Two Periods (§ 1).
Venice (§ 2).
Naples (§ 3).
The Inquisition in Naples (§ 4).
In South and Central Italy (§ 5).
The Later Period in Venice (§ 6).
Italian Reformation writings (§ 7).
This article is concerned with the Reformation in Italy only in its general features. Its more important 1 characters are treated in separate articles (see CARACCIOLI, GALEAZZO; CURIONE, CELIO SECUNDO; MORATA, OLIMPIA; OCHINO, BERNARDINO; PALEARIO, AONIO; RENÉE OF FRANCE; SPIERA, FRANCESCO; VALDÉS; VERGERIO, PIETRO PAOLO; VERMIGLI, PIETRO MARTIRE). The first noteworthy traces of the Reformation in Italy appear in the north, at Venice, but the culmination was reached in the south, at Naples, The first and rising period lies between 1520, when writings of the German Reformation are first known to have crossed the Alps, and 1540 or 1541, the year marking the death of Valdés, who wrought in an elect circle at Naples, as the most strongly intellectual and original of the Italian Reformers. Almost simultaneously with the breaking-up of the Evangelical circle at Naples, there set in (1542) the deliberate and systematic reaction instigated from Rome; the bull of Paul III., Licet ab initio (see INQUISITION II., § 1), by the terms of which the Inquisition was organized after the Spanish model, and extended over all Italy (Naples excepted), is
In Venice down to 1527 there is no evidence of repressive measures beyond repeated burning of reformatory writings of German origin; 2 but toward the close of 1530 the papal nuncio, Caraffa (later Paul IV.), interposed against the "heretics" with greater strictness, and even sentenced a Franciscan, Girolamo Galateo (b. in Venice, 1490), to death without obtaining confirmation for the act from the Senate. They kept him in prison seven years, then set him free, but in 1540 arrested him again, and, broken by his earlier sufferings, he died in the year following. His "Apology," dedicated to the Senate, printed at Bologna in 1541, outlines a noteworthy plan of internal church reform, which betrays the influence of German doctrines, and on the question of free will, the sacraments, the veneration of saints, and other points is truly Biblical. In a report which Caraffa prepared for the Curia (printed in Rivista Cristiana, Florence, 1878), two other leading heretics are mentioned. Bartolomeo Fonzio was a Venetian, incurred suspension from the priestly office in 1529, escaped to Germany, and was present at Augsburg in 1530. He was in correspondence with Butzer in 1531. It was probably Fonzio, despite his subsequent denial, who translated Luther's tract An den christlichen Adel into Italian (cf. ZKG, iv., 1880, pp. 467 sqq.). Later he was again active in Italy, and in 1558 was arrested in Cittadella, not far from Venice; he was sentenced to death and drowned, for forty-four "erroneous doctrines," extracted from his writings. When Caraffa prepared his report, mentioned above, in 1532, there lived also at Venice the Florentine fugitive, Antonio Bruccioli, who rendered the movement of the Reformation great service by elucidating and printing Biblical writings in the Italian language. He was under suspicion, and so continued; and notwithstanding occasional retraction, he was repeatedly brought to trial. He died in prison in 1566. As in his case, so with others, such as Fra Baldo Lupetino of Albona in Istria, and Baldassare Altieri, of Aquila in Neapolitan territory, their religious development and its sequel belong both to the first and the second period of Italian Reformation history.
Meanwhile the reforming doctrine had found its real and vital center in Italy, in the circle of Juan de Valdés at Naples. The biographer of Caraffa (Caraceioli, Vita di Papa Paolo IV., MS. in British Museum) with good reason declares that Naples was the"nest of heresy"; but the tradition is false that would have it that the Lutheran 3 belief was carried thither by German soldiers after the sack of Rome in 1527. From about 1536 onward a company is found there--scholars of Valdés, himself devoted to the fundamental doctrines of the German Reformation and influenced by mysticism--which includes the most important vehicles of the Italian Reformation: Bernardino Ochino, Pietro Martire Vermigli, Pietro Carnesacchi, Benedetto di Mantua (reviser of the little book "Of the Benefit of Christ's Death," probably by A. Palerio (q.v.); Eng. transl., London, reprint, 1855, also in W. M. Blackburn, Aonio Palerio, Philadelphia, 1866), Mario Galeata, Francesco d'Alvise of Caserta, Giovanni Bugio, Galeazzo Caraccioli, Marcantonio Flaminio, and others, who partly, it is true, never went beyond the attempt at a reform from within the Church. The central article about which all converge in the matter of doctrine is the tenet of justification by faith. Furthermore, it was immaterial to a Valdés what the external structure of the Church might be, provided it did not abridge this religious condition. He was far from intending to raise the standard of revolt against church institutions, and he was no organizer; his teachings found their way beyond the circumference whose center was marked by his ideal--pure character, illumined with profound piety--only by the accident that his writings were preserved as dear legacies by his friends. The chief service in this regard was rendered by the noblest of his pupils, Giulia Gonzaga, duchess of Traetto (see VALDÉS).
