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Preaching in Medieval Florence: The Social World of Franciscan and Dominican Spirituality.

Daniel R. Lesnick, Preaching in Medieval Florence: the Social World of Franciscan and

Dominican Spiriturality (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1989). xi + 306 pp.

$40.00. Lesnick's book really consists of two sections, the first dealing with the

social context of the Franciscan and Dominican orders in Florence in the thirteenth

and early fourteenth centuries, the second dealing with the character of their

preaching. The study of mendicant preaching is the less original part of the book.

It is largely based on the sermons of Giordano da Pisa and Giovanni de Caulibus's

Meditations on the Life of Christ. The first part of the book, however, contains a

thorough analysis of the social origins of known mendicants in the period

1290-1310. For the Dominicans, Lesnick is largely dependent on the Necrologio of

Santa Maria Novella, and for the Franciscans, on the notarial registers of Obizzo

de Patremoli. He shows that the Dominicans had a strong patrician link while the

Franciscans included many more individuals with extra-Florentine toponyms,

indicating that they came from immigrant families. These are not surprising

conclusions, but Lesnick does provide a much more secure social analysis of the

mendicants in Florence than existed previously. [George Holmes]
COPYRIGHT 1992 Society for the Study of Mediaeval Languages and Literature
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Holmes, George
Publication:Medium Aevum
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Sep 22, 1992
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