still living Fra Dolcino on the way to also give wants (Inf. 28,55-60):

To Or dì A fra Dolcin dunque che s'armi,
do che forse vedra' IL brine into breve,
s'ello non vuol qui tosto seguitarmi,
sì vivanda, che stretta the neve
non rechi la vittoria aluminium Noarese,
ch'altrimenti acquistar non sarìa leve.
So legend Fra Dolcino, you, who you will see
the sun again perhaps soon that he, if he
already does not want to follow very soon me here is
to wappnen himself in such a manner with food that scarceness
may not provide the victory for the Novareser due to
snows rather, that victory, which will not be easy differently
to achieve. “

The commentators Dantes tend the formulation “IL Noarese” (“the Novareser”) as rhetorically a Synekdoche not uncommon in military connections on the whole of the Novareser, and not on an individual taken part in the fight against Dolcino, to refer. Actually however more exactly still the Inquisitor Emanuel Testa might be meant here from November era, that -- if the anonymous “Commentarius” from that 16. Century to still trust is -- relevant portion of the organization of the crusade had and during the last process the death sentence fällte. From where Dante had its knowledge of the procedures, is not safe. As in January 1309 in Aachen to the Roman-German king crowned, after times emperors Heinrich VII. in October 1310 in upper Italy drew in and in several Italian cities, among them also November era and cellos, stay took, in order to receive their Huldigungen and the political parties to befrieden, was also Dante from it as a rescuer world dock ore around the celebrated Luxemburger with one of these opportunities meets. As in recent time R. Ordano showed, will Dante here earliest in the attendants of its promoter and friend Moroello Malaspina the emperor meets to be, and its participation is documentary testified for the ceremonies in December 1310 in cellos.

the most important sources

in the source collection of Segarizzi are the pieces of appendix II, No. 1-2, as well as appendix III, Nr.6, to separate as falsifications.

  • “Historia Fratris Dulcini Heresiarche” di Anonimo sincrono e “De secta illorum qui SE dicunt eats ordine apostolorum” di Bernardo GUI, A cura di Arnaldo Segarizzi, nuova edizione riveduta ampliata e corretta, Città di Castello: Lapi, 1907 (= Rerum Italicarum Scriptores, IX/5)
  • Acta S. Officii Bononie starting from anno 1291 usque ad annum 1310. A cura di Lorenzo Paolini e Raniero Orioli, con prefazione di Ovidio Capitano, Roma: Istitituto Storico Italiano, 1982 (= Fonti by la storia d'Italia, 106)
  • Cronica Fratris Salimbene de Adam Ordinis Minorum. Edidit Oswaldus Holder Egger, new facts editio, Hanover 1953 (= MGH Scriptores, 32)
  • Chronicon parmense ad annum 1338 usque starting from anno 1038. A cura di Giuliano Bonazzi, nuova edizione riveduta ampliata e correta con la direzione di Giosue Carducci e Vittorio Fiorini, Città di Castello: Lapi, 1902 (= Rerum Italicarum Scriptores IX/9)
  • in fastos coenobii novariensis ordinis praedicatorum commentarius, cap. V: De viris eruditione, dignitate, AC pietate praeclaris. Handwritten excerpt in: Carlo Francesco Frasconi, Collezione documenti autentici, ms. November era, Archivio storico, No. 237, volume. III, p.113-116


the literature to Dolcino is extremely multicolored and rich at mistakes, legends and purposeful falsifications. Here only a small selection of reliable work is quoted. Particularly the work by Orioli is to be used in the data to Dolcino and to the military and church-political procedures with caution, but fundamental for the general history of the sparkling wines and the understanding of the socialhistorical connections.

  • Gerolamo Biscaro, Inquisitori OD eretici lombardi (1292-1318). In: Miscellanea storia italiana, series of III, 19 (1922), p.447-557
  • Francesco Cognasso, La crociata contro Fra Dolcino. In: identification, November era e IL suo territorio. November era: Banca Popolare di Novara, s.d., p.280-293, changes again in: identification, Storia di Novara, Novara: Lazzarelli, 1971, p.293-304, Bibliogr. p.587f.
  • Rosaldo Ordano, Dolcino. In: Bollettino storico vercellese 1 (1972), p.21-36
  • Raniero Orioli, Fra Dolcino. Nascita, vita e morte un'eresiarca the medievale, November era: Europía, Milano: Jaca Book, 1984 (= Le origini: storie e cronache, 4)
  • Lorenzo Paolini/Raniero Orioli, L'eresia A Bologna fra XIII e XIV secolo. Roma: Istituto Storico Italiano by IL Medio Evo, 1975 (= study storici, fasc. 93-96

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