Among the pupils of Valdés who did not exceed the boundary of a reform attempted from within the Church was Marcantonio Flaminio 4 of Imola, highly endowed as a poet; it was he who gave to the book "Of the Benefit of Christ's Death" the form under which, according to the testimony of Vergerio, it became circulated through the land in more than forty thousand copies, though today not a single library of Italy has one impression from that period. The first blows of the reaction, when it was introduced in 1542 through the reorganization of the Inquisition at Rome (see INQUISITION), struck the two most eminent members of the circle surrounding Valdés, Ochino and Vermigli. Ochino was suspended from the preaching office; and he escaped, by flight, a summons to appear at Rome to give an account of himself. At the same time, Vermigli, who had risen to high rank in the order of the Augustinian canons, took to flight, whence he despatched to his doctrinal associates a testimonial of evangelistic faith in the guise of his Semplice dichiaragione sopra i dodici articoli della fede cristiana. Presently the reaction directed its attention to a third member of the Neapolitan circle; viz., Pietro Carnesecchi (b. in Florence 1508), who had held high stations under the Curia. After he had avoided the Inquisition during a sojourn of many years abroad and in Venice, he was brought to trial by Pope Paul IV., and escaped for the time, after having been summoned twice, through the
With reference to the additional victims apprehended in the south, some information is given in Luigi Amabile's Il santo offizio della 5 inquisizione in Napoli (2 vols., Città di Castello, 1892). Nothing short of wholesale murder was perpetrated in that quarter in 1560 and 1561 upon the Evangelical inhabitants of San Sisto and La Guardia. Moreover, the Holy Office's barge plied regularly back and forth between Naples and Ostia, incessantly bringing new "suspects" before the tribunal. The numbers of emigrants--or rather fugitives--for the faith from Sicily and the kingdom continually increased--so far, at least, as this item can be checked at Geneva, where many sought refuge (cf. J. Galiffe, Le Refuge italien de Geneve, Geneva, 1881). For southern and central Italy, some acceptable information is furnished by a protocol-book of the Roman Inquisition for the years 1564--67, which contains the sentences decreed against heretics during that period (cf. Revista Cristiana, 1879-80). How matters looked and fared in the Roman Inquisition's prison is reported by the younger Camerarius, who was himself under arrest there, in 1565, whose Relatio vera was printed by J. G. Sehelhorn (De vita, fatis ac meritis Philippi Camerarii, Nuremburg, 1749). Camerarius was confined in the upper story, "where one is in the bakeoven; others were below, "in so damp a hole that it is past understanding how men can exist in that grave." Frequently monks carne in to make attempts at conversion, Dominicans for the most part, once Petrus Canisius, the Jesuit. Among their fellow captives were spies. Camerarius and his fellow countryman Peter Rieter, were liberated through the rigorous intercession of Emperor Maximilian II., to whom appeal had been made.
On June 23 1566, there was "public abjuration" of twenty-three who were under charge, who, for the most part, had been sentenced to perpetual confinement, or to the rigor of the galleys. After that, sentence was pronounced upon the Neapolitan nobleman, Pompeo de' Monti, who was beheaded near the bridge of Sant' Angelo, on July 4, 1566. Still other victims who were executed in Rome are named in the roll of Italian Reformation martyrs; three of them so early as under Julius III., Fanino of Faenza, Domenico of Bassano, and the Augustinian Giuliano; later, two others, Giovanni Buzio (also named Mollio), of Montalcino, and an unknown of Perugia; under Paul IV., the noble youth Pomponio Algieri of Nola was burned, and how many at that time were still confronted with a similar fate may be inferred from the fact that on the death of this pope in 1559, when the people's rage broke open the prison doors, no fewer than seventy heretics were set free.
Better information exists as to what occurred from the beginning of the energetic reaction at Venice and in its dominion, than with 6 reference to events and the scope of repression in southern and central Italy. At Venice, the outcome of the movement was connected with the general political situation, and the senate, from the time of the downfall of the Protestant party in Germany through the Schmalkald War, waived whatever considerations it had previously conceded to their wishes, and showed itself much more amenable to the Curia than was formerly the case. Meantime a new religious movement had sprung up in Venice. In 1550, Julius III. affirmed that 1,000 Venetians might be counted as belonging to the Anabaptist sect. A new group thus comes to the light, inasmuch as the earlier advocates of the Reformation belonged not to the radical, but to the conservative Reformation, as espoused by Luther. Both currents are in collateral progress from the middle of the century, and both command eminent names; but the attitude of mutual antagonism on the part of their champions contributed even more than the brute force of their common foe to nullify the movement itself. Among advocates of the conservative Reformation are to be named men such as Pietro Speziali (in Cittadella) and Francesco Spiera (q.v.). Now, too, the previously mentioned Fra Baldo Lupetino was seized by his fate; and only for a little while longer could Baldassare Altieri of Aquila, who had been in correspondence with Luther, Bullinger, and others, still work in the wake of the Schmalkald party's defeat after he was compelled to leave Venice in 1549. A transition to the steadily growing Anabaptist party is afforded by Francesco Negri of Bassano; in a measure, as well, by Celio Secondo Curione, The proper father, however, of the Italian Anabaptists was Camillo of Sicily, who, after his conversion, styled himself "Renato." His system is quite spiritualistic; whoever is elected receives the "spirit"; the children of the "spirit" merely slumber in death, to enter upon a higher form of being thereafter; the rest fall away to destruction, The sacraments are only emblems; Christ is above all a divinely favored man; and more of the same sort. Their theological foundations were fixed in a was public abjuration " who were under charge, who, for
Among the writings of the Italian Reformation, besides the invaluable yield of Juan de Valdés, the previously cited little book "Of the 7 Benefit of Christ's Death" fills an honorable place. There may also be mentioned the fact that the Sommario della Sacra Scrittura was no less effective, although it was not Italian originally, but a recast Middle Low German (Dutch) work, dating from the decade 1520-30. A collection of the literature of the Reformation in Italy after the plan followed by E. Böhmer for the Spanish Reformation in the Bibliotheca Wiffeniana is much to be desired. Rich contributions toward the project would be supplied by the serial volumes of Rivista Cristiana from 1873; and a considerable portion of the original issues are to be found collected in the library accumulated by Count Piero Guicciardini, and made over to the national library of Florence. Long forgotten and concealed, hardly discoverable in their own country, these writings bear witness to the high mental significance of that minority which once existed in the land of the popes and fought under the banner of reform.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: The best guide to the sources is K. Benrath, Ueber die Quellen der italienischen Reformationsgeschichte, Bonn, 1876; idem, in ZKG, i. 613-626, iv. 394-413. Rivista cristiana, a periodical published in Florence, 1873 sqq., contains much material of the first importance. Instructive hints as to sources are given in F. H. Reusch, Der Index der verbotener Bücher, i. 373 sqq., Bonn, 1883. Consult further: J. Bonnet, Vie de Olympia Morata, Paris, 1850, new ed., 1862, Eng. transl., London, 1852; idem, Aonio Paleario, Paris, 1862, Eng. transl., London, 1864; idem, Récits du xvi. siècle, Paris, 1864; idem, Nouveaux and Derniers Récits, ib. 1876; idem, many contributions to Bulletin du protestantisme francaise; D. Erdmann, Die Reformation und ihre Märtyrer in Italien, Berlin, 1855; J. Stoughton, Footprints of Italian Reformers, London, 1881; K. Benrath, Geschichte der Reformation in Venedig, Halle, 1887; idem, Bernardino Ochiuo von Siena, ib. 1892; B. Fontana, Renata . . . di Ferrara, 3 vols., Rome, 1889-1899; A. R. Pennington, The Church in Italy, London, 1895; E. Comba, I nostri protestanti, vol. ii., Florence (unfinished, deals only with Venice); A. Agostini, Pietro Carnesecchi e il movimento Waldesiano, ib. 1899; Cambridge Modern History, vol, ii., The Reformation, pp. 578-599, New York, 1904; E. H. Walshe, Under the Inquisition; The Reformation in Italy, London, 1904; C. Dejob, La Foi religieuse en Italie au xiv. siècle, Paris, 1906; C. von Klenze, The Interpretation of Italy, Chicago, 1907; and the literature under the articles on the Reformers named in the text.
1 1. Two Periods.
2 2. Venice.
3 3. Naples.
4 4. The Inquisition in Naples.
5 5. In South and Central Italy.
6 6. The Later Period in Italy.
7 7. Italian Reformation Writings.
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